With so many options out there, creating your wedding registry can seem intimidating to say the least! Which wedding registry will be the best fit for your day? What kind of items should you include? And is it okay to ask for cash instead of physical gifts?
If you’re currently exploring your wedding registry options, we’re here to help. Keep reading as we round up some of the most common wedding registry FAQs below, including the important etiquette faux pas you should avoid along the way.
What Is a Wedding Registry?
A wedding registry is essentially a list of gifts that couples share with their friends and family to help guide them in choosing a gift for their wedding. Wedding registries can be created at a variety of retailers, with both online and in-store options available.
When guests purchase a gift from your registry, it will automatically be marked as purchased to prevent any duplicates. Your wedding registry can also be used for pre-wedding events such as your engagement party and bridal shower, too.
Which Wedding Registry Is the Best?
Choosing the right wedding registry option will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and the experience you want to create for your guests.
One option is to create a dedicated registry at your chosen store/s. Many couples will create between 1-3 registries at big department stores with a wide range of items, such as Target or Bed Bath & Beyond.
Alternatively, you can create a “universal” online registry that allows you to create and sync multiple store registries into one digital list. This makes it easy for guests to browse and shop for their preferred gifts online from one convenient location.
There are also plenty of non-traditional registry options that allow guests to purchase gifted experiences, honeymoon contributions or make charitable donations on your behalf. Check out our guide to the best wedding registries here for an in-depth look at these different options!
Why Should We Create a Wedding Registry?
While creating a wedding gift registry isn’t essential, it can be incredibly helpful for both you and your guests. From your perspective, it ensures that you’ll receive gifts you actually want and need, rather than duplicates or items that will never get used. And for guests, it takes the guesswork out of gift-giving and ensures their gift will be useful and appreciated!
Many guests will genuinely want to purchase a gift for the occasion, and a registry makes the process easy and stress-free.
What Are Some Typical Wedding Registry Items?
A wedding registry is traditionally filled with practical items for the home, to help you and your partner begin your new chapter together. Some of the most typical wedding registry items include:
- Cookware and kitchen accessories
- Linen and bedding
- Electrical appliances
- Home gadgets
However, in today’s modern world, many couples will already have most of these items after living together for a number of years! With this in mind, you can also consider some less-traditional gift registry items such as:
- Gift vouchers
- Subscription boxes
- Charity Donations
- Honeymoon contributions
A good place to start is by taking an inventory of your home. Are there any essential items that are missing, or appliances that need an upgrade? Check out our ultimate wedding registry checklist for modern couples here for some ideas.
How Many Gifts Should We Register For?
You may worry that including too many gifts on your registry will appear “greedy”, but this is actually not the case. Trust us – people love having choices, and they’ll appreciate the guidance!
Be sure to include plenty of gift options for guests to choose from, keeping in mind that your registry may also be used for other pre-wedding events. A good rule of thumb is to aim for two to three gifts per guest, with the expectation that not all gifts will be purchased.
You should also check your registry regularly leading up to your wedding, and add more items if needed.
How Expensive Can Our Registry Gifts Be?
An important etiquette rule is to include a mix of registry items at different price points to cater to the various budgets of your guests. While some guests may be happy to splurge on an heirloom gift, there are other guests who will be seeking more affordable options. We’d suggest including a good mix of items under $50, between $50 and $100, and over $100.
It’s also okay to include a couple of high-ticket items on your registry, too, for loved ones who may want to pitch in together for a joint gift.
Is It Okay to Ask for Cash Instead of Gifts?
While it’s becoming more common for couples to ask for cash instead of gifts, it can still be considered an etiquette faux pas in some circles (particularly with older guests!). With this in mind, be sure to communicate your preferences to guests in a polite and gracious manner, without any demands or expectations.
If your preference is for monetary donations rather than physical gifts, you can either set up a wishing well at your reception or create an online honeymoon fund using a free wedding registry platform like Honeyfund. You can then share the relevant details with your guests via your wedding website by saying something like:
Please know that your presence on our special day is the greatest present of all! However, if you do wish to celebrate with a gift, a contribution to our honeymoon fund would be warmly appreciated: (link)
Your love and company on our wedding day is the only present we require! However, if you do wish to honor us with a gift, a contribution towards our wishing well would be much appreciated.
When Should We Make Our Wedding Registry?
It may sound early, but we’d suggest creating a wedding registry (containing at least a few items) within 2-3 weeks of your engagement. This can be useful for friends and family who want to gift you an engagement present, particularly if you’re hosting an engagement party.
If you’re not hosting an engagement party, you have a little more time up your sleeve. In this case, we’d suggest creating your registry prior to your wedding invitations being sent out.
When Should We Share Our Wedding Registry?
As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have your wedding registry details ready to share at the same time your wedding invitations go out. While many guests will wait to purchase a gift until closer to your wedding, there will be some punctual guests who prefer to shop straight away!
How Should We Share Our Wedding Registry?
Sharing your wedding registry details can be a touchy subject. It’s considered impolite to include your registry details on your wedding invitations, so we’d recommend saving these details for your wedding website, instead.
Including your registry details on your wedding website is an ideal way to make the topic of gifts feel less awkward, while also ensuring your guests have the details they need (without relying on word of mouth). You can check out our wedding website wording ideas for gift registry details here.
What Should We Do With Our Registry After Our Wedding?
You don’t necessarily need to shut down your wedding registry after the big day. Many stores will actually offer a “completion” program, offering a discount on any remaining items on your list. Some couples also decide to keep their wedding registry live, so guests can refer back to it for future gifts like anniversary presents.
How Should We Thank Guests For Their Gifts?
Don’t forget to thank your guests for their gifts soon after your nuptials! Traditional etiquette states you should send thank you cards to your guests within 3 months of your wedding.
Your thank you card should include a personalized message thanking your guests for their specific gift, whether it was a physical gift or a monetary donation.
“Thank you so much for joining us on the day, and for your beautiful gift! We absolutely love the espresso machine and have been using it daily for our morning coffee ritual.”
Check out our guide on exactly what to write in a wedding thank you card here.
Wedding Gift Registry Tips
Sharing your wedding registry with your loved ones doesn’t have to feel awkward! We’ve made it easy to share your registry details with guests using our drag-and-drop wedding website builder. Choose from our range of customizable templates, personalize your design, and include all of your essential wedding details in one beautiful place.
Ready to create your wedding registry? Don’t miss these 8 expert tips for creating the best wedding registry here!