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Designing your gift registry

July 23, 2011
Gift table sign via The Wedding Chicks

While some opt for asking for cash {in a tactful way hopefully} and others simply, and oh-so-generously, request gifts be made in the form of donations {seriously, SO generous, people}, most stick to tradition and design a gift registry. Yes, I said design a gift registry. If you’re anything like me, it took a good number of hours thinking through what I HAD TO HAVE in our new home, what things were ABSOLUTELY missing from our kitchen, and what decor items matched our color scheme and overall feel of our space. If that doesn’t require DESIGN, I don’t know what does.

{Am I Type A or what?!}

Aaaaanyway. I, for a fact, know I’m not alone in this because a very good friend of mine let me know that registering was the most stressful part of wedding planning for her and her new husband. Why? Because sometimes you just can’t decide between a regular rolling pin and a French rolling pin, OK?! {Confession: I have NO idea what the difference is between these two. One is fat, one is skinny. That’s all I got.} But like I say {I DO say this}, the best way to beat stress is to PLAN! Don’t just walk into a store without having an idea of what you’re looking for. That’s recipe for disaster. And by disaster I mean a melt down in the middle of Target, scan gun in hand.

Plus, registering should be fun! Not stressful! You’re registering for gifts, people. GIFTS. And you get a SCAN GUN. I’m telling you, they are definitely as fun as everyone says they are.

In order to make designing your gift registry fun (and minimally stressful), follow these simple tips:

  • Find a registry checklist to GUIDE you. Don’t let yourself be pressured to register for every. single. kitchen gadget known to man. If you don’t know what it is, chances are you don’t need it {and will never use it}. My favorite was the Real Simple Weddings Registry Checklist. But I actually compared a couple for a wider variety.
  • Sit down with your fiance/fiancée and look over the checklists together. Discuss. Make lists of what’s important to each of you. If you don’t agree, compromise. It’s good practice.
  • Make a checklist of your own. Use categories for each room: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, home decor, etc. It will make it a whole lot easier once you get into the store.
  • Obviously, decide where you’re going to register. I think it’s probably best to choose places where you already shop or would love to shop if you could afford it. The experts suggest registering at a higher-end home goods store as well as an affordable one {we chose Crate & Barrel and Target–although, I have to say, some things were more affordable at C & B}. Keep your guests in mind, too. If a good chunk live in a city where there is no convenient Crate & Barrel, and these people don’t really like to shop online, make sure to also register for a store nearby.
  • Register at two to three stores. Or maybe two stores and a site where guests can purchase goodies for you on your honeymoon. Get creative! Your guests will appreciate the variety.
  • While at the store, register for things you think you may want but aren’t quite sure. Wait a couple of days and go online to finalize your list. That way you have time to think through it all and let your ideas settle.

As a bit of a side note: If you’re registering at Crate & Barrel, I highly suggest signing up for their Wedding Party event. This was probably the funnest thing my fiance and I did {aside from interviewing caterers–o mi gosh, have you ever felt more like royalty? Would you like to taste this as well? Do you need more of this? Pure heaven}. The Wedding Party event is FREE–all you have to do is reserve your space. On the morning of, we entered the store hours before the general public, we were served mimosas and a full, delicious breakfast, and we toured the store with a registry specialist before being left to our own devices and, yes, a scan gun. They also had staffers testing out their various electronics so we got to taste, taste, taste–espresso, freshly squeezed juices… It was glorious.

My other piece of advice would be to make sure you have a good chunk of time reserved for registering. Don’t try to rush it or squeeze it into an already full day. And, if you can avoid it, don’t do it after a particularly stressful or long day at work. Speaking of that melt down in the middle of Target, I almost had one after my fiance and I decided to register after a long, busy day and our scan gun wouldn’t work half way through. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. I was saved by a slice of pizza and Diet Coke. Catastrophe averted.

Enjoy yourself, lovelies. Don’t take it too seriously. And remember, you’re GETTING MARRIED! {Applause ensues.}


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