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Wedding Registry FAQs
What do I need to include in my wedding registry?
Although this varies from person to person, depending on your specific needs, personality, and taste, it’s always a good idea to include practical items. The choices should be made by you and your fiancé, but bear in mind that you're asking your friends and loved ones to buy them; it’s good etiquette to ask for helpful rather than luxurious or expensive items. Have a range of items to suit a range of budgets – your parents may want to spend more than your friend who has three kids. However, there are so many unique and unusual wedding registry ideas available these days that there are no limits. So whatever you need, whether you have a baby on the way, you need DIY tools to fix up your home or you’re trying to convert your new home into an oasis of eco-friendliness, you can find a wedding registry that you and your guests can be happy with. Once you’ve chosen your type of wedding registry you can collate a list of exactly you need for your particular project, then select your items based upon this list.
Do I have to have a wedding registry?
You don't, but they were created for a good reason. It was first implemented in Chicago during 1924, and couples across the world have been using it ever since. It ensures that you don't receive three gravy boats - which can occur if the registry is badly organised - and it's a lot easier than organising it yourself.
If you do decide to have a wedding registry, beware of the terms and conditions! As you would with your dress, look at the fine details and confirm you're happy before paying out. Shop around, as wedding registries are big business and you can find some excellent companies to use. If you're still not keen on having a wedding registry but are receiving presents, choose someone you trust to coordinate and organise with the guests both before and during the wedding.
When should I set up my registry?
Ideally, from the moment you announce your engagement. Your friends and family will be eager to get organised early. It makes the gift- purchasing process as easy as possible, plus will save you stress later on when you have more pressing issues to attend to.
At how many stores should I register?
Most wedding planners recommend between 2-3. This should ensure that you have a wide range of items, as well as a wide range of price brackets. It'll make your guests' shopping that much more comfortable if they have some degree of choice and flexibility in how and where they spend their money. By doing so you can include gifts for your favourite charity, towards a fund for your honeymoon or home, physical items that are domestic, practical or fun, as well as gift cards and even your wedding entertainment. You can organise this mixture of companies and gifts through your wedding website, if you have opted to have one, or by installing a wedding registry app for your tablet or smartphone.
Are there any unconventional wedding registries available?
Since registries were first created they have become increasingly inventive. We're all used to the electric scanners in shops by now, but now honeymoon, charity and even gift card registries are all available too. A gift card registry is fantastic as it is stress and hassle free, and requires very little space or extra carrying on the day of the wedding. It also means you can buy whatever you need and want. Meanwhile, a honeymoon registry allows guests to donate money towards their holiday; it's often organised so a guest can pay for the equivalent of an evening meal or a sightseeing trip. This is great for those who have been living together and don't require the basics of moving into a new home.
For the bride with everything, charity registries are a wonderful way to go. Guests can donate towards a charity of the couple's choice and the sum total will often be revealed at the celebrations. If you're still looking for a unique registry, look online for inspiration and reputable registry companies. One website even allows you to include eBay and etsy items on your registry, guaranteeing you receive exactly what you want and need.
Who should be in charge of the gifts on the day of the wedding?
On the day of the wedding you want to have the time and freedom to enjoy your day. You don’t want to be worrying about where you put the gift table, or how you’re going to get the large boxes and packages home. Give someone whom you trust else this job, and once you’ve picked out your list you shouldn’t worry about them until the day you open them.
Are there any tools available to help me with my registry?
For those opting for a traditional wedding registry, there are online programs which recreate your home and the guests can literally select which items they’d like to purchase from you. They disappear from the virtual house, ensuring you don’t receive any gift twice. There are also many original ideas for registries which can be managed wholly online. This is recommended as it makes the job much easier for you and your guests. If you choose a fund registry, this is the simplest of all as guests can quickly and easily transfer money through Paypal, by cheque, bank transferral (or numerous other methods) directly to your fund.
Mobile apps have been created so couples can personalise their own wedding registry, allowing brides and grooms to record the shop’s location as well as the individual item. This makes it much simpler for guests and prevents confusion. It also means you aren’t limited to one shop, but you can include anything with a barcode! Shop assistants on the high street are still a great option as they can advise you personally.
Some of the most popular wedding registry apps include:
- Wedding Registry. This app consolidates all of your chosen registry items into one digital list to be accessed by your friends and family. It additionally updates the list, so no need to worry about receiving duplicates!
- Instawish. This app helps to create a wishlist using items from any store, and allows your family and friends to vew and interact with the list via Facebook.
- MyRegistry.com. This website allows you to use your smartphone as a scanner for any imaginable item, and uploads it to a list on the site.
- WeddingScan. This allows you to include *any* item you come across, irrespective of its location, by simply scanning its barcode. If it does not have a barcode, you can simply take a picture and add a description.
- Giftster. This app enables you to create a wishlist for any occassion, without an expiry date. Your friends and family will also have full access to your list, so they can still send out their gifts long after the wedding itself is over!
Does the Returns Policy really matter for the items I’m including in my wedding registry?
Unfortunately, the same policies generally apply to wedding registries as they do to normal purchases. That’s not to say, however, that they’re not at all flexible. If you’re making your own registry comprised of items from various stores, do check their returns policy in case something goes wrong. However, if you’re going for a traditional wedding registry you need to make sure that you are happy with the returns policy. You don’t want someone’s expensive gift to you to be wasted because the company won’t return the item. If the items has a misleading item description, is defective or broken, you can demand a refund. At the very least, you should receive either store credit or a replacement item as compensation. If the company doesn’t clarify this in the terms and conditions, steer clear.
How do I tell my guests about the wedding registry? I don’t want to seem rude by asking them for gifts!
It's generally frowned upon to include the details of your registry on any of your printed materials- including your invitation, RSVP, or Save the Date. You can, however, include the URL to you registry list, or the sites of the stores at which you're registered. Most traditionally, however, the existence and details of the registry are communicated by good old word- of- mouth. This is where your mother, Maid of Honour, and bridesmaids should come in handy.
Alternatively, the internet is fantastic as it provides a number of discreet ways to inform your guests about your registry. If you are using a company (or a number of companies) online, they may include a service that allows you to email all of your guests at once. If you’re creating your own registry you could cheaply create your own wedding website, which provides news and updates to all of the guests. This would allow you to include physical items, such as dining sets, as well as virtual items such as gift cards, in the registry. Or if creating and maintaining a website isn’t for you, you can easily use facebook, twitter and other social media to tell your guests everything you need. If you plan a timeline of when you’ll release each big piece of news (the wedding registry details, the bridal shower, requests for help and of course the date of the big day) before you begin, you can inform your guests at the right time. See the question below for more information on timing this.
After the wedding, are thank you notes for the gifts really essential?
Absolutely! Your guests have not only taken the time to attend your wedding – some guests may have travelled from abroad – but they’ve taken the time and effort beforehand to carefully select and purchase an ideal gift for you. Whether you’ve used a registry or even if you’ve not asked for any gifts at all, you will receive gifts and your guests need to know that this is appreciated. You can even prepare your thank you notes at the same time as your invitations. In this way, you can guarantee you have one of everything for each guest – just make sure you store them somewhere safe and memorable! This guarantees no-one is forgotten, as people have been known to be extremely offended by not receiving a thank you.