Sunday, January 27, 2013

Registry do's (and don'ts!) - Part 1

Let's talk about the bridal registry! This is going to be divided into two separate posts. In this post, I will provide registering and etiquette advice. In the next post, I will focus on unique registry ideas. But first, a brief history lesson on the concept: According to Wikipedia (which we all know is the most reliable source), the practice of the bridal registry first began with Marshall Fields in 1924 "as a means for the engaged couple to indicate chosen china, silver and crystal patterns to family and friends." Target was the first to introduce online registry services in 1993. I always knew I liked Target!

Here is a short list of things to pay attention to when registering:

  1. Timing. Registering early is a great way to share gift giving ideas with family/friends for birthdays or holiday presents. However, consider time frames and seasons when you register. Don't register for seasonal items that will be replaced within a few months. Also keep in mind that certain stores like Target have quicker inventory turn, so they may not have your items in stock for long. This concept applies to certain categories such as towels, bedding, casual china, etc.
  2. Wants and Needs. Register for what you want and need! Don't be afraid to register for a few big ticket items. Sometimes friends or co-workers will pool their money together to get a more expensive gift. If you end up with enough gift cards, you can take advantage of the discounts that some stores offer couples who purchase items from their registry after the wedding. (This is known as a completion program.)
  3. Variety. Register at a few places (2-4) and register for a variety of items. Provide guests with multiple options. Some like to shop online; others like to shop in the store. Not all stores have locations accessible by your guests. A variety of items in a variety of prices at a variety of places helps make the process easier for your guests.
  4. Your Friends/Family. It doesn't hurt to ask your friends and family for recommendations. They can give you advice on what to (and what not to) register for, as well as where to (and where not to) register.
  5. Store Policies. Some stores require appointments to get your registry set up. This is a great time to ask questions on return policies, completion discounts, and more. Ask about reward points and how long your registry will remain active after the wedding.
Here are a few etiquette tips:
  1. It is inappropriate to include registry information with your wedding invitation. Appropriate methods of sharing this information include word of mouth, including details on your wedding website, and/or including this information with shower invites (since the invitation is not coming from you).
  2. Traditionally, receiving a wedding invitation is an obligation to give a wedding gift, regardless of attendance. I actually never knew this myself until reading a wedding etiquette book. I don't know how many people follow this rule. I think it's safe to say that with the recession, don't expect this to happen. Also, although it is very generous to do so, not all guests will give a gift at a shower and then again at the wedding. Just something to keep in mind.
  3. Aim to send thank-you notes for your wedding presents within a day or so of receiving a gift. Of course as a bride-to-be, you will be busy with all things planning, and of course you and your husband will be leaving for your honeymoon after the wedding. If you fall behind, aim to send a thank-you note within a month of returning from the honeymoon.
In the next post I will be writing about unique registry ideas and fun things to register for!

the Bride


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