The wedding registry. To some couples it is the chance to create the ultimate wish list for their home, a way to begin planning their new life together. To others they feel they have everything or don’t like asking people for things. Or the last type of couple, they don’t want items, they just wish people would give them money (we’ll touch on this situation later and why its still a big no-no to ask for cash). But seriously, wedding registries can be really fun to create but they can also become stressful and overwhelming. So let’s talk about some tips on creating a wedding registry.
When should we start our registry? Traditionally you would create your registry before you announce your engagement. But frankly, that’s a lot of work to do when you’re bursting inside wanting to share the good news. So I recommend to my couples to make sure that it is completed before you have your engagement party, and if you are forgoing that, then make sure it is done before your wedding shower invitations go out.
Is there anything I should look for when choosing where to create my registry? First and foremost, make sure it is somewhere that actually carries things that you want, not just somewhere that will make Mom happy. Second, make sure their registry is user friendly. Nothing sucks more then having a registry that is hard to find or navigate because the system in place is complicated. Another thing to look for is if they have completion rewards. Some places give you a final coupon after your event for 10-20% off everything that is left on your registry that wasn’t purchased. So maybe the towels you’ve been dreaming about in your sleep were never gifted, but you just have to have them, well now just because you registered for them you can get them for 20% off.
How much do I need to register for? A lot more then you think. The thing is everyone that is invited to your shower will more then likely be bringing a gift. And if it is a lower priced item, then multiple gifts. Then you have people that won’t be able to attend the wedding but still want to send a gift. And then the people that actually bring a physical gift to the wedding. Do you work somewhere with friendly co-workers? They may throw you a party without you knowing it and you’ll have to have enough items on your registry for all of them. But it also goes back to the previous question when I mentioned the completion reward. Those coupons only work for items that you registered for before your event, so register for anything and everything you can think of so that even if it’s not purchased you can go back and buy it later at a discount.
But what if we have everything we already need in our home because we have lived together for a while now? My husband and I have been together 14 years, I was ecstatic when my mother bought me a new knife set for Christmas. Just because you have a lot of items already, doesn’t mean they couldn’t use an upgrade. Or that you couldn’t ask for a new tent to have for future camping trips. Or something that you are planning on buying for yourself, but could wait till after the wedding to get. You can always use new items or things to replace the old. It is a new chapter in your book together, it might as well start with new shiny things.
Seriously, I don’t want gifts, I just want cash. Seriously, no. I mean, I know, you’re putting a lot of money into your wedding and you’re hoping to not start your new life together in debt. I get it. But it is still UNACCEPTABLE to ask your guests for cash. Register for your honeymoon. Register for activities (see a few points down on registry options). Register for anything and everything that you will never use at a place with a wonderful return policy and get the money back. I don’t care, but do not ask your guests for cash, or let anyone know you returned everything or that I even mentioned it. In fact, forget I even said it. Go to Walmart and register for your groceries, just register. (Funny note, my husband and I registered for chips and salsa – totally worth it.)
OK fine I’ll make a registry, but do I have to do more then one? Yes. At a minimum I recommend you do two, and no more then four. But really two will do you just fine. The reason? Not everyone likes to shop at the same places. Not everyone can afford high end items and want more practically priced items so they prefer a different store. Give your guests options and they will not only buy you things but be more happy in the end. Make their shopping experience easy.
Make your registry practical and fun. Make sure that when you are choosing items to put on your registry, to pick things that you not only need, but items that you want too. I mean not everyone feels that they need zombie head cookie jar with removable brains, but if it’s something you really want then why not? (By the way it’s available at ThinkGeek). Make your registry practical, because you really do need dinner plates but also fun because who doesn’t want to drink their morning coffee out of a Back to the Future heat changing mug (also available HERE)?
Think outside the box. There are a lot of options out there for wedding registries. Not only those at brick and mortar stores, but a lot of options are now online. From Amazon registries to companies like ZOLA and My Registry. The nice thing about companies like ZOLA is that not only can you choose items but you can choose activities or honeymoon items. And My Registry takes every registry you create and puts it all together in one location. Let me touch back on brick and mortar stores, not only do people like to go and see and touch what they are buying, but a lot of people don’t feel comfortable or know how to purchase things online. Again, make everyone’s shopping experience easy.
Flatware. Check. Towels. Check. What else should I add? Storage items. You can never have enough storage items. Bins, baskets, totes, shelves, storage, storage, storage. As someone who is a big organizer I cannot recommend this enough. After all, where are you going to keep all of your new items?
So my registry is finished, now what? First, if you went to a brick and mortar store, go to their online store. Sometimes there are items that are only available online, but also keep in mind online exclusives or seasonal items may be out of stock if you create your registry very far in advance of your date. Lastly, tell your immediate family who can now spread the word to people they know. Make sure whoever is hosting your engagement party or shower knows where you are registered and give them any pertinent information like website or the handy-dandy cards you are sometimes given to put in invitations.
I just talked to my stationer and I keep being told I can’t put my registry on my invitations, why? Because it is another etiquette faux pas. Your registry information should be given to your guests in your engagement invitations or shower invitations. It can also be given by word of mouth through immediate family. It can also be listed on your wedding website. On a separate insert within your invitations you can add your wedding website, and that’s where people will find your registry.
I just received my first gift off my registry from someone who is not coming to my wedding. Can I open it? Yes. Open that sucker up and see what they sent! You want to make sure it is not broken or missing pieces as return policies differ for everything. And once you have checked it all out send them a thank you note now. That way they know you received it and enjoy it.
So there you have it. Just a few things to think about as you are creating your wedding registry. I hope that creating your registry turns out to be a simple process, as there are many other things to be working on when planning your wedding. Creating the registry should really be something fun you can do together.
Photo Credit: Blask Media