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Brides Ask About Setting up a Wedding Registry
by Blake Kritzberg
In theory, setting up a registry is simple. You decide on one or
several stores, create a registry online or in person, select
various items, and get the word out to your guests. In practice,
things are a little more complicated -- but only a little!
With that said, here's the real deal on setting up your wedding
registry and getting the word out without offending your guests.
Remember that retailers can be an enormous help to both you and
your guests. At the same time, you can’t take everything they
say at face value.
Q: Where should I register? A: Chances are, if you're getting
married in your own town, you already know where "everyone goes"
to set up and shop from a registry. If not, and guests are
flying in from far away, pick from some bride-tested standbys
likely to be present almost anywhere. Macy’s has a great
reputation for registries, as does Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath &
Beyond and other retailers.
Before you choose your stores, be sure to stop by a wedding
forum and get feedback from brides who have been there, done
that. Store policies vary quite dramatically, ranging from the
easy-does-it (who’ll give you cash back for returns off the
registry, no questions asked) to the extremely restrictive
(who’ll only let you exchange for another item *in that
department*, requires a receipt for each item, and so on).
You'll want to know about these policies and the store's overall
reputation for bridal friendliness before you go in, or returns
and exchanges could become a big hassle.
Q: I have a wide range of interests. How many stores should I
register at? A: Two to three stores is fairly typical. They
don't have to be typical stores, though. If you're a wine
drinker, and live in a state where it's legal to ship wine, set
up a registry at one of the great online wine merchants.
Q: When should I register? A: Although close family members may
pressure you to start earlier, it's helpful to wait three to six
months before the wedding. Not only are the vast majority of
gifts bought within a day or so of the shower or ceremony
itself, stores turn over merchandise so rapidly that any gifts
you select earlier may be discontinued.
Q: What if I already have all the kitchen appliances and throw
pillows I need? A: Consider putting together a honeymoon
registry instead, so guests can contribute toward a special meal
or snorkeling trip or a night’s lodging during your honeymoon.
Q: When I signed up at Store X, they gave me a bunch of
attractive registry cards to enclose with my wedding
invitations. Should I do it, or is that tacky? A: Sorry, but the
consensus is almost universal -- it's uncouth to include any
mention of gifts in your invitations. You can, however, tuck
those cards into shower invitations. Perhaps the best solution
is to include a note in your invitations that reads, "Please see
our wedding web site at www.xyz.com" and place your registry
Q: How many gifts should I register for? I don't want to look
demanding. A: Typically, you'll want to select two or three
items per guest. That gives people room to choose instead of
locking them into something they don't enjoy buying, or worse,
forcing them to guess what else you might like, giving birth to
the “second yogurt maker” type of gift.
If you have many guests, you can avoid creating a 16-page
monstrosity for them to print out by breaking up your registry
over several stores.
At the end of the day, “more is more.” Many retailers offer
discounts on those items you registered for but didn't receive.
Many stores also retain your registry for at least 12 months
after the wedding. You may find it's best to register for
everything that you plan to buy, even if you don't expect to get
it as a gift; you can then purchase your selections for 10% or
20% off after the ceremony. Many brides also find friends and
family tapping registries for gift buying ideas for birthdays
and other holidays!
Q: What price range should I stick with when selecting items? A:
Generally, you should register for things you really feel you
want or need, without worrying too much about the price. Some
guests enjoy picking up a number of items in the low price
range, and sometimes guests will group together to purchase
Q: I've set up my registry just fine, but now I’m addicted to
checking it. How can I stop? A: Sorry, there's no known antidote
for registry-checking addiction, though it's a widespread
phenomenon. Counting to ten, taking deep breaths or distracting
yourself with double-fudge ice cream might be worth a shot.
Blake Kritzberg is editor at "FavorIdeas.com." Stop by for
wedding favor ideas, Save-the-Date eCards, free wedding
screensaver, free wedding templates and Bridezilla's weekly
Choosing a Wedding Date –- When You’re
by Blake Kritzberg
He – or she – asked, and you answered in the affirmative. Now's
the time to bask in the romance, and enjoy the first phase of
your new life together. But soon, you'll need a response for
that timeless question: "when's the wedding?"
For some couples, it's easy – they know just when they want to
tie the knot. For others, it's less clear. After all, you have a
lot of options. Even more than you might think, since it's
really not necessary to get married on a Saturday. Friday and
Sunday afternoons are good choices too, and less expensive.
So if you're looking at the calendar ahead and seeing a hundred
alternatives, all about equally attractive, here's how to narrow
No matter how flexible you are, there's bound to be things you
won't compromise on. Maybe it's a particular church, temple and
officiant for your ceremony. Maybe it's a special venue for your
reception. And there are certain indispensable guests, like your
Luckily for you, putting just these three things together is
bound to reduce your choices. Once you call on the
church/temple, ceremony venue or reception hall, you'll probably
find many dates already filled, especially if you call less than
nine months in advance. Good. That makes things easier!
