Assist Your Guests and Receive More of the Gifts You
by Bea Stowe
No couple will be able to resist the excitement of registering their
wish list with a Bridal Registry. Nor should they!
Although this practice dates back to the uppercrust, 19th century of
tradition of registering your china and silver patterns with a jeweler,
the second half of the 20th century has seen a decisive move toward
everyone registering with a traditional and/or full service bridal registry.
If there's any trepidation on your part, such as feeling that you're
"telling" your guests what to buy for you, don't give it a
second thought. The vast majority of your guests will be so glad to
see your list, that you may even be thanked for registering! Bridal
registry takes the guesswork out of gift purchasing and avoids duplication
and unwanted gifts. Gone, perhaps wistfully so, are the days when you
had rush to the closet to pull out a hated vase because Aunt So-and-So
would be arriving for a visit after the wedding. And with the advent
of the full service registry, the price range is much wider leaving
the door open for less expensive, although many times, more practical
items you'll need for your home.
FULL SERVICE BRIDAL REGISTRY
Although economists tell us this is the strongest state of the economy
in decades, the middle-class is finding it tough to keep up with the
times. Most retailers, especially department stores and mail order catalogues,
have responded to the needs of newlyweds by creating bridal registries
which address not only formal and luxury items, but also necessities
and everyday items like furniture, small appliances, and decorating
and entertainment needs. As anyone who's begun to plan a wedding will
tell you, these days the costs of a wedding, reception and honeymoon
can be staggering. To think about setting up house is something many
leave until after their return and begin as a piecemeal process. And
so why not a CD player, or a toaster, or a pair of lamps, or anything
else you might need or want as the "perfect gift"?
These registries offer free consultations and will develop a database
of your needs from which your guests can choose and remain within their
price range. This leads to assured gift giving and avoids duplication.
It also lends an air of excitement to the proceedings when your wish
list includes "luxury" items for which you would normally
need to save for future purchase. A full service registry will open
the suggestion box to all departments from housewares to sporting goods
giving your guests a pressure-free shopping experience while still lending
a personal touch to their selection.
TRADITIONAL BRIDAL REGISTRY
Although signing up with a retailer will open up a lower price range
for those of your guests who wish to accomodate your everyday needs,
today's couples are most certainly continuing the tradition of registering
with a fine tableware dealer such as a jeweler or giftware merchant.
Your closest relatives and friends will want to do something "extra"
and not only will they be giving you a gift that you will definitely
like, but it is a gift that will be a cherished reminder of your relationship
throughout the marriage.
China, silverware and crystal are the norm when registering with a
traditional service, but today's competitive market has opened up other
areas in gift-giving such as jewelry, artwork and decorating. This gives
your guests a much wider spectrum from which to choose, especially if
your place settings have already been spoken for.
HOW TO BEGIN
1. THE WISH LIST
Make up a list of the things you're going to need to set up house expanded
by a list of those things you'd love to have, but might have to wait
2. SHOP AROUND
Go "window shopping" at your area department stores and in
the many mail order catalogues available today which offer bridal registry,
and choose the one which carries the largest percentage of the items
and brands in which you're interested.
Make an appointment with the store's bridal consultant (or a phone
conference with the catalogue representative) and bring in your wish
list. These reps are experts at developing a perfect registration and
will assist your guests when they begin shopping.
4. SELECT YOUR PATTERNS
Window shop and request catalogues in order to find your perfect china,
flatware and crystal patterns and register with the dealer of your choice.
5. SPREAD THE WORD
Although it is still frowned upon to list a dealer name or a specific
request on your invitations, the networking which goes on before any
wedding is a great way to let your guests know what you want or need
and you can rely on your family and wedding attendants to spread the