Choosing the best wedding registry for you
Wedding planning is full of decisions, and deciding on the best wedding registry for you and your partner is a big one! Keep these tips in mind when making your choice:
1. Discuss your priorities
Have you and your partner discussed your priorities and values for your lives together? If you’ve already got a fully stocked and furnished home, perhaps choosing a honeymoon or experience registry is best for you.
2. Consider your needs
Take an inventory of the items in your home(s) that are old, out of date, low-quality, or could use a replacement. Register for items that “uplevel” the things you own that aren’t of the best quality.
3. Weigh the options and make a choice
Once you’ve identified your life priorities and any furnishing needs, select the best wedding registry option to help you fulfill those goals! Using the list above, you should have a pretty great jumping-off point to make this decision.
4. Decide on a registry soon
It’s a good idea to make this decision soon after you get engaged because your loved ones may already want to buy you gifts! Having your registry picked out before your engagement party, bridal shower, or other pre-wedding celebration is a good idea.
5. Add your registry details to your wedding website
This is just another reason why having a wedding website is so important! Traditional etiquette discourages putting registry details on your wedding invitations. Share your chosen registries on your website as soon as you’ve made your selections. You could even do this before you’ve set your wedding date!
Best Wedding Registry: Top Online-Only Sites
There are several online-only wedding registry sites that work great for couples that may or may not have big box stores in their area. They also are a nice perk for wedding guests as well. It’s hard to shop a registry for a couple if they only register at a local boutique or a brick-and-mortar store. However, when they register at a large online retailer, the couple and guests have so many more options. Here are some of our favorite online-only wedding registry sites.
Zola’s app is like Tinder for your wedding registry. Swipe to register for high-end products from the comfort of your phone! Zola also combines physical gifts, experiences, and cash to offer you a great amount of flexibility in your gifting choices. Add items from your favorite retailers like Crate & Barrel, which is included on the platform, or use their universal “Add from Anywhere” feature to include items from Williams-Sonoma or Pottery Barn. You can also turn on a special feature for high-ticket items to split costs for group gifts. Zola’s also known to run some sweet sales like 20% off certain categories or brands. So score a discount on those wedding registry transactions, whether it’s you or your guests making the purchase.
It’s 2023, and let’s face it — you’ve got more than enough stuff. Honeyfund’s honeymoon registry (since 2005) combines zero to low fees, best page design tools, awesome added features like gift cards, a universal registry, and store registries linking into a one-stop solution.
It’s also a no-brainer if you LOVE to travel. Honeymoon funds are no longer taboo, so if you’re more interested in planning an epic getaway with your future spouse, consider the OG honeymoon registry.
They’re big believers in the power of travel and romance in sustaining a successful marriage, and that’s something we’re totally on board with.
You may already know all about Joy’s wedding website builder, with planning tools and apps but did you also know Joy is also one of the best wedding registry websites?
It’s the all-in-one wedding registry. You can buy anything from any store by shopping on Joy or your favorite stores. You can connect another registry and give guests one place to find the perfect gift. Joy also features zero-fee cash funds, so you aren’t losing precious gifted money to processing fees. You can also set up a honeymoon fund, charity donations, and send thank you cards all in one place.
Amazon’s registry lets you register for anything that can come in an Amazon box (and beyond, thanks to their universal registry option.) The online juggernaut has the widest assortment of gifts you could ever imagine adding to your wishlist.
From cookware to home decor, to big-ticket items like furniture or grills, you can find it all on Amazon. We all know how easy it is to select and shop for products on this mega site, so you’ll have no issue finding all the items you want to add to your list.
We love the ability to sort by price point so guests can easily find the wedding registry gifts that suit their budget. Check out all the reasons why we love the Amazon Wedding Registry, including a great completion discount for the newlywed couple.
Best Wedding Registry Websites with Brick-and-Mortar Stores
If you’d rather register in person at a brick-and-mortar store and you’re looking for some options besides Bed Bath & Beyond (RIP), these are great! The best part is you can check out the items in-store or choose from a larger selection online. This option is especially great for relatives who may not live near one of these physical stores but could order gifts online and have them sent directly to you!
