If you’re having a summer or fall wedding, this is a good time to start thinking about creating a gift registry. It’s a great time to reinvigorate your fiance, and get them involved in the planning. My husband loved registering and checking out all the kitchen gadgets. The key is to give your guests choices.
First, you need to choose where to register. I suggest shopping the stores before you choose one. Go to two or three and figure out if they have what you’d like to have in your home.
Look for products in a wide variety of price points as every guest will have a different giving level especially if your guests are from different parts of the country. Having lived in several parts of the country, I’ve realized there are huge differences in price points for weddings. Some of it’s personal, but a good chunk of decisions are regional.
When you’re browsing the store, it can be overwhelming because you’re deciding on so many things. What kind of dishes, pots and pans, or mixer do you want for the next 20 years?
Be realistic. It’s easy to get carried away and register for items that you’ll never use. We had a few on our list, that we’ve used once in six months. I tried repeatedly to get some removed from our list, but my husband insisted we would need it. I just rolled my eyes and let him relish in the fun of registering. He is handy in the kitchen, and the last thing I wanted to do was discourage him from planning and cooking.
The stores all offer different programs. They want you to sit through their speech about the pros and cons before they allow you to register. One store even wanted to follow us through the store to make suggestions. Luckily, we convinced them otherwise telling them we already did a site survey and knew what we wanted.
Some stores give you cash back on a percentage of the purchases made from your registry. Others, give you nothing for bringing dozens of your friends and family to their store to shop. Also, consider shipping and handling. Many stores will charge you for it online while others give you free shipping for orders over $99. Bed Bath & Beyond will only ship for free if you find a promotional code or if you go to the store and don’t find the item you need.
We registered at Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond, and by far the majority of our guests bought items at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Once all the registering is done, sit back and relax. It’s like Christmas everyday as you get close to the wedding and have gifts arriving. I laughed at some that arrived in huge boxes with a small kitchen gadget in them. Another one arrived with cups wrapped in just a few pieces of paper. Needless to say some were broken and we called for replacements.
Finally, keep track of everything as you receive it. It gets confusing as the gifts start piling up. We waited to send thank you notes until after our wedding so we could send notes with our wedding pictures on them, and I think some guests would have prefered thank you notes as the gifts arrived. I say this because when you send something you always wonder if the recipient got it. We had people asking if we received gifts, and I felt bad when they inquired. It’s just something to consider when you’re figuring out the best way to thank someone.
Just make sure you take the time to write a thank you note at some point. I can’t tell you how many weddings I went to where the bride and groom never said a word about the gift. I don’t want a big pat on the back, but I want to know you received it and put it to use.