The Joy of Registry

Monday, September 13, 2010

Touching on a previous blog entry.. don't believe any of the pregnancy myths. Despite the complete opposite symptoms I was having from my first pregnancy, we're having a girl!!!

Soon as I found out, believe I was at BabiesRUs and Target to to start our baby registry for the lil' munchkin. This got me to thinking.. I've got to do a post on wedding registries. Most people either feel strongly about doing one or not, while others could care less. There are registries for all sorts of couples. Should you choose to register, pick two that best suit your needs. Here are a few stores that come to mind, for a full list, click here. or here.

Bed, Bath & Beyond
Crate & Barrel
Honeymoon Fund
Our Wishing Well
Your Favorite Charity

My two-cents on Wedding Registries

Go for it! Don't be afraid to get what you really want and don't say "no" for someone else. This is a fun time for you and your soon to be spouse to pick out all the gadgets that make up your home. People can be funny with just giving cash as a present and feel more comfortable with getting you something you want/need. Without a registry, you could end up with quite a few random trinkets that you have no use for and are unable to return.  Even guests who can't make it to the wedding will want to send you something in the mail and most of these online retailers offer free shipping. I remember wanting a stainless steel trash can which was fairly large in size and cost around $150. I thought "no one's going to get this for us!" But I put it on our list anyways and whaddayaknow!? Someone got it for us! :) Another unexpected present was a digital photo album frame that also cost around $150. It was something that I really wanted but didn't expect anyone to get and it came in the mail weeks before our wedding. The more expensive gifts weren't the only ones I appreciated the most.. I was amazed at a handcrafted piece of art we received that cost nothing but creativity and time.. but for the purposes of this blog post, we got a $39 back massager that gets tons of use to this very day!

Before registering, it's a good idea to have a chat with your fiance(e) about the type of decor/color scheme you want for each room of your new place together. I remember standing in the towel aisle, completely lost about what color hand towels to get for each of our bathrooms! It may seem like a little thing, but it will definitely save you time when you're at the store together.

What if you already have a fully decorated place and don't need any furnishing accessories? No problemo. Websites like Amazon, REI, Our Wishing Well, Honeymoon Fund and your favorite charity are among some other options that offer more than just bed sheets and mixing bowls. With gift cards to department stores such as Macy's, you can also purchase non-home goods such as apparel, jewelry and some major appliances like TV's and couches.

Don't know where to start? Most registries have a starting checklist of popular items to get the ball rollin' and you can either add items online at your convenience or walk down each aisle at your local shop, to get a first hand look and feel of items that may be of interest to you. I personally like to start with going to the store first, then going back online to compare and contrast reviews.

Know your stores/sites return policy. Do you need a gift receipt or is there a time limit on getting store credit? Bed, Bath & Beyond has an excellent return/exchange policy and offers an incentive program to get left over items for a discounted amount, for a limited time, that were not purchased prior to your wedding.

In addition, is a helpful website on all the ins and outs of all things weddings. Here's what they had to say about the "Top 10 Registry Dos and Dont's."

If you're wondering whether or not to register, the answer is crystal clear: Do it. Trust us, your guests want to buy you gifts. In the long run, registering saves time for you and your guests -- it gives your guests an easy way to buy wedding gifts, and it also ensures that you won't get things you don't want or need. Plus, registering saves you from having to return five of the same item.

It's a good idea to set up a registry soon after you're engaged, in time for all those pre-wedding and engagement bashes. In fact, you may want to register up to nine months before your wedding. Keep in mind that most guests buy gifts soon before the actual event, so it still makes sense to register -- even if your wedding is just two months away.

The two of you should be registering for gifts you'll both enjoy in your future life together. To decide on what you need, take inventory of the things you already have, 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).

Before you commit to a particular registry, read the fine print carefully for important information. Will the store ship to your desired address? The best retailers will send your gifts to any address you specify. Inquire about how long the exchange/return period is. This is crucial -- you don't want to be stuck with duplicate gifts or return from your honeymoon to find out that you have only two days left to exchange and return any items you don't want.

As much as you may be hankering for that gorgeous $350-a-place-setting silver, be sure to also register for items in the under-$50 range (with some well under $50) so all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford. Remember, depending on the store's return policy, you could return four $50 items to get that one $200 item you both love.

Traditionally, household items such as china, crystal, and flatware were staples of bridal registries. Nowadays, you can register for anything from furniture to sporting equipment to luggage. Take advantage of your many options and register only for items you'll really use.

You shouldn't assume your guests will know where you've decided to register. While you won't be informing guests yourself (unless they ask you directly), make sure your parents, best man, and maid of honor know where you are registered. Relatives will ask Mom and Dad for this info, and friends will most likely ask your attendants. You can also include your registry information on your personal wedding page on

Your registry should be convenient and fun -- for both you and your guests. Make sure your registry is available online, and find out if guests can purchase online or place their orders over the phone or by fax. That way, guests can make purchases whenever, wherever, and however they'd like.

A good registry will automatically update your list every time a purchase is made. However, make sure to revisit your registry often and update it with additional selections as products are purchased, to give guests a range from which to choose. Check back with your registry store often to see if they have added any new items you might like. You should have more items on your list than guests at your wedding, to accommodate for engagement party and shower gifts.

Be gracious -- let your guests know their gifts have arrived. Thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of their arrival. Notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within three months of your return from the honeymoon. In all notes, be sure to mention the gift by name.

Are there any  registry tips you can recommend or other stores that you registered with? Leave a comment and let us know your experience. We'd love to hear from you!


absentee16 said...

Congratulations on your baby girl! Yes, registries are fun. We were in desperate need of cash at the time of our wedding, so we "registered" with paypal and put a "donate" button on our wedding website. We got a few actual gifts, but almost everyone gave us a card with cash or check or donated through the site. This helped us pay for our wedding, honeymoon and our apartment. :)

@eileen218 said...

Thanks!! I think it's great that you chose a practical, non-traditional 'registry' that suited your needs.

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