The average wedding in 2014 cost $31,213, according to results of study on weddings trends conducted by The Knot, one of the biggest wedding sites on the web.
However, no matter the amount of money spent on nuptials and celebrating, there is something given back that every bride and groom can look forward to: gifts. Of course, in order for the couple to receive a personalized array of gifts, there is more planning to do — in the form of a wedding registry.
A registry can do one of two things for a couple: make them feel guilty as they choose the many things their guests could purchase for them, or it can fuel more discussion about the details and needs of their future life together.
Because couples should start thinking about the stacks of gifts that will be there when the parties are over, here are six pieces of advice from around the web for building a wedding registry.
- Register early. "Registering for wedding gifts should be one of the first tasks you tackle when you get engaged. ... You don't need to complete your list just yet, but at least have a selection for guests to browse," wrote The Knot.
- Register for whatever you want. There is no need to register for "traditional" items if they aren't wanted. There are also quite a few gifts couples don't think to request that can be practical for the future, including irons and vacuums or seasonal and holiday gifts like ornaments or holiday-themed china, according to Yahoo. Another "do," which was shared on realsimple.com, is requesting nontraditional items, especially when they reflect you as a couple.
- Make sure you hit all price points. "About a third of your items should be under $50, a third from $50 to $150 and the rest $150 and up," wrote Karena Bailey, a New York City-based wedding and special events planner, for realsimple.com. "If you're questioning whether it's appropriate, others probably will, too," Bailey said.
- Be considerate of your guests. Making sure at least one, if not all, of the places a couple registers at can be accessed online is something many people living busy lives will appreciate, The Knot advised. However, some people are more comfortable going into a store to purchase something in person, so it's good to make sure that all registries aren't exclusively online. Some online retailers, however, have great shipping policies for gifts, like Amazon’s recent decision to make shipping free on all small items (as well as free same-day delivery for Prime members in some cities).
- Think gift cards. "Many stores allow you to register for (gift cards) and you can use them to buy the things you want and need" at a later point in time, wrote The Knot. Asking for cash, however, is best done by having close friends or immediate family politely share the word; directly asking for cash is a big "don't" by wedding etiquette standards.
- Say thanks. Here is a timeline for sending thank-you's, according to Bridal Guide: "Engagement party and shower, within two to three weeks of the festivities; gifts sent before the wedding date, as soon as possible, but definitely before the wedding; gifts given on the day itself, within three months; gifts received after your wedding, within two to three weeks."
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