Your guests definitely don't want to arrive to your wedding empty-handed, so setting up a wedding registry is incredibly important during the wedding planning process. That's why we're breaking down traditional and non-traditional wedding registry options out there you can set up. And if you're wondering who you should buy gifts for as a special thank you to those that played a major role in your wedding, check out our gift guide below. 


The couple should register together to make sure they are both involved in the choices. Whether household items from a local retailer, a honeymoon registry through your travel agent, or donations requested for a local charity, you should register so guests know their options, in case they prefer not to give money as a gift. 


• The more you register for, the less chance of duplicate items. 

• You want to give guests plenty of time to purchase gifts, but don't register too early as some items may go out of stock. 

• Don't discard gift receipts, in case you need to return items. 

• Traditional etiquette says registry information should only be given by word of mouth, except in the cases of showers which are not hosted by the couple. However, today's wedding websites make for an opportunity to give registry information and links. The choice is yours.

wedding gift registry ideas


LOCAL: Besides helping your local economy, local stores often carry specialty products not found in national chains. 

NATIONAL: Out-of-town guests appreciate the convenience of shopping at a store nearby or online. Consider registering at more than one store, offering a variety of price points. 

UNTRADITIONAL: If you feel you have everything you need for your home, consider other registry ideas such as a camping supply store, furniture store, restaurant, real estate agency, or travel agency. 

CHARITY: Ask your guests to donate to your favorite charity, in lieu of gifts.

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4-6 MONTHS BEFORE: Register

wedding gift registry ideas


Give thoughtful gifts to family and friends who put time, money, and effort into making your wedding special. You can present the gifts at a luncheon, the rehearsal dinner or in private. Here are a few ideas to consider, but the options are endless and can be personalized for each individual or matching gifts for all involved. 

PARENTS: Wine club membership, Bed & Breakfast stay, restaurant gift cards, a collection of photos from the wedding or a framed print. 

WEDDING PARTY: Jewelry, cuff links, spa treatments, flasks or mugs, clutch purses, a round of golf, cigars, microbrew of the month, specialty soaps, travel bag, tickets to game or event, wristwatch, smart gadgets, themed gift basket, or personalized photo book chronicling your friendship. 

SHOWER HOSTS: Flower arrangement, potted plant, a box of chocolates, jewelry, specialty soaps, a bottle of wine, a box of cookies or cupcakes.

See more Madison wedding gift registries in our online vendor gallery here: