What is a wedding gift registry?

With your wedding just around the corner, you know that everybody attending is going to want to buy you something. But how do you put it politely that you don’t want another book about how to survive the first year of marriage or yet more champagne flutes you don’t have space for?

The easiest way to encourage people to spend money on something worthwhile to you as a couple is to set up a wedding registry. This cuts down the number of unwanted gifts (however, you’ll always get one or two people who will go ‘off-list’) and reduces the risk of getting duplicate items.

Most large department stores offer this service: John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams, are some of our wedding registry ideas that you could use.

How do I create a wedding registry?

Setting up a registry couldn’t be easier.

Just visit your chosen retailer’s website to sign up, then take your pick of your favourite items. The store will normally give you a link to add to your invitations or put on your wedding website.

For your convenience, purchased items are usually collated after your wedding and delivered to your doorstep on your chosen day.

What kind of items can I add to my registry?

Depending on the store you choose and the availability of stock, you can add things like homeware, certain food and drink products and garden accessories to your wedding registry gift list. What’s more, you can often pick gift vouchers or choose to donate to a charitable organisation.

How many items should I choose?

In theory, you can pick as much as you want but the smartest thing to do is to mainly select the things you ‘need’ or ‘really want’. If you add everything you ‘like’ too then you’ve more of a chance of being disappointed as some of the necessities may get overlooked in favour of the niceties!

Experts suggest you list approximately one gift per couple (or invitee if you have lots of individuals attending) so that you are likely to receive most things from your chosen list. Don’t forget, if you are listing products with varying price tags then some couples may go for two or more less expensive items to make the money up.

Once all the items have gone from the list, the remaining guests will still have the option to buy you a gift voucher to spend in store.

Did you know you can also opt for a holiday registry, whereby people can contribute tickets, day trips, hotel stays and more to make your chosen honeymoon more special?

Wedding Registry Dos and Don’ts

In short, there’s a certain etiquette involved in having a wedding registry. To summarise the points above, see our list of dos and don’ts below (we’ll add a few additional tips here too!).


register early to give you time to think through your list.
pick the things you most want or need.
choose some cheaper items as well as pricier ones.
add alternative gift voucher options for those who are late shopping for your gift.


leave it too late and rush your list.
add large numbers of items for people to sift through.
don’t limit people to higher end products that not all can afford.
add things you don’t both want!