Gift Registering 101

When you are planning your wedding, you may get frustrated at times and feel completely overwhelmed. Don’t give up! The joy of having your dream wedding is enough reward to stick to it, but the thrill of opening the mountain of gifts you will receive is like icing on the cake! Guests will want to wish you well in the form of a gift on your wedding day. Your new life together may mean moving into a new home or revamping your current home. You can help guide your guests on what things you really want or need by signing up for a gift registry. This makes shopping for a wedding gift much easier and your guests will be thrilled to be giving something that you handpicked. You won’t have to worry about getting 8 toasters and 4 serving bowls when you do a gift registry. It is a win-win situation all the way around.

So where do you register?

Be realistic. Not everybody can or should register at Tiffany’s if you actually want to receive gifts that are on your wish list. Consider your friends and family when you are registering.

Choose chain stores that are available all across the country if your guests are spread out. Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Pottery Barn are a few examples.

Choose a store that has online ordering and shipping available so guests who live out of town and won’t be able to attend your wedding can still send you gifts.

Register at a minimum of 2 stores. This gives your guests some flexibility when it comes to choosing your gift. You may register at Wal-Mart for some inexpensive household items and another higher end store for some fine china.

Register at stores that reflect your personality as a couple. If you are outdoorsy, head to REI. If you love wine, register at a winery.

What Should You Add to Your Registry?

There is really no right or wrong answer here. You know what you need and what you want. You want to choose items that are fairly basic, i.e. dishes, tableware, linens, appliances and outdoor furniture. However, if you are avid campers, don’t feel guilty about adding a tent or a new camp stove to your registry. These kinds of gifts are part of who you are as a couple and will make guests feel as if they are adding a personal touch to the gift buying process.

Choose a wide range of items on the price scale. A few inexpensive $10 items and a few high priced items are perfect. Fill the registry with a variety of gift ideas in between.

Avoid asking for anything personal for the bride or groom, i.e. clothing, beauty products or other personal products.

While asking for electronics like a new DVD player or flat-screen is becoming more normal, old-school guests will scoff at the idea. Make sure to add the traditional blender, toaster and dishes to your registry to appease everybody

Never ask for cash or gift cards

If you are not in need of any new household items and are hoping your guests will give you money as gifts, don’t register. This is a bit of a hint that you are not in need of anything in particular and would rather have the cash they would have spent buying a gift.

If gifts arrive before the wedding, the rule is they are not to be opened until after the wedding. When opening gifts, it is important to sit down with your groom and make a list of everything that was received along with who sent it so thank-you cards can be sent out.

Have fun registering with your future spouse. It is like creating a real live wish list and helps forge a bond between you. Register early to give your guests plenty of time to shop for a gift.

Photograph by JD Hancock

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