Making the Most of Your Wedding Gift Registry

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There will be no other time in your life, most likely, that you will be able to pick and choose so many gifts that you will be using in your future. This wedding gift registry process can be really fun and beneficial, so be sure and make the most of it!

Here are a few tips:


  • Set early!

    • This can be a really fun process, but don’t wait too long! It’s helpful for your family and friends if you have items listed in advance of your bridal shower. ¬†That way, you will have a much better chance of getting what you are hoping for if people have access to it.

  • Check for perks.

    • Certain places have better perks than others, such as direct shipping to your home. Also, most businesses have a completion program where you can get a percentage off of any remaining registry ¬†items so you can buy them at a discount if you want.

  • Take your time & have fun!

    • You can register online and in-person at most stores. It is wise to start to process in person as you’ll be able to see items up close and meet with a registry “specialist” to learn any additional information about the benefits of registering with a particular store. After the initial pass-through the store, you can (usually) easily manage it online.

    • Also, be sure and have fun with this! It can be easy to get overwhelmed or even discouraged when you see all the options, but try to keep perspective. No need to for a ton of stress, if you and your fiance are unsure or can’t agree on some items, no big deal- they can be added later.

  • Allow for a wide variety of prices & over register.

    • As you are dreaming of what you will need in your married life, keep in mind that your guests can have different budgets. Don’t be scared of registering for some higher end items, it is expected that you will need them. But also, be sure and add some more affordable items that you will need. A wide variety allows for everyone to take part in celebrating you and giving you what you would like.

    • By giving your guests more choices you are actually serving them- allowing them to choose and ensuring that there will be gifts for them to pick up. Some people love to shop early and others like to wait until the last minute.

  • Register at 2-3 stores

    • Registering at only one store may limit your choices and the people who will be buying gifts for you. If you do too many stores, it may get difficult for you to manage or may be confusing for the buyers.

  • Keep in mind stage of life & where you will be living

    • If you are getting married later in life, you made need fewer or different things than someone getting married in their early twenties. In the same way, if you are living in a small apartment or a place where you don’t have much room to spread out, keep that in mind when registering!

  • If you want something that suits you as a couple that is a little non-traditional, go for it!

    • For example you are an outdoor/ camping type couple and you would love to get some things for your life together from REI- do it! Let your passions and pastimes as couple come through. Your guests will get it and be happy to get you something you love.

  • Weekend (before) update

    • Be sure and check your registry after all your showers and see if you need to add a few items. You may be surprised at people’s generosity and how quickly gifts are purchased. A good rule is that you check at least two weekends before the wedding to make sure there are enough gifts for people to purchase for the wedding. This can be a good time to add items that you may have been on the fence about or waiting on because of one reason or another.

  • Hand-written, specific thank you notes

    • Once the gifts start adding up, be sure and keep track of who gives you what. Keep a list- this will serve you well as you write thank you notes. Hand-written thank you notes are the absolute best way to go, and the more specific you can be the better.

    • For example: Dear Aunt Mary, Thank you so much for lovely candle holders! We look forward to using them and would love to have you over for dinner to see them in action.

    • If you have teaser images of your wedding photography you could create a custom thank you card that includes a photo from your wedding.


  • Register for personal items (makeup, clothes, etc.)

    • This is probably a given, but it isn’t considered very tasteful to have personal items such as clothes, makeup, etc. on your registry. It is more what you will need as a newlywed, so focus on items you will both use.

  • Mention your registry on “save the dates”

    • This is first impression people get of your wedding; focus on the event rather than the gits. Wait for a shower, the wedding invitations or even better, put it on your wedding website.

  • Go overboard with trends!

    • It is so easy to get caught up in what is so on- trend or cool now. Instead, keep the perspective that many of the quality and long lasting items you want will be around for a while. A good rule of thumb is to go classic: like crisp white dishes or very simple pattern.

  • Ask for money.

    • Who doesn’t like the gift of cold, hard cash? But again, it is not considered polite to just ask for it. Instead, make sure your bridesmaids know your wish so they can spread the word when asked. If you receive cash gifts, be sure and write a very specific card, stating what you are planning to use the money on. Your guests will appreciate that and feel like their gift is going to good use.

Here are a few sample registries:

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