Ultimate Organization Checklist for Your Wedding Registry

Think you’re an organized bride? Even if you already have color-coded binders and spreadsheets that would make your accountant proud, there’s always another checklist to, well, check. Use this ultimate organization list to jumpstart your wedding gift registry, or fill in any steps you may have missed.

1. Choose two to five stores.

Three seems to be the sweet spot for most brides. You want enough stores to give guests choices, but not so many that they’re a hassle to manage.

Bonus Tip: Pick one store for kitchen/entertaining, another for bed/bath, and a third for electronics. This focuses your choices, prevents duplicates, and makes your registry super-easy for guests to navigate.

2. Merge your registries.

This is especially important if you ignore the previous tip and register at a bazillion stores. Choose a registry aggregator like MyRegistry.com, The Knot, SimpleRegistry, or Zola to link up all your registries.

Bonus Tip: If you have offbeat wishes like hand-sewn linens from an online crafter or a bookcase from the local furniture shop, make sure your registry aggregator lets you include small sellers.

3. Include one registry that collects cash.

Some of your guests will want the ease of a cash gift. (Yay!) Stay organized by signing up for just one cash-collecting site like HoneyFund.com, Wanderable.com, or Feather Our Nest.

Bonus Tip: If asking for cash makes you uncomfortable, consider registering with a charity site like Heifer International, I Do Foundation, or Changing the Present.

4. Register early and often. Get your registry up as soon as possible so guests can shop for engagement gifts, bridal showers, and early wedding presents. Then, make a note on your calendar to check your registry once a month at first, then once a week leading up to the wedding, and add gifts as needed.

Bonus Tip: Start your registry with the stuff you need most and keep a “B list” handy so you can add items intelligently. That way you only get the gravy boat after all the place settings are purchased.

5. Go ahead and over-register.

Definitely register for more gifts than you expect to receive. Two reasons: First, you want to give last-minute shoppers a range of choices for their budget and taste; and second, you’ll have a shopping list ready to take advantage of registry completion deals (most big stores offer a 10–15% discount).

Bonus Tip: Check the return policies of your stores. Some give cash for returns, while others only do store credit.

6. Register for seasonal items at the last minute.

Seasonal gifts like barbecue tools or snowman dishes tend to do disappearing tricks, and there’s nothing more depressing than a registry with half the items no longer available. Color your registry with fun seasonal items no more than one month before the wedding date.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to add to your registry after the wedding, too. Many guests procrastinate, and etiquette assures us they have a whole year to send that gift.

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