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The definitive guide to bridesmaid dress shopping

bridesmaid dresses

Bridesmaid dress shopping is an indispensable and important aspect of your wedding planning.

bridesmaid dresses

Choosing the right dresses for your wedding party members involves unique challenges such as finding dresses that your bridesmaids approve, that also work with the wedding theme.

So, bridesmaid dress shopping may even end up being more demanding than wedding dress shopping itself! However, with proper preparation and planning, you can tackle bridesmaid dress shopping efficiently.

This comprehensive guide to bridesmaid dress shopping will discuss all that you need for stress-free bridesmaid dress shopping.

So, let’s get started!

Preparation for Bridesmaid dress shopping: Decisions to make

Did you know that the actual shopping process begins much before your bridesmaids set foot in a shop?

Ideally, you should start planning bridesmaid dress shopping at least six months before the wedding.

This will give you enough time to finalize the selection criteria, co-ordinate with your girls and fix shopping appointments and book alterations when the dresses arrive.

So, let us look at the different steps to consider during the preparation stage.

What is the budget?

Being chosen as a bridesmaid comes with many perks. However, at least some of your girls may worry about one aspect—the expenses they must bear.

According to this survey by the Knot, the average bridesmaid dress costs $150. It may be higher or lower based on the bride’s preferences.

Make it easy for your bridesmaids by asking them what they are comfortable spending. Accordingly, fix the budget and restrict choices to dresses in this range.

If the price is a severe constraint, here are some practical ideas to save on bridesmaids dresses.

Who makes the final choice?

Gone are the days when the bride would choose a single dress for all her bridesmaids. Modern brides are fashion-conscious and acknowledge the fact that their bridesmaids would like to be consulted about their preferences.

If you are really flexible, you can even let your bridesmaids pick their dresses themselves. However, there is a challenge!

When you give them free rein, the final look may not be cohesive.

Avoid this issue by specifying two to three guidelines. Choose from color, fabric type, length, neckline style or sleeve style.

The other option is to take the whole group shopping at the same time and ensure that the final decision is yours.

When to go shopping?

Bridesmaid dress shopping should be completed months ahead of the wedding. Play it safe and book the session four to six months in advance.

Talk to your bridesmaids and schedule their appointment in such a way that it is convenient for most of the crew.

For bridesmaids who stay far away, you can even explore the option of buying their dress at a different store that is near their place. This will make the collection and alterations much easier.

Where to buy?

The best place to shop for bridesmaid dresses is at a real store. However, it is important to shop at least a few months before the wedding. Stores require time to place your order with the manufacturer and get it delivered.

When you decide to shop at a real store, you can touch and see samples prior to ordering. Your bridesmaids can also try on the dresses to see how it looks on their bodies. This eliminates confusion regarding the quality of the fabric, dress style and choosing the wrong size.

Nonetheless, there are certain challenges when you decide to take the girls shopping. Let us look at what they are and how to tackle them.

To invite all the bridesmaids or not?

If you will be making the final decision regarding your bridesmaid dresses, you will have to go shopping with them. However, it is a bad idea to take all your bridesmaids with you for the first appointment.

Too many opinions can result in chaos and you may end up more confused than before.

Instead, take someone you trust (like your Maid of Honor or mother) when you first visit the boutique. Share your vision with the shopping consultants.

Also, remember that your bridesmaids will have different body types and complexions. Discuss these factors with the sales team.

With their help, narrow down your choices to a few dresses. Make your choices in such a way that there is something suitable for everyone.

These will be the ones that your bridal crew will finally try on. At the next appointment, include all your bridesmaids and help them make the final decision.

Sizing issues and other challenges

When placing the order, your sales consultant will measure the girls and select the size that is closest to their measurements. Since sizing charts are different from those for regular clothes, their bridesmaid dress size will differ from their regular dress size.

Remember that it will be easier to take in a big dress than add extra inches to one that is too small. Choose accordingly.

In the rare case that a bridesmaid is unable to go shopping and you should order on her behalf, choosing the correct size can be a problem. Ask her to get measured by a professional seamstress to ensure you are given accurate measurements to choose the right size.

