NOT ANOTHER... IRON?
Confused by your wedding registry options? Christine Antoniou sorts out the art of giving and receiving.
When Rebecca and Leon Lopata got engaged it wasn't a question of whether they would use a wedding registry but which one. To suit their needs and their guests, they chose two different registries so that people had a choice as to where and how they purchased their gift. "We always prefer if there is a registry when we are guests at a wedding. That way we know that we are buying a gift the couple need and love," Rebecca says.
These days the option of a wedding registry accompanies invitations more often than not. To keep up with society's demand for choice and the growing trend of registries, wedding registries are no longer confined to the traditional department stores. And these days your list is only as limited as your imagination with everything from power tools, art, honeymoons, experiences and, of course, homewares.
While homewares traditionally are the gift of choice for newlyweds, more couples living together before they tie the knot means they have already set up home and don't need another toaster or microwave. Although wedding registries have become common place in Australia, The Melbourne Wedding Registry owner Ri Scarborough says it's natural for some couples to feel hesitant about putting a 'wish list' together. "A registry is just an option for guests and they are not obliged to purchase from it," Ri says. "Some couples are a bit hesitant at first, but once we sit them down and explain the process and what we have on offer they love it, and by the time they leave they are really excited." And it seems it's not just couples who are excited. For guests, a registry offers security that the gift is right and eliminates any 'gift anxiety'.
The Wedding List Co managing director Karaline Loiterton says guests are looking for a unique gift which they feel connected to. "Most guests don't just want a standard household item," Karaline says. "But they may not feel comfortable to choose something different by themselves and they want to know the couple will love it."
Not just pots and pans
The Wedding List Co and The Melbourne Wedding Registry (both are available all over Australia) specialise in designer and boutique homeware brands but also offer an array of gifts and 'experiences'. Ri says The Melbourne Wedding Registry offers "the kind of things you may not buy for yourself", including spa vouchers, dining vouchers, wine, books, games and weekends away. And of course the boys are not forgotten, with a range of power tools available. "It should be a fun and easy experience for the couple and the guests," Ri says. "We even work with some of the art galleries in High St (Armadale, Melbourne) so you can add a piece of art to your registry," she says. "Our couples love [the options] because they are different and something to look forward to once the wedding is over."
Karaline says The Wedding List Co's range is always expanding, with everything from homewares to honeymoons to artwork to plants and outdoor furniture. Or for something a little offbeat, how about gifts for that special pet? "We even have an Aston Martin on our register, no one has purchased it yet but it adds personality and a bit of fun," Karaline says. Or why not ask for a didgeridoo lesson or a hot air balloon ride? Karaline says younger guests especially love to buy an 'experience' gift.
A place for tradition
Although thinking outside the square when it comes to registries has become popular, good-old-fashioned homewares still rule on most couples' lists. "Some of the most popular items people put on their registries are dinnerware and glassware," Karaline says. "We find the younger guests want to purchase something unique, where as the older guests are after more traditional items." Department store gift registries are an excellent option for those looking for traditional gifts. And they might suit older guests who are more comfortable shopping in a department store. Myer gift registry spokeswoman Leanne Boscia says the department store is a fabulous option for a big range of items from fragrances to homewares to electrical gadgets. And Myer is located all over Australia, which makes it easy for you and your guests.
Melbourne couple Rebecca and Leon had one registry list at The Melbourne Wedding Registry and one at Myer. "We really liked The Melbourne Wedding Registry after a friend used it for their wedding," Rebecca says. But the couple were also mindful of their older guests who may not be able to visit the store or have access to the internet, so they chose the convenience of a department store too.
If you are already living in domestic bliss and have all the homewares you need but want a holiday once the big day is over, consider asking your guests to contribute to your honeymoon. Many travel agents such as Flight Centre offer honeymoon registries.
My Wedding Registry owner Erin Nannes says she formed the honeymoon component of her travel agency business one year ago to deliver a personalised experience to couples and their guests. The business is based in Melbourne but is accessible to couples and guests all over Australia via the internet or by phone. "We don't just take cash gifts. Couples can actually choose activities they would like to do on their honeymoon," Erin says. "It's more personal than cash and gets your guests involved in what they are giving you." So instead of contributing $100 to a honeymoon fund, guests specify how the money is spent like dinner, evening cocktails, picnic lunches, day spa packages or an African Safari. "Your imagination is the limit to your list and it depends on whether you want a relaxing honeymoon or an adventure," Erin says. "There aren't that many chances to go on the holiday of your dreams, so when it's funded by the generosity of your loved ones it's quite special."
Let's go shopping!
Whatever type of registry you choose, rest assured that the assistants are there to help you and your guests make the best selection, in an easy and convenient way. At Myer, couples go instore to compile their lists with hand held scanners that automatically add the item to the list. Guests can then select a gift instore or place an order over the phone or by email. Or if you want to make your gift selection after the wedding, guests can purchase vouchers.
If you prefer a registry like The Melbourne Wedding Registry or Wedding List Co, you can choose your gifts instore over a glass of champagne. Or if you and you future husband are time-poor or living interstate or overseas you can select, delete and update your list online as much as you like until your wedding day. And make sure to ask about items left over on your registry - many places will allow you to purchase them at a discount after the wedding to ensure married life is all that you could ask for.
WHERE TO GO
The Melbourne Wedding Registry
Wedding List Co
Ann Snell Gallery
My Wedding Registry
Wedding Gifts Direct
Wheel & Barrow
Flight Centre ph: 133 133