Posted on 2 Comments

The most important Wedding registry Do’s and Don’ts

 

Your wedding is a milestone event. So, it is only natural that the guests who attend it will want to gift you something valuable and useful on this occasion. A wedding registry is a convenient deal for both the couple and their guests.When you set up a wedding registry, it is easy for your guests to find something that you will appreciate and use in the new chapter of your life. So, if you thought you do not need a wedding registry, you ought to rethink this decision.

Today we look at the do’s and don’ts when setting up a wedding registry as well as some important information you should know about it.

When should you start your wedding registry

While some of your guests will wait till the last minute to get you your gift, others will prefer to complete the task ahead of time. It is best to get your registry ready before you have any wedding-related celebration, like an engagement party. In any case, your registry should be ready seven to nine months before the wedding. Now, if you prefer to wait and do things at leisure, this Brides article suggests that your registry should still be ready in time for your bridal shower.This will ensure your guests have enough time to check it out and find a suitable gift.

Top places to register for wedding gifts

There are several places where you can register for wedding gifts. So, don’t be hasty or limit your choices without first exploring your options. Create a curated list of items that will help you as a couple, and find places where these are available. Once you know what you want, we suggest that you restrict your registry to a few online and in-store locations where the items are available. This slideshow on the Real Simple Website directs couples to the best retail places to register for wedding gifts. Many of the suggested retailers offer extra discounts, perks and free gifts for registering with them. So, add it to your watch list. 

Wedding registry Etiquette—Do’s and Don’ts couples should know

Do choose from low, medium and high-end stores

Many couples often wonder how many gifts they should register for their wedding. We think it is better to register for more gifts than just what you need. A good rule of thumb is to register for more gifts than you have guests. Your guests will then find it easy to locate an item you prefer. While providing a wide range of items, you should also pick items of varied pricing. Include low, medium and high-end stores to keep your list diverse. This will allow your guests to find a gift that fits their budget without much difficulty. Your guests will also appreciate the fact that you do not expect them to shell out a fortune to get you an expensive gift, if you only register with a high-end store.

Don’t forget to include high-ticket items as well

While it is sensible to add gifts of all price ranges into your list, this doesn’t mean you should exclude expensive gifts entirely. It is likely that there may be at least a few friends, family members or work associates who would prefer to gift you a generous gift. Give them the opportunity to find something that fits their idea by providing at least a few high-end items in your list. As long as your list also has moderately priced items, the rest of your guests can overlook these options and go with one that is within their budget.

Do keep the wedding registry information out of the invitation

It may seem easy to simply put your wedding registry information in the wedding invitation. However, we do not recommend this as it isn’t considered good wedding etiquette. Some experts suggest it is alright to add your wedding registry details to an invitation insert, but never directly on the invitation. Include the name under which the registry is listed, so it is easy for your guests to find the right one.The ideal place to provide your wedding registry details is on your wedding website. You can also share this information with your family and bridal party. They can then pass it on to anyone who asks for it. Although most guests won’t ask you for this detail directly, there is no harm in telling them if a guest chooses to ask you directly.

Don’t ask for money in your registry

Whether you already have all that you need in your home or would prefer cash over gifts, we do not recommending asking for cash in your registry. The traditional expectation from guests is to give a gift in kind, and this is what most prefer. However, if you think its better to receive money, consider registering with a financial registry. This greatly reduces the awkwardness of the situation. These non-traditional registries will allow you to pool your gift money together and buy something bigger. Honeyfund allows couples to register for honeymoon extras through guest gift giving. 

For more tips on asking for cash for your wedding gift, take a look at this article on Apartment Therapy. 

Do create a wedding registry ideas list

Your wedding registry needn’t just have items that are useful for you right now. So don’t limit your options. Think long-term and create a wedding registry ideas list first. Consider what you may need in the years to come. Remember to include special occasions, items you will need for entertaining or even for when your family grows. Set up your registry accordingly, so your guests can get you gifts that may be useful later, if not immediately.

Don’t forget to update your registry on a regular basis

Just so you don’t end up with duplicates of the same item, it is important to review your registry regularly. As you do, remove items that have already been bought and include new items if any. It is a good idea to set up your registry so that you receive updates when an item is purchased. With this option, you will know when to update your registry without personally checking it every time. As the wedding approaches you will have to review your registry more frequently, and keep updating it every time a gift is bought by your guests.

