Planning your wedding can feel overwhelming. I’m here to help!
Here are free printables with tons of ideas for all categories of a wedding registry to help you get started. Plus tips and tricks for setting it up, receiving gifts, and doing returns!
Why You Are in The Right Place
Unlike the big wedding websites, I am not here to sell you ceramic pots or tell you that you need 7 sets of dinner plates. Instead, I am a real girl who really planned her wedding all by herself and wants to help other brides-to-be! Because I was 100% on my own in the planning process, I sought a ton of resources, advice from others, and honest feedback. I gathered my information through friends, family, the internet, and (of course) trial and error!
I’ve tried to document all the major things I have learned along the way. This has been the inspiration for posts such as Tips for Saving Money on Your Reception, 50 Bachelorette Party Snack Ideas with Names, He Said She Said Bridal Shower Game, and How to Start Wedding Planning.
Along the way, I have learned A TON, had a lot of fun, and been really stressed sometimes haha (Brides get it). So, don’t worry if you don’t know anything about setting up your registry. In this blog post, I have included free printable wedding registry checklists, tips for personalizing your registry, answers to frequently asked questions, and info on returns!
My Experience With Wedding Registries
As someone who is getting married this year, wedding registries have been on my mind.
One weekend my fiancé and I were traveling and waiting at the airport, so I decided to start researching what types of items people usually include on their registries. I’m the first one in my family to get married, so this whole wedding planning thing has been a new experience for me.
To my surprise, I actually really enjoyed working on it. Turns out, it’s actually fun to make a wish list of things other people are going to give you haha.
For my online registry I used the Amazon wedding registry, but the truth is, there are lots of sites you can use. I’ve heard of people using Target, Walmart, and even Bed Bath & Beyond. These are all great wedding registry options. Regardless of which companies you choose to work with for your registry, it helps to think of the items you want to include in categories.
Things to Think About When Making Your Wedding Registry
When putting together your bridal registry, I think it is important to be mindful of how many websites you register on.
Generally, I think it is best if you can have all you requested registry gifts on one site. This makes it easier for you to avoid having duplicate gift ideas on various sites. It also makes it easier on the wedding guests, because they don’t have to look at multiple lists.
That is why I chose to register on Amazon. It had everything I needed, was simple to create, and made it easy for those on my guest list to use. However, I know plenty of people who have made multiple registries and it worked out just fine. Having one is just my suggestion for simplicity!
Another thing to keep in mind is having a wide price range for your registry items. Not everyone on your guest list is going to be comfortable giving you the same amount. By providing lots of price points to choose from, you can give your guests options.
But, don’t stress if you have a few big ticket items. I can’t speak for other registries, but I know that Amazon allows you to mark items as group gifts, meaning that multiple people can contribute any amount towards the item.
Along with this, you want to have a decent size registry. The general rule I’ve heard is to have a little more than double the amount of suggested items on your list than then number of guests you are inviting.
Of course, there will be items that you want more than others. I know a lot of sites will allow you to prioritize items or make them “most wanted”. This allows you to communicate to your friends and family the things you need/want most while also providing them with a wide array of ways to support you!
Wedding Registry FAQs
What is supposed to be on a wedding registry?
- I recommend adding household items you will use often such as kitchen appliances and bedding. However, you can really add anything to a wedding registry.
- Pro Tip: Go through every room in your home and think about what you need/want to add to it. There may be items you are missing or even items that could use an upgrade. This will help inspire a list that is personal to you!
Why should I make a wedding registry?
- Registries make it easy for people to get you a wedding gift. Your wedding guests want to give you a gift and you want to receive it! Registries help you get items you want while offering the gift-giver an assurance that you will appreciate the gift. It’s a win-win on both ends. DEFINITELY worth setting up!
- AND registries don’t have to solely be made up of items. You can also include a cash fund or even add gift cards or suggested subscriptions you’d enjoy.
When should your registry be done?
- As early as possible! At the very least, you want your registry to be ready when you send your invites out. That way, you can add where you have registered to your invite.
- Most people order wedding gifts in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and an invite can be an easy reminder to RSVP, get a gift, and put the date in their calendar! Getting your registry finished before then is great, but don’t wait until after! Otherwise people might try to get you a gift and either get something you don’t want or not get you a gift at all!
How do I find someone’s wedding registry?
- Go to the website the couple is registered at and enter one of their names (first and last).
- On the website you may have to look for a button or tab that says something along the lines of “Find a Registry” or “Find a Couple”. Click on this and it will bring up an area for you to insert a name and possibly a date. Add the couple’s info in and then enjoy scrolling through their online registry!
What are common wedding registry mistakes?
- 1. Not enough items – People like having options, so it’s better to have more items on your list than less.
- 2. Too many expensive items – Not everyone feels comfortable spending the same amount on wedding gifts. Help make your friends and family comfortable by providing them with a wide range of price points.
- 3. Being Registered at too many places – Simplicity is key. The more places you are registered at the more confusing it is for your guests. I suggest going with one or 2 companies, but not more.
- 4. Not paying attention to the delivery address – If you are moving into a new place around the time of your marriage, you may want to change your delivery address 2-3 weeks before the big day. That way, any gifts bought right before or after your wedding day will get sent to your new place. You have a lot going on and the last thing you want to be doing is chasing down wedding gifts that got sent to the wrong place!!
What are some wedding registry must haves?
- Some of the most commonly seen items on registries include bed sheets, cooking pans, a knife set, and plates. These are the kinds of items that you don’t currently have, want a newer/nicer version of, or know that you will get good use out of!
