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Creating your wedding registry

Are you dreading the idea of creating a wedding registry, or are you and your honey one of those excited couples who can’t wait to start picking out all the new things you want to fill your home? Building a registry can be fun, but before you start clicking items, you will want to put some thought into selecting items you’d like to receive.

Your lifestyle. Will you really use two sets of china or those adorable but impractical entertaining items? If so, click away, but if your entertaining is more tailgate than tuxedoes, you may want to steer clear of the overpriced crystal and silver service in favor of everyday china and barbecue sets.

Finances. What are the chances that you will get 12 place settings from your family and friends, plus those additional serving pieces? You don’t want to have to send back 3 duplicate serving bowls, and if you aren’t willing to spend the money to complete your place settings yourself, why register for them? Make sure that there are items on your list that are affordable for all of your guests.

There are several types of registry options available. You can pick one style or a combination of them – whatever works best for you and your guests.

Traditional Registries – Building a traditional registry requires an appointment with a registry specialist at a real retail location. Southern brides and grooms have long relied on the expertise of the registry experts at Belk, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, etc. as a starting point. Your registry specialist will walk you through the pros and cons of selecting everyday and/or fine china, crystal, serving pieces, housewares, etc. Most couples register at one major department store both for selection options and ease of ordering for out-of-town friends and relatives.

Many couples also repeat the process at specialty stores in their hometowns. These retail locations usually offer pricier, high quality products that you won’t find in a department store. These stores are often frequented by your parents, grandparents, and their friends who are more likely to select a more personal and expensive item for you.

Self-guided Registries – There are a number of big box stores who allow couples to walk through the store selecting items alone. Stores like Target have large selections of less expensive options for kitchenware, home decor, outdoor living and entertaining that are perfect for newlyweds and the wallets of their just-out-of-college friends. These kinds of stores allow couples to register for non-traditional items like large garbage cans (everybody needs them), bikes and, barbecues. Besides strolling through Target clicking items with your fiancé on a Saturday night sounds like a great date night to us!

Online Registries – Department stores and even some specialty stores now offer online registries for purchase, and many also allow you to build your registry online. There are several sites like Zola and Amazon that combine all registry options in one simple site. These sites are great options for busy couples who already have so much planning to do for their wedding, and they simplify the buying process for your guests.

Most couples register at one specialty store and 2 department stores or online sources. Choose whatever works best for you and your partner. There is no “right way” to register for gifts. Just make sure you are registering for things you’ll use and enjoy in your marriage.

To help get you started, you can download our Registry Checklist here.

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