Wedding Wisdom

Wedding Wisdom: Registering for the Big Day

Welcome to Wedding Wisdom! Every week, JET experts will help you plan your dream nuptials from engagement to “I do.” This week, wedding planner and bride-to-be Tami Smallwood, CEO of blush|WEDDING & EVENT PLANNING FIRM, gives all types of couples advice on planning their wedding registries.

Photo courtesy of Cellar Door Photography.

Photo courtesy of Cellar Door Photography.

Earlier this summer, reality legend, Nene Leakes remarried her ex-husband Gregg in a lavish multi-million dollar wedding. Talk in and around beauty shops and water coolers has been infused with mentions of which celebrities were or were not in attendance and who donned which designers at this star-studded event. No surprises there, but the shocker of this occasion was the Leakes’ bridal registry.

If you’ve missed some of the details, the reunited couple registered for over $40,000 in crystal and platinum housewares from Beverly Hill’s upscale store, Geary’s—home of bridal registry for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star’s wish list included big ticket items, such as a set of Platinum 12″ charger plates for $7,200 and a set of crystal wine glasses for $4,480. I’m not mad at her…Who wouldn’t want a set of platinum chargers? If Geary’s is not for you, however, I’ve got some registry suggestions that may be more appropriate and a little lighter on the wallet for your guests.

Traditionally, bridal registries were intended to help couples establish their homes and if this fits the bill for you and your sweetie, there are a wide range of stores and websites available. From Wal-Mart and Target to Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, you can fashion your new digs with bath towels and bed linens or luggage and small appliances. But, before you get trigger happy with the registry scanner, let’s establish a few rules:

Do an assessment of what you need and go with a list. Registering can be like the grocery store—no list or preparation and you may end up with gifts that you didn’t really need. Those little scanners can be so addictive!

Give your guests options. Register at stores with a range of price points or multiple stores if they are available in your town. Steer clear of specialty shops or boutiques. They can be difficult, logistically, and discouraging for out-of-town guests.

Make sure the stores have purchase options. Guests should have the option to shop online or in store.

In case you’re not a traditionalist or have more towels than your linen closet can hold, there are some unique alternatives. Most often, couples already live together or have lived on their own for some time and have no need for more barware. If this sums up your situation you may want to try these cool sites: and Many couples finance their weddings themselves so a little help with the honeymoon is nice. Both sites allow guests to contribute to aspects of your honeymoon. One guest can purchase a pair of massages at your destination or add onto the cost of your airfare. If you are looking to buy a home after the wedding–what better gift than contributions toward home ownership? This site allows friends and family to chip in on the purchase of your first home together. How cool is that?

When you prefer cash as a gift, I always recommend that couples go the traditional route in this area of wedding etiquette:

Let parents and close parties know that you prefer cash instead of gifts and spread the word (only when asked) to your guests. If you or your fiancé are asked directly, you can answer honestly by saying you prefer cash.

It is NEVER acceptable to include a request for money on ANY part of the invitation. Some people come up with cute sayings and poems to attempt to communicate this tactfully. It’s never acceptable no matter what.

Most of all have fun and include your honey in the process. Happy registering!