Believe it or not the bridal registry is a fairly new service created by the Marshall Fields department store in 1924. This fantastic idea was an instant success that allowed engaged couples to create a wish list of the items they would need after they were married. When Target introduced the first online version in 1993, this made the process even easier.
Should you use a bridal registry service? Most wedding guests want to buy a gift that will be appreciated and using one is the ideal way to communicate your preferences. This gives you more time to focus on the other details; your wedding ring, gown, invitations and reception décor. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Do: Organize your list as soon as possible after your engagement, so that everyone has plenty of time to shop for the pre-wedding parties. No matter how much or how little time you have before the actual wedding it makes sense to register.
Don’t: Assume that your guests will know which service you are using: today with Internet shopping there are hundreds of registries you could use. When you have selected the registry (or registries) you want to use, tell your parents and the bridal party so that your guests can make their selections.
Do: Register for gifts you'll both enjoy in your life together as a married couple. It’s a good idea to take an inventory of what you already have and discuss the style you want to have for your home. While you both can decide on what you need, let the person who knows the most about the kitchen or the entertainment items make those choices.
Don’t: Sign on the dotted line of any bridal registry until you are sure that they offer the features you need such as shipping to the address you specify. You should also inquire about their return/exchange policy and the time allowed for this just in case you need to return a gift.
Do: Inform your guests when you receive their gift; if it arrives before the wedding, a thank-you note that describes the gift should be sent within two weeks of receipt. Thank you notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within three months of your return from your honeymoon.