Welcome back to wedding registry week! Are you as fired up as we are?! Ok, probably not, but deciding to register or not is something that you’ll have to deal with at some point in your wedding planning process. Even if you decide not to register, guests will most certainly ask you where you are registered. So, get ready! For now, we are going into the “do’s” and “don’ts” of a wedding registry. These are the little things that you might not have thought about and the big regsitry faux pas that you can’t say you didn’t know about!


Photo Credit: Sweet Tea Photography


  • Create your own registry list. Most registry lists from stores are outdated or unhelpful, especially if you live in the DC area, don’t cook or don’t have a large house.
  • Register for more than you need right now at this stage of your life. Do you need 6 sets of towels? No. But, more than two towels is nice, especially if you think you might buy a larger house or start a family.
  • Register before your shower and refresh or add items to your registry after your shower.
  • Register at a store that you would like to shop in. Many guests will purchase you a gift card to that store instead of a gift.
  • Register for items in all price points so that all guests can afford something on your list. It can also be fun for a group of friends to go together on the larger, more expensive items.
  • Ask the retailer about seasonal items that go out of  stock quickly or an item’s potential for being discontinued. This is especially true with furniture and anything decorative like hand towels or throw pillows. Remember, that you might be registered for several months and many wedding guests will purchase presents up to a year after your wedding.
  • Go to the store more than once to scope it out, take notes and get your registry list organized prior to registering. This way, when you come back to put items on your registry list, you can do so quickly and efficiently. It isn’t fun to do your research and put items on your list at the same time! You might also be able to add any items you forgot online when you get home.
  • Ask the store about their registry completion program. Many stores will offer a discount on items that aren’t purchased off of your list once your wedding date has passed.
  • Ask the store about their return policy. Many stores have a short return timeframe, and no matter how thorough you are, you will have returns to make.


  • Put your registry information on your wedding invitation. If your wedding guests are interested in purchasing from your registry, they will find out the information on their own. Putting the information on your invitation assumes that everyone will get you a present and that’s not the case. Wedding gifts are not required.
  • Go to register on the weekend. Stores in the Washington DC area tend to be very crowded on the weekend and there will likely be other couples registering as well and you might have to wait up to an hour just for a registry scanner to begin the process. Also, you won’t get any help from a sales associate, as they will be busy with other customers.
  • Take your spouse to register if you think he/she isn’t into it. If your partner isn’t interested in home goods, they will say whatever gets them out of the store the fastest. That’s not helpful and will lead to fights over bed linens and place settings! You are better off discussing your priorities at home and then taking a friend or family member who is interested or who has registered before.
  • Register at big box stores. While it is nice that big box stores have a variety of items and loads of price points, they aren’t ideal for registering as many of their items go out of stock quickly. By the time you get your registry list out to guests, many of the items will be gone or unavailable. Also, big box stores have very limiting return policies which can be a challenge if you are waiting until after all of your gifts arrive to decide on returns.
  • Be shy if a guest asks about your registry. If a guest wants to know about your registry or what you’d like to have as a wedding gift, it is OK to answer their question. They genuinely want to know and get you something you’ll love!
  • Register (or register for very little) if you would like money as a wedding present. Try spreading the word nicely among friends and family that you’d prefer cash. A nice way to say that you’d like cash is to say that you are saving for something in particular, as in “we are trying to save for our honeymoon,” or “we are a hoping to save money for a downpayment on  a new house.”

Are there any wedding registry tips that we missed?? Leave a comment below or come back all this week, as we go into even more wedding registry detail. We have a lot more up our sleeve! In the meantime, check out our past posts on wedding registry. And, check out our list of the best wedding vendors in the Washington, DC area.

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