Registering and Gifts

Rule of thumb on items to guest ratio

I'm sure this should be obvious. I've googled and haven't figured it out. What rule of thumb is there, if any, regarding how many items you should register for. For example, we have invited 138 people, but with 73 invitations, so we have quite a lot of couples or plus ones and I would expect if they wanted to give us a gift they would do so together. I know you should register for mostly items in the $10 - $50 range, and we have done so, with only two items over $100 and the vast majority of items under $40. My concern is that, with about 45 items on our list two people have already bought 5 of the items. Our invites just went out so most everyone has not even seen the invitations yet. We wouldn't mind for people to give nothing or give cash, I just don't want to be totally off-base with what we have. 
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KnotRiley
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Re: Rule of thumb on items to guest ratio

  • aliwis000aliwis000
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
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    edited March 2015
    I think that depends. I know a lot of people say if you want cash do not register. I agree but I always feel odd about giving close friends checks. People I do not know as well it does not bug me. That is just me.

    In your case I think, especially since so many of them are so low in cost, you could add a few things. If a lot of your items are $10-$40 I can see many people buying you 2 or 3 things, especially if they go together, like a set of towels. Maybe this range is normal for your area but I am going to register for most things in the $50-$60 range. So most things being under $40 seems low to me. BUT like I said, this is a know your crowd thing. When I am buying I tend to spend in the $100-$120 range.

    Once again this is just how I feel, and there is nothing worse than going to a registry and seeing that everything is gone. Blah.

    OH! Remember to take advantage of those completion bonuses if you can!

    Edit: Your registry is NOT on the invite right?
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Is there anything else that you would want to register for? Don't register for things you don't want/need just to beef up the list.

    The stores will tell you to register for pi times the number of guests or something equally contrived, but that really isn't necessary. If people feel like there isn't enough to shop from on the registry, they will give cash, gift cards, or something off the registry.  

  • Honestly, I think couples should register only for things they want/need. Make sure you have plenty of items to cover a shower if you're having one, and call it a day.

    People are always able to buy off-registry if they don't want to give cash.

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  • aliwis000 said:

    I think that depends. I know a lot of people say if you want cash do not register. I agree but I always feel odd about giving close friends checks. People I do not know as well it does not bug me. That is just me.

    In your case I think, especially since so many of them are so low in cost, you could add a few things. If a lot of your items are $10-$40 I can see many people buying you 2 or 3 things, especially if they go together, like a set of towels. Maybe this range is normal for your area but I am going to register for most things in the $50-$60 range. So most things being under $40 seems low to me. BUT like I said, this is a know your crowd thing. When I am buying I tend to spend in the $100-$120 range.

    Once again this is just how I feel, and there is nothing worse than going to a registry and seeing that everything is gone. Blah.

    OH! Remember to take advantage of those completion bonuses if you can!

    Edit: Your registry is NOT on the invite right?

    Ha, no, the registry is not on the invite. Our wedding website is listed on the reception card and on the wedding website there is a registry section. 

    So, personally, when I go to a wedding of a friend I spend anywhere from $100 - $300. And I suspect we have friends who are the same. We just don't need a whole lot beyond some nice china. We are fortunate enough to have quite a good amount of crystal and silver. 

    The items I could see adding are either super pricey, that we would not be unhappy to just buy ourselves, or more small items. Things like trivets. But I recognize that's not very exciting to buy people trivets. Hmmm. 
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  • We registered for things we need or want to upgrade. I didn't shoot for a particular number of gifts vs. guests. 

    I wouldn't worry about it. If all items from the registry are purchased, people know gift cards or cash are always welcomed. Also, some people just prefer to gift cash over registry items. 

    I also wouldn't be hesitant to put pricey items on your registry. Some people like to go in together for big ticket items. No harm done in including it. 
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  • mlg78mlg78
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Just monitor numbers as it gets closer to the wedding and you can always add on another place setting or two.  Lord knows one of my plates already broke! :)


  • maeday2 said:

    We registered for things we need or want to upgrade. I didn't shoot for a particular number of gifts vs. guests. 


