Yes a gift registry makes it a lot easier for you. You do not need to worry about getting three ice buckets (which I got by the way), you can be sure you'll get what you want (or at least 80%) and that most of the gifts go together. The other side of it, of course, is that it makes it easier for the guests. Trying to think of an original wedding gift without any clues is really hard. So bear that in mind as we go through the following tips on getting your wedding gift registry just right.
Only use a competent of stores. It's easier to coordinate between them, avoiding duplication of gifts. Make sure you choose things that are available, and you let the guests know which stores they are, and where they can find the list. I would choose one big department store and a couple of more specialty stores.
It's worth investigating things like return policies at the stores you choose as you are bound to get a few duplicates.
As soon as you announce your wedding it's a good idea to set up a short list in one store. Close friends and relatives may want to buy you something as soon as they hear the good news. Another thing to bear in mind, is that you'll want to get the lists out at least a month before any engagement parties or wedding showers.
In terms of the big day, a six month window will help you and your guests a lot. You can update and add to the list as you get closer to the day, and the guests have plenty of time to choose their gift. One thing to look out for though, is that you do not want anything discontinued, so make sure you review the lists every week or two.
The more gifts you list, the more likely people are to find one they like. So start with a "core" list, and add items as your plans for the weeding and your life together unfold. The more gifts on that list, the more likely you are to get some you like!
Do not be narrow when it comes to list gifts – yes there are the traditional items like kitchenware, appliances, linens, dinner sets etc., but it's worth putting some unusual things on the list too. Computer accessories, DVDs that you both like are a couple of ideas. This will also give a wider price range for those that can not (or will not!) Spend a lot.
The internet is the best tool here of course, with most stores having gift registries online.