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Wedding Registry: Choosing a Store

Confused about your wedding registry? Start by reading our guide to choosing your soulmate store.

Today's to-be-weds enjoy an incredibly wide range of bridal registry options -- from hardware stores to contributions toward a dream honeymoon. Plan ahead and read our tips below to choose the ideal registry.

Put a Store to the Test

Once you've inventoried your personal life, start auditioning registries. Here are the key areas to investigate:

Selection. What range of products and brands does the registry carry? Make sure the registry you pick has the brands you want, a variety of price points, and a large selection of different products.

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Choose a retailers that will send your gifts to any address you specify.

Shipping. Will they ship to the address you designate? Can they send gifts in a batch? The best retailers will send your gifts to any address you specify. That spares your guests the hassle of having to go to a store or the post office to pick up your gift.

Convenience. Is the process hassle-free for buyers? Can your list be faxed to faraway guests so they can order by phone or fax back their order? Does the store have a toll-free number? Better yet, will your registry be available online? Can guests purchase gifts online?

Tracking. How will the retailer keep track of your registry? How fast after a gift is bought will the purchase be reflected on the list? Big retailers should have a computerized system that is updated frequently.

Exchanges. How long is the exchange/return period? What are the terms? The exchange and return policy is crucial. You don't want to end up with any duplicates or get back from your honeymoon and find out that you have only 10 days left to exchange or return any items you don't want. Read the fine print!

Perks. Different retailers offer different benefits. For example, some offer what's called a completion program that allows you to fill in whatever you don't receive at a discount. Or they may let you buy your wedding bands at a discount.

File Keeping. How long will your registry list be kept active after the wedding? Guests have up to one year from your wedding day to buy you your gift, so that's at least how long your registry should be kept active.

Seal the Deal

Once you pick a registry program, fill out your registry form that includes a list of what products you want on the registry list. Ask for a master list and read it carefully to make sure there are no mistakes. Double-check the mailing address for where gifts will be sent. Last but not least, get the business card of the person who helped you set up the program, so that you have a point person should you have any questions or problems.

-- The Knot

See More: Registering for Wedding Gifts