Setting up a Wedding Registry in Style

Setting up a Wedding Registry in Style from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Remember that episode of “Sex and the City” when Carrie had her Manolo’s stolen at her friend’s party and decided to send her friend-turned-foe a registry list from Blahnik’s, announcing her marriage to-herself? Because she spent a whole fortune celebrating her ex-friend’s choices (engagement, wedding, baby shower, birthday gifts), while at the same time she received none because she hadn’t married anyone. Well, that was about to change. 

Or another episode where the three friends were struggling with what to buy their not-so-domestic- wifey friend Miranda for her wedding day. That’s because she hated tradition so much that she failed to create a registry. 

In reality, a registry is what you do almost immediately after engagement. 

Right after you decide on your budget (say, average), set the date (say, June 15) and the venue (say, this wedding venue in Houston). Make sure you do it before you send the invitations. There are some really organized folks out there who’d like to know they are not running late with the gift-giving. 

It’s ok, no- more than ok- it’s really helpful for you to say: two of these porcelain platters in aquamarine, please. By doing so, you are making life easier for other people and also showing them how to express love and appreciation for you.

Asking for Cash- Yay or Nay?

But what if you’d really really want that honeymoon in Iceland? Since you’ve been living together for a while and you won’t be needing any physical items for a foreseeable future, is there any etiquette of how to ask for a cash gift?

Apparently, there is. This isn’t new. 

I’ll digress. Registries originate from the post World War II era when people needed a lot of stuff for their new homes- they married young and didn’t have the chance to live together and aggregate mismatching plates and cheap cutlery. And even though registries are not going anywhere- for your aunt really wants to give you something tangible, right, millennials tend to value experiences more than gravy beds or easily breakable microwaves. How on earth are they going to explain that?

One bride suggested this way: “It feels a lot nicer to say ‘$15 is going to get us two beers at this bar, and we’ll send you a photo of us having the beers at the bar,’ rather than [asking for], like, a cheese grater”. Read the whole article here

Anyway, if you as a couple opt for money, make sure to not just say that outright. 

Rather, say something like: “Your gift will get us through house downpayment”, or “We’ll get the chance to have a honeymoon of our dreams”. If you are the #nogifts team, and you know they won’t listen to that, transfer their money to what is truly important to you. Say something like: “You know we’ve been fighting for {this} cause for a long time. Your gift is a generous donation to our cause.”

If you know there will be people who would insist on gifts, be creative and opt for tools, outdoor equipment, and entertainment. 

Like tents and hammock, yoga mats and other sporty stuff, roller skates; lawnmower, garden or balcony furniture, and why not a hose? Or quality board games and loudspeakers with a mic to pull off karaoke with your friends. 

How to Pull off Your Registry

  1. First, make sure it reflects your style. If the two of you like completely different things, then sit together, go through it and decide where to compromise. 
  2. Create the registry asap. Remember, this is how you help your people- they ‘ll know exactly what to do. Yet, to be on the safe side, don’t open the gifts until the wedding takes place. I’m sure cancellation isn’t in your plans, but you never know. And in case of gift returning, it would be easier for everyone to have them unpacked. 
  3. Include the wedding website link in your invitations. Or don’t. There seems to be a dispute over this one on the internet. Some organizers say it’s tacky and that word-of-mouth is still a better option. Others, on the other hand, say not to hesitate to put it in the flashing light on all your stationery. We say- do what feels right to you. 
  4. Include a wide price and gift range, but limit your wedding registry to 4 stores max. 2 is ideal. You don’t want to overwhelm your guests. And yourself, to be honest. 
  5. Speaking of the stores, make sure you pick at least 1 national store. For one, it can be found everywhere in the country so all guests can find it easily, plus it’s a physical store for those who prefer that way. Also, choose one or two online stores.
  6. When choosing items, opt for pieces, not just sets. Make a list of all the stuff you already possess. Check what you already have, what you want to donate and what needs an upgrade. Think about your future family life. Maybe you’re not celebrating Mother’s day or Thanksgiving now, and you eat in takeaway containers, but this may change. 
  7. Ask your married friends for advice. Or somewhat older relative you share the taste and lifestyle with. They’ll know the brands’ ins and outs for sure. 
  8. If you don’t rejoice in the wedding registry, you’re doing it wrong. You’ll use those things for a long time, it’s a pity to waste money on something you won’t like or utilize whatsoever. On that note, don’t follow the trends blindly, aim at heirlooms instead. They are truly timeless.
  9. Check for all the options within the stores you choose- for example, there’s a “hold registry”, the one that awaits your approval/change before being shipped.
  1. Don’t remove the wedding registry right after the wedding in case of some late gifts.
  2. Make sure you write thank you notes no later than a month and a half after the wedding.


You’re going to receive a lot of gifts. Don’t you think it’s cool that you get what you like? So help you, Marie Kondo.

A wedding registry is a nice way to ask for specific gifts (or help people not fish in the dark, whatever puts you at ease), as long as they don’t include asking for money plainly and openly. 

You can still get cash gifts, but make sure that there’s something for everyone then. Money is ok with some people, while others will still prefer to “buy off their plate” with some tangible stuff. 

Remember, wedding registry types may vary in fashion, but being considerate will never go out of fashion. 

Author Bio: James Barnes is an experienced wedding organizer and blogger at He specialized in organizing outdoor wedding events. When he isn’t writing about weddings and marital life, David usually goes swimming or playing squash.

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