Target has perfected the balance between affordability and quality. It’s just way more fun and less stuffy than a traditional department store. So whether you’re the bride, the groom, or the guest- everybody wins when you register at Target!
That’s why couples and guests alike love Target for affordable wedding gifts, awesome registry perks, and of course, convenience. Plus, get a sweet discount on any remaining items still on your list after the big day. Learn more about the benefits of a Target Registry in our registry review.
Crate & Barrel is synonymous with wedding registries. It’s where couples usually think of registering for high-quality items that they have always dreamed about. There are so many perks to registering online or in-store with Crate & Barrel. Their registry consultants can help you create a list you’ll love today & always with special one-on-one consultations. And unlike an online wedding registry site, Crate & Barrel hosts private registry events in-store where you’ll get the star treatment. Couples also receive a 15% discount for 6 months after the big day, and you can even include group gifting options for larger ticket items.
Building your dream wedding registry just got easier for you and your guests. Start by browsing their top wedding registry items for picks from other couples. Then, explore their extensive selection of products in-store and online and pick out exactly what you envision for your new life. Walmart covers almost every department, so you can build your bed with their beautiful bedding essentials, browse their bath towels and bathmats, stock your kitchen with quality cookware sets, and explore the dining and entertaining collections for dinnerware, drinkware, and more. As an added bonus, you can access your registry anytime, anywhere with their Walmart Mobile App. You can even scan items for your registry in-store with your phone. And more than likely there is a Walmart in every guests’ hometown!
Best Wedding Registry: Unique and Trendy Wedding Registry Stores
Perhaps you and your partner have more of an eclectic vibe when it comes to home decor or serveware. If that’s the case, then registering at one of these stores or online platforms would suit you best. While traditional items like bath towels and cutlery can be found, you can also find one-of-a-kind items to create a style all your own.
If you want to support small businesses but also have a platform where anyone in the world can purchase a gift for you, then Etsy is the best of both worlds! The possibilities are truly endless for the Etsy Registry! From personalized pieces to custom creations, the independent sellers on Etsy make it easy to find extraordinary gifts. Etsy is truly the best place to register for items that you can’t find anywhere else, not to mention the custom elements you’ll find.
Anthropology is another great option for an in-store wedding registry. They have all the essentials covered, like bedding, bath towels, serveware, and more. However, the essentials don’t have to be monotonous or dull. Here you can find giraffe-themed tea sets, dachshund hand towels, or pom-pommed duvets. They also offer a 15% off completion discount for couples to purchase any remaining items on their registry list!
Another popular wedding registry for unique items is West Elm. Everyone loves a gift from West Elm and their sister stores, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Rejuvenation. And that is one of the large perks when registering at West Elm. You have access to add items & gift cards from across their brands, even if you don’t have every store in your area. The products are timeless and trendy. You’ll love the items you choose from West Elm for a lifetime and fill your home with home with pieces you’ll love year after year. West Elm also offers products promoting sustainable living, from organic bedding to fair trade certified serveware; you’ll feel good about the pieces you choose.
Best Wedding Registry: Comprehensive Wedding Planning and Registry Sites
What’s better than having a wedding registry? Having a wedding registry and a platform that also offers additional wedding planning tools! These are some of the best wedding registry sites that give you comprehensive planning tools, wedding websites and a registry. You’ll be blown away by all the bells and whistles.
We love the benefits of MyRegistry. It is one of the best places to register for wedding registries, especially if you want gifts from several stores. MyRegistry is a free Universal registry that lets you add gifts, services, and experiences from any store, anywhere, and sync any of your existing registries onto one list. Whether it’s from a big box store or a local boutique, MyRegistry makes it easy to share exactly what you want for your wedding with your friends and family.
Wedding Wire is an amazing platform that not only offers a registry but also allows couples to build a custom wedding website along with multiple planning tools. Wedding Wire’s registry makes it easy for both you and your guests. You can add gifts from any store, connect all of your registries, and link your honeymoon fund in one place. They offer 13 big-name retailers you can add gifts from or sync with a registry you already started!
