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Best Wedding Registries

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 62 Models Considered
  • 46 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 163 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best wedding registries

    Last Updated September 2018

    Getting married? Chances are you’re going to want to select a wedding registry or two. Because let’s face it: family, friends, and co-workers are going to want to give you gifts to help you begin your new life with your spouse. A wedding registry simplifies the entire gifting process process for both the givers and the receivers.

    Most department and online stores have wedding registries; for you, it’s a matter of selecting the best fit. Each store’s registry has its own set of merchandise, policies, and perks. How overwhelming! Why stress out over which wedding registry is best for you when you have so much other planning to do? Let us do the registry research for you.

    At BestReviews, we provide honest, unbiased reviews of the services and products you need. We consult experts and consumer reviews so that we can recommend the best products available. After researching wedding registries, we put together a shopping guide to help you figure out exactly what you need.

    Check out our shopping guide below to learn more, and when you’re ready to sign up for a wedding registry or two, please see our five wedding registry picks at the top of this page.

    If you already own the basics like flatware, pots, and pans, feel free to register for what you need. It’s better to register for items you truly love and want than to feel obligated to register for what’s traditionally on a wedding list.

    In-store vs. online wedding registries

    Should you sign up with an in-store registry, an online registry, or a combination in-store/online registry? Below, we take a close look at each type of option.

    In-store wedding registries

    This is where wedding registries got their beginning – in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Registries that operate solely in-store aren’t as common as they once were, but they can still be found and might be exactly what you need. For example, if most of your wedding guests live locally, an in-store wedding registry could be very convenient for both you and them. Bear in mind, however, that the selection may be limited to what is available in your local store.

    Highly Accessible

    Known for their partnerships with high-end designers, Target offers a unique selection of items both in-store and online, as well as a universal registry option that allows you to add items from other sites. Target also has a registry app with which you can scan barcodes for easy tracking of gifts and thank you notes. This registry includes a price-match program that, while not perfect, lets your guests find items at the best price but purchase them through Target. If you want a highly accessible in-store/online registry, Target is one of the best.

    Online wedding registries

    Online wedding registries offer incredible selection and are easy for anyone with internet access, including out-of-town wedding guests, to use. They often come with perks like a universal registry option that allows you to add items to your wish list from other websites. Many have code-scanning capabilities to help you track gifts. Some include thank you card-tracking as well.

    If you’re considering an online wedding registry, check the selection and return policy before signing up. Some return windows are pretty short – a particular concern if you start receiving gifts well in advance of your wedding day. You’ll also need to make sure you’re okay with the company’s shipping policy and costs. Shipping fees can add a lot to the price of the gift, and many registrants don’t want to subject their wedding guests to that.

    In-store/online wedding registries

    A combination wedding registry gives you the best of both worlds: you can walk through the aisles of the store if you want to, and you can take advantage of online registration if that’s more convenient. Some companies even offer on-site pick-up, so you can order online but save money on shipping costs by picking the item up at the store. Your friends and family enjoy the same options.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some brick-and-mortar stores have wedding consultants that can help you pick items. If you’re unsure where to start, a consultant can help you cover the basics before you add the fun stuff to your list.

    What to look for in a wedding registry

    Return policy

    The return policy is one of the first things you should check out before signing up for a wedding registry. Some policies have a short, 30-day return window that requires a receipt. Others give you a full year to return items purchased directly from the registry list.

    It’s also wise to check the return policy for items that were bought from the store but were not included on your registry list. Sometimes, the return window for these items differs from that of the items purchased off your wish list.

    Product selection

    Many people register at more than one store so they can choose from a larger selection of products. But size isn’t everything; you should also pay attention to the types of products that the registry offers. Do you like them? Do they fit your style?

    It’s true that online wedding registries have the biggest selection, but keep this in mind as well: too much selection can sometimes make it harder to decide. Consider which option would make the whole process easier for both you and your guests.

    Unbeatable Selection and Versatility

    Amazon’s online wedding registry offers an incredibly wide selection of products, along with a browser extension that allows you to add products to your registry from any site. Because of the vast product selection, you can ask for just about anything. Plus, they offer a one-time 20% off discount on anything left on the registry after the wedding date and a 180-day return window. Policy details change periodically, so be sure to check the site for all the details before you sign up.

