Wedding Registry 101

Wedding Registry 101

 By Carrie Dunlea

Building a wedding registry is a task unlike any other couples may encounter during their lifetimes. It’s the one time that the future husband and wife get to choose, and receive, new home items to complement their style. 

There are invaluable resources that can provide engaged couples’ loved ones with gift suggestions. In spite of that value, couples may find it daunting and even a little uncomfortable to build their wedding registries.

Building a wedding registry can feel like a daunting task. A first step, however, is to assess current household items and decide what to keep or give away. While many engaged couple don’t want to ask for too much or for gifts that are too expensive, a poorly built registry can be a major inconvenience for guests, and ultimately the couple. The following tips can help couples build adequate registries that benefit them without asking too much of their guests.

• Register with more than one store. It’s important to register with multiple stores – at least two to four. Doing so makes things as convenient as possible for guests and increases the chances they will be able to shop at stores they’re familiar with. Unless your guest list is predominantly local, try to register with at least one national chain so guests who live in different regions can shop for gifts in-person if they prefer to do so.

• Make sure the registry is available online. Once the stores are picked, an online buying option is a necessity. In addition to the stores, create your registry on, an online resource for all things wedding oriented. Make an appointment with the stores and allow plenty of time to choose the items. Ask for and review, a printout of requested items to avoid duplicates. 

• Make a large list. Some couples are hesitant to make large wedding registries, feeling that doing so gives the impression that they’re asking for too much. But large registries simply give guests more options to choose from. Many industry insiders advise registering for two to three gifts per guest. That might seem like a lot, but guests will appreciate having all of those options.

• Don’t hesitate to include expensive items on your registry. Couples also may be hesitant to include especially expensive items on their wedding registries. However, the couple’s parents and other close relatives may be honored to purchase more expensive items, so the future Mr. & Mrs. should not feel embarrassed to include them on their lists. It’s also important to note that many retailers discount registry items that weren’t purchased after couples’ wedding days have come and gone. So even if no one purchases the more expensive items, including them on a registry may significantly reduce their cost for the newly marrieds who still want to buy, or spend gift card money on items after tying the knot. 

• Vary the prices of items on the list. In addition to including more expensive items on the registry, make sure to include moderately priced and inexpensive items. This gives guests more options, plus it make it a bit more affordable for wedding guests traveling from out of town to attend the wedding and purchase wedding gifts without busting the budget.

• Periodically update the registries. Periodically update your registries to remove items you have already received and to add items if many of the less expensive ones have already been purchased. This also makes things more convenient for guests.

• Remember to thank guests in a timely manner. According to The Knot, “A text message or email won’t suffice here. Handwritten thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of arrival. Notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within two months of your return from the honeymoon.”

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