Weddings are pretty awesome. Not only are they beautiful, full of family, friends and love; and of course you get to celebrate the start of a new life with your one true love--but you also get a ton of spectacular gifts, which is always pretty neat. However, although a wedding registry seems pretty simple and straight forward, here are some tips, tricks and hacks to consider when compiling a wedding registry, and also a guide for people buying items from registries!
BUILDING A REGISTRY:
This probably seems like an obvious one, but seriously the first thing you should do is some research. Figure out where is the best place for you to register, what do you need, what do you want, etc. Find what items are best for you and your home, as well as which items you can afford to keep.
2. What do you NEED vs what do you WANT?
Consider what it is that you want versus what it is that you need. You might think getting that state of the art 1 in one waffle maker and ice cream mixer is a great idea now, but you'll use it maybe once and then you just have it taking up space in your kitchen. Sit down and discuss with each other what it is that you need and what you want. Come up with compromises, but don't give up on everything. Don't be afraid to ask some friends and family for help, or the internet is always available. Check out this article, The Wedding Registry Gifts We Still Use 10 Years Later, for some perspective.
3. Take advantage of Freebies and Special Offers.
I'm sure you're already 100% aware of how amazing Amazon is, but did you know that some of the items you put on your wedding registry come with some sweet deals and freebies? Yeah, if you someone buys you that Keurig on the list, Amazon will throw in a free month of Keurig cups (offers may vary). There are websites that want you register there so bad, that they will give you free stuff simply for registering on their site (Sur La Table, The Container Store, Crate & Barrel, Dillards, etc)! Check out this article for more ways to take advantage of wedding registry freebies.
4. Find the best registry for you.
Find the place that has the stuff that you need/want, is convenient, accessible, everyone can use, is all inclusive, etc.
5. Have fun with your wedding registry.
Yeah, I already threw the wet blanket bullet in there about getting things you "need" instead of things you "want," but you also NEED fun stuff.
6. Register for gift cards.
Sometimes you already have a lot of the stuff you need. Not every newlywed couple needs pots, pans, a microwave and bed sheets. So register for gift cards to places where you shop for fun, gifts, groceries, etc.
7. Make the Registry and "in lieu of."
In reference to the above point, sometimes you don't want much, but that doesn't mean you don't need some help in other areas. See if you can put together a "registry" of favors and help. Put a registry of wedding, honeymoon, living expenses, cash together to see if people are willing to chip in to help instead of wrapping up a toaster.
8. Utilize every tool the internet has available to you.
Whether it's researching which registry is best for you, or what freebies are available, use the internet to its fullest potential. MyRegistry allows you to merge wedding registries, which is super useful if you want to get the most out of your registry, but also make items more available for people to buy them.
9. Completion offers
Find the places that offer a certain % off items on your registry that guests don't purchase. Some places offer these deals for up to six months after your wedding! (Dillards, Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, JCPenny, Williams-Sonoma, Bloomingdale's, Amazon, Zola, etc).
10. Quadruple check for return policies.
You know what, sometimes you'll get things that you don't want or need, or you'll get doubles of certain things. Hopefully, your guests will provide you with the return receipts. However, be sure to check out the policies for returns from the registry site.
BUYING FOR THE REGISTRY:
1. Not on the registry? Don't buy it.
Okay, this is kind of black and white, where there are obvious shades of gray. If you know the couple is currently sleeping on the floor, and they don't want to ask for a mattress and you happen to have mattress money, and plan on putting the mattress in their place, then by all means you be that awesome pal. HOWEVER, don't give the couple something not on the registry (unless it's cash or a gift card). You found a toaster you got from last Christmas still in the box? Don't regift it. You see an AMAZING bouncy castle that you think would look GREAT in their backyard? Please, don't. If you find something you think would be appropriate or "perfect" for the couple, ask.
2. Utilize apps!
MyRegistry and Amazon both come with barcode scanner apps that allow you to find the best prices for the items on the registry.
3. Check out the freebies!
If you see something on the registry, check if it's got a freebie attached for the couple.
Happy Wedding Gift Hunting!