A survey of newlyweds found that 89% received many or most of the items they included on their bridal registries. They found that registering their "wish list" was an easy and convenient way to save their guests and themselves a lot of time and wasted money.
So, if you want to avoid the hassle of duplicate gifts, and give your guests an "insurance policy" that their gift will be used and appreciated, open up a bridal registry in a store that carries a wide variety of items to suit both you and your fiancé's tastes. By doing this, you acknowledge the difficulty involved in choosing a wedding gift for any couple, and your guests will appreciate your foresight.
Even family members and close friends will not be able to second-guess the needs and wants of a couple in their new lifestyle. Only you and your fiance can pick out china patterns, silver or other items that you can be certain to like and use. These gifts will lay the foundation for your wonderful new life together.
Even if you have been living on your own for a while, or are entering a second or third marriage, registering can provide you with a unique opportunity to receive some items that you may not otherwise buy yourself. Any supply of basic appliances can be updated, and perhaps you and your husband-to-be will have other needs which cannot be met with your old possessions. New items received in a marriage after a divorce are always special because they signify your "new" life, and leave behind any previous history that your old items may carry.
- Registry Providers - Click to Create a Registry
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Bowl of Cherries
- Crate & Barrel
- Deposit A Gift
- Green Bride Guide
- Honeymoon Pixie
- Kohl's Wedding Wishes
- Our Wishing Well
- Present Value
- The Container Store
- Travelers Joy
- Wedding Republic
Many brides-to-be express the concern that they will be seen as only concerned with gifts if they open up a bridal registry. As long as you don't announce your registration on the wedding invitations, or allow the store to send notices of this fact to your guests, your guests will appreciate the planning you and your fiancé went through in helping them to choose the perfect gift.
Lately, bridal registries have been including more untraditional items as well as the conventional crystal, china, and silver. Sporting goods, electronic equipment, artwork, furniture, cellular phones, answering machines, TVs, and computers are all popular choices. More expensive registry items are perfect for groups of family members, friends or co-workers who want to chip in on a gift together.
Another new trend has been for couples to register with travel agencies or mortgage lenders. In this type of "registry," a cash donation may be made to help finance the couple's honeymoon or down payment on a house.
Your guests will appreciate the planning you and your fiancé went through in helping them to choose the perfect gift. If you do decide to open a bridal registry account for a down payment on a house, contact the Housing and Urban Development organization. They will help you find participating banks nationwide so family and friends can then deposit their cash gifts directly into the interest-bearing account. Even if you do set up a registry for a down payment on a home, it is still advisable to register at a store to please any traditional gift-givers who may not like the idea of giving money at a wedding.
If you do register at a store, there are some guidelines you should follow:
- Visit many stores with your fiancé to find one which carries a variety of items that you both like. When you find the one you want to register at, go there on off-hours to avoid confusion and maximize personal attention from the bridal registry coordinator. He or she will be happy to help you match patterns or pick out items, so take advantage of this service.
- Announce your place of registration on shower invitations, and otherwise spread by word of mouth from family and friends. It should never be included as part of the wedding invitations.
- When registering, ask as many questions as you can. Find out the store's policies on returns, deliveries, and special-orders. Will they mail a duplicate of your registration forms to you for verification?
- Register soon after your engagement so that it is available for engagement, shower, and wedding gifts.
- Save mailing labels from the packages you receive. If you decide to return the gift, the label may be your only proof of purchase.
- Try to involve your fiancé in as much of the decisions as you can. After all, his tastes and needs are just as important as your own.
- Update your registry frequently to avoid receiving duplicate gifts. Many registries are now computerized, and offer the advantage of instant purchase updates.
- Also keep up to date with thank you cards. Open each gift promptly upon receipt, and jot down the item, who sent it and your initial thoughts upon opening it. Notes with a personal touch are always preferred, and failure to send a thank you card is a major etiquette faux pas.
As a general rule, keep the gifts in the $55-$105 range. However, don't neglect the lower or higher priced items.
Keeping these helpful hints in mind, you are on your way to a blissful marriage. Working together with your fiancé to supply your new home is a partnership that your guests will appreciate as well, for the ease and confidence it gives them in choosing your gift.
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