Just like everything else these days, there are so many options available to us when it comes to wedding registries. Where do you even begin? Take time with your partner to ask if a registry is even right for you. If it is, then follow these five rules for a stress-free end result.
RULE 1: Stick to Less Than Three Registries
Like I said, could there really be any more registry opportunities? Choosing where to register is a big decision. I wouldn’t take it lightly. Most guests will likely purchase a gift from one of your registries, so you want to make sure your registry choices embrace who you are as a couple and what you stand for, ethically, stylistically, and esthetically as individuals, too.
Before you make your decision, shop around. Do your research. Starting at your favorite places to shop is a good idea. But, be sure to branch off to places that might have those must-need items that will make your house a home. Places that might be unexpected, like the hardware store. Or, retailers that have products to help you live an adventurous life together — like an outdoor outfitters store.
Maybe it’s not even a store at all. Online registries make registering easy with the ability to select products from multiple retailers in one comprehensive list. Other online options might include funding your honeymoon or the wedding itself. Yes, both do exist.
Think about what is important to you as a couple. When you finalize your list, keep it to a maximum of three registries. Any more than that will take too much work before and after your big day. Plus, you don’t want to make it too complicated for your guests.
RULE 2: Have Fun and Stay Focused
Registering is potentially one of those moments you can spend together as a couple during what may be a stressful time. You should totally have fun with it. It’s like Christmas or winning the lottery. It’s a chance to dream big!
Scan that top-of-the-line vacuum cleaner. Add the gorgeous silver platter. Zap the set of 6,000 thread count sheet set.
But stay on track. I’ve seen a lot of registries and the worst is when I scroll down the list to find items like a curling iron or a 10 gallon bucket of peanuts or a 3-pack of deodorant. I mean, yeah, so it was fun scanning as many things as you could before the store closed. And spending all of that time together down each aisle can make you goofy. However, guests want to gift you meaningful items that will prepare you for a happy marriage. Keep the personal and whacky items to your own shopping list.
And if you just HAVE too much fun with the pricing gun, then be sure to revisit your registry when you get home to tidy it up a bit before your guests begin shopping.
RULE 3: Select Quality and Timeless Pieces
In keeping with Rule 3, staying focused by selecting pieces that will last a long time is key to a successful registry experience. And by quality, I don’t necessarily mean it has to be the most expensive item on the shelf. Instead, try to make conscious decisions about what you will like to look at day after day. Will you really like that set of dishes with the green and pink flowers 10 years from now? Or, how about those cheap “must-have” small appliances like a quesadilla maker or a donut machine? Really? No, not really. Get your head out of the gutter! Again, it’s fun, but not practical. Do you even have space to keep these types of things?
Ask yourselves a lot of questions. Talk it out together.
You know, the truth is 10 years will be here before you know it, and you’ll be thankful for the items that are in working order and still beautiful.
RULE 4: Announce Your Registry the Right Way
Etiquette has always suggested relying on the word of mouth method instead of making a formal announcement when it comes to your registry. While I encourage this, I also think it is ok to include your registries on your wedding website, if you have one. This way, guests can find these nitty gritty details if they so choose.
Other than that, forget about making an announcement in the wedding invitation. It’s just not necessary. Plus, this day is about you and your bride/groom, not about promoting a business. Be sure to toss those little cards that retailers give you to pass out, too. It’s just in-your-face marketing that your guests do not need.
Word will get around, I promise.
RULE 5: Play the Game
I found out early in my relationship that one of the greatest things about my (then future) husband is that he’s a walking calculator. I wouldn’t consider myself bad at math, but he’s so good that I just let him do all of the brain work.
However you do it — whether it’s you, your partner or a calculator — take time to think about the best strategies to close out your registry. What is the best bang for your buck?
Revisit the special offers that your registry gives you after your wedding. Some retailers will give you a healthy percentage off their prices when you make registry purchases. Add to that discount by applying for a credit card. Already have a credit card? Maybe your partner doesn’t or maybe you don’t have a joint card. Apply for it and then destroy it later if you don’t want to use it down the road.
Another big win is returning every gift you received from that retailer and repurchase it using your discount. Call us crazy, but my husband and I did this. No, not everything, but a lot. And we saved a lot of money and were able to purchase more than what was gifted to us, like our complete set of china. Something that we knew we would never ever purchase on our own.
Here’s how it works. For example, the easiest thing to do this with is items like pots and pans, and knives. Say you register for individual pots and pans, plus the set of pots. This way, people who may not want to spend $500 on a set can purchase one $50 pot instead. But, let’s say you receive all of the pots and pans included in that set as individual gifts. You exchange all of them for the one set, and you’ll have money left over to spend on something you did not receive. It works and it works well.
Just remember, you need to be well organized before you go (have a plan!) and understand that you might be sitting at the register for a while.
Also, keep in mind that these special offers do expire.
Tell us, what’s your wedding registry trick?