The Wedding Registry Checklist for the Modern Couple

The Wedding Registry Checklist for the Modern Couple

We are biased, but we love wedding registries, and all things gifting. But not every bride or groom is as jazzed about them as we are.  In fact, a lot of soon-to-be-wed folks don’t even know where to begin with their registry. Since that’s the case, we’ve created a comprehensive wedding registry checklist that is sure to be helpful to every modern couple. 

Choosing things for your registry can definitely be one of the more fun and hotly anticipated aspects of wedding preparation, and having a basic wedding registry checklist can make it easier. Some brides already know what they want on their registry, but slow down, the registry isn’t just about what you want, it’s about the life you and your partner want to create together -- based on your shared values, shared interests, and personal styles. So a HUGE piece of advice: Do it together! You’ll enjoy the results and the process. Plus there are many non-traditional items and unique wedding registry ideas just waiting to be included on your wedding gift list. 

What should go on your wedding registry? 

Luckily a modern wedding registry isn’t carved in stone so making changes or adding items is a breeze. The reality is anything can go on your wedding registry. This extensive wedding registry checklist is just a thought out series of suggestions of items that could go on your registry. We see couples add things to their registries that we might not have thought of in a million years. But even not so far out ideas include cash funds for various life milestones like mortgage down payments or vacations, outdoor items like kayaks or tents, and items for pets - since they are part of the new family too! Hopefully this wedding registry checklist will make it a little easier with everything else you’ve got going on with planning your big day.

Starting with the Kitchen

Every kitchen needs to have a few basic items in order to have the tools necessary to make your meals. You can start with this kitchen checklist and then decide what else you might need.  Whether you know your way around the kitchen or just burn the toast, these items are the ones you’ll need and use regularly. The quality and cost of these will vary so you may want to decide how important cooking is going to be for you and your partner. High quality kitchen tools and appliances can make cooking a breeze and alot more fun. If you’ve been living with your partner, use the kitchen checklist including cookwares, kitchen electric essentials and bakewares to see what you might be missing and be sure to include them.

    • Knives (chef's, paring, serrated)
    • Cutting board
    • Mixing bowls
    • Measuring cups
    • Measuring spoons
    • Colander
    • Can opener
    • Vegetable peeler
    • Grater
    • Cooking spoons
    • Spatulas
    • Tongs
    • Whisk
    • Ladle
    • Skillet
    • Saucepan
    • Stockpot
    • Dutch oven
    • Baking sheet
    • Cake pan
    • Casserole dish
    • Roasting pan
    • Slow cooker
    • Blender
    • Food processor
    • Stand mixer
    • Toaster
    • Coffee maker
    • Tea kettle
    • Dish towels

A registry checklist for the Dining Room

The registry checklist for your dining needs consists of two parts: the everyday dinnerware and the formal china. This is where the idea of the registry originally started from. In 1924, the Chicago department store Marshall Field's created the first bridal registry as a way for engaged couples to choose china, silver, and crystal patterns that family and friends could then purchase on their behalf. Of course today’s registries have expanded to include pretty much everything under the sun as options for gifts, but it all started with dining.  Having both a formal and informal set of dinnerware is still a very common practice even with the latest generation of newlyweds. 

    • Dinner plates
    • Salad plates
    • Soup bowls
    • Dessert bowls or plates
    • Drinking/water glasses
    • Wine glasses (for red, for white, Champagne flutes)
    • Flatware (salad forks, dinner forks, knives, soup spoons, dessert spoons, steak knives)
    • Napkins
    • Placemats, tablecloth or chargers
    • Serving bowls and platters (for family-style dining)
    • Salt and pepper shakers or grinders
    • Butter dish or individual butter dishes
    • Bread and butter plates 
    • Serving utensils (for salad, entree, etc.)
    • Coasters (if serving drinks)

Include the Living Room

Even if you’ve lived with your partner before your wedding, you're entitled to ask for things that will spruce up your living space. This living room registry checklist will give you some ideas of all the little - and some big - decor items that can be added to your wedding registry that will allow your and your spouse’s decorative side to shine through after your big day. There are so many different kinds of items that can go on your list and you’ll love them all - no matter what you get.

    • Decorative throw pillows
    • Cozy throw blankets
    • Wall art or framed prints
    • Decorative vases or sculptures
    • Candle holders or scented candles
    • Coffee table books or art books
    • Area rug or accent rug
    • Indoor plants or succulents
    • Picture frames or photo albums
    • Decorative mirrors
    • Customized doormat
    • Floor lamps or table lamps
    • Poufs or ottomans for extra seating
    • Serving tray or decorative tray
    • Coasters or cocktail napkins
    • Wireless speaker or smart home device
    • Decorative storage baskets or bins
    • Bar cart or wine rack
    • Board games or card games
    • Customized throw pillows or blankets

Don’t Ignore the Bathroom 

From getting ready for work or a night on the town to just relaxing in the tub or doing your business, the bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home. The bathroom registry checklist ticks off all the boxes for what you need to make the time you spend in the bathroom as comfortable as possible. Pick your favorite colors and coordinate. The bath in one of the rooms where you can be as wild as you want.

    • Towels (Egyptian cotton or Turkish cotton)
    • Soft and fluffy bathrobes
    • Headrest for the tub
    • A rainfall showerhead
    • Heated towel rack
    • High-end bath and shower products, such as body wash, shampoo, and conditioner
    • Scented candles or diffusers for a relaxing ambiance
    • A bathtub tray for holding a book or glass of wine
    • A plush bath mat
    • A magnifying mirror for precise makeup application
    • Waterproof Bluetooth speaker system for music or podcasts while getting ready
    • Designer faucets and hardware for added elegance
    • A bidet with a heated seat
    • Plant or flowers for a touch of nature and color
    • Bench for sitting 

A registry checklist to make your bedroom special

The bedroom is more than where a couple sleeps. It may not be the heart of the home, but it’s where the heart of the family beats. This bedroom registry checklist will help you and your partner create a space that’s all your own to protect and cherish the time you spend together. From mattress selection to linens to down or foam pillows there are many bedding essential choices to consider when building out your registry for the bedroom. The bedroom is where you and your spouse will be the closest for years to come, make it special.

