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Wedding Resources 

BRIDAL REGISTRY

Assist Your Guests and Receive More of the Gifts You Want

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 for.

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.

3. REGISTER

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 word!


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