THE BLOG
11/18/2014 11:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Wedding Registry Mistakes to Avoid

AskCheryl is an etiquette blog on the RegistryFinder.com website where readers submit their questions and get answers. The following is a question from a reader.

Dear Cheryl,
I want to include non-traditional items in my wedding registry. Are there things that I shouldn't include? Friends told me to register for anything I want, but I'm just not sure.

2014-11-17-iStock_000016727526Medium.jpgZametalov via iStockbyGettyImages

Dear Not Sure,
While it's a short list, there are a few things that are best left off your wedding gift registry.

  1. Personal items. Guests prefer to purchase something for you as a couple, something you will use together or that will enhance your new life together. Personal items, such as an iPhone, iPads or clothing, should be left off your list.
  2. Anything Offensive. If any of your guests might be offended, leave it off.

A wedding registry is really for your guest's convenience, so try to think about it from their point of view. Here are some other guidelines to help you create a wedding registry that will make both you and your guests happy.

  1. Give your Guests Choices when creating an "alternative" registry... With so many unique registries available, it's easy to get excited about the idea of creating a honeymoon registry, active lifestyle registry or even a wine registry. And while those registries may create a lot of buzz and excitement among your friends, a traditional registry should also be included for those guests that are more comfortable giving traditional, more practical gifts.
  2. Include your future spouse in the process... It may be tempting to consult a friend instead of your future spouse, especially if he/she doesn't really seem interested. It's important that both parties have a say when it comes to selecting registry items. After all, these are the things that will be in your home for years to come. If there's a difference of opinion, listen with an open mind so that there are no regrets or hard feelings in the future.
  3. Register for enough items to cover your guest list... People prefer choosing from a large selection of gifts. If you have too few items on your registry, early birds will wipe you out quickly, leaving other guests playing the guessing game. A good rule of thumb is to register for two gifts per invitation mailed. As the wedding date draws closer, you can add and subtract if needed.
  4. Register at more than one store... I recommend creating a wedding gift registry at least two different locations. While you may love everything about one particular store, if that store is local or regional, it's nice to give out of town guests other options. Make sure at least one, but preferably all of your registries offer an online option.
  5. Create a Balanced Registry... Don't hesitate to include your dream items of $200 and more, but your registry should also have a good mix of gifts in the $50, $75, and $100 range. Each guest's budget is different. The best registries have a mix of both prices and types of items, so that all of your guests will feel comfortable finding something they will be excited to give you.
  6. Don't register for the same item at different stores... Adding the same things to multiple registries will result in two things - duplicate gifts and confused guests.
  7. Check on your Registry... It's important to review your registries every few weeks, more often as the wedding date approaches, and update if needed. There may be items that are suddenly out of stock, or that don't excite you as much as when you added them. Or you may have received a shower gift that you included on your registry, but your guest purchased it from another store.

Do you have questions or comments about gift giving etiquette? Please email me at AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

RegistryFinder.com is an online search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.