Creating your wedding registry is one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding. Yet somehow it can also feel like the most stressful! Figuring out the which dinnerware to get or how many wine glasses you’ll actually need can get a bit overwhelming. Which is why it helps to start researching the best wedding registry ideas early on!
- Where to Register
- How to Set Up a Wedding Registry
- Where to Include Your Wedding Registry Info
- What to Register For: The Best Wedding Registry Ideas
First things first, there are a few wedding registry basics you’ll want to know before starting. In this article we’re bringing you expert advice on where to register, how many products to add to your wedding registry, and which ones you should actually choose. Hopefully these wedding registry ideas will help you get exactly what you need (and what you want!).
Where to Register
Figuring out where to register is honestly the hardest part. It used to be that there were only a handful of stores to register at, and you would just choose one or two. But now there are what feels like a gazillion MORE stores, plus online-only registries like Zola, Amazon, Wayfair, and The Knot. There are also online honeymoon registries to consider if you’re less about physical gifts and more about creating a honeymoon or cash fund. (See our picks for the best honeymoon registries.)
Also Read: Our best wedding dance songs for 2021
Having tested out all the major wedding registries, we’ve included a list of our favorite ones, below, along with notes on why we love them:
Zola has a really great selection of curated products, and you can also create a honeymoon or cash fund. Plus, if you use Zola for your wedding website, it’s super easy to incorporate your wedding registry on it. Other perks include:
- Free wedding websites
- Matching Save the Dates and wedding invites
- Guest list manager
- Add gifts from any online store
- Cash and honeymoon fund options
- Price matching
- Free shipping/returns
- 20% off remaining registry products after your wedding
The latest offering from The Knot now makes it easier than ever to use their platform for basically everything wedding related. You can now create a Knot wedding registry and add from their large selection of products. (Wayfair is their main supplier, so you can expect a similar choice of items.) You can also choose to create a cash or honeymoon fund, as well as participate in their charity program, which gives 3% from select gifts to a charity of your choice. Other perks include:
- Cash funds
- The Knots Gift back charity program
- Free shipping/free returns
- Add registries from 20 partner sites, including Wayfair, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target.
Already have everything you need when it comes to homewares? Consider a fund to help you pay for your honeymoon or even a home down payment. Honeyfund is one of the most trusted honeymoon registry sites, and features some of the best free and paid options. Guests contribute to your fund via credit or debit card, and you can choose to have the funds deposited directly into your bank account or Paypal (fees range from 2.4%-2.9% + $0.30 per transaction), or you can redeem all your cash with a gift card for no extra fees. Other perks include:
- “Starter Registries” will help you create a honeymoon fund for several popular honeymoons, such as a Hawaiian vacation or African Safari.
- Immediate access to gift funds
- Travel deals and perks from select partners
If you’d rather register with a traditional store that has physical locations, we recommend picking 2-3. Or you can do a combination, and register with an online choice like Zola or The Knot, and add one or two in-store registries to those. For instance, my husband and I registered at Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, and Macy’s. Those are still great picks, as are a Walmart, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, or a Target wedding registry.
How to Set Up a Wedding Registry
Now that you’ve figured out WHERE you want to register, the fun part begins! You can set up your wedding registry as soon as you get engaged (just in case family and friends want to send you an engagement gift), or have it ready right before you send out your Save the Dates.
Next, you’ll want to sit down with your partner and decide what you need, as well as what style you like best. For instance, are you more into brightly colored Le Creuset pots, or is a copper cookware set more your thing? The beauty is it’s completely up to the two of you! The only gifts you’ll want to avoid registering for is anything that isn’t for the both of you, like shoes and clothes or anything else that’s too personal.
Then, make a list of items you want to add to your home, as well as those you want to upgrade. It’s best to do this room by room, or in the case of your kitchen or dining room, cabinet by cabinet. We’ll go into more details about our favorite wedding registry ideas for each of these rooms, below, but when it comes to your list, this is a good blueprint:
Wedding Registry Checklist
- Dining Room
- Living Room
- Entertaining (Games, etc.)
- Home Upkeep/Misc. (Tools, etc.)
- Travel/Camping Gear
- Experiences (IE: Cooking class for two) or honeymoon plans if registering for a cash fund option
Editor’s Tip: Not sure how many gifts to register for? Plan on 1-2 per invited guest. So if your guest count is 125, you should register for between 125-250 gifts.
When you’re thinking about gifts you want, be sure to include a wide range of prices. You know your guests best, but having high/low options will help guests find something that works for their budget. Bottom line? Aim to have an array of gifts between $50-$250+. For gifts over $300, we also recommend using the “Group Gift” option if your wedding registry offers it. This will allow guests to contribute any amount they want towards the gift. Or if someone wants to buy it themselves, they can do that, too!
Where to Include Your Wedding Registry Info
The best place to let guests know where you’re registered is on your wedding website. You can have a wedding registry section with links to your registry (or if you’re registered with sites like Zola or The Knot, you have the option to embed your registry directly onto your wedding website, which is a huge plus).
You can add registry info (or ideally website url) on your bridal shower invitation and Save the Date, however one place you DO NOT want to add it is on your wedding invitation. Ever.
