You would think that coming up with wedding registry ideas would be simple, right? Not so much. With all the wedding planning and stress, the wedding registry can sometimes be an afterthought. When that happens, couples forget what they really need and ask for things that end up collecting dust.
But don’t sweat it. Here are 30 wedding registry tips to get you started and ensure that of all the wedding stressors, your wedding registry will not be one of them.
1. Get started early
There’s no such thing as too-early when it comes to planning your wedding registry. You can get started on it right after you get engaged. Planning a wedding can get stressful and hectic, so if you start early, you’ll have plenty of time to come up with great wedding registry ideas.
2. Consider the size of your wedding
Your wedding registry should reflect the size of your planned wedding. According to a 2018 NerdWallet survey, the average amount spent on a wedding gift is about $128. Some of your guests will spend less; some will spend more. Your wedding registry should give your guests plenty of options.
3. Go room to room for wedding registry ideas
Not sure where to generating wedding registry ideas? Go from room to room in your home and think about what you need or what could use an upgrade. Going room by room can help you focus on just one part of your home and stop you from feeling overwhelmed. Is the matt in your bathroom looking a little grungy? Need extra storage containers for under your bed? These are both great wedding registry ideas.
4. Don’t be afraid to go non-traditional with your wedding registry
If you’ve walked around your home and you feel like what you need and want won’t fill up a wedding registry, remember that there are more non-traditional wedding registries, like honeymoon funds and cash funds. If you feel like you have what you need, these other wedding registry ideas may help fill gaps in your store registries.
5. Choose one or two stores that cater specifically to wedding registries
Thousands of stores have wedding registries, but having too many registries will stress you out. It’s better to choose just one or two stores that carry the brands you like or the products you want. If you find that two registries won’t accommodate all your wedding registry ideas, you can always create a cash fund, which we’ll talk more about later.
6. Research additional store perks and deals
Some stores offer free shipping and returns. Others will give the couple discounts on items not purchased off their wedding registry, which you could then buy with funds from your cash fund. Check out the perks to maximize your wedding registry ideas.
7. Set up a wedding registry consultation with a salesperson
More than likely, you’ve never put a wedding registry together. How would you know the best wedding registry tips? That’s what consultations are for, and if you’re feeling stressed out, they can help you keep track of what you need and what you already have. During the consultations, a salesperson will go over their wedding registry — how it works, how to add items, how to see what’s been purchased — and take you around the store to help you pick out items. These consultations can help you think about what might be missing and give you some good wedding registry tips. With a good salesperson, you’ll get a ton of wedding registry tips from someone who’s helped hundreds of other couples build their registries.
8. Hit up wedding registry events at stores
Some stores will host special events for couples looking for wedding registry tips. They invite brand representatives to show off cool products and do demonstrations and they let couples go around the store and start scanning items they want. And of course, food and beverages are usually included. It’s a stress-free environment that reminds couples that putting a wedding registry together should be fun.
9. Think about where you want to go on your honeymoon
As you’re planning your wedding registry, it’s also a good idea to think about where you might want to go on your honeymoon, when and for how long. As with wedding registry planning, honeymoon planning should start early, long before the big day.
10. Estimate how much the honeymoon might cost
According to Trip Savvy, the average couple spends about $4,466 on their honeymoon. That’s a big chunk of change on top of a wedding! If you fear you won’t be able to afford a honeymoon and you’re scrounging for wedding registry ideas, consider creating a honeymoon fund on Hitchd.com.
11. Do all your wedding registry planning together
The wedding registry is not one person’s job. Not only is doing it together more fun, but also you both get an equal say in what goes on the registry. As they say, two heads are better than one, and you can give each other wedding registry tips as you go along.
12. Mix up your price points
Wedding registries are the place to ask for those expensive items like vacuums, knife sets and blenders, but don’t overburden your wedding registry with high-priced gifts. Some of your relatives — like grandparents, for example — will probably be happy to buy you your fancy mixer, but your friend who is still in college probably can’t afford a big gift. Include a wide range of price points to give wedding guests the option to buy multiple small items or one of the bigger ones.
13. Go for quality products
Don’t feel like you have to pick the cheapest items at the store. If you want new bath towels, add ones that are of good quality and will last a long time. You don’t have to go with the most expensive item in quach category. Aim for good quality and a reasonable price.
14. Don’t forget add-ons to your registry
Small items, like spatulas, can openers and bathroom accessories, are great add-ons for guests who have a little wiggle room after they’ve picked out your gift. Your college friend, for example, might have a $75 budget, but pick a $50 gift. He or she can then add a smaller item or two to go along with the bigger gift.
15. Avoid items you know you’ll never use
Do you really need a full set of expensive china for eight people — especially when you know your small apartment can fit six people at best? Do you hate baking but feel like you should ask for a big stand mixer? Some wedding registry ideas just aren’t applicable to the modern couple. Remember, if you know you’re not going to use it, don’t ask for it. You can always buy it yourself years down the line if your feelings change.
16. Upgrade what you already have
Sure, you already have enough pots and pans, but are they in good condition? Can you really expect to get more than more years out of them? Wedding registries are the perfect opportunity to upgrade those cheap-but-technically-working items you have around your home, like vacuums and kitchen appliances.
