There are two kinds of engaged couples in the wedding planning world: those who dread the wedding registry because it feels awkward, and those who just can’t seem to put down the scanning gun as they sail up and down the department store aisles.
No matter which camp you fall into, the simple truth is that not all registries are created equally, so we’re here to offer some insider tips and best practices when it comes to setting up the registry for your wedding.
First, DO set up a registry for the wedding. It may feel awkward and uncomfortable to ask your friends and family for a gift, especially if they have to make an investment in order to be at your wedding, but the simple truth is, the wedding registry is more about their comfort than it is yours. Your friends and family will want to offer you a gift to celebrate and commemorate your wedding – a registry makes the selection of a gift much easier for them. If you don’t set up a registry, you run the risk of getting an unwanted gift, and believe me when I tell you, it can be much worse than you imagine: my own brother got a puppy as a wedding gift from his best man! Your registry should be set up before you send save the dates, making it one of your very first wedding planning duties.
Second, DON’T be bullied by tradition. Weddings are steeped in years and years of tradition, so you may feel like you need to register for things you likely already have (like towels, pots and pans, etc.), or worse – things you’ll never use (like crystal and china). Our advice: if you won’t use it, and it won’t bring you joy, it has no business being on your registry.
DO take your time. I know that it’s fun to scan all the things, but let’s face it, you don’t need flatware in silver, gold, and matte black. If you are setting up your registry at a physical store, our recommendation is to do a preliminary trip through the store with your partner before adding anything to your registry.
DON’T let one store have a monopoly over your registry. While you don’t want to have too many options, you do want to use more than one store for your registry. We recommend two or three, and make sure you mix it up with online retailers vs. physical stores. We all have folks in our families that would prefer to shop at a physical store instead of clicking online.
DO be mindful of retail seasons. Something that is easy to forget, but stores don’t always carry the same products all year long. As you add things to your registry, make sure they’re not seasonal items, or items that are on sale because they’re being discontinued – it’s likely that your registry will be “live” for a year or longer, so you’ll want to have items on your registry that will be available for guests to purchase throughout that time.
DON’T be humble. This goes back to getting over that awkward feeling… many couples will limit the number of items on their registry because they don’t want to give the impression they’re asking for too much – and what happens? Guests don’t have enough of a selection to buy from! I say go crazy and over-register so your guests have options in terms of what they gift you. You want to have more items on your registry than you have guests. Remember: giving options does not make you look greedy, you’re doing guests a favor by giving them more choices.
…and that brings us to the most important thing to know about setting up your wedding registry: DO look for the perks!
Many brands offer perks for couples who set up a registry with them. For example, Amazon offers a one-time discount on anything left on your registry after the wedding. A great way to “hack” your wedding registry is to think about any larger purchases you may be planning for after the wedding (furniture, appliances, etc.) and set up your registry with the store you’d likely be purchasing from, so you can get a nice discount!