Your wedding date is set. You’ve found the perfect dress. You have a location, caterer, dj, and photographer. Now there’s one thing left to do: register for wedding gifts! Follow these guidelines for what to do and don’t do when it comes time to choosing items for your bridal/wedding registry.
Make your own list of wedding gift wants and needs and compare to a website (ie: theknot.com), store, or magazine bridal registry list to cross-reference what you may have forgotten.
Consider what each of you already own and want to keep.
Consider what you will inherit. If you know you’re getting your grandmother’s China or silver, you may not want to register for China or silver.
Choose items for different budgets. Consider everyone invited and allow wedding guests ample choices for gifts from every price range.
Check your registry after your bridal shower. Make sure there are still plenty of options for wedding guests to purchase. Add more items if your registry has become depleted.
Research stores wedding registry policies and procedures
Limit the number of stores to three. Include at least one store that’s a national chain (Target’s wedding registry is one of the most popular) for out-of-town guests to shop.
Check stores shipping policies for easy shipments.
Ask about registry specials. Many stores have discounts for completing bridal registries or incentives for registering with them. For instance, Crate & Barrel offers 10 reasons to register for wedding gifts with them, including a 10% registry completion discount.
Register from home. Online registration is a great way for both of you to choose items on a tight schedule.
Remember to write thank you notes for every gift you receive from your registry and even those that are not.
Ask for advice if you need it.
Forget the outdoors or patio. Gardening, grilling, and gear for the patio make excellent gifts, especially if you already own many traditional registry items.
Forget the holidays. Seasonal items you’ve always wanted, from table linen and napkins to cookie cutters and door signs, are great ways to add variety and appeal to all budgets.
Only choose one store.
Include stores with unreasonable return policies or deadlines.
Forget to check store policies for how long they will keep your registry. Left over registry items also make fantastic birthday and holiday gifts for parents and close family/friends, especially if you’re difficult to shop for.
Register by yourself. Remember to ask your significant other for opinions, even if you have narrowed choices between two different sets of silver, your spouse-to-be has to live with everything too.
Stop at dishes, towels, and linens. Some couples include gift cards toward dream honeymoons, hobbies, and date night activities. Bikes, picnic gear, beer or wine-of-the-month clubs all make gifts you can enjoy and help you remember your special day every time you use them.
Register for items you don’t need. Consider where you will put wedding and shower gifts if you have a small apartment or limited storage space. Also, if you already don’t use or need specialty cookware, your routines won’t magically change once you’re married, so don’t register for three tablecloths if you only use placemats or every bar gadget if you aren’t big drinkers.
Expect to get every item on your bridal registry.
When it’s time to register for wedding gifts, remember what’s important to you as a couple. While completing a bridal registry may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be if you think about your lifestyle and needs.