Starting your wedding registry is something you’ll probably do early in your engagement. This part is always fun because you’re registering for all those household items you get to start your married life with, but it can also be a little overwhelming. There are so many things to remember to add, and so many different options to choose from, but don’t panic. Check out these tips below, and you’ll have an awesome wedding registry in no time!
1. Time It Right
It is completely acceptable to register as soon as you get engaged. This is great for guests who would like to purchase a gift for any pre-wedding celebration—engagement parties, showers, brunches—or for people who’d just like to send something as a token of their congratulations.
2. Know Thyself
Don’t be a slave to traditional registry lists. If you never cook at home but love to camp, it makes more sense to register for a tent than to request crystal goblets. But be open to the fact that your tastes may change in the future. Even though you can’t imagine the need at this moment in your life for that glass trifle bowl, it may become indispensable for future dinner party desserts.
3. Take Stock
Make a list of what both of you have and will keep—and what you still need and want. Consider the need for “everyday” and “formal” versions of dinnerware, glassware, table linens, and serving items. Important: Discuss what level of formality you want and general color schemes or patterns before you begin.
4. Look for Perks
Before choosing where to register, find out what kinds of perks you might get. For example, some retailers offer what’s called a completion program that allows you to fill in whatever you don’t receive at a discount (10 to 15 percent off for up to a year after the wedding, for example).
5. Choose More Than One Spot
One is not enough; 10 is too many. Two to four registries give guests more choices, and it’s a manageable number. To make it easy on yourself and others, pick one store for bedding, another for china, and so on. This will prevent you from signing up for the same items at different stores.
6. Do It Together
The two of you should be registering for gifts you’ll both enjoy. To decide on what you need, talk about the style of home you’d both like, and divide and conquer categories (maybe he gets to choose electronics, while she gets to choose the bedding). And don’t let Mom drag you around—in this case, she may not know best.
7. Know Your Guests
Be sure to register for items in a range of prices so that people can choose gifts within their means. Provide a mix of goods: Think traditional for older relatives, affordable and fun for college pals. It may sound a bit manipulative, but you’ve got to make your registry choices appealing—and easy for your guests to buy.
To satisfy gift needs for showers and engagement parties, request more items than the number of people on your guest list. Having options does not look greedy: You’re actually doing guests a favor by giving them more choices.
9. Get Plenty of Plates
It’s a good idea to request eight to twelve place settings . Dinner parties are most successful with six to eight people, but if you have a large family and plan on entertaining during holidays, you may want more.
10. Stay In Season
If you have longer than one year before the wedding, don’t register for seasonal items that will be replaced in a few months. When guests go to purchase gifts, they may find those things have been discontinued.
11. Let Your Guests Know
Unfortunately, it’s not appropriate for the bride or groom to ask for wedding gifts, so you have to be careful with how you let people know where you’re registered. Never include registry information with your wedding invitations—word of mouth is the appropriate way to disseminate this. Your registry info can, however, be listed on your bridal shower invites since the invitation does not come from you, but from the person hosting the shower. You can also include such details on a wedding web page.
12. Be Gracious
Thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of arrival. Notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within a month of your return from the honeymoon.