Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Creating an Engagement Registry

It's never too early to receive gifts.
Collage featuring a laptop opem to an engagement registry
Photo: Getty: daboost, xtrekx | Graphic: Natalie Romine for The Knot
emily rumsey the knot editor
Emily Rumsey
emily rumsey the knot editor
Emily Rumsey
Assistant Commerce Updates Editor
  • Emily helps maintain and update e-commerce content for The Knot
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Emily worked as a website editor and manager for The Paleo Diet®
  • Emily holds two bachelor's degrees in Journalism and International Affairs with a Chinese minor
Updated Nov 14, 2023

You're engaged, congratulations! The first thing on your mind is probably video-chatting your loved ones the news, showing off the proposal pics on social media and just soaking in this wonderful new relationship milestone. And while you're completely content basking in the love of your fiancé (that has a nice ring, right?), your friends and family want to show you some love too with an engagement gift. But does that mean you need an engagement registry? After all, as grateful as you are for any congratulatory gesture, you do have specific asks that'll help you and your fiancé prepare for the wedding and married life. We've got the scoop on whether you should register for engagement gifts—and when to register in general. You'll be unwrapping some presents very soon.

Is it appropriate to register for our engagement party?

It's perfectly acceptable to create an engagement party registry, so don't feel selfish for wanting to set one up as soon as the question is popped. In fact, if you're wondering when to register, our answer is typically right away. A registry gives guests who want to bring a gift to any pre-wedding celebrations some guidance as to what to buy. After all, they'll want to give you something you actually want and will use. That being said, just because you are registered doesn't mean that guests must buy a gift from your registry—or even that they're expected to bring a gift to your engagement party at all—it simply gives them the option to.

How do we create a wedding registry?

Creating a wedding registry is meant to be a fun way to dream up your lives together, so make sure you go into the process with a positive attitude. First things first, you'll want to sit down with your partner and discuss your wishlist and goals. Do you need to furnish a new home? Do you want to buy a house, car or new appliances, or are you planning a dream honeymoon and would like to receive funds to make it as memorable as possible? Whatever your goals, having an idea of your needs (and wants) will help you start your registry without getting overwhelmed.

Next, head to The Knot Registry. With an online and universal registry like The Knot's you can add gifts from (literally) any retailer, plus cash funds, gift cards and experiences to create a wishlist that's totally personalized to you and your future spouse. Once you've created your registry, you can design your wedding website and add the information so your guests can easily find it. All done!

Do we need to have a separate engagement registry?

Nope! You should only create one registry which guests can use for everything from your engagement party to the couple's shower to the wedding. That said, it's important to continuously update your registry as gifts are purchased so guests always have plenty of options to shop for any celebratory event.

What types of gifts should we include on our registry?

When it comes to adding gifts to your wishlist, follow our wedding registry checklist to help you decide what you need. It includes everything from traditional registry items that'll stock your newlywed nest (think: cookware, dinnerware, linens and even furniture) and lifestyle goodies like camping gear, luggage or outdoor speakers to money wedding gift ideas. With our help, you won't forget to register for anything.

How many gifts should we add to our list?

Great news: There is a formula to help you figure out the number of gifts to include on your registry. Simply multiply your wedding guest list by two and viola, there's your lucky number. That said, we do recommend adding a couple of extra gifts and regularly updating your registry. As you approach your big day, your registry will likely start to look a little picked over. While that's good news (because it means your guests are buying you and your future spouse gifts), it also means you need to add more items so all guests, no matter how long they procrastinate, have lots of options. You should also register for gifts in a range of price points to be courteous to all budgets.

How do we tell our friends and family?

The best way to tell your friends and family about your registry is through your wedding website. You've spent so much time creating your registry, you want people to use it. Etiquette, however, says you shouldn't include registry information on your engagement party invitations or your wedding invitations. There are no rules about adding a link to your wedding website though. Your guests will likely do an online search for your registry when they're ready to buy you a gift, so the sooner you can register, the better. You can also ask your immediate family and wedding party to help spread the word.

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