The Knot is an easy-to-use, trusted wedding registry. With over 25 million couples using this registry, you know it has to be good. Their registry syncs gifts from top retailers to your free Knot wedding website. Brides and grooms can pick gifts from the Knot store or use their browser button to add gifts from any store. You can even set up cash funds for (literally) anything. It’s easy for your guests to use, and it’s fun for them to get to see the story behind why you and your partner chose a particular gift. Plus, they offer free shipping and excellent customer service.
Best Wedding Registry: Specialty Wedding Registries for Niche Preferences
For couples that want to register for items that are more tailored to their interests, then several platforms would fit. Perhaps the two of you like cooking, or you are more into outdoor gear or techy gadgets. Expand your horizons and check out some of these wedding registry sites.
Sur La Table is your one-stop shop for all things kitchen and gourmet cooking related. If you and your future spouse plan to spend a lot of time cooking together or for friends and family, then this is the wedding registry for you. Not only can culinary enthusiasts register for high-end products and appliances, but you can also include cooking lessons to further your skills and increase your bonding time together! Think of it as a way your friends and family can pay for future dates!
REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) has been the leader in top-quality outdoor gear and apparel since 1938. While REI doesn’t have an official registry, they do offer a customer wishlist which is a great option for nature-loving couples. Create your own REI account and add items to your wishlist for your next outdoor exploration. There is no cost or fee to creating an account, although you can become a lifetime member for a one-time fee of $30 which opens up a world of benefits. Benefits include great gear offers, special pricing on events, and an annual Co-op Member Reward—for life. Join once, and enjoy forever. But if you and your partner are just looking to add more biking, hiking, camping, or outdoor gear to your new married life, then check out their wishlist options and start exploring!
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something from CB2! By starting a bridal registry, housewarming registry, or beyond at CB2, you can let friends and family know exactly what you need—yes, that gold-plated vase is a necessity—to celebrate the occasion. When signing up for a bridal registry, newlyweds who haven’t started a family can appreciate wedding gifts chosen from our range of small-scale furniture, which includes apartment sofas, loveseats, slim console tables, and minibars. Couples who already live together can also benefit from furniture, dinnerware, and flatware on their wedding gift registry list. They can also get creative with our tech gifts—including speakers, headphones, and audio equipment—and unique artwork, sculptures, and barware. No matter the couple’s needs, a bridal shower registry offers plenty of options.
Best Wedding Registry: Legacy Stores with Trustworthy Wedding Registries
Just like the old married couple that you want to glean advice from, these stores are equally as experienced and trustworthy. They’ve been around and seen a few things over time and know exactly what products couples need and want when getting married. You can’t go wrong signing up with these wedding registries.
Macy’s has been around for about 165 years, so when you talk about trustworthy, Macy’s is the store! Not only do they have a stellar reputation, but they also offer lots of exclusive perks when registering. Macy’s offers star rewards if you have a Macy’s credit card. They also offer special coupons up to 25% off. They offer completion discounts meaning you get a discount if you purchase something off your registry even after the wedding date as you complete your registry. And they have a great return policy. The selection is fantastic, and you can register for almost anything for your home with brands you know and love.
Bloomingdale’s has been a staple in the high-end department store space for almost 163 years. When you register at Bloomingdale’s, you get the full luxurious experience. Couples will receive up to 20% off dresses, suits, and accessories for the big day. They offer a 20% completion discount and bonus gifts when you register for select brands. They also offer complimentary vacation planning and special travel offers for your honeymoon, and so much more. As an added perk for your gift-givers, they will receive free shipping when they shop from your registry. It’s a high-end experience for a luxury wedding registry.
Though Dillard’s may be the baby of the bunch, they have been around for almost 85 years. They offer a comprehensive wedding solution, from bridal outfits to your detailed registry, checking off all the categories. They also offer plenty of incentives based on what you register and receive. Examples of such incentives include registering for and receiving a certain dollar amount of a brand and then receiving a complimentary item. They also offer a fabulous completion discount of up to 20% after your big day. You also can include electronics and furniture on your registry as well.
