Registry Ideas & Answers

Registry Guilt: Why You Should Get Over It

Continued (page 3 of 3)

"Not everyone wants to buy you the basics."
A close friend might like to give you an heirloom or other valuable item that isn't sold at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, and will appreciate a wider range of choices. "A store like the Copper Lamp [where Sarah registered] is used to providing helpful service," says Karen. "I went in and spoke with them, as opposed to just looking online, and appreciated being able to shop personally in that way."

"Your friends can all pitch in."
Guests sometimes choose to pool funds in order to give a grander gift. "For my girlfriend's wedding, the bridal party all went in on a camcorder for the couple to use on their honeymoon," says Rachael. "Instead of getting $50 things here and there, we wanted to give them something that was greater than the sum of its parts."

"You need certain items—even if you don't unwrap them for years."
No one knows this better than your guests—especially the married ones. "A couple should appreciate that people who care about them and their family enjoy the chance to give a gift, and may understand more about the future possibilities for home and entertaining than a new bride and groom," says Karen. "In my case, I was married shortly after I graduated from college, and I'd never really even noticed china before."

Bottom line? This is your one chance in life—apart from when you were six and penned that letter to the North Pole—to create a wish list without appearing gauche. At another wedding Mary attended recently, "the bride registered for china and silver, and had she not, she might never have had a chance to own them. Maybe she can't host 15 people now, but in a few years she may be able to."

And if you're still unsure what to do, you might ask your own mother for advice. That's what Jennifer, 26, of Detroit, did before her 2009 wedding in Las Vegas. "My mom told me, 'When you register, you should ask for what you want,'" says Jennifer. "When she got married, she registered for the cheapest stuff because she felt bad." And how does Mom feel now? "My parents have been married for 32 years, and she says she still looks at her china and hates it."

Brides, be warned!

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