Welcome back to wedding registry week – your local Washington DC area source for all the information you’ll need on… what you need! A wedding gift registry can be useful to make your needs and wants for wedding gift items easily available to your guests and, like any decision you make in the wedding planning process, there are pros and cons—and that’s where we come in! Here are few things to consider when registering (or not) for items to make the gift giving practical and fun for everyone!


Photo Credits:  Sweet Tea Photography


  • Wedding registries make gift giving easier for your guests. The purpose of a gift registry is to let your guests know exactly what you need for married life at home and takes the guesswork out of choosing a present that ends up in the back of the cupboard for years to come.
  • With the ability to purchase and ship directly online, registries are nice for all wedding guests and especially guests that are out of town and want to give a gift, but don’t want to bring it to the wedding.
  • Most couples today are living together (over 65% actually!) before they get married and likely have accumulated traditional gift items—a registry helps gather what you as a couple need. So, if there are items that you’ll need now that you are married, now’s the chance!
  • The efficiency of online shopping allows delivery anywhere and anytime – again, making it nicer for your guests! Guests can shop and the store will wrap the gift, include a card and deliver right to you.
  • No sets of towels, but lots of place settings and that mixer I’ve been eying for years, please! Gift registry items can be truly personalized to the couple’s style and taste. There is not set rule for what a couple should register for. Plus, most stores manage your list for you, which reduces the risk for receiving multiple or unwanted items.
  • Speaking of traditional, wedding registries allow for you to ask for non-traditional gifts, such as tools, electronics, honeymoon fund, home down payment, charity and more! (Stay tuned for ideas for unique wedding registries!)


  • You don’t want to make it seem like you are asking for gifts. It is understandable to feel weird about asking for gifts, but registries are so common that it is rare that a guest is upset with a registry. Most wedding guests will want to purchase you a present, so they won’t think you are just trying to get rich quick if you register. Registering just makes it easier for them and they certainly don’t have to use your registry.
  • You already have everything you need and don’t want more household items. Perhaps you’ve lived together for a long time, or you just really like what you have. In this case, it is probably best not to register for more household items. In this case, you can certainly skip registering, or consider registering for something like a honeymoon or setting up a cash registry or picking a favorite charity.
  • Guests may not like the amount of pricey items on your list if you aren’t careful to include items at different price points. The last thing you want to do is look greedy!
  • Even if you make sure to include some low-priced items on your list, these may be taken quickly leaving other guests left with choosing from the more expensive presents, if you don’t update your registry wish list. (Hint to guests – this is the time to join together with others to purchase a larger gift or go for the gift card!)
  • You don’t want wedding gifts at all. Maybe this is your second marriage, or maybe you just don’t want gifts for your wedding. This might be a tough one to spread to guests, since most guests like to get a gift regardless, but you could try mentioning to friends and family that you’d really prefer not to have gifts. You could always direct guests to a favorite charity in lieu of gifts for you.
  • You’d really prefer cash. There is a school of thought or an unwritten rule out there in wedding-land that thinks that if you don’t register it is code for “we want cash.” I don’t know if I agree with this, but I can see how some guests will come to this conclusion. If you’d really prefer cash instead of a gift, you can try spreading the word kindly to close friends and family. If you are asked about gifts, you can say that you are trying to save for something in particular like a much-needed new car.
  • Some wedding guests may find choosing a gift from your registry list to be impersonal, especially if they are set on selecting a certain gift and don’t want to feel limited to a certain few stores.
  • Guests may be not be comfortable with the couple knowing exactly how much they spent on a gift.
  • You are worried your friends can’t afford a gift and you want them to just attend your wedding and not worry about a gift too.
  • You are having a small wedding and are worried that you won’t have enough guest to fill out a registry. In this case, you can try registering, if only to take advantage of the completion discount that many stores off should you want to purchase certain items.

So, that’s our pro/con list! What pros and cons did we miss? Leave a comment below or come back all this week, as we go into even more wedding registry detail. In the meantime, check out our past posts on wedding registry week. And, check out our list of the best wedding vendors in the Washington, DC area.

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