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7 wedding gift registry don'ts

  • Story Highlights
  • To save their sanity, brides should not overthink their gift registry
  • Don't let friends talk you into registering at every store
  • Don't keep gifts you don't want; return them as soon as you can
  • Take a friend along to register and don't forget what groom may like
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By Dawn Williams
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(MyHomeIdeas) -- Amidst the joys and sorrows, laughing and crying, wedding planning can be all but relaxing at times. Here are some ways that you can de-stress the registry process -- and save your sanity.

1. Don't overthink the process

Between your dress, your showers, your bridesmaids, and everything else there is to worry about before the Big Day, the last thing you need to do is break down in a department store (or at your computer) over which silver frame to choose. You can always take things back!

2. Don't forget about the groom

They may say they don't care, but that's a big lie! In the midst of the registry mayhem, remember to include your fiancé...that's why you're registering, right? If he doesn't want to join you in the scanning and shopping, ask him if there are any items that he would like for you to add to the list that he would enjoy. (You'll earn brownie points for this move.)

3. But...don't go it alone

Department/retail stores and some of the employees can be intimidating and overwhelming -- especially when you have a million other things on your mind. Take your mom, a close friend, or sister along. While you're scanning (or clicking), they can hold on to the lists of things you have or haven't already registered for (this will make the process go smoother than expected). And at the end of the day, you can celebrate with drinks and appetizers!

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4. Don't register at every store under the sun

Although certain family members may want you to register at places you've never even heard of -- stick to your guns. Pick a few of your favorite stores or boutiques. This will make it easier to register, and much easier to make returns. After all, the gifts will be going in your home, and you know more about your personal decorating style than anyone else.

5. Don't be afraid to work the system

When the registry assistants are explaining gifts and perks, be sure to listen. Many of the larger department/retail stores offer free products and discounts with participating vendors (i.e. if you register and receive a knife set from a company, you'll get extra knives for free). Take a few minutes to read the information they give you and plan accordingly. Video Watch etiquette tips on gifts »

6. Don't keep gifts you really don't want or need

For some reason (or lack of reasoning), many brides think they need a place setting, glassware, and appliances from several different shops. And when they receive the gifts and know they won't use them, they feel guilty for returning them. The fact of the matter is that you can't keep every gift, and you're really not expected to. Don't feel bad about making returns. Everyone does it.

7. Don't return gifts one at a time

Once you register, you'd be surprised at how quickly the gifts start rolling in. Suppress the urge to take back duplicates or those gifts that "just don't go with your decor," and wait to take them back in bulk...after the chaos of the engagement and wedding have subsided. You'll save yourself time, effort, and most of all, your sanity.

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