Registry Tips Every Couple Needs to Know

If you are soon married and registering for a wedding, this blog post is for you.

At first, registering for wedding gifts may seem like an easy task. But with so many items to choose from and countless stores to visit, it can feel overwhelming. So to help you out, we are offering our top tips on what every couple needs to know when creating their registry.

We are excited for you both! You have finally found your partner and are looking forward to building a life together. As exciting as this time is, it can also be overwhelming when deciding where to start. We’ve compiled some of our favourite registry tips that every couple needs to know before starting shopping.

A wedding registry should not just be for the bride and groom but include those who will be attending the wedding, such as parents or grandparents-to-be (or even friends).

For example, a family of four might need dishes for 12 people, while another may only need dishes for eight people. The earlier you register, the more likely retailers will actually carry what you’re looking for in-store — which means less stress later on.

When registering for a wedding, there are many things to consider: what type of gifts do we want? What items should go on the registry? And how will guests know what they’re supposed to buy us? This article provides some key tips that every couple needs to know before starting their registry.

What type of gifts do we want from our guests?  The answer depends on your relationship with them! Do you want something practical or more sentimental? Maybe both! If it’s just family members, then perhaps one specific gift such as silverware or a set of dishes would be best; if it’s friends, they might appreciate more personal gifts.

Create a list of items that both partners want and need for the home life they envision together. This will save time searching through store catalogues or browsing websites for things they don’t need but could use if given as a gift. In addition, consider lifestyle factors such as living space and hobbies when deciding what type of dishes to register for.

Many couples are confused about registering for gifts during their wedding. But this is a great opportunity to hear what you want from your guests and get items that you need all in one place! To help you out, we’ve compiled some of the best registry tips every couple needs to know.

We’ll cover topics like:  What should I register for? How many people should I ask? Where can I find good registries? Who should be on my list? And more! So read on if you’re ready to learn how to make the most of your registry experience.

How Does a Wedding Registry Work in 2021? 

Think of your registry as a wedding gift list. You and your intended choose a store (or stores!) and a bunch of goodies you’d love to fill your newlywed home with.

That registry (online and in-person) will be where guests purchase gifts for your engagement party, shower, and the big day.

But creating a wedding registry isn’t always about material gifts. Some couples opt for honeymoon registries (guests buy you an experience or a night at your hotel, for example), cash funds, or some combination thereof.

Wedding registries have evolved drastically over the years. In the past, it was common to create multiple registries and shop at physical retail stores. While this is still an option, all-in-one registries make it easier than ever to curate gifts from any store on one list.

Plus, universal wishlists allow you to expand your registry beyond physical items. Alternative gifts like cash and experience funds and gift cards and charity donations are popular choices for couples who don’t want (or need) many new physical items.

So, how does a wedding registry work in 2021? First, more couples are opting for universal registries that house every gift in one place. (Not only is this easier for you to manage, but it also simplifies the shopping experience for guests.)

Thanks to all-in-one registry tools like The Knot Registry, you can ask for all kinds of gifts (including items from The Knot Registry Store), from new bathroom towels to a standing mixer to cash for honeymoon excursions and even gift cards for your next Chipotle date night.

Once you’ve created your registry, integrate it into your wedding website. This is the best way to share gift information with guests. (Traditional etiquette still indicates that it’s not appropriate to put registry information on your invites, but you should include your wedding website—this will indirectly guide guests to your registry.) From there, guests will purchase gifts to be shipped directly to you and your S.O.

How to Make a Wedding Registry 

Now you know how wedding registries work—but how do you get started? Making a wedding registry is easier than you realize.

Some couples can’t wait to create a wedding registry. Others become utterly stumped by the thought. Finally, you’re setting up your new home together and sharing your style with guests who want to shower you with love.

When registering, stick to two or three stores you love. Choose a national department store or chain with lots of household basics, and you may also want a local specialty store to add to your registry.


Think of your guests—you may want to choose low-, medium-, and high-end stores, so guests have gifts in a variety of price ranges to choose from.

It’s no wonder setting up a wedding registry can be both thrilling and overwhelming. But where do you register? And what things do you put on a wedding registry? Where do you even begin?

We’ll guide you through the entire process of creating your wishlist, selecting items from The Knot Registry Store, and integrating your list into your wedding website.

Then, if you need registry gift ideas, browse the page of registry collections for suggestions curated into niche categories like “Most-Wanted Gifts” or “For the Cooking Pros.”

You can also check out the roundup of the most popular wedding gifts based on our data to see what other couples are asking for.

