Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Registries


If you walk into almost any department store known for its wedding registries, helpful staff will provide you with a looooong list of items for which you “must” register to have a fully equipped home. However, every couple is different, and therefore every wedding registry should be at least a little bit different. We understand starting a registry from scratch can be intimidating, so feel free to check out The Everygirl’s Wedding Registry Guide as a starting point, but also keep in mind the following do’s and don’ts for a stress-free, successful wedding registry experience.

DO register for items you wouldn’t necessarily buy yourself.

Source: Style Me Pretty

A wedding registry is a fun and wonderful thing. When else in your life do you get to make a long list of things you want people to give you (Santa not included) without being considered presumptuous? A registry is the perfect opportunity to ask for things you wouldn’t necessarily buy yourself but would certainly appreciate as a gift.

This could mean registering for fun trinkets, like drink spoons or sandwich boards, or it could mean simply registering for something a step above what you would buy yourself—especially when it comes to linens. You might not want to buy yourself expensive sheets and towels, but someone else might! Plus, they will last longer, and many wedding guests like to know they are gifting the newlyweds something of high enough quality to last them at least a few years.

DON’T feel like you have to buy 12 of everything.

Source: Honestly WTF

One store recommended we register for three sets of sheets for each bedroom: one for the bed, one for the closet, and one for the hamper. However, if you plan to remake your bed immediately after washing the sheets, you could get away with one set (or two, as a spare set isn’t a bad idea for emergencies). Likewise, if you entertain often, you might want to register for 12 sets of matching dishes, but if you don’t entertain often or usually do so in a casual setting, disposable dishes can be your best friend while hostessing!

The bottom line is you and your partner know what is best for your lifestyle and your home. Do consider the store’s advice, but ultimately you are the only ones who know if you really need eight cappuccino cups or if two will suffice.

DO stay true to your personalities.

Source: Three Birds Renovation

On that note, knowing yourself and what you need and/or want should be the most important part of your wedding registry planning. If you don’t bake, maybe you don’t really need the ever-present Kitchenaid mixer (as adorable as they are), but you might want to consider a more inexpensive handheld mixer. If you love the outdoors, throw a hammock (or two!) on the list, or some patio furniture and a fire pit.

Other useful and fun items you won’t typically see in a registry guide include new luggage; athletic equipment, such as yoga mats or a massager; and recreational items (Catchphrase, anyone?).

DON’T register for something just because someone wants to buy it for you.

Source: My Domaine

If you want to register for china, you should! Maybe you plan on actually using it, or maybe you want a nice set to pass down to your children. Whatever your reasons, I have nothing against registering for nice china. However, if you are only registering for china (or anything else) because a relative or friend wants to buy it for you, it is okay not to do it.

Some people are of the opinion that if someone is going to buy them something, they at least want to pick the design, and I do understand that. But I also think not adding those undesired items to your registry lessens the chances of you receiving it. Ultimately, again, this is a list of what you want in your home. So have fun curating your registry, and be appreciative of any gift you receive, whether it was “on-” or “off-” registry.

DO check the returns policy.

Source: Jonathan Adler

Modern wedding registries usually make the buying process convenient and easy for your wedding guests, but there is still a chance items could be double-purchased or you could receive a slightly different item than the one you wanted. Or, maybe you just change your mind! (That’s an Everygirl’s prerogative, right?) Make sure you know the returns policy before you register to ensure you won’t be stuck with unwanted items or forced to take a discounted exchange value.

On that note, it is also usually a good idea to register at a store from which you would also appreciate gift cards. If you register at Target, for example, it is likely some guests will opt for Target gift cards rather than purchasing a registry item. The same is true for any store that offers gift cards.

DON’T feel like you have to stick to a traditional registry.

Source: Domino

Brides aren’t limited to Macy’s or Williams-Sonoma anymore. From creating a wishlist on Amazon to registering for adventure gear at REI, the possibilities for modern wedding registries are endless! Amazon is a great option because you can choose items sold on the site, but you can also add items from those pesky stores that don’t yet offer their own registry services (ahem, World Market).

Other couples, especially couples who are more established and/or already live together, may opt for a cash registry. There are those who look down on asking for cash, but I say if cash would better suit your current life needs and you feel comfortable setting up such a fund, go for it! I do recommend starting a “honeymoon” fund or “house” fund with specific items listed (e.g. “couple’s massage on the beach” or “bathroom renovation”), so your guests know where their money is going. Also pay careful attention to the site’s terms, as many of these cash registries keep a percentage of all monetary gifts, and their cut can be steep! Finally, for the couple who truly has everything, you can always suggest a few favorite charities where guests can make donations in lieu of gifts.

Have you created a wedding registry? Share your best tips in the comments below!