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What Is A Wedding Registry?

March 5th, 2018
What Is A Wedding Registry?

In a digital age where everything is available at our fingertips, a wedding registry shouldn’t be any different.

Although the traditional in-store, gun-scanning wedding registries are still around, there’s a variety of online tools and services available to help organize and streamline the wedding registry process. We’ve taken our most frequently asked questions and created a modern wedding registry guide to ensure you get the most out of your experience.

What Is A Wedding Registry?

A wedding registry is a list of gifts that an engaged couple wants or needs to start their married lives together. It’s put together by the engaged couple, and is available to make gift-giving easier for guests and loved ones. Wedding registries traditionally include anything from bed sheets, dinnerware, home decor, and everything in between. Every couple’s registry is different, of course—and it all depends on what items they may need for their home.

Nowadays, however, it’s common for registries to include non-physical gifts, like experience cash funds—like your honeymoon—for example. Wedding registries are a fantastic way for your loved ones to help you start married life off on the right foot. And believe us—close friends and family truly want to give you a great wedding gift.

Evaluate Your Needs

Perhaps you’re a young couple just beginning a new life together in a new home. Or you’re getting remarried as career-seasoned adults and really don’t need many physical gifts. What if your heart is set on giving back to your favorite charity on your big day? Or your finances are tight and you could really just use some cash for a home down payment? No matter your circumstances, modern wedding registries look beyond tradition and can be customized to fit exactly what you need. Sit down with your partner and evaluate your needs versus wants, prioritize, and decide which gifts could use the help of your loved ones.

How Soon Should You Register?

It’s understandable to feel a little uncomfortable when asking for gifts. We’ve discovered that some find it’s the most fun part of the wedding process. The good news? You can start as early as you want to! Most online registries give you the option to password protect or keep your registry private until you are ready to share it. That way you can have time to build a registry of gifts you actually need versus just rushing through it. Either way works, it just depends on—you guessed it—timing.

Give yourself enough time to decide what gifts you want and to plan. We recommend doing this at least four to six months before the wedding. The sooner you have your registry set up, the longer your guests have to get you the gifts you want. Think about Uncle Henry who may not be able to make it to the wedding, but wants to send you a gift in time for the big day. Appropriate notice and planning isn’t just considerate, it’s important for guests, too.

Consider The Price Tags

Depending on how close you are to the guest, the amount they spend on a gift will change. On average, guests will spend between $71-$147, with close family spending on the higher-end. It’s important to—without going overboard—have enough gifts on your registry to accommodate any budget. It’s unreasonable to assume everyone will have the means to splurge on a gift. Consider including plenty of smaller $40 to $60 items to your registry. Compile small items like kitchen utensils, throw pillows, or a Target gift card—along with bigger ticket items for those that can spend a little more.

Not every will have a ton of cash to blow on a wedding gift—don’t forget about them!

What Should You Register For?

We live in an exciting time where you’re no longer required to stick to traditional wedding gifts—does anyone need a bread-maker? Although Grams may put up a fight and get you that blender anyway, it’s now completely acceptable to register for non-traditional wedding gifts, like a honeymoon fund, a romantic dinner for two, donations to your favorite charity, and even a home improvement fund or gift cards.


For bigger ticket gifts, Blueprint offers group gifting—Learn more here!

Although there’s a little etiquette involved, thanks to the rise of crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, registering for cash gifts is far less uncouth than it used to be even five years ago. If you already have everything you need in your household, then a honeymoon fund or a charitable cause are fantastic ways for your guests to contribute to your special day. Don’t skip the registry entirely—trust us. Aunt Lucy will be pretty peeved if she can’t gift you something on your wedding day, however big or small.

As for how many gifts to register for, it’s best practice to have a robust registry with several types of gifts and price points. Don’t go overboard, though! There’s no magic number of gifts for a perfect registry, but there are a couple places you can start:

  • Think about how many guests you’re planning to invite. If you’re having a small wedding of 60 people, it’s probably not the best idea to have 300 gifts on your registry. You should register for more gifts than you’ll have guests, however. We recommend a 1:1.5 ratio (# of guests x 1.5)
  • Think about your guests individually. You know them best, so you should have an idea of what they’d be able to spend. Also think about what stores (physical or online) they would have access to.

Have Fun With It!

Putting together a great wedding registry takes a lot of thought, but it should be aspirational and fun, too. Personalize descriptions and make it personal because guests are more likely to buy if you do. It’s a great time to have a heart-to-heart with your partner about your needs, but don’t be afraid to be playful with gifts, either. After all, it’s your big day—you call the shots!

Need a little registry inspiration? Check out our sample registries and our list of the best retailers—all of which can be added to your master Blueprint wedding registry. It’s never too early to prep for thank you cards, either.

Let’s get started—Sign up for your Blueprint wedding registry now!


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