We’re with our couples every step of the way, wherever and whenever they need us. We give them what they’ve come to expect from us: more. That is why we’ve instituted a new series on the TNR blog called “Real Talk”, where we will breakdown the parts of wedding planning that can seem overwhelming. In this inaugural installment, we’re sharing everything you need to know about your gift registry.
REGISTER FOR THE LIFE YOU LEAD
If you are rarely seen in the kitchen, eschew baking sets for something a little more exciting, a little more “you” — something that won’t be sitting in the kitchen for years unused. The 12-person set of etched crystal might not be the most effective item if you live in a big city with small storage and rarely entertain at home, while some durable china that can work everyday for years and can be dressed up or down might give you more usage. While you don’t have to stick to just what your life is like now, having a realistic heart-to-heart on what you’ll truly use — now and in the future — allows you to build your home together in a meaningful way, and avoid having unnecessary items that take up storage and collect dust!
We’ve found that, more often than not, gift-givers over 50 years-old have a preference of going into a store personally to touch and feel the items off your registry before purchasing. Guests of a younger generation are more likely to be comfortable purchasing gifts or experiences online. It’s often an even split depending on your guest list and demographics, but just something to keep in mind!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
It’s the eternal debate: where are you living versus your guests? While William-Sonoma sounds wonderful, if most of your guests are across the country, or world, and don’t have a store within an hours drive, it might be helpful to register at a place accessible to them. [The “Age Matters” applies here too!]
PICK WHAT YOU LIKE, NOT THE “SHOULD HAVES”
Many of us feel guilty about registering for “too much”, or what we believe we “should” register for —- versus what we actually want, be it the Le Creuset dutch oven, the All-Clad pots, or the japanese chef’s knife. Many of these items will stand the test of time and fit you out for decades to come and are definitely worth the investment! In addition, sometimes it’s easier to forgo the set of items [pots, knives] and instead register for individual pieces that can eventually add up to the larger set if you’d like. Finally — remember that you usually get a discount code after your wedding date to allow you to get that much closer to the items that are on your real wish list.
HOW MANY REGISTRIES?
Depending on the guest count, we usually recommend sticking to about 2-3 different stores or locations at most. In case of returns, this allows you to tag up your exchanges. For example, you could return several, smaller pieces (from the same store) in exchange for that bigger piece you’ve always wanted. Finally, most guests feel uncomfortable if you forgoe a registry altogether, in which case donations to a heartfelt charity is always a fantastic idea. However, truth be told, the majority will still buy you a gift regardless, so why not make sure it’s a cause you believe in, or something you really love?
Photo: Heather Hawkins Photography