If you’re worried about older relatives not being able to access your wedding website, you can have your family or friends relay your wedding registry information to them as well.
What to Register For
Now for the fun stuff…picking our your wedding gifts! Using the wedding registry checklist above, we’ve include ideas for every room of your home (and even outside your home!). From your kitchen to your patio, we love these wedding registry ideas.
Kitchen Wedding Registry Ideas
One might argue that this is one of the most important kitchen tools you’ll use. We’re not saying you shouldn’t register for a stand mixer (you should!) but a food processor can make everything from bread dough to pesto. We registered for a Cuisinart food processor and still love it.
Yes, you should probably get a complete cookware set. (We like All-Clad.) But the biggest workhorse in your kitchen will most likely be a Dutch Oven. We make soup, pasta, stews, roasts, and basically everything else with our 7-quart Staub.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a wine connoisseur, you’ll want one of these. Not only can you can keep your white and red wines at the perfect temperature, but it will encourage you to buy wines that need to age a few years before you can drink them (since you know they’ll finally be stored properly). Just make sure you measure your space for the right fit, then check out this list of the best wine refrigerators to find the right match.
A dull set of knives will ruin just about any meal. While you should consider registering for a complete knife block set, we’re also fans of starter sets like this Shun 3-piece collection.
Tabletop Wedding Registry Ideas
We’re a fan of mixing everyday dinnerware with more eclectic patterns of bone china, which is super resilient. Our advice? Don’t be afraid to use it everyday! Most china (even the very expensive brands) are dishwasher safe. However some finishes (like those with gold or metallic) can’t go in the microwave, so be sure to check first.
Editor’s Tip: Depending on how much entertaining you plan on doing, you’ll want to register for 6-12 place settings. If you have small dinner parties, 8 place settings is a great place to start. Same goes for glassware and flatware.
When it comes to glassware, you’ll want to start off with the basics:
- Wine glasses (red, white, and champagne)
- Water glasses (or tumblers)
- Juice glasses
- Rocks glasses (also called an Old Fashioned glass)
From there you can add speciality glasses like Nick and Nora glasses (popular for cocktails), whiskey glasses, highball glasses, etc.
Avoid going too trendy with your flatware…you want something that will age well and goes with everything! Fortessa makes really great flatware for a good price, and you can register for it at most big-name stores.
Don’t underestimate what nice quality napkins can do for a place setting! We’re a fan of linen, which you can easily dress up or down depending on the occasion. The Mason oversized linen napkins from Pottery Barn are our top pick.
If you’re a fan of cocktails, you’ll want a good setup for a home bar. Must-haves include:
- Cocktail shaker (start off with the easier Cobbler style, and as you get more comfortable you can try a Boston shaker).
- Mixing glass and spoon. Bartenders say the perfect mixing glass size is 18.5 oz. or larger.
- Cocktail strainer (this one from OXO is consistently voted the best).
- Jigger for measuring (most bartenders prefer a Japanese style, which has a 1 oz. and 2 oz side). This one from Cocktail Kingdom is perfect.
Electronic Wedding Registry Ideas
Smart Home Devices:
Whether you use Google Home or Amazon Alexa to control everything from your lights to your thermostat, your wedding registry is the perfect time to get a complete setup. And don’t forget your sound system!
Every home should have a good vacuum, but they’re not cheap. Which is why you should consider making it one of your group gifts. The Dyson Cordless Stick Vacuum is seriously amazing (we use ours almost daily). But if we were to splurge even more, I would consider getting an iRobot Roomba.
Bedroom/Bathroom Wedding Registry Ideas
I’m still on the hunt for the perfect set of cozy sheets, but I think I’ve come close with Boll & Branch as well as Cozy Earth’s Bamboo sheets. While you’re at it, don’t forget the pillows! I found these Nest pillows earlier in the year and I’m hooked.
Editor’s Tip: For sheets and towels, you’ll want to register for 2 sets per bed/bathroom.
As with sheets, your wedding registry is the perfect time to upgrade what you already have. We’ve tried A LOT of towels, and while some online reviews might say otherwise, I still think the best ones are the 802-gram Turkish towels from Restoration Hardware.
Patio/Backyard Wedding Registry Ideas
It’s easy to forget your backyard when registering, but it’s a great opportunity to get some splurge-worthy essentials like a grill! For those with a patio or smaller backyard, this electric grill from Kenyon is made of marine-grade stainless steel and can work indoors or outdoors. Read our review here.
By the time I got married, I had a beat-up roller bag that was ready to get lost on the luggage carousel. Registering for a great set of luggage for myself and my husband was one of the best wedding registry ideas we saw. Depending on how much you travel, you should consider each registering for a carry-on spinner (bonus points if it works for international flights), a checked bag, and a carry-on tote. From there you can add additional accessories such as packing cubes (these will change your travel life) and toiletry bags. We love our Away bag for checked luggage, and this Victorinox carry-on.
When it comes to wedding registry ideas, the most important thing to remember is that you should register for what YOU want and need, not what someone says you should get!
What are your wedding registry essentials? Let us know in the comments section below!