5 Simple Ways to Make Your Registry Easy for Guests to Use

Trust us, they'll thank you.
Couple using laptop at home
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sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • 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 Aug 18, 2020

Your wedding registry is one of the most important resources guests will use leading up to your nuptials. Not only will it ease their gift shopping experience, a curated wishlist ensures you'll receive the wedding presents you want (read: not another set of tea towels). So that guests actually use it, though, there are a few simple ways to make your registry easy for guests to navigate. After all, your time spent curating gift ideas shouldn't go unnoticed. Here, we break down exactly how you can make your registry easy to use so that the gifting experience is rewarding for all.

Use An All-in-One Registry

The most important step is to create a registry first. "Some of the items traditionally included on registries may feel a bit outdated for some couples, but the importance of having a registry will not change," says wedding planner Ryan Abney, owner of Ryan Abney Event Design. "Registries are valuable because they ease the 'gifting anxiety' some guests have. They want to give a gift that celebrates love, but they also feel a responsibility that the gift is something the couple will appreciate. To eliminate frantic online searches or phone calls to family members and friends, a registry is the answer."

One of the best ways to make your registry easy for guests to use is to create an all-in-one wishlist. In the past, it was common for couples to create two to three retail store registries. While this is still a preferred option for some, universal registry tools (like The Knot Registry) make it easy to compile all of your gifts in one, easy-to-shop place. Think of it this way: If you want to register for a dining set, new camping supplies and cash for your honeymoon fund, you don't have to create three different registries if you use a universal registry. Instead, all of your gifts can live in the same place, no matter how diverse they are.

For couples who don't want (or need) traditional registry gifts, an all-in-one registry can house cash gifts for experiences you can enjoy together, like honeymoon excursions, cooking classes, a home starter fund and more. Regardless of the registry option you choose, it's important to fill it with gifts to help start married life for you and your S.O. Using a universal tool will also be easier for guests to browse (and it's easier for you to manage too).

Link Your Registry to Your Wedding Website

In order for guests to use your wedding registry, they have to know where to find it. Since traditional etiquette suggests registry information shouldn't go on your formal invites or save-the-dates, the best place to share your gift list is on your wedding website. "Registry information should be listed on the couple's wedding website," suggests Abney. "My rule of thumb for clients is the wedding website should be created prior to sending save-the-dates, that way they can include that information when they're sent. This allows guests to also utilize the registry as soon as possible."

You can also include an insert with wedding website information in your formal invitation suite. In directing guests to your site, they'll easily be able to find your registry information. Plus, by having your gifting information in one spot, it'll help avoid calls and text messages from guests with gift questions. To avoid confusion and simplify the gifting process, having registry information included on your wedding website will ensure that all guests know where to find your wishlist.

Create It Early and Update Frequently

Loved ones will want to buy congratulatory gifts as soon as you get engaged, while others will want to use your registry for wedding shower gifts. Because of this, it's important to create your registry as soon as possible as it links to your wedding website. Abney suggests making your wishlist at least six to eight months before your wedding day, if not earlier. Having a completed registry will make it easy for guests who want to shop for gifts as early as possible.

It's also important to update your registry in the weeks leading up to your wedding. "I suggest my couples do a quality check every three weeks," Abney says. "This allows them to review gift availability, verify shipping settings, and add more items." Since guests will purchase gifts at different times leading up to your wedding, updating your registry will ensure that guests don't run out of options.

Include a Variety of Price Ranges

Another way to make your registry easy for guests to use is to include a variety of price ranges. Doing so will help ease any gifting anxiety, especially since each guest will have a different budget to work with. Registering for high-end products is important for those who want to spend more on a gift for you or for those who'd rather pool together with group gifting, but it's just as important to include affordable options for guests who are on a budget.

In general, your registry should be just over double the size of your guest list (we break down the math right here). While that might seem like a lot of gifts, it'll actually ensure that each guest has a fair amount of gift ideas to choose from (and at different price ranges, too). Loved ones will appreciate the ability to pick a wedding gift that fits their price range. Plus, having an abundance of gift ideas is a good way to be sure guests don't shop off-registry as well.

Share How You'll Use Cash Funds

Creating a cash fund is a great alternative for couples who don't only want to register for traditional household gifts. While this money is often used for honeymoon costs, you can also set up funds for other experiences, like home renovations, couple activities, a pet fund and more. By explaining exactly how you plan to use cash funds, guests will be more likely to contribute—especially if they know how important it is to you.

Use your wedding website to explain how you'll use monetary gifts. (Psst: The Knot Registry also makes it easy to label different cash funds so guests know exactly what their gift will be used for.) Doing so takes the guesswork out of giving cash. By explaining exactly how the money will be used, guests can confidently contribute money to a cash fund they care about, making their gifting experience much more rewarding.

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