5 W's of the Registry
You and your fiancé are embarking upon a new life together, and part of that is creating and perfecting your new home. Registering for gifts is a big part of that. You're both going to have likes and dislikes; you're both going to be using the gifts for a long time; and the gifts are going to come from both sides of the family. So from the beginning (deciding on stores), through the process (continually updating) and beyond (writing thank-yous), make a commitment to tackling every task together.
Surprisingly, picking out gifts isn't easy. To get your mind going about what you might need, check out a few registry checklists (like the one included in this issue). Also, look around your current home. What's old and needs replacing? What don't you have that you need? What are some of your favorite stores?
According to "Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette" (Collins, 2006), you should register as soon as you can. Think about it: You're going to have a few pre-wedding events (engagement parties, bridal showers, etc.) where guests will want to bring you something, and who knows what your guests shopping habits are? You're not being greedy; you're being prepared.
When it comes down to it, you'll need homey stuff (sheets, towels, décor items) and kitcheny items (dinnerware and gadgets) and maybe even some manly stuff (tools). So, pick out your favorite places where you can get that stuff. That's places - plural. Aim for two or three stores. One store, even if it has everything, is too limiting; four or five is getting to be a bit much.
Also, some stores have completion programs that give you post-wedding discounts for items still on your registry, and some housewares brands have special deals or gifts for registering for a certain amount of their items, so keep these incentives in mind.
Guests want to shower you with gifts. You need stuff for your home. It's tradition.