Gift RegistryCreating your wedding registry is one of those traditions that’s part custom and part commerce. Certainly it’s a way for companies to line their pockets on your wedding day, and you may feel like it’s a stressor you don’t need. But despite it making you feel awkward or greedy, the registry has its place in the wedding process. Here are some things to consider when you make your wedding registry.

Have a registry

It may make you uncomfortable putting together a wish list so others can buy you stuff. But think of it this way: every guest who comes to your wedding is going to buy you a gift. They want to buy you a gift. Some of the guests have known you for ages, know exactly what you like and what you need, and they might go off-registry and find something cool and memorable. But you’ll also have distant relatives and old friends who may not have any idea what you want or need, but they still want to buy you a gift to celebrate the day. Why not give them a guide to gifts you’ll actually enjoy? They’ll feel good knowing they’re buying gifts you need, and you’ll save time compared to returning twelve toasters.

Register early

It may be tempting to put off doing the registry until the invitations go out, but register as early as you conceivably can. Sure, some of the guests will buy gifts on their way to the wedding, or between the wedding and reception, but do be considerate to the ones who are planning in advance.

Don’t register for clearance items

When you get that scanning gun, it’s easy to go nuts with it.  You may feel like items on clearance are a good value for your guests, or maybe that one particular set of bath towels you like is on clearance and you don’t want to pass up the opportunity, but resist. They’re called “clearance” items for a reason–they’re likely to be cleared out by the time your guests go gift-shopping.

Try to have a few items in each 10-dollar range.

Be considerate to your guests in every income bracket; don’t load up the registry with pricey items or loads of $5 dishtowels. Try to have a few items in the $10 range, a few in $20-30, a few in $30-50, and so on. No one will think poorly of you for having a $300 vacuum cleaner on the registry if you also have some $20 pots and pans–and maybe your rich uncle will pick up that Dyson for you.

Don’t forget the “thank you” cards

When you open the gifts, have your maid of honor or your new mother-in-law keep a detailed list of who gave you what gift. Then after the honeymoon, sit down with your spouse and write out a personalized “thank you” card to each guest. “Thank you” cards are a dying art, but you want to be part of the solution, don’t you? After all, it’s the least you can do considering they bought you gifts off of your wedding registry, right?

A wedding registry might seem like a relic from another era, but they’re at worst a necessary evil and at best a guide to help people give you thoughtful gifts on your big day. If you embrace the wedding registry and follow a few simple guidelines, you and your guests will both be happy when it’s time to open the gifts.