Wedding registry tips: How to get what you need and want

Authored By caseyled86

One of the biggest perks to planning your wedding day is the gifts that come with it. Most agree that picking out table linens and assigning seats are not the most exciting tasks, but most agree, though, that registering for gifts (and of course receiving said gifts) makes the mundane stuff worth it. So how do you get not only the things you need, but a few you want, too?

As with any good process, it is always generally the best plan to start with making a list. Take a sort of inventory of what you and your spouse-to-be have; decide what you will be keeping and what will be going. Knowing how many plates, spoons and towels you have is a helpful starting point to determine what you will need. This is a good time to write down things that you really want to have, too. It doesn’t have to just be things you need for your kitchen; there is nothing that is inappropriate to register for. If you don’t love to cook, it’s completely acceptable to register for bedding, linens and even camping gear that you will use together. You should plan to register for more rather than less; this gives guests a variety of options and price ranges to choose from.

There is no hard and fast rule as to when you should start your wedding registry. I say the sooner the better. Adding items to a registry as soon as you are engaged gives people a place to go to purchase gifts for not only the wedding, but also for prewedding celebrations such as showers. There is a rule, however, on how guests are notified of your registry. You the couple cannot directly send people to your registry. This is not something you put on your invitations. The person throwing your shower can include it on their invitation, and family and friends can pass it along via word of mouth. Definitely don’t take to Facebook with links to your registries.

With the popularity of online shopping, you can register just about anywhere. Online shopping provides a real convenience for guests. Choose stores that reflect your style and have the particular types of items you are looking for. It is somewhat frowned upon to register at more than four places. I suggest keeping it at two. For example, you may choose to register at a store with a heavy focus on home goods such as Bed Bath & Beyond and stick to a broad retailer like Target or even Amazon for basic style items. Use the tools provided by retailers to keep an eye on your registry and update it as often as you desire, such as when things strike your fancy or when you realize you don’t really want that gravy boat after all.

Taking the time to really plan what you need and want for your future home will go a long way in helping you both get things you enjoy. Be sure to register together so that you can agree on items you both will enjoy for years to come. And don’t forget the graciousness of sending personal, handwritten thank you cards!

Casey Davis is the founder of The Tennessee Bride, a wedding resource celebrating homemade marriages. For more inspiration, visit The Tennessee Bride on their blogInstagram and Facebook. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.