Once the dresses arrive, each bridesmaid will need one or two alteration sessions to get the dress to fit correctly. Alterations will typically take one to two weeks.

Factor this into the bridesmaid dress shopping schedule. Be considerate of their schedules when planning their fitting appointments.

Now that we have looked at the different challenges you will face during the preparation stage, let us move on to the more interesting task—the actual dress selection.

Getting down to business: Actual bridesmaid dress selection

Once you have fixed the budget and where and when to shop for your bridesmaid dresses, you are ready to begin the actual selection process.

As we discussed earlier, you have two options: either join the bridal party when they go shopping or let your bridesmaids handle the task themselves.

Irrespective of which option you choose, you must guide your bridesmaids towards suitable dresses by supplying a few specifications. Let us look at the various factors that you should consider in this regard.

Choosing colors and styles: factors to consider

Although it isn’t necessary that all the bridesmaids should wear the same color, it is essential that the dress colors match the color palette of your wedding.

If your central colors are bold and bright, it may not flatter all your bridesmaids. In such a situation, you may like to look at dresses in neutral colors. Not only will this complement your bridal look, but it will also blend with any theme.

The bridesmaid dress choices should also complement the bridal gown in terms of fabric and style. This will ensure that your bridal portraits with the wedding party will look splendid. So, complete your wedding gown shopping to go bridesmaid dress shopping.

When choosing your bridesmaid dress color, remember that flexibility is key to a good-looking wedding party. By being open-minded you can find dresses that flatter all your girls, which also tie with the overall wedding theme. For more insight on how this works, watch this video

With proper planning, you can use different dresses to create a dynamic, but attractive wedding party. Here are some practical mix and match ideas to make this happen.

Same color, different dress styles

Give each of your bridesmaids a distinct look by choosing dresses with different style elements. You can vary the silhouette, neckline details, sleeve length, and even hemline to make this happen.

Then tie together their different styles with color. You can ensure that the color remains the same throughout the group by picking different dresses from the same collection.

The result will be fabulous!

Same dress style, different colors

Most designer bridesmaid dresses are available in a range of colors. So, choose different colors for each of your girls.

With this option, the group will look very lively. The bonus is that you can pick colors that suit each of your bridesmaid’s skin tones.  Since you are varying only the color and the rest of the dress design remains the same, you needn’t worry about cohesiveness.

Variations of the same color

Here’s another variation of the first idea we discussed. In this option, you settle on a single color, say purple. Then have your girls choose dresses in different shades of blue. So, you can have dresses in purple, lavender, plum, and periwinkle. The base color will unify the group while each of the girls enjoys her own unique look.

Prints of a type

Printed dresses are all the rage now. So, if you want to enhance the overall style quotient of your group, consider printed dresses. To unify the group, specify the type of print (You can choose from florals, geometric designs, animal prints, etc.) This is also an excellent way to highlight the theme of the wedding through their choice of outfits.

Using the same texture

By choosing the same fabric, you can again create an elegant mix and match effect. Fabrics like lace, chiffon, net or velvet have their own individuality. Choose different colors or styles while keeping the texture similar and you will have a winning combination.

Another unique challenge when choosing dresses for a bunch of ladies is to ensure that it flatters each one of them. After all, you want all your wedding party members to look their best on your special day.

How to find dresses that flatter different body types

Look at your bridal party and you will see that no two women are alike in terms of body structure.

Nature has blessed each woman with her specific body shape.

Body types are basically divided into four: apple, pear, hourglass and rectangle. Each of these body types has its own favorable aspects and some not-so-desirable ones. And this varies from one type to the other.

Hence, a dress style that flatters a specific body type may not look good on another one.  Since the women in your group will each have different body types, it is unlikely that any random dress style will flatter all of them.

So, you have two options:

  • Mix and match silhouettes, so each woman gets a dress that suits her specific body type.
  • Opt for universally flattering styles that will look good on most of the women.

Let us look at each of these in closer detail.

Mix and match silhouettes

The ideal dress style for any body type will highlight the best assets while distracting from the less desirable ones. The dress would also create a balanced structure that resembles an hourglass.

