There’s more to your wedding registry than just picking a few items for around your home and calling it a day. From timing to registering intentionally to being conscious of your guests’ budgets, it’s a lot to consider! Thankfully, the professionals are here to help make this process as easy for you as possible. Here are some of the top registry do’s (and don’ts), straight from the experts!
Wedding planners’ experience extends way beyond planning weddings. They’re with you every step of the way, which means they know a thing or two about your registry too! Jung Lee, owner of Jung Lee and Fête in New York City, is here to share her insights and make creating a fantastic registry totally pain free.
“Couples don’t realize what an opportunity their registry is, and unfortunately too many end up with what I call registry remorse,” says Lee. “It’s the moment after the wedding when they realize that, from the dozens of gifts received, they’re left with a lot of ‘stuff’ instead of a collection of really special items they would use and love for the long run.” But there’s no need to feel overwhelmed by the process, says Lee. “It should be fun and inspiring! Here are the top registry do’s we use at my store to make registering one of the best parts of the planning process.”
DO use your registry wisely.
Curate great items that will make your new dream home. Have a professional designer help you put together a cohesive collection of products that work beautifully together and match your style. Whether you use a registry expert at your local department or home store or Lee’s own website, you can get excellent design service, expert advice, and wonderful customer care.
DO register at a place that will hold your gifts until you are ready to receive them.
You can’t control the gifts that your guests purchase, so waiting to ship your registry items gives you the flexibility to adjust your purchases so you end up receiving the items (and quantities) you actually want without dealing with the hassles of returns and exchanges. And when you can't wait for that special item, you can always have it shipped right away!
DO set up a small initial registry shortly after you are engaged.
People often want to purchase you a gift to celebrate your engagement or to bring to your engagement party. If you don’t have a registry, you’ll most likely receive items you don’t want from a store you’ve never heard of. A smaller initial registry will hold you over until you are ready to create the full list.
DO mix and match brands and price points that really reflect your individual style.
Can’t commit to a single style, or looking for a more curated design? Mix and match china patterns that play nicely together. If you get four sets in four different patterns, you’ll have 16 total sets that you can layer and mix to add interest to your table. Sometimes this isn't so easy to figure out by yourselves, so try to register at a place that can help you with putting together an assorted collection that’s interesting and visually captivating!
DO get items that will last.
A $100 plate will last you 20 years, where a $20 plate will be gone in two. (Cheap will chip!) The same goes for kitchen appliances and home furnishings. If the price points are higher than your guests can afford, take advantage of your registry’s return programs. Register for a larger number of less expensive items, then return what you don’t want in exchange for a gift card that you can use toward the pricier items you really want. Do you have your heart set on those expensive plates? Instead of registering for complete place settings, add individual pieces to your registry so a guest can purchase a single $100 plate instead of being stuck with a $400 place setting.
DO register for great crystal and silver that you can have engraved.
It’s totally traditional for a reason. Engraved crystal and silver pieces become symbols that will remind you of when you began your life together, and they will reflect who you are as a couple. Not into having your names engraved on a glass? Consider having a line from your vows engraved onto a beautiful picture frame instead.
DO use your china every day.
Forget the idea that those plates are too precious. Every single one of your registry items should be accessible all the time; otherwise, you’ll have a cabinet full of dishes and glasses that you only take out once a year. Choose china that mixes well with your casual pieces so you can mix and match to elevate even a weeknight meal. Remember, the more you use something (and the more memories you attach to it!), the more valuable it becomes to you.