But maybe you don't have a must-have venue. Maybe you just have
an image in your mind of the perfect wedding. Maybe it involves
falling snow, ermine mantles, a horse-drawn carriage, and a
crackling fireplace. Maybe it involves stacks of shiny apples,
heaped pumpkins, a scattering of leaves and the scent of
cranberry-apple cider. Or delicate pastels, gossamer pashminas
for the bridesmaids, and a dove release. In this case your time
of year is set: all that's needed it to work out the logistics
of venue, local climate and the availability of your most
Some people know exactly what floral arrangements they want at
their wedding. Flowers are such an enormous part of the wedding
budget, if particular ones are important to you, you might want
to arrange your date around them. Unless you're an heiress, for
example, you'll want to avoid buying roses for your Valentine's
Day wedding. On the other hand, December and January are great
months to buy calla lilies. To study flower availability charts,
Google for "flower availability by month."
If you have your heart set on a certain destination, you'll
probably find the honeymoon helps set the date for you. Chances
are, some dates are good for travel but others involve the risk
of hurricanes or lengthy rains.
For now, winter is the slow wedding season. So it's often
(though not always) true that you can get a break on expenses by
having your ceremony during the holidays. Brides often find that
by marrying near Christmas, they benefit from already-decorated
churches and don't need to add much themselves. Plus, if they
shop the year before, they can stock up on decorations at
incredibly discounted post-holiday sales. The trick is to avoid
competing with office parties for reception venues and
limousines (New Year's Eve is particularly competitive).
Another factor to consider, besides the possibility of dismal
weather, is how many guests are due from out-of-town. Flying in
for a holiday wedding can strain any family's Christmas budget,
plus airlines often charge extra during the season.
If you need to keep expenses in check but want to avoid winter,
make sure you steer clear of proms, graduation, "parents' day"
at colleges, major sporting events and other local events.
You might find your own life gives more guidance than you think.
Are you a teacher, with set vacation times? Are you graduating
from college or ending an internship? Are many of your relations
students, available only during the holidays or the summer? If
you're working, is your vacation time limited to a certain time
of year? If many guests are flying in, will Labor Day weekend or
Memorial Day weekend give them time to get acclimated and enjoy
your big day? If none of these apply, is there a date that has
special significance to you as a couple, such as the date you
first met or first dated?
Many people find little extra jolt of comfort in picking
auspicious days for their wedding. In India and China, this is
standard practice. But even in the West, people often find it
reassuring to pick numbers or dates with personal meaning. A
Chinese custom is to select a date with as many even numbers as
possible (such as 2-18-2006). The Irish believed that New Year's
Eve is luckiest for weddings. The Romans (and consequently,
modern westerners) favored the month of June. For Victorians, it
was lucky to marry on the groom's birthday.
About the Author
Blake Kritzberg is ringmaster at "FavorIdeas.com." Stop by for
wedding favor ideas, Save-the-Date eCards, free wedding
screensaver, free wedding templates and Bridezilla's weekly
Wedding Dress for Your Body Type
by Victoria Williams
For those of us who don’t look like Pamela Anderson or Halle
Berry, picking the correct style wedding dress can be crucial to
your overall look. Worrying about if you picked the right dress
is the last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day.
We all want to look our best and when you look “good” you tend
to feel good. This article will give the Do’s and the Don’ts for
your body type. Here are the different body types and their
definitions: Apple- for those who gain weight primarily around
Pear-for those who are wider on the
bottom and smaller up top
Hourglass- weight is evenly
distributed between the hips and chest area
Square- weight tends to be evenly
distributed throughout the body
Inverted Pear- as you might expect
those who have large chests and/or broad shouldered and small on
The Dos and the Don’ts
*Apple Body Type* Dos Empire
waistlines- camouflages a big waistline V-necks- make the body
look more sharp and less round Don’ts (the following maximizes
the waistline) Corsets Skirts with lines that cut across the
middle Full skirts Elongated bodices
*Pear Body Type* (the following
balances out the top and bottom)
Dos Padded or puffy shoulders
Don’ts Narrow shoulders Body hugging sheaths Full puffy skirts
*Hourglass Body Type* (to maintain a balanced physique) Dos
Strapless Dresses-flatters your shoulders Body hugging sheaths
V-necks Off the shoulder dresses-shows off shoulders Don’ts
Beaded or highly decorated bodices-puts on a few pounds Full
skirts-attracts attention to the hips
*Square Body Type* (to create the
illusion of curves) Dos Beaded or decorated necklines Full
skirts Padded, puffy or oversized sleeves or shoulders
Horizontal detailing Don’ts Clingy slim gowns
*Inverted Pear Body Type* Dos
Simple sleeves Full Skirts
Much is written about etiquette for the bride and groom, but
little is mentioned about etiquette for wedding guests, yet
the conduct of guests can create unnecessary stress before
the wedding and on the wedding day. Following are issues for
wedding guests to consider that will make the wedding
experience more pleasant for everyone involved.
