A gift registry may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually easy to do and provides rewards for many years to come. Here are some basic tips to consider:
Tip #1: The Process
Most stores have registry systems in place to scan items with a scanning gun or write down or scan in your choices. It creates an automated list that your guests use to select gifts for your wedding, shower or engagement party. This is a complimentary service and available on a walk-in basis.
Tip #2 Locations
The sky is the limit when it comes to places to register. Gift registry programs are in place at sporting good stores, kitchen specialty stores, plus traditional and discount department stores. Although there are options to register for items that go toward a large investment (honeymoon registries or even registries for a down payment on a home), think about using these in addition to traditional registries in stores. Plan to register with two or three businesses. Having more than that may be too confusing and too much to maintain. The exception would be if there are some specific items you need to get from a specialty store or a honeymoon registry.
Tip #3: Items
Register for every room in your house. Most popular items include towels, bedding, kitchen appliances, pots and pans, cutlery, dinnerware, bar ware, serving pieces, fine china, organizational items, crystal frames, vases and home décor. Since there are no fees or commitment to the registered items, it is better to over-register than run out of items.
Tip #4: Returns
Check the return policy and how quickly the registry system updates after an item has been purchased. If you end up with duplicates, the last thing you want to hear is that all sales are final or you are past the return cutoff date.
Tip #5: Online
Find places to register where even the most isolated guest can shop. Most stores and gift registries offer shopping online with the option to have the gift shipped directly to you. For those who like to see the item in person before purchasing, a chain of stores with locations nationwide is a good idea. Make sure that you can modify your registry online. This is important so you can add or remove items as your list gets fulfilled.
Tip #6: Price points
Don’t be afraid to register for some high dollar items as a group of people, such as coworkers, may want to chip in for a larger gift. It’s okay to ask for a $600 espresso machine. You just may get it and, if not, you are no worse off. The same goes with lower dollar items for guests who may want to create a “gift basket” of several inexpensive items, such as kitchen utensils or bathroom accessories. The average price of a shower gift is $25-$50; the average price of a wedding gift is $75-$100. Keep the widest range of item choices within these comfort price points.
Tip #7: Quantity
Keep in mind your engagement parties, showers, and other celebrations besides the Big Day. That means people may be buying multiple gifts. A good rule of thumb is to register for three times the amount of guests you are inviting. If you are inviting 100 guests, register for 300 items.
Tip #8: Timing
Register when you start having parties. Keep in mind if you register too early, seasonal items may not be available by the time your wedding date comes around. If you register too late, you may have missed opportunities to get items you really want, and your guests may try to pick things out on their own. Keep an eye on your registry and purchases. By checking in, you can see if your list is dwindling down so that you can add more items in the popular price point. It also gives you an opportunity to get a head start writing thank you cards to take one more thing off your plate after your wedding. And most importantly, be sure your partner picks out things too.
With these tips in mind, we hope you have fun choosing pieces for your home that you both love!