Congrats, you’re engaged! After the confetti settles and the engagement party ends, it is time to start planning the day you’ve been looking forward to your whole life. I hope this wedding registry guide will help answer a few questions about when, where, and what to register for!
I polled a few of my fellow newlywed friends to help answer the age old question… “what should we register for?” Registering for wedding gifts is exciting, but it can also be somewhat uncomfortable for couples who don’t like asking for anything. My awesome friends shared with me tips on their favorite registry locations, gifts to register for, and other how-to tips!
When to register
The timeline for registering for gifts differs slightly depending on how long your engagement will be! If you will be engaged for 6 months or less, it is a pretty safe bet that you should register pretty soon after getting engaged. If your wedding is still a year or more away, you have plenty of time before registering. Most wedding websites suggest registering 6 to 9 months before the wedding. My husband and I realized while registering that we would have to go back and check our registry for items going out of stock and out of season a few times before our wedding. For instance, seasonal Target items will likely not last on their site for more than a few months, so keep that in mind as well!
Where to Register
Between my friends and I, we registered at the following stores: Target, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, West Elm, Anthropologie, Crate and Barrell, Sears, and some small town registry stores!
My husband and I made registries at a few stores for some different purposes. We registered for a majority of our items at Target for the ease of shopping online and in store. We had heard friends rave about some of the products they carried (which I will go into later) and living close to a store helped us register in person for items we could see and touch. We also registered for a few items on Amazon and West Elm- Amazon for some board games and miscellaneous products we found cheaper than at Target, and West Elm for our bedding and nice dishes.
How many items to register for
There is no strict science about how many items to register for. In fact, it can be truly overwhelming when you start to consider the different price brackets, how many people are invited, and at how many stores you are registered. The general answer is to register for more cheap items than expensive ones, for more items than parties invited to the wedding, and at more than one location. Giving guests plenty of price and location options will make gift giving much more convenient! However, if you are looking for some more information, this graphic was super helpful for us in choosing the amounts of gifts we registered for!
What to register for
Now that you have a general number of gifts you need to register for and you know when you need to register, we’d like to help you think about what to register for! These tips come from newlywed couples who want to help readers like you register for meaningful, useful gifts that you will use for a lifetime! I’ve broken it down into a few areas to help you organize your ideas and thoughts.
- Bedding that you will love for years down the road. This is a tip from myself who strongly values good sleep. We chose a beautiful cotton duvet cover that was neutral and would go well with our new headboard and would be flexible in matching with our current home, as well as our next. We also registered for some comfortable new sheets.
- Pots and pans. As most of my friends and I got married soon after graduating from college, we didn’t all have full (or even relatively nice) sets of pots and pans. Whether it is picking and choosing a few necessary pieces, or buying a full set of some gorgeous stainless steel pieces, having some reliable and durable pots and pans will make cooking more enjoyable in the long run!
- Serveware. If you like entertaining like we do, you know how important it is to have some beautiful serving dishes for when you have friends and family over! I have to admit, that one of my most prized items from our registry is a beautiful, hand-painted Santa baking/serving dish. I can’t wait to use it this winter!
- Kitchenaid Mixer. A Kitchenaid Stand Mixer may not be for every couple, but a few friends and I greatly enjoy this versatile tool. A stand mixer is so durable and powerful, and it can be even more useful with add-on attachments like spiralizers, juicers, and pasta cutters.
- Blender. The most used machine in our home, even over our washer and dryer, is our Ninja blender. We use this several times a week for smoothies and we just can’t get over how good of a job it does. Again, this may not be for everyone, but smoothie lovers will make good use of one of these!
- Tupperware. A full set of Tupperware and/or food storage containers is a must have for many newlyweds. These can be used to store so many different foods and can even be used for meal prepping. We find ourselves using these daily and love having some glass containers for bringing lunch to work and school!
- Organizational containers. Organizing our bathroom closet was a big goal of ours even before moving into our house. I wanted to make sure that everything would have a home and that my husband and any guests would be able to find what they need!
- Towel set. While most people have plenty of towels going into marriage, we wanted to have a new matching set to feel a little bit more put together. We still have our mixed and matched towels from before, and these are used for spills and cleaning more than drying after a shower. Pro tip- try out some bath sheets if you’ve only ever had the traditional bath towel size… they’re incredible.
- Vacuum. A newlywed friend suggests registering for a nice vacuum- especially if you have a couple of pets! A vacuum is a necessary investment for keeping your home healthy and clean.
- Stepladder. Yes, this will come in handy more than you’d realize, especially if you are moving into a new home together and hanging things on your fresh walls! We use our stepladder weekly and, though I was hesitant to register for it, I’m glad my husband convinced me to do so.
- Small furniture pieces. We didn’t expect anyone would buy us furniture from our registry, but we were thrilled to have some generous family members purchase us a new TV stand! It is one of our favorite pieces in our house and it often reminds me how thankful I am for the kind people in our lives.
- Monogrammed/Personalized items. A general theme I have heard from newlyweds is that they treasure items with their new initials on them. A dear friend loves her new welcome mat which has an “O” on it, and we love our “S” engraved cheese board. Maybe you’d love some monogrammed towels or a sign with your shared last name!
- Hobby gifts. I feel that your friends and family will love the chance to get you items that they know you will love to use outside of just typical registry gifts. We registered for a few board games, while we have some other friends who asked for things they would use such as camping equipment, movies, or special baking tools.
What are your favorite items from your wedding registry? Did I miss any clear picks?
(Thank you to Allison Overfield, Brittany Tanner, and Corinne Gannon for your suggestions!)