Do keep track of who sent which gift

It is common courtesy and essential wedding etiquette to send thank you notes for all the gifts you received. For this, you should maintain a list to record who sent you what, just as you receive each gift. Either create a list on your mobile device or computer for the purpose. Or write down the names and the name of the gift as and when you receive each of them. At your bridal shower, don’t forget to have one of your bridesmaids note down who got you what if you open the gifts at the venue.

Don’t delay writing your thank you notes

Since thank you notes are time-consuming, it is a good idea to start writing them before the wedding. Common courtesy is to send the thank you notes out soon after you return from your honeymoon. Start with your thank you notes just as your gifts begin arriving. By completing a certain number every week, it will be easier for you to finish them. You can then put them in envelopes and get them ready in time for the wedding. All you have to do afterwards is to post the notes once you are back from your honeymoon.

DO focus on gifts that are useful to you as a couple

The idea of a wedding gift is to give the couples something that will help them grow as a family. Guests also usually prefer to gift items that do not have an expiry date attached to it. So, it isn’t really appropriate to ask for gifts that suit just one of you. Instead focus on items that are useful for entertaining, for your new home or that contribute to a family experience like a trip. Don’t add personal items like shoes, shades, handbags or makeup to your registry.

Don’t hesitate to edit your registry if you have second-thoughts about certain items on it

One good way to avoid regret is to take some time when creating your wedding registry. You may feel that you have a complete registry. However, let it sit for a day or two and then get back to it. This will give you time to recollect if you have missed out anything. Sometimes, it may also be better to edit out certain items from the list, when you go over the list again.

Do take inventory of what you own before setting up your registry

It isn’t always easy to decide what should and what doesn’t have to go on a registry. After looking at what you need in your new life as a couple, also take inventory of the things you already own. As you go through it, you will most likely notice that some of the stuff you already use needs replacing. You may also be adjusting with what you have in certain cases. Use your wedding registry to upgrade these things to serve you better when you are a couple.

Do mix the types of gifts you have on your registry

Everyone has a certain idea of what is an ideal gift. Hence, your guests may prefer certain types of gifts to give you for your wedding. To satisfy this need, keep the items in your registry mixed and there will be a choice that suits everyone. From essentials for a home like towels and linens, add items for entertaining and partying as well as household tools, dishes and equipment that will be useful in your new life together. Heavy-duty kitchenware, basic set of china and good quality bed sheets are definitely useful for all newly weds. So, definitely add these to your list.

Don’t forget to read up on the store’s policies before registering there

If a store stocks most of the things you need, also find out about their shipping, exchange and return policy before registering there. Your guests will prefer to shop at a place where their gifts will be shipped directly to your address. Take a close look at the exchange policies. In case you end up with duplicates of a gift, the exchange or return policy is important to help you switch it out for something else. It will not be easy to exchange your gifts if they allow limited time for it. So, check this out as well. Some stores also offer incentives and discount programs that will give you better benefits when you register with them. Do your research and you can make the most of the available options.

We understand how busy and taxing it is to be a bride, and in most cases the registry isn’t always on the top of your priorities. However, it is folly to let this opportunity slide. Follow this rule list and you shouldn’t have any trouble with setting up and making the most of your wedding registry.

For more updates, advice and help on everything wedding-related, keep visiting us here on the Best for Bride blog. The Best for Bride website is your one-stop wedding destination, featuring most modern wedding dresses, bridal party attires, bridal accessories and everything the modern bride needs for her special day. From designer labels to in-house custom creations, we strive to help you realize the perfect wedding day with our extensive range of wedding services. Visit our website today, to find out how we can help you.

Posted on 2 Comments

10 things your wedding doesn’t really need

Weddings are expensive affairs, and it is not worthwhile to spend money on the so-called “must-haves,” which end up being not so essential after all. It is quite commonplace to get caught in a rush, and ticking things off your list as quickly as is possible, when planning your wedding. In all this hurry, you may easily overlook what is actually necessary and what can be done without.

