A wedding registry will ensure (for the most part) that items that you and your future spouse pick out will be given to you on your wedding day. The ‘for the most part’ is simply because there is always going to be that one relative or two that refuse to look at the registry and buy the most hideous gift ever.
Creating a gift registry can be a lot of fun. You are shopping on another person’s dime, after all. The store is yours to have, if you want it.
There are certain things to remember when creating a registry. When to register, where to register and what to register for need to be thought about prior to going into a random store and getting one of those scanning devices that set up the registry. Having some sort of plan is good, if for nothing else just to make sure you have everything on your list that you want and/or need.
When to register is a question that is asked a lot. Family members may pressure you to start your registry earlier, but it’s helpful to wait three to six months before the wedding. Not only are the vast majority of gifts bought within a day or so of the shower or ceremony, stores turn over merchandise so rapidly that any gifts you select earlier may be discontinued. Most people include the registry cards in the invitations, and most invitations are sent out at least two months ahead of time. Registering three to four months prior to the wedding will give you more than enough time.
Now, putting registry cards in wedding invitations is considered to be uncouth. Instead, tuck the cards into shower invitations. Most people will remember your shower registry at the time of the wedding and will go to pick out the perfect gift. Another solution is to include a note in your invitations – something that says, “Please see our wedding website at www.xyz.com” – and place your registry information there. A website is the perfect way to go as you can set up the links to the stores that you are registered at and have everything available for your guests.
Where to register is almost as important as when to register. If you are planning on inviting a lot of out-of-town guests, you might want to pick a larger chain store so they will be able to get things off the registry as well. Otherwise you run the risk of getting a horrible gift, or money… Money isn’t all bad.
Pick stores that you like to shop at, that will ensure that you are going to get the quality that you like and if by some chance you get a duplicate gift it will be easy to return and so forth. You will also want to pick between two and three stores to register at.
The stores you pick do not necessarily need to be “traditional”. You can pick an online store or if you and your spouse are wine drinkers you can put a spirits store on your registry. You could also create a honeymoon registry where your guests can buy you a dinner or pay for a night’s lodging or random other activities where you will be staying.
What to register for is a big one. There is always that feeling in the back of your mind that you are being too greedy or that you are spending too much or picking too many items. There are basic rules to follow here.
For cost concerns, pick out items that you yourself would buy. For example if you would spend, say, $15 on a bath towel, then register for the $15 bath towel, but don’t register for a $100 bath towel because chances are you will only receive one washcloth from that set. Bigger items like vacuum cleaners or other appliances are a little pricier but most guests go in on those items as a group.
Don’t go cheap, just go reasonable. If you are shopping at these stores to begin with you will know the costs of items. Try to think of it as what you would want to spend if you were going to be the guest buying the gift.
Give your guests lots of options for your registry. You are, after all, trying to fill your house with the things you need so you won’t have to spend the money on them. Think of it this way, pick at least two to three gifts per person coming to the wedding. Sure, everything on the registry might not be purchased, but it will give your guests options.
Make sure you pick things that you both need and want. If you need a mixer then put a mixer on your registry. If you need a lawn mower than put one on your registry. If you need pillows, put it on the registry. These are items you need, better to get them than things you will need to return after the wedding.
Try to avoid picking out the same items at different stores. This could lead to unintentional duplicate items and returns. Because you will most likely have a few stores, pick out different items at different stores. For example, do your bedding and kitchen items at a store like Bed, Bath & Beyond and maybe your china and other things at a store like Macy’s.
Just a recap of the major points and concerns to remember…
• If you use an online service to pick items for a wedding registry, you will want to physically visit the store where you are registering. You will get a better idea of size and color of the items you are registering for this way. You can then register online at your leisure.
• If you want to be surprised by what gifts you are receiving, avoid checking the online status of your registry. If the element of surprise is of no concern to you and your future spouse, check it every day. The fun will come into play by guessing who bought you what items.
• Many regular retail stores offer online gift registries. You can also find registries exclusively online that allow you to pick items from a variety of stores, but have the registry go through one website. Bargain sites generally have coupons and discounts available to shoppers.
• Do not pick items for a wedding registry too far in advance. There is the possibility that some items that you pick will be seasonal and may not be available at the time of your wedding.
Now go out there and create a registry – and have fun!