For an apple body type, the upper torso is more prominent. To balance the lower half, it is necessary to choose dresses that create the illusion of a waistline and more volume to the slender proportions of the lower body.

On the other hand, a pear body type has thicker hips. To balance the shape, it becomes necessary to enhance the upper body with a textured yoke.

So, if you have a pear-shaped and apple-shaped bridesmaid, the same dress silhouette would not suit both.

In such cases, consider mixing up silhouettes to flatter these individual body shapes. Keep two or three factors in the dresses similar for overall cohesiveness.

Universally flattering styles

Sometimes, you may simply not have the time or energy to find dresses that flatter each of your bridesmaids. Otherwise, it could be that you prefer to finish off the task faster by choosing a single dress style for all the bridesmaids.

In such cases, it is best to play it safe with universally flattering dress styles. These dresses will look good on almost all body types and your girls will be less likely to complain.

Let us look at some of these options:

Flutter sleeves

When your bridesmaids are from different age groups, have different body types and are of different heights, choose dresses with flutter sleeves and it will suit everyone.

Not only does this result in a modest look, but it is also elegant and flatters almost any woman.

Midi-length skirt

Midi dresses end between the knee and the calf. The benefit of this length is that it is slimming and elongates your legs.

Keeping it below knee-length makes it ideal for women who aren’t fond of showing much skin. This length will also draw attention to their shoes, making it another attractive factor. You can have the exact hemline altered to hit the best part of the leg for each girl.

Fit and flare silhouettes

This dress style is fitted around the torso and flares out from the waistline. It is a universally flattering dress style that creates the illusion of a slim waistline when there isn’t any. It also highlights the waist area in a good way.  

Hence, it is a style that works for both pear and apple-shaped women. Fit and flare dress styles create a curvy figure for a rectangle body type while emphasizing the slender waistline of an hourglass figure. Hence it is a win-win for all body types.

Bridesmaid dress shopping based on season and formality

When choosing bridesmaids dresses, be mindful of the weather conditions at the time of your wedding. Make decisions regarding the dress fabric, hemline and sleeve length based on how cold or warm it will be.

The bridesmaid dress choices should also complement the formality of the event. Opt for casual styles when the wedding has a semi-formal or casual theme. In formal settings, elegant and sophisticated choices look best.

Here are some tips:

  • For warm months, light-weight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen and chiffon are ideal. You can opt for silk, velvet or wool when the weather is cold.
  • Long gowns are a good choice for autumn and winter. Midi and Mini dress look good in summer.
  • Match the bridesmaid dress style to the formality of the event. Long gowns in bold colors look good at formal weddings while short dresses in cheerful colors and lightweight fabric are suitable for informal settings.
  • Sleeveless and strapless dress styles can make your bridesmaids uncomfortable in cold weather. Either opt for longer sleeves or select accessories like shrugs and stoles to keep them cozy in such conditions.

Other important factors to consider when choosing bridesmaids dresses

While we have already covered the most important aspects of bridesmaid dress selection, there are some more factors to consider. Let us look at what they are.

Are your bridesmaids uncomfortable wearing certain styles?

Certain neckline, sleeve-length or hemline choices may be unsuitable for some of your bridesmaids. And you want your bridesmaids to be comfortable and not too conscious about their dress on the day.

So, it is a good idea to check with them about the dress elements they would rather not have in their dresses.

Are some of your girls uncomfortable in shorter dress styles? Do they find certain necklines (like strapless or a deep-cut V) to be too revealing?

Get their insight on these aspects and make a wise decision that will not inconvenience them.

When there are plus-size or petite bridesmaids

When choosing bridesmaid dresses, you may not always have the same variety of options if you have plus-size or petite bridesmaids.

The good news is that there are specific dress collections for petite and plus-size women and you can choose from them. Nevertheless, you may like to be more flexible with your selection criteria if you would like to keep the look cohesive in such cases.

If you narrow down your choices to very specific details, it may be more difficult to find suitable dresses for bridesmaids who are on either end of the size spectrum.

