What should we know about wedding registeries? We’re in our early thirties and getting married in the fall. Since our engagement party we’re already sending back engagement presents — from all over the country — that we didn’t need (or like).
–WK, Raleigh, NC
Take an inventory of what you need before setting up wedding registries. As you both had probably set up households by the time you reached 30, go through your stuff. Make up the registry together because you’re essentially requesting items that you will be living with for a very long time.
- Most newlyweds appreciate having new linens, especially if they had previously lived with a different person, so you may want to recycle linens used during a past romance. You can have these fresh towels and bedding monogrammed on your own to be sure you have the monogram the way you want it.
- Bar glasses and wine glasses – because of their fragility they are usually the most needed of all items. Order in sets of twelve – guests can buy them for you in pairs.
- Flatware: If you already have a kitchen set, add sterling silver (or plate) that you’ll actually use, such as candle sticks, and serving pieces, as well as utensils.
- Kitchen appliances are useful, but register for those you will actually use: a wine cooler, toaster oven, blender, espresso machine, etc. Will you really use that Mixmaster more than every two years?
- Kitchen tools that you don’t already have: You don’t want to end up with four carrot scrapers and you still don’t have a can opener.
- Kitchen linens: dish towels, potholders, and easy-care cloth napkins, placemats, and hand towels.
Since your wedding guests are scattered around the country, what you should be aware of is that we’re finding that wedding presents from guests living in different areas of the country will differ.
- Guests from the northeast and midwest will most likely spend more on your wedding present than guests living in the south or the west.
- With the average gift from a family member or good friend valued at $200, guests you’re not as close to and coworkers will spend $100.
- So register for items in a wide price range from $12. to $2,000.
- Guests from the northeast are more likely to send checks or gift cards. Although Midwesterners are using checks and gift cards with growing frequency.
- In general, guests from the south and west will spend about a third less on a wedding gift.
- Younger guests are more apt to send a gift from your wedding register than older guests, who find it easier to send a check or gift card.
- 21% of millennials (27% woman and 16% men) surveyed said that they often couldn’t afford to attend a wedding and send a wedding gift and so had to regret a few wedding invitations.
Knowing the above, be mindful of the expense of destination weddings for many of your guests who will be attending other weddings this spring and in the fall.
- Offer suggestions such as having guests go in on sharing the cost of an Airhub rental instead of paying for a hotel rooms.
- Also, let guests know (on your wedding website*) that they can contribute to your honeymoon for as little as $25 or $50, which gives a bit more flair to a gift than sending a whisk from the wedding registry.
*Best honeymoon registries: Honeymoon Wishes, Wanderable, Honeyfund, Zola.
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