Have you ever shopped from a bridal registry? When you view the registry online or at the store, it can either be fun and easy to choose a gift for the happy couple, or a nightmare. As a friend or family member of the bride or groom, you want to choose the a thoughtful gift with a price point that is probably in the back of your mind. There are few things more disappointing than looking at the registry and seeing that the only gifts left are $5 or $200. Let me tell you why I’m qualified to help you build the perfect bridal registry, and tips on how to do it.
Between college and landing my first professional job, I spent a few months working retail at Bed Bath and Beyond. During my time there, I was trained to be a bridal consultant- which meant I helped couples build their bridal registries when they came into the store. I was promoted to being the head bridal consultant for the Bed Bath and Beyond store I worked at. So I helped couples when they came into the store, and I trained others to be bridal consultants. I’ve seen a LOT of bridal registries, I’ve shopped from many bridal registries, and I was a bride in 2017.
Before we dive into registry tips, let me tell you about the perspective of your guests. Guests decide how they want to buy their gift in two ways. They either want to buy you a specific item that they love to use in their home, or they have a price point that they want to stick to. Some guests have both. Keep your elderly or traditional guests and mind and register at least one store your guests can physically shop in. Great Aunt Betty is not going to shop from Amazon, so give her a break and register in at least one physical store. Understanding how your friends and family view gift buying will help you make a registry that has what you want, and it makes your guests want to buy from it because it is fun and easy.
Let’s jump in! Here are 5 tips to make your bridal registry so easy that your guests will actually want to buy from it.
1. Actually register (at 2-3 places)! These days many couples want to ask for money to build their new life together instead of traditional gifts. Here’s the thing- your friends and family want to celebrate you by buying you gifts, so they will. If you don’t register for gifts, your guests that want to buy a physical gift will buy what they think you should have, not the gift they think you want. If you don’t want green butterfly dinner plates, then you should create a registry with things you will use. If you don’t need much for your home, upgrade or replace all the items that you want, or try a less traditional registry like Zola (see tip #5). You can also use it as an opportunity to add fun things to your home that you wouldn’t normally buy yourself. Have you ever had an electric wine opener? I bet one of your college friends would love to buy that for you!
2. Do not feel selfish putting lots of items on your registry. Think of putting a lot of items on your registry as giving your guests lots of options rather than asking for too much. You aren’t asking your friends to buy every single thing you registered for, but rather allowing them to buy something they love to use in their home, but in the brand and color you prefer. The recommended number of items on your registry is 2.5 times the number of guests you are inviting to your wedding. Yes I’m serious. Most people will buy more than one item to make their gift. The number of bridal showers you will have also impact the number of items you’ll need to register for, so you may have to add more later. If you register for too few items, your guests will find themselves choosing between $5 and $200 gifts.
3. Pay attention to the prices of your items. Variety of price point is important. Don’t be afraid to put expensive items on your registry and $5 gifts. The key price points for bridal showers is an average of $30-$50. For the wedding your guests will spend an average of $50-$100. So aim to have most of your registry cost between $30-$100. This price point average doesn’t always apply to everyone, which is why variety is key. The people closest to you will often want to spend more to buy you something special. Groups of people, like your coworkers, may go in together to buy more expensive gifts, so that’s why offering options makes for the most well-rounded registry. All guests like to buy gifts that are easy to wrap, so items in boxed sets make it simple for them. Boxed sets are also great because they can turn several small items into a gift that is easy to wrap and in the ideal price range of $30-$100. If you have the right number and variety of items on your registry at the right price, you’ll be more likely to receive the items from your registry. Otherwise your guests will buy random things that fit the budget they want to spend, or are their favorite type of household item. If you don’t want purple bath towels from Aunt Susan, be sure to give your guests reasonable options.
4. Check on your registry regularly. If you don’t have time, this is a great task to ask a friend that is eager to help. If there are too few items in any category of the home such as kitchen, laundry, bathroom, living room, bedroom, or if there are few gifts left in the $30-$100 range, add more items! There are always guests who shop days before the wedding, so do them a favor and keep an eye on your registries up until the wedding.
5. Where you register matters. Make sure the places you register are accessible to where most of your guests live, and where you know the return policy of the store. You will get duplicates and things you will return, so make it easy on yourself and do your research before you register.
I recommend registering at:
- Bed Bath and Beyond- Their return policy is you can return anything purchased off your registry without a receipt with NO time limit on when the purchase was made. Plus they have free gift wrap for wedding gifts in all their stores (I’m serious! ask the cashier). I am not sponsored by Bed Bath and Beyond, but after working there, I believe in their registry program, and I registered here myself, so I know how easy it is.
- Zola.com- Zola is a non-traditional registry that is perfect for couples that already feel they have what they need. You can register for household items AND experiences! You can register for things like adventures on your honeymoon or local cooking classes for a date night. The best part is if an experience is too expensive for one person, they can contribute any amount toward the gift. Make sure you check this out! I’m not endorsed by Zola either, but it worked really well for us.
- Amazon- Because everyone loves Amazon, and it’s not location specific.
Post your registry questions in the comments. Happy wedding planning!