    I wouldn't worry about it. If all items from the registry are purchased, people know gift cards or cash are always welcomed. Also, some people just prefer to gift cash over registry items. 

    I also wouldn't be hesitant to put pricey items on your registry. Some people like to go in together for big ticket items. No harm done in including it. 
    Thanks for the reassurance. Off of our 45 item list four people have now bought 10 of the items... We have some eager beavers. 
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  • adk19adk19
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    aliwis000 said:

    I think that depends. I know a lot of people say if you want cash do not register. I agree but I always feel odd about giving close friends checks. People I do not know as well it does not bug me. That is just me.

    In your case I think, especially since so many of them are so low in cost, you could add a few things. If a lot of your items are $10-$40 I can see many people buying you 2 or 3 things, especially if they go together, like a set of towels. Maybe this range is normal for your area but I am going to register for most things in the $50-$60 range. So most things being under $40 seems low to me. BUT like I said, this is a know your crowd thing. When I am buying I tend to spend in the $100-$120 range.

    Once again this is just how I feel, and there is nothing worse than going to a registry and seeing that everything is gone. Blah.

    OH! Remember to take advantage of those completion bonuses if you can!

    Edit: Your registry is NOT on the invite right?

    Ha, no, the registry is not on the invite. Our wedding website is listed on the reception card and on the wedding website there is a registry section. 

    So, personally, when I go to a wedding of a friend I spend anywhere from $100 - $300. And I suspect we have friends who are the same. We just don't need a whole lot beyond some nice china. We are fortunate enough to have quite a good amount of crystal and silver. 

    The items I could see adding are either super pricey, that we would not be unhappy to just buy ourselves, or more small items. Things like trivets. But I recognize that's not very exciting to buy people trivets. Hmmm. 
    Put the trivets on the registry.  I might add a trivet to my shopping cart if I'm also buying you a casserole dish but want another little something to get my gift up to what I think is an appropriate amount to spend on a friend.
  • julieanne912julieanne912
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    edited March 2015
    I agree that you should add a few pricier items so people can go in together for a group gift if they like.  We have a $700 grill on ours.  It's something we need (new house has a natural gas line so our old grill, which is falling apart anyway, can't be hooked up to it).  I also put on a Le Creuset dutch oven.  It's $300 but I've always wanted one and I figure this is my one time to ask for something like that.  FI put on a $200 power washer LOL  If we don't receive these items, they are good to buy with gift cards or cash that people gift us.

    I also agree that you should add on little things like trivets.  $10 and under items are great for people to add together and still have the gift be affordable, or are good add on items for something else, like the trivet and casserole dish combo listed above.  
    Married 9.12.15
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    adk19
  • Usually you should register for only the items you want.  Stores will tell you to have 2 times as many gifts as guests.  I did not follow this and only put items on the list that we need or wanted.  My shower is in a month and I have been told that guests have been buying several items at a time and that my 2 registries are going quickly.  I thought that I had enough items (around 200 items for only 96 guests)  but it turns out that close family members and friends are buying up items.  You can't control how much your guests buy for you, but I would just say have enough for the amount of guests you are inviting.  Some guests will not get you a gift at all and it will even it out in the registy.  
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  • hicocohicoco Chicago
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    I agree that you should add a few pricier items so people can go in together for a group gift if they like.  We have a $700 grill on ours.  It's something we need (new house has a natural gas line so our old grill, which is falling apart anyway, can't be hooked up to it).  I also put on a Le Creuset dutch oven.  It's $300 but I've always wanted one and I figure this is my one time to ask for something like that.  FI put on a $200 power washer LOL  If we don't receive these items, they are good to buy with gift cards or cash that people gift us.


