Skip to main content

Wedding Registries Go Virtual

Lifestyle / Direct: Wedding Issue
November 15, 2010 Deadline
Wedding 2010 Issue

Wedding Registries Go Virtual

A friend of mine adores Williams-Sonoma, the gourmet food and cookware retailer known for unique teas, baking mixes and unusual items like cakelet pans. When she announced her engagement, she included Williams-Sonoma among her list of bridal registries. However, many specialty retailers have yet to open locations in Tulare County.

Though a drive to Fresno to visit some retailers might be a nice way to spend a weekend afternoon, my unfortunate experience has been that specialty retailers do not offer the same selection in the Valley as they do in places like San Francisco or Los Angeles. Also, there are some smaller retailers we might never see in the Valley.

I know some couples who have used Target’s “Club Wedd” to create wedding registries. Club Wedd’s online bridal registry is convenient, especially when you’re swamped preparing for the big day. As my wife has reminded me more than once, every couple needs household basics. But, with apologies to Target, why not dream a little when creating bridal registries?

Thankfully, some unique bridal registries have gone virtual, including that of Williams-Sonoma. By creating gift registries online, it is much easier to have wedding registries with a range of stores.

What makes an online bridal registry special is that items are marked as “purchased” or “ordered” when wedding gift buyers use the registry feature. You do have to remind friends and family to use the bridal registry or you still risk getting duplicate gifts. Be sure you know how each online registry works so friends and family can get the most benefits from the online shopping experience.

The benefits of using the registry go well beyond convenience. Many bridal registries offer special discounts and reduced shipping charges for wedding gifts ordered online. Saving 20 to 30 percent on silverware or fine china is significant.

Some online bridal registries can send Web page links to those friends and family members for whom you provide e-mail addresses. Other registries allow shoppers to enter the bride’s name or e-mail address to access the gift list.

For several years, Amazon.com has included “Wedding Registry” within its “Wish List” menus, but it is hard to consider Amazon alongside Crate & Barrel, Neiman Marcus and Pottery Barn. For some reason, I still prefer to buy a gift from a store with a physical location, even if there isn’t a convenient location.

Pottery Barn, a division of Williams-Sonoma, has an online bridal registry featuring furniture and accessories for your house. The site does charge for delivery on some larger items, though they sometimes offer discounts for bridal registry purchases.

A few people I know love the exclusive nature of Barneys New York. Barneys caters to the Armani and Prada shopper. The online bridal registry is more exclusive than the Neiman Marcus selection. An admitted shopaholic informed me that Neiman Marcus became more “reasonable” when the chain removed the hyphen between the founders’ names.

My wife and I have beautiful silverware from Wallace Silver. The company, founded in 1835, has few stores nationwide, but there is an online gift registry that is easy and convenient. Some Wallace products are available at Neiman Marcus stores, but the entire selection is available online. Plus, they offer promotional discounts online on discontinued patterns. Real silverware gains in value over time, so buying a discounted pattern can be a great investment.

Mikasa, a division of the same parent company, offers an online bridal registry with special discount offers. Several times a year, Mikasa offers 20 percent discounts and free shipping for online purchases. I admit to loving Mikasa china and service-ware and believe they belong on any bride’s wish list.

Remember that not everyone can be expected to buy gifts from specialty stores. Weddings are about something far more important than gifts.

If you want to use online bridal registries, here are some suggestions:

Create bridal registry wish lists two to three months in advance, especially with high-end retailers that have limited inventories.
Create registries with at least four stores, ranging from a basic household needs retailer to your dream retailer.
Send polite e-mail notes to friends and family listing your registries and offering any special instructions for online retailers.
Mentioning discount “codes” is acceptable, as long as you do not imply gifts should come from one particular registry.

Finally, never forget that while online bridal registries are convenient for everyone, you should not send virtual thank-you cards. Notes should be handwritten and signed jointly. Some things are still traditional.
 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Slowly Rebooting in 286 Mode

The lumbar radiculopathy, which sounds too much like "ridiculously" for me, hasn't faded completely. My left leg still cramps, tingles, and hurts with sharp pains. My mind remains cloudy, too, even as I stop taking painkillers for the back pain and a recent surgery.

Efforts to reboot and get back on track intellectually, physically, and emotionally are off to a slow, grinding start. It reminds me of an old 80286 PC, the infamously confused Intel CPU that wasn't sure what it was meant to be. And this was before the "SX" fiascos, which wedded 32-bit CPU cores with 16-bit connections. The 80286 was supposed to be able to multitask, but design flaws resulted in a first-generation that was useless to operating system vendors.

My back, my knees, my ankles are each making noises like those old computers.

If I haven't already lost you as a reader, the basic problem is that my mind cannot focus on one task for long without exhaustion and multitasking seems…

MarsEdit and Blogging

MarsEdit (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mailing posts to blogs, a practice I adopted in 2005, allows a blogger like me to store copies of draft posts within email. If Blogger, WordPress, or the blogging platform of the moment crashes or for some other reason eats my posts, at least I have the original drafts of most entries. I find having such a nicely organized archive convenient — much easier than remembering to archive posts from Blogger or WordPress to my computer.

With this post, I am testing MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software based on recent reviews, including an overview on 9to5Mac.

Composing posts an email offers a fast way to prepare draft blogs, but the email does not always work well if you want to include basic formatting, images, and links to online resources. Submitting to Blogger via Apple Mail often produced complex HTML with unnecessary font and paragraph formatting styles. Problems with rich text led me to convert blog entries to plaintext in Apple Mail and then format th…

Screenwriting Applications

Screenplay sample, showing dialogue and action descriptions. "O.S."=off screen. Written in Final Draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A lot of students and aspiring writers ask me if you "must" use Final Draft or Screenwriter to write a screenplay. No. Absolutely not, unless you are working on a production. In which case, they own or your earn enough for Final Draft or Screenwriter and whatever budget/scheduling apps the production team uses.

I have to say, after trying WriterDuet I would use it in a heartbeat for a small production company and definitely for any non-profit, educational projects. No question. The only reason not to use it is that you must have the exclusive rights to a script... and I don't have those in my work.

WriterDuet is probably best free or low-cost option I have tested. It is very interesting. Blows away Celtx. The Pro version with off-line editing is cheaper than Final Draft or Screenwriter.

The Pro edition is a standalone, offline versio…