We all know how difficult it can be to select the perfect wedding gift and how much easier it is as a guest if the couple has given you some ideas about the things they’d love to receive. A wedding gift registry is the perfect solution to really help your guests.

But when it comes to gift registries, the choices today can be overwhelming. From traditional department store registries, to registries with specific retailers such as a travel agent or furniture suppliers, to a wide range of online options offering different features and styles. It can be difficult to know what is right for you.

At The Hint Registry, we let couples create an online bespoke registry with any gifts they can dream of.  But before you start, ask the following five questions to ensure you are getting exactly what you want.

1. Are we happy to receive gifts from only one retailer?

For many couples, it is important to have flexibility and include a wide variety of gift options. In some cases, not all of these gifts will be available from the same shop and they may not even all be ‘things’. For example, a couple may wish to include luxurious new linen, a couple’s massage and contributions to their house deposit. Modern, online registries often make this possible.

If you decide that you’d like all of your gifts from one shop or you’d like your guests to contribute to one gift, such as honeymoon airfares, be sure to ask the retailer what happens if you receive more money than you need. Generous contributions from guests can exceed a couple’s expectations. Some retailers won’t provide the excess funds in cash, instead requiring the couple to purchase additional goods from their store or take a store credit.

2. What are the costs?

Wedding registries invariably come at a price, but the fees and the method of charging varies significantly. Ensure you understand exactly what you and your guests will be paying for. For example, are their compulsory costs for wrapping and delivery of the gifts? Does the guest pay for this or do you? What are the costs of hosting an online registry?

3. Would we like our guests to purchase physical gifts or do we want to receive money so we can purchase in our own time?

Traditional registries, such as those from major department stores, enable guests to purchase a specific product. That product is then wrapped and delivered to the couple getting married.

While this may suit many couples, today, there are a variety of other options available. For example, some registries enable guests to contribute to a specified gift but then provide the couple with money, not the product itself. The couple can purchase the gift in their own time, taking advantage of sales or discounts and removing delivery and wrapping costs. This option is also perfect for couples who would like guests to contribute to experiences, such as a dinner at a gourmet restaurant or activities on their honeymoon.

4. Do we want the look and feel of the registry to reflect our wedding?

Some registries enable you to personalise the registry so it more accurately reflects the tone and feel of your wedding. For example, you may be able to add photographs or a message to your guests explaining how grateful you are for their contribution. You may also find that the appearance of a particular registry works better with the theme of your special day.

5. Can all of our guests access the registry?

If you have guests coming from interstate or overseas, consider whether they can access the registry before they arrive and whether different costs apply. Similarly, if you are using an online gift registry, consider whether there are older guests who may require assistance or an additional explanation of what they need to do. You might also like to consider how long the registry stays open. Will guests be able to make purchases on the day of, or even after the event?

Thinking through these five key questions will ensure your registry meets your needs and you successfully tick another task off your wedding to-do list!

Ms Chinoiserie Says: The idea of receiving money to purchase gifts in your own tie may suit you if you can’t decide on your selection now; but make sure you understand if there are any  restrictions so you don’t get caught out later.

About The Hint Registry:  Hi, I’m David, the founder of The Hint Registry, a website which enables couples to create a stylish, flexible registry for their wedding (or any other occasion) We started with this simple idea – for the most important events of your life, you should be able to tailor each aspect to reflect your personality and style. The Hint Registry enables couples to do exactly that – select exactly the gifts that they want, and give their guests a hint of what’s to come at your special event.