Is it rude to ask for money instead of wedding gifts?
- Not necessarily, but you should still have a registry! There are some people who will only give you a physical gift. Because of this, it is best to still have a gift registry for your wedding, even if you don’t need a ton of items. You may actually appreciate having the gifts, and if not, you can always return them for money back or store credit.
- Pro Tip: If you want to ask for money, here’s how to do it. Communicate your needs to your party guests. You can tactfully inform your friends and family that the best way they could support your upcoming marriage is through money contributions. Hearing this explicitly from you may help them feel more comfortable and confident about sending you money as a gift.
How many gifts should I register for?
- You want to have more gifts than people invited to the wedding. People will feel more excited about their wedding gift if they feel like they picked it out.
How do I share my registry with others?
- Add it to your invite or wedding website! When it comes to sharing your wedding info with others, you want to make it easily accessible. Invites and websites are common places for sharing wedding info, and therefore a great place for your wedding registry info.
Making a Wedding Registry That Works For You
You will see in this article that I have made a few graphics to showcase the kind of items I would include in the various categories. But remember, you may not need everything on this list. In fact, you probably won’t.
The lists in this article are simply meant to help you think about your individual situation and maybe help catch a few items you would’ve otherwise forgotten/overlooked.
In my case, my fiancé and I will be moving into an apartment, so I’ve tried to limit the number of items I request that take up a lot of space. While I would love to have a food processor or smoker, those aren’t the biggest priorities for our circumstances!
So, here’s my suggestion. Look over these lists while making your registry, but don’t feel like you have to have everything on them. Adjust your wish list so that it actually is YOUR wish list and not just what you think you should include on your registry.
Wedding Registry Categories to Think About
It can be overwhelming to try and think of all the things you could add to your gift list. Working with categories can help you to systemize your efforts and make it manageable.
Of course, we all come from different backgrounds and circumstances. This list of registry items won’t be entirely comprehensive, but hopefully it will get you going in the right direction.
Here are some Wedding Registry categories that it can be helpful to think about.
- Kitchen Essentials
- Dining Room
- Living Room
- Cleaning Materials
- Active/Outdoor Gear
- Honeymoon Items
- Cleaning/Household Items
- Big-Ticket Items
One of the biggest areas that you will likely want to focus on with you wedding registry is kitchen items. There are all kinds of gadgets and cooking appliances nowadays that I’m sure you’d love to get your hands on!!
Another nice thing about kitchen items is that they come in all sorts of price points. Someone might get you a $15 can opener while another buys you a $150 toaster oven. Kitchen items can be expensive, so it helps when others pitch in to help you gather some of these home goods.
In addition to kitchen essentials, you are going to want to think about home decor. Depending on the size of your home and what you already have, you can gauge what items you’d most want to include.
You may not have the style your wanting for your home all figured out yet, but I’d advise having a similar color palette that you use for items for each room. And if you aren’t that far, a great way to go about adding home decor to your lists is to play it safe with neutrals. If you get neutral colored items, you can always incorporate pops of color or pattern later, when you have a more clear idea of how you want to decorate.
If you’re like me, also consider the long term. Ask yourself, “Will I like this item in 3 years? 5? 10?” Of course you can always replace things over time, but try to focus on adding registry gifts that you will be excited and thankful to have for more than 6 months.
Items That Are Nice To Have
Often these are the items that get overlooked or forgotten when creating a gift registry. They fall into smaller categories, and therefore don’t get the same attention that the kitchen and home decor gifts do.
While some of these sub groups might not feel important to some couples, I’d say that the cleaning items are definitely ones to think about. You may not have ever thought that you’d want someone to give you a vacuum, but trust me, you’ll want one of those!
I also think it can be helpful to consider what items it might be nice to have on your dream honeymoon. Your location and planned activities will definitely shape what kind of gifts would be useful from this category.
Receiving Registry Items
Generally, wedding registries will have you put in an address for the gifts to be sent to. Those who buy a gift can either have it sent to you or to their own home. For Amazon prime members, the gifts they send come with free shipping, so that is a nice plus!
When it comes to adding an address, just make sure that you add a reliable address. If you will be moving soon before or after your wedding, maybe consider having the packages sent to a more permanent address. Possibly to family or friends’ houses.
If you need to return items, here is a little about company return policies. Amazon allows for returns up to 180 days from when it was shipped. Target will let you return registry items for up to a year. And Walmart will let you return it by mail or in store. So, the good news it that there are options if you decide later that you don’t love a particular item.
Another thing to note is that you may have gifts come in that aren’t on your registry. Many people are generous in giving cash gifts, gift cards, or personalized items.
These can be a little tricky to keep track of. I know Amazon can show you who purchased which items from your registry, but non-registry items will need special attention. Make sure to joy down who sent you those things, so you can send a thank you note after your wedding day!
While it can take some time and effort to put together your wedding registry, you’ll be SO thankful that you did it. The items from your gift registry will do a lot to help you and your significant other in your new life together.
Why You Should Come Back to My Blog
Here at Events to Celebrate, my whole goal is to help real people plan for their big life events, holidays, and fun parties! I am a young adult and I GET IT. You have a LOT going on. Your time and resources are limited, but you still want to live life to the fullest. I’m here to help give you tips, tricks, and ideas for celebrating life on a budget.
As a bride-to-be or wedding planner, you want to do it all. You want to make your family happy and create special experiences. My brand is all about creating moments that matter with those you love. The kind of moments that you will look back on years later and wish you could relive! So, if that’s something you’re interested in, stick around! I have an email list you can sign up for, so you don’t miss my future party ideas!