Best Wedding Registry: Travel and Experience Wedding Registries
Maybe you are like some couples that value travel and experiences over acquiring more items for your home. In that case, we strongly suggest setting up a travel or honeymoon wedding registry. Any of these registries offer options for travel around the globe and purchases towards experiences on these trips, flights, hotels, or even cash funds. It’s an easy way for your friends and family to be a part of your travel without actually having to share a room!
Like we already mentioned Honeyfund is the OG when it comes to honeymoon registries. Their online wedding gift registry makes it easy to give and receive the perfect wedding gift — cash! Your honeyfund reflects your unique style and makes giving quick and easy for your wedding guests. The best part about honeyfund is that you truly can register for anything you can dream of! It is not just a honeymoon registry. Honeyfund can help you fund life’s other adventures like buying a home or saving for the future — all with zero fees.
Honeymoon Wishes is an excellent option for the couple who already have everything they need for their home and would prefer their friends and family purchase experiences for them. This wedding registry site allows couples to choose their destination from over 70 countries and cities across the globe. They can share their registry with friends and families and the givers can help fund hotel, travel and honeymoon activities. Couples can register for hotel rooms, outdoor excursions, local attractions, romantic packages and more.
Another great honeymoon wedding registry site is Hitchd. Their motto is “Fund memories, not things.” This is a great alternative to the traditional wedding registry store or website for the couple that loves to travel. Hitchd allows couples to create a wedding registry that also acts as a website. It’s a classy way for your friends and family to gift you money for experiences from flights to Airbnbs, poolside cocktails, dinners out or even a cash fund. You can create literally anything for your friends and family and they can donate using Paypal, Venmo, credit cards and more.
Exploring Additional Wedding RegistryPerks
As mentioned above, various stores and wedding registry sites offer perks for couples that register. Some brick and mortar stores offer in store events just for couples, VIP registry nights or in store consultations.
Many of the online platforms expand their offerings to include custom wedding websites and wedding planning tools free of charge. But one of the biggest advantages are the registries that offer completion discounts. If you don’t receive everything you registered you can still shop your own registry after the wedding and receive a discount on the items. Other online platforms now offer group gifts. Meaning friends and family can contribute a dollar amount towards the larger ticket items such as furniture, kitchen appliances or electronics. It’s a great way for your guests to give you a gift you truly want without breaking the banks.
The other benefit to several of these wedding registry sites are the universal registry options. You can register with several different retailers without having to create multiple registries. You create one registry and they aggregate products from various stores! It’s not two birds one stone but rather 14 birds one stone!
- How completion discounts work and the advantages they offer.
- The benefits of opting for group gifts.
- How universal registry platforms can aggregate products from various retailers.
Key Questions for the Bride and Groom
- Why register? Discuss the convenience for guests and the couple.
- What items to include? From appliances to linens, determine a variety.
- When to start? Address the timeline, from invites to the big day.
- Where to register? Emphasize the best wedding registry websites and stores mentioned above.
You may be feeling overwhelmed with all the choices of registry platforms and items you need to register for. That’s totally normal but we highly suggest you should register! It may feel like a lot of work but knowing that you are going to get what you want from your guests to stock your kitchen, bar, and home will be worth it. Otherwise you may be stuck with items you can’t return, can’t use or don’t like. Trust us running around after the wedding trying to return everything your great aunt gave you is not our idea of how to spend a Friday night. Instead, grab your partner, head to your local store or pull open your laptop and make it a date night. Reward yourself with pizza and beer or chips and margs after!
What Items to Include
Decide what items you already both own and what you are going to keep or donate after you get married. Make sure you cover your basis when it comes to items for the home. Start in the kitchen and work your way around. Think of each room and what items you would like to have for your new life together. You can even register for electronics for the living room depending on where you register. Make sure you include bathroom items and bedding and don’t forget extras like your bar or outdoor space.
