Crafting the Perfect Bridal Registry

Congratulations! He popped the question, you said yes, and the planning is in full gear. One aspect of marriage bliss that you might have started daydreaming about is your future “nest.” Unless you have been living with your spouse-to-be for a while, there’s a good chance that when married, y’all will want to make some changes in your new home.

Best Wedding Registry Ideas

While not everyone creates one, a well thought out bridal registry is not only helpful for you and your husband-to-be, but also for your guests who really do want to shower you with love and gifts!

Crafting the perfect bridal registry is not a one-size fits all process, but there are certain things that a bride and groom can do to better ensure less returns and headaches later on. Depending on you and your future spouse’s current living situation will determine how many items you need versus want.

If you are both right out of college and living at home, your actual “needs” are probably pretty high. If you are older and live on your own, you probably already have some of the necessities. In any case, now is the time to decide what you want to keep and what you would like to upgrade.

Another big factor when creating the wedding registry is determining your lifestyle needs. Do y’all plan on having children right away? Do y’all already have children? Do y’all like to entertain, cook, or grill out? Do y’all have a minimalist mentality?

These are the kinds of questions you will want to go over with your spouse before starting on your wedding registry. It will give you a good idea of what you would like to add and where these items should come from.

How to decide where to register for your wedding?

There are plenty of places out there that are begging for your registry and why shouldn’t they? A wedding registry means more sales and possibly repeat customers that might not have stepped in the store otherwise. When deciding which stores to register at there are a few key points to consider.

First and foremost, does the store carry the items that you want the most?

Come up with a short list of things that you and your husband-to-be really want. Whether it’s fine china, a new duvet, or grilling tools, the key is to pick out the items that are most important to you and decide which stores will be best suited to fit this need. It’s probably not necessary to register at both Belk and Dillards. If you just adore a china pattern that is carried at one store, but it’s not carried by its competitor, that might be reason enough to pick the one store over the other.

What is the store’s return policy?

Undoubtedly, you will receive something that needs to be returned. Whether you receive too many or you decide later that it’s just not what you really wanted, knowing the store’s return policy will save you from a headache later.

Specifically you will want to know:

What is the timeframe for a return?
Is a receipt required for a return?
How does the store handle broken or missing merchandise?

Here is an example of why this is good to know. One of the places that we registered at was Dillards. We received (2) sets of wine glasses in the mail for a total of 8 glasses. We opened up the first box and everything was fine. We opened up the second box and a stem was broken on one of the glasses.

As a bride, you are busy and sometimes you just forget to keep up with things – like the receipt. However, since the wine set was off of my registry and a piece of the set was broken (not used!), I decided to try my luck. I went to our local Dillards, showed the associate the broken wine glass and simply asked for a replacement glass (not even a replacement set).

Since I didn’t have my receipt, they wouldn’t honor it – even though it was in fact from my registry. Now what would have probably made a difference was the little yellow proof of purchase sticker that they usually put on the item. I don’t know if this isn’t the policy because the wine glasses were ordered online or if it was just missed in the packing, but the box did not have one. Now, I have a set of 7 wine glasses rather than 8 as paid for by one of our friends.

*STP Tip – Open your gifts and check for any broken or damaged goods immediately upon arrival. If everything looks good and you definitely plan on keeping the present, then you can get rid of the receipt. Otherwise, tuck the receipt in a safe place and plan on making the return sooner than later.

Finally, give your guests a few places to choose from, but not too many places. Registering at two to three stores is probably sufficient for meeting you and your future spouse’s needs. It is also helpful if at least one of the stores has an online presence (very few don’t these days). This will make purchasing a present much easier for your guests that live far away and won’t be able to make the wedding.

What to register for your wedding?

Once you know where you are registering, it is time to think about what you are going to register for. Most big name stores will have a “welcome registry packet” for you that includes a list of their suggested items. Dillards has a great checklist (download and print) that covers a variety of items with their quantity recommendations.

Let us be the first to tell you that you will not need everything on this list. While you can register for anything and everything, keep in mind that you will not receive everything that you register for. This means that while you will receive some of the items that you really wanted, you will also receive plenty of items that you didn’t really care about.

In hindsight, I (now) believe that it is better to register for things that you really want and need compared to things that will not be used and ultimately just suck up space in your house.

If baking bread sounds like a cool idea, but you don’t really like to bake, you probably don’t need a bread maker.

How useful is a place setting for 12 of fine china if you never plan on actually using it?

With those things in mind, we have created a one-page wedding registry checklist that covers our “essentials” with room to add a list of your favorite things.

WeddingRegistryChecklist_07.25.14

Don’t Forget Those Thank You Notes

Finally and most importantly, don’t forget to send a thank you note for every gift that you receive. Technically, you have until 6 months after the wedding to get this taken care of, but it is much (MUCH!) easier to write a thoughtful thank you note as you receive the presents. Yes, it will drag out the process a little bit longer, but you won’t develop a hand cramp by doing it this way.

We tried to cover all of our favorite “essentials”. What do you think our list is missing?

One comment

  1. Admin says:

    How could we forget a kitchen utensil set & a pizza cutter?! Try to cut a pizza with a knife and you will find that this is a clear essential!

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