    I also agree that you should add on little things like trivets.  $10 and under items are great for people to add together and still have the gift be affordable, or are good add on items for something else, like the trivet and casserole dish combo listed above.  
    Thanks for the idea!! Just added a power washer! Love!
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    julieanne912
  • We live in a small apartment so we've just registered for things we want/need. Some people will buy you gifts that aren't on your registry regardless of what's available. I just had my shower and my friends have already said that the list is getting low - but there isn't anything else that we want to add!

    In my experience, I get more frustrated when their aren't enough items than thinking a couple is overzealous if a registry is large! :) But don't register for things you don't want or won't use.

    I agree not to shy away from a few larger ticket items. Some people like to buy things with other guests. Also - if the stores offer a completion discount, it makes sense to register for anything you want (even larger ticket items) so you can get the discount later if no one buys it. Our larger ticket items were a bar cart and a kichenaid mixer - if no one buys them, we'll use our completion discounts on them!
  • Thanks everyone for the feedback. We honestly just own a lot of what we need to own, aside from things like art (not really something we can register for) and certain furniture items. Pretty much every "big ticket item" people have mentioned on here is something we have already. I've had my KitchenAid for years, and FI went out and bought a $1,200 grill when we moved into our house. I did add a couple more small items, and a garment steamer, but I think our registry is just kind of doomed to be potentially frustrating. Hopefully people know us well enough to know that we don't care if we get any wedding presents at all... 
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  • julieanne912julieanne912
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    edited March 2015
    My best friend registered for a piece of art at a gallery for her wedding.  Her and her fiance (well now husband) were in their late 30s when getting married, already lived together, owned a home together, didn't need anything home related at all.  So, they found a piece of art they loved, made arranagements with the gallery owner, and had information about the gallery and the particular piece on their wedding website.  Guests were able to call the gallery and pay whatever amount they wanted towards it.  The piece now hangs in their home and they love it.  

    We registered for extra linens and towels, both bath and kitchen. You always will eventually need those even if you don't this second.  We also registered for stuff like board games.  What about registering for some cool attachments for your kitchenaid? 
    Married 9.12.15
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  • Many people that live together do not register for a TON of items, noting something to the tune of " We've taken care of furnishing much of our apartment in the past couple years, so we have added only a few items to our registry.  While we could always expand on our collection, it just doesn't make much sense to swap a perfectly working toaster/blender/duvet cover/luggage/[insert other item here] for something new. "

    I was not one of those people that had the luxury of having kitchen / living room essentials, so I had a more traditional registry.  In all I probably had about 90-100 items listed for a 150 person list - ranging from 99 cents to a few hundred dollars. I received more registry gifts at the shower and from people that expressed regrets, but received monetary gifts as wedding presents.  In total, we probably got about 80% of the items we registered for and the items on our registry that were not fulfilled tended to be on the more expensive side.

    Some random things I wished I had registered for: trivets, pot holders, paper towel holder, in-drawer cutlery tray, bar cart, picture frames + hardware, board games, pyrex containers, steam cleaner, area rugs. 

    Some things that I've seen on other registeries that seem clever: cleaning supplies, paper products (paper towels, toilet paper), saran wrap, aluminum foil, space saver bags, blue tooth speakers, surround sound system, baby monitors, home alarm systems, satellite radio sbscription.

  • I would just keep an eye on it and add more items when you get low. I think the price range sounds fine and keep in mind if there are any showers that's where most of the gifts will come from. Some people might give you gifts for the wedding but I'm sure a lot will give cash/checks. I'd say more is always better to give people options - some may want to do baskets with kitchen stuff, whatever - but I think a handful of higher items is fine too so people can pick and choose.

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  • adk19adk19
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    chraron said:

    Many people that live together do not register for a TON of items, noting something to the tune of " We've taken care of furnishing much of our apartment in the past couple years, so we have added only a few items to our registry.  While we could always expand on our collection, it just doesn't make much sense to swap a perfectly working toaster/blender/duvet cover/luggage/[insert other item here] for something new. "

    I was not one of those people that had the luxury of having kitchen / living room essentials, so I had a more traditional registry.  In all I probably had about 90-100 items listed for a 150 person list - ranging from 99 cents to a few hundred dollars. I received more registry gifts at the shower and from people that expressed regrets, but received monetary gifts as wedding presents.  In total, we probably got about 80% of the items we registered for and the items on our registry that were not fulfilled tended to be on the more expensive side.