Remember to register for gifts at a variety of price points. This gives your guests the chance to choose gifts at prices they can afford. Register for things you want, not just traditional items. If you and your fiancé love camping but hate hosting dinner parties, register for campaign gear over fine china. Consider “everyday” and “formal” options. It might make sense to have multiple options for certain categories such as dishes or glassware. Bottom line: have fun and think about what you need and want!
When to Start
Start early! Probably earlier than you think. Why? You’ll likely have people start buying gifts for you almost immediately after getting engaged. Also depending on how long your engagement is will determine when your parties and showers will begin. People love to shower couples with gifts and it’s extra special for your guests to buy something they KNOW you will want. Go ahead and start registering as soon as the two of you can carve out some time. And like we said, make it a date. You’ll have fun dreaming of your future life together.
Where to Register
We’ve covered plenty of wedding registry sites and stores in this article but all it comes down to your priorities. Which site aligns with your values, your aesthetics and the price points and perks you are looking for. If you want to touch and feel and see you probably should consider registering in person at a store in your city like Target, Walmart or Crate & Barrel. Moreover, if you are concerned that registering at a physical store may hinder some of your guests from purchasing your items, think about adding an online option like Amazon or Zola. And finally, if you just don’t need more stuff think about a honeymoon fund site like Honeyfund. Register for experiences rather than things!
Wedding Registry FAQs
Is a bridal registry different from a wedding registry?
No, these two terms are interchangeable. Probably more often it is referred to as a wedding registry to be more gender neutral but overall both are a wish list that couples put together of the things they would like to have gifted to them for their future life together.
Do I really need a wedding registry?
Yes, and no. Yes, it’s a great way to allow your guests to buy things for you that they know you’ll like and you can build the life of your dreams together starting day one. And no, if you don’t have a wedding registry that’s fine. If it just seems like too much, ask for gift cards or money instead and then buy what you want later!
When should you make your wedding registry?
You should make your registry as soon as possible. Some experts suggest 6 months before the wedding but some couples may not even be engaged that long so whenever you find the time. Try to do it before all your fun showers and parties start so you can ensure your guests know what to purchase for you.
What is not appropriate for a wedding registry?
Try not to register for too many expensive items. Put a variety of price points on your registry so that guests can spend as much or as little as their budget will allow. Don’t register for things you will use at your wedding. You don’t want your guests to purchase your wedding decor. You also risk not receiving all these items and you will have to scramble to finish decorating your ceremony or reception.
Also, don’t register for things you already know you would return or won’t use. Don’t let someone talk you into registering for items you just know aren’t your style or are too trendy. And finally, it’s never appropriate to include your registry on your wedding invitation. You can include it on your wedding website or have your wedding party or family members spread the word or include it on shower invitations. It can look tacky to invite someone to your wedding but also push that you want gifts at the same time!
Do you use the same registry for bridal shower and wedding?
If you register at multiple stores you can share one registry list with the host or hostess for your bridal shower and another for your wedding website. However, it’s usually the same registry for both events.
How does a bridal shower registry work?
If you want to use a specific theme registry for a bridal shower that’s a great way to ensure you’ll receive items for the party. If you register at a kitchen store for a kitchen bridal shower or items for your bar for the stock the bar. You can even register at a hardware or outdoorsy store if you are having a tool party and share those lists with the guests!
Is it rude to put expensive items on the wedding registry?
It isn’t rude to put expensive items on a wedding registry. However, it is rude to put only expensive items on the wedding registry. As mentioned above, several platforms offer group gifting so that the cost of these expensive items can be distributed among several guests. It’s a great way for friends and family to purchase a large ticket item without breaking the bank.
What is normal for the amount of items on a registry?
This depends on how many guests you are planning to invite to your wedding. Some experts say to include 2 items per guest. So do the math. If you are inviting 100 people then register for 200 items. Even though the number seems high and almost impossible to ask for that many gifts, you’ll be surprised how quickly it can add up. Just think of all the little trinkets and small kitchen items you may want and before you know it you’ll reach your goal! But also don’t let the number stop you from registering for more items. Make sure you have fun and register for practical things you and your future spouse will want, need and love!
More about Wedding Registries
Which wedding registry will you choose for your big day? Let us know in the community!