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China, check. Serving dishes, check. Towels, check. Blender, check. Bedding, check. Luggage, check. Silver, check. Check, check, check.
My goodness, who knew there were so many decisions when putting together a registry?! Maybe it's just me, but creating our registry has been an ongoing process, and it's one in which I'm not entirely confident with my decisions. Ask me anything about how I want our invitations to look or what color our centerpieces should be, and I can offer a confident and unwavering answer. Ask me what color I think the bedding should be in our master bedroom, and you'll see me waffle between taupe, brown, blue, green, yellow . . . I just don't know!
My indecision may have something to do with the fact that these gifts we are asking for will be with us for a very, very long time. Sure, the linens are important for the wedding, but only I will remember what they look like the next day. (Okay, and probably my mom and our wedding planner.) As for the linens in our guest room . . . friends and family will be using those for years to come!
We started our registry process a few months ago at Macys. We made an appointment with their bridal consultant, and she explained the process of scanning to us and gave us a checklist of suggested items to scan. She also explained their rewards program, which has served us well while shopping for other friends' weddings presents! Since our wedding is rather large (and we're having a number of showers) my thought process has been the more the better when it comes to loading up our registry. We're not opening any of our gifts (yet . . . we'll see well that lasts once we start getting some of the really cool stuff), so we can return the frivolous things at the end for gifts we didn't receive but really need (such as our dishes and bedding).
The Fiance loved scanning at Macy's. Like most grooms, he got a little scan-happy with the electronics: panini maker, pizza maker, meatball maker . . . he scanned pretty much every "maker" he found—which may be a testament to my cooking, but I'll pretend it isn't. Nonetheless, two hours later we left Macy's with an air of accomplishment and a relatively full registry. I made sure to add things at varying price points at Macy's; we had things as simple as a turkey baster and as complex as Waterford crystal glasses and vases. I realize that many brides are against registering for frivolous things such as china and crystal, but I'm old school. I see ourselves down the road using that fancy china and crystal to host Christmas dinner with both our families. Might I be getting a little ahead of myself? Absolutely. But I'd rather register for it now and take my chance at receiving it, than wish I had it later and have to get it myself.
Our next stop on our registry adventure was Bloomingdale's. Even though we learned about a month after registering that our local Bloomies would be closing, we kept our china and quite a bit of our bedding on the Bloomies registry. Since approximately 80 percent of guests buy their gifts online, and our guests are coming in from all over, we decided to keep Bloomies on board despite the absence of a local provider. Plus, the Bloomingdale's registry is very easy to manage online, so even though the inventory at MOA was mediocre at best, I can add a number of things through the website to keep a variety.
My favorite registering experience came when I visited Ampersand with my mom. The Fiance opted to sit this one out, so my mom and I hit the fantastic Galleria store and reveled at the assortment of Juliska, McKenzie Childs, and Mariposa. I could have spent hours searching through the variety of home goods, and I nearly did! But the thing that made the experience so unforgettable was the attentive service—they offer that VIP experience you always hope for as a bride-to-be. Their registering expert came around the store with my mom and me and helped us put together the exact tablescape that we were contemplating. When we couldn't decide on which placemats, our helper threw them under the dishes and silverware we had selected; when we weren't sure which glasses worked best, she set it up a tablescape with both. My problems with indecision were quickly lessened because I could visualize every little detail in our kitchen.
At this point our registry is nearly complete (and we're at three and a half months until the big day). Our first shower is in two weeks, and my main priority over the next few months (well my main registry priority) will be to make sure that there are enough gifts throughout the duration. (There's nothing more frustrating as a wedding guest than to visit a registry to buy a present and realize that it's nearly empty.) My other main priority will be tracking everything. The Fiance has put together a spreadsheet so that we can keep track of every gift . . . Emily Post says, "all thank you notes should be written within three months of the receipt of the gift. Ideally, a response should be written on the day you receive a wedding gift." Since we've already received a few gifts, it sounds like I need to get writing!
Carly is manager, Social Media and Audience Engagement at MSP-C. See her engagement story.
Vanessa is creative director and co-founder at Bow & Arrow Magazine. See her engagement story.
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