So you’re engaged planning for your wedding, and now you have to think about the bridal registry, too? When should you register? What should you register for? And where? Read below for some key guidelines to help you along:

Photo by jenandjon Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo by jenandjon Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

1. When Should I Plan To Register?  Many brides often ask “how early should I register” and I would recommend as early as possible. Some guests may want to have the “top pick” from your registry list. Take our word from one of our interns who works as the manager of her retailer’s wedding registry who suggests 6-9 months prior to the wedding. Anything beyond that, and the registry software may have gone through an update (and you may need to make some additional updates on your end…or worse!), or your taste(s) may change, and you’ll be deleting and adding to the registry, causing yourself more work and angst.

 

2. How Many Stores Should I Register At? – There are no “correct” amount of stores that you need to register at. Instead of thinking “how many”, think about variety. Your guests will feel more at ease if there are several options within all price ranges, both online and in-store options. Also, some guests go-in as a group when purchasing a gift. Keep in mind if your registry is “up” during the holidays, you may have friends/family who wish to make a selection from your registry.

 

3. Where Should I Register And What Should I Register For? – You may want to consider specialty stores or national department stores for the widest variety. But you’re not limited there—maybe you want to remodel a certain room in your home, so you may want to register at a home improvement store (that’s what we did!). Or perhaps you do a lot of traveling, and want traveling necessities like luggage, organizers, iPad accessories, etc. Or perhaps you are the “outdoorsy” type and want to register for a tent, grill, umbrella, etc. Can’t make a decision or are you two polar opposites? You can each “part ways” – I know of a bride who loved to read, and wanted to stock their library, and so she registered for books. Or if your fiancé likes to cook, or is concerned about the bar, he can take “that area”. One gem we love, is MyRegistry.com, which syncs all of your registries from different retailers into one location (psss…you can also register for cash! See tip #5 below!).

 

 

4. How Do I Let Guests Know Where I Am Registered? – This one is easy. You can let guests know where you are registered in any fashion except in the wedding invitation (shower invitation of course, is fine). So word of mouth, save-the-dates can have info listed, or on your wedding website.
5. Can I Register For Cash? – If you’d like, sure! It’s not just about vases and bed linens anymore. Many couples are choosing to register for cash, honeymoons, or even frequent flyer miles! Just understand that not all guests may be “ready” for this hip, new swanky wedding registry idea (Aunt Matilda may think it’s tacky). Some firms charge a fee above and beyond the amount of the gift (which the bridal couple can elect to pay so the guests don’t have to), so be sure to do your research first. We love HoneyFund for honeymoons,  or www.usairwaysgiftregistry.com.

The point of your bridal registry is to make sure you don’t end up with 10 toasters, or vases, or two closets full of towels that you may not need. Keep it personal, and you may also snag some discounted items from your registry after you’ve been wed, since many registries let you make a purchase from the registry at a reduced price after the wedding date.

Stressed in other areas of the planning? Want more tips like these? Join in on the fun, here!

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