17. Set up addresses for where gifts should be sent
Most couples want gifts sent to their homes, so add your own address to your wedding registry, but if packages routinely go missing for your building, then you may want to use a parent’s address or a trusted friend’s. You don’t want gifts getting lost in the mail.
18. Don’t overdo do it
Be honest: Do you really need an ice cream maker? Will you ever actually use it? Just because you can ask for it doesn’t mean you should, and there are better ways to maximize your wedding registry.
19. Plan for what matters most to you on your honeymoon
As you’re thinking about wedding registry ideas, you should also be thinking about what will matter most to you on your honeymoon. Do you mostly want to stay in an all-inclusive resort? Do you want to leave the country or do a lot of outdoor activities? Thinking about what you want to do most will help you better budget for your honeymoon.
20. Create a honeymoon fund
Honeymoon funds are essentially wedding registries for honeymoons. Rather than asking for physical gifts, you ask your guests to help pay for a certain activity or portion of one that you will do on your honeymoon. Honeymoon funds, like ones on Hitchd, give couples more freedom with their wedding registries. Instead of asking for home goods that they don’t need, couples can ask for amazing experiences for their honeymoons. Best of all, they’re easy to set up, which cuts down on stress for the couple. To start a honeymoon fund, check out our step-by-step guide.
21. Personalize your honeymoon fund
The best honeymoon funds are the ones that make wedding guests feel like they’re contributing meaningfully to a couple’s life together. As you’re listing activities, make sure you’re personalizing each one. Include links to restaurants you plan to visit and tell your guests why you’re so excited for the activities you’ve planned. Not all wedding guests like to give cash, so personalizing your activities will make guests feel more involved.
22. Add photos of you and your fiance
No wedding website and honeymoon fund is complete without a few great photos of the couple. Pick out a good selection of your greatest photos and post them to your wedding website. Photos of the two of you doing your favorite hobby or activity together are a must. If you and your fiance like to hike and plan to do so on your honeymoon, make sure you include photos of the two of you hitting the trail.
23. Mix up price points and activities
As with your wedding registry, you need to include activities at different price points on your honeymoon fund. You can include a few activities at $100 or $200 price points, but then include other options such as a round of drinks at a bar, which could be just $50 or less. Dinners can also vary in price points — you’re not going to want to eat steak for dinner every night, right? — so when you list multiple dinners on your honeymoon fund, include links to both the expensive and more laid-back restaurants you plan to try.
24. Be honest with your future
It never hurts to think a little bit ahead as you’re looking for wedding registry ideas. Do you plan to buy a house soon? Move across country? Start a family? If you’re in need of wedding registry tips to buff up your registry, think about asking for some of those future needs. Including home improvement items or even a few baby clothes can help fill out your registry.
25. Start a cash fund
If you do know that you and your fiance will be making a big move in the future, you can also start a cash fund. Similar to a honeymoon fund, a cash fund allows wedding guests to contribute cash to a couple’s cause. Some couples may be saving to buy their first home or move to a different state or country. A cash fund is a great alternative for couples who just don’t need a traditional wedding registry. In fact, honeymoon fund sites like Hitchd.com can help you set up a cash fund.
26. Add photos, details and other personalizations to your cash fund
As with a honeymoon fund, you need to add photos, details and as many personalizations as possible. Tell your guests how the cash fund will be used and why it’s so important to you as a couple. Make guests feel part of the experience and they’ll be happy to contribute to your cash fund.
27. Put it all together on a wedding website
So now you have it all set up: your wedding registry and your honeymoon fund or your cash fund. Now it’s time to put them all together on one wedding website where guests can see every detail of your wedding. Sites like Hitchd.com help couples create beautiful websites that show off their personalities and are user-friendly for wedding guests. Using the different templates available, couples can post all the details of their wedding in one place — wedding day details like start times and locations, wedding registries and honeymoon funds and cash funds. On Hitchd.com, couples can add photos, tell their love stories and share their honeymoon excitement.
28. Update the site as it gets closer to the big day
You can set up your wedding website whenever you set up your wedding registry, but at that time, you might not have some of the bigger picture details planned out, like the wedding venue or even the start time. As you start to finalize those details, update your site with times, dates, locations, maps and anything else guests should know about your big day.
29. Include the link to your wedding website on your save-the-dates and invitations
Don’t forget the wedding shower invitations too! Send people to your wedding website where they can get everything they need all in one place.
30. Be ready with plenty of thank-you cards
You’re going to have a lot of guests to thank! Order your thank-you cards before the wedding. When you get home from your honeymoon, you can dive right in. For honeymoon funds and cash funds on Hitchd.com, you can use our digital thank-you cards to keep track of who sent what. When you write out your thank-yous, be sure to tell your guests how much you loved the experiences they gave you and include photos of the two of you on your honeymoon or using your cash fund.
Let’s face it: Weddings are just stressful, but your wedding registry doesn’t need to be. By thinking critically about what gifts you need and how nontraditional wedding registries like honeymoon funds and cash funds can fill in the gaps, the wedding registry may become the easiest part of the whole event — and an especially fun one for you and your fiance.