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So you're ready to create a wedding registry? This is often the most fun part of the wedding planning process! Creating a registry is a good time but it's also a fundamental step. After all, you're planning your life with your future spouse. Every blanket, gravy boat, and wine glass will tell the story of your home and hold all of the memories you're going to make. Your registry should be specialized to you, your lifestyle, and your future aspirations. Where to begin? Right here.
What’s a registry anyway?
A registry is a wedding gift list that is easily accessible to all of your loved ones. This is the time for people to get you and your partner exactly what you need and want. You two get to choose a store(s) and fill your list with everything that will make up your future home and new life together. The registry, whether it be online or in-person, is where your guests will purchase gifts for your engagement, shower, and wedding day.
A registry doesn’t have to be about material gifts. It’s become more and more popular to opt for experiences. Guests can buy you an excursion for your honeymoon, a special weekend at a resort, really anything! You can also set up cash funds to put towards a deposit for a new home, save for your honeymoon, donate to nonprofits you care about, or any number of things! There is no limit, you can do a combination of traditional registries and online cash funds.
Pro tip: Start right now! That’s our best tip to you. You want to give your guests ample time to shop and registry items may be discontinued so it’s good to start ahead of time so you can edit accordingly.
Tracking and managing your registries is now easier than ever. The first step is setting up your registry. You can do this through your chosen registry site or retailer. Most stores offer in-person services with a consultant to help you set up your registry or allow you to do it on your own with a scanner or through an app on your phone.
How it works: Your retailers will provide you with a link or barcode and your guests can view your list online or print it out. Whenever an item from your list is purchased it will automatically update on your registry. But how will your guests even know about your wedding registry?
Pro tip: Create a wedding website! You never add your registry to your wedding invitation or save the date, this implies that gifts are mandatory. Instead create a website for your wedding that includes all of the necessary details, like date, time, location, travel info, and most importantly your wedding registry details right at the top! You can learn How to Create An Event or Wedding Website in Aisle Planner and easily add gift registries.
Pick Your Registry Retailers
Choosing the right place to register is like choosing a partner! You have to do your research and choose the perfect fit for you and your significant other. Browse your favorite stores online and in-person to find items that you want/need and that fit your desired home aesthetic. Get started by reading about the 44 Best Wedding Registry Sites & Stores.
How many stores should you register for? The sweet spot is 3-5. Definitely give your guests several options but don’t go overboard by choosing more than 5 registries. Too many registries will just be a headache for you to keep track of.
Choose at least 1 or 2 retailers that are national brands that have a strong online presence. This will make it easier for your guests to shop, even if they’re out of town. You can choose a local small business but limit it to 1 or 2, as these aren’t as accessible to all of your guests.
What Gifts to Add
- What do you already have? Take inventory of what items you and your partner already have. If you already have essential items that are beloved and in great condition then don’t bother adding them to the registry.
- Upgrade. Even if you already have a dish set, baking pans, and a blender, maybe they're not looking so hot these days. Your registry is a great place to upgrade for better quality items that will last you a long time.
- Choose gift options for each room in your home and think about the must-haves. Categorizing your gifts will make it so much easier for you to manage and visualize what you need. Pro tip: Assign a home category to each place you register for. Example: All kitchen essentials from William Sonoma, all bedroom and bathroom essentials from Bed Bath and Beyond, and all electronics from Amazon.
- What do you really need? A mattress is an absolute essential. If you need one then there is no shame in adding it!
- Think about every season. What items will you need for Thanksgiving? Certainly serving ware and stemware. Think about all of the entertaining you will be doing and add essentials that will serve you year-round and serve 5-8 people.
- Are you in an apartment or a smaller home? It’s okay for you to be aspirational and add gifts that you will grow into. A beautiful dining table that’s too big for your current space? Add it!
- A key point is giving your guests multiple price range options. Add items that vary in price that way your loved ones can choose items that fit their budgets.
- Over add items to your list! Add as much as you can. Your guests will appreciate having multiple options to choose from.
Remember that this is your home we’re talking about and you can make your registry whatever you want it to be!