With so many options for wedding registries, cash funds and custom gifts, narrowing down your wedding registry can feel overwhelming. Wedding gifts are optional and are never a requirement for anyone attending your wedding. However, it’s important to not feel bad about registering for wedding gifts. It’s not about being greedy or expecting anything. Your guests want to celebrate you however they can, so you’re offering them a way to do this. Sharing your registry outside of your guest list can be seen as impolite, so if wedding etiquette is important to you, be mindful of not putting it on full-blast.

Registering for wedding gifts can quickly become harder than you ever imagined. It takes longer than you might expect, especially if you have a large guest count. The general rule is to register for three times the amount of guests you have to give people a variety of items to choose from. So if you are inviting 50 guests, register for 150 items. Remember, this isn’t only for the wedding. Your guests will shop off of your registry for any showers you have ahead of time, and sometimes, if you’re really lucky, groups of people who aren’t even invited to your wedding (think colleagues from work or a church group) will throw you a wedding shower.

If you’re registering together (10/10 recommend), deciding on styles of tableware and thread counts on linen can be emotionally taxing. But you can keep the experience fun for yourself and your partner with these tips to make sure your registry is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible:

1. Set a budget

Before starting, decide on a budget that works best for you and your partner. This will help narrow down which stores you should register at and what items would make the most sense to include.

2. Research stores

Spend some time researching the registry options at different stores and their products to find ones that fit within your budget and match your shared aesthetic and needs. Look out for any promotions or discounts they may offer to include more budget-friendly registry items. Be sure to choose at least one brick-and-mortar store that is within driving distance of your older guests. Not everyone feels comfortable shopping online.

3. Make your list

Once you’ve decided on the stores, create a list of all the items you would like to include. Keep in mind that this list should also serve as an inspiration for gifts your guests can purchase, so try to include items at different price points and from various categories. If you’re considering a cash fund, consider drafting up a quick blurb about the home, honeymoon or fertility fund that you are setting up. Most people want to know where their gifts of money are going or how they will be used.

4. Get personal

With all the planning that goes into a wedding, it can be easy to forget about making sure the registry is personalized for you and your partner. Add a few unique items that reflect who you are as a couple—this will make it more special when someone chooses something from your registry!

5. Check your list

After you create your registry, make sure to check in periodically to see which gifts have been purchased and remove any items that may no longer be needed, to help avoid duplicate presents on the big day! You also may need to replenish the registry if you notice all the items at a certain price point being purchased.

6. Create your gift checklist

Interactive gender-neutral wedding planning tools do exist—right here at Equally Wed! Use our gift checklist to meticulously track who gives you which wedding gift and mark it completed when sending out your thank you notes. This will help stay on top of the overwhelm, but also make sure you show your gratitude and keep everything organized, as well as knowing what came from where if you need to make any returns.

RELATED: More Equally Wed wedding planning tools

7. Share the joy

Don’t forget to share your registry with family and friends so they can join in on the excitement of selecting gifts for you and your partner. You can easily do this through your wedding website or whenever someone requests it. Just remember to include a link or QR code so guests can access it.

8. Send your thanks

Of course, thank you cards for wedding gifts are a meaningful and important gesture of gratitude that you’ll send, no matter what your registry includes. Just as your registry is personal and thoughtful, plan on setting aside some time together after your wedding week to sit down and write thank you notes that match your wedding vibe and aesthetic.

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