Tips for Selecting Your Wedding Registry

Your gift registry needs to be handled carefully – there’s a few points of etiquette to bear in mind, though, as well as some handy tips to get the best out of it.

Get the timing right

You can start your registry as soon as you get engaged, especially if some of your friends and family want to help with an engagement party or to help with honeymoon costs.

Think about yourself

If you’re more into climbing than cooking, don’t slavishly list china and crystal glasses, mention carabiners and hex-bugs!

Talk to the salespeople

If your register is at a particular store, find out how easy it is for your guests to order and pick up items. Is your list online? Can they phone to place an order? Make sure shipping isn’t a problem.

Ask for perks

If your guests will be spending quite a chunk of change at your chosen store or stores, is there any chance of a discount for them? Or could you and your husband have a 12-month 10% discount offer?

Don’t stick to just one store

Two or three different stores is ideal – one for gardenware, one for bedding and tableware and one for your climbing hobby…

Set up the registry together

You need to make sure you’re agreed on what you list – do you have the same tastes? Do you want to do cookware while he does electronics?

Cater for your guests

You need to list a range of items that everyone can choose from. Older relatives will be happier buying tableware while your younger friends will want to buy cheaper items. You should also ask for more things than you expect to receive so that everyone has a couple of choices.

Don’t rush it

It doesn’t have to be done in one day! Take your time and add or remove items.

Think long-term

If your wedding is more than a year away, choose long-term items that are always on sale. There’s always the risk of listing an item that’s discontinued six months down the line.

You also need storage

If you’re getting silver, silver-plated flatware or crystal, you need somewhere to store it all, so ask for boxes and silver felts, as well as a sturdy cabinet for your crystalware, for example.

Stay classy

It’s not on for the bride or groom to overtly ask for wedding gifts – the list has to be spread (almost) by word-of-mouth. Don’t send it in your invitations, but instead include it in your bridal shower invitations (it’s not you asking, but the shower host!). You can also include links in your wedding website, or ask a relative to send out the register on request.

Last-minute update

Most gifts are bought two weekends before the wedding, so check your register then, adding more items if you need to.

Say thank you

You have two weeks to send thank you notes for gifts received before the wedding and a month after you return from honeymoon for gifts received on or after. If you receive cash gifts, tell the giver how you plan to spend it.

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