Should you register for wedding gifts?

Wedding Registries: Should You Have One?

Should you register for wedding gifts?

Have you ever been invited to a wedding, but you didn’t know what kind of gift to give the bride and groom? If so, a wedding registry would have come in handy. But there can be mixed feelings about gift registries. So if you’re a soon-to-be bride, should you set one up? Let’s look at some reasons this can be a good idea, as well as some situations when you might want to think twice.

What is a Wedding Registry?

A wedding registry is basically just a list of items you would like to receive as your wedding gifts. They’re often run on a store-by-store basis, and as a guest purchases an item from your registry, it’s removed so others don’t buy you the same thing.

Benefits of Wedding Registries

Bride registering for gifts
Bride registering for gifts - Credit:

There are a number of benefits in having a wedding registry. For example:

  • Guests know what you’d like without each of them having to ask you for gift ideas individually.
  • Guests won’t buy duplicate gifts (which means you don’t have the awkward situation of having to return someone’s gift while keeping the one from another person).
  • Some stores let you and your future spouse get a discount on items you register for if they aren’t purchased by your guests.
  • Registries allow you and your partner to keep control over the design of your place and the items you plan to use on a regular basis (in other words, gifts can be coordinated even if the gift givers have never met).
  • You can register with multiple stores (with different items at each store). That can make things more accessible if guests don’t have your ideal store near them.

When Not to Set up a Wedding Registry

While there are plenty of good reasons to set up a wedding registry, there are also a few situations where they can be a “not so good” idea. Sometimes that means you’re better off skipping registries altogether, and sometimes it just means you should weed out a specific registry option. Here are some examples:

  • You’re having a destination wedding or you’re eloping, and you aren’t inviting people to your wedding. If you don’t invite people, you shouldn’t be asking them for gifts. An exception is if you plan to have a later reception after the main event (although it’s a good idea to let people know about that before they get registry information — otherwise it can come across as off-putting and incredibly rude).
  • You’re on your second (or third, fourth, or whatever) wedding. In this case there’s nothing wrong with registering for simple gifts. But you probably don’t need as much as a first-time bride and in some families it’s considered rude. After all, they already gave you a gift the first time around, and wedding gifts aren’t supposed to be a recurring thing. On the other hand, if you know your family and friends want to give gifts anyway, a registry is often appreciated because it gives them ideas.
  • When it comes to specific registries, don’t set up a registry just because you love a certain store. If very few people on your guest list have access to that store, your registry can become a huge inconvenience for them. While you might assume they can place orders online, many in-store items (the ones you pick from when registering) aren’t available on a company’s website. In this case, give people options that they can actually work with. And if you still insist on that hard-to-find store registry, make gift cards an option or offer alternatives.

So should you have a wedding registry? For most brides, the answer is “yes.” But in some situations, families, or cultures they aren’t a great idea. In the end, it’s your wedding and you can do whatever you’d like. Just understand how certain actions might be received by your guests before you commit to them.

Did you have a wedding registry? What registry-related tips would you give brides and their future husbands?

Written by
Jennifer Mattern
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