What’s up with Registry?

What should you register for? Start with things you'll need for everyday, special occasions, and holidays. Start in one room of the house such as the kitchen or dining room, and move on to other rooms in your home (bathroom, bedroom, living room, guest room, garage, garden, etc.). Register in a variety of price ranges from the college budget to larger group gifts to accommodate all your guests. Discussing the decorating plans and color themes in advance will make the registry process much easier and more enjoyable.

Registry is not just for the bride to decide. National registries report that about 70% of the registry is done by the couple together. Many brides are surprised at the attention to detail and craftsmanship that their grooms will contribute to the selection process. Grooms will also find sections on the registry forms for the tools and toys they'd like to receive for the new household.

Register at these fine stores in your area
Macys.comTargetCrate & Barrel
JCPenneyDillard'sMarriott Gift Card
Sears - U.S.Sears - CanadaEarth Friendly Goods
Tiffany & Co.KohlsBed Bath & Beyond
Pottery BarnWalmartUnica Home
TupperwareThe Home DepotCarnival Cruise Lines
REIOutside OutfittersRoyal Caribbean Gifts@Sea Registry

Have fun with registry! This is the perfect time to shop with your fiance, either in the store, or online. Discuss your style types and colors. We've also included two cruise lines so that you can register toward expenses for your honeymoon. Neat, huh?

How do you let people know where you are registered, and that by registering, you have indicated your preference or gifts? Discreetly! Do NOT list your registry on an invitation. Let the family and friends spread the word for you. As gifts start arriving, it is a good idea to update the store registry on gifts received to help prevent duplication.

Registry can be utilized for the wedding and shower alike, not only for the bride but also for the groom. Why should the bride have all the fun of a shower? A tool party for the groom can be a crafty best man's planning for the bachelor party.

With the growing numbers of second marriages, older brides, and grooms, and brides and grooms living on the their own with established households before marring, registering at specialty shops such as hardware, music, gardening stores or art galleries is becoming more common practice. With the craftsmanship and artistry available today, bridal couples should take advantage of the art that abounds.

If a favorite store or gallery doesn't offer a registry, you might ask the family and friend to also suggest a gift certificate or a certain retailer when providing registry information. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Registry Checklist.

Alternative Gift Registry

Some couples may not have the need - or the desire - for traditional wedding gifts. Instead, an increasing number are opting for charitable gift registries that allow couples to channel the generosity of their wedding guests to a great cause. Rather than giving a toaster, provide life-saving vaccines to children in Cambodia. Or, skip the blender and provide a noontime meal to girls walking 4 miles each way to school in Burkina Faso.

GlobalGiving offers a charitable gift registry feature that makes it as easy to support high-impact, grassroots charity projects as it is to pick china, kitchenware, or new appliances. Couples can browse GlobalGiving's extensive collection of high-impact charity projects (currently numbering over 400 in 70 countries), in themes ranging from education and health to the environment and economic development. Gift givers choose from the project(s) the couple has selected, and make a tax-deductible contribution, and a card is automatically sent to the bride and groom informing them of the gift made in their honor.

Saima C., who was married last spring, grew up in Bangladesh. Now living in New York City, she and her fiancé decided to set up a GlobalGiving registry, encouraging their friends and family to give to the projects .

"Setting up a GlobalGiving registry enabled our friends and families to support projects that were meaningful to us and that would make a real impact in the world," Saima says.

This spring, design students at Stanford University brainstormed additional ways that forward-thinking couples can integrate charitable giving into their weddings. One idea - in lieu of spending money on wedding favors, donate to projects that may have a personal connection. Meet your future spouse on a trek in the Himalayas? Consider giving to a project to rescue girls from bonded labor in Nepal. Going to Jamaica on your honeymoon? Support preservation efforts in threatened habitats.

Charitable gift registries enable couples to turn a special occasion into a way to make a positive difference in the world. Who needs a fondue set when the alternative could be a better life for communities all over the world?

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