So, we suggest you take a break from all that wedding planning for a bit, and actually look at that long list you have. A few minutes is all it will take to analyze whether you need to do everything that is in there, but definitely do this. This well-spent time will help your budget go further.

We have some tips from our wedding planning experts, who have seen enough weddings to precisely tell us what we can do away with, and still have a fantastic wedding day. So, in no particular order, here is the list!

Save-the-date cards

spotted save-the-date

Save-the-date cards are just another expensive piece of stationery, that you can do without. This is very true if you have a short engagement. Your wedding invitation, on the other hand, is a must-have! Almost everyone has an email or social media account these days. So, just send out an email once you finalize your wedding date, and that should be enough for everyone to mark their calendars. In case there are those who don’t operate online, you can inform them with a personal letter or phone call. Or, if there is little time left till the wedding, just send the invitation as soon as is possible. When you think of the postage and printing charges for a bunch of save-the-dates, don’t you think it is worth spending that money on something else?

Guest books

wishing well

Your guest book may not cost you a significant amount, but when planning your wedding, every bit counts. It will, in the end, just be a book that will be stashed away and hardly remembered. How many of your guests will do much more than just sign their names into it, and what purpose does that really serve anyway? Now if you were opting for a guest book alternative, like a wish well or a wish box, it would be nicer. You could use this in your new home as a wall or mantel display. This will certainly be more enjoyable than a guest book that will be put away with the rest of the wedding stuff you may never touch again.

A fancy cake-cutting set

cake cut

When you spend a huge amount on a designer wedding cake, do you think it is necessary to get a fancy cutting set to do the honors? This is an item with a one-time use, but it can be pretty expensive. What is more, your caterer may even have one that you can borrow. Or it may be available at the venue, if the place hosts weddings regularly. So, check this option out before you go shopping. Or, you can just ask family and friends. If any of your friends have bought a brand new set for their wedding, they may lend it to you for your cake-cutting ceremony.

A big bridal party

Image Credits: Micadew, via Flickr
Image Credits: Micadew, via Flickr

There is no right or wrong number of members in your bridal party. If you have plenty of friends and relatives who must be beside you when you say “I do”, so be it. Otherwise, keep the numbers small, and many, including you will be relieved. It is expensive for you as well as your bridesmaids, when they are in a wedding party. The bridesmaids will have to put aside a considerable amount for their dresses, accessories, hair, makeup and the wedding gift. Similarly, the couple will also feel obliged to buy special wedding party gifts and share some of the bridal party expenses. Instead of all this, if you keep your wedding party small and include just those who are essential, you save everyone a lot of trouble. Not only do the potential bridesmaids candidates just have to worry about getting you one wedding gift, you can also skip the extras like expensive wedding party gifts. And lesser the number of women, lesser the drama! Have a Maid of Honor and a bridesmaid, or even two Co-maids of honor and you should be good to go.

Too many details

flowers-1203699_640

An elaborate centerpiece with hundreds of intricate details works just as good as a budget-friendly simple and stylish smaller centerpiece. Similarly, party favors wrapped in cellophane, and then packed into a custom bag and topped with a fancy ribbon will do not different than one packed into a small box. And we don’t even have to get started on how expensive and unnecessary fancy linen is. When there are too many details in a wedding, it loses its charm. Your guests will simply get lost in the several things that they may not remember most of it at the end of the day. So, focus on creating only a few signature elements that stand out from the rest. Stay away from the smaller details that don’t contribute to the bigger picture, and you will save yourself a lot of stress. Instead, devote attention to making your wedding day fun and enjoyable, as that is what will be most memorable.

A band

an-pierle-876094_640

Let’s face it, a band is very expensive. So, unless you are very particular you must have a group of performing artists at your wedding, skip it altogether. A DJ with a play list of songs that will entertain the guests at your party, can make your party just as interesting. Perhaps even more, if you find the right person. Also, it will mean a lot less to co-ordinate. Or, if you can manage a good quality sound system, you can create your own list of songs on a CD and have it played at the wedding.

