Top tips for your gift registry - Helpful articles

Ideas for our Wedding Gift Registry: Must Have Presents to Include

Creating a wedding gift registry often seems like an exciting task, until you have to figure out what to actually put on your wedding gift registry.

In this article we’ll explore how to create the perfect wedding registry for your guests.

Why is creating a Wedding Gift Registry so hard?

This should be a simple 3 step process!

  1. You find a gift registry service that you like.
  2. Create a list of items you want.
  3. Your wedding guests buy the items from the list and that it right?


Here’s where most wedding registries fail

If you’re unlucky enough to be using a regular gift registry service for your wedding (one that’s tied to a department store) then here’s what will actually happen.

  1. You find a gift registry service.
  2. The gift registry doesn’t allow partial payments which means that if one of your guests wants to buy an item, they have to buy the entire item themselves.
  3. Since all of your guests are regular people and not multi-millionaires, they’re unlikely to gift you a $5000 lounge suite, which means you have to make sure that all the items in your list are appropriate for the amount you think they will be comfortable spending.
  4. You spend days agonising over the list and arguing with your partner about things which should, or should not be included in the gift registry.
  5. You ultimately end up including all sorts of random items in the list, not because you actually want them as gifts, but because they are budget appropriate items for your guests.
  6. The wedding is over and you have to drive to the store to pick up a bunch of gifts which you don’t even want.
  7. Then spend another few days picking out the items which you want to exchange for other gifts, or refund for cash.
  8. Spend the remaining cash left after all the refunds are processed on the things you actually wanted.
  9. Send thank you cards to your guests and do your best to remember what they bought for you, even though you exchanged it for something completely different.

If you’re using a regular gift registry then keep reading because we’ll explain how to create the perfect wedding gift registry which will minimise these issues.

If you’re using an online gift registry like My Gift Registry (shameless plug), then you won’t have any of these issues described above so you can skip to the end and not worry about anything else in this article!

How to create the perfect wedding gift registry

In order to produce the perfect list of items for your wedding registry, we need to understand what an appropriate amount is for your guests to give you as a gift.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to understand what the actual cost-per-head of your wedding is.

Calculating the cost-per-guest

To do this simply calculate all the costs associated with your wedding (venue, catering, wedding dress, the band etc) and divide by the number of guests.

In short the formula looks like this…

[total wedding cost] / [number of guests]

In Australia the average wedding costs about $30,000 and the average number of guests is 50, which would produce a cost/guest of $600.

Now that we have a ballpark cost for every person who attends, let’s turn our attention to tradition.

Most people would be aware when they attend a wedding, that a cash gift which they give to the newlyweds is designed to cover their cost of attending.

So if we were to strictly follow this rule we would expect every person to give $600.

Now that might seem a little high, but that calculation of is just a guide to get us closer to a more precise number.

You know your guests better than anyone, and you may feel more comfortable assigning a cost/guest value of $150 or $200 or something else entirely. It’s up to you.

Remember the goal of this exercise isn’t to break even, or make a profit from your wedding. It’s to help you define which wedding gifts are appropriate to include on your gift registry.

Design the gift list for your wedding

Let’s say you settled on a cost/guest value of $150.

And since many of your guests will come in couples, this means that every item in your list should be no greater than $300 (meaning that a couple coming to your wedding can give 2x $150 gifts).

Remember that the majority of regular gift registry services will not allow people to make partial contributions to larger gifts, so each person (or couple) attending will have to buy an entire gift from the list.

Toasters, blenders, kitchenware, bedding and manchester should all be available within that $300 range.

Remember that there will still be some people who give less than your final cost/guest value and that’s OK.

But it does mean that you’ll need to remember to include a range of less expensive gifts to cater for those people.

Also remember to include more gifts that you think you’ll need.

You don’t want to have a situation where you run out of items for people to buy, which then stops your wedding guests from purchasing gifts for you!

It’s always safer to have a list with a few too many items on it, than not enough.


If you’re using a regular (physical) gift registry, follow these steps and you’ll be able to make the most out of the service, even though it will require a lot more work on your part.

If you’re using an online gift registry, give yourself a pat on the back because you can just put whatever you want on your wedding gift registry. Your guests will be able to contribute as much or as little as they want, and you can just use those funds to spend on whatever your heart desires.

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