    • High-quality bedding, including fitted and flat sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers
    • Plush and comfortable sleeping pillows
    • Cozy throw blanket for snuggling up together
    • Bedside lamp with adjustable lighting levels
    • Scented candles or diffusers for a relaxing ambiance
    • Photo frames or artwork for the wall
    • Throw rugs to add warmth to the floor
    • Decorative tray for jewelry, watches, or other small items
    • Mattress that ensures restful sleep
    • Blackout curtains
    • Nightstand or bedside table
    • Decorative vases 
    • A stylish alarm clock 
    • Decorative throw pillows
    • Down comforters - heavy for winter, light for summer

Keep active and outdoors

We have found that registries are more than just silverware and glasses anymore. This outdoor registry checklist is filled with ideas on what kinds of items you can put on the registry to help you and your partner stay active outdoors.  Depending on where you live there may be many regional items you’ll want to add as well. The winters in the upper midwest are cold and snowy but being outdoors is common in any weather. Florida gets hot and humid in the summer, the pool and the beach are top of the list down south.

    • A hammock for relaxing outdoors
    • A waterproof backpack for hiking or camping
    • Insulated water bottles
    • A picnic basket 
    • Collapsible camping chairs
    • Reusable and eco-friendly utensils for outdoor dining
    • Hiking boots
    • Camping stove for cooking meals on the go
    • Outdoor games, such as cornhole or ladder toss
    • Binoculars for birdwatching or nature watching
    • A Bluetooth speaker for outdoor music
    • Collapsible fire pit 
    • Solar-powered outdoor lights 
    • Waterproof phone case
    • Rechargeable power bank for charging devices on the go

Hit the road Jack (and Jill) with this travel registry checklist

Luggage and travel accessories are such a great thing to add to your registry. This travel registry checklist will make sure you’re thinkin about all the little things that you may take for granted and should have available to make your travels with your new spouse as fun and enjoyable as possible. From carry-on luggage to complete sets that will carry your entire wardrobe, picking luggage that is best suited for your travels is definitely the way to go. To get a better idea of what travel essentials to add to your registry - check out our Luggage & Travel inspiration board!

    • Durable and lightweight suitcase with a hard shell 
    • A carry-on bag with space for essentials
    • A backpack with multiple compartments
    • Packing cubes to organize your clothes
    • A toiletry bag with multiple compartments
    • Portable luggage scale
    • Travel pillow and blanket
    • Luggage tags 
    • Travel plug adapter for international travel
    • A portable charger with extra dongles
    • A travel-sized umbrella 
    • Money belt
    • Passport holder with multiple compartments
    • A TSA-approved lock for your luggage.
    • A collapsible water bottle to stay hydrated on the go.
    • Travel steamer 
    • Foldable duffle bag for unexpected purchases or souvenirs
    • Foldable tote bag for day trips or as an additional carry-on
    • Luggage straps 
    • Foldable luggage cart 

Every couple is unique

Of the millions of registries that have been created on no two registries have ever been the same. Each one is as unique as the couple that created them. This final registry checklist is a catch all for the unique and different gifts you may want to consider putting on your registry. We’ve literally seen it all when it comes to gifts on wedding registries.

    • Custom art 
    • A photo album, scrapbook or memory book
    • Personalized, engraved or monogrammed 

Wedding Registry FAQs

How many registries should you have?

Technically you can have as many registries as you wish. However for your guests sake, it would make sense to be able to access all the various registries you might create from the big box stores or high end department stores from a single place. Syncing your registries with a single registry is a great way to do this.

How should you share your registry information?

Email, your wedding website, even text message for your close friends, possibly your invitation as well. There are many different ways to share your registry. You just want to make it as easy and unobtrusive as possible for your friends and family and guests to find the items you want.

Is it OK to ask for cash gifts?

Absolutely. We get asked this all the time. For many couples cash may be the preferred gift as they may have much of the household stuff already or they value experiences and time together more than material goods. Adding a cash fund to your registry is easy and you can let your guest know exactly why you're asking for it.

How many items should be on a Wedding Registry?

It all depends on what you need and what you want. The wedding registry is a way to share with your friends and family all the items you’re looking for to help you start your marriage off on the right foot. We recommend focusing on the process with your partner and the actual number of items is of less importance.

How will people find my registry?

Finding your registry is easy! Google Search will actually pull your registry from the list of registry if a searcher uses the name or title you used when creating and naming your list. The same happens when you go to and type in a name in the Find a Registry or Gift List box at the top of the home page.

Following this comprehensive wedding registry checklist will help keep you organized and focused as you get prepared for your wedding. There’s no need to stress. You and your partners working together will have a wonderful time searching for and adding all the perfect gifts that will truly get your marriage started off on the right foot.


Find Something You Like?

You can add any of these items to your Wedding Registry. Don’t have one yet? It’s easy! Create a Universal Wedding Registry today, then add wedding gifts from all your favorite stores.

Looking for More Wedding Registry Ideas?

See more on our Wedding Registry Inspiration Boards.

We are a Universal Gift Registry website where people can create a registry and add gifts from any store in the world. If you buy any of the products listed here, we may be compensated. Thanks for reading—we love you!

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