Navigating the world of registry etiquette is tough work. To put together The Registry Rule Book, we asked some industry experts to weigh in and answer some of the hardest questions engaged couples might have.
Putting together a complete wedding registry is an exercise in moderation. No bride or groom wants to look greedy by registering at multiple stores. But in real life, you don't just shop at one place, so you shouldn't start your married life by filling your home with matching sets exclusively from "Barns, Barrels and Beyond." It's a tough question: How many stores is too many? And how many wedding registries should you have?
WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR:
As Many as You Want, You Do You
A little of this, a little of that. If you've got an eclectic vibe or really specific taste, you might opt for lots of smaller registries versus one big one. And there's not really anything wrong with that.
Vicki Fulop, one of the founders (along with her husband of seven years) of the bedding brand Brooklinen, thinks a couple should listen to their gut: "Three registries are ideal to cover all the bases and give wedding guests options, but if a couple wants to have more I say do whatever feels right!" The tough part is communicating the news of all those registries without looking like you're grabbing for gifts.
THE EXPERT ANSWER:
Three, It's a Magic Number
If you want to play strictly by the rules and minimize the potential for side-eye from your guests, stick to three (or fewer) store registries. Three was the number most frequently suggested by our experts.
Tabitha Abercrombie, the event and floral designer behind Winston & Main and herself a newlywed of one year, thinks two or three registries is plenty. "I like to include at least one big box, one small business and one brick and mortar," she said. "A little something for every guest."
In order to cover all the bases with just three stores, consider what you're registering for and choose accordingly. Kristin Joy, the voice of Bridentity Crisis and a wedding writer for Style Me Pretty and Refinery 29, suggests using one store to register for everyday items like dishes and linens, another for luxuries and collectibles (if you're into that sort of thing), and one more for something fun: "Wanderable and Honeyfund are good honeymoon registry sites, or go for a registry where guests can make charitable contributions in your name, such as Zola."
Stick to One Flexible Registry
If all this talk of multiple registries has you reeling, know there's a third option. Universal registries let you add gifts from multiple stores to one convenient place online, and you can even add cash gifts, experiences and donations to charity, too. Two of the most popular options are Zola and Blueprint Registry—and experts from both stepped up for this story.
Zola's Newlywed-At-Large and Director of Brand Strategy, Jennifer Spector, thinks more than one registry can be confusing for guests and touts the benefits of Zola, an online marketplace with a wide variety of registry options, to keep things simple. "That's exactly why Zola was created—so you could register for every kind of gift you want, plus experiences and cash funds all in one place," Jennifer said. "And if we don't have exactly what you're looking for, you can always add something from another site to your Zola registry."
Lizzy Ellingson, the founder and Chief Creative Officer at Blueprint Registry agrees that separate store registries are actually more limiting than a universal one like Blueprint, which lets you put together a registry from different sources, all organized on a personal "blueprint" by room. "A couple can add as many gifts from as many retailers as they want while keeping everything organized in one location," Lizzy told us. "A couple can register at a major retailer, a local boutique store and have a honeymoon registry all in one list. Managing multiple registries becomes a little easier, and your guests will appreciate the one-stop shopping."
Now you weigh in: How many registries is too many?