Registry 101

Getting Started With Your Registry

Some friends and relatives may want to get you a gift as soon as they hear about your engagement, so it’s best to register, at least for a few items, early on. If you’re having an engagement party or a shower, try to register at least a month beforehand. Don’t feel pressured to make all of your choices at once; you can always go back and fill in or edit your list later.

While it’s possible these days to set up a registry and pick out items entirely online, you should visit a store at some point to take a look at everything in person. In addition to everyday items, consider special pieces. Select items in a range of prices, based on your current tastes. Keep an eye on your list; if items are sold out or discontinued, replace them with something else.

Where to Register

Stick to two or three stores you love, since managing multiple registries can be tedious when you’re planning other wedding details. You’ll want to choose a national department store or a chain; such stores also let guests access and shop from your registry online.

In addition, many couples decide to register at a specialty store, such as one that sells vintage linens. If a favorite shop of yours doesn’t have an existing registry program, see whether you can have something set up for you. Some store owners will work with you on a case-by-case basis. For example, Maxwell-Silver, an online gift retailer, offers a registry service that allows couples anywhere to make a wish list of specialty items from various boutiques in New York City. Then even guests who live out of state or abroad can log on to the website and make purchases.

Letting Guests Know Where You’re Registered

Etiquette dictates that registry information should never be included in a wedding invitation, even though some stores provide printed cards for this purpose. Instead, rely on your family members and wedding party to spread the word. That said, it is generally acceptable for the hostess of a shower to include these details on that invitation (indeed, this is where you might put those information cards to use). And if people ask you directly where you’re registered, feel free to tell them.