BRIDAL AND WEDDING GIFT REGISTRIES
How does a bridal registry work?
The short answer is, that instead of people surprising you with gifts you really don't want or need, ("Look! It's a Microsoft pencil sharpener!) bridal registries you get exactly what you need and the chance to give your wedding guests a sincere and relieved thank you.
The long answer though takes into account the entire registration process. Let's go step by step.
She says 'I do', and you get engaged. After the engagement is official is usually the best time to sign up for at least one registration with a store. You may sign up for more later, since the entire length of a registration is from engagement to one year after the wedding ceremony. This time period takes into account all sorts of parties from bridal showers to bachelor parties, weddings and honeymoon vacations.
Create a full and detailed list of all the items you want and need. This is not the official registry gift list, but a good place to start in deciding what you want.
Have a quickie registry. This involves going through the store and choosing just a few items, preferably inexpensive, that can be used for engagement showers. Since this is not the big celebration, expect gifts to be small and keep them reasonably priced. Try and eliminate some of the smaller items on your list.
After a couple of months, start browsing through fine china and other kitchenware. You usually have to wait in registering for linens, sheets and towels, so try and do that as soon as possible.
Within approximately six months of your wedding, complete your full registry list. Compare your original list to the items you find in the store, and if possible make sure various store locations have the same merchandise.
Some stores will require an appointment. Be sure and regularly check the registration list to see if any products have been discontinued, and replace them if necessary.
Within approximately two months of your wedding, you've probably had a couple showers by now. Be sure and check the registration list and make sure it is up to date. Also confirm with ALL the stores you have set up registration with, that items are stocked and not in danger of being discontinued. (This is a primary complaint of bridal registration. Guests go to the store and can't find the item and so buy something not on the list)
The wedding day and beyond. Be sure and send out all the necessary thank you notes! Also remember to change your address on your registries if you are moving, or use a work or postal address so that any late arriving gifts can reach you.
Bridal registries are not complicated but still manage to confuse people every once in a while. Communicate with the store for best results or see if they have a way to update the wish list online.