If a bridesmaid is pregnant

When your bridesmaid is pregnant, you cannot really predict the exact size to order for her bridesmaid dress. If you are ordering the dress five to six months in advance, her measurements can change drastically by the time the dress arrives. So, this is a very tricky situation.

Here are some options you can consider:

  • Choose a dress with an empire waistline which is by and large the most flattering style for a pregnant bridesmaid.
  • Look for maternity bridesmaid dresses that are designed to keep pregnant women comfortable while looking good.
  • Order up to two sizes larger than her current measurements. This should ideally compensate for the increase in bust and hip measurements over time. In case the dress ends up being too large, it can always be taken in.
  • Rather than choosing the same style for all your bridesmaids, you may like to restrict your selection criteria to the same color, but different styles when one or more bridesmaids are pregnant.

For more tips on how to shop for a pregnant bridesmaid, visit this article.

Choosing accessories to complete the look

The dress is always the highlight of the bridesmaid look. However, suitable accessories will further enhance their style quotient. So, here are some guidelines to help.

  • If you have chosen the same dress for all your bridesmaids, let them pick out their own jewelry and accents. This will help their individuality shine and also prevent the “cookie-cutter” look.
  • For dresses that are brightly colored or embellished with details and texture, keep accessories to a minimum and let the dress do the talking.
  • For mismatched bridesmaids, bring the look together with the exact same accessories. This can be shoes, belts or even statement jewelry.
  • Accessories quickly add up. Since they are paying for their dresses, it wouldn’t be nice to ask them to buy expensive accessories as well. Just give them guidelines like color and material and ask them to buy the nearest match within their budget. Or you can consider gifting them their accessories to wear on the day.

The final stage of bridesmaid dress shopping: Alterations and Collection

The final part of bridesmaid dress shopping is collecting the order and getting it altered to fit correctly.

We mentioned earlier that almost all bridesmaid dresses need one or two alterations. Let your bridesmaids know about this.

Bridesmaid dress alterations are ideally done a month before the wedding. This will help to get the best fit even if there any weight fluctuations after the dress was ordered.

Have your bridesmaids fix their appointments with a professional seamstress well in advance. This will ensure that the dresses will be ready on time. Also, remember that professional seamstresses can be very busy during peak wedding season and prom season.

It is a good idea to schedule the fitting appointments at the same time as placing the dress orders. For more valuable inputs on how to prepare for bridesmaid dress alterations, visit this post on the Martha Stewart website.

Step-by-step process to follow to ensure bridesmaid dress shopping is completed on time

We have now looked at all the details about preparing for bridesmaid dress shopping and the dress selection criteria. So, let us move on to the step-by-step process to ensure things are completed as per plan.

  1. Start on time: Begin planning for your bridesmaid dress shopping at least six months before the wedding. This will leave you enough time to narrow down your selection criteria, book the appointment, take your girls’ shopping and plan alterations after the dress arrives.
  2. Put your MOH in charge of scheduling shopping appointments and checking on progress: If your bridesmaids will be handling the shopping and dress selection themselves, you should keep tabs on their progress. Since you will be busy attending to other wedding-planning tasks, you can also entrust this important job to your Maid of Honor.
  3. Keep a tab on whether things are progressing as per plan: Plan a schedule or complete-by date for each of the tasks related to bridesmaid dress shopping. Then, communicate the set deadlines to your team of bridesmaids and check whether things are progressing as per plan.
  4. Plan fittings and alterations: Receiving the bridesmaid dress is only part of the process. Next, you should also stay on top of fittings and alterations to ensure the dress is perfect in time for the wedding. Add this schedule to your calendar and remind your bridesmaids to attend their appointments as per the plan.

To wrap it up…

Bridesmaid dress shopping is as challenging as bridal dress shopping. Nonetheless, you can tackle it efficiently with a planned and organized approach. The three main stages are:

  • Preparing for bridesmaid dress shopping
  • The actual dress selection process
  • Fittings and alterations

We have looked at each of these factors in detail over the course of this guide, and you are now all set for the process. Follow these steps and your bridal party will look fantastic.