A registry

coupon-421600_640

If you know exactly what you want in your new home, or you are particular about not keeping anything more than you actually need, a wedding registry may be a good idea. However, if you aren’t really sure of what you should have, or what you will find useful in future, skip the registry altogether. Trust me on this, creating a registry when you are unsure of things will only confuse you more. You already have so much going on for your wedding, and planning the registry is one tiring detail that you don’t have to add to it. Not having a registry will give your guests the flexibility to figure out something they think will be useful. Don’t you think the surprise of opening up each gift and discovering what they’ve chosen for you will be real fun? And, if you get lucky, your guests may even skip the idea of getting you a gift and give you cash or gift vouchers instead. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it now?

The latest designer wedding gown

Walking down the aisle as a beautiful vision of white is possible, even if you don’t spend a chunk on a brand new designer wedding gown. There are so many economical options that can still help you realize this dream. Choose a gown from the previous season’s collections, and you may get it at a discount. Or visit the clearance sale section of your wedding shop, to find what captures your fancy. You could even rent your gown or buy one second-hand, and nobody has to know. After all, it is a one-time occasion, and not a dress you have to wear everyday. If you can get what you want for a fraction of the cost of buying a fresh off-the-runway, designer wedding gown, you must be really smart and practical! Don’t worry about compromising on style or look, when you opt for this route. Check out our special offers page on Best for Bride for some fantastic offers that will definitely transform you into the beautiful bride you always dreamed of being, but without the hefty price tag attached to it.

Wedding programs

program

Another piece of stationery that you can easily skip are wedding programs. It is common practice to hand out wedding programs before the start of the ceremony, and the paper that goes into making it is usually not cheap. However, have you ever noticed where these programs end up after the ceremony? In the trash, of course. So, why should you spend a fortune on getting them printed if they serve no real purpose? I like this idea on The Every Last Detail blog, to use a large signage instead, noting the key participants in the ceremony and order of events. Not only will this detail have a huge visual impact, it can be done at a fraction of the cost of printing hundreds of wedding programs. Also, it serves the main purpose of providing the information that your guests actually need, and in a no-fuss, but classy way.

Personalized wedding favors

favors

Cute little trinkets, personalized tins, glasses and photo coasters may all be very attractive, but how many of them will actually serve any purpose for your guests? While you may have to spend a fortune on your wedding favors and pay extra for custom details like adding a photograph or message, will it ever be used or even saved for later? The best favors that wedding guests actually use are edible ones. So, if you must have a wedding favor that will please everyone, consider cookies, candy, preserves or chocolates. You can personalize these with a photo wrapper or printed message wrapper, if you want that personal touch in there. If you don’t think this is good enough, the next best options are candle holders and potted plants, that can be established into any home easily. Not all your guests may appreciate displaying photo favors with your picture, so save yourself your hard-earned cash and stick with what will actually be useful for them.

A towering tiered cake

wedding-cake-975344_640

Earlier we mentioned that you do not need a fancy cake cutting set, to cut your designer cake. Now we tell you that you do not even need a fancy towering cake to impress your guests. You can do the same with a smaller couture cake, that will be just as spectacular, sans the size. Firstly, this means you can have a gourmet cake done with excellent details, just for the cake cutting ceremony. Sheet cakes done in the same flavor can be served to the guests at their tables. Not only does this minimize wastage, there are no compromises on style either. Or, if you are feeling bold enough, skip the cake altogether and choose an alternate dessert. For options, check out this previous post.

A weekend wedding

wedding-322034_640

Sure, you want everyone to be at your wedding! But, if a weekday ceremony saves you a tonne of cash or helps you get your dream venue which is booked for all weekends, so be it. This article on the Huff Post tells us that guests who want to be at your wedding won’t really mind taking a day off work for it. If you plan the event on a Friday, it would also help them kick-start a long weekend. Nobody will be complaining, I am sure!

So, tell us now, which of these things will you be eliminating from your wedding plans? Or, is there something that you have decided to skip, but we have missed in the list. Do let us know in the comments below.

Best for Bride helps prospective brides and grooms find everything they need for a fantastic wedding. From wedding dresses, dresses for the bridal party and essential wedding services, we have everything bridal under one roof. Check out our website today, to find what you seek, and come one step closer to having the perfect wedding day.

