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10 tips: To register or not to register for your wedding?

Are wedding bells about to ring for you and your beloved? Then you're likely about to receive plenty of presents from well-wishers - presents that can go a long way toward helping you get established as you start your new life together. If you're thinking about registering for gifts, consider the following tips.

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 1, 2002


1. SHOULD YOU REGISTER? The short answer is yes. Your wedding guests are probably: a) busy people, and; b) bewildered about what to get you. Why not give them a time-saving way to choose items that you definitely want and need?

2. PICK YOUR STORES CAREFULLY. Choose retailers with enough outlets to make shopping convenient for all your guests, regardless of their geographical location. You may want to select a large, nationwide retailer with a good online presence, along with a smaller boutique store for specialty gifts.

3. DON'T PROCRASTINATE. To give people ample time to choose gifts for your engagement party, bridal shower and the actual wedding day, it's appropriate to register right after you get engaged -- even if your engagement occurs nine or 10 months before your wedding date.

4. MAKE JOINT DECISIONS. You and your spouse-to-be should take stock of the items you already own, then decide together on the style and number of items you want and need.

5. OPT FOR A RANGE OF PRICES. It's thoughtful to register for a good selection of items in the under-$50 range, with a number of items priced well below $50. It's also appropriate to register for some high-end items, especially since guests may want to go in on a group gift for you.

6. BE REALISTIC. Don't feel obligated to register for traditional wedding gifts such as crystal and china if you know you're unlikely to use such things. Instead, choose gifts you're sure to use, even if the items are somewhat nontraditional, such as luggage or sporting equipment.

7. GET THE WORD OUT. Your guests need to know where you're registered. While all the etiquette books say not to mention that detail in your wedding invitation, you can have your family members, maid of honor, best man and others spread the word, either personally or via a classy e-mail message.

8. KEEP YOUR REGISTRY UPDATED. Even if your registry gets updated automatically, you should still keep tabs on it, particularly as your wedding date nears. If necessary, add new items in a variety of prices ranges, making sure to allow for more gifts than guests.

9. DON'T LOCK YOUR GUESTS INTO ANYTHING. A number of people may not want to buy preselected presents off your registry list, and that's fine. Those guests may surprise you with a handmade gift or an utterly unexpected item that you'll cherish for years to come.

10. ALWAYS SAY THANK YOU. No matter how busy you are, take the time to send personalized thank you cards to the people who helped you celebrate your big day. The cards should be mailed out no later than three months after your honeymoon.

-- Compiled by Laura T. Coffey. Sources: The Knot (www.theknot.com); WeddingChannel.com (www.weddingchannel.com)

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