Find a fabulous and updated collection of designer bridesmaid dresses at Best for Bride. Click here to visit our collection today and pick your favorites.

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Nobody likes a Bridezilla! Here’s how to avoid being one

Wedding bells are ringing! Love is in the air! Isn’t your engagement one of the most beautiful phases in life? So, you want to remember it fondly.

No bride wants to look back on this phase in her life and regret the memories. Unfortunately, wedding planning is not a walk in the park. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself stressing over the details and slowly turn into the dreaded “Bridezilla!”

Wedding planning often brings out the worst in a woman. It is only normal that you want the perfect wedding in every way. However, this entails spending enormous amounts of money, planning things to the smallest possible detail and getting everyone in your wedding to perform as expected. Definitely not an easy feat! And as you struggle to cope with the zillion details, your stress levels naturally go up and you may lash out in ways you later regret.

The sad part is that you may not realize that you are turning into a bridezilla until you have hurt hearts and strained relationships. However, there are warning signs that tell you of where you are headed. Scrutinize how you’ve been behaving lately. If you notice these red flags, you better stop before it goes too far and the damage cannot be undone!

Everything you say contains “my wedding”

Talking endlessly about your wedding can irritate those you spend time with. Who would like it if even casual inquiries about the wedding end up in monologues on wedding plans, dress shopping and other wedding details. You will sound wedding-obsessed, and it can really make people dread being around you. Whether it is your excitement or apprehension that causes you to talk about the wedding and nothing else, curtail it. Don’t bring up the topic of your wedding unless necessary. If you are asked about it, keep your answer brief and to-the-point. Leave some things to be seen, rather than spill the beans and kill all the fun.

You are certain nothing is going your way

There is often a time in every bride’s life when she believes things are getting nowhere. You may be frustrated with the lack of options or unhappy with what are available. It may seem that nobody, but you, is concerned about the wedding. In this tryst for perfection, it is likely that you will push your well-wishers away. You may also believe nothing is up to your expectations. Before you freak out and drive everyone away, just sit back and analyze what is going on. With a calm and composed mind run through the different options once again. Some of them may not be as bad as you initially thought they were. Be flexible and open-minded and you will see better progress.

You cannot stop adding details

Pinterest and glossy picture-perfect weddings on the internet can agonize a bride who strives for perfection. Every page you turn, every link you click leads to more eye-candy that you must have at your wedding. This can pose a problem! If you continue to add more details to your wedding, your expenses will spiral out of control.You may also lose control over what is more important as you obsess over several small details. So, stay focused and stop before you go overboard. Once you have enough inspiration, close the picture books once and for all. There will always be another detail that you could add, but remember that it isn’t really necessary. Keep your priorities clear and move on to the next task. Procrastination will only delay you and cause frustration.

You barely spend time with your fiance

Wedding-obsessed brides often forget the most important person in their life—their fiance. This is a big tragedy, as your engagement is a golden period when you should celebrate your love and commitment to each other. It is the time to connect, bond, plan your life together and dream of a beautiful tomorrow. If the wedding overrides this need to be with each other, it is time you took a break from the wedding tasks. Take time away from all the mad wedding planning and simply enjoy the feeling of being in love. Remember that this chance doesn’t come again. So, make memories while you have time.

Your bridesmaids are uncomfortable in your presence

Your bridesmaids are often your best friends, sisters and cousins. They are the women who you share your biggest joys and sorrows with. If they seem to be on edge, every time they are around you, it is time to take stock of the situation. Analyse if you have become very demanding, irritable or obsessed with the wedding these days. Do your single friends prefer to stay away from you? Is it not because they are jealous, but because they are tired of you bragging on and on about your wedding. Avoid rifts and unpleasant situations as far as is possible. Be considerate and accommodating, and they will be eager to participate in your wedding. Don’t be pushy, as it can spoil the fun in your relationship. After all, you want these girls to stick around you even after you are married.

Take a look at this Huff Post article to avoid overstepping the mark, with your bridesmaids. 

