The wedding registry allows our wedding guests to help us as brides-to-be prepare our home so that we can move right in and have the things that we'll need after the wedding. The great thing about using a gift registry is that the guests won't likely buy duplicate gifts, and we are able to pick out the gifts that we receive. It prevents us from returning and exchanging gifts that are just not what we wanted or need. The gift registry will also allow us to get our collection of place settings without having to purchase the entire set ourselves. It is easier for eight different guests to purchase one place setting each than to have to do it as newlyweds.

[caption id="attachment_570" align="aligncenter" width="464"]Image provided by Timothy Marsee (Flickr) Image provided by Timothy Marsee (Flickr)[/caption]

Register Early

For the guests' consideration, we should register at least 4 to 6 months before the wedding date. If the bridal party is planning several other events such as an engagement party or bridal showers, we must register at least a month ahead of these events. Guests have to have time to shop and purchase a gift before the event.

Register in Person

It is much easier to sit in front of the computer and click the mouse on the things that we'd like to have, but it is smarter to go register in person. That way we can pick up and hold the items in person. We can get a real sense of the size, weight and color of each item if we are actually able to see it. We are also able to see the whole selection at once, instead of scrolling through page after page of similar items.

Select a Range of Items

When picking out items for the registry, we have to select a broad range of items to be included. Different guests will have different budgets. Also, some guests will buy an individual gift while others may go in together to get a higher ticket item. Some may be able to spend more on a gift, while others won't have it in their budget. Register for individual items rather than sets. These are more likely to be purchased. For instance, register for the pots and pans individually rather than the set. Don't go overboard on the registry. We'll be better off receiving the things that we really need rather than bits and pieces of things that we won't really use on a day to day basis.

Register at Different Stores

It is common to choose a department store that sells fine china, but we should always choose one that is nationally located so that out of town guests can purchase from it, too. In addition to a department store, brides are registering at home goods stores and other retail outlets as well. This way we can register for kitchen tools, spices, laundry accessories and other home goods products.

Find Out Details of Registry

The registry will most likely stay open for several months after the wedding date. Some registries stay open for up to a year. This is helpful because newlyweds most likely get money and gift cards on the wedding day. Use some of this money for the items that are needed but weren't received. Friends and family can purchase other registry items for birthdays or holiday gifts in the months after the wedding. Some stores even offer discounts for items originally on the wedding registry that are purchased after the wedding date.

Review the Registry

Keep an eye on the registry before the wedding. This allows us to keep our Thank You note list up to date. When a gift is received and opened, immediately write the note. It will save time after the wedding day. Watching the registry list will also help if the card that goes with a particular gift gets separated from the gift or lost.

Our wedding days are filled with lots of fun, love and beauty. They are also filled with lavish gifts for which we have registered. Make a gift registry that family and friends will enjoy shopping for and be sure to always show them appreciation as they love and encourage us on our big day.