What better way to celebrate your love for your fiancé than by spending eight hours with them arguing over china patterns in a home goods store? Right?! Wrong! When it comes to planning a wedding many couples do not realize exactly how stressful it can be. Not only are you planning a wedding, but you are also planning several other smaller events and all the activities that are related to the wedding. And then after all those decisions are made you are expected to plan out your future home in the matter of a few weeks or months; from choosing linens and furniture to determining what appliances your home will need. It’s no wonder that it’s quite common for couples to clash a bit over their wedding registries. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so tough. Decision making is always easiest when you are organized and informed. Use my wedding registry tips below to help get organized and relieve the stress so that you can focus on what’s important.
1) Register with a checklist – Organization can pay off big time and one of the best tools for organization are checklists. Create a checklist of items for which you would like to register. Remember to include anything you may need for your home – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. Ask friends and family for their recommendations. When choosing specific patterns or colors, go with classic pieces that are easy to accessorize rather than bold prints that may look outdated in a few years. Whenever possible search online for colors and patterns and decide before going to the store to create your registry.
2) Register quickly – As soon the news of your engagement spreads, some friends and family will want to purchase gifts to celebrate your impending nuptials. In fact, engagement parties are almost as common as bridal showers are these days. If you can get this done early you will be better off since you will most likely be inundated with wedding details as your date gets closer. At the very least, be sure to register prior to your bridal shower (or at least 3 months prior to your wedding date – if possible) so that your guests have ideas and options.
3) Register for items you will use – It is important to consider your lifestyle when creating your registry. If you do not drink espresso than it’s probably wise not to register for the top of the line $1200 espresso machine. Register for items that you will use in everyday life. Your guests will be more likely to purchase items off of the registry that they know you will use and enjoy for some time to come – especially the higher dollar items.
4) Give yourself time to look – Creating a wedding registry will almost always take more time than you think especially when creating one in store. Allow yourself plenty of time to meet with the registry coordinator and to peruse the aisles. Don’t forget your checklist but also don’t be afraid to be flexible when making substitutions. These will be the first of many compromises you make along your journey as husband and wife.
5) Register for items with a variety of price points – It is important to give your guests a wide variety of options ranging from inexpensive to high-end. Close family members such as parents and grandparents may be more likely to spend a significant amount of money on your gift. Whereas guests such as co-workers may prefer an inexpensive but meaningful option.
6) Register at customer centric stores – Be sure to register at stores that offer incentives to their registrants. Many stores offer great registry perks such as product discounts, registry completion bonuses, free gifts, wedding websites with customized URL, free or discounted save the dates and invite printing. Take advantage of these extras to complete or enhance your wedding registry. Also be sure to review the store’s return and exchange policy. In the event that you do receive duplicates you will want to be able to return or exchange the item with no hassles.
8) Register for your honeymoon – Don’t be afraid to think out of the box and register for things that are considered non-traditional. Using sites like Honeyfund, will allow you to create a honeymoon registry and your guests can add payments to it both online and offline. You can use the funds raised to pay off your vacation booking or for other travel expenses. This is a great option for those who may already have an established home.
9) Merge Registries – It is recommended that you register with at least three different stores including an online option however managing all of those registries can be burdensome. Sites like My Registry allow you to add items from any store in world with an online presence. This is helpful so that couples are able to receive the items they want instead of settling for an item from a big box store.
10) Check (or don’t check) your registry regularly – While some may suggest that you should not look at your registry until your big day for fear of ruining the surprise, others (myself included) will argue that you should be certain to leave your guests with lots of options. If you do not regularly update your registry, those who wait until closer to your wedding date may be out of luck.
When all else fails, remember to have fun! The wedding planning process goes by so quickly that before you know it you will be celebrating your first anniversary!