Friday, August 18, 2017

inspiration (wedding): Registry Guide

Apart from marrying my best friend and a much-needed honeymoon vacation, the registry is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding.  After years in apartments thousands of miles away, my fiance and I are looking forward to building a place of our own with new home goods and furnishings.  Especially when you're combining the items of two households, you quickly learn what you need, what you want, and what you have space for (especially in a small apartment).  While we're far from close to a finished registry, whether you're buying from a registry or adding to one, here are a few suggestions from what I've learned so far: 

What to Pick (Bride/Groom)

How much room do you have?  How much space do you have on and in your counters, cabinets, and closets?  As exciting as it is to add "all the things" especially when it's free of charge, consider the space in your house or apartment.  It may be tempting to add all of your dream items; however, if those items are not compatible with your current living space you may end up with more than you can handle.  In our immediate future, we'll be cooking just for two, most likely in a modest apartment; we expect to do little to no entertaining with a medical student and resident schedule.  We also value coming home to cook and live in a space that's functional and not crowded in the free time we do have.  Considering this we've decided to wait to get the formal dining sets and serving trays until we have the need, in a larger place with a larger family.

Is this something I currently use?  If you don't use it now, don't buy it just because it's free.  Save the "gift money" for things you actually need.

Is this something I would buy?  Registries are a great time to upgrade appliances.  However, beware of the temptation to go crazy buying gadgets and random products.  If you would buy it now, but it's currently a stretch for your wallet, add it!  If you like the idea of it but probably wouldn't buy it or never thought of it, I would pass!  How likely are you to really need that pineapple corer?

Include items at a variety of price points.  Another option is to add items that come in sets, listing them as separate items.  Depending on what it is some sets can be expensive; this will allow guests to buy you exactly what you want no matter what their budget without feeling bad.

What to Buy (Guest)

How much do I spend?  However much you have.  My parents have always set an example that weddings are a time to be generous, to be a blessing as the bride and groom start a new life together.  At the same time, spending money is personal.  The same way I don't advocate spending money you don't have for yourself, outside of emergencies, I don't believe in spending it for someone else either.  If you're in a pinch, I think a good rule is at least the estimated cost of your seat at the reception.  But it also depends on the item's they've added.  You can always make things easier on yourself by buying a single, higher priced item.  But you can also purchase several lower priced items or go in with several people to buy a big-ticket item they really want.

Stick to the registry? Unless you're giving the couple money or a surprise vacation, I don't recommend going off the registry.  They've most likely put good thought into what they need, what they don't, and what they have room for.  Yes, they can always return it but that only creates more work for them.  On the occasion that you really want to get the couple something "off registry" but don't know if they would want or could use it, just ask!  The whole idea of the registry is that the couple already knows what they are getting, so resist the temptation to want it to be a surprise like a birthday or Christmas present.  Focus on what they want and could use.

Bring the gift to the wedding?  Most places that offer registries allow you to ship the item free of charge to the couple.  Most couples spend the wedding night in a hotel.  Many leave for their honeymoon quite soon afterward.  Bringing the gifts creates another task for them to coordinate, having to figure out how to get them home after the reception.  Depending on the size of the gifts and the amount, organizing several cars may be involved.  At the same time, I recommend checking with the couple first to see what works best for them.  Some people live in a place that allows packages to be kept safely, while others live at a place where packages are left at the front door; this can create another potential problem with delivery complications or even theft. 

Whether you are creating a wedding registry or buying from a registry, I recommend checking out the registry website Zola.  While we'll be sticking with the popular registry retailers for the universal ease and convenience of all our guests, Zola is a great tool for special items and trips.  They have a special browser add-on feature that allows you to add items from any online retailer to a registry, which will be great for small shops and others that don't offer registry options.  As medical students thousands of miles away, my fiance and I were determined to make everything about the wedding planning process as stress-free as possible.  Zola is another option for those who want to organize items from multiple websites into one place eliminating the need for the fun but time-consuming in store registry process.  

You'll find many different opinions on how to approach this topic.  Ultimately, you should go with what works best for you, but here are a few more suggestions from Zola that can help make this process easier for you!

I was not paid for this endorsement; all opinions are my own.  I just learned about this service, and it's become another great resource for me that I wanted to share with my fellow brides and grooms to be!   Checking another item off the wedding planning list!    

Do you have any other registry tips or tools? Share them below! 



  1. the concept of a registry has always been so odd to me, so this was an interesting read

    1. Yeah, I feel like it would be easier if we had a home or knew where we will be staying for the next few years. Then you have to wait to get it lol I'm grateful for anything we don't have to pay for but it's easier to shop on your own.


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