When it comes to your bridal shower registry, there are several things to consider. Read on for everything you need to know.
There are several things to think about before you begin your life as one-half of a married couple. And one of the items you’ll want to check off your to-do list as you plan your life as newlywed? Creating a bridal shower registry.
Your bridal shower registry is an increasingly popular option that gives your loved ones bridal shower gift ideas for the bride-to-be—but it generally functions a little differently than your wedding registry (which gives your loved ones wedding gift ideas) or an engagement gift registry (which gives your loved ones engagement gift registry ideas).
Keep reading to find out how these two registries differ, plus learn how to set one up, what items to include, when to thank your guests, and more.
Though the bridal shower registry differs from your wedding registry, you can choose to have both. Here’s what to consider in terms of the kinds of gifts you want and how you want to organize them.
One of the main differences between a shower and a wedding registry is the kinds of gifts on it. Often, couples will choose to ask for smaller and more personalized gifts on their bridal shower registry and leave the big-ticket items like dinnerware, flatware, and gadgets for their wedding registry.
While each engaged couple has their style of organizing things, there are a few elements to keep in mind as you set up your bridal shower registry. There is no one way to organize your registry—you can do whatever works for you and your partner. That said, having a simple system in place can help keep things organized. This can be as straightforward as you and your partner getting together and making a big list of all the things you need and want for your wedding.
Aim high, but also try to be realistic. Try to also think about what people can afford to get you as well. From there, you can divide the list up into two smaller parts and decide which items you’d like for the shower and which you'd like to receive at your wedding. Then, you can start to designate the two lists as “shower” and “wedding” and can start to manage both.
Generally, when it comes to bridal shower gifts, guests tend to get very personalized items, such as framed photos, books, wine, or even a cooking class. But remember: Not everyone is in the same place financially, so it’s polite to ask for items that range in price. Also keep in mind that, because bridal showers are less formal than weddings (for example, you might host a casual bridal shower brunch vs. a black-tie wedding)—and, as such, guests typically bring a less expensive gift to the shower.
Also, think about where you want to have your registry. Doing it online and through a wedding website that has an assortment of items that’s easy for people to access and has all the information that your guests will need will make it a more seamless process.
Because your bridal shower will take place before the wedding, you should put anything you need immediately on the bridal shower registry.
Deciding what to include on your registry can be a little overwhelming, so here are some tips and ideas to help you narrow it down:
Another aspect to consider is that you and your partner may already have some household items. As you put together your registry, take stock of what you already have in your home. This way, you can fully assess what you already own and come up with a more realistic list of what you want and need.
If you have multiples of certain items, asking for duplicates is redundant. If you both have older items and want an upgrade or a nicer version of something that you haven't been able to afford yet, this is the time to ask for it. Seeing what you and your partner both own first and adjusting your list to that can also be another good gauge in terms of how you will tackle your registry and the items you will put on it. If you’ve been wanting new things as well or have some household things that are on the fritz, adding them to your registry list is a great way to upgrade what you have.
The sky's the limit. Asking for things you both want and need is another great way to approach your registry. That said, you also need to consider the fact that you may not get it all. Some bigger and more expensive items may be out of people's budgets. It helps to be realistic about what you’re asking for and pick a range of items that hit a few different price points.
When you’re putting together your registry, you want to consider who will be using it. Will it be a combination of older and younger guests? Will some older guests possibly not understand a bridal shower registry or possibly take issue with it? Or are your guests on the younger side and more familiar with less traditional approaches to weddings, showers, and registries? These questions can serve as a guide for you.
If you’re inviting both younger and older folks, there may be a little bit of a disconnect in terms of weddings they have previously attended and the idea of a bridal shower registry may be a little foreign. If that’s the case, talk to your guests ahead of time, send an email or letter, and explain how you are planning to ask for gifts or what you would like people to do in terms of gifts.
Some couples choose to ask for other nontraditional items, such as gift cards, cash, or even monetary contributions to their honeymoon. Over the last decade, a honeymoon fund, a fund set up to pay for a honeymoon, has become an increasingly popular thing for couples to ask for. For example, if there’s a specific restaurant you want to eat at on your honeymoon or specific activities like spa treatments, figure out the cost, and add that to your registry. Guests will love the idea of contributing to creating a lasting memory.
