Setting up a wedding registry has to be one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding, maybe second only to choosing your dress. You get to wander around a department store in a happy daydream, picking and choosing household items and décor at will, and building your perfectly styled home in your mind as you go along. It’s like a pre-internet version of ‘adding to cart’ when you’re fantasy shopping online (come on, I know you do that too!). Let me give you a few tips to make the whole thing run smoothly...
Firstly, don’t go overboard when registering. Two or three stores you love are plenty for guests to choose from. A department store with traditional household items is an especially good choice if you’ve never set up house before. You’re going to need all the big things like sheets and towels, as well as the smaller more obscure things like a corkscrew and barbecue tools. Older guests generally feel more comfortable choosing from this type of registry also. For your second option you can choose a place less conventional and more specific to your own interests such as an art gallery or a camping store. Don’t forget there are some fantastic online gift registries available too. Remember to be considerate of those on a budget and choose things from a variety of price ranges.
For several reasons, a good time to create your registry is about four to six months out from your wedding day. This gives guests time to choose and purchase something, and have it posted to you if necessary. If the store has run out of whatever a guest has chosen, it gives them time to order it in. Also, if you are going to include the registry information in your invitations your printer will need all the details in plenty of time.
If you plan on requesting money as a gift, that’s fine, but a gift registry full of alternatives is still a good idea. In the end, the choice of gift should always be up to the giver.
It’s considered to be in poor taste to include your registry information on your invitations or save-the-date cards. In fact, traditional etiquette says that the registry message should simply be spread by word of mouth. But the practical part of me just doesn’t see that working, so compromise with a separate insert in your invitation suite. There are lots of cute little poems online to help you out with the wording.
Finally, don’t forget a thank you note! It’s largely going out of fashion, but nothing brings more joy than a hand-written thank you card in the mail. Texts and Facebook messages just do not cut it here, plus it’s a great excuse to get some personalised stationery made with your new initials (hurrah!). If you can begin by sending your notes as gifts arrive, you’ll find it easier to keep up with and certainly less of a task than if you wait until after the wedding is over and you have to sit down to a whole stack of them.
Keeping these few rules in mind will make your wedding registry a win-win for both you and your guests, so start shopping and have fun with it!