In the simplest terms, a wedding registry is a gift list for guests. Setting up a wedding registry will save every couple from the dust build-up on unused kitchen appliances hiding in the pantry, crammed bins in the attic filled with mismatching decor, and owning four different sets of china. And it will save guests from the stress and energy of guessing what the couple might want or need. A win-win for everyone. But with the evolving platform of wedding registries, couples have a variety of choices to make when setting up their own registry. Keep reading to better understand how to start your own wedding registry.
Options for Registries
This option is great to ensure that you have variety in the types of items you have available for your guests. However, if each store has its own link or process to purchase gifts, this may lead to confusion for you and your guests.
A universal registry is one site that is connected to a variety of stores, allowing you to register for gifts all in one location. Managing purchases, adding extra gifts, creating cash funds, and checking in on your registry may be easier with this option.
Physical retail store
Having a registry with a retail store may be helpful for guests who do not want to purchase your gifts online, making it a more comfortable experience for them.
A cash registry is the perfect option for couples who aren’t necessarily looking for physical gifts but still want some form of an online wedding registry. If you prefer experiences over material items, having a cash fund for your honeymoon or your bucket list as a couple may be a better fit for you. Some registries provide the option for both physical gifts and cash funds.
Choosing a “hold” registry gives you more control of when you receive the gifts that your guests purchase. People can still purchase items off your list like any other registry, but you choose when the item is shipped to you. This also allows for the chance to exchange the gift before it ships, in case you no longer want an item you originally placed on your registry.
Creating Your Own Registry
When planning your own registry, here are a handful of things to consider.
As soon as you announce your engagement, you should set up your wedding registry. People will want to celebrate with you! This also gives people the opportunity to bring their wedding gift to you if you plan on having pre-wedding celebrations such as an engagement party.
Do your research
The key to receiving only gifts that YOU want is to not add gifts just because you think you have to. The gifts should reflect your lifestyle and be quality items that will last you longer than the first few months of your marriage. An easy way to determine items that you need is to take inventory on what you already have. You will also want to compare the different registry options available to you. Researching the benefits and limitations of each option will help prepare you to make a decision that you won’t regret.
Do it together
Doing the research together and adding items to the list that you both select will make sure there is no overlap on the registry or with things that you already have.
Give people options
Be considerate of your guests. You want to make sure you include gifts from a range of price points. Also, you don’t need to only pick must-have items. Have fun with your gift ideas and remember to stay authentic with your selections. People will be excited to purchase a gift from your registry, and this also enables them to feel like they are giving you an item that is personal as if they picked it themselves.
Don’t over- or under-register
When deciding how many gifts to add to your registry, keep in mind the size of your guest list. Always check up on your registry to ensure that items are still available. Start your registry with things you really want/need. If you need to add more items later, then you can start including extra decor or lifestyle items that didn’t make the original list.
Prepare for “late-gifters”
Keep your registry active for at least six months after your wedding for any family or friends who may want to wait until after the wedding to purchase a gift to congratulate you and your spouse.
Even though you hand select the gifts that your guests purchase for your wedding day, it is always important to send each person a thank-you card to show your appreciation for them.
Alternative Gifts Ideas
After you do your research and take stock of everything that you already have, you may realize that you do not need many more items. Here are a few options that you can add to your registry that are not material gifts.
- Special funds
- Home renovation
- Art pieces
- Gift cards
- Charity donations
Places to Register
Now that you have an idea of the different types of registries and have considered which style best suits you, your fiancé, and your guests, here are some popular options to start your own wedding registry.
- The Knot Registry
- Online only
- Retail stores with both online and physical locations
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Pottery Barn