The wedding registry has received a huge makeover in the last decade. Couples no longer have to even visit a store to create a registry. They can do it while hanging out on the couch with laptops in hand and do the whole thing online. Couples also have options such as one registry that includes multiple stores, online registries that provide endless product options (e.g. Amazon) and even sites where couples can collect money in lieu of actual gifts to help them with date nights and their honeymoon fund. The latter options have become popular among couples who live together prior to the wedding who feel like they have all the household items they need already.
There is some debate over cash gifts and registry funds. Some guests and brides love them and some guests prefer physically picking out and buying a gift. What do you do if you have everything your household needs already but still want the registry experience and gift options?
I may have an alternative to offer you.
Your bridal party (with your input) can create milestone/everyday/date night baskets. The idea is that guests can buy items and gift cards to create baskets that give the couple practical things they need or even great dates or time together. Guests could choose a basket to create themselves or go in on a group basket. I have ideas for baskets posted below.
So the tricky part now is how to do you have people choose baskets and not repeat or buy duplicates? There is a FREE site called SignUpGenius I used it to make an example sign up for a bridal shower using the baskets below. It took me less than 10 minutes to pick a theme, create the sign up sheet and publish it. It is FREE!!!! You can simply include a link to the registry with instructions in the invitation for the shower. Here are some screen shots of the process and product from SignUpGenius which also allows you to make customizations and control the settings!
Registering for your wedding gifts is a ton of fun! Who doesn’t love picking our items for yourself?! You can register at so many unique places now thanks to the Internet! I know brides who have registered at Amazon, Pottery Barn Kids (okay that was me!) and Campmor! Choosing the right registry source is an important decision. You want a store that is available to your guests, convenient for purchases, offers a large variety of choices and major perks for you. Checking the return policy is crucial!!! You will have duplicates and things you need to bring back. Below are some of my registry top picks and tips!
image courtesy of perfecthoneymoons.com
Recap of Registry Tips:
Choose a store that is available to all of your guests. Amazon.com has an awesome registry but keep in mind some of your older guests will be less likely to buy online. You will want to choose a second store to accommodate those guests.
Check the return policy!
Check out the perks they offer you (coupons, discounts, rewards, free products) and any special registry events. I registered during a registry event at Fortunoffs (before they closed!) and walked out with a $50 gift card, a king size down comforter and a belly full of appetizers and drinks!
Register at 2 stores to give guests options (3 or more becomes overwhelming and looks tacky).
Check if your store accepts coupons and has good sales.
Register for enough items for each guest (100 guests, 100 items). Some guests will chip in on larger gifts and some will make baskets of less expensive items.
Register for gifts that fit in a range of prices (you don’t want to register for too many big tickets items or tons of little inexpensive items).
Register for extra sets of everyday dishes, glasses and silverware. One day you may have kids and that means at least one of your sets will go missing or be destroyed. It’s nice to have replacements on hand!
Think about your future home. If you are not currently living in your dream home, it can’t hurt to daydream and shop for the future “forever” home. This means choosing extra bath decor for future bathrooms and dining room decor even if you don’t currently have a dining room! My husband and I went from a 1.5 bathroom condo to a 3 bedroom house. I had an extra bathroom set from our wedding registry that came in handy!
Think seasonal. Do you have platters for holidays? Do you plan on having outdoor entertaining? Little things like ice buckets and bread baskets really come in handy.
Look through your cookbooks. If you enjoy cooking or are planning on learning, skim through some of your cookbooks for equipment ideas. I saw that a “zester” came up often in mine so I added the $5 item to my registry. It comes in handy…so does my flour sifter and my apple peeler!
Bring a friend or your mom. It is nice to have company with you and not all future spouses (aka men) can handle the hours you may take inspecting ever possible registry item. Bring someone who has the same shopping tolerance as you and make a day of it!
I am a huge fan of Macys for a wedding registry. On the guest side, Macys usually has everything in stock and makes it easy to order items that aren’t. Macys also accepts coupons and has awesome sales both online and in store so you are sure to give your guests some affordable gift options. Macys can be found nationwide and can locate even some items that were moved to clearance.
From the view of the bride and groom to be…you get these perks if you register with Macys Registry Rewards Program (you need a Macys Charge Card for this!):
5% of the total amount purchased from your registry on a gift card (I bought Christmas presents with my $300 gift card and my best friend bought a Dyson vacuum!) You will receive the gift card 30-45 days after your wedding date
10% of your personal Macys purchases made with your Macys charge will go on that same rewards gift card
a 10% discount on jewelry (think bridal party gifts and wedding accessories)
two $20 off a $50 purchase coupons sent to you monthly
10% off purchases made from the Macys bridal salon (this includes flower girl dresses, bridesmaid dresses, veils and more!)
a very simple return policy (I returned some china two years after the wedding and received store credit without an issue)
perks for registering for certain products- I received a Villeroy and Boch tray, stainless steel measuring cups from All Clad, kitchen sheers from Wusthof Knives all for free because I registered for their products through Macys (I only registered for a pair of tongs from All Clad!)
Kohls also has some great rewards and perks for their brides to be.
*You get 10% of registry purchases back in rewards (up to $200).
15% discount on remaining registry items
20% off $100 coupons for guests
special coupon offers
free gifts when you register for certain products! Learn more about the free gifts here!
Kohls is offering a promotion to all future brides to be who sign up for a wedding registry. Brides to be that create a qualified registry with 15 or more items and use the promo code MS WEDDINGS receive a coupon after 14 days for $25 off a $25 purchase (according to an ad in Martha Stewart Weddings and Kohls wedding mailers)! This means some free items possibly for your big day!
Kohls also has some great registry perks. Brides receive a 15% discount on remaining registry items and 10% or items purchased from their registry back on a gift card! The gift card cannot exceed $200 but at Kohls, $200 will get you a good amount! To take full advantage of the discounts Kohls has to offer, you should sign up for the Kohls Charge. I am not a credit card person but I do have this one because the discounts really add up. Kohls also has an amazing return policy which is great because you will receive doubles!
Kohls also offers FREE GIFTS when you register for certain items! I did this at Macys when I was a bride to be and I earned tons of free useful items. I love that Kohls has a similar program (wish I knew back then!). Check out the free gift list here!
Your guests also get a 20% off coupon for registry purchases of $100 or more. They will certainly appreciate that! Remember, registries are always free so it can’t hurt to check out the different programs and window shop. See more information on different wedding registry programs here.
Please be honorable and only create a wedding registry if you really have a big day coming up. These great deals won’t exist for brides to be if people misuse them! Be sure to add at least 15 items and use the code MSWEDDINGS! Happy shopping!
Etsy is one of my favorite online shopping sites because everything is so unique! If you shop around, you can score some great deals for your big day. Just make sure you pay with Paypal… I learned this the hard way!
Well now you also have a new way to invite Etsy into your home…through a wedding registry! All you have to is click the registry button in the top lefthand corner on Etsy’s site. There you can quickly and easily create a registry, add and delete items, share it on Facebook and order registry cards! This is a great registry option for the couple who already has most of their housewares or whose guests are primarily out of state!
You can even write and save specific notes to the sellers! I wish I had this option when I was registering!
If you are planning on registering soon at a Crate and Barrel, hold out for a registry event! These events come complete with special drinks and appetizers to fuel you while you scan! Below are the listed events for NJ stores. You must RSVP and you can find the RSVP links here under the NJ tab. Happy Scanning!