Your parents don’t look too excited

It is normal for parents to be emotional when their daughter gets married. After all this transition in status is a big change in their lives too. However, joy will normally overcome the sorrow. If you are always discussing the wedding and not spending any quality time together, it will only distance you further from your parents. Involve them in the wedding planning, welcome their suggestions and appreciate all that they do for you. Also spend time with each other without discussing anything about the wedding, and relive fond memories from the past. Understanding each other at this stage in life will help you remain closer even after your marital status changes forever. It will be immensely helpful if you acknowledge what they are going to, instead of obsessing over the wedding.

Now, if you are worried about family drama ruining your wedding day, here are some tips on how you can avoid it. 

You are obsessed with diets, workouts and weight loss regimens

Brides want to look their best on the most special day of their life. However, don’t stretch yourself to the extent where you sacrifice your happiness and health to look great. Dieting, changes to meal plans and new exercise regimes will help you get in shape and look great in time for your wedding. Nonetheless, tackle everything in moderation. Crash diets and extreme exercise regimens will only do harm. With this approach, you put your well-being at stake. Drastic changes to diet and intense workouts can leave you dissatisfied and unhappy. So, think of whether it is really worth it.

Your fiance fell in love with the present you. He doesn’t want to get married to a whole other you! So, stay healthy and happy, and you will look fantastic on your wedding day.

Every waking minute involves wedding planning

Wedding planning can be laborious and time-consuming. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. If you find yourself constantly struggling with wedding-related tasks and worrying over the planning timeline, re-evaluate your approach. A well-rested and relaxed bride is better equipped to tackle wedding planning challenges than one who is exhausted. So, do your research first and set priorities. Create a realistic timeline for all wedding tasks and also factor in buffer time. This will allow you to approach the tasks in a systematic and organized fashion. Also accept help from those who offer it. More on this below.

You feel you have to do everything yourself

You may feel that nobody is capable of doing the wedding tasks perfectly. If this means you undertake more than what you are capable of, you are in for big trouble. Having a perfect wedding is not about all the things you successfully did, it is more about the joy and happiness you feel on the day. This won’t be possible if you attempt all the tasks yourself. There will be plenty of friends and family members who are eager to help. Delegate responsibilities to them and trust them to do it right. You should also trust your vendors, especially if you chose them after enough research. So, make your decisions with care, and leave the rest of the job to those concerned. It will take a huge load off your shoulders and leave you more time to enjoy yourself as a bride.

Your vendors don’t look enthusiastic

Do your vendors seem to be doing their job only because you paid them? This could be a sign that they don’t consider you a good client. It is likely to be true if you have particularly signed them up for the job through a referral from a friend or contact. If your contact was extremely happy with their service, it is because they are professionals at what they do. So, it may be time to think of whether you’ve been rude towards them. If you’ve been mean in what you said or the emails you sent, this bad attitude will cause them to be less excited about your wedding. Unless you are certain they are incompetent, look at why they aren’t so keen on doing their job.

If you expect your vendors to do their job with full gusto, it is important you treat them well, show respect, be responsive and open to suggestions and concerns.

You aren’t happy with your fiance’s ideas

If you seem to dismiss every idea your fiance comes up with, it is a sure sign you are turning into a bridezilla.  Just in case you forgot, it happens to be his wedding too. However, if you think you have the last word in all the wedding decisions and ruthlessly reject all that he has to offer, you’re in grave danger. Your fiance will also have certain expectations for your wedding day. After all, it is a lifetime opportunity for him too. So, it is only right that you accommodate his ideas and suggestions as well. Don’t stress out over how his suggestions go with the theme or match your vision. Give him his fair say and let him have some fun too.

We know it is hard to keep calm and stay sane when your wedding day is approaching. It is only normal to get all wrapped up with your wedding plans and make mistakes along the way. Nonetheless, try to keep it under control or it won’t be any fun going forward. Remember that the wedding is just a day in your life, but you need your relationships for the rest of your entire life. Is it worth the drama?

For all your wedding-related needs, such as your dream wedding dress, bridal party dresses, accessories and more, Best for Bride has the solution. Visit our website today and come one step closer to realizing your wedding vision in the easiest possible way.

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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.