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Wooden kitchen utensils on wedding registry

Creating Your Wedding Registry

Congratulations to the happy couple on your engagement! Now you get to go on a shopping spree for yourself, and let your friends and family pick up the bill! 

Without a little prior planning, you and your fiancé are likely to walk into a store and quickly feel overwhelmed by all the options, and you may feel fuzzy on what items you need, and which ones you should skip. 

Or, where do you even go registry shopping in the first place? Should you walk around a brick and mortar store and select items, do an all online version, or a combination of the two? Which web platform should you use?

We hope that by sharing some of our wedding planning expertise on the subject we will save you time, since we’ve done the research for you, and we’ve put all our wisdom in one spot. We hope this one-stop spot will have all the info you need to help decide WHERE to set up your registry, WHAT to include on it, HOW to make it your own, and BEST practices.

Let’s get started!

Kitchen stand mixer and wooden utensils
Stack of colorful pillows

Our Favorite Consolidated Registry Platforms

Many couples are choosing registry platforms that are consolidated, meaning you can have bring all your registry items to one website, regardless of which store sells the item. These sites also allow for creative giving options, like creating cash funds for couples to put money towards whatever is most needed, whether it be honeymoon, or a down payment on a house.

These creative giving options can also allow for couples to point guests toward small businesses or handmade items, allowing for more unique items to be given by your guests. Sometimes, this can yield items that aren’t as curated, but if it’s important to the couple to value small businesses and personal touches, this may be a fun way to go.

Here are a few suggestions or consolidated registry platforms with features that may be notable as you choose where to register.

Blueprint

Joy

Blueprint allows for you to add gifts from any online retailer and import existing registries, making it simple to consolidate your dream items into one place. You can also add custom cash funds to allow guests to give directly towards your honeymoon costs, home purchase, or anything else you can imagine.

Joy allows you to create a universal registry by shopping directly on Joy, or on your favorite stores. This hub allows guests to come to one place to find all your registry items, and they offer a 20% discount after the wedding towards any remaining items on your registry.

My Registry

Amazon

This website allows you to have a manageable list of items and to keep the perks from partners like Target, Amazon, and Macy’s. The simplicity of a saved shipping address makes it easy for guests to send gifts right to you. 

Since many of your guests are likely subscribers to Amazon Prime, having an Amazon registry can be simple and familiar to many people, plus their selection of items is vast. 

Desk and computer setup for engaged couple

Advice for Registry Success

Choose 3 Tiers

When you register, we recommend choosing 3 tiers of stores so your guests can choose their price range – with one at a lower price point, one in the middle, and one more high end/luxury. We also suggest you have shipping and online options available for your guests if some of them will be coming to your wedding from hours away, or even a plane ride. Without online options, you may have guests who have no choice but to choose their own gifts for you, which can always be a crapshoot!

Choose Neutrals...Unless

Unless you have a clear design vision and know where you’ll be living, we recommend neutrals. Neutrals will allow for flexilibyt in a variety of living situations, and if you want to add color or patterns, you can do that with other decor as you go. For example, I (Jana) registered for a red Kitchen Aid mixer, but now that I’m 10 years out from our wedding, our design aesthetic has changed, and red is no longer a color we use in our home decor, yet it sits on my counter nonetheless. Consider neutrals, unless you’re absolutely sure!

Kitchen baking tools in neutrals and woods

Items You Must Remember

Our friends at Magnolia Vine Events created a Wedding Guide that laid out the basics of your registry. This is a great place to start! We added a few tweaks of our own, and we suggest you add a TON of tweaks of your own. Your registry should be unique to you as a couple, should reflect your interests, your design preferences, your passions, and your aesthetic. Your registry should also consider your life stage – have you already lived together? Is this your second marriage? What items do you actually need, and what categories can you skip over altogether? You and your fiancé get to make these decisions together to make sure that your registry is thorough and helpful for beginning your married life together, and you get to decide what needs adding and subtracting.

Kitchen

  

  • Everyday dishes
  • Everyday bowls
  • Everyday flatware
  • Everyday wine glasses
  • Everyday rocks glasses
  • Bar tools set
  • Pots and pans set 
  • Knife block
  • Measuring tools
  • Cutting boards
  • Dish towels
  • Mixing bowls
  • Rimmed baking sheets
  • Baking dishes

Bedroom

  • 2 sets of sheets
  • Duvet or comforter
  • Decorative pillows
  • Nightstand accessories
  • Lamps
  • Pillows

Bathroom

  • 4 sets of towels
  • Bath accessories

Dining/Specialty

  • Linen napkins, placemats, tablecloths, runners
  • Wedding china dishes
  • Wedding china bowls
  • Wedding china platters and serving pieces
  • Wedding crystal water glasses
  • Wedding crystal wine glasses
  • Wedding crystal champagne glasses
  • Entertaining pieces, like platters, cheese knives, punch bowl
  • Holiday items like Christmas china or decor 

** A Note on China: 

Many couples choose to invest their gift energy into everyday dishware rather than traditional wedding china, but we would leave this choice up to you. We find that many couples use china so rarely that it isn’t worth adding to the registry. However, if getting wedding china brings you joy and you WOULD enjoy using it on special occasions (or regularly!), then by all means! Go for it!

Apartment with florals and neutrals in bedroom

Ways to Make Your Registry Unique & Fun

Here’s the part we love. When it’s time to create your registry, it is SO important that you have fun putting together your wish list with your partner, and it’s important to include items that are unique and personal to you! We’d encourage you to dream bigger: whether if it would be items to encourage a hobby you both love, decor for an outdoor living space, supplies for camping, or favorite board games – here are some additional categories to get the juices flowing.

Camping Supplies

Entertainment

Outdoor Living Spaces

Do you and your fiance love exploring outside together, and have you gone camping together? This could be a great time to gather supplies like a tent, sleeping bags and mats, fire supplies, outdoor chairs, and hiking gear.

This could be a great time to put some goofy stuff on your registry like streaming subscriptions, favorite DVDs, records or record players, or even video game supplies – these gifts could be fun for some guests to purchase, and fun for you!

Consider gathering items for outdoor recreation and entertaining! These could include bigger-ticket items like a Solo Stove, decor like furniture and outdoor pillows and rugs, hammocks, or yard games.

Games

Tools, Etc.

Hobby & Art Supplies

Classics like chess, darts, or Monopoly, all the way up to strategy games like Azul, Dominion and Seven Wonders – might as well fill up your game closet from your dearest friends and family!

Since you’re building your home, this can be a smart time to gather needed tools like a handheld drill, tool box, or other supplies like extension cords. For some handy or practical guests, they may jump at the chance to buy these staples for you.

Do you and your fiance love creating art together? Do you have the desire to begin a new hobby, like disc golf, biking, painting, or woodworking? Consider adding some supplies to help facilitate your hobbies together.

Cozy lady in a hammock - idea for wedding registry item

Enjoy it!

But when it comes down to it, it’s most important to have a blast with your finace as you make your wish list together. This is your life you’re starting, after all! No sense in stressing – really, this is such a privilege to be able to create a wish list for your friends and family to step in with the bill. You are making it simpler for your guests to get gifts that are just right for you, and you get to dream with your partner about your life ahead. Sounds pretty good to me!

Wisconsin Wedding Planner

Once your registry is underway, then it's time to start planning! That's where we come in. We are your experienced Wisconsin wedding planners with nearly 15 years of wedding experience, and we are ready to help you bring your wedding vision to life.