Now that you've done the fun part of picking out all the gifts that you want, the next thing to do is to figure out where you want to register. If you’re wondering where to register, there are endless options. Today, almost every store allows you to create a registry. Although this can be convenient and exciting, an endless amount of choices can prove overwhelming. Consider organizing everything in one place online through registry sites. This makes it easy for your guests to find everything you want and allows you to pick and choose from a variety of options.
Zola's online registry offers couples fast and convenient ways to get their lists up and a ton of resources to help you with all aspects of your wedding. From great features like group gifting, price matching, virtual exchanges, and more, Zola makes it easy and fun to set up your registry online.
If you prefer to go the more traditional route and find gifts all through one place, you might choose a large online market space like Amazon where there is a wide range of gifts available. Or, you may prefer to support local stores. Bed, Bath, and Beyond and major department stores are also popular places to register.
When selecting your registry site, keep in mind what you and your partner want and what your style is, then pick a store or stores/websites that reflect this. With everything currently going on in the world, it’s also helpful to make sure your guests can shop either online or in person.
Need some inspiration for what to include on the perfect bridal shower registry? Check out these gift ideas to help you celebrate your pending nuptials!
Pop a bottle of bubbly and enjoy it in an elegant set of dishwasher-safe crystal glasses. This set of six Puro Champagne Flutes uses a formula that replaces lead with titanium and zirconium for maximum brilliance and strength, ensuring these glasses shine til death do you part.
Zwiesel Glas Puro Champagne Flute, Set of 6, $95.99, Zola
Whether you’re cooking a meal for two or growing a family, a durable cutting board is a necessity for hygienic meal prep. And what’s better than a cutting board that features an inset for collecting scraps and running juices? This Big Catch Cutting Board is made of beautiful acacia wood, making it a useful and ideal tool for counter-top free cutting.
Ironwood Gourmet Big Catch Cutting Board, $88.99, Zola
A house isn’t a home until it’s filled with bits and pieces of your and your boo’s personality. Home decor, like this 4-piece Wall Decor Set, brings life and character to your home—not to mention a little bit of inspiration and motivation for when the times get tough.
Storied Home 4-Piece Wall Decor Set, $43.99, Zola
Wine is ideal for settling down after a long day at work—or for enjoying over a romantic meal with your SO. This Set of 4 Oregon Red Wine Glasses is perfect for sipping your favorite red whenever you declare it wine-o’-clock. Better still? This set is affordable and dishwasher-safe, so won’t break your guests’ bank—or in your kitchen appliances.
Crate and Barrel Oregon Red Wine Glass, Set of 4, $31.80, Zola
After a relaxing shower, there are few things better than draping yourself with a soft, cozy towel. This Set of 2 Super-Plush Bath Towels is made with 820 gsm of Turkish cotton and bigger than most regular towels, all but guaranteeing you the most comfortable experience when it’s time to dry off.
Brooklinen Super-Plush Bath Towel, Set of 2, $79, Zola
Tying the knot typically prompts the purchase of new furniture. Protect your kitchen and living room furniture with this Set of 4 Marble Monogram Coasters that are carved, inlaid, and monogrammed by hand with an initial of your (or your guests’) choice.
Crate and Barrel Marble Monogram Coaster, Set of 4, $29.95, Zola
Cooking a delicious home-made meal starts in the kitchen, and that requires a full set of cookware. This 10-Piece Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set has everything you need to prepare nearly anything under the sun, with two frying pans, two saucepans, a saute pan, stock pot, and lids for each, all with convenient measuring marks and pour spots for easy and convenient cooking. Bon appetit!
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10 Piece, $199.99, Zola
After the wedding comes the honeymoon and, with that, travel. This Set of 2 Luggage Tags comes in a variety of colors and titles to help you easily identify and snag your luggage as you celebrate your new life together.
