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So You're Getting Married? Here's Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Registries

From where to register to the price ranges you should be shooting for, this is what you need to know.

happy couple selecting items for the wedding registry at a furniture store
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Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out some of our other gift guides here.

If you're getting married in the near future, you've probably got a lot on your plate. From the guest list to invites to planning the actual wedding, your to-do list is likely miles long and your search history is probably all wedding-related. Let us take one thing off your plate for you: the wedding registry. Whether you're having a small intimate wedding or a full-on party, the first thing guests are likely going to expect answers to are details about the actual day and what they can gift you. While the former will come later, the latter is something you can probably knock out in an afternoon or two. So let's get started.

What Is a Wedding Registry?

Traditionally, a wedding registry is a collection of one or a small handful of stores where the engaged couple has created a wishlist of products for guests to buy them. Larger retailers may offer discounts, dedicated registry customer service or freebies for registering there.

The couple then makes a list of wants and needs from the stores and distributes that to the attendees. Upon visiting those stores (online or in-person), the attendees should be able to alert the store that their purchase is for the couple’s registry and both receive whatever discount they may be entitled to and be alerted if the item they’re buying has already been bought by another guest.

What Should I Put on My Registry?

The easy answer is: what you want and need. Getting married is a big life change, so both partners should be involved in making the registry. If you're having trouble, start with the spaces of your home that are in need of furnishings, like the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. Visiting a store in person, even if you're not planning on registering there, can be a great way to spark inspiration for your wishlist. And, don't worry, we also have a lot of wedding gift ideas to get you started.

According to The Knot, you should aim for adding at least two gifts for each guest you're inviting (although going over definitely doesn't hurt) costing anywhere between $50 to $200. That said, you know your guests best and adding more items, especially affordable ones, is never a bad idea.

Can I Register In-Store or Online?

The answer is usually both. You might find it helpful to visit the store in person both to see the products you'll be putting on your registry and talk to someone who works for the brand. Be sure to pay attention to any benefits or freebies offered by retailers to make the most of your wedding registry.

Where to Register

Lots of large retailers allow you to make wedding registries, from Amazon to big box stores like Walmart to luxury department stores. Here are a few of our favorites.

The Knot

If you create your wedding website through The Knot, then you can also take advantage of the platform's registry service. It has its own store; and it will sync with a few of the other registry providers on this list, like Williams Sonoma and Amazon, so everything is in one place.



Amazon is not a classic registry spot by any means as your guests can't shop in a brick-and-mortar store, but it certainly has a further reach than any one store or chain of stores may have. If you're looking to get your registry done as quickly as possible, the retailer has everything you'll need from home furnishings to kitchen appliances to bed linens and so much more. Plus, the quick shipping and easy returns will be extra convenient for you and your guests.


Williams Sonoma

The bread and butter of Williams Sonoma and its umbrella of brands — Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation and Mark & Graham — is the wedding registry. Each has a large online presence, stores across the U.S. and plenty of your classic nest-building items. And the beauty of registering with one of these brands is that you get benefits and access to all of them.



Like The Knot, Zola isn't a retailer but a wedding planning service that will allow you to make one registry including products from thousands of brands across the internet, including All-Clad, Le Creuset and Breville. It offers price-matching, group buying on pricier items or experiences, free shipping and website integration when you make your wedding website through Zola too. And you'll also get 20 percent off items not bought on your registry post-wedding.


Crate & Barrel

Like Williams Sonoma and company, Crate & Barrel and CB2 fall under the same brand umbrella, making the retailers a great registry option for a wide variety of home goods and furnishings. Plus, it offers one-click registry lists to get you started, and newlyweds get 15 percent off for the 6 months after their wedding as well as access to private events.



If you want your registry to encompass gifts from anywhere and everywhere, then this is the tool for you. MyRegistry.com allows you to make a truly universal registry through its browser extension, app with barcode scanner and integration with other registry providers, like Amazon and Target. This allows you to register for gifts that you might not be able to elsewhere, such as items from Costco, a cash fund and products from brick-and-mortar stores.



For those looking to keep their registry to a smaller budget, Target may be the perfect option. With a good range of high-ticket items and more affordable in-house brands, there's plenty to choose from. Plus, you'll get 15 percent off anything left over post-wedding.



You might not have expected to see Food52 on the list, but — trust us — this registry option is worth a look. From kitchen wares to home goods, there are a lot of gift-worthy items to add to your list. While you may not be able to find everything you need here, it's a solid, semi-luxury addition to your registry at Amazon or Target, for example.



Macy's offers a good variety of products, plus you'll get 10-25 percent off for your guests and 10-20 percent off for yourself on select products. The retailer offers a lot of resources for engaged couples, including virtual and in-person consultations, a registry checklist and more.



Whether you're furnishing a new home or just upgrading your hand-me-down home goods, wedding registries are often focused on very practical gifts. For a more personal option that is still curated to your needs and wants, try Etsy's recently launched registry for decor, bedding, dinnerware and more.


Local Stores

Local stores without (or with little) web presence are not to be discounted. Whether you’re in a big city or a rural town, it’s not uncommon for small shops to offer a wedding registration system — so it's worth asking around. Plus, you'll get the benefit of in-person customer service and the ability to support a small business.

Other Wedding Registry Options

The list of places where you can register for your wedding is seemingly endless. We've listed our favorites above, but if none of them speak to you then here's a few more.

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