The Golden Rules of Gift Registries

Make purchasing presents a pleasure for your guests with our quick-fire guide to gift registries.

  • Story by Photo Shutterstock

Attention shoppers! Though undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning, gift registries should be handled with care.

They’re a no-brainer for nixing double-ups and off-the-mark disasters, but whether you’re in need of a helping hand in setting up a household or already happily cohabiting before you get hitched, asking your loved ones for gifts to suit can seem a tricky proposition. While it’s better to provide a guide than have your guests spending money on items you won’t use, the golden rule of gift registries is: mind your manners.


  • Set up your gift registry as early as possible, so you can send out the details with your invitations.
  • Choose your wording carefully. Politely let your guests know that although their presence at your celebration is more than enough, if they wish to buy you a gift, you’ve made it easy for them to do so.
  • Consider asking for money, but only for a specific, significant, we’ll-love-it-forever item so your friends and family know their contribution is going to good use.
  • Make your thank-you cards a post-wedding priority so you’re able to respond with heartfelt, personalised messages, rather than run-of-the-mill responses.


  • Take presents as a given. International guests or those travelling to your destination wedding may have maxed out on expenses just attending your nuptials.
  • Be too narrow in your selection. Choose a range of gifts at a variety of price points to cater to every budget.
  • Make the gift table at your reception an afterthought. Style it according to your wedding theme, and organise a trusted friend to direct guests to it and make sure cards stay attached to gifts with a kit of cellotape and scissors.

Types and trends

  • Stick with tradition by going for a one-stop shop for key items for your home. Harvey Norman allows guests to take advantage of current specials and promotions at the time of purchase, while Nest ’s registry is a cornucopia of beautifully crafted homewares.
  • The Lovely lets you create a wish list from online stores around the globe. Make your choice from selected retailers or upload your own gifts from your favourite shops.
  • Forgo the usual in favour of a honeymoon fund. Air New Zealand Holiday’s Gift Travel Register enables guests to contribute at any Air New Zealand Holiday store.
  • Hitchd is a non-traditional registry that makes it simple to create any gift for your guests to fund, from experiences to flights, and beyond.
  • Pay it forward by asking your guests to contribute to a charity close to your heart.
  • Mildred & Co has a selection of exquisite gifts including artwork, plus a Wish List service that invites guests to contribute to a larger item of your choice not stocked by the company.
  • Crafty types can take advantage of Etsy ’s myriad artisans and register for a vast range of covetable purchases that also support burgeoning businesses.
  • Crowdfunding provides a twist on charity giving. At Give A Little , you’ll find virtually endless worthy projects you and your guests can contribute to.

Stay in the know
Join the Bridal Party
& receive a free gift
sign up today
What to click next
Trending stories