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Wedding Registry Etiquette for the Bride and Groom

Creating your wedding registry can be one of the highlights of the wedding planning process. Especially for the groom, who often times has a little more of an opinion on this process than the rest of the planning!

I mean, what’s more fun than picking out all of the beautiful new things with your fiancé that your loved ones will gift you to start your new home and life together as a married couple? So dreamy and exciting to think about! But, in this day and age, with all of the different products and types of registries, the process can be a little overwhelming. And if not done correctly, you might find yourself after your wedding wondering why you once wanted that salad spinner or why you didn’t register for the Vitamix. The last thing you want to deal with after the honeymoon is figuring out how to exchange gifts or return them for what you really want. So, do your homework with your fiancé on the front end and make sure you really think through all those fun items that for which you are registering.

So where do we begin?! There are so many different types of registries: the big box stores, the unique china store in your home town, the universal registry, the online-only registries…the options seem endless. There is no one-size-fits-all, but there are definitely better options than others, so for this Wedding Wednesday, we are answering all your wedding registry questions!

Enjoy and happy shopping (and scanning)!

When should we set up our registry?

Set up your registry as soon as you can after you get engaged. If you’re having an engagement party or showers, definitely make sure your registry is set up in advance of the parties so your guests know where to buy your gifts.

How many registries should we have?

I would recommend having a maximum of three. Much more than three can start to look a little tacky (sorry, guys). If you use an online universal registry like Zola, you really only need one!  However, if you want your guests to be able to have the option of picking your gift out in stores, consider adding just one traditional retail registry with your Zola registry like a Williams-Sonoma or a Pottery Barn.

What’s your favorite registry you used?

Throughout the wedding planning adventure, we tried tons of different registries. We started with three basic ones (or so we thought): Amazon, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn. We thought between those three we could register for pretty much anything that we wanted. False – after a lot of broken china and crystal from Amazon, we removed this registry and added Neimans. We found the online portal and buying system tricky, so we removed this one and tried Bed Bath and Beyond. Still not totally satisfied, we finally tried Zola which I had heard a ton about but was not sure how I felt about the universal registry concept. GAME CHANGER. This was by far my favorite registry we used! We ended up removing all of our registries except for Zola and Williams-Sonoma (just so our guests had a box store option in case they wanted to see the product and buy in person). 

What is Zola?

Zola is an online wedding registry that is completely revamping the wedding gift industry. Seriously. I cannot get enough of this concept. I was a little hesitant at first, but after experimenting with tons of different registries, I am sold on Zola!

Zola is a universal registry that allows couples to register for products (helllooooo, Vitamix!) , experiences (Yes, I would love an extra massage before the big day, thank you!) and cash funds (think honeymoon or down payment help!) all in one beautiful portal. Zola has a selection of 200+ brand name products, plus you can add products from any online retailer, or you can use Zola’s app to scan things from a store into your online Zola registry. This central management system allows you to truly include anything you could want on your registry, without including a list of 10 retailers on your website and sending your guests on a wild goose chase looking through all your registries.

Have a large ticket item on your registry but don’t want to ask one guest to pay for it? No, problem! With Zola, you can create group gifts so multiple guests can contribute to a gift. Another huge perk of Zola is that couples can choose when to have their gifts shipped and if they change their mind and no longer want that gift, they can virtually return it online and convert the funds into Zola credit to buy whatever they want from Zola. As someone who has changed my mind a million times about how we want to fill our kitchen, this feature has been a life changer for me. Plus, after the wedding, the couple gets 10% off their purchases from Zola, so they can buy anything they may not have received at a discount.

Can we change/edit our registry?

Absolutely – in fact, it’s encouraged! Consider your registry a revolving list of things you and your fiancé want for your new life together. You can always add or subtract as you see new things. You always want to have a good variety of different price points on there, so if you notice some of the lower price items are all bought up or some of the higher ticket items have been purchased, you will want to add more items in that price range so your guests can buy something in their comfort level.

How do we tell our guests about our registry?

Include the links to your registries on your wedding website and your save-the-dates.

Shop some of our favorite registry items!


Photography by Luisa’s Secret

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