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Inspiration » Registries + Gifts » How to Make a Wedding Registry in 6 Easy Steps

How to Make a Wedding Registry in 6 Easy Steps

by Joy Editors
couple working on together on their wedding registry

After checking off a few tedious tasks from your wedding to-do list, you’ve finally reached the fun part — creating the registry! Putting together a wishlist of your favorite items (like that air fryer you’ve been eyeing) is pretty simple, but for modern platforms with unique digital features, you’ll want to know how to make a wedding registry that’s easy for guests, too.

From top tips on item selections to etiquette must-knows, we’ll show you step-by-step how to set up your wedding registry and make the most of it.

Wedding Registry 101: How It Works

It’s normal for family and loved ones to shower the newlyweds with gifts. Wedding registries make it easy to ask for what you need, simplifying gift-giving for guests. Nowadays, there are many ways to set one up, such as online or in-person at your favorite retailer. You can even request options beyond physical gifts, such as funds for your honeymoon destination or new home together. 

Best of all, universal or “all-in-one” registries like Joy let you find and add items from anywhere online, swap gifts for cash funds, and more.

Once created, wedding guests can visit the registry link to find, purchase, and ship the items to the couple. Most modern registries also track and remove purchased items from the list, helping avoid duplicate gifts.  

Create a Wedding Registry Step by Step

Now that you know the perks of having a wedding registry, it’s time to make one. Let’s walk through the setup process together. 

Step 1. Determine your wants and needs 

Before compiling a list, discuss with your fiancé what the both of you will need after the wedding. You can take stock of items you two already own and use a wedding registry checklist to decide what home goods to add to your registry. Also consider if you all would prefer cash funds, such as to cover your honeymoon or financial milestones. 

Step 2. Set up your registry

Setting up a registry with Joy is quick and easy. Simply head over to our homepage or registry landing page and click “Get Started.” From there, it’ll lead you to the account setup page, where you’ll create your login information to activate your account. 

Once your account is activated, our platform will ask for your wedding details, desired features, and gift preferences to personalize your experience. It’ll then curate a gift list of recommendations, which you can choose or head straight to our registry search bar to browse as desired. 

The best part about our registry with wedding website features is having all of your wedding planning needs all in one place.

steps showing how to make a wedding registry with Joy

Step 3. Add items to the registry

Next, use the registry toolbar to begin your search. You can find wedding gift ideas from top brands like KitchenAid and Dyson, as well as intangible ideas like travel and experiences and cash donations. If you’d like to browse other websites, Joy’s universal browser feature adds items from anywhere, including popular retailers like Macy’s and Amazon.

Step 4. Curate your list

Once your list is complete, you can organize the gift ideas into categories to make browsing convenient for guests. For example, you may separate kitchenware from bedroom essentials or indicate your “must-haves” like favorite personal and home decor items.

Step 5. Sync it with your wedding website

If you have a wedding website, many platforms like Joy have nifty integration features, allowing you to add the registry to it. This way, you make it easy for guests to find all of your wedding details and information in one place. 

Tip: Consider adding a tab titled “Registry” in the navigation bar that links to the page. This makes the registry an accessible and humble request without overemphasizing it.

Check out our wedding website tips for more guidance on this virtual hub.

Step 6. Share your registry with guests

The last and most important step is to spread the word! In addition to having the link on your wedding website, you can also share your registry link with guests via email, digital invitations, prints and social media. 

Wedding Registry Tips to Know

With all of the excitement in gifts and list creation, we have a few helpful tips to keep in mind along the way. Here is some advice we rounded up from our registry experts to ensure your wishlist has everything you need and keeps guests in mind.

couple discussing wedding registry items together in their living room

Create it together 

Remember, the registry is for both you and your fiancé. Since you’ll be starting your new lives together as a married couple, the list should be a team effort. Discuss one another’s preferences and tastes so that it’s fair and covers both of your needs. 

Set up as early as possible 

When arranging your wedding timeline, aim to make your registry at least 8 to 10 months before your official wedding day. That way, it’s available for those shopping ahead of time, such as for your bridal shower and engagement party!

Stay organized every step of the way with our Wedding Planning Checklist

Find inspiration on other registries

If you have friends or loved ones who recently got married, they may still have up their registry that can give some ideas. Joy’s registry makes it easy, including a feature to add gifts from your friends’ registries. You can also take advantage of the curated registry lists on several wedding platforms and store websites. Couples can use them as guides on home decor, appliance must-haves, and more to help cover all the bases. 

Select across a wide price range

Be sure to have a nice mix of low-end and high-end items for guests who may have a budget to what they can afford. A generous range allows everyone to send something thoughtful without worrying how much to spend on a wedding gift. Fortunately, Joy has a group gifting feature that lets guests pitch in together for items over $350.

Feel free to over-register 

While the recommended amount of registry items is about two gifts per wedding guest, there really isn’t a limit to how many gifts you can have on a registry. Over-registering can actually work in your favor since it expands gift options for guests. 

Plan for shipping

You’ll want to figure out when and where your gifts will be shipped and confirm these details well in advance. Be sure to provide the correct address and instructions for gift delivery, such as which to mail vs. bring in person and how long after the honeymoon deliveries should arrive. If you live in the U.S., you can use Joy’s delay shipping feature to arrive after your honeymoon or any time most convenient for you.

Update as needed

Keep track of your registry and update as needed. If guests purchase all low-range items, you may want to replace them with other items. Check in about once a month to keep a mindful eye on what’s still available in different price ranges for guests. 

Express gratitude

Don’t forget to send your thank-you notes! Thoughtful messages are a great way to show your love and appreciation for those who purchased gifts or contributed financially.  Since it’s expected to get busy after the wedding and celebration, Joy’s registry generates thank-you email drafts, which you can personalize and send automatically straight from your gift tracker.

         tips to make the most of your wedding registry

We hope these tips were helpful! Our registry helps you seamlessly merge all gifts in one place, track gift purchases, automate thank-you notes for guests, and more. For a deeper dive into registry creation do’s and don’ts, check out our full etiquette guide on wedding registry do’s and don’ts.

Making a Wedding Registry FAQ

How do you politely ask for money instead of gifts?

Adding gift cards to your wedding registry is a gentle way to encourage monetary contributions from guests. Alternatively, you can set up a cash fund registry to creatively request financial contributions instead of tangible gifts.

Should I create separate registries for different wedding celebrations?

It’s normal for loved ones to bring gifts to a wedding shower and other festivities leading up to the big event. To make it easier, most couples choose to use the same wedding registry for each event and indicate which gifts are for the main wedding vs. other parties.

What is normal to put on a wedding registry?

The most popular registry items are home and kitchen essentials, where couples and registry sites generally curate a list of must-haves in these categories. However, modern registries have more diverse options, where cash funds and travel experiences are increasingly popular gift choices.

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