Category, Business Name, Address, or Phone

'City,State' or ZIP Code (Fresno,CA or 93727)

Oakland, CA Wedding Bridal Registry, Registering for a Wedding, Selecting Wedding Gifts

Oakland, CA Wedding Guide


Bridal Registry
Bridal Registry; Department Stores; Chinaware; Gift Shops; Glassware; Bedding; Housewares; Linens; Variety Stores

This is where the fun begins.  Developing a bridal registry provides family, friends and guests with insight as to what you need to establish your new home and provide you with something you actually want.  This should be a fun experience as you determine the style of home you want to create and work to blend your two tastes.  Make sure you do it together.  The home you are creating will be shared by both of you.  Remember to compromise and this will be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

A variety of stores offer bridal registry services. Types of stores range from niche and eclectic to all-in one department stores. Bridal registry services now make it easy and convenient for any bride and groom to find what they need to start their new home. Use the tips and guidance found in this section to make sure you register at a variety of stores and include the foundation of what you need to get started. Make sure to include some fun gifts that match your personality and hobbies.



Take Inventory

Before you begin, take inventory of what each of you already have and bring to the marriage.  Depending on the age you marry, you may already have the basics, but could use more decorations.  Perhaps this is the time to start developing the gourmet kitchen you've always wanted. It is also a good time to develop some hobbies you want to establish together. Sit down together and discuss how you plan to spend free time or where you would like to vacation. The decisions you make could add camping gear to the registry or perhaps some luggage. If some existing basics are becoming old and worn, this is a good time to replace them. Maybe you are just starting out and need everything. Whatever the situation, determine what you have first, before you decide what you’ll need.

Use several bridal registry lists to include a portion of the basics so when combined, they include everything you need. This provides variety as well as makes it easier when using gift returns to purchase necessary un-purchased items. Most likely, not all returns go back to one store. Spreading out the list at the first, also spreads out the returns to pick-up anything you did not originally receive.



Create a List

Once inventory is completed, create a list of what you need to get your home established.  If you need the essentials, everyday dishware and flatware are the first things to include.  If you are well stocked on everyday ware, maybe its time to look at formal china. Think about what you use on a daily basis and make sure it is included.

Don’t feel like you have to include any one thing on your list.  There are no formal rules in registry.  Include whatever you need to make your house a home.  If not the formal china type, that’s okay, you don't have to own a set.  Focus on the things you really want and will really use.  Don’t fall into the trap of registering for something pretty or trendy, just because it looked good at the time.  Consider the amount of space in your home and that you need to store all of these items once you receive them.  Don’t start cluttering your home with items and gifts you probably will never use.



Determine Your Style

As you decide on the gifts you want, consider the style each of you bring individually, as well as your style as a couple.  Do you like more of the country look or is your taste more modern?  Do you like a lot of color in your decorating or is a monochromatic look more appealing?

Do you like to host parties?  If you do, include serving trays and serving bowls in the registry. Are outdoor barbeques more your style?  Consider including outdoor dinnerware, barbeque utensils or a barbeque itself.  Do you like to cook?  Then bake ware, mixers, pots and pans, and Panini grills are your required essentials.

Today’s registries can also include more hobby wants and needs as well.  Do you love to camp?  Include camping gear, tents and sleeping bags on your lists.



Registry Etiquette

While the sky is the limit in terms of what can be included in the registry, there are a few etiquette rules when choosing gifts and how to direct people to where you have registered.

Gifts at Various Prices:  When you are choosing the gifts, include gifts at a variety of price ranges.  Gifts should range from under $30 up to $200 and above.  Consider longtime friends of your parents who will spend generously, as well as your struggling college roommate on a tight budget.

Keep It Updated:  As gifts come in, continually check the registry and add additional items.  Make sure there is something on the list for everyone, right up to the day of the wedding and beyond.  Guests have up to a year to purchase a gift, so make sure your registry will be up that long as well.

How to Spread the Word:  It is considered bad taste to include registery information either on the invitation or inside of the invitation.  Many registry stores provide pre-printed insert cards to place in the invitation.  Resist the temptation to insert them.  Word of mouth is the most appropriate way to get the word out about where you are registered.  Tell family, friends and the wedding party where you are registered so they too can spread the word when asked.  You can include information on bridal shower invitation or save the date cards but stay away from the wedding invitations.  If you created a special website for the wedding, it is also acceptable to include the registry information here.  These are the only times it is okay to put it in print.



When to Register

Guests will want to start purchasing gifts from the moment they hear the news.  This is especially true for those invited to any pre-wedding parties or out-of-town guests that won’t be able to make it.  Start your registration immediately.  Don’t leave the decision up to your guests.  Remember, you can always go back and add things to the list at a later date, so make sure you have at least a starter list created. 

Most likely, you will register at a minimum of two or three different places.  Start by ensuring the first one is up quickly, and others can be added later. Soon after the engagement announcements have been made and the excitement has settled in, start selecting gifts. Concentrate on the basics to make it easier and ensure it can be completed in a timely manner. If you plan to send out formal announcements, make sure at least one registry is established. It maybe beneficial to ensure the entire registry is completed prior to sending out announcements. Etiquette frowns on including registry information in the invitation so using the engagement announcement can help spread the word more quickly.



