8 Tips for Registering the Right Way
You’re engaged – congratulations! First step: Get registered. People are going to start buying you gifts, and you want to get good stuff, right? Here’s an expert guide on how to go about it in a proper and tactful way. No one wants to seem greedy, but without knowing the right etiquette, many brides do.
Here are eight tips on making the process as smooth and polite as possible.
1. Shop Big or Shop Local?
Choose at least one big department store and one store that has a great, easy-to-order Web site. Adding a small boutique is fine, as long as you give guests other options. Don’t register at more than four or five stores, tops, says Kelly Simants, owner of Sweet Pea Events in the Dallas area, who adds that more couples are registering at nontraditional spots like REI, Lowe’s and Home Depot.
2. Where to Do It
If possible, register at the store. It’s much easier to see what things look like in person, but more importantly, you can see if items are in stock. Lots of your parents’ friends aren’t necessarily going to shop online and may head to the local shop to buy gifts.
3. How Much?
Register for a range of items in all price categories, from the $5 garlic press to the $100 food processor. It’s fine to add some even pricier items, assuming that guests will want to “go in” together. And always make sure you have enough items on the registry. A good rule of thumb is to register for as many gifts as you have guests. And most experts also agree that asking for cash is tacky. “You’ve crossed the line if you ask,” says Diane Forden, editor-in-chief of Bridal Guide magazine. “It’s not what a wedding is about. It’s not, ‘Fund this, fund that.’”
4. Update Your Registry Every Few Weeks
Recent bride Trea Diament, who lives in the Seattle area, had fun getting a sneak peek at what people bought for her, and she looked every week; one bride we know didn’t check at all and wondered why everyone began getting her gift cards or stuff off-registry. It was because the small kitchen store she registered at was out of stock of half the items she wanted.
5. Leave Off the Gadgets
This is a major flubber for most couples, especially young ones. “People really do judge you on what you register for,” Diament says. “As I was walking around with the registry gun I heard shoppers saying ‘Oh, that is ugly, I would never get that, why does she want that?’”
6. Get Things that You Both Want
This one is tough. He might want that juicer or George Forman grill while you want the food processor. Within reason, try to agree. Diament says her husband didn’t like her cloth placemats with flower embroidery, but she got them anyway. “I registered for all these kitchen gadgets I’d always wanted but never would have purchased for myself; I really didn’t need to wait to get married to get a garlic press, but I did,” she says.
7. Think About the Future
More brides are leaving china off their registries, but are you sure you don’t want it? If you ever think you’ll formally entertain, it might be a good idea to stock up on china now; if it’s reasonably priced, guests love buying it. In general, consider what you might need later. If you plan to buy a house, you’ll need more or different items than if you’re currently in a studio apartment.
8. Don’t Send Out Those Little Cards the Stores Give You
The only appropriate written way to tell guests where you’re registered is on your Web site. Otherwise, word-of-mouth is best. And don’t worry, people will ask.
Try to have fun with the registry, and don’t let it stress you out. Most importantly, be true to your lifestyle.