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So, the FI and I are getting close to the one year mark (I can hardly believe it has been 7 months since our engagement…time flies!).  And, in the spirit of something “wedding traditional,” I’m chatting on the basics of wedding registries.

The FI and I have decided to wait until after the first of the year to start our wedding registry for a number of reason, a few of which, I highly recommend that some brides and grooms take into consideration when starting their registries.  Included in this posted are just a few “getting started” tips for wedding registries.

1.  Do your research on where you want to register.  Two to three stores is usually a good number.  More than that, and things just get confusing.  Any less, and you don’t really give your wedding guests and family members depth in the items and type of stuff you want to receive.

2.  Don’t register too early (a rule the FI and I are following closely).  Sometimes if you register too early, by the time your shower(s) and wedding roll around, some or a lot of the items you registered for may no longer be available as they were seasonal items, or they are no longer made.

  • As a side-note to this one, because of where our wedding falls, we do not want to register before Christmas.  After some discussion, we decided that we did not want to receive wedding gifts as Christmas gifts.  We were afraid by registering now, family members may pick and choose off the registry for those holiday gifts.  Not to be selfish or picky in any way, but we want our wedding registry to be for the wedding.

3.  Make a list of the things you want and need.  This may vary, as you may have those old pots and pans from college, so you may not NEED new ones, but you probably want a nicer set.  Having a list is also good idea to keep for when you register at other stores.

  • By making a list, and even having separate lists for your different registries, you will prevent registering for many of the same items at different stores, which can cause a lot of confusion amongst wedding guests, and create a huge hassle for you by having to return duplicate items after the wedding.

4.  Register for items with a broad price range.  This includes your cooking utensils, which can be fairly low in price, to your china or set of pots and pans.  It is good to give guests a variety of things to choose from.

5.  Be sure to check with the stores regarding their return policies (number of days, if you receive merchandise credit, etc.) and what their registry completion program consists of (will they offer you a discount on the items not purchased after your wedding?).

I’d love to hear your registry woes and tips when you first started (I will ask for other tips as we get into more details down the road).  As the FI and I continue on down this path, I will feature tips and tricks to making sure your registry is a perfect fit!

Happy registering!


  1. Amy Pfeiffer
    6:18 pm on September 10th, 2009

    When I worked at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, one of my main duties was helping couples create their registries. We strongly recommended that couples register for 2-3 items per guest invited to the wedding. This typically makes the guest feel better about the item they end up purchasing, and tends to “psych” the guest up for the big event. Couples frequently think that they will appear greedy to their guests if they register for a lot of items, but most guests heave a sigh of relief when they see a long registry with lots of gift options.

    Furthermore, most stores give couples a discount on the remaining items from the registry that were not purchased after the wedding date (usually 25-40% off), giving the newlyweds an opportunity to get steep discounts on any other items they might wish to purchase.

    Ultimately, if in doubt about an item, go ahead and register for it. You can always return it, too. 🙂

  2. GO to the nytimes.com and search wedding registry. They have a great article from a couple of years ago that includes a great list of kitchen registry items.

  3. Well, MY registry woes involved entering my online registry to find that SOMEONE had registered for three flat screens, two panini makers, three toasters and two ice cream makers. And a giant, and I mean GIANT, painting of Busch Stadium.

    So, my suggestion is to not let your fiance hold the gun. 🙂

  4. Amanda
    2:50 am on September 11th, 2009

    Kate, I think I just died laughing reading your post! You poor thing! I think you should register for a second 5D Mark II haha just in spite!

  5. Haha! Perhaps I will!

  6. Susan
    10:50 am on September 13th, 2009

    I heartily second the first post. When buying gifts, I have seen very few couples register for enough items and particularly items in the $15-45 range which can allow you to buy a few things for the couple rather than just one really nice plate.