27 July, 2011

You Asked For It: Registry Revelations {Re-Post}

Good morning, dolls! I am so lucky to have such bright, inquisitive little Goldilous!  Because so many of you have been asking the best questions about registries, I thought I might re-post some of my tips on making your registry a little more fabulous!  Enjoy...

Registering for gifts was my second favorite part of the wedding planning hoopla. (Can you guess what my favorite part was?) Incidentally, registry planning is one of my favorite things to do with my couples as well. I was such a lucky gal because The Hubbs was totally into helping out. {Although I did have to keep steering him away from the electronics...and when my back was turned, he registered us for a Nintendo Wii et al.) Nevertheless I have definitely developed a strategy that I would love to share with you!

1. Don't spread yourselves to thinly. Stick to two or three of your favorite stores. Although the beauty of online shopping is so alluring, try to choose at least one national department chain with locations in most regions with a great selection of housewares. You may also want to choose a local specialty store for those quirkier items.

2. Think of your guests. When registering for gifts, try to choose items that span the spectrum of price ranges. Be sure to balance big ticket items with equally wonderful budget-friendly choices.

3. Give yourself the gift of time. You should complete your registry(ies) between 4 and 6 months before the big day. This gives your guests time to shop, wrap and ship to their heart's desire. A generous time frame will also cover any showers you may have.

4. Make sure to register for enough gifts. I know this may sound a wee bit strange, but trust me (!) this is important. You want to register for more gifts than there are guests. Choosy gift givers (like me) will appreciate the plethora of items to browse. Keep in mind, you'll most likely have a shower or two in there somewhere and you'll need to allow for those as well. After all, "variety is the spice of life", no?

5. Don't be afraid to spread the registry word! I know that etiquette (and Martha Stewart) says, "Don't tell your guests where your registered in the invitation". For me, the jury's still out. While I agree such info should never EVER be located on the invitation card itself, I have seen a number of tasteful and gorgeous registry cards. In my humble opinion, the job of the invitation suite is to provide your guests with all the info they'll need to successfully attend your wedding. The registry info is part of that information. However, if you should want to follow etiquette, you and your SO should tell only immediate family and the bridal party. Have them spread the word throughout the wedding guests. It is totally appropriate to include registry info with shower invites.

6. It's okay to register for gift cards! While it is still taboo to ask for money {as it should be}, most registry programs will ask you if you'd like to receive gift cards. Go ahead and check "yes"! We all know these things are great for traveling guests. Just slip them into the card, slip the card in your carry on and away you go! It's also super great to use your gift cards to complete your registry after the wedding!

7. When registering, think of your "happily ever after" not just your "happily ever now". Registry expert Mary Rose Gearon said it best, "Don't just think about your lifestyle as it is now. You'll be entertaining more in the years to come, so create a wish list of items: a platter for your first Thanksgiving dinner or champagne flutes for a New Year's toast. Keep those special occasions in mind; it's a wonderful way to include loved ones in those important milestones." I couldn't have said it better myself.

8. Keep up on those thank you cards. As soon as gifts come in, write that thank you note. To add a more personal touch to the often-arduous task of thank-you notes, try short, personalized messages written by hand. If time is what you lack most, printed stock greetings are acceptable as long as you add a thoughtful, personal "PS" section. Your guests love you, so don't be afraid to show them a little love in return. Your friends and family will appreciate the time you took to make them feel special.

9. Don't fret if you don't get everything you registered for. Most registry programs have fantastic completion programs. Ask your registry consultant for details...most programs offer discounts, incentive programs and will keep your info online for awhile.

So there you have it. A few {well, more than a few} words on registries. I should mention that you should, most importantly, have fun! You should get to laugh and dream together as you pick out your fabulous gifts. So get out there, grab a scanner and have at it!

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