    Some random things I wished I had registered for: trivets, pot holders, paper towel holder, in-drawer cutlery tray, bar cart, picture frames + hardware, board games, pyrex containers, steam cleaner, area rugs. 

    Some things that I've seen on other registeries that seem clever: cleaning supplies, paper products (paper towels, toilet paper), saran wrap, aluminum foil, space saver bags, blue tooth speakers, surround sound system, baby monitors, home alarm systems, satellite radio sbscription.

    I'm not buying your groceries for you - don't register for groceries.  I'll buy you organizational tools; a basket to hold cleaning supplies, a toilet paper holder, a paper towel dispenser, a cling wrap/foil organizer for your pantry, but not the actual items.  And if I'm getting you a wedding gift, it will be for you, not for your baby - a baby monitor is for a baby shower, not a wedding shower.
    bizzy592chibiyui
  • Register for some big stuff - a nice "buy it for life" vacuum, stand mixer, grill, etc.

    A lot of families like going in on a big gift together.

    Plus, it's not weird to have items like that on a registry, and no one will side-eye it. If it's something you'll use and want, you'll at least get a completion discount after the wedding! :)

  • I would just keep an eye on it and add more items when you get low. I think the price range sounds fine and keep in mind if there are any showers that's where most of the gifts will come from. Some people might give you gifts for the wedding but I'm sure a lot will give cash/checks. I'd say more is always better to give people options - some may want to do baskets with kitchen stuff, whatever - but I think a handful of higher items is fine too so people can pick and choose.

    Yeah, I have successfully declined all showers, so that should help. It may be hard for me to dodge the work shower as our office manager seems relentless, but I've just been keeping the date on the down low in the hopes that she won't realize it's coming until it's too late. 

    Again, we just haven't been able to think of stuff that is very expensive that we need (aside from art and furniture, which, we would prefer to buy ourselves over time). The biggest ticket item on our registry is a platter that goes with our good china at $175. That item got bought already. We are very blessed to have such generous people in our lives. 
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  • haleyk620haleyk620
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    edited March 2015
    I too, like @bananasplit472001, amsurprised at how quickly my registries are being bought from, and my shower is still a month away. I just check on them once in awhile to make sure that there is enough on them. I agree with PP's, just make sure you've registered for the things you really want and don't just add items to beef up your registry.
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  • I would just keep an eye on it and add more items when you get low. I think the price range sounds fine and keep in mind if there are any showers that's where most of the gifts will come from. Some people might give you gifts for the wedding but I'm sure a lot will give cash/checks. I'd say more is always better to give people options - some may want to do baskets with kitchen stuff, whatever - but I think a handful of higher items is fine too so people can pick and choose.

    Yeah, I have successfully declined all showers, so that should help. It may be hard for me to dodge the work shower as our office manager seems relentless, but I've just been keeping the date on the down low in the hopes that she won't realize it's coming until it's too late. 

    Again, we just haven't been able to think of stuff that is very expensive that we need (aside from art and furniture, which, we would prefer to buy ourselves over time). The biggest ticket item on our registry is a platter that goes with our good china at $175. That item got bought already. We are very blessed to have such generous people in our lives. 


    Understood! My Fi and I have been living together for a yr and a lot of the stuff we want we can't pick now since we don't have a house. I think a minimal registry is completely fine. Anyone who doesn't want to purchase off it will give cash, gcs or find something themselves.

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  • For my wedding I started with a Macy's registry and a honeymoon registry. After my shower I actually had to add more to my list because I got so much for my shower. I added a bed bath & beyond one with only like 30 items and probably my Macy's had almost 100 and then the honeymoon registry. We invited 240 people, not all of them came, I had at least 200 items with all my registries. There were only a handful of things that I didn't get.

