Five things to consider before committing to a wedding registry.

Signing up for a wedding registry—or multiple registries—seems like it should be a ridiculously easy task. What could possibly be hard or stressful about picking out items that will help you and your spouse create the perfect home… and letting other people buy them? Although creating a registry can and should be a fun and relatively low-stress endeavor, the process is not as simple or straightforward as it may seem.

An overwhelming number of options paired with questions of etiquette can make the decision-making process quite arduous and may even result in a registry that doesn’t reflect your true wants and needs. Virginia brides Kelly College and Kaili Crumpacker, along with Kerry Giles, General Manager of Farm Basket, want to help you make informed registry decisions that will satisfy you and your wedding guests. Read on for their helpful tips!

1. Create more than one registry and diversify amongst those registries
Farm Basket offers an online registry that lists a couple’s desired items, which wedding guests can purchase by contacting the shop by phone. Giles recommends creating registries at local stores, both with and without online buying options, to make the gift-selecting process a more personal experience. “Couples should limit their registries to three: maybe one online that does not have a local presence, one local and online national store, and one locally-owned and -operated gift store,” she says. “I think couples should consider smaller stores that can help guide the gift giver with personal assistance.”

Kelly College and her husband, Adam, got married on July 30, 2011, and they registered at Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, and Target. “Those were good old standards,” she says. “If your crowd is savvy enough, Amazon registries and honeymoon registries are neat and useful ideas, though they weren’t really ‘a thing’ when we were registering.”

Kaili Crumpacker and her husband, Matthew, got married on June 25, 2011, and they registered at Macy’s and Target. “I would recommend creating a registry on Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond,” she says. “There are also newer sites which sync multiple registries together like MyRegistry, which gives your guests one location to search. I wouldn’t recommend sites like Zulily, Wayfair, or Wish since you have to register to use the site and you don’t know the quality of the products.”

2. Do some of your registering in-store if possible
Although creating registries solely online is temptingly convenient, registering in-store is a fun way to ensure that the items you choose are exactly what you want. “We initially set up our registries in person and then added to the registries online,” Crumpacker says. “We registered in person to compare items and examine quality.”

College notes that she “appreciated both methods since not everything is available in store, but in-store registering is nice because you can physically look at the items and see how it all looks and works.”

At Farm Basket, guests can view a couple’s registry online, but couples must register in store. According to Giles, this setup allows for the best possible customer service. “Having personally worked with the bride or couple, we can offer a level of service and guidance that is nonexistent online,” she says.

3. Register for plenty of items to give guests plenty of options, but only register for things you will actually use
Both College and Crumpacker registered for around 100 items, and they both believe that this is a good number to aim for as long as the items are all things you need or want.

“We registered for about 100 items because we were both coming from apartment living and roommate situations where we weren’t bringing too many household items to the picture jointly,” College says of herself and her husband. “It’s important to consider what you actually need or want and not just register for an item because someone or some store or list says you need it.” She adds: “We still use almost all of our linens, dishes, china, and kitchen gadgets and appliances. Our silverware still looks almost new and the picture frames are still up. And I still use our Dyson Airblade! I love that thing, and it has survived a dog, baby, and three moves!”

Crumpacker and her husband also still use many of the items they received from their registries. “We use most of the items,” she says. “The coffee maker, dinnerware, Pyrex bowls, baking pans, KitchenAid mixer, towels, and washcloths are used the most.”

4. Include items with widely variable price points
The gesture that will mean the most to your guests is offering a wide price range of items in your registries. “I think it’s best to register for items of varying prices to give your guests price options,” Crumpacker notes. “We registered for items ranging from $10 to $250.”

College agrees. “We registered for items as small as about $5 to as large as $500,” she says. “We only registered for a couple of the big items, and the majority of our items were in the $25 to $100 range since that was luckily the price of most items we needed and wanted. We invited guests with a range of purchase habits, so this allowed for people to purchase things they knew we would appreciate without breaking the bank.”

5. Be gracious regardless of what gifts you receive
Regardless of the gifts you receive at your wedding, the most important thing to remember is to express genuine gratitude for all the gifts you receive. Chances are that even if you register for over 100 items, you will receive some gifts that you didn’t ask for and that you may not immediately perceive as useful or valuable. Whether you end up returning these items or keeping them and cherishing them as thoughtful gestures from someone you love, all of your wedding guests deserve thoughtful notes sent in a timely manner thanking them for their presents and, most importantly, their presence at your wedding.


By Emily Hendrick

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