Knowing the ins and outs of wedding registries are key when you’re prepping for your big day. Not only do you want it manageable and easy for your guests to navigate, but you should know how to get the most out of your experience with one as well. Whether you’ve already set up home together or are just starting out, your loved ones will want to gift you with something special. Allow them to by setting up a wedding registry!
You don’t want to be worrying about duplicated or unwanted gifts. You don’t want to be worried about not having a microwave when you move into your new place together either. And that’s why a wedding registry is one of the essential elements for an engaged couple. Friends and family will know what you need–and you’ll get what you need. It’s a win-win situation!
With that being said, what is a wedding registry and what are some of the best to hire for all your newlywed prepping needs?
WHAT IS A WEDDING REGISTRY
The first wedding registry program was set up back in 1924 by a company called Marshall Field and the core idea of a bridal registry hasn't changed all that much since then. Every couple is going to get gifts from their guests for their wedding. And without the reference, no guest really knows what the couple needs and wants.
So the basic idea is that a couple goes to a retailer and lists all the cool things they need for themselves that their guests can buy. A wedding registry is nothing more than a list of stuff a couple wants their guests to buy them. It’s really that simple!
While the general idea hasn't changed much, technology certainly has changed the process for creating a wedding registry. It is radically different than the old days. Target stores pioneered the electronic self-service gift registry in 1993 and then scanning took hold across all retail bridal registries.
More recently the internet has changed things a lot. Where it was just traditional retailers that offered bridal registries you now also have many websites and websites-only companies that offer really high-quality wedding registries.
The other big trend in recent years is the aggregation of wedding registry items across retailers so you can list things from many places on one account; have you ever heard of Amazon?
LIVING TOGETHER? WHAT TO DO ABOUT A WEDDING REGISTRY
So you live together, you already have your home designed and filled with all the things you could ever want. Do you need a wedding registry?
The reality is that your guests are going to want to buy you something. Yes, that's right, you are going to set up your registry. No surprises here folks. So if you aren't getting your fancy china and furnishing your house for the first time, what do you ask for? After talking to multiple couples in this situation here's our list of recommendations.
Missing Items & Extras
Take a look around your home and look for things that you don't have but need. Is your china collection weak, do you need everyday dishes because the hand me downs are on their last legs? Take advantage of the wedding registry to fill in the gaps across your home.
Also, now is a great time to get more of the basics. Bath towels and linens, sheets and towels, fancy smelling candles are all things that guests will happily buy and that you need a lot of.
Upgrade Your Stuff
This is a nice chance to upgrade your stuff. You know the things that you've had for ages that just aren't cool enough or expensive enough. Better dishes, matching cutlery and fancy knives. Maybe your blender or your pans are aged and new ones are going to better match your kitchen design.
There's nothing wrong with using the registry to get higher-quality versions of items you already own.
Shop for Someone in Need
Use this chance to make a difference for somebody else. Dedicate your registry to someone less fortunate by setting up a charitable registry filled with causes you believe in so guests can donate to your favorite charities. Since you already have everything you need, “give” instead of “get” for your wedding; you'll feel good knowing someone in need is getting the contribution!
Get Something Fun & Interesting
A wedding registry is a great opportunity to do something a little more fun. When we say we mean go for the gusto, get something that you would never spend the money on, get something that can help the two of you enjoy each other more (like a bike or canoe). Maybe a cool new BBQ or woodworking bench for projects. Camping gear and sporting goods can also be a nice way to do the non-boring.
A Trip or Experience
Have your guests contribute to a vacation or your honeymoon. Yes, you can do that these days and if you have lived together it may be a great way to pay for your honeymoon and enjoy a beautiful experience together. If that's too extreme what about something adventurous.
Make it Special
There is no rule that says you must stick to the traditional. Instead, focus your attention on specialty shops. Wine, desserts, coffee, candles, fine liqueurs, free trade crafts, antiques, art galleries — register at stores that are off-the-grid in addition to a more traditional registry.
This “everything” store is perfect for your wedding registry. The site includes great offers for prime members, allows you to add items from other retailers, and offers an amazingly large variety of products through their over listings as well (from luxurious to inexpensive, everyday finds).
Add gifts from any website onto one universal gift registry. My Registry is convenient, fast and so easy to get started with their simple, step-by-step guide. And it’s one of the most popular in the wedding world.
There’s a zillion items to spruce up your home that can be found on Wayfair. In fact, there are over 5,000 brands of products across all major home categories, such as furniture, décor, kitchen, bed, and bath.
Crate & Barrel has everything you need for your home as well. If you’re already a fan of the store, you’ll want to check out their registry options. From the furniture to the furnishings, there’s a lot to pick and choose from here.
Dillards is another really popular department store that has a lot of brand name items available through their space. This means you’ll have a host of amazing options to put on your wedding registry including the most traditional selections such as good China and bath towels.
Known as the “modern department store,” Elder-Beerman knows what’s trending and makes those items easily available to fill out your wedding registry. From Anolon kitchenware to home theatres, there’s a huge variety of fashion-forward options for the home here.
One of our lesser-known options is Gaiam and is perfect for our couples that lead an active lifestyle and want to propel that forward to their new, newlywed life. Add yoga mats and other pieces of equipment to your at-home gym.
JCPenney is another great choice when your goal is to make your registry easily accessible to your friends and family. Whether online or in-store, your loved ones will love the one-stop shopping that this space will give them.
If you’re in the market for luxury, this is the spot. They have a variety of designer brands to choose from. Hermes, Mary Jurek, Ralph Lauren, Simone Pearce, and more can all be found under their umbrella. And with a registry, you get 9 exclusive perks including a $100 off $400 purchase.
For couples needing larger appliances, you’ll want to add in a Sears registry. This is great for when you want multiple loved ones to help you purchase a refrigerator or even a washer and dryer. Go for it!
One of the hottest spots around, Target has you covered. They have everything you need, at every price point you want, and in all the styles you care to dream of. Target will also offer your exclusive coupons to clear out your registry when all is said and done. And, of course, it’s one of the most accessible stores!
The world’s leader in luxury home furnishings, RH is an absolute dream. Don’t be afraid to add some items to your registry that you may have been eyeing or what already matches the style you’ve created in your own space thus far.
With Williams-Sonoma, you get insight on other name brands as well including Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm. It becomes a collective area that can take care of every nook and cranny of your home.
To reiterate its predecessor, with a Pottery Barn registry, you have a space where you can collect all items from their sister stores. Williams-Sonoma, West Elm, and Pottery Barn Kids are all included.
There’s so many unique parts of a Zola wedding registry. And one of those unique benefits include setting up and having guests add to your honeymoon registry. There’s also access to tons of gifts that you may not be able to find elsewhere such as gift cards and full home collections.