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The 7 Rules of Wedding Registry Etiquette

March 6th, 2018
The 7 Rules of Wedding Registry Etiquette

Wedding registries should be exciting and fun, and a lot of couples look forward to this step in the wedding planning process. But before you get trigger happy with your mouse or scanner gun, there is some etiquette to be aware of when putting together your wedding registry. We’ve made it super easy to remember our top 7 rules of wedding registry etiquette—Just remember: 

The 7 Rules of Wedding Registry Etiquette


Where will you register? 🤔

Early in your engagement 💍

Diversify your registry 📚

Don’t share on invitations ✉

Individualize & add personal touches ✍

Not registering is no fun 🙅‍♀️

Get those thank you cards out ASAP! 💌

Where Will You Register?

First off, it’s important to decide where you want to register. Traditionally, when couples were exclusively registering in-store, etiquette stated that you should stick to no more than 4 stores. With online registries, however, there is a little more flexibility on the number of retailers. There will always be more traditional guests, however, that prefer to buy gifts in-store. Make sure you register with retailers that guests will have physical access to. For example, don’t register from Bloomingdales if there isn’t a physical store near a number of your guests. Similarly, don’t register exclusively for honeymoon cash gifts if you know your relatives will want to buy you physical gifts for your new home.

Early In Your Engagement

It’s okay to register as soon as you’re engaged! Starting a registry early means that you and your partner will evaluate your wants and needs early and give yourselves enough time to compile the perfect registry to share with your loved ones. Equally as important, this also allows guests to take their time searching through your registry to get you a gift they’re proud of. Wedding gift-giving is personal, so don’t force your guests to rush through the process. Remember: you can add a password or make your registry private so no one can see your work in progress.

Diversify Your Registry

Just like a financial portfolio, include an array of gifts across price points and types. If they’re the things you need and want, include the traditional household items (your more traditional guests will thank you!). Don’t be afraid to branch out, however—think about mixing things up with subscriptions (think Netflix and Blue Apron), experiences (couple’s massage, sport’s tickets, etc.), and even cash gifts (honeymoon fund, home improvement fund). Online registries make it easy to have all of these kinds of gifts and retailers in one place, too. Don’t forget to vary prices or opt for group gifting for more expensive gifts, and to register for enough gifts. Not every guest has the budget to gift you extravagantly and there should be enough options for everyone.

Don’t Share Your Registry On Invitations

Once you’ve created your wedding website, have a page on the site dedicated to your registry, and allow close friends and family—like the bridal party!— spread information via word of mouth. Registry information can also be listed on bridal shower invitations, for example.

Individualize + Add Personal Touches

We’ve found that guests are more likely to buy from your registry when it’s more personal, as opposed to any ol’ item. Add a personal note to your guests to thank them for supporting you on your big day, and if you can, edit descriptions in custom cash gifts with your voice and tone. For a honeymoon cash gift, for example, you could say, “Help contribute to our scuba diving lessons so we don’t get lost in the coral reefs of Fiji.” Have fun with it!

Not Registering Is No Fun

A big mistake couples make it not registering for their wedding at all. Registering, to some, comes off as greedy. In fact, couples can often forget that loved ones are excited for this monumental life event and want to contribute to it. Even if you decide a traditional gift registry isn’t the right thing for you as a couple, there are other contributions guests can make on your registry. This is an excellent situation to think about having cash gifts or experiences on your registry. You can set up a cash fund to donate to your favorite charitable cause, or include local experiences from ifOnly and Enjoy Wishlist. We do recommend, however, to include a few physical gifts to appease the traditional guests.

Get Those Thank You Cards Out Asap!

It’s a known wedding registry rumor that you have up to a year after your wedding to send out thank you cards. No matter what you hear through the grapevine, do not wait a whole year before getting those thank you cards out. Yes, they’re tedious and yes, they take time and effort, but waiting too long to send out thank you cards is pretty uncool. More than that, your guests will notice and they will remember. With online registries helping you track gifts purchased, there really is no excuse.



Wedding registry etiquette is important because the last thing you want is to leave a poor taste in your guests mouth because of something you did or didn’t do. By remembering W·E·D·D·I·N·G, you’re sure to knock your registry out of the park.

Want to get moving, but don’t know where to start? Check out our beginner’s guide to wedding gift inspiration and the dos and don’ts of wedding registries for a list of tips and tricks throughout the life of your registry.


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