Shopping for your wedding gift registry doesn't have to be a chore. Let us guide you with tips from the experts.
Wedding Registry Place Setting
Credit: Beth Dreiling and Brit Huckabay / Styling: Susan Huff and Cari South

Every engaged couple should register to make gift giving easy for friends and family and also to eliminate duplicate and unwanted items. The process can can, however, be exhuasting and time-consuming if you're not prepared. To ease the pain, we turned to the bridal experts at Dillard's for advice on how to get started. Here are a few basics.

Dress Up Your Table
Every couple needs decorative tableware for entertaining guests as well as for everyday use. Keep it simple, and start with neutral colors for versatility; you can then add rich accent pieces and colorful table linens. Determine the number of place settings you'll need, and shop around for your favorite style. Department stores carry a wide variety of dinnerware and table accessories.

Kitchen Must-Haves
Whether you're an experienced cook or just a beginner, every new couple should have the basics. Start with a good set of knives. Next, consider cookware, especially hard-adonized types from Caphalon and other name brands. If you already have good pieces and don't want a full set, department stores usually carry a variety of individual pots and pans that you can mix-and-match with your own collection.

Be sure to look for all sizes of glass or ceramic baking dishes and metal pans. (The standard sizes for casseroles are typically 11x7 inches and 13x9 inches.) Heavy-duty baking sheets also come in handy for baking cookies and roasting vegetables. You'll also need a few wire racks to cool your baked goods. Finally, don't forget small appliances, such as toasters, mixers, and slow cookers.

Bed and Bath Essentials
Pamper yourself with decorative linens and accessories for your bedroom and bathroom. Start with at least three sets of sheets to use in the master bedroom and guestrooms. Include comforters, duvet covers, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, shams, mattress protectors, mattress pads, and bed skirts in your registry. If you don't know what colors you'll need, register for neutral tones that can be used with any decorating scheme. Make sure you choose enough towels to include in every bathroom.

Registry 101

  • It is a good idea to register at a major department store, such as Dillard's or Macy's, where your list of needs will be made available in a large number of stores. That way, all of your guests will be able to access your registry. Many stores also offer online registeries; you can manage the registry from your computer and guests can log-on to purchase gifts. Other popular stores for registering include Bed, Bath, & Beyond; Pottery Barn; Target; and Williams-Sonoma.
  • Avoid seasonal items. Some merchandise is only available for a short period of time and may be out of stock when guests will be purchasing gifts from your registry.
  • Dillard's recommends registering three to six months before your event. Some guests prefer to send gifts before the wedding, while others might wait a few months after your special day. By registering in advance, friends and family will also be able to access your registry for prewedding parties.
  • Include a range of prices in your registry. Budgets may vary among guests, and some may even want to share the cost of a more expensive gift.
  • Some stores include a gift receipt with each purchase, making it easy for couples to return duplicate items. Be sure to inquire about return policies. Tip: Bed, Bath, & Beyond stores do not require an exchange or store credit for returns, and will give you cash for any bridal registry items you take back.