Tip of the Day #45: Wedding Registry 101

Tip of the Day #45: Wedding Registry 101 It is far too often that I hear brides lament about how stressful and frustrating the wedding registry process is.  I don't know about you, but I am all for having an opportunity to pick out gifts and have them magically appear on my door step weeks later.  If you have found the wedding registry process to be stressful, here are a few simple tips to make the process more enjoyable.

1. If your fiancé is not typically a shopper, don't drag him along to the store.

I have seen crazy fights start between couples during wedding registry shopping.  Although it is a generalization, most men typically don't enjoy the shopping process and are even less enthralled with shopping for pots, pans and vacuum cleaners.  The best person to bring along to keep you company is your mother or another seasoned "homemaker" who is patient and  can help you navigate thru the aisles.

2. Do your homework.

Don't wander into a store and assume that the perfect registry items will magically jump off the shelf screaming, "Pick me, pick me!"  Plan ahead and write out a list for items that you need separated into three tiers including items you must have, items you want, and items that are fun but not functional for every day use.

3. Choose a wide array of gifts from various stores to provide your gift-givers with many shopping options.

This tip seems self-explanatory but it is incredibly important to vary the prices of gifts and stores on your registry.  Friends do not have the same wedding gift budgets as your aunts and uncles.  Some people prefer to buy items from certain stores if they are a part of rewards programs and receive a kickback or benefits on large purchases.  My rule of thumb is to include items that range in price from $20 - $1,000 and choose items from 5 - 8 stores, including local boutiques, national department stores and large home improvement warehouses.

4. Shop logically for practical gifts.

I have seen many brides get scan-gun happy and add things to their registries like Tiffany's spoons and Fabergé eggs.  Luxurious?  Of course.  Practical?  Absolutely not.  Narrow down your list of items to things you actually need and will use.

5. Stop feeling guilty about returning duplicate or unwanted gifts.

Send a thank you card and get on with it!  It is silly to hold onto duplicate gifts or gifts that are less than stellar.  Make sure to hold onto gift receipts and return items within store policy timelines.  A dusty food processor sitting in the closet will do you no good, I promise.

6. Shop in your pajamas.

Instead of completing your registry in one fell swoop at the store, take some time to build your registry online in the comfort of your own home.  Sites like My Registry collect information from all of your online registries and compile them into a simple, easy-to-use list of registry items.  If you keep one online registry site, your soon-to-be hubby can post items at his leisure and it is easier to comparison shop for different products on your wish list.

*WedInsider Mega Tip of the day* Don't forget to put big ticket items on your registry, even if you know that none of your guests will be purchasing them.  Companies like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel offer a 10% discount to couples on items from their registry that were never purchased as gifts.  Talk about a true gift!