Couples should keep registry list tailored to interests, meaningful experiences

by Jacqueline Mitchell

With new platforms that allow couples to easily register at multiple places and more couples asking for monetary gifts that go toward meaningful experiences, building a wedding registry has become as individualized as a couple’s interests and lifestyle.

“These days, there is no one-size-fits formula for weddings, and registries are following suit,” said Alyssa Longobucco, style and planning editor at wedding-planning website The Knot. “Our couples lead such a variety of lives, so we encourage them to register for anything and everything that suits them from the traditional to the every day to the out-of-the-box.”

To help couples navigate the process of creating a strong registry, Longobucco shared some tips and insights. First, she said, couples should look at how they live their lives daily and register accordingly.

“When it comes down to it, your loved ones want to buy you things you need and will actually use, so skip wish-listing anything that you feel like you should register for but doesn’t actually fit your lifestyle, i.e. fine china, if you’re not that kind of couple,” Longobucco said.

Some couples already live together and own most necessary household items. In that case, Longobucco said to consider creating a “cash registry.” Such registries allow couples to ask for cash, “and for guests to gift it, in a more meaningful way, by specifying exactly what each monetary gift is going toward, such as a honeymoon, new house, new car, IVF treatments, puppy, a lifetime supply of Sriracha,” she said.

Couples should create a registry early in the wedding-planning process to avoid scrambling last minute, she said.

“Ideally, you should have a pretty stocked registry before your first big wedding-related event, whether that’s a couple’s shower or engagement party,” said Longobucco. “The last thing you want is your kooky second cousin going rogue and buying you something random.”

Items in the registry should hit a variety of price points to ensure plenty of gift options fall within family and friends’ budgets, she said. A portion of gifts should fall within the $50 and under category, followed by some below $100, some below $200, and so on.

“Contrary to popular belief, there is no ‘right’ amount to spend on gifting a couple who is getting married,” Longobucco said.

The registry should also be easy for guests to find.

“Guests shouldn’t have to go on a two-hour online expedition to find where you and your spouse are registered,” she said.

Longobucco advises displaying registry information prominently on the wedding website and including it on a details card with the wedding invitation, along with any shower or engagement party invitations.

She also encourages couples to register at more than one place.

“It’s rare that one store will suit all your needs, so we always encourage couples to cast a wide net when it comes to where they register,” she said. “On average, couples have three registries, according to The Knot 2017 Wedding Registry Study.”

Don’t forget to include everyday items in the registry if they are needed, Longobucco said.

“It’s all about registering for the life you and your partner lead together,” she said. “For some people, that may mean fancy dinner parties with crystal stemware and charger plates. But for others, it can mean sturdy suitcases and hiking gear to climb Machu Picchu together.”

Whether it’s exploring a tropical mountain forest together or becoming first-time homeowners, Longobucco said she’s seeing more couples register for experiences through platforms like The Knot Newlywed Fund.

“Using our platform, you can create cash funds for your guests to contribute to, geared towards everything from amazing honeymoon experiences – hot air balloon ride, anyone? – to a first home fund or even adoption fund,” she said. “It’s a great way for guests to feel like they’re contributing to something tangible, while the couple gets financial help towards a goal or experience important to them.”