How to Make the Most of Your Bridal Registry

Bridal registries can be the most fun and most frustrating part of wedding planning. Make the most of your registry with these tips.
If you're getting married soon, you have probably found out that managing your bridal registry can be really fun, but also really frustrating and time-consuming. (If you haven't found this out yet, you will soon!) There are many different ways to deal with registering for all the goodies you will hopefully receive at bridal showers and on your wedding, but the whole process can be overwhelming! However, if you keep these tips in mind, you'll be able to streamline the process and keep yourself stress-free.
How Much is Too Much?
When registering for gifts, it's easy to go overboard. Of course you want all the different sizes of wine glasses in that collection and those really cool-looking candle holders that won't go anywhere in your house, but you love anyway. When you figure someone else is buying these items for you, you might as well register for all of it, right? Wrong. The best thing you can do when creating a bridal registry is to sit back and make a list with your fianceƩ of things that you really need and will actually use in your lives together, then stick to registering for what's on that list. If you don't drink much wine now, you probably won't after you're married, even if you have the most awesome collection of wine glasses that ever existed.
Similarly, registering for too few items can leave your guests in a lurch. Be sure you have enough for everyone who wants to get you a gift to be able to do so, and don't be afraid to add items closer to the wedding date when you see many of your items have been already purchased.
Registries at Multiple Stores
When registering at multiple stores, the best way to keep track of everything is to have certain categories of items at certain stores. For example, you may want to register for all of your towels and bathroom accessories at a department store, while you register for all of your place settings and silverware at a smaller store. Keeping items separate like this can help you keep track of what you've registered for and what you still need. If you've registered for some silverware at one store and some at another, it can cause confusion for your guests and for you. However, it is beneficial to register at a few different stores, especially if you have guests who live out of town. You may want to be sure to pick at least one store you're sure everyone can get to, regardless of where they live.
Items at Different Price Points
Although they might like to, not all of your guests will be able to afford your entire set of twelve crystal glasses or a set of four place settings. Because of this - and because pieces break all the time - most stores sell sets as well as individual pieces. When registering, its best to register for some sets and some pieces so your guests have options for gifts at different price points. For example, if you want all twelve crystal glasses, you can register for three sets of four and four individual glasses. You can also break up place settings and some silverware this way. It's a great way to make sure your guests can afford to buy you the gifts you want and need.
Post-Wedding Discounts
Many stores offer post-wedding discounts for couples who need to finish gathering items from their registry after their wedding. This is a perfect way to make sure you get everything you need at a better price. Do your research, though. Some stores will only offer a one-time discount, so you'll need to use that to stock up in one shopping trip. Some stores only offer the discount for a certain number of months after the wedding. Some stores offer the discount only if you buy everything that is left on your registry. While the discounts can be great and convenient, be sure you know what you need to do after your wedding to get the most for your money.
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