1 — Register at one to three places.
Registering at a couple different places gives guests (and you) a wider variety to choose from. If you’d like to include a less conventional registry, it’s a good idea to also pick a classic such as Macy’s for more traditional family members. Universal gift sites such as myregistry.com let you combine items from different stores.
2 — Register in person—together.
“[Couples] can start online at home and get an idea of what they’re getting into, but the experience in the store is so much better,” says Ellen Schaumberg, manager of Crate & Barrel at Galleria. “A lot of people are very tactile; they need to touch things.” Plus, in-store consultants can help you tailor your registry to your lifestyle and answer any questions you might have.
3 — Think ahead.
Don’t just think of what you already have—think about what you’ll need in the future. “We always say that [couples] need to look at their life right now and their life five years, 10 years, down the road,” says Cathie Jepson, regional director of Macy’s gift registry. “Maybe Thanksgiving right now is at your parents’ house or your mother-in-law’s house, but eventually that might fall into your lap—how many place settings would you need?”
4 — Include a range of price points.
“For showers, a lot of people like to give in that $50 to $100 range,” says Carly Winslow, store manager of Ampersand Shops. “But then an item range around $150 and up is what most people tend to give for weddings.” Don’t worry about looking greedy if you register for larger items: Family and friends may enjoy going in together on a big gift.
5 — Keep an eye on your registry.
It’s a bad feeling to be that procrastinating guest who goes online a few days before the wedding only to find a garbage can is all that’s left. Schaumberg recommends registering for more than you’ll need right off the bat. Or you can prioritize: Register for your must-haves first, and then have a batch of also-likes to add later in the game so guests have plenty of choices.
6 — Don’t mention gifts on the invites.
Times may be changing, but the old rule still holds true: It’s a big no-no to include anything registry-related on your wedding invite. So what’s a bride to do? The Emily Post Institute says the most gracious route is still word of mouth, but it’s also OK to list registry info on your wedding website—as long as it’s not the most prominent thing on your site.