Note: Everlasting Occasion is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

Bridal Shower Registry vs Wedding Registry [How Are They Different?]

Weddings are one of the most exciting events you can experience in your life, but with them comes a lot of confusing lingo and jargon. Also, what one person views as a wedding essential is another person’s optional luxury. One of those things that can pull up some really conflicting opinions is the gift registry and specifically the difference between a bridal shower registry and a wedding registry and whether you even need one, or both, at all.

So, what is the difference between a bridal shower registry and a wedding registry? A wedding registry is a gift guide for your wedding guests, whereas a bridal shower registry is a gift guide for your bridal shower guests. Neither are necessary, you could have both, or you could have one but not the other. 

If you’re still not quite sure about the difference and whether it’s something you really need for your wedding, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about your bridal shower register and your wedding registry.

What Is A Bridal Shower Registry?

A bridal shower registry is essentially a gift list for your bridal shower guests

Nowadays, most registries are set up online to include a wide variety of stores and online gift services, but there are still some people who love to go the traditional route and set up their registries in their favorite stores.

This gift list is there to ensure that anyone who wants to purchase you a bridal shower gift ends up spending their hard-earned cash on a gift you will enjoy and use, but it’s also a way of avoiding multiple versions of the same gift. 

This can happen more often than you would think, especially if you have some rather niche hobbies and interests.

What Do You Put On A Bridal Shower Registry?

Generally, a bridal shower registry will contain smaller, more personal gifts for the bride and sometimes even the groom. 

However, opinions on what is suitable to add to your bridal shower registry will differ depending on who you are talking to.

Depending on who is part of your bridal shower event, you may want to include things like sentimental jewelry, lingerie for your honeymoon, a robe for the morning of your wedding, or gift cards for your favorite restaurant

You’ll also want to consider what you are adding to your wedding registry. If you are adding household items to that gift list, it’s completely unnecessary to add them to your bridal shower registry. 

Just ensure that you don’t add any specific gifts from stores that have high stock turnover; your guests may come to find the gift you have requested is no longer stocked. 

How Does A Bridal Shower Registry Work?

There are two common ways you can set up your bridal shower registry – physically in-store or online

If you decide to set yours up in a physical store, when somebody asks for the details, they will more than likely have to visit your chosen store to find out what you are asking for. 

If you decide to go the online route, which is becoming more common, you can set up a registry that includes a wide variety of stores and retailers.

An Amazon registry is a perfect option.

An online registry can also be far more accessible for many of your guests, especially if they live further away or in entirely different countries. 

There are registry websites that do all the hard work for you when it comes to the setup, or you can go DIY with a Google Doc spreadsheet or just an email with your list and all the links to the suppliers. 

When letting your bridal shower guests know about your gift list, there are a few ways you can tell them. 

You can add it to any email invites or physical invites; if you have set up an events page on Facebook, you can add the link here, or you can just save your registry for people who actually ask for it.

What Is A Wedding Registry?

A wedding registry is essentially a gift list for your wedding guests

Much like a bridal shower registry, these can be set up online or inside the physical store of your choosing, or even multiple stores if you can’t settle on just one. 

There really isn’t a massive difference between the two, except that perhaps you may limit who has access to one and not the other.

Such as bridal shower guests having access to both gift lists but your wedding guests only being made aware of your wedding registry. 

Like anything else, when it comes to your wedding planning decisions, this is entirely up to you; you just need to take into consideration what you feel will work better and what you are more comfortable with.

What Do You Put On A Wedding Registry?

A wedding registry more often contains items for the newly wedded couple’s home. Think new toasters, kettles, and maybe even a posh new set of silverware

You could even put requests for experience-based vouchers and monetary contributions towards your honeymoon. 

The wedding registry is a married couples gift wish list for the more high ticket items a couple may need for their married life together, unlike the smaller, more personal items you find on a bridal shower registry. 

Just like we mentioned before, make sure that whatever you put on your wedding registry is from a store or supplier with a low stock turnover. 

Not only will your guests be unable to find that Target vase you saw back in October, but it can even stress them out unnecessarily when the gift they want to surprise you with is completely unavailable. 

How Does A Wedding Registry Work?

The wedding registry works exactly the same as a bridal shower registry, with a setup possible online or in-store. 

How you let people know about your wedding registry may be a little different as it’s more likely you will want more people to be aware of your wedding gift list than your bridal shower one. 

You may decide to add a link to your online registry on your invitations, somewhere on your wedding website, or as an addition to any wedding-related emails to family and friends. 

Perhaps that feels a bit pushy to you, and you can hold onto the information until someone specifically asks for it, only handing it out to people who prefer the guide of a wedding registry.

Should You Have A Separate Registry For A Bridal Shower?

It’s not necessary to create a separate registry for a bridal shower, but there may be a few cases where a separate registry may avoid a few blushed cheeks.

If you are adding fairly vanilla and day-to-day items to both your registries, it makes sense just to have the one but if you and your bridal party are a little raunchier – think lingerie and other intimate items you may want to consider a separate registry for your bridal shower. 

This helps avoid Aunt Kathy blessing herself and feeling like she may need to visit church outside of her regular Sunday visit. 

A slightly less x-rated reason for having two separate registries is if you are adding items onto your bridal registry that you hope to receive before your wedding day, such as a wedding morning robe or that headpiece you know would complete your entire wedding day outfit. 

Do You Need A Bridal Shower Registry Or A Wedding Registry? 

It’s not necessary to have either a bridal shower registry or a wedding registry; it’s all a matter of preference

If there’s nothing that you want or need, you may forgo a gift list altogether and request cash gifts if your guests really want to give you something to celebrate your wedding. 

Wedding gift registries were a necessity a few decades ago as most wedding couples had never lived together before, and the cost of setting up their first home would have been crippling. 

So the gift list served the purpose of asking for help with this married life set up by friends and family. 

Nowadays, most couples have lived together for a while and may even already have bought their first home. 

So the wedding and bridal shower registers are no longer a necessity, but the love of giving gifts hasn’t died, and many of our guests still prefer not to show up empty-handed. 


The decision to set up a bridal shower registry and a wedding registry can be an overwhelming but extremely fun process. 

At the base of it all, add what you would like, with a good range of prices to accommodate your guests, and don’t get too strung up on whether you will receive any of it.

Some guests do prefer the flexibility of just handing cash to the newly wedded couple. 

It’s not necessary to have both, or either if gift lists aren’t your thing, but they can take away any extra gift buying stress from your guests who still want to purchase you a physical wedding or bridal shower gift.