Choosing a Registry

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Initial Consultation

What to Bring/Know:


  • An inventory of what you both own, what you are missing, and what you want replaced
  • Your decorating style
  • Which colors you want used in which rooms of your home
  • Décor color swatches if available
  • Your entertaining style – practical or formal?
  • How many people you typically invite to dinner
  • If you plan to do a lot of holiday entertaining
  • If dishwasher and microwave safe are important to you
  • Your preference for heirloom pieces, everyday utility, or both
  • What you like or would need if you plan to move in the future


What to Ask:

Who should register?
Both the bride and groom. Both of you will have to live with your decisions. It is wise to get advice from family and friends, but ultimately just the two of you should register.

How much should we register for?
Guests appreciate plenty of options, so be sure to register for more items than invited guests. An added bonus? The more items you register, the less of a chance you will receive duplicates.

Will merchandise changeover affect our registry?
You want to give guests plenty of time to purchase gifts, but do not want to register so early that a store might stop carrying any of your registry items. Find out if there are any plans to discontinue a product or line you are interested in.

How long is my registry posted?
Look for a registry that allows your account to stay active for a generous amount of time. Etiquette dictates guests have up to a year after the wedding to give you a gift, and friends and family may want to continue to gift from your registry for special occasions and holidays.

Is there a completion program?
Some stores offer discounts after the wedding, so you can purchase things from your registry that were not gifted to you.

What is your return policy?
Store gift registry return policies vary widely. Find out how long you have to make returns. Make sure you opt for a registry that allows you to return duplicate gifts and that is lenient when it comes to requiring a receipt, which you might not always receive.

How do I let guests know about my registry?
Word-of-mouth. Though it may seem practical to write registry information on your wedding invitations, it is a breach of etiquette (and too much like asking for gifts). Instead, rely on friends and family to get the word out or post it on a page of your wedding website (not the home page) if you have one. An exception to this rule? Bridal showers. Because you are not the host, it is perfectly acceptable for registry information to be included on the shower invitation.