Get What You Want and Need: Creating the Best Wedding Registry

Wedding gift boxes

Creating the best wedding registry isn’t just about scanning everything in sight. Couples should be strategic and strike a balance with the items they pick to be courteous to friends and family and also to give themselves the best start for their married life. That pricey espresso machine might be just the thing for your inner coffee lover, but that money would be better spent on getting a well-stocked kitchen! There is a limit to what gifts you will receive, so make the most of it.

Now relax your trigger finger and step away from the Dutch ovens. We’ve paired up with Macy’s, the wedding registry experts, to give you the best advice for making a balanced registry that will that save your friendships while getting you the gifts you want for your home.

From September 1 through 30, you can get a head start on getting what your home needs instead of having to wait until your wedding! Ten lucky people per day will receive a prize just for having a registry with Macy’s. Every day it changes, so keep checking back on the official sweepstakes page to see what you can win.

Register Early

Planning couple

It isn’t like items will just disappear off the shelf if you don’t register the second after you get engaged. So why go through the trouble of creating a registry early when there’s so much else to plan? Easy! First of all, it’s a courtesy to your guests because it means they get plenty of time to work out their gift idea for you. Some of them may go looking for a registry the moment they get a save-the-date, and others may wait until a week before. Either way, you want to be as flexible as possible for them.

The early bird also eliminates a lot of the stress that comes with rushing to fill up a gift list. It’s a month before the wedding and you just realized you forgot? Well, now you’re more apt to throw anything you’ve ever thought about on there, regardless of whether you’ll still want it in ten years or even six months. Extra time allows you to really be critical with your registry items, to go over your list more than once and add or remove things as you strive for the perfect balance.

Cover Multiple Price Points

Shopping couple

You will hear this a million times while trying to put together your registry: give your guests options. However, this doesn’t just mean requesting products that don’t fall into the same categories. It means that you need to consider your price points too. Not everyone you’ve invited will be affluent enough to buy you expensive gifts, and some won’t want to if they just don’t feel that close to you. Let them decide how much they feel like they should spend by including items in a range of prices. Your cousin might be more comfortable getting you something more low-cost like that cute kate spade new york Cake Plate you asked for because they feel like you just haven’t talked in a while, but your mother might be excited about setting you up with something pricier like a quality Calphalon Self-Sharpening Cutlery Set for your new kitchen. Don’t assume what your friends and family will or won’t spend, and you’ll probably end up with more than you expect.

Inexpensive options are also important for some of the most cherished people in your life: the bridal party. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen can spend upwards of a couple thousand to stand beside you at the altar, and they may not have much left over for your gift. That amazing deep fryer might be out of their wheel house, but something useful and simple like a Pyrex Baking and Storage Set will let them feel like they’re giving you something you’ll value, without breaking the bank.

Don’t avoid really big ticket items just because you’re afraid of people getting annoyed over an expensive request. Some items with a hefty price tag like a Dyson Multifloor Vacuum are worth their weight in gold for a starting couple. One person on your guest list might be that generous, but it’s highly likely a few friends or family members will see that item and pool their money for it. Expensive items won’t make you look greedy as long as they aren’t the only things available.

You know you can search Macy’s by style, by room, but did you know you can also filter easily by price? The Gifts by Price tool separates all registry items offered on the site by tier—under $25, under $50, under $100, and $150+—to make it easy for you to cover all your bases. If you realize you need a couple cheaper items for a few family members you barely know, hop into the under $50 section and easily find something without the hassle.

Don’t Limit Yourself Based On Who You Are Now

Happy couple

By the time we’re married, most of us have gone through enough identity crises to have a good grasp on the kind of people we are, but that doesn’t mean marriage won’t change you. Everyone grows through loving another person, whether that’s just being inspired to be more confident or picking up hiking to spend more time together. So, try to plan your registry gifts around your future as much as your present. If you’re big on home bars right now, ask for that fun set of Mikasa Cheers Party Wine Glasses, but consider how this kind of entertaining might lead to an enthusiasm for full scale dinner parties when you and your spouse are in your own home. Prepare yourself with proper serving dinnerware like a trendy wooden salad bowl set from Market Street New York. Some of your household items will surely change in the transition from dating to marriage, but planning ahead will mean there’s less to fuss over later.

