Registry Dos & Don'ts

I felt pretty comfortable planning our wedding. After all, M and I did event planning for a number of years prior. However, the idea of a registry was SO OVERWHELMING for me. Many of my friends had been married in previous years, each doing something different for their registry, so I felt like I at least had an idea of what NOT to do.

One friend went over the top and registered for anything and everything she thought her or her husband MIGHT like or have a need for. Another friend didn't register at all with the hopes that they would get cash or gift cards. In the end they just ended up with a bunch of mismatched things they didn't have space for in their current apartment. Lesson learned.

Enter my feelings of utter confusion. I can't say I did it all right, but I think I can offer some advice on what you should and should not do (with the help of a few other bloggers mentioned at the end of this post).


DO register. Trust me, people WANT to know what you need! We registered for Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Target, REI, and Traveler's Joy (more on this later). 

DO register for your honeymoon. We used Traveler's Joy, the best service EVER. Traveler's Joy is basically a cash registry. Since a lot of people have a hard time giving cash, you can designate items or activities you need/want for you honeymoon and people can fund those for you. For example, we registered for massages and snorkeling! There's also an option to give just a plain cash gift. The majority of our gifts came through this registry and it funded a large chunk of our honeymoon! Although they take a small percentage of your total amount, I think it makes people feel good to be contributing to something "tangible" even if that's not actually what you put their cash towards in the end.

DO be certain you will use something before adding it to your registry. If you're not sure on the color of your kitchen yet, don't ask for a certain color of appliance, or ask for something neutral. 

DO add items that you think might seem expensive. We added a wine fridge and a vacuum to our registries thinking it would be a long shot. BUT we got BOTH! Even if your guests do not end up purchasing these items for you, many times the stores you register through will send you a coupon for a certain percentage off the items left in your registry. If you still really want that item, you can purchase it then! Also, although these stores say the discount is for the items left in your registry, the coupon codes typically work on the entire site. 

DO ask for nicer versions of the things you already have. For example, who likes to spend $12 on a towel? Toss those cheap towels you have from your single days and add some nice plush ones to your registry!

DO register for holiday decor! This is another thing I have a hard time spending a lot of money on, but getting them as a gift is great! Plus you can reuse them for many years to come!

DO focus on the necessities. Measuring cups, mixing bowels, and kitchen towels will probably be more of a need compared to a grilling set or new television. Luckily, some registries even let you rate the priority of certain items! Utilize that option if you have it!

DO return things. Those duplicate sets of bed sheets? If you don't think you will use them, don't be scared to return them!

DO write thank you notes as soon as you get gifts. Many people will send their gift before the wedding, make sure you write a thank you and send it off within a week. This will make writing the rest after the wedding FAR less stressful. It also shows people that you care. 

DO read reviews. It sucks to put a high ticket item on your registry and after you receive it learn that the quality is awful.


DON'T add home decor items for the rooms that you haven't fully thought out yet. You will end up with a number of mismatched items that don't work well together for the space you finally dream up after the wedding craziness is over.

DON'T register for elaborate items. Those super cute dishes at Target? Watch out. They will likely go out of style in a few years. Instead, go for simple and classic, that way they will be less likely to become dated!

DON'T register for cocktail specific glasses. Trust me, I made this mistake and now there are more craft beer glasses than coffee mugs in our house and that says something. AND my husband doesn't even drink...

DON'T ask for cash. If you would prefer cash I would suggest you still make registries but also have the option for people to give a gift card. You should also spread the word verbally. 

DON'T only register for items in a certain price range. Register for items that cover a large price range. You want people to be able to work with their budgets and no one owes you a gift. 

DON'T be scared of registering for things online. This was the only way we registered and it was FAR more convenient. However, there are certain things you might want to first see in person, so keep that in mind.

What would you add to this list?

*A huge thank you goes out to Amanda, Madison, Kelly and Rachel for sharing their own Dos and Don'ts with me for this post!

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  1. This is so good!! I'm so glad I could help :)

  2. It was helpful thank you so much!

  3. Great list! Such awesome tips for someone planning their wedding.

  4. I've always thought a honeymoon registry was the best idea. I have seen so many items on registries that make me think "really?!" It's as if people get trigger happy with the scanner and scan all the things then end up with drawers and cabinets full of crap.

  5. THAT IS SO TRUE. The honeymoon registry is what allowed us to create memories that will last forever, instead of just obtaining more things :)

  6. Ugh. I was really excited about registering but the closer we get to it, the more stressed I get. I don't know what I want! Well, except for the kitchenaid mixer. I know I want that. Lol. He's oblivious to the whole thing too! And there are so many different types of the same thing. Why? Why is it so complicated?

  7. Haha yeah, I would suggest putting less rather than more on a registry and maybe spreading the word about gift cards/money instead so that you don't feel pressured to decide right away.

  8. Thanks so much for posting this!!! We are registering in 2 weeks and I feel like I need to decide on all colors and everything RIGHT NOW!! Super stressful!!

  9. I never through of registering for the honeymoon. What a super idea!

  10. It's was one of the best decisions we made!

  11. I'm so happy to help! Hopefully this makes things seem a little more manageable :)

  12. Thanks lady! Maybe you can renew your vows and register again! ha!

  13. these are great tips. i mainly registered for necessities but made the mistake of registering for a few unnecessary things like fancy cocktail glasses. oops!

  14. These are really good tips! We have a Honeymoon registry and one at Target and Amazon. It's really nice offering a variety.


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