Should We Register for Engagement Party Gifts?

It's never too early to receive gifts.
kim forrest the knot
Kim Forrest
kim forrest the knot
Kim Forrest
Senior Editor
  • Kim writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in etiquette and planning advice
  • Kim manages freelance writers for The Knot Worldwide
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Kim was Associate Bridal Editor at Washingtonian magazine and Associate Fashion Editor at Conde Nast’s Brides Local magazines
Updated May 19, 2022

If you're recently engaged, you may have already given or received one of the biggest gifts of your life—an engagement ring or other piece of meaningful jewelry. But there are even more presents on the way! Your family members and friends will likely want to buy you gifts as soon as you announce your engagement. And while gifts shouldn't be a requirement for attending an engagement party, some of your loved ones will purchase presents for the occasion anyway. So, do you need to set up a special engagement gift registry immediately after the question is popped? We've got the scoop on the engagement registry concept, and how (and when!) to start registering for wedding gifts.

Is it appropriate to register in time for our engagement party?

It's perfectly acceptable to register as soon as you get engaged. This gives guests who'd like to purchase a gift for you for any pre-wedding celebrations—including engagement parties, showers or brunches—some guidance when buying. The fact that you are registered does not mean that wedding guests must buy a gift from your registry, it simply gives them options.

How do we create a wedding registry?

First things first—sit down with your partner and discuss your goals for your wedding registry. Do you need to supply and furnish a newlywed home? Are there other items you need or want to start your new life together? Do you have financial goals (like buying a house) that you hope to achieve? Are you planning a honeymoon and would like to receive funds to help pay for your trip of a lifetime? Maybe it's a combination of these and more. Having an idea of your goals will help you start your registry without getting overwhelmed.

Then, head to The Knot Registry. With an online registry like The Knot's you can add gifts from (literally) any retailer to create a gift list that's totally personalized and unique. You can also register for cash funds, gift cards and experiences. Once you've created your registry, you can design your wedding website (if you haven't done so already) and add the info so your guests can easily find it.

Do we need to create a separate engagement registry?

Nope! You should only create one gift list known as your wedding registry—though you can register at multiple retailers. If you create your registry early enough, your guests can utilize it to purchase engagement gifts, shower gifts and more, so it serves as a multi-event registry.

What types of gifts should we include on our registry?

When it comes to your wedding registry checklist, there are the traditional must-include items—cookware, dinnerware, flatware, linens and of course the ever-popular stand mixer. But there are certain registry items that are more traditional engagement gift ideas—anything made of crystal, as well as picture frames, ring dishes and more. We recommend including some less expensive items on your wish list, as guests don't usually spend as much on an engagement gift as on a wedding present. Of course, you can still add a few big ticket items for group gifting.

How many gifts should we include on our registry?

Turns out there's a formula to help you figure out the number of gifts to include on your wedding registry. Multiply your wedding guest list by two, and there's your number! We do recommend adding a couple of extra gifts, and including items at a wide range of price points. As you approach your big day, it's likely that your registry will start to look a little picked over. That's good news, because it means your guests are buying you and your future spouse gifts! Don't be afraid to add a couple more items to your wish list so your procrastinating guests will have items at different price points to choose from.

How do we let guests know about our wedding registry?

While you shouldn't include registry information on your engagement party invitations or your wedding invitations, you can include it on your wedding website. 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.

Should we send thank-you notes for engagement party gifts?

Anyone who sends an engagement gift should receive a thank-you note within a couple weeks of its receipt. And everyone who attends your engagement party must also receive a thank-you note, whether they brought a gift or not. Yes, that means that you'll likely be writing two (or even three) thank-you notes to certain loved ones, so make sure to buy plenty of stationery!

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