Posted on 7 Comments

Oops! That’s Awkward—Our guide to navigating 7 awkward wedding planning situations

I like to compare wedding planning to a mine that’s waiting to explode. The potential for problems is huge! Every couple faces at least a few awkward moments when planning their wedding. Many assumptions may be made that you cannot oblige to, you may have to say no on occasions, and where people are concerned there is no saying who can feel offended about what!

Here are 7 real sticky situations that you will most likely have to handle during your wedding planning process. We’ve also included the best possible solutions you can consider, to make it as easy as possible.

#1 Tell a friend or relative that they are not in the wedding party

It could be that everyone thinks you are fond of them. Add that to the fact that  you have a huge friend circle and an equally big family, it is likely that there may be at least a friend or relative who assumes they will be in the wedding party. If there are on the wedding party list, fine! If you haven’t included them, you have a situation to handle!

It isn’t easy telling someone that they are to be a guest and not in the wedding party. The best way to handle the problem is to take care of it as soon as you doubt your friend or cousin assumes they are in without you ever mentioning it. Tell her directly that as much as you would love to have her in the party, the situation is such that you would prefer to have her enjoy the wedding as a guest instead. You could offer a valid explanation, like you want to keep the wedding party small. (Only if this is a fact! It will harm your relationship even more if she ends up seeing a dozen bridesmaids on the day, and she alone isn’t one). Make it clear that you value your relationship with her a lot, and would love to have her involved in the wedding in any other way possible. Stress that you would not want this to harm your relationship in any way, and be genuine with your words. We are sure she’ll understand if she is a sensible and reasonable girl.

#2 When you’d rather have cash

Many couples struggle with telling their guests that they’d rather have cash or gift coupons, than gifts that wouldn’t help them. This could be because money would help them pay off a loan, or they could use it on their honeymoon, or because they would like to buy an expensive item like a vehicle. In all these cases, money would really help.

If you are in any of these situations, we know how you could be whether you ought to or not  convey this message to your guests. Well, we think you should! First step, set up your wedding website, where you will be sharing your wedding registry information. Next, add a “gift cash towards xxx” as one of the top options in the registry and link it to your bank account. Share the website wedding registry with your contacts, so they are directed towards the page that prioritizes what you’d like to have, in a specific order.

The other option is to link your wedding registry to sites like Tendr , that allows guests to pick cards and send it with their well wishes to the couple. Now, if a guest were to ask you in person about your preferences, they would ideally be asking because they really want to get you something you want. So, don’t hesitate to tell them that you are saving up for whatever you are. If they are comfortable giving you cash, you can hope they will once they know of this.

#3 Telling your parents (or in-laws) that you want something different

Isn’t it funny how so many parents and their children fight over how the wedding should be held or planned, from the moment the planning is in progress? It is not too often that we see couples who want a modern, relaxed wedding with interesting and unique elements, while their parents would rather have a traditional-style formal wedding that can never go wrong. If the parents on either side are sharing the expenses, we know how quickly tempers can soar and all those involved can end up in a foul mood.

Rather than locking horns with your families, we suggest that you handle such situations tactfully. First, consider if there is anything you can do about accommodating your family’s ideas. If not the whole thing, if you can incorporate at least a few ideas, they will feel a lot better. Then, decide upon the things that you refuse to compromise on. When you present your final idea to the family, first tell them which of their suggestions will be included in the wedding. This will calm the atmosphere to a great extent. Then tell them what the rest of the plans are, and also that it is your wedding and you wouldn’t really be happy if these details weren’t part of it. So, request them to understand and convey how grateful you are for all they are doing.

#4 When a relative wants to take over as a wedding vendor

Yes, we’ve all been there, when a budding photographer in your family wants to be in-charge of the wedding photography, or an enthusiastic aunt wants to bake the wedding cake. Unless these people are professionals, it may be a very bad idea to hand them the job. Now, even when they are professionals who are used to doing these for weddings, you may not agree with their style of work or may not be happy about giving them the responsibility for a range of reasons.

After all, working with a relative or friend is not the same as working with a vendor who you’ve hired for the job. You have to be cautious about everything you say, as you two have a relationship that could be hurt. In worst cases, they may disagree with what you want and even do things that they think are the best. But, it may sometimes be a good idea, if they will offer you a discount or if you are really fond of the way they handle things. Unless this is the case, you should learn to say “No” to their offer diplomatically.