The Paisley Box Luggage Tags, Set of 2, $21.99, Zola
Once the clamor and hubbub of your wedding dies down—or even before the big day—few things are as peaceful as laying your head to rest on a soft and comfortable pillowcase. This Set of 2 Embroidered Organic Pillowcases is made of 100% organic cotton that only gets softer over time. And they’re ethically produced so you can feel good while sleeping good.
Boll & Branch Embroidered Organic Pillowcase, Set of 2, $68 - $78, Zola
Stand mixers are some of the best-selling staples of kitchen appliances, helping you make everything from delicious baked goodies to nutritious and filling smoothies. This 5.5 Qt Precision Master Stand Mixer has all the power and attachments you need for any recipe you plan on whipping up, including a chef’s whisk, dough hook, mixing paddle, and splash guard.
Cuisinart 5.5 Qt Precision Master Stand Mixer, $249.99, Zola
Among new home appliances, toasters aren’t considered uncommon goods—but finding a good toaster can be. This 2-Slot Toaster evenly browns any slice of toast, bagel, or muffin, leaving it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And don’t worry about your food comically shooting out to land on the countertop (or floor): this toaster uses a soft-lift feature to gently lift the toasted item without launching it into space or making it easy to burn your fingers.
Zwilling 2-Slot Toaster, $109.99, Zola
A crisp glass of white wine or champagne is the perfect drink to celebrate your pending nuptials and newlywed life. This stainless steel Admiral Bottle Chiller is smoothly contoured and double-walled to maintain the frosty temperature of your favorite bottle of vino or bubbly.
Viski Admiral Bottle Chiller, $57.99, Zola
Letting wine breathe can enhance its flavor. Enjoy your favorite fine wines with this Decanter With Coaster, which includes a micro-perforated strainer for removing impurities and sediment, an aerating funnel that oxygenates your wine by allowing it to flow over the walls of the glass, and an acacia wood coaster to catch any stray drips.
Rabbit Decanter With Coaster, $108.99, Zola
Paper napkins can be an expensive purchase—both for your wallet (over time) and the environment. This Set of 4 Flax Napkins can replace single-use napkins and come in a relaxed and attractive rhubarb color that will help elevate your meals. The bonus? They’re soft and sustainable, keeping you—and the world—clean.
Five Two By Food52 Flax Napkins, Set of 4, $30, Zola
Let your bridesmaids and guests help you spice up your coming wedding night and honeymoon with some beautiful and comfortable lingerie. The Never Saw Never Collection is a Hollywood favorite, with floral-patterned lace crafted from the highest quality materials in Italy.
Cosabella Never Say Never Collection, $36 - $79.75, Zola
Once you've opened all of your gifts and the party's over, the next thing on your to-do list isn’t always as fun: writing the thank you notes. And depending on how many people you invited to your shower and how many people bought you gifts, there may be over 100 cards to write. Although the thought is overwhelming, there are some things you can do to help make the process go more smoothly.
Be sure to keep track of who got you what with a master list, a spreadsheet, or another method of organization. This system should include specifics, so there’s no confusion later. And plan to send a thank you within two weeks of getting the gift.
Traditionally, thank you notes are handwritten. It’s a simple gesture that shows you took time and care to write the note and that you thought of the person. While sending an email or text may seem like it has the same sentiment, it may come off as impersonal.
Stock up on stationery and postage stamps. A simple blank card can do the trick, as well as others that say “thank you,” or other kinds of personalized stationery.
The general rule of thumb is if you received a gift, you should send a thank you. Work in batches. Knocking a few out at a time will help make the process seem less daunting overall.
When writing, express your appreciation for the gift and be sure to name what it is you were given. If you were given cash or a check, tell them what you did or plan to do with the money. And even if a guest didn't get you a gift, send a thank you to express your gratitude for their presence at the event. Having a general template of what you say on each one can help speed up the process, but don’t forget to personalize each one by adding specific details about each gift.
Creating your bridal shower registry is an exciting part of the wedding planning process. But it can, at times, seem overwhelming. Luckily, Zola offers a variety of tools to help make it easier for you and your guests. We offer one of the most comprehensive wedding and bridal shower registry amenities online, and the best part is that it's free!
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