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How Many Places Should You Register at for Your Wedding?: A Guide to Wedding Registries for Every Type of Couple

Jul 18, 2019 12 min read
Ollie Rozdarz, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Ollie Rozdarz
Co-Founder of Hitchd

Twenty years ago, wedding registries for nearly all couples looked somewhat the same. They all asked for the home staples — fine wedding china, bed comforters and sheet sets, cookware and expensive flatware. But today, no two couples do their wedding exactly the same. Not everyone needs — or wants — a full eight-person china set or a stand mixer.

With so many norms and cultures changing, it can be tough to follow what's appropriate for wedding registry etiquette. While there's nothing wrong with doing your wedding registry your own way, you also don't want to confuse or offend your guests, and you always want to make sure they feel appreciated.

So with all that being said: What is the right way to do a wedding registry these days? How many places should you register at for your wedding?

In short, every couple is different, so there's no right way to do a wedding registry or a one-size-fits-all method. That being said, the type of couple you and your partner are can help you determine how many wedding registries you need and how to do them well.

Check out our guide to how many wedding registries you need for every couple type and get a few tips on doing your wedding registry right — what's right for you, that is.

Traditional Couple Wedding Registries

Traditional couples come from all backgrounds and love stories, and they may have all different types and sizes of weddings. But they have one thing in common: they've never lived together before. That means they're starting from scratch when they move in together.

To answer the question of how many places to register for a wedding, the traditional couple should aim for three to four registries, depending on the size of the wedding. A wedding of less than 150 guests could work with three registries while any more and four is likely better. And when you have such a big wedding, it's better to get started on your wedding registry ideas right after you get engaged — no need to wait.

When choosing how many places to register for your wedding, look at stores that offer a wide variety of home goods with in-store and online options. Some people like to shop in person while others prefer online. Give both guests the option.

Many stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Crate & Barrel have checklists for wedding registry ideas, and they're great for keeping yourself on track with everything traditional couples need for their homes. After all, you don't want to set up your shower curtain after the wedding and then realize that you never asked for shower curtain rings. Follow these lists, but don't feel like you need to put every little thing on your registry.

As you start setting up your wedding registry, keep these tips in mind:

  • Mix price points:

    Your registry should have plenty of items under $25, $50 and $100 as well as a few items over for those gifts from parents and grandparents. Some guests like to buy a $75 gift and then add a few $10 items to go with it, so make sure you have plenty of options.
  • Don't register for the cheapest or the most expensive items:

    It's true that price and quality often go hand in hand, but try to find products that meet somewhere in the middle.
  • Plan for right now — not potential futures:

    Think you'll host a family holiday someday, but you're still living in a small apartment? Maybe you will, maybe you won't, so ask for what you definitely need now. Maybe that's a four-person plate set instead of eight.

But like many couples, what some traditional couples really need is the green — cash. There's nothing wrong with that, and sites like Hitchd.com can help you set up a personalized cash fund. If you're saving for your first home, you can set up a cash fund and ask wedding guests to contribute With personalized touches, a cash fund asks for cash but makes guests feel part of the experience. Our expert guide can help you put a cash fund together.

Modern Couple Wedding Registries

Modern couples have been living together for some time when they get engaged, so they're not starting from scratch like traditional couples. However, they too need wedding registry ideas, and they need to know how many places to register for their wedding.

For modern couples who have settled in together, one or two registries is best, depending again on the size of the wedding and what the couple needs. Some couples who are older and have been together for a while might have more established homes than two recent college grads, so their registries would look different.

It can be difficult to generate wedding registry ideas when you've been living together, but the key is to identify what needs to be either replaced or upgraded. For example, how old are your pots and pans? What about your bathroom towels or bed sheets? These items make great wedding registry ideas because they're readily available at just about any store you choose to register, and they come in a variety of price points. You don't have to ask for the most expensive towel set, but you can still ask for a better quality that will last you a long time.

When choosing how many places to register for your wedding, look for stores that offer better quality products and plenty of shopping options. Some stores will offer the couple discounts for any items not purchased on their registry, so keep that in mind when choosing stores.

Some couples like to create hybrid wedding registries — one or two registries at a store and a honeymoon fund. A honeymoon fund asks wedding guests to contribute to different parts of your honeymoon, such as a dinner, activity or hotel.

Honeymoon funds can be better for modern couples because:

  • They involve guests in the honeymoon experience:

    Personalized honeymoon funds tell guests what they're paying for by showing photos and providing links to different activities.
  • They feel more connected than just cash:

    Wedding guests want their gift to be remembered long after the honeymoon. When sending thank-yous, you can include photos of the two of you enjoying the experience the guest paid for. It's a small momento for both of you.
  • They cut down on unwanted items:

    Most modern couples don't need the basic home essentials; they already have them. That can make generating wedding registry ideas hard. Rather than asking for things you don't need, honeymoon funds ask for experiences you'll remember forever.

Sites like Hitchd.com can help you set up a honeymoon fund, and our handy guide will tell you how to do it right.

Destination Wedding Registries

Destination weddings are a whole different ball game when it comes to how many places to register for a wedding. Couples who choose these weddings anticipate that few people will be able to attend because it is so far away, but as most couples stay at the destination after the wedding for their honeymoon, destination weddings can be a great option.

Wedding registry ideas, however, can be tricky. You don't want to overwhelm your guests with expensive items because they're already paying a lot of money to come to your wedding. But many guests still want to contribute some small gift, and even those who can't make the wedding want to chip in some way.

As you're choosing how many stores to register for your wedding, think about the store's online shopping and shipping policies. With destination weddings, your guests will likely send gifts to your home rather than bring them along. Make sure the stores you choose have good shipping policies.

Some modern and traditional couples are reluctant to create wedding registries for destination weddings, but many friends and family members who can't attend the wedding would still like to wish the happy couple well in some way. When thinking about how many stores you should register for your wedding, consider what you really need for your home — a new vacuum or large storage containers — and register for those items.

A honeymoon fund can also be a good addition to the wedding registry ideas. In this way, you can ask guests to help make your honeymoon more special by paying for certain activities and events. A honeymoon fund can help guests feel like they're keeping the party going after they leave and the couple stays behind. As with any honeymoon fund, make sure it's personalized and guests will feel more included.

When it comes to how many places you should register for your wedding, the options are numerous, and there's no one right way to do it anymore. Every couple is unique, and the best wedding registry ideas come from couples who personalize their registries, be they traditonal, honeymoon fund or cash fund.

The bottom line: Have fun with your wedding registry ideas — and your guests will too.