You can tell them that you would love to have them handle the job, but you have already set your mind on another vendor. Or, the better option is to tell them that you don’t want to hire them for your wedding as you want them there as a guest, and not working all day and unable to participate or enjoy the wedding as they should. This clearly conveys that you value their presence, and if they appreciate it genuinely, this should put an end to the discussion.

#5 Saying No to guests you cannot afford to have

There’s this scene in the sitcom “Castle”, where Castle and Beckett mention to his mother that they were working on the guest list for the wedding, expecting her to suggest how they reduce it. In the blink of an eye, she rushes off to bring out her own guest list for the wedding!

Don’t be startled if you find the same thing happen in your case! Many couples are faced with the tough decision of saying no to guests that they simply cannot have at their wedding. If parents are paying, or if friends are pushovers who must invite people on their behalf, the situation is anything but pleasant.

We suggest that you be honest when you tell your parents, relatives or friends why it simply isn’t feasible to have any more guests than you have planned. Since your parents will anyway be inviting at least a few people, give them a specific number beforehand. They can then prioritize who goes on the list and who can be left out. Make your mind up about how far you can stretch with any extra additions, and make sure you stick to it. After all, your wedding is all about having the people who matter the most to you. It is not about having a huge party where you hardly know half the faces there, or is it?

#6 Planning your bridesmaid’s dress budget

One of the reasons many women dread being asked to be a bridesmaid, is the financial burden that comes along with it. Let’s face it, bridesmaids have to pay for a dress that they may not like at all, pay for the accessories, spend on the bachelorette, bridal shower and gift for the bride. All this will take a chunk out of their savings. It is worse if they are still in college or have their own financial constraints.

So, the best thing you can do is be reasonable when deciding what your bridesmaids should wear. Our suggestion is to be flexible, and consider a range of choices in dresses, so your bridesmaids can pick the one that is easiest on their pockets. Think out of the box, and instead of having them dress up in matching outfits, go with the mix ‘n’ match trend. This gives them the freedom to choose from the choices you have shortlisted. It is also likely that they will pick a dress that they can use again.

A good friend would also consider easing their financial burden by paying for the bridesmaid accessories or hair and makeup. Now, if you have been a bridesmaid at all these girls’ weddings previously, and they weren’t half as considerate, we think it is up to you to decide how to handle the situation. Honestly, it wouldn’t be wrong if you kept their expenses similar to what you had to incur, if this is the case. Else, think of what you can do to help out, maybe make use of sales and discounts or keep your dress selection reasonable so they do not begrudge you for your choices later.

#7 Talk money with your parents or in-laws

You think you’ve heard your parents mention sometime in the past, that they’ve put aside a certain amount for your wedding expenses. But, do you ask for it once you are engaged and planning the wedding? Is it appropriate to bring up the topic? Well, it’s mom and dad, and if you are certain there’s money set aside for you, it shouldn’t be wrong to confirm, so you can plan the wedding accordingly.

Ideally, they should bring the topic up if they have any such plans. So, it may not always be best to bring up the topic yourself. If they are quiet, it may be because something’s changed and not because they’ve forgotten about it. Never make the mistake of assuming that they will pay, and go about planning your wedding based on this assumption. Don’t feel entitled to it and have your plans go bust if they don’t agree to. Instead, share the wedding plans you have in mind and the quotes you collect from vendors. They will be more comfortable mentioning what they would like to contribute towards, when you do it this way.

If there is no talk about the money at all, you can either ask them what happened to the fund they put aside (that is, if you are sure they have), or ask them if they could help and you could repay it later.

Weddings, like we said earlier are tricky events that can cause so much stress to any bride and groom. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep the big picture in mind. When you think of the priorities in your life, and how you can celebrate the event that brings you and your partner together forever, you can tide over any awkward situation and leave it out of your mind forever.

To help you with everything you possibly need for your wedding, including your wedding dress, attire for your wedding party, accessories, décor, cakes and even flowers, visit us at Best for Bride. We have everything you need.