I got school'd yesterday, wedding registry style.
Price scanner gun? Oh, yes.
Overwhelming? You have NO idea. (unless, of course, you've done this recently then you know all too well how many choices and questions pop into your head)
My number one piece of advice: JUST SCAN. Ask questions later.
The following is my attempt in making any future registry processes successful in less than 4 hours.
1. Do your homework!
-Go to TheKnot and use their registry creator and print out your list(s).
-Go to the online site for the store you plan to register. Look at their china patterns, flatware, etc. and write down the names of the ones you like.
-Think of things you're pining for and add it to the list(s).
2. Wear comfortable shoes, no sandals.
3. Remember a water bottle and take breaks, at least one for Auntie Anne's Pretzles. Send your fiancee to do this. Diet Coke is your friend.
4. Ask for help from the associates. They know more than you. Hopefully they guide you well.
5. CHINA: Everyday-patterns ("casual dinnerware") turn over with the seasons. If you are registering way ahead of time (over 6 months) then it is best to register for something that will be around for purchase closer to your wedding date, and beyond (because plates break). Bone china is top of the line. Porcelain is higher. Remember that patterns decorated with silver/gold/metal cannot go in the microwave or washing machine. Denby brand can go in the freezer, oven, microwave and dishwasher - but is likely to chip. Many of their patterns are around for years, so is easy to replace. Waterford, Lenox and Mikasa brands vary as to their abilities, and are very trustworthy and beautiful.
6. FLATWARE: The same is true of "casual dinnerware" as is of "casual flatware." The higher quality brands have styles intended for longer shelf-life, meaning 10 or 20 years from now if you need another place-setting, you can most likely still find it at Macy's. Here's the tricky thing: you can purchase it by place-setting (one big fork, one little fork, one knife, one big spoon, one little spoon) OR you can purchase it by entire sets (entire 4, 8, or 12 place settings). Because you want to provide your guests with a variety of gift price-level options you register for both. Maybe someone is generous and buys every place-setting in a huge 12 p-s kit. Awesome! Or maybe some guests prefer to buy you 2 place settings at a time. If you end up not making 12 settings overall by this one-at-a-time method, you can return the settings and keep the 12 p-s kit. Or maybe you return the extra towels and get the other p-s you are missing.
Eight or Twelve is the "normal" place-setting size, but honestly depends on how much you want.
7. COOKWARE: We chose anodized aluminum pots by Calaphon. I had the privilege of cooking on my sister's Calaphon and loved it, so I knew that brand was for me (plus my Tweeps confirmed). Anodized metal is created from electrochemically hardened aluminum. The sealed metal is not likely to leach into your food. It also conducts heat well, thus heating fast! Again, purchase the big set as well as the same thing in pieces, as to meet different price points.
8. Kitchen appliances: Go crazy, scan everything you want. There are a few "recommended" pieces: food processor, giant awesome mixer of goodness, hand-held mixer, espresso machine, coffee maker, coffee grinder, microwave
9. Kitchen utensils: Again, just scan, scan, scan....unless of course you are like me and feel a strawberry huller, avocado slicer, and mango peeler are too specific to justify purchase.
10. Bar/StemWare: If you're like me you have wine glasses from tastings at 4 different wineries, pint glasses stolen from late nights at bars, and juice glasses with rabbi's on them. It's okay to register for more. Just don't forget freecycle.com is your friend (as are your friends) when those ole' pieces are on their way out. But the rabbi juice glasses are staying.
As for fancy stemware, Waterford and Mikasa make beautiful things. Remember you need enough sets as you have place settings!
11. Miscellaneous (Luggage, vacuum, and garment steamer): sure we need those, scan!
12. Knives: I have yet to figure this one out. We went with a brand we knew and was not the cheapest option.
13. Bedding: Many of our sheets are 200 to 300 thread count sets. It works for us. But if you're getting married then step it up a notch! Go for 400, maybe 600! Also, register for the whole set: bed skirt and all. Remember, you are trying to hit different price points. Don't forget an extra set of sheets. (Many patterns turn over with seasons. Be prepared to update your registry if your choice is taken off the shelves)
14. Towels: touch ALL of them until you find the softest, biggest ones. Then wrap them around yourself, and scan. We put on a total of 4 towels, but 2 are the big big big ones and 2 are the normal sized ones. Don't forget the hand towels, wash cloths, and bathmat! (and the bathrobes, too)
15. Wedding Stuff: If you're having a reception then most likely you will be serving a wedding cake and toasting. You will need cake cutters and toasting flutes for that. People like to buy cake cutters, toasting flutes, fancy silver frames, and vases. So register for them!
When you get home, remember that you can always view, change, and add to your registry from online. Check to see how it looks online and make any necessary changes. You can always come back to it another day (or many days).
I am tired.
We plan on registering at 2 other stores, one that includes power tools and another that has furniture. It is also recommended that you overlap the items you register for at the different stores.
Later I will show you the purdy flatware and china we chose!