• Return response cards in a timely manner even if you do
not plan to attend. Couples must give their caterer an
accurate guest count and they need the response cards to do
so. Do not assume that your children, a date, or visiting
relatives are automatically invited if their names do not
appear on the invitation. Many venues, not to mention
budgets, are not large enough to accommodate unlimited
numbers of guests. • Dress appropriately. If the ceremony
will be held in a church, guests may not be able to wear
sundresses, short skirts, shorts, and other revealing or
casual attire, including baseball caps. Do not wear caps,
jeans, or shorts to any wedding except a very informal
outdoor gathering. • Arrive on time. If you are late and the
processional or ceremony has already started, take your cue
from the wedding coordinator or church coordinator. They
will allow you to enter when there is opportunity to do so.
If the processional is in progress, don’t interrupt.
Instead, wait until the wedding party has entered, then
quietly slip in a side door and choose a seat in the back.
Do not enter down the center aisle unless there is no other
• Do not take pictures during the ceremony. Many churches do
not allow flash pictures and you may disturb the ceremony.
The professional photographer is the only one who should be
taking pictures and he/she will know the rules of the church
or event center.
• At most ceremonies, the guests stand when the bride
enters. Take your cue from the mother of the bride or from
the officiant. Remain standing until the officiant asks you
to be seated.
• When the ceremony ends, remain in your seat until the
ushers dismiss you, or if there are no ushers, until the
mothers of the bride and groom have been escorted out. Allow
family members of the bride and groom, who will be seated
near the front, to exit first.
• If you bring children, keep them under control. If they
become disruptive during the ceremony, take them out. Many
churches have a cry room with a window and sound where you
can still observe the ceremony. During the reception, don’t
allow the children to run wild. Don’t expect the
photographer, coordinator, or DJ to supervise them for you.
If your children cause damage, be prepared to pay for it.
Otherwise, the bride and groom will be held responsible and
friendships could be ruined.
• If a buffet is served at the reception, don’t pile your
plate full unless you are at the end of the line. Be
courteous of those who have yet to eat.
• Don’t drink too much. You are there to celebrate with the
newly weds, not embarrass yourself and them.
The wedding day is the bride and groom’s special day. If
each guest displays courtesy and thoughtfulness, the day
will be a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone in
Glenna Tooman is the owner of Memory Makers Event Planning,
LLC. She specializes in planning unique and personal events
while keeping the client's budget in mind. Glenna is an
internationally recognized authority on wedding and event
planning. She is also the author of a regional wedding guide
"The Commonsense Guide to Planning Your Wedding."
Some Tips About the Wedding Toast
by Susan Dunn
Getting married is such an exciting event. Emotions run
high, but there's also a lot of work to do, so it's a good
time to use our emotional intelligence.
Consider hiring a coach to help you manage it all and be an
auxiliary "brain" so you can be freer to experience the
moment. A coach can point you to many resources, help you
keep it all organized, and lessen that "overwhelmed"
Break it into manageable pieces and as you take care of each
item, you'll gain momentum.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS ABOUT GIVING THE TOAST
A suggested order for toasting during the Rehearsal Dinner
The best man toasts the bride
The bride toasts the groom
The groom toasts the bride's mother
The bride's father toasts the groom's parents.
During the Reception, the order might be:
The best man toasts the bride and groom
The groom toasts the bride and her family;
The (two) father(s) toast the bride and groom
The bride and groom toast each other.
1. Keep the toast 3-5 minutes long and maintain eye contact
with the bride and groom as you deliver it.
2. Stand and deliver! Sit down if it's for you. If you're
giving the toast, you should stand up.
3. Make sure all the glasses are full before you begin.
4. First thing, announce your relationship to the bride and
groom. Everyone may not know.
5. Use personal anecdotes; how the bride and groom met is
always popular. Or how you met either of them, if you're not
6. Don’t give a long string of characteristics. Rather
choose a few adjectives, hitting the high points, i.e.,
she's lovely, vivacious and kind.
7. Use tasteful humor and don’t do “in” jokes that only a
few will get. You want to include, not exclude.
8. Stay PG-rated. There may be children there, and also it's
just good taste. It's your responsibility on this important
occasion to make sure you offend no one.
9. End on a serious note. Finish with a wish, a blessing,
cheers! or congratulations. “To the bridge and groom” always
works. Looking at some of the resources below will give you
other ideas to get you started.
10. Practice your toast a lot beforehand. This is not the
time to “wing it” especially if you plan to be imbiding
11. Do not mention past girlfriends, past marriage, or past
relationships. That’s what the stag party is for.
12. And don’t end with something negative which may slip
into your mind if you aren’t prepared like, “And I hope
theirs doesn’t end in divorce like mine did.”
Susan Dunn, MA, Psychology, Emotional Intelligence Coach,
. Coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional
intelligence for career, relationships, transitions,
resilience, personal and professional development.
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