Registry tips: How to survive the scanner

You may have noticed the large toaster. No, I don’t have a weird obsession with toast. This toaster is a symbol of wedding registries because it is one of the most commonly registered item. Are toasters really that hot of a commodity? I like toast, it’s great, but we have two toasters at home. Although our two aren’t high-tech, fancy and stainless, they make toast. This point, which will be rehashed later, is a great introduction to this post. I’m no registry expert [I don’t moonlight at C&B] but after doing a few in-house registry events and registering online, I’ve learned a lot about the process. So below are a few do’s and don’ts that I’ve picked up that I think every bride and groom should know! [We didn’t know them at first and they all the difference!]

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it

Unless your toaster [or other appliance] looks like this, is legitimately broken or out of date [circa 1976] or you don’t own one, leave it off your registry. A wise person told me once “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” If your toaster works great and makes great toast, there’s no need to add the new, super-shiny, extra fancy, $99.95 toaster on your registry because someone, maybe crazy Uncle Pete, will buy it for you. Then you are left with two of the same appliance.  And really, who needs two toasters? Unless you love toast that much, it’s not necessary. Register for things you don’t have or need an upgrade of to be sure you aren’t left with duplicates.

Keep it Simple

Unless you live in Hawaii or eat a pineapple at least once a week, there’s a strong chance you really have no need for a pineapple slicer. Sure you may want it, but before you hit SCAN, think twice. How often will you use it? Will it just gather dust in the miscellaneous kitchen supply drawer? Will this inspire you to eat more fruit? If your answers are “All the time!” “No!” and “Yes, I’ll eat pineapple everyday!” Then by all means, add it. But if you are more on the fence and really can’t think of a time when you’ll use it, put down the scanner and walk away. There are so many appliances, gadgets and knick knacks out there that are marketed to us as necessities and only few of them actually are.  I’m not saying don’t add a few fun things to your registry, just make sure these miscellaneous items don’t take up a bulk of your registry. You’ll wind up with things you won’t use versus things you really need.  Register for what you really want and need to avoid this pitfall.

Cater your registry to your attendees

Unless you are from a very wealthy family and all of your guests have money, make sure to offer a more affordable registry list for your relatives who, say, can’t spend $1,900 dollars on a black diamond Swarovski set of woodpeckers.  [If money is no concern, by all means, add these bad boys!] In the wedding registry world, it’s hard not to want the most expensive things on your registry, especially if you don’t have many of them or will ever have much of a chance to own them. Trust me, I struggled with adding a $1,400 dollar china set onto our registry. It was gorgeous, Tiffany blue and as delicate as ever.  But I’m not a Trump and since my wedding is out-of-town for most of my guests, I know most of them would not be able to fork that over. Also, your guests are your friends and family, and they want to be able to buy you nice things off your registry. The last thing you want is someone spending more than they have or feeling resentful because there were no real affordable options. By all means, keep your more expensive registry, just add another registry from a more affordable retailer, such as Bed Bath and Beyond or Kohls [both of which have really, really cute things, I know because I’m registered at one!]

Behold..the giftcard!

I’m not sure where this misconception came from, but many people veer away from the idea of gift cards because they feel it’s “tacky” “impersonal” and “lacks imagination.” Although I can see the argument for a few of those, there are also so many benefits to allowing your guests to get your gift cards. Although your registry is very specific, there are some friends and family who would rather still let you chose what you do with their money, especially people close to you. For example, you may need a juicer, but your favorite cousin knows how stressed out you both have been with the planning and desperately need couples massages, so she gets you a gift card to a local spa. In that case, that gift is very well thought out and very meaningful. Also, gift cards are no longer specific just to stores and you are able to purchase American Express, Visa and MasterCard gift cards for values up to $3,000! By giving a couple a gift card for money, they are able to use that towards their new life together, such as helping to pay for the honeymoon, for a house or for a car.

It’s always better together

Always register with your partner. If they can’t manually be there with you, make sure you go over what you need and things you may want before you register. If you just let the man “take the wheel” while you wander around, don’t be surprised when you see 2 72 inch 3D tv’s on your registry.  Same goes for the woman. If you just sit back and play on your iPhone while your wife-to-be mans the scanner, you may end up with 10 glass hurricane vases, hand blown glass bowls and 1,000 thread count Egyptian Cotton towels. Registering should be a team process. After all, it’s both of your wedding and both should have a say in what’s being registered!

Let me reinforce, I’m not a registry expert. I’ve just been around the registry block and have learned these great lessons [some first hand, some through friends]. If you have any more, please comment away! Happy Scanning!

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1 Comment

Filed under Planning, Registry

One response to “Registry tips: How to survive the scanner

  1. Oddly enough, we didn’t have a toaster (or much of anything else!) prior to our wedding. I think the whole, cross country/transatlantic ocean thing forces you to be a minimalist. We ended up registering for a great convection oven toaster oven that doubles as a second oven! We love it!

    Also, I think you’re really right about the china, my sister registered for a more expensive set that she looooved-but didn’t receive too many settings of it.

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