The Wedding Registry Tips You Need to Know

For even more help, we’re sharing the top wedding registry tips that every couple needs to know. So follow our expert advice to get the most out of your newlywed wishlist—we promise it’ll make for a fulfilling experience.

1. Time It Right

One of the biggest wedding registry tips to know is that creating one as soon as you get engaged is completely acceptable.

In fact, we recommend making your registry right away. This makes it easier for guests who’d like to purchase a gift for any pre-wedding celebration, like engagement parties or showers, or for those who’d like to send something as a token of their congratulations.

Complete your registry four to six months before the wedding. This will give guests time to purchase gifts for the big day and your engagement and a shower.

2. Know Yourself 

It’s okay to shy away from traditional registry items. For example, if you never cook at home but love to camp, registering for a tent makes more sense than requesting a crystal gravy boat. But, be open to the fact that your tastes may change in the future.

Even though you can’t imagine a need at this moment in your life for that gravy boat, it may become indispensable for future Thanksgiving dinners with your in-laws.

Take some time to think about your lifestyle now, as well as what it might look like in the future, and select gifts accordingly. You can also use our roundup of the best wedding gifts this year for some preliminary ideas.

3. Take Stock

One of the most important wedding registry tips is to take inventory with your partner. If you’re living together before marriage, you might want to skip traditional items if you already have them in your home.

Make a list of what you have, as well as what you still need and want. (Perhaps you already own a simple coffee maker, but if you’ve been eyeing a brand new espresso machine, it may deserve a spot on your wishlist.)

Also, consider the need for “every day” and “formal” versions of dinnerware, glassware, table linens and serving items. If you love being the go-to house for dinner parties, you might want to register for some extra serving sets for the next time your friends stop by unexpectedly.

Taking stock of what you have and what you need is the best way to stay organized and efficient while making registry selections.

4. Do It Together

You and your partner should register for gifts you’ll both enjoy. To decide on what you need, talk about the style of home you’d both like and choose items together. (Need help? Take our wedding registry style quiz for inspo.)

While you might receive input from well-meaning family members and friends, remember that your wedding registry is for your home, not theirs, and such decisions should be made with your partner. Set aside time specifically for your registry to curate a list that feels tailored to both of your interests.

He might not be invested in your bouquet flowers, the ceremony backdrop, or the hotel blocks for guests, but here’s the groom’s time to shine! Enlist his help in filling out your registry. There’s room for yard tools, whiskey glasses, sports equipment (within reason), and collectible books amid all of your pretty choices, trust us.

5. Determine the Right Registry Retailer for You

Start by researching your favourite stores to see who carries products you love, and in the style you like. Then, create a registry with two or three different stores—but here’s an insider wedding registry tip: Don’t go beyond that! It can be a lot to manage.

There’s nothing wrong with choosing a local boutique for your registry, but make sure you have at least one national brand with a robust online presence to make it easy for guests to shop—especially for folks coming from out of town.


6. Over-Register

As you begin shopping online, you might wonder exactly how many gifts should be added to your registry. There’s an easy way to figure it out, and all it takes is a secret math equation. Multiply your guest list by two, and add a few extra.

You might worry that over-registering feels greedy, but that’s far from the case. It’s better to have too many choices than not enough. This also ensures that gifting options won’t run low as guests start to purchase presents.

Register for more gifts than you have guests, so there will be plenty of items to choose from. Think about who your guests are, and register for gifts in a wide range of prices, or select individual items rather than sets, as with pots and pans, for instance. Putting a few expensive things on your registry is fine, but balance them with more affordable and equally lovely options.

7. Include Multiple Price Points

A great wedding registry includes gift ideas for all price ranges. Guests will be able to spend different amounts on wedding gifts, so give them plenty of options at various price points. We recommend having gifts that fall between $25 and $200 or more.

Our data indicate that the average guest spends on a wedding gift is $120, so keep this in mind as you make selections. Don’t shy away from adding a few luxury items because some guests will want to splurge. (Plus, big-ticket products make for great group gifts too.)

But don’t forget to add some budget-friendly options as well. Again, guests will appreciate your attention to detail.

8. Update Often

Since it’s important to have plenty of gift options at various price points, check your registry often to make sure there are still enough choices for guests. Selections will dwindle as your loved ones buy items leading up to the big day, so check back periodically to ensure there are options at all prices.

9. Guide the Gift-Giving

When you start your registry, a good point to keep in mind is to select products you really want or need first, like a new mattress or a high-tech vacuum. Then, as the items on your checklist start to dwindle, add more. That way, you won’t be stuck with a fruit basket when instead, you really need those extra salad plates.

