- Time it Right
It is completely acceptable to register as soon as you get engaged. This is great for guests who would like to purchase a gift for any prewedding celebration -- engagement parties, showers, brunches -- or for people who'd just like to send something as a token of their congratulations.
- Know Thyself
Don't be a slave to traditional registry lists. If you never cook at home but love to camp, it makes more sense to register for a tent than to request crystal goblets. But be open to the fact that your tastes may change in the future. Even though you can't imagine the need at this moment in your life for that glass trifle bowl, it may become indispensable for future dinner party desserts.
- Take Stock
Make a list of what both of you have and will keep -- and what you still need and want. Consider the need for "everyday" and "formal" versions of dinnerware, glassware, table linens, and serving items. Important: Discuss what level of formality you want and general color schemes or patterns before you begin.
- Interview the Store
Speak up and ask: Is the gift-getting process hassle-free for buyers? How many locations does the store have? Can they order by phone or fax? Does the store have a toll-free number? Better yet, will your registry be available online? Can guests purchase gifts online?