You can’t always know what the future has in store, but you can get some inspiration from the marriage milestones Macy’s has created in their Newlywed Moments section. Will you be prepared for your first Thanksgiving? Macy’s lays out everything you might need so you can fill in the gaps for what you don’t already have. Or think about the date nights as a married couple. You’ll eventually need some new ideas and equipment so you don’t get stuck spending every Saturday with Netflix. Their stories are there to help you see what might be coming down the road.

Don’t Register for Only Fine Items

Weddings are a perfect excuse to ask for the nicer things that you wouldn’t normally request. Fine china, silverware, and crystal have been staples of the wedding registry for decades. However, these items are expensive and if that’s all you fill your list with, you may regret it. They’re useful gifts, but only for rare occasions when you’re entertaining or around the holidays. The rest of the time, you’ll be grateful to have something more down to Earth that can be used for both nicer occasions as well as your normal meals. A fine china set, for example, can run you anywhere from $100 to $400 dollars depending on which you want, but that same money could be put towards something like a Vitamix Blender of similar cost that you make use for regular breakfast smoothies. Of course, if you want some of these nicer things, scan them in! Just remember, if you waste all of your high-price requests on finery, you might find yourself lacking something better.

Make sure to browse every section of registry items thoroughly so you don’t miss out. Macy’s even has experts to weight in of the “must-haves” for your list. Adrianna Adarme of “A Cozy Kitchen” has created a list of her recommendations. It includes several modern, unique items that strike a perfect balance between elegant and everyday. Creative solutions can have more appeal than something more traditional and leave money for your friends and family to spend on something else.

Register for a Lot of Items

Couple testing pillows

Variety, variety, variety. The other thing that helps when you’re trying to make a balanced registry list for your friends and family to browse through is picking a lot more gifts than you actually expect to get. While we obviously advised you to be strategic about your choices, that is more about how to start. Once you’ve got a good set of core products, it’s time to expand and fill out the rest of the list! Just keep in mind that everything you add is a potential product someone might pick. It stands to reason that you shouldn’t pick anything you don’t really want just because you need more gifts.

But how much is too much? Is there a need for 500 items on your registry when you only have 30 people attending? No; it just creates a huge catalog for everyone to wade through! Design the size of your registry around your guest list with Macy’s help. Their Registry Manager can help make sure you don’t go over or under what you need.

Continue to Check and Update Your Registry

Unfortunately, you’re not done once your registry is. Your list is perfect and well-balanced, we know, but it won’t stay that way as items are bought and checked off. Certain price points might start to thin out, for example, leaving only the expensive things for those who are late to buying a gift. It’s very important to periodically keep checking back during the entire planning period to update and add to the list as needed. You can rest assured, however, that registry maintenance is not as time-consuming as the initial set-up.

If you struggled to populate a large list in the first place, you might worry about how you can keep filling it up as your items disappear. All of the Macy’s resources mentioned previously can be helpful with this, but there is another tool just for this purpose. Their Easy to Add Ideas section is made up of a few categories meant to get your inspiration flowing. What kind of vibe appeals to you? Crowd pleasers? Or maybe healthy living; whichever you pick, the idea is “simple” so browsing will be quick and easy to get you back to more pressing matters.

A wedding registry, just like general wedding planning, should be handled with care to get the most out of it. Don’t stress yourself out on the finer points, but have a plan and you’ll get to enjoy daydreaming about the kind of home you can create with your gifts!

Don’t forget; you can start getting that new home you’re dreaming about now, just by making a registry with Macy’s. Enter the Gift-A-Day Sweepstakes every day for a chance to win a different prize and for a special chance to win it all when the contest ends!

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