Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wedding Tip #20 - What to know BEFORE you register

(above: our china, "white pearl" from crate & barrel)

Registering for gifts is like an all expense paid shopping spree! You are given a scan gun with few quick clicks and a beeps and you've picked out your new living room. Yes, this is super fun! However, like all things wedding it can actually be a bit overwhelming too. There is too much cool stuff to just go into store without some preparation. If you register for too much you might looks greedy or not get the things you REALLY want. If you register for too little your guests may not have enough choices and feel frustrated. So, I decided to blog about registering and hopefully make it easy for you and your spouse-to-be!

1) Assess your assets. What do you and your fiance have? Did one of you just buy new bedroom furniture or sheets? If so, save that section of the store until last and really scrutinize before you scan! Figure out what you need most. Don't have any pots and pans... or are you using the ones your parents get for THEIR wedding? Get yourself straight to the kitchen department!

2) Shop online before you hit the stores. Many, MANY guests prefer online shopping for weddings. This way they can click and send it straight to you! So, before you go into the stores and scan away take a look at their websites. (Bed Bath and Beyond has a GREAT site with bride planning tools) Also, since you should only register at 2-4 places you'll want to choose different types of stores with different price points.

3) Alternative is in! This is not your parents wedding registry. Anthony and I had a target registry and registered for a wii, camping supplies, and a digital photo frame! Lucky for us it is not totally acceptable to register for toys! Honeymoon registries are also becoming increasingly popular. These types of registries are especially great if you're already living on your own and have many of the household things you need.

4) Avoid the traps! There are a million cool appliances, but do you really need a forman grill, panini maker, and a grill pan? Avoid registering for many items that do the same thing! Also, avoid the over priced items. Do you really need a $50 spatula? At specialty kitchen stores you will find lots of cool items, but unless you really love it, you might just want to get your own and save registry items for things you want but might not splurge on for yourselves.

5) Remember what your guests will have to spend. Some cash-strapped guests may only be able to afford a $25 gift while others will want to splurge and spend $200+ on your gift. So, be sure you have items on all of your registries at several price points. If you are having engagement parties and showers guests will be looking for several gifts. You can't have too many little items. Love those Asian-inspired soup spoons? Who cares that they're only $1.99 each, someone will buy you a set and the matching bowls! Some guests prefer buying a set of little gifts to one big-ticket present.

6) Colors, styles, patterns & trends. Sure the lime green bowl is awesome, so is the red platter. However, if you are going to use all of these items in your kitchen/dining room remember that they'll need to look good together...don't forget here today gone tomorrow! Trendy looks are fun for accent pieces but for the things you'll have for years to come you may want to consider classic timeless pieces. Simple white bone china will always be in style and you can add decorative chargers, bold salad plates and colorful linens to change the look.

7) Go home and edit! After your scanning spree head home and hit the 'net. Take another look at your registry. Take out the items that you are less in love with and double check that you don't already own similar items. While you want to give your guests enough choice you should also make sure the things you really want won't get lost in a sea of needless extras.

8) Quantity - make sure you register for enough items! You will break a few plates and wine glasses. We all do. So, if you're hoping to have a set for 10, get 12 just in case!

9) Entertaining & your style: Are you the dinner party type or the nachos & sports game type? If you love to host wine and cheese parties stock up on glassware and cocktail plates. If you prefer relaxing in front of the TV for the big game register for chip and dip sets and come cool beer mugs.

10) ... and lastly WHERE?

Registries we used: (Honeymoon registry - add whatever you want not connected to a resort)

Other registeries I like:
Pottery Barn
Tiffany & Co.
Restoration Hardware
I Do Foundation (Set up a registry to donate to your favorite charity)

(above: our new kitchen. Some of our gifts you can see are: the fruit bowl, kitchen towels, tea kettle, knife set, utensil holder, teapots...)

UPDATE. For more registry tips see this post: Registering Part 2

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