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Getting married? Tips for Handling the Gift Registry

Crate-Barrel-Instagram-Tablescape

Image via @crateandbarrel

If you’re engaged, the next question after “have you set a date?” and “where will it be?” is inevitably, “where are you registered?” I’ll admit, I actually didn’t want to have a gift registry. My fiance and I have been living together for the past three years, so I wasn’t even sure what we truly needed. But understandably, our friends and family want to wish us well and might feel uncomfortable with gifting us straight up cash. So, off we went to set up our gift registry. There’s seriously something about scanner guns and guys because the look of pure joy on my fiance’s face as he zapped plate ware and cutlery was priceless. Here are some tips I picked up so that you can make the most out of your wedding gift registry experience.

Think about what you need/don’t need

Take stock of what you need and don’t need. When you go to register, the store will usually give you a checklist of the recommended items you need to begin your life together. But if you’ve already been living with your guy, chances are you’ve each brought a lot of household items into the relationship. While we have most of the basics, my fiance and I have a random assortment of mismatched cutlery, glasses and chipped plate ware. While this might have been all fine and well when we were single, I like to think that we’re grownups now and that it’s time we had complete sets of matchy-matchy household items.

Register for things you might not buy yourself

Don’t be afraid to register for items you might not necessarily buy yourself. Think of special items that elevate the everyday. Your guests want to surprise and delight– it is a gift registry after all. For my bridal shower, my cousin bought me the most adorable polka-dot ice cream bowl and scoop set. It’s so cute but I would have never bought it for myself. Every time I have a scoop of mint chocolate chip, I’ll think of her.

Jonathan-Adler-Set

Image via @jonathanadler

Register for items at a variety of price points

This might be an obvious one, but do be mindful of your guests’ budget and register for items at a wide range of price points. My fiance and I were a bit self conscious about registering for a pricey All-Clad pot and pan set but we know it’s something we’ll use for a long time as my fiance loves to cook and does all of the cooking. Although an item may have a high price tag, often times a group of friends will go in for a gift together.

Stay true to your personalities and lifestyle

Wedding-Registry

It’s easy to get caught up scanning items to your heart’s delight but stay true to your personalities and lifestyle. We much prefer to try new restaurants with friends and family instead of entertaining them in our small condo. Therefore, I really have no business registering for 12 sets of fine china (nor do I have the room to store them!). As much as the black and white striped Kate Spade New York Concord dinnerware set was calling my name, it’s much too fancy for the everyday and doesn’t reflect our daily dining and entertaining habits.

Think outside of the box

While registering at one major retailer like The Bay, Williams & Sonoma or Bed Bath & Beyond is common, there’s no hard and fast rule about being tied to just one store. Free sites like myregistry.com and Gift Spaces allow you to procure items from a bunch of different retailers. These easy-to-use and highly visual online gift registries make it super easy for guests to purchase a gift and don’t bind them to just one retailer. Online registries also boast helpful tools like a gift tracker so you can tell who bought what, making writing your thank you notes a breeze later. And, if you prefer less stuff, online gift registries also allow you to tastefully register for cash where guests can contribute to your honeymoon, the down payment on your first home, or shared experiences like cooking classes, concert tickets or wine tours. Just make sure to read through the instructions as some of these sites may take a cut of your cash fund or charge a processing and admin fee for using the site.

GiftSpaces

Take the time to learn about the benefits of registering at a store

Admittedly, I was totally naive about wedding gift registries. We registered at The Bay for ease and simplicity, and I thought it was just a matter of creating the list online and adding things to it. But once I created a list, I was asked to set up a consultation with a Bridal Consultant. The consultation proved to be invaluable as the consultant walked us through the ins and outs of the registry. We also discovered that items on the registry are sometimes eligible for special discounts just because they’re on the list and even if they’re not currently on sale to the public. This saves your guests money and also increases the chances of having your gift list fulfilled. You also have access to your gift registry after the wedding and are eligible for discounts up to your 1st wedding anniversary. Oftentimes, couples add on big ticket items like a mattress or washer/dryer set after the wedding is done so they’re eligible for a discount on those items during the first year of marriage, just for adding it on the registry.

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