How to Register For Wedding Gifts

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OK, you’ve got the perfect man, perfect ring, perfect dress and perfect date. Now make sure you get perfect gifts.

Most couples just starting out are no longer just starting out. They aren’t leaving their parents’ homes or a dorm room to make a new home with mismatched hand-me-downs. The average couple is older now – she’s 27 and he’s 29 – and enjoying better education and career opportunities than brides and grooms in the past.

Those who are truly just starting out might register for everything from apple corers to VCRs, but what about couples who already have it all? They’re upgrading to new models of their old favorites or registering for unusual items, like honeymoon packages or big screen TVs.

So before you drag your beloved off to play laser tag with a store’s hand-held scanner guns, take stock of what you have, what you want and what you need. Arriving at the store prepared might save you from leaving frustrated or angry with each other.

Register for both expensive and inexpensive items, giving friends the opportunity to choose something you’ll love, no matter their budget.

Should you register at only one store?

Sticking with one store may seem easiest, but then you don’t have as many varieties. If your heart is set on china from one store but you found the perfect crystal elsewhere, why turn your back on one?

Don’t forget to make gift buying easier for your loved ones by registering online. Many stores upload your gift registry to their web site, which makes life easier for friends and relatives that live across the country or are unable to attend the ceremony.

During the registration process, don’t feel obligated to choose one of everything in each category. If you’re a tomboy at heart and can’t imagine serving guests on delicate china with dainty rosebuds, skip it and choose dishes that reflect your sense of style.

Do you have room for it? If there isn’t room for 12 place settings of formal china, crystal and silver packed away in your one-bedroom apartment while you finish grad school, you have two options. Either don’t register for it or make arrangements to leave it in Mom and Dad’s attic until you get settled.

Many stores leave your bridal registry file active for a year or more after your wedding date, giving busy or forgetful friends that couldn’t make it a chance to send a gift later. Be sure to ask about such policies when you register. It’s also wise to ask about your store’s return/exchange policy, just in case you change your mind – about the gift, not the wedding.