Should You Register for Gifts or for Charity?

Discover the benefits of both registry options.

Whether you have a wish list of 100 items from favorite retailers or you prefer donations to a good cause, a wedding registry is a wonderful way to involve your guests and help raise money for you and your fiance’s wants. Registries are often very convenient for any guest to access online and, depending on how early you register, friends and family members will have enough time to purchase your favorite silverware set or save money for your favorite charity.

Yet, you might be wondering which registry is right for you. Maybe you desire a set of fine china for your new home, but also have a strong passion for hunger relief. Maybe you just feel strange directing guests toward gift purchases – which though it might be awkward, loved ones really want to celebrate your happy day, so help them out by providing a guide! If you have not finalized your decision, take a look at these tips to see which registry, or registries, are ideal for your occasion.

Bridal shower wedding registry gifts on table gearys tiffany love bags
Photo by Michelle Mosqueda for Samuel Lippke Studios

Benefits of a Gift Registry

- You won’t have to purchase the items yourself. If finances are tight during the planning process, then you can rely on your wish list and see which items your guests wrap up for you. Plus, many retailers offer a discount to help you complete your registry list, which is great for you and your spouse after the big day.

- You can list as many items as you wish. Whether you only want a four-piece knife set or 50 miscellaneous household goods, you can completely design your registry to your liking. You can also register at multiple department stores or online shopping sites – which is helpful when you have an engagement party, bridal shower, and so on.

- It is convenient for a new home. Gift registries are very handy when you and your future spouse are new homeowners and have yet to decorate your joint abode.

Benefits of a Charity Registry

- Guests can donate whatever amount they want. Your loved ones have the freedom to donate any amount from $10 to $1,000 to benefit your cause. This can be very convenient for guests and reinforces the fact that you invited them for their presence, not the presents!

- There is no listing or shopping required. Wish lists can become very time consuming when finalizing your desired items. If you pursue a charity instead, you won’t have to worry about shopping and can also see the daily progress of your fundraiser.

- You’ll raise awareness about a good cause. Not only will your guests be donating to a charity that matters to you, but they will also learn about the cause and how their donation plays a huge role in it.

Benefits of Both Registries

- Guests can choose where their funds should go. Attendees will have the freedom to purchase gifts, donate as much as they want, or participate in both registries.

- You’ll have both gifts and donations. You do not have to limit yourself to only gifts or only charitable causes. Many couples incorporate both types of registries for their wedding, so choose what feels right for you and your fiancé.

- Guests will know more about you. Not only will friends and family have a better sense of your personal tastes, but they will know what kind of cause, activism, or awareness is important to you as a couple. It could even spark someone else getting involved with the charity.

Discover other ways to give back throughout your wedding events, find out when to register during your engagement, and make sure you don't forget these items on your registry.

Authored by: Keeanna Garcia