Thursday, September 9, 2010

Everything You Wanted to Know about Registries (but were afraid to ask)

“Beep. Beep. Beep-Beep. Beep” This is sound of the hand-held scanner as you storm through aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond creating your gift registry and toying with the idea of having everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve announced your engagement, a shower is in the works and now friends and family want to know how to help build your new life – no muffin pan left behind!

Be still, my scanner!

Before eagerly reaching for the nearest scanner, consider the stores at which you and your fiancé will register. Two to three different stores is customary. Be sure to keep in mind the nature of your guests and their location. Make sure each retailer is easily accessible to your attendants. While choosing online retailers may seem like a sure-fire solution to this problem, remember your Great Aunt Mary who can barely check her email! You wouldn’t want to alienate friends or families who want to splurge on the bride-and-groom-to-be, now would you?

Also, don’t feel boxed in by traditional gifts like china, pots and pans or bath towels. Many modern couples already cohabitate and have already acquired the kitchen essentials. If you and your sweetie love the outdoors, feel free to register for a set of sleeping bags and new tent. Guests prefer to buy something fun and functional over a gift that collects dust in the cabinet.

It’s easy to get caught up in the scanning-frenzy, so be sure to choose a wide range of items at different price points. A good rule of thumb is to keep one-third of your gifts under $50, another third in the $50-$150 range and the rest $150 and up. Again, though, consider your guests. A registry made up of gifts no one can afford is tragic and definite lose-lose.

Lastly, include more items than guests. For example, if you are inviting 100 guests, aim for 125 items and up. Even your last minute shoppers will have the pleasure of picking and choosing which gift they think you will enjoy the most!

All this gift-receiving is not without retribution! Be sure to send out thank-you notes within six weeks of receiving the gift. Be sure to name the gift you were giving and how you and your new husband are enjoying it. Naïve is the bride who fancies thank-you notes an afternoon project! These are time consuming but of phenomenal importance. As you open your gifts, we recommend keeping a spreadsheet, recording the item with the gift giver. Cross-reference your invitation mailing list and before you know it, you too, will be a Gracious Bride!

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