Wedding Registry Survey: What Couples Didn’t Register For (But Wish They Did)

Woman making toast in a new toaster

One big part of planning or attending a wedding is the gift-giving. Couples put a lot of thought into the things they ask for on their wedding registry. A registry helps wedding attendees pick out a gift for the newlyweds that they really want…most of the time.

Related: 5 Questions to Ask When Planning a Wedding

What do newlyweds want?


An Erie Insurance survey asked couples about items they didn’t register for but now wish they had, as well as gifts they are still glad they registered for versus ones they regret. The survey also asked respondents about their most unusual wedding gifts, their attitudes on various etiquette topics including registering for money, and their advice to other couples registering today.

Related: 9 Life Changes to Tell Your Insurance Agent About

Common registry items people didn’t register for but now wish they had include a robotic vacuum cleaner, an air fryer, and lawn equipment. Those who did are largely still satisfied with their gift. Of the 17% of survey takers who registered for a robotic vacuum, 88% still love their gift. (It’s worth throwing out there that 58% of survey takers wish they HAD registered for one.)

The good, the bad, and the regifted

When asked to name their favorite gift that they received, one person said an elephant ride; another said a trip to Paris; and another said his and hers matching bathrobes. Regarding items people most regretted registering for, write-in answers included a back scratcher, dog seat covers, and “too many casserole dishes.”

Some of the more unusual gifts couples received were regifts. One person said they received a restaurant gift card for an odd amount, as if part of it had been used. Another received a registry book that had already been written in. 

“Erie Insurance protects people’s homes as well as their belongings, so it’s interesting to see the types of items that couples register for,” said Bob Buckel, vice president and homeowners product manager, Erie Insurance. “It’s also important to understand that most homeowners insurance limits the coverage that applies to valuable items such as jewelry, china, silverware, and artwork, among others. We recommend talking to an agent about how best to make sure you’re properly covered.”

Related: How Do I Insure My New Engagement Ring?

Many respondents did receive and insure such items, including fine china (14%), fine silver (11%), fine crystal (10%), and valuable artwork (6%). A personal property insurance policy can help you make sure these valuables are properly covered. Learn more about personal valuables insurance from ERIE. 

Tacky or tasteful?

Respondents also weighed in on etiquette topics, including registering for money. While two-thirds of people think registering for money is fine, the other third think it’s tacky/in poor taste. Registering for money is least socially acceptable in the Northeast, where 41% of respondents think it’s in poor taste. It’s most accepted in the South, where fewer than (30%) think it’s tacky.

Almost half of those surveyed (46%) said they registered for money. Of those, nearly half (45%) said it was for general use, while 31% said it was for a honeymoon. Ten percent said it was for a down payment on a house, and the same percentage said the money was for a home improvement project. Asking for money is an alternative for couples who live together, or purchase a home, before they’re married and already have a majority of their home necessities.

Related: Living Large in a Starter House

People were of two minds when it came to offering advice to couples registering today. Several said they’d advise couples to register for expensive items they’d never buy for themselves (one said to register for “something special that will make you cry when you see it”) while others encouraged registering only for practical items they would use often, with one saying “get the needs out of the way before the wants.”

Protect what matters most

Your wedding registry can give you a head start on creating a home inventory. A home inventory is a record of your personal possessions and their estimated value. This can give you a good sense of how much homeowners insurance you need.

Read our list of tips for starting your home inventory or learn more about what goes into the price of homeowners insurance. 

Getting married is an exciting, big life event. While you and your partner are taking on life together, your ERIE agent is there to support you and help protect the life you’re building. Learn more about homeowners insurance from ERIE. 

Methodology: This survey was conducted online by Falls Communications on behalf of Erie Insurance from June 26 through July 1, 2019 among 500 U.S. residents ages 28-40. It was designed to capture and compare the opinions of U.S. residents who had registered for wedding gifts within the past six years (between 2013-2018). Falls Communications established the sampling quotas, designed the questionnaire, tabulated the survey responses, and managed the overall project. Falls used Dynata (Plano, TX) to administer the survey via the internet, including mobile devices, to Dynata’s captive U.S. panels who met the age and regional demographic criteria.

Danville Insurance Quotes

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.