Deciding whether or not to register for gifts is one of the first decisions you and your fiancé will need to make when planning your wedding.  Traditionally, the gift registry has allowed friends and family to assist young couples in setting-up their home with the basic essentials of a “well-run” home, and special, heirloom quality pieces that they will pass on to the next generation. 


Many couples today are getting married later in life.  They already have both all of the essentials, and most likely special pieces throughout their home they received as gifts from friends and family over the years.  So you might ask, what’s the point of registering for gifts, when we already have what we need? 


Well it’s simple really, you collected those items as single men, and not as a couple.  You’re starting a new married life together, and while your individual identities remain intact, you will be considered a couple by society. 


Gift giving is a time-honored tradition when it comes to weddings.  While receiving gifts, particularly if you don’t “need” them may feel a bit awkward, we can assure you it’s a meaningful gesture to those you love who really want to demonstrate their support in a tangible way.   It is very helpful when you provide them with a little guidance through registering. 


Now for the challenging part, deciding upon what to register for.   Rather than look around your home for what you might need, look at this exercise as an opportunity to refresh your home with dishes, items for entertaining and objects that commemorate your big day.  There may also be things you always wanted or wished you had, and this is a great time to add them to your life. 


When registering, it’s best to designate a couple of different retailers.  Selecting two retailers will allow you designate a broader spectrum of items, with a variety of price points.  A department store may have a better selection of dishes and glassware, while a specialty store such as Williams Sonoma, might offer more unique items.  Whichever retailers you choose, make sure they have an online option for purchasing and a reputation for well-managed registries.


Before the two of head out for a Saturday full of zapping bar-codes, you will probably want to sit-down and discuss your priorities and what you both want to register for.  Please don’t assume that your fiancé is going to want the same exact things that you do.  Many relationships get off to rocky start in the china department when they begin fighting over a gold or silver rim on the plate.  Pick your battles, and let it be fun.  If you’re going to defer to your fiancé on the selection process, make sure you do it completely.  If you have an option, well then it’s time to start practicing all of those positive communication tools you have been learning. 


After your wedding, when your spending your weekend writing notes of gratitude and appreciation for each item you’ve received, you will look around your home and be reminded of each person who gave you a gift and find your home filled with memories of your special day.