Let me start this with a piece of advice – register early! Everyone around you is so excited for your big day and they want to buy you gifts to congratulate you. If they don’t know what you want/need – you are going to end up with 35 ring dishes, 10 “happily ever after” signs, and 15 Mr. and Mrs. Mugs! You need to register and publicize your registry. The easiest and least awkward way to publicize your registry is by posting a cute selfie of you and your new fiancé registering and tag the store – honestly, I got multiple gifts just from posting a photo on Instagram!

Photo via Bed Bath & Beyond

When researching online, you will see very long lists of the things you are “supposed to” register for – but times are changing! Non-traditional wedding registries are becoming wildly popular with brides. Online registries are convenient (meaning you can register from your couch in your fuzzy socks!), easy to use and come with lots of benefits:

  1. Honeyfund: No transaction fees or set up fees because this is more of a crowd-funding service rather than a registry. You are registering for experiences/hotel stays for your honeymoon rather than traditional gifts and the gift givers are paying you directly into your WePay or PayPal account.
  2. Zola: All in one registry: register for gifts, experiences or funds. You can also add gifts from anywhere onto your Zola registry, so your guests don’t have to search around. There are also options for group gifting, free shipping and price matching!
  3. Amazon: Is there really anything to say? You use Amazon for everything else, why wouldn’t you use it for a wedding registry?  With Amazon you can add gifts from anywhere, there is free shipping for Prime members or orders over $25 and a one-time discount of 20% off gifts left on your registry after the wedding.

Traditional registries need to be recognized as well – please, don’t think this means that you need to go to a department store and be pressured into registering for a blender that you will never use. In this crazy digital world, I like to believe that there are people like me who enjoy walking around a store and touching things before they purchase. Traditional/in-store registries not only give you the chance to bond with your future husband while playing with a scan gun, they also have many other benefits:

  1. Crate and Barrel: In-store and online options – you can register in store but edit your registry online or through their app! C+B also holds private registry parties where you get tips from registry experts and leave with a free gift! Free shipping on orders over $99, free and easy returns and a 10% completion discount off every order you place up to six months after your wedding!
  2. Target: I mean, who doesn’t love Target? Target is the equivalent to Amazon but you get to walk around the store and scan ALL. THE. THINGS. that you usually put in your cart and don’t end up buying. Oh, is that just me? Aside from their 1,800 locations, free shipping for orders over $35 and their price match guarantee, Target has also partnered with other retailers to link gifts from their websites to your Target registry. But wait there’s more – bonus gifts and offers from select brands and 15% off everything left of your registry.
  3. Macy’s: Alongside their exclusive brands, completion freebies, in-store registry parties, and registry specialist – Macy’s also offers one of the best discount programs for gifts you don’t receive with 20% off your registry after your wedding. And while you’re there registering – you can pick out the perfect little white dress for all your pre-wedding parties!
  4. Bed Bath & Beyond: Another no-brainer – you know Aunt Linda has 100 20% off coupons so she’s bound to buy you multiple gifts! With BB+B’s “Freebook”, you receive free gifts directly from the brands you select based on purchases made by family and friends. BB+B also offers expert consultants to make the registration process easy and stress-free and a completion code to be used once in-store and once online.

No matter what type of registry you choose –  I want to give you five things that I’m so glad we registered for and five things that we probably should have left off my registry (yes husband, you told me so..I get it)!

The 5 must have’s
1. LUGGAGE!
2. Bedding/Linens/Towels/Pillows
3. Pots and pans
4. Keurig Machine/Espresso Machine
5. Vacuum

The 5 must not have’s
1. Cookie Jar – it’s so cute though
2. Kitchen Appliances – be strategic, I have a food processor that I’ve never opened.
3. Formal China
4. Decanters
5. Every type of wine glass – even if you’re a wine aficionado, you don’t need every variety of stemmed AND stemless glasses.

Gift-giving is hard, people! I’m here to help! Stay tuned – next I’ll explore the registry from the guest perspective: when to stick to it, when to go rogue and the best “rogue” gift ideas!


Featured Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

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