One of the questions a new bride will often get after showing of her new ring bling is "Where are y'all registered?"
For Dean & I putting together a wedding registry was not by any means at the top of our things to do before getting married. In fact, I was dreading having to somehow put together a list of things that our guests could choose to purchase for us. Did we even need a registry? As much as I love being able to bless other newlyweds with wedding presents, I was struggling with how or what to put on ours.
One big thing I learned through our engagement was this: your family & friends want to bless you! They are excited for this new chapter in your lives & want nothing more than to help you start your new life together as Mr. & Mrs. From our dear friend Holley who made our incredible wedding cake to the friends who helped craft our centerpieces, we saw over & over the awesome ways that our community rallied around us to help us pull off our wedding. Once I understood this, registering became more of something to look forward to!
So, where do you start?
Create a list of what you & your soon-to-be spouse own & will be bringing to the marriage. Dishes, curtains, tupperware, a blender, bathroom towels - it helps so much to know what you already have so you don't double up or register for unnecessary things.
Create a separate list of anything y'all don't have but know you need/would like for your new home. It may be small things like a trashcan or pot holders, or larger items like a vacuum (we didn't have one until my sweet in-laws bought us one) or a coffee table. This mixer made our list & boy, are we glad to have Ruby in our kitchen :) If you don't know where you'll be living, it can be hard to know specifics like I don't know how know many windows there will be so what length curtains should we get?? Here's the awesome thing: most stores allow you to exchange or return anything you register for. So swapping out an extra pair of curtains for throw pillows is easy breezy.
Use a registry checklist to look over any room of the house or category you may have overlooked. I say look over because the checklist should be more of a guide than a specific list of things you just have to register for. The Knot & Bed, Bath & Beyond offer a great run-down of household items. By figuring out what you want before you go into any of the stores, you're less likely to feel pressured from well-meaning sales associates to include other things you may not even like or would ever use.
Finalize your list of needs/wants, pick 2 or 3 stores & start registering! Having a few stores allows you & your fiance the opportunity to have a greater assortment of gifts as well as price ranges for guests to purchase from. We registered at Target & Bed, Bath & Beyond & were really happy with the process of both. Here's another really cool feature: you can register for items right from your laptop! If you're like me & love to see all the options available, it may help to start with an online registry for a certain store, if that's an option, & then spend an afternoon in the store finalizing your decisions in person with the fun little scan guns. Both Target & BBB offer this.
What's cool about Target's registry: They offer you a 10% discount on things unpurchased on your registry after your wedding! Adding or deleting items from ther registry is simple, exchanges are easy to do & returns, too, as long as you have the gift receipt.
What's cool about BBB's wedding registry: Your guests can use their 20% off coupons for your wedding gift. BBB throws registry completion events & will give you 20% off all unpurchased items after your wedding. If you don't make it to the event, you can also use coupons for each item (& they accept all BBB coupons - they don't technically expire)! AND If you like World Market, you'll love this: BBB has acquired the store & offers some of their goodies for sale at select stores. Dean & I discovered this in Vienna & it looks like Chinatown will be getting the same!
Consider adding an online universal registry. We used GiftRegistry360 as our third store & it allowed us to add specific items from many places into one list. For example, if you really want a glass pitcher from Crate & Barrel, you can add it to your universal list without creating a whole separate registry for just 1 item. There were some small glitches with the site (it didn't allow anything from Urban Outfitters to be added or sometimes wouldn't take our guests to the correct link), but overall it was really convenient & easy to use. MyRegistry is a similar option.
Do a happy dance - you're finished! Now that you've put together your list, you can add the link to your wedding website & pass the store names along to your family & bridesmaids to let your guests know where y'all are registered.
Do y'all have any other suggestions for brides & grooms who registering for gifts?