So you have a shiny new diamond on your left hand; congrats! Now that the bubbly has been popped and the news spread, it’s time to get to the fun part of planning. Over the next few months you’ll be tasked with everything from picking out the perfect linens to finding a DJ who will bring it on the dance floor. With so many big decisions ahead of you, we’re here (just like a trusty bridesmaid!) to help with Real Brides Ask, a new series that tackles your toughest bridal questions.


“I’m newly engaged and have no clue where to start with my registry. What are some affordable gift ideas I can include to be inclusive of every budget?” — Maddie R., Chicago, IL

You’re engaged — congrats! While one of the first things you’ll want to do is start registering (we get it, it’s exciting!) take a second to consider the crowd you’re inviting. Sure, you might be vying for some high-ticket items, but not everyone’s bank account may be onboard. Below, Kristen Maxwell Cooper of The Knot shares her best tips on what to register for to appeal to every price point, *especially* for your attendees on a budget.

Real Brides Ask

1. Be selective. There are three key things to remember before walking through the door of any Crate & Barrel or Target store. According to Maxwell Cooper, couples should “consider the accessibility of the retailer for themselves and their guests and the variety of products available, as well as the range of prices for the items they’ve added to their registry.” Some fool-proof products to put on your list? “A few common and affordable registry items include classics like towels, sheets, slow cookers, bakeware, and glassware like Champagne flutes and wine glasses, as well as some more modern gifting options like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, portable bluetooth speakers, and Tile,” she suggests.

Gift Table

2. Group together. According to The Knot, “Two in three couples reported registering for items they expected would be purchased as group gifts, with 61 percent of couples receiving group gifts.” As communal gifting becomes more common, adding “wish list” items like a KitchenAid or deluxe espresso maker aren’t out of the question. Just make sure they don’t comprise the bulk of your selection.

3. Consider cash. It’s not unusual for guests to forgo the registry altogether in lieu of a card filled with cash. To accommodate these folks, turn to services like The Knot‘s Newlywed Fund, Zola, or Honeyfund to setup funds that go toward specific activities or goals. “We’ve seen couples set up cash funds for everything from a new puppy to IVF treatments, honeymoon activities, and even a lifetime supply of sriracha,” says Maxwell Cooper. As a good rule of thumb for how much to expect from each individual, plan for $50 to $75 from coworkers or distant family members, $75 to $100 from friends or relatives, and $100+ from close pals or immediate family.

Now grab your scanning gun and get going!

What items are you registering for? Let us know! Then, share your burning bridal questions with us @BritandCo using hashtag #WeddingWoes for a chance to have them answered in our next feature.

(Photos via Getty; Illustrations via Marisa Kumtong/Brit + Co)