Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shower Advice: Tips to Using the Registry

This week I am touching on all things related to bridal showers.  This summer I have several showers and I am going to use them as practice for my own which will not take place until next summer.  I will share some secrets that help the day run smooth, and also provide advice for you girls that have yet to attend a shower.  Today, I begin with my tips to using the registry.

When I first started attending wedding showers I was so excited to watch my friends open up the gift I carefully selected off her registry.  However, I slowly realized she usually knew exactly what she was opening.  Of course she already picked it out, that is not what I am saying, I mean she actually already knew the exact gift I bought her.  On many of these websites the bride has the ability to not only see which items have been purchased, but she can see who exactly bought them.  This aggravates me to my core!  We spend so much money and time wrapping presents (which most of the time the bride doesn't unwrap herself) and buy her exactly what she wants, at least let us surprise her with what we choose! 

 Although the bride may have picked out what she liked from thousands of items in a store, when buying a gift it is still fun to pick from what she selected.  As a bride allow your friends the chance to surprise you in the slightest bit.  The list that keeps track is actually very helpful for writing thank you notes, so after ALL of your showers you can use it as a reference.

Okay, so now let's say the bride abides by this simple request, my next tip is how to select a gift off the registry. 

Whether you are a bridesmaid, or just a friend of the bride, my first piece of advice is group up.  Most of the items are expensive and the ones that are not seem pretty odd to give by themeselves as a gift.  If your budget is $30 that doesn't leave much room for something extravagant and who wants to show up with a spatula and a single wine glass?  However, if you group up with a few other girls you can all split something on the pricier side, or go in on a bunch of the less expensive items. 

Now that you have agreed to group up with some other girls it is time to tackle that registry.  My favorite way to do this is by selecting a theme.  My go to theme is bar utensils.  If this category is still available, depending on how many girls and the budget of the group, you can get everything on the registries that applies to the bar.  I usually pull up all the stores she is registered at and mark down anything that applies, such as wine glasses, martini glasses, scotch glasses, ice bucket. wine cooler, wine rack, martini shaker, an actual bar etc.  You name it, if it has to do with alcohol I add it to the list.  I then decide what we can afford and place the order.  Other fun themes are baking (all baking dishes, measuring cups, mixers, cookie jars), cooking (pots and pans, spatulas, food processor, strainer, peelers, graters), even bedding.  Honestly, the list can go on and on, but since you are already buying her stuff she wants, its fun the next time she has a party that she can remember all the bar utensils came from her bridesmaids.

This tip is really helpful to both sides.  I hate when I go to a registry and it is slim pickings.  I feel so awkward ordering a spatula, a bath towel and 1 wine glass (they ask for 12 glasses and one person buys 7 because that is their budget when they could have bought the frame that was the same price).  Guests tend to not want to buy something so random so they end up buying stuff not listed on the registry.  This is nerve racking for the guest and the bride may end up with stuff she doesn't want and cannot return.  As a bride you can never have too much of stuff you want, from a store you like!  So if you add a bunch of things to Crate and Barrel and then decide you don't need them you can always apply the credit to that new couch you are eyeing! 

The moral of the story is everyone should be happy.  If you follow these few tips I think both the bride and the bridesmaid will be please with the registry results!