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How Many Wedding Registries Should We Have?

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With every department store, small boutique, online mega-retailer, and quirky shop now offering wedding registries, it's tempting to go wild and set one up in every location. "Let's register for housewares!" you might cry. "We need new camping gear," might respond your fiancé. "Our favorite art gallery offers registry services," you might chime together, before suddenly realizing that you have 20 different lists for guests to choose from. The danger in too many wedding registries is not only that it will be confusing to your guests, but also that you won't get what you really want. Yet there's also a danger in having only one registry – the store might not be convenient for out-of-town invitees, especially those who aren't regular internet shoppers.

So what do you really need? I recommend two to three wedding registries. Start with:
  • One major nationwide store like Bed Bath and Beyond (900 stores nationwide), Macy's (850 stores nationwide), or Target (1,763 stores.)

    These retailers are more likely to have a physical store close to all of your guests, and offer online shopping as well. They stock those basic things that every household needs, as well as a few fantasy and fun items. If you were just going to choose one store, it should be a major, nationwide brand like one of these.

  • A second housewares or mainstream wedding registry location.

    Choice is always good, right? A second mainstream store helps make sure you're not choosing that china pattern just because it's slightly better than the other ones available. With just a few more options, you can find the perfect wine glasses at one store, and the small appliances of your dreams at the other. For example, you might register at both Macy's and You could also consider a universal registry, such as the one that Amazon offers. This will allow you to compile gifts from many different retailers. Though many couples will just use the universal registry, I recommend using one only after setting up at a traditional store. That will allow both you and your guests to actually view the items before purchase.

  • A quirky, unusual, or modern option

    Once you have the first two lists, you can add something more non-traditional. Want to ask for money towards your honeymoon? Have a passion for eating at fine restaurants? There's a registry for you. It shouldn't be your only wedding registry, or even your primary one, but it can be a nice way to get those special and personal gifts.

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