10 Tips on Registering for Wedding Gifts

Gift giving is a way for guests to celebrate your wedding and to help you stock your new home. Here's what to keep in mind when making your bridal registry.
by The Knot
Couple Registering for Gifts
photo by iStock

Your guests will love helping you fill your new home with fun must-haves and upgrades. Here's everything to keep in mind when making your registry.

1. Register Early

What are you waiting for? Registering for wedding gifts should be one of the first tasks you tackle when you get engaged. Our Wedding Registry makes it super easy to get started—you can manage all your favorite retailers and items, all while keeping your friends and family in the loop. Take the guesswork out of gift buying by linking your wedding registries to your wedding website, and sharing the link with your guests. Don’t worry about completing your list just yet, but at least have a selection for them to browse (in case they want to give you a gift at your engagement party).

2. Do It Together

Hitting the stores together is essential. After all, the gifts are for both of you. To decide what you need, take inventory of the things you already have and see where the gaps are. Talk about the style of home you'd both like, and split up the final say to make it fair. You could alternate items—maybe one of you gets to make final decisions on electronics, while the other chooses the kitchen stuff.

3. Register for Whatever You Want

Don't feel like you just can only register for china and flatware. These days it’s not about the stuff you might need but about getting what you really want. Popular retailers and registry platforms are making it easier for couples to celebrate your new life together in other ways—think: honeymoon adventures, camping equipment and fancy date night dinners. It’s also easier for multiple guests to group-gift expensive items, be it a spa day on your honeymoon or a new appliance for your home. Many couples are also incorporating charities into their registry. Build your registry through our website and The Knot Gifts Back and we’ll donate to your favorite charity every time a guest makes a purchase—at no additional charge to you or your guests.

4. Think About How You Live

Try to avoid filling your list with things you're never going to use. If you two aren't the formal party types, then you probably won't need a crystal punch bowl, as compelling as it may seem when you walk by with that registry scanner. Also, be extra sure before you register for anything that's monogrammed. Once your name is on it, you probably won't be able to return it.

5. Check the Store's Return Policies

It's always a good idea to inquire about a store's exchange/return policies. The great thing is many wedding registry retailers have amazing customer service to accommodate to-be-weds' needs. (For example, you might suddenly realize you don't really have room for 24 chargers and want to return, say, eight of them.) That said, being aware of the store's return and exchange timelines will help you better plan and manage your registry.

6. Hit All Price Points

As much as you may be hankering for that gorgeous silver that costs $350 a place setting, be sure to register for items in a wide range of price points: under $50, under $75, under $100, under $200 and beyond. That way, all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford. You don't want your college friend feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he can't find a single gift in his budget, and you don't want your parents' closest friends to have to buy you a multitude of smaller items to make up one generous gift.

7. Be Considerate of Your Guests

At least one (and preferably all) of your registries should be available online. Guests should also be able to place their orders in person or over the phone. If you love a local boutique shop that doesn't offer online services, feel free to register there too—just as long as that's not the only place you've registered. We live in a hectic world and you want to let guests be able to order you a gift—even if it's 2 a.m.

8. Update Often

When a guest buys a gift for you, your registry should automatically update, allowing others to see what has been purchased (and allowing you to see what's on its way). Revisit your registry often (trust us, you'll be visiting several times a day once the wedding day nears), and update it with additional selections as products are purchased, so guests always have a variety of things to choose from. Aim to have at least twice as many items on your list as guests at your wedding.

9. Think Gift Cards—and Cash

Nothing will ever replace the traditional registry. There’s just something special about your guests helping you stock up on must-haves for your life together. But a few of your guests might prefer giving cash (or you might prefer to get cash!)—and that’s okay. Your guests will appreciate a cash gift as an option, and we have an easy tool for requesting just that. You can also incorporate your honeymoon into your registry by allowing your guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund.

10. Say Thanks

Be gracious and let your guests know their gifts have arrived—promptly. Thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of their arrival. Notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within a month of your return from the honeymoon. In all notes, be sure to mention the gift by name.


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