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Your bridal registry — what to select and what to skip

 Are you really going to use that panini press you registered for, or that bread machine you thought you had to have when you signed up for your bridal registry?  After you’ve been married for a few years, you’ll know exactly what gifts have been the workhorses in your kitchen, and which items you should’ve left on the shelf.  It’s very important to give extra thought to the items you put on your registry, because this is the one time in your life that people will be buying you big gifts … and lots of them.  One bride from who looked back on the items she registered for 10 years before has five items she is very glad to have registered for, and what she’d do differently today:

1. Dishes  Register for at least eight, or preferably 12, sets of dishes in a pattern or color you love, with white being the most versatile for all occasions and holidays.

2. Flatware  Pick a really great set that you will use for years and love. Register for at least 12, if you plan to do any entertaining. Ditto for the dishes above.

3. Basic cookware set  Register for premium cookware, because there are reasons it’s worth the extra price. You can skip the super expensive pre-packaged set and create your own small collection where every piece makes it into high rotation.

4. Crystal wine glasses  Pick a pattern that you know you can live with and enjoy for years, and make sure to register for six more than you think you need!

5. Mini food processor  You can work a Cuisinart 3-cup food processor for years, until it totally gives up on you a decade later. You might want a larger food processor, but the “little guy” is super easy to use and clean, and lasts practically forever.

Wedding registry do’s and don’ts:

 • Register shortly after your engagement, because people will be buying engagement gifts, in addition to wedding gifts.

 • Register at more than one place. This way, your guests will have a variety of gifting options. Try to include at least one big-name retailers, so your out-of-town guests can easily shop for you.

 • Select gifts at a variety of price points. Yes, you can register for that luxury bedding or a stand mixer, but make sure there is a full range of items so guests can select gifts within their means.

 • Connect your registry with your wedding website. That way, your guests will have easy access to your registry.

 • Feel free to keep adding items. People will be buying gifts for you throughout your wedding, and some, even after for special occasions. If you keep your registry current, you’ll make it easier for people looking for gift ideas.

 • You can have a less traditional registry, like one for gardening equipment or camping gear, but also include a traditional list for people who feel more comfortable with a few classic options.  • You can also give a signal that gifts of money are welcome, but that would be done by word of mouth, not listed as part of a registry. Some websites also facilitate cash gifts for saving money for a down payment on a home, so do your research carefully on setting up your registry.

 • Don’t plan to use your wedding gifts until after your wedding. On the very off chance that your wedding date would be cancelled, long-standing etiquette states that wedding gifts are to be returned to the giver. You can’t do that if it’s already scratched and used.

 • Remember to send a thank you note for each gift you receive. If you send a card as soon as the gift arrives, it will make it easier to keep up with, and will also help with your workload after the honeymoon.

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