Bridal or Wedding Registries … there was a time in the not so distant past that you cannot even think of suggesting to a bride that she should sign up for a bridal registry. It was just … not done. Back then, people felt that the soon-to-be-married couple were being cheeky for even suggesting what they wanted to receive as wedding presents. Engaged couples don’t drop hints about things like that, they should just accept whatever gift they are given with a smile and send a monogrammed thank you card afterwards.
How times have changed. Today, most couples wouldn’t think twice about signing up for a bridal registry. And their guests wouldn’t feel the least bit offended if the wedding invitation came with a little notecard identifying which shop the couple had registered in, or the kind of gift they wanted to receive. It’s quite practical really … for the couple, they receive the items that they need, while the guests will no longer have to rack their brains trying to figure out what present to give. If you need more convincing, here are some more benefits of signing up for a bridal or wedding registry.
If you think that Bridal Registries only came about in the last 2 or 3 decades, you are sadly mistaken. The practice of bridal registry was instituted by Marshall Field’s, a Chicago-founded department store, way back in 1924. The concept back then is still the same as the concept today: engaged couples were able to identify their china, silver, and crystal patterns to friends and family.
2 Big Benefits
- Saves Everyone Time and Money – Guests don’t have to make unnecessary trips to stores in search for the perfect wedding gift. They can go to one store (or online, if the couple has signed up for an online registry) and choose from the range of items the couple have identified. Since most registries offer wrapping services, you don’t have to buy wrapping paper and ribbons to wrap the gift you have chosen. The store will do it for you, and … if you’re overseas, the store can deliver the gift to the couple as well.
- Everyone is Happy – You don’t have to agonize over what to give, and when you’ve given it, you won’t have to second guess yourself and wonder if your gift was something the couple wanted or needed. The couple will also feel the same level of joy – perhaps even more – because they have exactly what they wanted (or needed).
Since some couples have already lived with each other for some time before tying the knot, they often find that they no longer need china, appliances, or furniture. This spawned variations of the traditional wedding registry:
A honeymoon registry is one where instead of selecting a gift, guests can contribute a certain amount to go help fund or subsidize the couple’s honeymoon expenses. In some honeymoon registries, the guests can even specify where their contribution can go: pay for airfare, hotel accommodation, meals, taxi service, etc.
For couples who don’t want to go on honeymoon but would like to purchase a house instead, another off-shoot of the wedding registry is the house registry where, as with the honeymoon registry, in lieu of gifts, the wedding guests can contribute what they can to help the couple put a down payment on their own house.
Another alternative is the charity registry where the guests contribute to the couple’s chosen charitable institution. The options are endless. If the couple is expecting their first child, it could be a baby registry!
A note to remember …
As a guest, don’t think that the engaged couple are forcing you to buy them a specific gift. If the items on their registry are too much for your budget, you have the option of telling the couple of your situation, or just give them a monetary gift that you can afford. If you have found an item from another store that you know would suit the pair, go ahead an buy it for them. It may be something they may have overlooked but you know that they will appreciate.
For engaged couples, do take the finances of your guests into account when selecting which stores to register with, and which items to put in your registry list. Let majority of your choices be on the mid-range price level, and perhaps have one or two that are slightly more expensive – just in case but don’t expect that it will be chosen. It should go without saying that, no matter what you receive, you should always be appreciative and remember to sincerely thank the giver.