Here are 10 of the most popular registry items:
1. Rubbermaid Plus 50-piece set
2. OXO Softworks 19-piece (kitchen) tool set
3. CorningWare 10-piece French White bakeware set
4. Casual dinner- and glassware
5. KitchenAid stand mixer
6. Cook sets
9. Toaster oven
10. Bodum four-cup French coffee press
2. Register four to six months before the ceremony. This allows guests time to shop for gift-giving parties leading up to the big event. Many bridal consultants recommend limiting your registries to three stores. Choose a store for traditional items, another for household necessities and one for items expressing your personal style.
3. Consider the Web. Registries at stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target have online programs that make gift buying convenient. They also provide a range of price points to fit any budget. For new homeowners, a hammer, pliers or a lawn mower can quickly become "must-have" items. So consider a major retailer's hardware department.
4. Remember your etiquette. Resist the temptation to list where you're registered on your wedding invitation. It is acceptable, however, to include where you're registered on your bridal-shower invitation. Also, make sure you inner circle knows where you registered and let them spread the word.
5. Make it special. Allow your friends and family the opportunity to buy something you'll treasure throughout your "ever after." Include such traditional items as fine china, crystal and silver cutlery. For less traditional items, try online registries, including Crate and Barrel or REI, for camping gear.
6. Express your style. Looking for something truly unique, such as aluminum cookware and serving pieces or Tin Woodsman pewter measuring spoons? Don Drumm Studio and Gallery in Akron offers a registry featuring original works, including glass sculpture and jewelry created by more than 500 North American artists. The gallery also offers convenient online shopping.
7. Follow your needs. If you're a couple who "has it all," why not give some away? Local and national charities will gladly accept your guests' cash contributions. Check out www.JustGive.org for a list of charities. If you're a couple who "needs it all," travel agencies and banks can set up an account to accept cash toward your honeymoon or new house.
8. Don't overlook the details. Register for items you will actually use and enjoy. Complement a set of wineglasses by choosing a matching wine rack. If you don't receive 100 percent of the items for which you've registered, at least you'll be 100 percent happy with what you've received.
9. Check your list. Review your registry from time to time in case you need to add or delete items. Those polka-dot guest towels that were so cute in July may no longer interest you in October. Also, some of your registry choices may have become discontinued items in the months before your wedding.
10. Be appreciative. Make sending "thank you" cards a priority. It's best to send them within the three months following your honeymoon. Refer to the gift and make sure you both sign the card.