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!
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!
If you are planning at registering at Macy’s…wait for a sip and scan event! These events usually include product promotions and fun refreshments and activities. Macy’s is havingtwo events this month for brides to be! Participants will receive appetizers, mocktails , DJ enterntainment and cake tastings while registering and enjoying bridal fashions! Registry events are usually awesome opportunities to score freebies! I walked away with over $500 in free items by attending two registry events!
On Thursday, September 20th, Bloomingdales will be holding a registry event at the Short Hills mall in New Jersey from 6-8 pm. the event will take place in the registry area of the lower level. Participants will receive appetizers, mocktails and cake tastings while registering and enjoying bridal fashions! Registry events are usually awesome opportunities to score freebies! I walked away with over $300 in free items by attending two registry events!