Tuesday, 24 February 2009

DRAMA = The Registry Part I: What and Where?

One of the most enjoyable, though potentially aggravating elements of getting engaged is The Registry. Shopping for your registry can be a fabulous party but lots of questions can arise when it comes to registering such as: Where should I register? How many registries should I have? And many more. Here are some answers to those registry questions that can turn your stress into a solution allowing you to saunter in shops selecting the crystal you have always dreamed of or the honeymoon you are wishing for…

Question: What should I register for?
Let’s start at the very beginning – If you are a couple who has never lived together then chances are you will need a ton of stuff for your new home from casual china to furniture. Take a look at the link just below for some ideas brought to you by The Knot. The list includes everything you could possibly want for you new home. Don’t feel bound by the rules of the registry – if you are a casual couple who prefers margaritas to martinis and don’t do formal dinner parties then formal dinner china might not be your top pick. But you might be able to use pots and pans, an espresso machine, a new couch, and bathroom towels, to name a few. Think of who you are as a couple and what you like. Make registering a fun shopping excursion to outfit your new home with all the goodies and necessities that suit your style.

Now, if you are a couple who has lived together for some time then you probably already have a lot of the basics. Why not use the registry to upgrade your home, to add the formal elements that you haven’t invested in as of yet such as bone china, glassware or 600-thread count sheets. You could also register for items that will have sentimental value that you might even be able to use at the wedding such as a sterling silver Tiffany cake knife that could be used to cut your wedding cake. If you and your fiancĂ© are foodies then why not register for the top line copper pots you always dreamed of or the 13-piece Global knife set that you have had your eye on for ages?

If you are the couple who has it all and you don’t really need extra things for the home, then why not register for your honeymoon? There are many services that can help you with this. In the UK, check out Trailfinders. In the US, take a look at Traveler’s Joy. Some hotel chains, such as Starwood even allow you to register for your honeymoon directly. Do keep in mind that many honeymoon registries will charge your guests a fee for their purchase so check on these fees before setting up your registry so that you can help your guests get the best deal for their gifts. After all, they are doing something lovely for you, why not do your part to help them along the way?

Another option is to add a charity onto your registry. You can register directly with numerous charities based on the cause that is closest to your heart such as: UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, Sierra Club, Rainforest Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors without Borders, Breast Cancer Research Fund and Save the Children – the list goes on and on. You can even nominate your own charity if you don’t see it on the list.
However, if you don’t want to register for charity gifts but still want to help out then why not set up an account with www.weddingchannel.com and register with one of the stores listed on their site? Then you can select a charity there so that Wedding Channel will make a donation to the charity of your choice every time one of your guests buys a gift.
For more information on a Charity Registry go to: http://wedding.weddingchannel.com/catalog/store_information.asp?retailer_uid=10901&placement=18&linkUID=201&p=1030&l=121576

Finally, I think it is important to note that you should take into account two things before you begin your registry:

1. Your Guest List:
Think of your guests and what they would likely spend on your wedding gift. Make sure that your registry includes a few lower priced gifts, many middle priced gifts and a few select higher priced gifts because you don’t want to register for all inexpensive items and leave your guests without the option to buy you a bigger gift. The same goes for registering for only very expensive gifts – you want to make sure that your guests have items to choose from that they can afford.

2. Be Smart About Your Registry:
By this I mean that you should think about what you are registering for. Is it something you love? Is it a must have? There is a chance that you may not finish your registry so be sure to register for items that you adore and that fit with your style. After all, you don’t want to end up with 5 different vases each in a different style that don’t match anything in your home or a lamp that is uber cool but clashes with your apartment. We can all make the impulsive registry purchase but the key is to go back and review your registry before finalising it so that you don’t end us asking yourself what you were thinking when you open your gifts 6 months later! Luckily online registries allow you to make changes time and time again so take advantage of this.
Question: Where should I register?
This question all depends on how you are looking to build your registry. If you are buying the basics for your home then take a look at the major department stores in your country or state. The bigger department stores and chain stores tend to be more reliable and have a bigger selection than smaller registry only companies. If you are looking for specialty goods like crystal or cookware then go to chain stores that you know you can trust. Each city has different options available so take a look locally to see what is available.
It is important to keep in mind that every store has their own policy for delivery, exchanges and returns. When you set up your registry appointment or when you visit the store you choose to register your gifts in, please be sure to inquire about their policies. Some stores deliver all gifts to you as they are ordered. Others wait until after your registry closes to send you the gifts. Just check the policy and make sure you are happy with it before posting your registry online for guests to view.

Take a look at the list of registries at the end of this post to see some examples of all of the different options you have….

IMPORTANT NOTE: I would recommend staying away from small registry companies that are not linked directly to stores or that have just opened, since they can be less reliable. For example, from my own experience, my husband and I registered most of our registry with Bloomingdales in the US, which has been great, and the rest of our registry with a UK registry company called WrapIt. On our honeymoon in Bali we received notification that WrapIt had filed for bankruptcy and so we would not receive any of our gifts. In addition, only our guests from the UK who bought us gifts at WrapIt received their money back as credit card companies from other countries did not know about the bankruptcy claim.
The moral of the story is – try to stick with bigger stores especially during this volatile economic environment.

Stay tuned to the No Drama column for The Registry Part II for answers to more of your registry questions.



Neiman Marcus


Crate and Barrel

Williams Sonoma

Pottery Barn
Bed Bath & Beyond

John Lewis



The Wedding Shop

William Ashley


Pottery Barn

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