You have a ring on your finger and those wedding bells are ringing. You know it’s time to start planning your wedding registry, but you’re having trouble getting started. Where should you register? What should you ask for? How much is appropriate to ask for gifts? We’re here to help you figure out what to register for wedding gifts so you can get on with your wedding planning.
- What is a Wedding Registry?
- How Much to Ask for Presents
- Types of Gifts
- Wedding Registries Must-Haves
- What to Do When You Don’t Need the Gift
- Thank You Notes
A wedding registry is a service (typically provided by an online relator or store) that helps a couple pick out what they want from stock. They can then provide the list to guests to purchase as gifts. Registries act as a wish list for that couple, and make the gift finding journey easier on guests. This practice originated in the States in the 20’s, and later became widely popular with the internet. With its popularity came etiquette rules and registry must-haves, which we’ll talk about below.
Most registries have a range of prices between $25 to $1000 associated with different gifts. Provide plenty of smaller-ticket items (under $50) for distant relatives or those who aren’t attending the wedding. For closer family and friends, ask for gifts between $50 and $200 on your registry. Immediate family and members of the wedding party will often pool together to purchase the big ticket items, costing as much as $1000. Remember that each household has a different available budget and that you should never ask for anything above someone’s means.
There are many different types of wedding gifts and we’ve broken them down into four main categories: home, monetary, skill, and other. Read below to determine what kind of gifts make the most sense for you.
- Kitchen: From personalized cutting boards to stainless steel pots and pans, these are often essentials. Adding kitchen equipment to your registry is both traditional and practical.
- Dining: Receiving dish ware and dining sets is one of the oldest traditions for wedding gifts. Make yours extra special by asking for dish ware personalized with your new last name or wedding date. This is a great chance to get those customized wine glasses you eyed last month.
- Bedroom: If you need to upgrade your bedroom to fit two after your wedding, look no further than your registry. You can ask for anything from silk sheets to bedstand tables.
- Bathroom: Is your bathroom in need of a complete makeover? Worry not, you can ask your guests for that waterfall shower head or monogrammed his and hers towels.
- Living Room: Furniture, electronics, and wall art: the options are endless. Make sure your living room marks the this new chapter of your life with updated decor and furnishings. For inspiration, check out our resource on wall decoration ideas.
- Donation: With your fiancé by your side, you might not need anything else. Some couples find donating to their favorite charity to be the best way to show their love. Start a donation collection for your favorite charity (one of ours is Make-a-Wish) and provide the link to guests if you don’t want to use a registry.
- Honeymoon/House Fund: It’s becoming more common for couples to use monetary wedding gifts to fund their reception, honeymoon, home down payment, or even a remodel. If this option works best for you, make sure to use a secure method to collect the wedding gifts.
Skill Based Gifts for the Wedding
- Wedding Decorations: Maybe you have a woodworking uncle who can build wedding signs. Or maybe your sister is a calligrapher and wouldn’t mind helping you with your wedding invitations. Asking friends and family to provide handmade goods as their gift is a great way to make your wedding extra special.
- Service: Some friends and family may make their money as a photographer or make-up artist. If you love their work feel free to ask them to lend their services for your wedding as their gift. But don’t fear if you don’t have a wedding photographer best friend: we’ve got you covered with our resource on how to find a wedding photographer.
- DIY: If handmade gifts mean the most to you, let your guests know well in advance. That way they have time to make you that special rocking chair or handmade wedding dress.
- Photo Gift: Photo gifts make memorable presents. If you don’t have anything specifically on your registry list but could use some fresh decor of you and your new fiancé, ask your guests for photogifts.
Some wedding gifts are commonly given for a reason. Check out our list on the most popular wedding registry gifts below, or refer to our extensive wedding registry checklist for more information.
Kitchen and Dining Essentials
Kitchen tools and dining sets are the most common wedding registry gifts for good reason. Some of these essentials include tableware, knives, saucepans, mixing bowls, slow cookers, blenders, coffee makers, toasters, microwaves, and cooking tools. No matter what you choose to include make sure that you pick items that are high quality and will last. Also make sure that your kitchen and dining ware match the style of your house as they will be highly visible.
Upgraded Cleaning Equipment
The better your cleaning equipment, the easier the cleaning. Now is the time to request a new vacuum or washing machine if your current one just isn’t doing the job.
If you have a passion that requires equipment you couldn’t find spare cash to pay for, by all means add it to your registry. That might be a fishing pole and tackle box or a new telephoto lens. Or maybe it’s vintage wine to add to your current collection. Family and friends love these gifts because they know they’ll bring you more joy than that toaster oven they got for their wedding.
Tools are great gifts because they’re both practical and symbolic of the new life you’re building with your loved one. Just make sure you ask for the right tools. If you need a lawnmower, make sure it’s a reliable model. Or ask for things with warranties.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try to communicate with your guests, you’ll still end up with something unneeded. If the gift is returnable, exchange it for cash or store credit. If not, try to sell it online or give it away to someone who needs it. Try your best not to let the guest know that you’ve given up their gift, as it came from a well-meaning place. And always make sure to send a sincere thank you note.
Your friends and family spend a lot of time and money to make sure they’re giving you something special. Show them the same amount of love and appreciate with heartfelt thank you notes. For a special touch, send customized thank you stationary. And if you’re having trouble writing the cards, check out our resource on what to write in a thank you note.
Once those thank you notes are in the mail you can finally enjoy all the wonderful gifts your loved ones have given you.