The engagement season is full of decisions and deadlines. Juggling details, proper etiquette, timelines, and relationships is a lot to handle all at once.
For many reasons, creating a wedding registry was one of the most intimidating tasks to me. However, I received a few pieces of advice along the way, each of which was a true gift of relief.
Here are 8 tips for tackling a wedding registry:
1. Dreadin’s Worse Than Doin’.
Any time I feel overwhelmed by a big project ahead, I recall my grandmother’s coined phrase: “dreadin’s worse than doin’!” It’s so true. Have you ever noticed that once you start chipping away at a big project, it’s oftentimes not nearly as difficult as you anticipated? And once you finish—or even make some headway—you feel so good! Like post-workout, endorphin-rush good. That’s exactly how the process of creating a wedding registry played out for me.
2. Just Start!
If you don’t know where to begin, just start by choosing one or two stores where you would like to create a registry. I am all about making things as simple and easy as possible, so I decided to choose Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. I chose those stores because they are close to me (for exchanges and returns) and they have locations all over the country, making it easy on my friends and family to purchase items or gift cards.
3. Take Your Time.
We chose to have a Bed, Bath & Beyond representative walk us around the store and help us pick things out … we didn’t know very much about china, food processors, or pots and pans, so this was very helpful for us. However, after a couple hours I was feeling burnt out, so we decided to come back the next day to finish up.
4. Or Don’t!
My best friend and her husband didn’t want someone walking around with them. They felt like that would slow them down. They are very decisive people, knew what they wanted, and got everything done in one visit. It’s really just personal preference.
5. Change of Heart?
Choosing the items for our registry was a little stressful for me when my fiancé and the store employee were with me. I felt bad making them wait while I contemplated the little details and fine print. I wanted to respect their time, so there were moments when I made quick decisions, yet felt uncertain that I chose the right item for us. When I found out that I could go back and edit my registry online, it was an instant relief.
6. Copy Cat.
Three of my good friends were married the year or two before me, so I pulled up their registries online and skimmed through their choices. It was helpful to view their selections.
7. Low to High.
It’s important to have a variety in the cost of the items you select. We had relatives who wanted to purchase one, expensive gift for us, and they were happy to do so. However, not everyone is able to do that. There was a time when I was only able to buy two spatulas for a friend of mine—but I was thankful that I still had the chance to give her something she had picked out and contribute to her new home.
8. Remember the Outcome.
During my best friend’s engagement season, she said something very simple, yet profound, “As long as I end up married to him, I will consider the wedding a success.” Long story short: don’t forget the reason for all of the pomp and circumstance. That unpretentious tip kept me grounded along the way.
Planning a wedding on a budget? Read, How to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget.
We also recommend 7 Money Tips When You’re Thinking Marriage, What to Wear When You Meet His Parents, Will Waiting for Marriage Lead to a Boring Sex Life?, and One Thing That Will Improve After Your First Year of Marriage