If you’ve been told that registering for your wedding is like running a marathon, consider those people your friends. It’s the truth. If you’re a runner, you’ll want to be sure you bring your GU or Shotblocks with you even though you’ll clock less than a mile. At the minimum, bring a snack and a bottle of water.
What should be a fun and exciting experience often results in frustration and being overwhelmed. So, I thought I’d share a few tips I learned from my own experiences as well as those from friends who are newlyweds.
First: the scanner-gun is not nearly as fun as it seems. And, if you only take one thing from this article, please let it be to not register on a Saturday or the same day as a large bridal show.
Where to start?
Start with identifying the things you need. Depending on where you register, you may be provided with a suggested list, but you can always start by thinking about each room in your house. Here are a few lists you may find useful from Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillard’s (choose Tips & Checklist), Macy’s. Pottery Barn has one once you are registered.
Knowing the items you need, you can identify the places you want to register based on your style. Don’t forget to consider your guest list. How many do you think will shop online? How many will want to look at the items in person? Is there a store convenient to your guests?
I had always wanted to register at Pottery Barn. Since there wasn’t one in the city where we got married (or where most of our guests lived), I kept my list at Pottery Barn pretty short.
If you are having a couples shower, you’ll want to make sure that of the places you choose has items that your fiance would like. I doubt Pottery Barn is one of them. 🙂
What’s the magic number?
Keep in mind that it’s good to give your guests choices, so registering at more than one place is beneficial. You’ll also need to identify how many gifts you need to register for. A good starting place is to consider how many showers you’ll be having and the number of guests in attendance. Then, think of your final wedding guest list. While some people will stick to the tradition of getting you one gift (either at your shower or at your wedding), some people will give more. You won’t do yourself any harm by registering for one gift per shower attendee (or couple if it’s a couples shower) and one gift per couple invited to the wedding.
As I registered for gifts, I was very price conscious, but friends and family kept reminding me that this was the time to request items we needed. Give your guests a wide variety of price range (it’s OK to include the KitchenAid Mixer). Choose a wide variety of items in the $40-70 range including the everyday, practical items (toaster, blender, iron, storage containers, etc.) Closer friends and family may appreciate gift options in the $75 – $150 range.
While these items are less “fun,” don’t forget to consider registering for these items:
- Drawer organizers
- Power tools
- Spice Rack (preferably with the spices!)
- Two sets of sheets for the beds in your house
- Hamper(s) and Drying Rack
What are the perks?
Believe it or not, there are actually positives to this experience.
Pottery Barn is is the same family as Williams Sonoma, West Elm, and a slew of other brands. Gift cards or return money can be used at any of these stores. So, if you’ve been eying a few items at one of the other stores, you’re in luck. They offer a 10% completion discount for 6 months after your wedding.
Bed Bath & Beyond hosted a completion day where they opened the store a few hours before normal, and everything purchased was 20% off. Macy’s offers a 10% completion discount for 3 months after your wedding, and Dillard’s offers 20% off for up to 3 months.
Some stores offer a Thank You card organizer or a tool that tracks which guests buy which gifts. This is extremely helpful when you get a gift that doesn’t have a gift message or the card is misplaced from the gift.