7 Wedding Registry Tips Every Couple Should Know

Hello, loves! If you’re planning your wedding, have you thought about your gift registry yet? Registering for gifts is one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, even if you have no idea where to begin. Today we’re sharing seven wedding registry tips every couple should know to fire up that scanner gun and go to town. It’s easier than you think… and more fun, too! Read on for more…

wedding registry tips

7 Wedding Registry Tips Every Couple Should Know

1. DON’T register on an empty stomach.

Grab a bite to eat before you register. Also, don’t go at a busy time of day (like the middle of a Saturday afternoon). These things will make your registry experience stressful which saps the fun right out of it. Or, shop online in your pajamas!

2. DO give yourself plenty of time to look around.

Don’t start registering right before a store will close… and don’t save the wedding registry until the last minute. You may want to check out a few different stores, so don’t rush yourself. Span registering over a few days if you’d like to give yourself a fresh set of eyes, or you’ll start scanning everything in sight at the last minute.

3. DO register together as a couple.

The wedding registry should definitely be a wedding to-do that is tackled together whether in-store or online. You may not share the same taste in everything, but now’s the time to start meshing together your styles. Also, be open-minded: it goes a long way.

4. DO register at your favorite stores… even HANDMADE!

Many stores now have registries – even online-only stores (like Amazon.com). If you want to register for handmade items (like in The Marketplace), we recommend using Amazon’s Wish List which enables you to add ANY item you see to a wish list guests can download. It links up to your toolbar and you can add an item from ANY site. It’s truly amazing. And FREE! (I even use it myself.)

5. DON’T register for something unless you’re going to keep it.

Guests want to give a gift you’ll keep (and enjoy). Don’t register for a gift you don’t like only to return it later. And, most importantly, have fun picking out items (and opt for a few fun items you wouldn’t normally buy yourself). Don’t register for items you feel necessary because it’s your wedding, if you already know you’ll probably never use it (like fine china – unless you really, really want it).

6. DON’T check the registry list before the shower…

… unless you a) don’t mind ruining the surprise, or b) simply can’t wait. It’s more fun to open gifts without knowing what’s inside, so if you can save the excitement for the shower. Plus, many people buy gifts at the last minute… so you won’t have an accurate list anyway. ;)

7. DO show your appreciation for shipped items at your shower.

Last but not least… many gifts will be shipped from the registry store straight to your home. If you’re planning to bring the gift to the shower – great! If not, be sure to spend a few minutes mentioning any gifts received to your home and thanking guests publicly. Also, if you want to REALLY show your appreciation, snap a photo of you opening the gift at home and print + mail to the gift giver (or send a digital photo via email) with a thank you. It’ll mean a lot to them knowing you liked the gift and they’ll also rest assured knowing the gift arrived in time (and in one piece).


What wedding registry tips would you add to the list?

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Happy Planning!


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Emma Arendoski

CEO/Editor at Emmaline Bride
Blogger, author, wife + mother. I love coffee, DIY, handmade + all things wedding. Check out my books: "The Handcrafted Wedding" (2012) and "The Inspired Wedding" (2014). You can also find me blogging at Emmaline Baby.
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  • H

    One more tip:
    Bring water! You get so thirsty walking around. I had read that one on another blog post and was SO glad I had brought one when my fiance and I registered. It might be a pain to carry around, but it’s a pretty important thing to bring :)

  • Emily

    We decided to make something fun.. Got something we would love but kind of a funny thing to give as a gift for a wedding. We decided that we would make a game out of it. If someone got us this certain item they win a prize! For example at one store we picked a globe and they will get a 10$ gift certificate to target. Not letting the guest know just makes it a fun game for me and my fiancé. Just something to make it interesting.. At another store we chose
    post-it notes.. Something we will use but still a weird gift! :-) in short… Really have fun with it!! :-D it should be exciting! It should be fun! Pick something fun, not just things you need! Things you’d like to have too..

  • Elizabeth

    Be sure to look over the list BEFORE you leave the store. My mother-in-law got a nasty shock when the potholders that we registered for came up as newborn baby rompers!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Elizabeth, GREAT point. Wow, I can imagine! :)

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Sarah, Great point!

