Needless to say, finding the best wedding registry can be difficult.
Whether you’re determining your wedding style, researching wedding venues, or narrowing down the flowers you would love to see throughout your arrangements on your wedding day, your wedding planning journey will be filled with plenty of learning and leaning on experts and those who have already tied the knot.
But when it comes to choosing items to add to your wedding registry, you’ll likely feel a bit more equipped and prepared.
After all, you know which items are on your wish list to own or replace! Before you can build your wedding registry, we thought it might be helpful to share what to look for when choosing where (and how!) to register. So, today we’re sharing our go-to tips as well as several sites to keep your eye on. We hope this insight helps you to choose the best wedding registry for your needs!
Finding the Best Wedding Registry
Decide what’s most important to you:
Building your wedding registry is meant to be fun and helpful. Like nearly every other aspect of wedding planning, there truly aren’t any rules. Toss aside any ideas about what you “should” add to your wedding registry. Only you and your partner know how you like to live, so plan to bypass adding items you don’t feel you will use or you would prefer not to take up valuable space in your home.
If you’re moving into your first apartment together and want and need to register for everything, go right ahead! But if you’ve already lived together for years, and you feel like you have the basics covered, don’t add those items to your list. There are plenty of registry types, and we’ll get into more of those below!
Plan to register early:
Shortly after you get engaged, some of your friends and family may want to present you with a gift. This is especially true if you’re having an engagement party. To prevent the moment when you receive an item you don’t want, consider building your registry in advance of any pre-wedding events, so you (or the host!) can direct your loved ones to the exact gifts you would love to receive.
Choose a registry that's easy for everyone to navigate:
When you think about websites that you click away from fast, what comes to mind? You’re likely remembering a site that was confusing to navigate or slow to load. Plan to avoid both when you’re choosing where to register. Both younger and older guests love the ease, and you want them to enjoy their gift-giving process. Make it easy by choosing a registry site that makes the process one they would quickly do all over again. Zola is a great all-in-one registry that suits this purpose!
Include options to shop both online and in-person:
Some guests love the ease and convenience of shopping online, while other guests enjoy visiting retailers and shopping in person. We will note, there is something about seeing the items you’re asking to receive in real life rather than on a screen. Consider attempting to appease both types of shoppers by registering with retailers that guests can shop either way.
Achieving this is actually something you may not have to truly try to do – many of the registries you create with top retailers are available for both types of shopping experiences. And best of all, their sites and apps keep things updated for a seamless experience! Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Walmart are all excellent for this purpose.
Consider retailers that guests frequent:
Brand loyalty is a big thing for a reason – we like to shop at specific places because we trust specific retailers. So, consider the retailers your guests frequently mention. Then keep ages in mind. Younger guests will likely know about newer online retailers, and they’ll be comfortable purchasing from them.
On the flip side, older guests may be less likely to click “add to cart” if they’ve never heard of the company. If you’re considering newer businesses, make sure to add at least one established company to the mix, so everyone feels invited and comfortable to shop. Hint: here’s where you throw Ikea and Amazon into the mix!
Include multiple registries (but don’t register for the same items at more than one store):
Very few people purchase everything from the same store, so you will likely feel pulled to register with more than one retailer. Go right ahead! But, make sure the items you register for do not overlap at various retailers. It can be helpful to register for the same things at multiple spots to try to accommodate where guests will shop. However, in doing so, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of returns.
Instead of registering for the same items, register for different things. Just make sure to compare prices before you finalize your lists (guests may double-check the cost, and you want to be ahead of the game).
Select items at a variety of price points:
Your guests are thrilled for you to celebrate your wedding day, but they also have personal budgets in mind they want to respect. One of the worst feelings is reviewing a registry only to uncover items outside of an ideal budgeted range. To prevent this, make sure to register for items at high and low price points.
You will find immediate family members tend to gravitate toward more expensive items, and groups of friends or coworkers love them too because they’re items they can each pitch in to purchase together. (Tip: Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma are favorites for this category!) On the flip side, lower-cost items feel accessible for guests who are more comfortable spending less. They’re also favored by guests drawn to themed gifts they want to present with variety (think: stocking your kitchen).
Don’t shy away from registries that encourage guests to purchase experiences:
As we mentioned earlier, you may be feeling like there aren’t a ton of things you would like to add to your wedding registry. Instead, you may have savings goals, your upcoming honeymoon, or even a charity on your mind. There’s a registry for each!
Look to Honeyfund, a site for travel-loving couples, where you can ask your guests to contribute to experiences you and your partner hope to enjoy on your honeymoon. While they’re known for travel, Honeyfund also allows you to build a cash registry where you can ask guests to contribute to any savings goal you have in mind.
Do you have additional registry questions? Are you wondering where other couples are registering?
Jessica Bishop is the founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, the #1 online resource to help couples all across the world plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Jessica is known as a Budget Wedding Expert and has shared her money-saving tips and tricks with outlets such as Good Morning America, BRIDES, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Refinery 29, and more. She’s also appeared as David Tutera’s featured expert at Your Wedding Experience bridal shows. Jessica’s book, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer, is a best-seller with over 150,000 copies sold.