Where to Register
Bridal Registry; Department Stores; Chinaware; Gift Shops; Glassware; Bedding; Housewares; Linens; Variety Stores

There are a variety of places to register that can fulfill any couples’ needs and wants.  To ensure you receive a range of gifts, from fun and eclectic as well as the essentials, register at a variety of different stores.  The majority of traditional department and national specialty stores offer bridal registry services that will notify you when something is purchased and continue to track purchases throughout the process.  They will also assign a sales associate to help throughout the experience, which can be an invaluable resource.

Traditional department stores are a good place to register for the essentials like dinnerware, kitchen and bedding accessories.  Include a variety of department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom’s, Target and Wal-Mart. 

Specialty stores allow you to broaden the selection and include more kitschy and eclectic items on the list.  These can either be local stores or more national chains like Crate and Barrel or Williams-Sonoma.

Include local and hometown stores as well.  Local guests will appreciate the opportunity to buy locally and you can take advantage of unique and original local gift selections that will be unique and original.  Generally, their registry services are either limited or nonexistent.  Be prepared to manage this registry selection on your own.

Whatever stores you include in the final decision, make sure at least one provides an online registry. This is especially important for guests who are out-of-town and will not be able to make it to the wedding.  This allows them to save on shipping costs or at least provide the ability to have the gift shipped. If none of your stores provide an online feature, consider looking into an online store that does.  Many online retailers offer bridal registry services. There are also online exclusive bridal registries.



Return Policy

Find out the specifics regarding exchanges and return policies.  After all of the gifts have come in, you may find you over estimated some quantities and underestimated others.  Make sure the store you register with allows you to make exchanges.  This won’t be a time to walk away with the cash, but many stores allow you to keep the value as store credit and use it towards another purchase.  Review the policy ahead of time and make sure you are aware of the timelines regarding returns so you don’t lose any value from the gift.

Take inventory again. This time of what you received, not what you already had. Discover what you still need and then investigate the best way to utilize your returns to purchase it. Work within the store's timeline for exchanges but give yourself enough time to evaluate your options. Visit a few stores to comparison shop - on quality as well as price. It may be beneficial to take a few days or weeks after returning home from the honeymoon to learn what you still need. You may realize that something you need was never on the original registry list. Leverage the value of the items you'll return to fill in any holes.



What to Register For
Bridal Registry; Department Stores; Chinaware; Gift Shops; Glassware; Bedding; Housewares; Linens; Variety Stores

The gifts you include should be as personal as the two of you.  While you are unbound as to what gifts to include in the registry, you may need help remembering what is essential.  Below is an aid, by category, of what to consider in your selections.  This will ensure the basic bases are covered.

Kitchenware:  Blender, Canisters, Coffeemaker, Colander/Strainer, Dish towels, Can opener, Food processor, Hand mixer, Microwave, Pot holders, Stand mixer, Tea kettle, Toaster

Dishware:  Bowls, Cups, Dinner plates, Glasses, Pitcher, Salad plates, Saucers

Flatware:  Butter knife, Dinner fork, Dinner knife, Salad fork, Tablespoon, Teaspoon

Bake ware:  Cookie sheets, Food storage containers, Measuring cups and spoons, Mixing Bowls, Rubber spatula, Whisk, Wooden spoons

Cookware:  Bottle opener, Casserole dish, Electric skillet, Frying pan, Griddle, Meat thermometer, Rice cooker, Roaster, Salad spinner, Saucepans, Skillet, Stockpot, Steamer, Wok

Cutlery:  Cutting boards, Kitchen Shears, Knife Sharpener, Knives (chef’s, paring, utility), Steak Knives

Table Linens:  Tablecloths, Placemats, Napkins

Bathroom:  Bath mat, Floor mat/rug, Hamper, Scale, Soap dish, Shower curtain, Towels (hand, face, bath, washcloth), Toothbrush holder, Toilet cover, Wastebasket

Master bedroom and guest bedroom:  Bed skirt, Blankets, Comforter or Duvet, Mattress pad, Pillows (bed, throw), Shams, Sheets (fitted, flat, pillow cases)

Others:  Clocks, Gardening equipment, Iron, Ironing board, Picture frames, Rugs (kitchen and hallway), Throw blankets, Tools, Vacuums (general and specialty)



Saying Thank You

Let your guests know you received their gifts and you appreciate their generosity.  For any gift arriving prior to the wedding, send out the thank you note within a two week timeframe.  Any gifts you receive after the wedding, thank you notes should be written and sent within the first month of your return from the honeymoon. When creating the notes, follow the etiquette below to ensure your guests are properly thanked.

  • Handwrite all thank you notes. This makes the gesture more personal.
  • Send thank you cards for each individual gift received. Send a separate card for both a bridal shower gift as well as a wedding gift - even if they were sent from the same person. Shower and party gifts should be separate and sent within 10 days of the event.
  • Include your return address. This provides friends and family with your current address.
  • Never wait longer than three months to thank someone for the gift.
  • Use stationery that fits within the style and theme of the wedding. Remember to include these when ordering the wedding invitations.
  • Send thank you notes for those who sent money or gift certificates.
  • Be sincere and genuine in your writing.
 
website statistics