Congratulations on your engagement!
Your wedding is one of the best days of your life, and every aspect of preparing for your special day should be filled with excitement and fun — including registering for wedding gifts!
To help you feel less overwhelmed, we’ve curated a guide to creating a GREAT gift registry. After all, guests WANT to gift you with something you’ll use and love.
1. Register early
Sorting out your gift registry should be one of the first things you do as a newly engaged couple. Start registering at multiple places 7-9 months before you wedding day. Register early, before any plans are scheduled or save-the-dates are sent out.
As with any aspect of wedding planning, it’s vital to talk it out and ensure that both parties are being heard when preparing your registry. Consider your personal tastes, the décor you both love/hate, and your shared interests to create a registry that reflects you as a couple. Do you want outdoor lawn games or kitchen tools? Do you want bath towels or a new grill? Maybe register for both of your interests so you have a nice variety for guests to choose from.
3. Divide and Conquer
Analyze your individual strengths to divide and conquer. Are you awesome when it comes to picking out electronics while your partner has incredible taste in interior décor? Figure out what decisions you trust your partner to make and then come together to create a quality registry.
4. Take inventory
Using a gift registry was a chance for newlyweds to furnish their home together with much needed items, but with cohabitation on the rise, chances are that you and your future spouse already own plenty of household items and may not benefit from pots and pans or linens.
Or perhaps you’re going to buy a new home together after marriage? Take inventory of the spaces, rooms, dimensions, and what you already have before you create your registry.
5. Passion = Perfection
Yes, tradition is important, but just because a gift is traditional, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you!
Your personalities, hobbies, and interests are what make you such a special couple… Don’t sacrifice that just because Great Aunt Edna firmly believes you absolutely need horrific floral china you’ll never use!
What do you love to do together? Here are some tips on incorporating interests into a great gift registry:
- Camping: A quality tent, BBQ tools, a camp stove, his and hers camping mugs, double sleeping bags, s’mores sticks, bikes, and other outdoor essentials are awesome for a camping couple.
- Cooking: Something unique like a tagine pot makes a thoughtful gift, perfect for couples cooking or entertaining. Fun olive oils, spice kits, kitchen gadgets, and recipe books also make great kitchen gifts.
- Entertaining: If you love to entertain (or plan to once you’re married), classic gifts of dinnerware, glassware, fancy wine glasses, whiskey glasses, and serving dishes are great. Avoid dust-gatherers by considering your personal tastes and priorities and only pick items you’ll actually use.
- Baking: For bakers, a quality stand mixer is a common sight on gift registries. You could also go for bread knives that match your color scheme or a cake display/decorating stand.
- Movies: For cozy nights in, think oversized cuddly blankets, hot cocoa supplies, fluffy robes, slippers, wine, or even a popcorn maker!
Tailor your own interests and passions into a gift registry you’ll be happy to receive… And friends and family will be happy to purchase!
6. Consider your guests
Your wedding is 100% about you and your future spouse, but it’s crucial to recognize that not everyone can afford the $1,000 vase you registered for, so mix it up with some less expensive options that are still personal to you. That way, even those on a tighter budget can still find the perfect gift to celebrate your special day.
7. Cash only?
With so much pressure on gift registries, it can certainly be tempting to simply request cash only gifts. While this can remove some of the pressure, you’re sure to have at least a handful of guests who would prefer to buy you something tangible.
One way to help with this is to make it clear what the money will be used for. Rather than just asking for cash “for our honeymoon,” why not break it down? For example, you could ask for money towards…
- Cocktails on the beach
- A couples massage
- Dinner at your favorite restaurant
- A hotel stay
- A vineyard tour
- Scooba diving lessons
- A bottle of bubbly
- Home improvements (your new mailbox, shed, patio, kitchen renovation, etc.)
Include where you spend the money as part of your ‘thank you’ cards as a charming way to let the gift-giver feel appreciated and included.
8. Keep it personal
Keeping the registry personal is the key to finding gifts that you will love and treasure for years to come.
Remember, no matter how much pressure you’re under to add particular items to your list, most people will want to buy lovely things that you can actually use and cherish.
If you’re looking for an engagement gift, I would definitely give the Wedding Day Designer wedding planning book! Comment below with your favorite wedding gift! Maybe it will offer ideas to others!