1. Register Early: As soon as you announce your engagement, friends and family will start purchasing wedding gifts for you and your groom. It's totally acceptable, etiquette-wise, to start registering once he's popped the question. And remember that many guests will look to your registry for pre-wedding (engagement party, bridal shower) purchases. Like the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. Make sure to create registries at your favorite stores and add those must-have items asap so you can get everything on your wish list.
2. Create Multiple Registries: Don't put all your eggs in one basket! Create registries at 2 to 4 of your favorite stores. Having more than one registry will give your wedding guests the variety they're hoping for.
*Special tip- If possible, one of the places you register at should have a brick and mortar store located near where the majority of your wedding guests reside.
3. Cover Your Bases: Since you should have multiple registries, make sure the stores you choose have unique product offerings. Don't register at Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and Sears. Instead, choose your favorite department store, a kitchen store and a home goods store.
4. Check Your Inventory: Make a list of the things that you and your fiance already have and what you'll be keeping. Taking stock will help you determine what types of items should be at the top of your wedding registry list. You might also be surprised at how much you guys already have when you combine forces.
5. Include Your Groom: Include your groom throughout the registry process. Sure, the wedding day is all about you. But the wedding gifts are all about creating the perfect newlywed nest! Make sure your fiancé has a say and gets a few of his must-have items on your wedding registry.
6. Let Your Registry Reflect Your Lifestyle: What things do you and your fiance really love? Is cooking one of your passions? Do you entertain a lot? When you do entertain, is it a casual or fancy affair? Make sure to register for items that you'll really put to use, not just those 'traditional' registry items. If you can't imagine serving guests on shi shi China, then don't add fine China to your registry. Just like your wedding day, your registry should reflect you.
7. Stay On Top Of It: ... and update your registries often! As a wedding guest, there's nothing worse than checking out a registry and finding nothing but napkin rings and towels left to purchase. As guests knock off items from your registry list, you'll want to add new products to keep things exciting and add variety.
8. Go Room to Room: With all the gorgeous registry options for fine China, crystal stemware and sterling silver flatware, it's easy to lose site of the big picture. Make sure your kitchen and dining room aren't the only places getting some registry love. Your bedroom is just as important... :)
9. Hit All Price Points: Add inexpensive items and pricey items to your wedding registry. By this point in your life, you know what types of gifts to expect from certain people. We all have those beyond-generous family members who spoil us rotten and those frugal friends who have money but won't spend it.
*Special tip- Determine three appropriate price points (<$75, $75-$150, $150+), and register for an equal number of items in each price range.
10. Don't Mention On Your Invites: One of the most common registry questions in the book is, "Can I include registry info on my save-the-dates and/or wedding invitations?" And the answer is NO! Believe me, I've heard some good arguments justifying why it makes sense for that bride to include her registry on her invites. But the bottom line is that it's a tacky thing to do. Instead, include the URL for your wedding website on your save-the-date.