Experts Agree That These Are the 10 Most Common Wedding Registry Mistakes Couples Make

Create the perfect gift list by avoiding these pitfalls.

<p>Getty Images / Olga Zarytska</p>

Getty Images / Olga Zarytska

If you’re in the midst of starting your wedding registry but feel entirely overwhelmed by the process and how many options are available to you, know that you're not alone. While planning a wedding is a whirlwind of excitement, there are also so many tasks to cross off your to-do list, and if selecting dinnerware and pots and pans for your newlywed home is one that's causing your more stress than eagerness, we're here to help. First and foremost, remember that creating a wedding registry is a chance for you and your partner to curate a wish list that reflects your dreams and aspirations for this new life together. Next, get familiar with the most common wedding registry mistakes contemporary couples makes so that you and your guests are happy with the array of presents you two curate.

“Registries should be fun," explains Fallon Carter, founder of Fallon Carter Events. "They should not be overwhelming. It really comes down to getting organized with the categories that you're looking for—whether it’s home, travel, kitchen—and identifying where you want to register.”


  • Fallon Carter is the founder and creative director of Fallon Carter Events.

  • Sara Margulis is the CEO and co-founder of Honeyfund, a free honeymoon registry website.

  • Emily Forrest is the director of communications at Zola, a popular destination for wedding registries.

To that end, we spoke to the industry’s top wedding registry experts and asked them to share the mistakes couples most often make. Whether you've already started your list or are at a loss for where to begin, understanding these common pitfalls will help you navigate the world of wedding registries with precision.

Related: 6 Common Wedding Gift Mistakes Guests Make

Not Creating a Registry at All

This may seem obvious, but one of the most common mistakes couples make is not creating a registry at all. “We know that many couples are moving in together before they get married, and may even feel like they ‘have it all’ and don’t need anything new,” says Emily Forrest at Zola. Whatever you do, don't let your cohabitation status stop you from creating a registry—your guests will want to celebrate you and buy you presents you’ll actually enjoy, and a wedding registry is the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to upgrade your essentials or pick out must-haves for the life you plan to build together. If you've always dreamed of being big entertainers, hosting dinner parties for all of our family members and friends, go ahead and request some beautiful crystal stemware and enough plates for an entire party. If you two know you love to cook a certain style of cuisine, register for must-haves that will help you perfect your recipes, like pasta makers or woks.

Not Using a Universal Platform

Our experts agree that it's best to sync all of your registries into one platform so everything is in one place for guests to shop. There are several different online destinations where couples can share their entire wish list—including gifts from any store as well as cash funds—in one place. These are called universal registries. While each one might be slightly different from the next, they all curate your lists from any retailer into one place: Simply put, using a universal registry means that if you’re creating lists at Bloomingdales, Pottery Barn, and Target, one guest could buy your towels from one store and plates from another without ever having to switch websites. It might not seem like that big of a deal, but it can make a big difference in the experience for your loved ones.

Not Adding the Registry to a Wedding Website

Similarly, if you're creating a wedding website, it's best to add all of the registry details—including direct links to your lists—there. Most wedding website templates have a “registry” tab, making it a one-stop-shop for guests to receive all of the information in one place. It ultimately will streamline communication and lessen the repetitive questions couples tend to receive leading up to the big day.

Sticking to the Basics and Not Getting Creative

Experiences, unlike physical items, become lifelong memories for a couple. They offer a way to start married life with adventures and shared moments that you'll cherish forever. “With Honeyfund, guests can contribute to anything from a romantic dinner to a hot air balloon ride, making them a part of your honeymoon story,” says Sara Margulis at Honeyfund. Carter adds, “This is the opportunity for guests to give you something that when you experience it, you think of them.”

Not Including Gifts in Different Price Ranges

As a courtesy to guests, couples should register for items in a wide range of different prices. Everyone's budget for wedding gifts varies, so offering a selection of options at an array of price points ensures all guests can spend within their means will still gifting you two something you actually want. “Look for a platform that makes it easy to break down bigger ticket items into smaller, more affordable gifts, ensuring there's something for every guest's budget,” Margulis recommends.

“You really want to be mindful of the fact that everyone coming to the wedding may not be as affluent or financially stable as other guests, so give a range of gifting that ranges from your low, mid, and high-tier price points,” explains Carter. 

Forgetting About Cash Options

Asking for cash as a wedding gift is no longer taboo—assuming you do it appropriately, that is. Adding a cash fund registry to your wedding website one of the best options. Forrest explains that some couples are “even using cash funds to pay for wedding expenses, pay debts like student loans, and family planning." She goes on to say, "Having a cash fund allows you to ask for ‘cash’ in a more personal way, which guests love.” By expressing the specific reasons behind their cash request, couples make their loved ones feel that their contribution holds significance.    

Not Updating Your Registry on a Regular Basis

While you may not want to look at who gave you each gift until after the bridal shower or wedding, it's important to keep an eye on how many gifts are still available in each price range; it's best to add presents in each category whenever they dip too low. In fact, Carter tells us that that registry should grow and build until the wedding day comes. Plus, new products might become available over the course of your engagement, so by regularly refreshing the registry, you're ensuring that you'll receive gifts that reflect your current tastes and needs.

Not Curating the List as a Couple

Do it together! Registering for wedding gifts shouldn't feel like a chore. It's an exciting step in planning for your future as a married couple. “We've seen couples make a date night out of it, choosing items or experiences that reflect their shared dreams and desires,” Margulis says. “It's a great way to visualize and plan your future together, making it more exciting than just another task on your wedding to-do list.”

Not Registering Early Enough

The earlier an engaged couple creates a wedding registry, the better. This is because your registry isn't just for wedding gifts: Family members and friends might want to send over a special present to mark your engagement, and they'll most certainly use your registry as a guide when shopping for gifts for any pre-wedding showers. “This is something that should take some time, that way you really get the things that you’d like, and it also gives you the time to get creative. It gives you the time to shop around to find pieces that will make your wedding experience better,” says Carter. Without a wish list, couples may end up with gifts they don't want or duplicate items.

Forgetting to Send Thank-You Cards

The proper etiquette is that you send a thank-you card to anyone who has given you a gift, whether it be cash or a present from your registry. “You should definitely send a thank you within three months,” says Carter. “Once you receive the gift, be as detailed as possible to say thank you, tailored to what they gave you and leaning into why you love the gift.” For a seamless process, Carter recommends creating multiple templates of how you word your thank you notes, leaving in spaces to fill in the names and items, so that way it still feels authentic to you and you can get the notes out a lot quicker. 

Up Next: The 21 Best Wedding Registry Sites & Stores of 2023

Read the original article on Brides.