Registry Tips and Tricks

Registering for gifts can be one of the best bits of the wedding planning process.  You finally get to have that day of shopping where it doesn’t matter how much money is actually in your bank account – you can just scan those must-have items without worrying about it.  Woo!

We wanted to share a couple of tips and tricks on registries, so that you can make the most of that scanner toy.

1.  Where to register?

You and your partner should pick two or three stores at which to register.  We suggest that you select national chains with easy online ordering to make the process simple for your friends and family.  Be sure to include a physical address that the store can ship items to, so that you don’t have to text your address to everyone on your guest list.  Popular places to register include Macy’s, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams Sonoma, and Crate and Barrel.  Choose the stores that best reflect your lifestyle and your needs.  There are many, many places to register that are a little outside the box – The Container Store, for instance, or through a public wish list on Anthropologie.  If you can’t decide on specific stores, you can use Amazon to create a wish list that pulls from multiple sites.  If you don’t need “stuff”, you have a couple of options.  You can ask your guests to donate to a charity that you support in your name.  We’ve heard of guests funding micro loans through Kiva, and cycling the interest gains back to the couple.  Another popular choice is to do a honeymoon registry, like those offered by Honeymoon Wishes and Wanderable.  This is a great way to get some extra funds for your honeymoon.  Be a little cautious, though – although your guests choose specific experiences to purchase for you and your partner to enjoy, most of these gifts actually come to you as cash.  So it may require a little extra tracking to ensure that your money gets earmarked for the appropriate experiences – otherwise, you’ll have that moment of blankness when Aunt Sheila asks if you enjoyed your swim with the dolphins when you actually spent her gift on a daiquiri blowout.

2.  What to register for?

Take an inventory with your partner before you jump into registering.  What do you have that you’ll keep in your new home?  What needs to be replaced?  This process will help you outline the gaps in your household.  Housewares, such as sheets and towels, kitchen items, china, and electronics, are generally a key area of need.  You may also consider entertainment items, if you already live with your partner and have your “stuff” situation under control.  You should register for one item per guest on your invite list.  Most guests are going to buy gifts as a couple or a family, so this allows for a broad range of choice.  Also, try to target most of your items in the $35 to $75 range.  Definitely add a few high expense items to allow for a more generous gift from a close relative or a group of friends banding together.

3. How to inform?

Only guests that you are inviting to your wedding should be informed of your registry.  The best way to do this is to add links to your wedding website.  It’s a nice, central location that guests can find, even if they lose the invitation itself.  If you don’t have a wedding website, you can include a separate enclosure card listing your registry locations, or to add this information to a map or accommodations enclosure.  Etiquette frowns on listing the registries on the invitation itself.

That’s it!  Go forth and scan.  Scan like you’ve never scanned before.