    After-wedding discount

    Many stores offer a one-time discount coupon for any items still on your registry after your wedding date. The discount percentage varies from company to company, but this can often be a good deal.

    Shipping policy

    Shipping costs can jack up the price of a gift considerably. Wedding registries that offer free shipping after a certain dollar amount, in-store pickup, or membership shipping discounts will help your guests temper their shipping costs.

    Are you stumped for registry ideas? Think outside of the box. Home décor, furniture, and tools are all acceptable wedding registry items.

    Reward programs

    Reward programs can benefit both you and your guests. Some rewards programs offer a percentage of cash back on big-ticket items for you and the guest who purchased the gift. Others offer free gifts to the bride and groom when certain brands are purchased. Loyalty and store credit cards often offer extra reward points for items purchased from a wedding registry.

    Ease of website use

    An easy-to-use website is especially important for online-only wedding registries. Sometimes, finding the registry list on a store’s website can be the hardest part of shopping. The lists that are easiest to find will be searchable by the bride and/or groom’s first name, last name, or wedding date. Try going through the process yourself first to be sure it will be easy for your friends and family.

    You don’t have to register for everything in one visit. You can continue adding items to your registry list up until your wedding day.

    Universal registry

    A universal registry option lets you add items to your registry from any website, not just the store site where you are registered. This conveniently eliminates the need to look up items at the store site where you are registered. Simply add a browser extension, and you can add items from almost anywhere.

    Registry apps

    Registry apps are fairly new, but they’re growing in popularity. You can use your smart device to scan barcodes and add items in-store, or you can scan gifts as they arrive and check them off your registry list for easy gift-tracking.

    Thank you card-tracking

    Many online registries also include thank you card-tracking so you know who you need to thank – and what you need to thank them for.

    EXPERT TIP

    Thank you notes should be mailed as soon as possible. The more notes you can write before the big day, the better. If life is hectic and the chore is left for after the wedding, write a few thank you notes every day to stay on top things.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips for selecting a wedding registry

    Weddings require a lot of detailed planning. Creating a registry can be fun if you give yourself plenty of time and realize that items can be added later on. To help relieve stress, keep these tips in mind.

    • Consider the needs of your guests. It will likely be easier for guests who live out-of-state or in a foreign country to shop online. However, if you have a lot of guests who are not tech-savvy, they may feel more comfortable shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

    • Register for items in different price ranges. Your guests have varying budgets, and they’ll appreciate the ability to give a gift in their preferred price range.

    • Include a few big-ticket items. It’s okay to ask for that washing machine or patio furniture set, because some of your guests might want to pool their money for a more expensive gift.

    • Take note of how your registry list will look to your guests. Will they be able to see only those items that have not been purchased? Or will they be able to see what has already been bought, too?

    Check your registry list every now and then to see what has been purchased. If you notice a lot of items from one price range have been claimed, you might want to add a few more so guests still have options within their budget.

    FAQ

    Q. How many gifts should I register for?
    A.
    There is no one-size-fits-all answer here, but you should probably register for more items rather than less. Sometimes an item may be out of stock, or it may cost too much for some of your guests. If you give them more options, they’ll be more likely to find something that fits their budget and makes you happy, too.

    Q. My wedding planner suggested registering at more than one place. How many wedding registries should I create?
    A.
    You could certainly get by with just one wedding registry if you wanted to. However, if you’re looking to create a list with a diverse price range, a good rule of thumb is to have one high-end registry for pricier gifts and one lower-priced registry for those on a tighter budget. Some couples also like to include a charity option or contribution to a honeymoon fund.

    Q. How should I let my guests know where I’m registered?
    A.
    There are lots of options for informing guests about your registry. Nowadays, many couples create a wedding website to keep family and friends updated on all the latest wedding news. You could certainly include your registry information on this site. Also, many online retailers have partnerships with popular wedding websites. You can register your name on the wedding site, and it will direct your guests to any of your wedding registries.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer

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