If you’re starting from scratch, use a wedding registry checklist to get started. But before you start choosing, take inventory of what you actually need and want on that list—you don’t have to register for everything if you know you want to use it or if you already have a good set of knives in your kitchen.

Fill your future home with items that feel personal and useful to you and the groom; otherwise, you’ll feel like you’re living in a grand museum featuring someone else’s beautiful objects.

Along with building your collection of family-holiday-worthy pieces (looking at you, gravy boat), leave room for the fun stuff, like a bright KitchenAid mixer, funky mirror for your entryway, and professional camera for those trips aboard.

10. Browse Other Registries

You can steal registry ideas from other couples. It’s super easy to find your friends’ registries and wedding websites. We’ve also rounded up the most popular registry items by state to help you see what’s trending in your area.

Use these guides to see what other to-be-weds ask for, and add some of your favourite selections to your own wishlist.

11. Determine your Registry Style 

Create a cohesive look by picking colours, patterns, and materials you both like. Once you get your style down, selecting items will be easier.

To get you started, here are two wedding registry tips for living by: Vary your price points between high ($100 and up) and under $50, and aim for a list that can accommodate about two to three gifts per guest.

12. Stay in Season

If you have longer than one year before the wedding, try to avoid registering for seasonal items that might be replaced in a few months. When guests go to purchase gifts, they may find those things have been discontinued. This is another good reason to check your registry often. If items sell out or get discontinued, find a replacement ASAP.

13. Ask for Cash

No, really. It’s perfectly acceptable to register for money. In fact, we encourage it. Asking for cash used to be a taboo wedding topic. In years past, it was deemed inappropriate to ask for monetary gifts.

But in 2021, registry etiquette has evolved, and cash gifts are more common than ever. You can put cash funds toward anything, from a puppy fund to a kitchen remodel or even newlywed experiences, like cooking classes or concerts.


We’ll let you in on a secret: Guests want to give wedding gifts that’ll actually be used, so if you’d benefit more from a monetary gift than another set of wine glasses, add cash funds to your registry. You’ll thank yourself later.

14. Think Outside the Box

Already have everything you need for the home? Get creative with your registry ideas. Consider asking for gift cards to your favourite restaurants or home decoration stores to enjoy after the wedding.

Or, if there’s a charity close to your heart, invite guests to make a donation instead of sending a gift. You can even set up a honeymoon fund to cover airline tickets or resort activities for your newlywed getaway.

It’s easier than ever to personalize your registry with gifts that make sense for your lifestyle, so take full advantage of this as you select items.

15. Ship Smart

Ensure that your registry items can be shipped to your home address. This will spare guests the hassle of going to a store to pick up your gift and then to the post office to send it.

16. Spread The Word

It’s inappropriate to flat-out ask for wedding gifts, so don’t include registry information on your wedding invitations. Instead, word of mouth is one appropriate way to disseminate this.

Once you have registered, give the information to the immediate family and the wedding party, and let them spread the word. If you are asked where you have registered, it is fine to tell, but it is not proper to include registry information in a wedding invitation.

Registry information can be included on a wedding website, as long as the store’s actual name is not included on the same layer; organize your website so that guests must click down one level to find the details. ​

Your registry info can also be listed on your engagement party, and bridal shower invites since the invitation doesn’t come from you but the person hosting the shower.

The best place to share your registry, though, is on your wedding website. Include the link to your custom wedding page on your invites to guide guests to your newlywed wishlist.

The easiest way to share your registry is through a wedding website. This site isn’t just an info depot for time, date, and attire; it can also host a landing page listing all of your registries in one spot.

You should never include registry information on your save-the-dates or invitations (it implies a gift is required for attendance). Still, guests who want to find your registry have a comfortable spot to look by providing your wedding website. And yes, your shower hosts should use that wedding website, too!

17. Plan for Late Shoppers

Traditional wedding etiquette says that guests have up to one year from your wedding day to buy a gift, so that’s at least how long your registry should remain active. Even after you say “I do,” make sure your registry still has options for late-gifters.

18. Weekend Update

Most wedding gifts are bought within two weeks before and two weeks after a wedding. Knowing this, check your registry during this timeframe and add additional items if necessary.

19. Be Gracious

Ideally, it would be best to acknowledge every present immediately; writing a note the day you receive it is best, but sending it within two weeks is also acceptable.

But, of course, the period surrounding your wedding is a busy time; if you fall behind, make every effort to send a thank you as soon as you can—but no later than three months after the event.

Sending thank-you notes is the most important task on your post-wedding to-do list. First, thank your guests adequately—a text message or email won’t suffice here.

Second, handwritten thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of arrival. Finally, letters for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within two months of your return from the honeymoon.

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