While many once popular wedding traditions might have fallen by the wayside, many others have withstood the test of time. One tradition that has endured is the wedding registry, which is designed to help wedding guests find the right gift for the couple of honor.
Thanks in large part to the Internet it’s now easier than ever before to set up a registry. Couples can do so entirely via the Web or visit their favorite store or stores and use a hand-held scanner to add items to their registry. But even though registries are easy to set up, it might help couples to consider a few tips before they start clicking or scanning away.
■ Register with multiple merchants. Couples can help guests out by registering with multiple merchants. Doing so gives guests more options and increases the likelihood that guests can find the store. When choosing merchants, try to choose national stores that guests can access regardless of where they live.
■ Don’t assume all guests are tech-savvy. While the Web has made setting up and accessing a registry easier for couples and guests alike, it’s safe to assume your guest list will include one or two holdouts who have never before shopped online. Because of that, couples should still register with a brick-and-mortar store instead of only registering online.
■ Read the fine print. Some online retailers are kinder than others. When establishing an online registry, examine the retailer’s policy thoroughly to be sure it does not include substantial service charges or exorbitant shipping fees. Guests should not be penalized for their generosity.
■ Vary the options within the registry. When adding items to the registry, be sure to include items that everyone can afford. Especially nowadays, when many weddings host guests from far and wide, it’s ideal to include lots of affordable items. That way guests who have already spent considerable money getting to the wedding won't have to break the bank even further to gift the bride- and groom-to-be.
As for high-end items, keep those to a minimum. Parents, siblings or other especially close relatives might ask to buy those items before you even establish the registry. But it is important to include at least a few expensive items, as some guests might pool their resources and buy these gifts, saving you money while giving them the satisfaction that you got something you might not have been able to afford after paying for the wedding.
■ Set up a honeymoon registry. Many of today’s couples live together before they get married, and as a result, they might not need some of the more common household items like cookware, linens or home furnishings. Couples who already have stocked cupboards and linen closets might want to consider a honeymoon registry, which allows guests to donate money toward the couple’s honeymoon. Guests can donate money or pay for certain activities the couple can enjoy while getting away from it all.