A few helpful tips on creating your registry from the industry's leaders ...
- Real Simple: Set up your registry early! “From the moment you announce your engagement, friends and family will want to send gifts,” says Karena Bullock Bailey, a New York City-based wedding and special events planner.
- The Knot: As much as you may be hankering for that gorgeous $350-a-place-setting silver, be sure to register for items in a wide range of price points: under $50, under $75, under $100, under $200, and beyond, so all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford. You don't want your college friend feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he can't find a single gift; and on the opposite side, you don't want your parents' closest friends to have to buy you a multitude of smaller items to give you a generous gift.
- Brides: You can register for more items than invitees, especially if you're listed at several stores—you want to provide options at various price points. Peri Wolfman, vice president of product design at Williams-Sonoma, suggests that you include one gift per shower attendee, priced between $30 and $50, and at least one gift per couple invited to the wedding, between $75 and $150. (Throw in a few items under $25, too.) Include several objects that aren't part of a set, such as a standing mixer, coffee pot or a pair of candlesticks. And consider big-ticket items for guests who want to pool their resources: luggage, furniture, electronics, even camping equipment make great group gifts.
- Martha Stewart: 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.
- The Knot: Be gracious -- let your guests know their gifts have arrived -- promptly. Thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of their arrival. Notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within a month of your return from the honeymoon. In all notes, be sure to mention the gift by name.