Part of the fun of your wedding is getting gifts that you have asked for on a wedding registry, but there are some do's and don'ts to follow when creating yours!
There is a lot of stress surrounding the planning of your wedding, so when it comes time to putting together your wedding registry, this can be a nice little fun break for you and your soon to be spouse, but there are a couple of things to be on the look out for before you dive in.
Make it personalized
Let's start off simple and mention that it is important to personalize your wedding registry to who you and your spouse are. These are gifts that should mean something to you and not just for the sake of getting something to unwrap. Your guests are spending their time and money and you don't want it to be something you don't actually want.
If you are a couple who is really into cooking, ask for things that can help you two become the pro chefs you feel you are. Bonus, you can invite the friends or family who gave you your new cooking tools over to enjoy a home cooked meal as a thank you! If you are a couple who is really into travel and adventure, ask for a new set of durable luggage for your next get away or some camping gear for you to get out and rough it.
Curate your list with your passions, hobbies and lifestyle in mind so that as your guests are going through it, trying to find the perfect gift, they can sense a little bit of you as a couple in every item. This will help make your guests really enjoy picking something out and lessen the sense of anxiety of getting a "generic" gift.
At this point, we've all been to weddings and we've all gone through the pain of picking something off a wedding registry that we weren't 100% sure of. Or we have gone off the list and come up with our own gift, which can be a home run or disaster.
Think about the future
When you are putting items on your wedding registry, don't just think about the here and now. You've got your whole life as a married couple ahead of you, peer into the future!
"Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one." – Doc Brown (Back to the Future)
Cheesy, I know! But Doc's right! While you and you're spouse are creating your registry, take a minute to really think about the things you are adding. Maybe all of your mismatched cook wear is fine for now, but what about in 5 or so years from now when you are "grown up" and want to be a touch more sophisticated than the plates you've lugged around since college? Hands up if that is currently you? 🙋🏻♀️
Adding items for your future home, like plates and cookware or fancy bed linens, can be a nice way to contribute now, for later.
Maybe material items aren't your thing
As I get older, I tend to buy fewer and fewer "things." I won't say I have adapted a minimalistic lifestyle, but I'd say I am on my way in that direction. Instead I am more interested in purchasing experiences that make memories over a single material item.
If this sounds more like you, then you're in luck. As the wedding industry changes and evolves, so does everything around it. Yes a wedding registry tends to remain more traditional, but it is slowly adapting to a new world of newlyweds.
When creating your wedding registry you can now ask for "experiences" like a romantic date night or a fun class or activity. Something growing in popularity is setting up a honeymoon or newlywed fund instead of receiving those material gifts. Maybe you are getting ready to purchase a home after your wedding, or saving up to start a family or go on a well deserved honeymoon, it makes sense to receive cash gifts.
Some people, myself included, find it awkward to talk about receiving cash instead of wedding gifts. In reality it is the same as asking for "stuff", but there is an etiquette around how to go about asking in a polite and kind way so that your guests don't feel taken advantage of.
Most wedding registry websites these days will have a way for guests to contribute to a fund. In this way, it will make them feel like they are really contributing to the purchase of your first home, saving up to start a family or simply enjoying some one on one time on your honeymoon instead of just writing up a check and putting in an envelope. There is a way for them to make a personal contribution to something that they want to help you with.
Think about prices
As you know, we all come from different income backgrounds and the last thing you want to do is make a guest feel like they have to purchase something they can not afford. While you are adding items to your list, take into consideration your guests and where they might fall on a financial spectrum.
Sure you can put that $500 vacuum and someone might purchase it or that new kitchen-aid mixer for $250, but also include those smaller items like glassware or cookware. You can add decorations like frames for all of the wedding pictures you are going to want to print out and frame or funky little nick knacks from World Market. Who knows, but make sure that you give your guests a wide range of options.
It's all about timing
Now that you are engaged, there are going to be a million and one things that you have to get through. Taking the time to collect some items into a wedding registry is a fun way to step back from some of the more overwhelming wedding to do's and it is also another way to take into consideration your guests.
With enough time, guests will be able to look through your registry and start picking and or purchasing items. Sometimes these are gifts they intend to bring to your engagement party or to your bridal party and sometimes they are planning ahead to guarantee that the item they purchase is ready for your wedding. Typically you don't want to go past 6 months from your wedding date as a courtesy. We all know the mishaps that can happen when ordering online! 😉
You will also want to have a list ready to go before you send out save the dates or invitations so that when your guests go onto your wedding website, your wedding registry information is provided.
You wont get everything you asked for
Just because you have put it on your registry, does not guarantee that you will be getting it as a gift, so don't be disappointed.
At the end of your wedding night, you will be so happy and thankful for everyone who witnessed your special day and grateful for everything you have gotten and experienced and that is what really matters!
For all of the gifts that you did receive, material or otherwise, it is 100% expected that you send out thank you cards. This might seem somewhat of a no brainer, but believe me, with everything going on, it can get forgotten. Make sure to send thank you cards, hand written is my go to because it is extra personal, no more than 3 months after your wedding. Some say you have a year, but I would say don't wait unless you have too.
So there you have it! Go sit down with your soon to be spouse and create your wedding registry with confidence and enjoy! 😄