Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Registries - the crystal, the flatware, the pots, oh my!

The most asked question after “have you picked a date” is “have you registered yet?” Some of you have been living together for a while, so you think you have what you need right? Others, not living together and need everything. Either way, the process can be daunting. You know what, I’m going to be honest - - I heard that gasp, thank you very much. The truth is, registering can be a nightmare, not fun, reduce 300lb men to tears. Did I burst the bubble or are you saying “thanks Lisa for saying it out loud.”

By now you know me. I’m going to give it to you straight and if there is an expert in an area I’m writing about, I’m going to interview them. Tomorrow we’ll have some great information from Michael C. Fina that will help you no matter where you are in the registry process.

To get you started, here are some KEY pieces of advice:

  • Don’t go on a Saturday or Sunday unless you absolutely have no other possible alternative. I know some of you may travel to NJ, Philly, Conn or Boston to be with your family during this process, but if you can go during the week, you will be much happier. Believe me.
  • Don’t bring your entire bridal party. Sure your mom, his mom or maybe your maid or honor, but if you go to Williams Sonoma with 7 people in tow, it’s just too many cooks spoiling the soup.
  • Don’t expect to do it all at once. Trust me, I’ve been a wedding planner and a bridal consultant. No one, not even yours truly can do it all in one day. There is just too much to see, too many decisions to make and after 5 hrs of looking, all the plates look the same and ‘fine paper and plastic' is looking better and better.
  • Don’t spend all day doing this – see above. If for travel reasons you must, break it up. Come in early when you’re fresh, have had your coffee (or three) and then take a mid-day break for lunch before you return to complete it. Remember, stores are quiet(er) the moment the store opens. To register at closing time just isn’t fair to the bridal consultant who has already been helping brides for 8hrs that day, and most importantly, you won't have the time you need. Please keep that in mind.
  • Don’t let people tell you what YOU should get. While recommendations are great, you’re going to have to live with it, and if you are a modern kind of girl, French dinnerware will not make you happy.
  • Please don’t ask for a copy of your friends registry and then proceed to copy everything she picked. You are not she – even if you’re best friends. Do people actually do that - yes. You can make these decisions. I have great faith in you.
  • Don't believe that "XYZ store is special because they are offering you a completion package unlike any other". The truth is they ALL stores offer completion packages of at least 10%.
  • Do take a walk through your registry store of choice to get a feel of the products they have, but don’t register that first time. Take your time and just look. If a store doesn’t have what you need, then don’t register there just because your friend did. While you can start your registry on line, it's much better to go in person at least to finalize your choices.
  • Do take stock (no pun intended) of what you really need; pots, pans, formal dinnerware, knives and forks that actually match (unless you don’t want them to on purpose) and those things that will carry you through your entire marriage.
  • Do ask your fiancé to be a part of the process. It will help you feel as if he is involved and tell him you ‘need him’ to pick the barware. This is actually true be cause the weight of the scotch glass or beer stein has to be heavy enough for him and his friends. I’ll talk to the grooms soon about registering as well.
  • Do register for a variety of things at different price points. Pick frames, candlesticks, salt/pepper shakers as well as your formal crystal. Provide a wide selection for people to choose from.
  • Do only pick things that you will NEVER return. It is poor form and frankly rude to ask for something and then return it. I promise you, your Aunt Jane will want to see the gravy boat she purchased from your registry, not the True-Religion jeans you traded it in for.

Finally, don’t sweat it after all…it’s just a pot, even if it’s Le Creuset (which I highly recommend if you like to cook!).

Until tomorrow….


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