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The Dos and Don’ts of Registering for Your Wedding

Can we just give a round of applause to whoever had the genius idea of wedding registries?

Not only will you walk away from your wedding with the man of your dreams, but also with a solid collection of household supplies to kickstart your life together as man and wife. And thanks to the brilliance of wedding registries, the gifts you receive will suit your tastes and needs perfectly because you got to choose them!

While this is all very exciting, you would be wise to listen to our voice of caution. As soon as you gain control of the registry gun, all logic and reason can fly out the window. So before you jump in, keep these wedding registry tips and tricks in mind.


the DON’Ts of registering for your wedding

  • Register at expensive stores. Just because someone else is footing the bill is not reason enough to go on a shopping spree with your registry gun at the most expensive store around. While walking into such stores and visualizing yourself with those items provides a momentary thrill, it will ultimately lead to disappointment. Your guests may purchase the smaller items on your registry or simply buy your wedding gift elsewhere. Either way, you get less of what you want (and even less of what you need).
  • Choose just one store. Perhaps there is an adorable family-owned store down the road that happens to cater to wedding registries. While that option will make shopping convenient for your local friends and family, it will make the process near to impossible for those who live far away. Feel free to register at that store, but also register at a larger, more popular one, as well. A store with the option of ordering online is a plus, but remember that your guests may want to check out the items in person.
  • Focus on personal items. While a grill set for him or a diet book for her are not totally inappropriate, avoid featuring too many personal items on your wedding registry. Registries typically help the bride and groom get situated as a new couple, potentially in a new home, and starting a new life together. Therefore the bulk of the items should be functional household supplies. This is not the place to start your Christmas or birthday wish list!
  • Make a huge list. An overly long wedding registry will overwhelm your guests. Also, your guests have no way of knowing which items you are dying to have and which ones were more of an afterthought. You may end up with a random mix of gifts rather than a foundational collection of items to kickstart your life together as man and wife. Bigger is not always better!
  • Ask for money. As previously mentioned, the purpose of a wedding registry is to provide you and your spouse with resources to get started as a young couple. Physical gifts are a way for the people you love to give you a helping hand and for you to remember them when you use their gifts. While you may believe hard cash to be the most helpful resource at this stage, you will appreciate the other more tangible supplies more than you anticipate.


the DOs of registering for your wedding

  • Include a variety of items and prices. Each of your guests has a certain budget and style that will dictate what type of gift they want to give you on your big day. Be mindful of that fact and be respectful of your guests by creating a diverse registry. If anything, your registry should be a little heavy on the lower priced items, suiting guests of all price ranges either as the complete gift or as a complementary one. But also add some more expensive, but necessary items that will become a fixture in your new home — some more financially established guests may want to treat you.
  • Start with the necessities. Yes, those cute coffee mugs and that vintage-style Kitchen Aid will be conversation starters, but are they necessities? While you should feel free to add items to your registry that you would not typically buy for yourself, you should at least start out with the necessities. Our article, What Are The Registry Necessities, You Ask? answers just that!
  • Look around before shooting. Before you go trigger happy, take a look around your store(s) of choice. Get a feel for all the items. Make sure that you see all the options for each item. Keep track of all those that initially catch your eye and narrow that list down if necessary. Prioritize the items that you cannot live without and choose which of the nonessentials you still have room for.
  • Make your list right away. We’re talking as soon as you get engaged. You can never predicted at what points throughout the process of planning and holding a wedding your loved ones will want to treat you with a gift. Create a wedding registry and make additions, revisions, and adjustments as necessary. That way, throughout the excitement of wedding festivities, all those thoughtful gifts will be useful items for you and your man.
  • Write thank you notes. Keep track of all the gifts you receive throughout the flurry of your wedding festivities. While you may not have time right at that moment to compose a heartfelt letter, make note of who gave what so that you can  express your thanks at a later date. Set a reminder or a personal deadline to encourage you to get those letters written and sent. For all the time, money, and effort that your guests put in to provide you with the perfect gift, the least you can do is write them a thank you note.


Wedding registries allow guests to treat you in a very personal way. But this genius system should be approached with caution. Take your guests into consideration as you create your registry. Doing so will not only make for happy family and friends, but for a more useful collection of items for you and your new husband.

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