The concept of a wedding gift registry originated in
1924, when a Chicago based department store, Marshall
Fields, started offering gift registry services to engaged
couples. This concept spread rapidly to other department
stores and can now be found on general shopping websites
and websites that are dedicated entirely to managing
gift registry lists.
Bridal registry system
A gift registry or bridal registry system allows engaged
couples to coordinate the purchase of gifts for their
wedding by the various guests. Based on their needs,
the couple prepares a list of items that they would
prefer to receive. The items are selected either from
all the items available in a single store or from the
selections of online stores that offer such services.
The list is then provided for the use of the guests
who use it to select a gift based on their budgets.
Items are checked off as purchases are made, eliminating
the chance that a single gift item would be purchased
by multiple guests. This way, couples can make sure
that they get a wide variety of gifts and this also
helps guests in deciding what to buy as a wedding present.
The process of creating gift registry for the wedding
is quite easy. Couples just need to use a little common
sense for including those items that they need the most.
The only problems that most couples encounter when making
a list are caused by differences in each other's personal
preferences. For example, one partner may prefer green
while the other may vouch for blue. While selecting
the items that are to be included in the gift registry,
couples need to think about which items will be used
everyday, on special occasions, and during holidays.
They might start with the living room, noting down the
things they would like to see there, then move on to
other rooms, and do the same. To allow for the different
purchasing power of their guests, couples should select
a variety of gift item price levels so that each guest
can contribute and none will feel left out.
After setting up the registry, couples will need to
notify the guests about the store or online site where
the list is kept. This is usually done through family
and friends, who spread the word for the couple, and
not through wedding invitation cards. To prevent two
or more people from buying the same gift, couples need
to remind their friends to update their wedding registry
page every time they place an order for a gift. They
also need to keep adding new items to the registry,
especially in categories where very few items are remaining.
Old vs. new
With the availability of online stores, the old gift
system wherein gifts were selected personally by the
guests is being replaced by gift registry system, which
gives couples the freedom to select gifts according
to their needs. This means that gifts will be actually
used and not stored in the attic or basement. However,
a gift registry system does not necessary bar anyone
from giving personalized items, as a gift given from
the heart is always treasured.
Some people, especially the older guests, are sometimes
highly critical of a gift registry system, as they think
that the system takes out the charm and the element
of surprise inherent in traditional wedding gift system.
However, these people cannot be blamed for their views,
as people are usually resistant to change and do not
take to new ideas that easily. The gift registry system
may seem offensive at times but when one looks at the
benefits that the couples derive from this system, the
guest can be comforted on later visits when they see
the items they purchased being used daily and not forgotten.