Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Registry tips

For us, getting married was not about getting gifts at all. But registry or not, people are going to want to give you gifts. Registries just provide some guidance. We were so blessed by everything we got — registry gifts, personalized items, specially picked out items, etc. I don't want this post to sound like we were ungrateful or greedy. I just know that registering can be overwhelming, and I read someone's blog with her tips for registering that were helpful. So I thought it might be worth sharing what I learned.

1. Use the thank-you card managers

This saved my life when it came to thank-you notes. Except for a few late gifts, I had all of my thank-you notes completed before the end of June. The online registries for the places we registered — Macy's, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel — had thank-you card managers. This told you not only what was bought but who bought it. I understand the desire to be surprised when gifts arrive at your door, but I was able to stay ahead on thank-you notes by checking this daily. I wrote the thank-you notes when I saw them pop-up there, but waited until I actually received the gift before mailing the card. I only made one mistake but caught it before mailing. I still had a lot to write once we got back from our honeymoon, but I'd say I got through at least half of the thank-you notes before the wedding.

2. Be careful of stores that constantly change inventory

I'm convinced I picked out wineglasses from Crate and Barrel three times. I repeatedly received emails saying items I had registered for at Crate and Barrel had been discontinued. So I was constantly picking out new items that I hadn't ever seen. It got pretty frustrating, and I actually dropped some things off that registry and added them on Macy's, where I rarely had discontinued items.

3. Department stores are the way to go

Macy's was definitely our best registry. The store runs good sales, and their inventory stays pretty consistent. Because we were registering for brands sold elsewhere (Lenox, Waterford, Calphalon), people used their favorite store to get us every day china, fine china or cookware. Macy's also gave us 20 percent off anything in the home store and had a rewards program built into the registry. So I'm able to get a really good deal finishing out some stuff as I use up gift cards.

4. Register at that store in your hometown where everyone goes for wedding gifts

This was my biggest mistake. There is one locally owned store in my hometown that sells jewelry, fine china, etc. Everyone in my hometown that gets married registers there. The store even puts your china patterns out on display in the months before your wedding. But I wasn't in town at good times to go in to register, and I just didn't think it was that big of a deal. Enough people came in asking about my registry that they called my mom. She sent them my patterns (the store also carried them), and we got a lot of our fine china from people going there. But since I hadn't registered, the woman dealing with most of it didn't have my information, and there ended up being a lot of phone calls and back and forth that I might have bypassed if I had gone in there and registered from the beginning. So if you have store like that in your hometown, I recommend finding a way to register there — it could save you a lot of hassle later.

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