5 Tips for designing your Canadian Wedding Registry

Wblackelcome to the second instalment of ‘Wisdom Wednesdays’: my time to spread a little knowledge to brides through my own personal experiences as a wedding photographer + bride. If you haven’t heard, I’m getting married this August, which means that at this very moment I’m wrapped up in all the excitement, challenges and emotions that come with planning a wedding. If this describes you, I encourage you to read on + to leave your comments and questions below!

The topic of today’s #wisdomwednesdays will be Canadian wedding registries. Now, I specify Canadian registries because I know a lot of the advice out there is targeted towards Americans and Amercian gift registries. Don’t be fooled, as I was…Registries like Pottery BarnBest BuyBloomingdales and look amazing in prospect, but have limited use to Canadians. Today, I’ll be giving my list of ‘5 things you should know before starting your Canadian wedding registry’, and I hope it inspires you.


One of the first things I wanted to know when starting this process was “where is the best place to register?”. For us – having guests coming from all over Ontario – our registry had to have a strong online presence and be easily accessible to out-of-town guests. This ruled out places like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, which can only be accessed in-store, in Toronto. This is what makes Bed, Bath & Beyond and The Bay so appealing, but did you know that other big box stores have registries too?…, for instance, has an easy online registry where you can literally register for anything in store – from a bag of fresh apples to a flat-screen TV! – and Home Outfitters is also quick and easy. Then there are other stores like Chapters and, which don’t have dedicated registries, but which still allow you to create ‘Wish Lists’ online, which can be used as a similar function.


You can get a ton of free gifts, just for starting up these wedding registries. Just this month, my fiancé – Shaun – and I were given two large bath towels and a ton of other kitchen goodies, just for attending our registry appointment at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Some companies will also give you free gifts when specific items are purchased off your registry (e.g. free mixing bowls with purchase of a Kitchenaid stand mixer), so keep those in mind when curating your wish list.


While it’s tempting to wish for those big-ticket items on your registry, you should always make sure that your registry is well balanced in terms of affordability + theme. Consider including conventional items – such as fine china and wine glasses – for your older relatives, and other modern and more casual items for less-traditional guests. It’s also important to include several lower-cost items and to give your guests a variety of price ranges to choose from.


Most big-box stores will offer completion discounts as an incentive to purchase the additional items off your registry. That’s right! You can expect to save between 10-20% on all remaining items on your registry for up to a year after your wedding day. Bed, Bath & Beyond for instance, will send you a 10% completion coupon after your wedding, and also has a dedicated event where you can save 20% off your remaining items.


Do you have some items on your registry that you need more than others (e.g. everyday dinnerware vs. that Monique Lhuilier decanter)? Consider listing those items first and then adding additional items closer to your date. This may also encourage you to check back with your registry intermittently, to make sure your guests still have a good balance of items to choose from. 


Have any more suggestions for brides? Leave your thoughts below!

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    • I know, right Tanya! I was crushed when I realized you have to visit Pottery Barn in-store (i.e. Toronto) to use their registry…Total bust…But thanks for that link! Have you tried it? Looks like it still has limited use with Canadian registries (they only let you sync specific – American – gift registries), but it looks great for individual requests. I’ll have to look into it some more! x

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