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What Type of Wedding Registry is Right for You?

by Joy Editors
Three wedding registry gifts wrapped with tulle ribbon next to a veil

You’ve saved the date, booked your venue and are well on your way to planning the wedding of your dreams. Up next: creating a wedding registry to help guide friends and family who want to shower you with love and well wishes. 

Though setting up a registry is a time-honored tradition, this item on your wedding checklist has taken on a whole new look for modern couples. While traditional gift registries remain a popular pick for those who want to fill their newlywed nest with the best cookware and bar essentials, there are so many ways to tailor your wish list to meet your unique needs. From cash funds to all-in-one registries, here’s a guide to help you determine what type of wedding registry is right for you. 

Retail Registry

For soon-to-be-married couples who are building their first home together, a traditional retail registry can help round out every corner of your space. This classic wedding registry type covers all the bases when it comes to your kitchen, bed and bath needs — pots and pans, bakeware, blenders, mixers, linens and more. Even if you don’t need all the essentials, a retail registry offers an opportunity to upgrade dated appliances or create a next-level coffee nook or home bar. Most major retailers make the sign-up process quick and easy, allowing you to add items online and update as needed leading up to your big day. 

Pro tip: If a loved one is throwing you an engagement party or wedding shower, be sure to register early. Not registering in time for these pre-wedding celebrations makes it more likely you’ll receive three toasters or knick-knacks that will collect dust and take up valuable space on your kitchen counter. Not sure where to start? For tips on how to tackle this item on your wedding planning checklist, this guide to wedding registry ideas offers a breakdown of popular retail categories and picks for every price point. 

Universal Gift Registry

With so many stores specializing in their own product niches, why box yourself in with just a single option? A universal gift registry allows you to sign up with multiple retailers and connect them in a central location. Syncing all your store registries can help you stay organized during the stressful wedding planning process and provide your loved ones with an easy, shoppable list for all your celebrations. 

This type of registry offers great flexibility for couples with a wide range of needs, whether you want to choose a stand mixer in the exact right color at a kitchen retailer or add luggage from your favorite department store. It’s also great if you have a large guest list and want to provide plenty of options for every budget. Plus, with a universal registry, you’ll still receive all the perks of signing up at individual stores like completion discounts, bonus gifts and rewards! 

Cash Fund

Your wedding registry is a way for loved ones to help set you up with everything you need to start your newlywed life together. But if you have more dishes, flatware and towels than you know what to do with, a cash fund might be the right type of wedding registry for you. 

The reasons for choosing a cash fund are seemingly endless. Maybe you’ve lived together for years and don’t need to furnish your home, or you’re planning a cross-country move where bringing heavy appliances is out of the question. With a cash fund, your guests can still celebrate your big day by contributing to something special that you truly want, whether it’s a down payment on a house or an epic honeymoon. 

When choosing a cash fund, do your homework. Most registry sites will charge a fee for processing or credit card transactions — sometimes asking guests to pay extra at checkout to cover the amount. Joy offers a zero-fee cash registry, meaning couples are able to take home every cent and your guests aren’t charged for processing. It seamlessly connects to popular cash-sharing services, including Venmo, PayPal and CashApp, so your guests have plenty of choices when it comes to sending their gift. 

Honeymoon Fund

Lounging on the shores of an all-inclusive resort after months of stressful wedding planning sounds like the ideal way to celebrate and unwind. But if you’ve gone over your wedding budget and your dreams of a tropical retreat are dashed, a honeymoon fund may be the solution to all your planning woes. 

A type of cash registry, a honeymoon fund allows couples to register for a range of travel-related expenses. Depending on how you set up your registry, guests can contribute to general travel costs or for individual items. Joy’s honeymoon registry is pre-loaded with thousands of experiences, or you can customize your own list based on your actual itinerary. Add options like airfare, hotel stays, rental cars or activities like a private hot air balloon ride for two, wine tasting tours and more. Since cash gifts given through Joy have zero fees for you or your guests, every dollar can go toward creating an unforgettable trip for you and your partner. 

Charity Registry

Even if you have everything you could possibly want or need for your home and honeymoon, don’t write off a wedding registry just yet. Start off your union with an act of goodwill by setting up a charity wedding registry, which gives back to a cause near and dear to your heart. If there’s already a nonprofit you support, this is an easy way to raise awareness and create a bigger impact for the organization than you could achieve with an individual donation. You can also choose a new group to benefit from your big day, using your wedding registry to honor a cause that’s personally meaningful to you or your soon-to-be spouse. Check out this introductory guide to charity wedding registries for more tips on researching and choosing the right nonprofit.

All-in-One Registry

If you’re struggling to decide what type of wedding registry is right for you, don’t compromise. Sometimes you really can have it all. 

An all-in-one registry connects all of your retail store lists, plus enables you to set up cash funds and collect charitable donations. Meanwhile, your guests are able to shop everything on your wish list on a single site. Offering total flexibility, this is a great choice if you want to give guests plenty of options but need the simplicity of tracking everything you’ve registered for in one place. 

In addition to offering zero-fee cash funds — the only registry you’ll find with this feature — Joy’s all-in-one wedding registry provides the ability to add items directly from its shop, with categories ranging from home essentials to gift cards, luggage, health and fitness gear, and more. You can also download the mobile app to update your list on the go, or install the Joy Browser Button to add registry picks from any website. 

Up Next:

Your wedding registry, your way

From gifts, to cash funds, experiences or charitable causes, add any gift you want, from any online retailer, to your Joy registry.

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