Congratulations! You’re a freshly-minted fiancee 😉 And now, the planning begins…
Like many brides, you may find yourself with more questions than you expected now that the ring is officially on your finger. Is your mind consumed with wondering about the where, when, and how of planning details? Today, we are discussing one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning: the registry. Don’t let your questions overwhelm you because we are here to help! Here are our tips and advice for how and where to register, what to select, and the life-saving knowledge of wedding registry etiquette!
Understand your style as a couple
We have all heard that opposites attract, but when you’re beginning to figure out how to meld your personal tastes, it is crucial to learn a balanced compromise that represents both of you. Understanding your “couple style” is the foundation for all of your registry decisions. Try this exercise: each of you make a list of words that describe your style and then compare to research how you could combine preferred color palettes, textures, and themes! It is important to note that your tastes will likely change dramatically as years go by and you experience different seasons of life, so be sure to keep a guideline of selecting classic and timeless items.
Know the scope of your wedding
The scale and theme of your wedding will reflect in your registry. Are you planning a large, extravagant wedding or a small gathering? Do your family and friends live nearby or far away? Are they likely to shop online? Each of these questions gives you insight into making practical choices that make buying the gifts you need more convenient for your loved ones. One way to do that is by registering at one to three stores with at least one having a brick-and-mortar location for those who don’t do online purchasing. (Why register at more than one store? Read on for more insight…)
Register for all price points
To ensure that you are being considerate to each friend and their budgets, register for gifts at all price points. Real Simple Magazine recommends dividing your registry in thirds: keep one third of the items in the $50 and under range, one third in the $50-$100 range, and another third in the $150+ range. This will afford each person an opportunity to choose a gift within her price-range, while knowing that she has purchased something special that you truly want or need.
Don’t be afraid to over-register (Yes, you should, and no, it isn’t greedy!)
Registering for making your house a home is one of those rare circumstances in which it is best to overdo it. Again, as Real Simple Magazine states, a good guideline is to select 125 items minimum per 100 guests. Sound greedy? Think about it: registering at different price points usually means that you break down larger costs into smaller sets of items such as flatware and smaller kitchen accessories or home decor. Your friends or relatives shopping in the lower price points will be allowed to have fun mixing and matching a personalized gift set that completes your registry and ensures that they are giving you exactly what you need and want. Win, win!
In addition, it is best to register at one to three stores with a cohesive plan, varying for the selection each store provides: one for fine china, one for home decor, one for hobbies, et cetera. Plan ahead with a definite list of what you need so that you don’t end up with unnecessary items, duplicates, or more stress of keeping various lists updated. Our lovely registry specialist, Mrs. Kathy, highly recommends a walk-through of a store before you register to get an idea of what products and styles are available. This is a great time to walk through together with your fiance, unless he prefers to go with you to the registry appointment. (Hint: limit the number of people you invite to accompany you on these trips and appointments or else you may end up scanning items you don’t truly want!)
Select your dinnerware (or other priority items) first
When choosing items for your registry, it is wise to start with the items that you definitely want to have, leaving time to add any home decor items later as you discover your tastes. For instance, if you know you want china, it is best to choose your collection and metal serving pieces first before items like bed and bath linens or kitchen necessities. Eight to twelve is a good range for place settings, and if you love to entertain, you would do best to register for twelve.
Once you are firm on your china selection, begin forming your decor color schemes. Until you have your color palettes agreed upon, stick to registering for your basic needs like the essential decor items with no color schemes, such as wood, metal, and glass materials. This salad bowl by Mud Pie is a classic and popular piece among our bridal registries, and it is perfect for mixing styles and textures!
Get to know china designs
At Walker, we carry collections that are famous for their high quality, durability, and style longevity. While there are many other style and price points to choose from, our favorite lines offer everything to the elegant traditionalist and the spunky free spirit alike. Juliska‘s Berry and Thread, Vietri‘s Forma (swoon!), Skyros‘ Isabella, Spode‘s Blue Italian or Woodland, and Lenox‘s Venetian Lace are the timeless collections you will have your choice of at your registry appointment, and Coton Colors are a great option for the non-traditionalist who loves bright colors and fun details!
Put the money to its best use
If you are foregoing the china idea but aren’t sure where to put the money, we have some ideas for you, too! Use it wisely to invest in style basics, choosing items with interchangeable colors, patterns, and details that give versatility to basic white dinnerware (think colorful place mats and napkins), or channel those funds towards your common interests such as hiking gear, DIY projects, or other non-traditional activities you enjoy. Some relatives or friends may prefer to give you more traditional gifts, but many people love the option of funding activities or purchases like your first grown-up payment on a house. In either case, be sure to send a thank-you note within one to three weeks of receiving your gift, detailing how you envision using the item or the contributions. This timeframe will show them how genuinely grateful you are, and it will relieve their worries on whether you received the gift. Remember, honest gratitude goes a long way in strengthening bonds. Your fiance loves you, but don’t forget about the ones who show their love with their gifts and support!