Registering for our wedding was a very memorable experience, and I really enjoyed it. However, there were some things I wish I had known (or that I learned along the way) before we went. I highly recommend registering at MyRegistry.com, as you can register for items all over the Internet – not just one specific store!
Here’s my top tips for registering for a wedding!
1. Don’t register hungry
This may seem like an odd point to start with…but trust me on this, don’t do it. Registering takes a surprising amount of energy and if you aren’t well-feuled, it could be a less than pleasant experience. Forrest and I made this mistake, and we felt like we were zombies as we walked through Target. We eventually decided to go split a personal pan pizza from the Target food court, and it really helped us feel so much better and actually concentrate on what we were doing.
Another thing you shouldn’t do — donate plasma right beforehand. I did this right before we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and I was about two seconds away from passing out. I started blacking out, and if I hadn’t laid on the floor right as that was happening, I would have passed out. It’s a funny story to tell, but I’m not sure it was worth the experience! So, register well-fed, well-hydrated, and with all your body’s plasma!
2. What to register for
When registering, most people aren’t totally sure what they should register for. When we got married, neither of us had a ton of household items — just a handful of random kitchen appliances, silverware, and blankets that we had acquired during our years in college. So, we registered for everything we needed for our house to get started. However, many people are combining established households, which may contain items you don’t want to get rid of. And that’s okay — your registering strategy might be a different. Here are a few tips on how to register
Time to start new
Marriage is a new start, so why not start your household out on a new foot? Take this as a time to get matching dinnerware, glasses that aren’t foggy, and bedding that isn’t starting to fray. Whether or not you have very many household items to your name
If you do have a lot of items already, just take an inventory of the things you want to keep, and what things you think would be nice to update. There’s no need to get something new if you aren’t willing to get rid of the previous edition!
All price points
Some people can get pretty intense when they talk about how much a wedding guest should spend on a gift…which I think is dumb. If someone brings a gift, I think the couple should be grateful for the thought, no matter what the value is. Some people have a smaller budget than others, and I think it’s nice to give a variety of products in different price points so people can buy something that they can afford.
On the flip side, don’t be afraid to register for more expensive items. Sometimes people will go in on a group gift (or they may just want to spend more), so it’s nice to have those items that are a little more expensive — especially if you aren’t sure if you’ll buy them later on!
At least one gift per person invited
At Bed, Bath, and Beyond, they say to register for two gifts for every person that’s going. To me, I feel like that’s a bit overkill, but we invited over 300 people to our wedding receptions and that may not the norm. I feel like we would have registered for everything in the store if we had done that. So I’ve adjusted the recommendation to one gift for every person invited (though that may still be a bit overkill in some cases.)
Everything you want!
I’ve heard people say they don’t want to look greedy when they register, which is understandable. The same thought crossed my mind too. However, I feel like a wedding is a time where people are wanting to get you gifts, so you might as well register for things that you want.
Don’t register for things you don’t actually want.
You might be thinking, why would I register for things I don’t want? Well, it’s easier to do than you think! I remember registering, and seeing something totally random, and registering for it, just because I thought it looked interesting. Unfortunately, I regretted that later when we got some of those gifts over something we actually needed, like dinner plates! While I think it’s totally great to register for fun items, just think twice before you put in on your registry.
It doesn’t all have to be practical!
Register for some board games, some cute decorations, or camping equipment! I think it’s great to register for all the “practical” items, but it’s still fun to get some of those things you may not buy otherwise.
3. Go with your fiancé
For one, I just don’t think it would be very fun to register by yourself. But more importantly, if you are starting a life and a new home together, then you both should definitely have a bit of input, don’t you think? Make a date out of it — go out to eat beforehand, or go see a movie afterwards. Even if you end up adding things later online to your registry, try to do the first round together. Those registration guns can make for some fun memories!
4. Register Early & Take Your Time
As your wedding gets closer, the last thing you probably want to do is take a few hours to go register. So, do it when you are in the stage of planning where things are stressful, you’re on cloud nine, and you have energy! It will take a few hours to really get through a store, so give yourself time so you aren’t rushing. You can always come back, as well, or add items online.
5. Know return policies
Not all stores have great return policies for gifts, especially if you don’t have the receipt. I found that Bed, Bath and Beyond had a wonderful one, while Target was quite stingy. If you are worried that you’ll have to return a lot of gifts for whatever reason, definitely look into the return policy of the stores you are registering at.
6. Update it
If you register at more than one place, I think it’s a good idea to remove items from one list that were purchased at another place. If you don’t want to know what people have bought, maybe enlist a trusty bridesmaid who might be willing to do this. If this is too much work, just make sure not to register for similar items at two different stores (unless you get a thrill out of returning things!)
7. Include address
Sometimes out-of-town family and friends who can’t attend the wedding will still want to send a gift. Most registries give you the option of including your shipping address for items to be shipped straight from the warehouse to your front door. This can be helpful if you are traveling and don’t have a lot of space to bring gifts back!
8. Know the store perks
Some stores will give you incentives for registering with them! I know we got a gift card from one of the places we registered, and others give you little gift bags with coupons and other goodies. Though, don’t get too excited because not all stores do (and even if one place does, another might not!) The best thing to wait for is the coupons or after-wedding perks. Most stores will give you a certain percentage off either all the remaining items on your registry, or off everything in the store.
We got a 10% off our entire purchase coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond about a week after our wedding. However, we waited another week or so, and guess what we got? A 20% off our entire purchase coupon. It was totally worth waiting for that coupon to come, because we were able to make our gift cards go a little further (especially since we bought a lot of items in the discount section. Seriously — don’t skip over that one!) This is another good reason to register for whatever you want, because even if someone doesn’t buy it, you might be able to still get it with a discount!
Places to Register
I don’t know if this section is even worth mentioning, because there are SO many places that have registries now. When you decide where to register, I recommend registering at a place that is somewhat close to where you are getting married (so if you are having a reception somewhere that doesn’t have a Target for 100 miles…I might skip Target.) Here are a few of my favorite places
Bed, Bath And Beyond
Crate and Barrel
Sears (and here’s some great Groupons coupons for Sears, in case you get some gift cards and want to make your dollar go a bit further!)
My Must Have Wedding Registry Items
I’m not going to put a list of everything you need to register for, because really, that’s going to vary widely from couple to couple. However, here are a few items I think are great for registries and that everyone home should have (at least, in my opinion!)
Knives – you could either register for a nice set that comes with a bunch of different ones (like this) or for just a few high quality knives, such as a chef’s knife, or a nice steak knife set. To be honest, we only use a few of the knives in the set we have!
Storage Containers (this 60 piece storage set is awesome)
Bakeware (make sure to get a set with a jelly roll pan! We didn’t, and we still don’t have one. I really love the Rachael Ray line – these don’t stick at all!)