It’s crucial for any bride and groom to create a wedding gift registry before sending out their wedding invitations. Your loved ones will want to buy you gifts, to celebrate your marriage and say ‘thank you’ for including them in your special day.
By creating a gift list, you’ll save your guests the headache of shopping. You’ll also ensure that you don’t end up with any duplicates, or things that you don’t need.
For some couples, this is easy-peasy - but for others, coming up with gift ideas can be a nightmare. What sorts of things should you wish for, if you already have lots of ‘stuff’? How many gifts should you register for, and how much money should you expect your guests to spend?
In this guide, we’ll explain all of the above. We’ll also share our 47 favourite ideas for gift registry items that you may not have thought of. Finally, we’ll offer some advice for our readers that may not want gifts at all.
What Should I Put On My Wedding Registry?
Wedding gift registries almost always focus on household goods: things like bedlinen, crockery and cookware. This tradition originated many years ago, when couples didn’t move in together until after they were married, and thus didn’t have many living essentials.
Of course, today, most couples choose to live together for months, or even years, before tying the knot. That means that most modern-day brides and grooms have already got plenty of household ‘things’. You may feel, therefore, that it’s sort of silly to list things like duvet covers and cereal bowls.
Our advice is to use this as an opportunity to ‘upgrade’ the things you already own. You may already have a toaster, for example - but maybe it’s a cheap plastic one that always browns the bread more on one side. Why not use this chance to swap it for a snazzy, 4-slice toasters with a digital display and a warming drawer?
Now is also a good time to think back to household items you’ve always wanted, but have never felt justified in buying yourself. Think things like kitchen gadgets, hotel-quality sheets and pillows. If you’ve already got the practical items, but your home’s a little bare on decor, why not ask for some ornaments and art pieces?
Wedding Gift Ideas By Room
When you’re choosing things for your gift registry, don’t hold back. The more items you put on the list, the better. You’re not being greedy: you’re simply giving your guests as wide a variety as possible of things to choose from.
Also, don’t forget to include a wide range of price points. In the UK, the average amount spent on a wedding gift is around £40 - but your guests will all have different budgets.
For example, some of your guests may not be able to afford that £100 Le Creuset casserole, whereas the £25 set of wine glasses will suit them just fine. But include pricier items too, in case some of your loved ones want to treat you, or go in together on a larger present.
Your registry should contain a bare minimum of one gift per guest, but ideally, aim for more than this. That way, you’ve more of a chance that all of your guests will find something that suits their tastes and price point.
Not everyone will buy directly off the registry, but having a wide range of items on there will give them a good idea of your style, and the kinds of gifts you’re after. If you’ve no idea where to start, here’s a list of our favourite wedding gifts, organised by room.
Kitchen & Dining
The kitchen and dining areas are the pride and joy of many homes. There are so many potential wedding gift ideas here. You already know about toasters, cutlery sets and frying pans, so we won’t bore you with those.
Here are our favourite gift ideas that will turn your kitchen into something you can really be proud of!
1. Knives - a good quality set can transform your cooking skills
2. Cast iron saucepans and casseroles - they’re expensive, but absolutely worth it
3. Stand mixer, for example Kitchenaid
4. Panini press or sandwich toasting machine
5. Coffee machine, for example an espresso machine, drip coffee maker or cafetiere
6. High-powered blender, for making excellent smoothies, soups and sauces
7. Slow cooker - perfect for those long work days
8. Set of crystal drinking glasses
9. Dinner plates - fancy ones, e.g. gold-rimmed, for special occasions
10. Solid wood cutting board or cheese board set
Each of us spends around a third of our life sleeping, so you can’t neglect your bedroom. Why not use your wedding as an opportunity to upgrade your sleeping quarters! Here are our favourite bedroom gift ideas:
11. High thread count sheets for a silky-smooth sleep experience
12. Designer duvet cover sets e.g. Ted Baker
13. A brand new duvet - go for a luxurious filling e.g. down
14. Hotel-quality pillows (at least two per person!)
15. Throw pillows that match your new duvet sets
16. Bedspreads or bed runners
17. Bedroom rug - go for high-pile for a soft underfoot feel
18. Bedside lamps to brighten up your room
You may not have thought of registering for bathroom goods, but there are many potential items here that would make great additions to your wedding gift list.
19. Fluffy towels in a range of sizes - don’t forget the face cloths and bath mat!
20. Bath robes (or dressing gowns), one for each of you
21. Bathroom scale - you could even go for a ‘smart scale’ that logs your data on an app
22. Laundry hamper - upgrade the old plastic basket to a smart new wooden or bamboo hamper
23. New bathroom mirror, perhaps with lights or a fog-free feature
24. Luxury shower or bath toiletry sets e.g. Molton Brown
25. Refillable soap and lotion dispensers, in stylish chrome or stone effect
The living room is most likely the social hub of your home, where you entertain guests and spend most of your free time. There are a range of gifts you could register for to give your living room a touch of comfort or style.
27. Flower vases
28. Photo frames in a range of different sizes
29. Ornaments and small sculptures
30. Wall art e.g. posters, prints and paintings
31. Cushions for your sofa and arm chairs
32. Sofa throws and blankets
33. Floor lamp and/or lampshade for ceiling light
Most people focus on the inside of their home, but your garden needs love too! Obviously, if you live in a flat or don’t have a garden, you can skip this section. But if you do, consider these gift ideas:
34. Barbecue for entertaining in the summer
35. Picnic hamper for days out
37. Strimmer (a.k.a. weed whacker)
38. Leaf blower
39. Garden tool set for the shed
40. Pressure washer for brightening up your decking or exterior walls
41. Ceramic plant pots - a pretty addition to any patio or balcony
Finally, here are some excellent gift ideas you may not have thought of that don’t particularly fit into any one room.
42. Storage boxes or shelf organisers (to contain all your new household items!)
43. Luggage sets for your honeymoon
44. Incense burner or scented candles to keep your home smelling beautiful
45. Vacuum cleaner
46. Tool box - it’s better to have one of these before you need it, in case of emergency repairs!
47. Exercise equipment e.g. weight set, stationary bike, treadmill, step machine
The above list isn’t exhaustive, of course. You can choose what to register for. Don’t feel pressured to include things you don’t need, just because it’s what’s traditionally asked for.
If you want to ask for something unconventional, go ahead. For example, personal items like books and DVDs, or even baby-related gifts if you’re expecting an addition to the family.
What If I Don’t Want Wedding Gifts?
Hopefully, this guide will have given you some good ideas about the sorts of gifts you’d like. But perhaps you’re the couple who already has everything, or your home is too small for more ‘things’. Or maybe you just feel too awkward asking for gifts. In that case, what do you do?
It’s important that you confront the issue, rather than ignoring it. Make no mistake: if you give your wedding guests no guidance at all, they’ll still buy you gifts. It’s just likely that you’ll end up with boxes full of frying pans and toasters, rather than things you’ll find useful.
If you really don’t want gifts, tell your guests. Perhaps put a small poem or message on your wedding invitations, or a page on your wedding website, indicating that gifts aren’t necessary and your guests’ presence is all that you wish for.
For those guests that insist on getting you a gift - as there will undoubtedly be some - you may wish to ask for cash towards your honeymoon, or even a charity donation. For some inspiration, check out our list of 7 great alternatives to a traditional wedding gift list