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  • Writer's pictureWedding Day Diamonds

How to Make a Complete Wedding Registry in Just Two Steps

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Move over, candlesticks; there’s a whole host of items you’ll appreciate now and be even more thankful for in the years and months to come.

Registering for wedding gifts can be tricky. The world is your oyster and since anything goes, picking “the right things” can feel completely overwhelming. Not to mention, for most of us, registering for presents at all is new and often brings up all kinds of conflicting feelings… “Is it really okay to ask for this?” “Will people think I’m weird to ask for this?”

The truth is, registries help guests. The people coming to your wedding want to know that they’re having an impact–that they’re adding to the success of your new, blended life together. They also want to know that they’re not throwing their own money away.

Nowadays, so many couples live together pre-marriage that it’s nearly impossible for an average wedding guest to know what a couple already has, and what they really need, unless that couple registers.

So how do you make the most of your registry?

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1. Categorize.

This is the most important step to any wedding registry. We suggest keeping a notebook handy and starting your lists well in advance of the day you plan to register.

How do you choose categories?

Think about the things that are unique to you as a couple. What do you share? The home is an obvious place to start. But what about hobbies? What about your future plans and goals?

Your registry is a great way to offer a snapshot of those things you love to do together. By getting away from the generic, your registry becomes an opportunity to express more of who you are as a couple.

That lets guests discover some common interests they may not have even known you shared and buy those things they’ll be genuinely excited to give you.

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Love gardening? Ask for some ornamental landscaping that you wouldn’t buy for yourselves.

Enjoy grilling out and eating al fresco? Ask for some things that will help turn your patio into a vibrant outdoor kitchen.

Love camping or rock climbing? Register for specific equipment people wouldn’t otherwise know to buy. Guests will love feeling they had a role in facilitating your future adventures!

Is one of your #couplegoals to save money by eating out less? Ask for cooking classes that you can take together. These are the kinds of gifts that allow you to create a memory (hello date night), while living your values.

If you’re audiophiles, put some hard-to-find albums on your list.

If you dream of starting an original art collection, register for a specific work to set that dream in motion.

The best registries are wildly agile. They express who you are, and so can be an exercise in sharing yourself with others.

As you think about where to begin, start with broad categories like “Home,” “Hobbies,” “Travel,” or any other breakdowns that make sense to you. Include a category called “Seasonal” so that you don’t get tunnel visioned about the here and now. What will you really look forward to using this summer or next winter?

Then, subdivide each of those categories into smaller ones so nothing gets missed. For example, under “Home,” list every room of your house. Then, for each room, make a column for “practical” (your needs items), and one for “décor” or “wishes” (your wants items). This way, guests can also live their values by deciding whether to buy you something useful, or something indulgent.

When you’re at home, keep that notebook handy. Notice the things you find yourself really wishing you had, and scribble them under the correct category. Do this for a few weeks, only adding to the list… not editing.

2. Estimate Prices for Each Item Before You Start Making Cuts

Before you start editing those things you want most from those things that were impulse wants, scribble a price estimate near each item. Then, create some loose categories, such as “Under $25,” “Under $50” “Under $100” “Under $250” “$250+” and see how many items you’ve listed at each price point. This will give you a clear idea of where your list is a little light.

Do you have enough items for guests who might be on a tight budget? What about for those guests who really want to spoil you? Are some lists as long as your arm? Those represent good categories to start slimming down.

Only after you’ve allocated prices should you start making edits. That way, you can compare like with like, prioritizing your gifts by category so that your $10 salad spinner isn’t competing with that $600 espresso machine. It’s really important to offer guests options at every category so that everyone can feel great about their gift, no matter how much money they were able to spend on it.

Pro Tip: Make sure there are more items on your registry than there are guests invited to your wedding. That way no one shows up to the registry to find all the ideas taken, or to be stuck with the one item that’s left.

The most important thing to remember about registries is that they are a chance for you and your partner to actively dream about the future you want to make together, so have fun! Embrace the challenge and know that your guests will love learning more about you as they read through all those wants and wishes.

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