How Many Gifts You Should Put on Your Registry, Based on Math

This simple formula will change your life.
Registry kitchen items
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sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
by Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Associate Editor
  • Sarah is an Associate Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Oct 21, 2020
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Creating your registry is one of the most exciting aspects of planning your nuptials. After all, shopping for your newlywed nest marks yet another milestone in your relationship. But if you've ever wondered how many items should be on your wedding registry, you're not alone. In fact, it's one of the most common questions couples face during the planning process. According to The Knot 2020 Wedding Registry Study, which surveyed nearly 8,000 recently engaged or married couples in the U.S., more than 80% of respondents set up a wedding registry. In addition to choosing KitchenAid Stand Mixer colors and premium wine glasses, couples also decide how many gifts to put on their wedding registry. This process, however, can be stressful with nearly 40% of respondents expressing concern about building their registry. Some felt discomfort asking for money while others wondered if they had to register for gifts since they already had plenty of household supplies. 

Asking for gifts can feel odd, but remember this: Your loved ones want to give you presents to celebrate your marriage. In fact, they'll be ready to shower you with gifts from the moment you get engaged. Having a wedding registry will make their shopping experience easier, and it'll ensure you get gifts you'll actually use. This is especially important for couples who are already living together or will be in small quarters after the wedding. Registering thoughtfully will save you stress when it's time to unpack all of your wedding gifts. So, how many gifts should you put on your wedding registry? We have the answer. 

In this article: 

How Many Gifts to Register For

Finding the magic number comes down to a simple math equation: Multiply your guest list by two, and then add a few extras. Guests prefer to have plenty of options when it comes to shopping your registry. Having at least two gifts per guest will give them the ability to find a product they feel great about purchasing. When creating your wedding registry, it's best to include gifts that range in prices from $50 to $200 or more. Doing so will allow your loved ones to find a present that fits within their budget or they can gather together for a group gifting option. It's also recommended to continually add gifts to your registry leading up to your big day. Since products of all price ranges will be purchased before your wedding, keeping your wish list updated will help your loved ones find gifts that fit their budget and are still in stock.

If that number feels high, don't stress. In 2020, the average value of a wedding registry was $4,134. While this number varies based on the size of your wedding, it serves as a general guideline to keep your registry choices on the right track. For reference, the average guest spend on a wedding gift is $120. Again, this number is a median, meaning it's important to register for gifts at a variety of price points. In fact, our study indicates that the average value of a registry is down $1,000 since 2013. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, though the most likely is the rise in cash gifts. 

What Real Couples Are Doing

On average, couples set up two to three different registries. Of those who register for cash, 69% indicate the money will be used for their honeymoon, while 23% say they'll use it on a down payment for a house. Other cash purposes include wedding payments, specific products the couple wants to purchase themselves, "big-ticket" items and debt payments. 

Despite the rising popularity in cash registries, most couples still register for common household gifts at retail stores and online sellers. In 2020, our data found that Amazon was the most popular registry retailer with 52% of couples using the online giant. Forty-six percent couples registered at Bed Bath & Beyond, and 41% chose Target, rounding out the top three most popular options. 

When it comes to your own registry, though, it's most important that it reflects you and your S.O.  While our data finds that bakeware, cookware and kitchen appliances are still the most popular registry gift categories, now is the time to add gifts that you truly want in your newlywed nest. After all, you'll be the ones using them after your wedding day, so registering thoughtfully will make the gifting experience better for you and your loved ones. As long as they have a few options when browsing your registry, guests will be excited to buy wedding gifts they know you'll appreciate and use. 

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