    Honeymoon registries are a great way to "ask for cash" without seeming rude. I used the money to pay for our honeymoon and writing thank you notes made it more personal. However you don't actually have to use the money, just keep it in the bank.

  • Honeymoon registries are a great way to "ask for cash" without seeming rude. I used the money to pay for our honeymoon and writing thank you notes made it more personal. However you don't actually have to use the money, just keep it in the bank.

    No. I disagree that a honeymoon registry is asking for cash without seeming rude. And, what you describe doing, asking for cash on your honeymoon registry and then just pocketing it is one of the major reasons people don't like honeymoon registries. Aunt Bea thinks she bought you a zip lining adventure, but actually you are just going to use it later to pay your cable bill. Yuck. 
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    adk19chibiyuihuskypuppy14
  • Honeymoon registries are a great way to "ask for cash" without seeming rude. I used the money to pay for our honeymoon and writing thank you notes made it more personal. However you don't actually have to use the money, just keep it in the bank.

    No. I disagree that a honeymoon registry is asking for cash without seeming rude. And, what you describe doing, asking for cash on your honeymoon registry and then just pocketing it is one of the major reasons people don't like honeymoon registries. Aunt Bea thinks she bought you a zip lining adventure, but actually you are just going to use it later to pay your cable bill. Yuck. 
    After reading I don't know how many threads on TK, I know that majority of people DO NOT like honeymoon registries (myself included). From what I've read, if you would rather receive cash as a gift, the best thing you can do is not set up a registry and people will get the hint. 
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  • haleyk620 said:

    Honeymoon registries are a great way to "ask for cash" without seeming rude. I used the money to pay for our honeymoon and writing thank you notes made it more personal. However you don't actually have to use the money, just keep it in the bank.

    No. I disagree that a honeymoon registry is asking for cash without seeming rude. And, what you describe doing, asking for cash on your honeymoon registry and then just pocketing it is one of the major reasons people don't like honeymoon registries. Aunt Bea thinks she bought you a zip lining adventure, but actually you are just going to use it later to pay your cable bill. Yuck. 
    After reading I don't know how many threads on TK, I know that majority of people DO NOT like honeymoon registries (myself included). From what I've read, if you would rather receive cash as a gift, the best thing you can do is not set up a registry and people will get the hint. 
    Right, agree. 
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    adk19
  • We registered for about 200 items split between two registries for our 150 guest wedding. Price ranged from a $1.10 spatula to a $700 pots and pan set. For some reason, we ended up getting mostly expensive items rather than the more inexpensive items. A lot of friends and family pooled together to get the big gifts. We were incredibly surprised that they coordinated :)
    haleyk620
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    For my wedding I started with a Macy's registry and a honeymoon registry. After my shower I actually had to add more to my list because I got so much for my shower. I added a bed bath & beyond one with only like 30 items and probably my Macy's had almost 100 and then the honeymoon registry. We invited 240 people, not all of them came, I had at least 200 items with all my registries. There were only a handful of things that I didn't get.

    Honeymoon registries are a great way to "ask for cash" without seeming rude. I used the money to pay for our honeymoon and writing thank you notes made it more personal. However you don't actually have to use the money, just keep it in the bank.

    Aside from Honeymoon registries being rude, purposefully registering for anything just to get the cash is deceptive and rude as fuck.
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  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA
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    I can think of far fewer things in the $10-$40 price range that I would put on a wedding registry than $50-$70 items. So I'm more boggled by why/how your registry price point is so low.
  • I would suggest that if you have a website associated with your wedding that you add a honeymoon registry. This gives guest the opportunity to put money towards your honeymoon. I am getting married in Kauai and having the honeymoon there as well. So we are registering for our activities. People can put cash towards scuba diving, boat trip, a luau dinner, spa treatments, etc. Then afterwards, we plan to send a thank you note with a photo of us doing that activity. That way people see that their money was appreciated for that activity, that you were thinking of them and are grateful for their gift.
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