  • Madeline

    How many stores should we register at? I don’t want to overwhelm my guests with too many choices, but I also want to give them options.

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride


      Great question! I would recommend you register with at least two stores; no more than three. Two stores gives your guests places to shop without overwhelming them (or you, while you register!)

      Let me know if you have any additional questions. I’m happy to help!


  • Ashley

    When do you start registering? Do you register before your Engagement party or do people just bring random congratulation gifts? I have seen both ways!

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Hi Ashley!

      Ideally you’ll want to register about seven to nine months before your wedding. No, you do not need to register before your engagement party. People typically bring gifts that aren’t from the registry. I hope it helps!

      Thanks for stopping by-


  • Mel

    To make it for fun for my fiance, I gave him the gun. I think most men get pretty excited at the thought of shooting things with lasers.

    • Sarah

      this made me laugh out loud. I’m sure my fiance would enjoy that.. thanks for the tip :)

  • http://bit.ly/10AJiua Deidrinelle

    Hello, bride to bes!

    My fiance and I asked for our own guns so that we weren’t limited; while we were together most of the time, it was nice to be able to venture off and scan, and then come back together again to talk about what we scanned. It is definitely tiring but we made it enjoyable!

  • Amy

    Thank you for responding so quickly, your advice is very helpful. I am super excited and I want him to have fun too.

    A very excited bride,

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride


      You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by! :)


  • Amy

    I am going to register with my Fiancé; do you have any tips for me about how to make it fun for him?

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Hi Amy!

      I think the best advice is to be open-minded and shop together. Listen to what he wants and learn to compromise on styles. If he’s passionate about one area of the home (like cooking or barware), let him pick out most of the items from that area. I think registering is most fun when the couple picks out things they love together.

      Hope it helps (+ have fun!)


  • http://bendertblanchette.ourwedding.com Rachel

    Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you want!

    When I did my registry at Bed Bath and Beyond, the sales consultant was very helpful… almost too helpful. My fiance (who is a professional chef) and my mother were with me, so we had it under control, but the woman wouldn’t give us the price gun for over an hour and a half. I didn’t stand up and say that we knew what we wanted and didn’t need help, and my registry at that store took over three and a half hours!

    Stand up for what you want (or sometimes DON’T want!) and you’ll be happier in the end.

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Great tip, Rachel! Knowing what you want and standing up for it is so important. Thanks so much for sharing!


  • Alexis

    As a former registry consultant, don’t register at more than 2 places because you won’t get everything you want because you’ve spread things out too much for your guests. Also if you return something and get a store credit, use it for something else that you wish you had registered for, don’t buy a Chanel handbag. When Aunt Mary comes over and wonders why you don’t have the plate set she bought you but you have a shiny new handbag, well that can get awkward.

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Great advice, Alexis!

  • Rachel

    *Ask lots of questions! The sales people are there to help you!

    I used to work for Bed Bath & Beyond as a bridal consultant; often I would find that brides and grooms would get stressed because they didnt know what set of cookware (for example) that they should pick because they didnt really know the difference OR they would pick something based on price and it wouldnt really be what was best suited for their needs. Sales people often have a lot of product knowledge (or are willing to get someone to help you if they dont know) so dont be afraid to ask questions and make sure you are getting exactly what you want/need!

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride


      Thanks so much for your comment! Great point! I agree – salespeople have tons of knowledge and have seen plenty of registries, so asking questions is definitely a great idea. Thanks for stopping by!


  • http://www.weddingrepublic.com Lindsay

    I loved that you mentioned DO register together as a couple!

    Many times we forget to include our partners (mainly the men in our lives) mostly because we are sure he will be bored out of his mind registry shopping!

    This is not the case – and the men in your life will LOVE to see something a bit more manly on your registry!

    How about something like a power dril??

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Yes, Lindsay – absolutely! Items for the home (like a power drill, as mentioned) are all fair game for the registry.

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • NaDell Ransom

      My husband registered for a plastic Powerpuff Girls plate. He was so excited when we opened gifts and that was in there! (He likes cartoons a lot.)
      We’ve used the plate many, many times with three girls as well.