After the initial rush of the engagement…I’m so excited! I have to call everyone I know! Oh my God, I get to buy a WEDDING DRESS!!…another exciting point will probably enter your head: the wedding registry. And why wouldn’t it? After all, you’re basically just running wild through Bed, Bath, and Beyond with a scanner that magically adds coveted household items to your wish list with all the ease and whimsy of writing a letter to Santa Claus. But before you get too carried away, there are a few things you need to know:

Wedding Registry 101

1.) Choose items with a large price range. Some guests may be able to splurge on that $350 Stand-up Mixer, whereas others may only be able to buy one of the $12 attachments. There’s nothing wrong with going for high-dollar accessories, but to give everyone a fair chance in getting you a gift from your registry, make sure to have some low-priced items on there too.

2.) Choose stores that are part of a chain. There might be a darling little ma-and-pa shop just down the street from your home that you would love to create your entire registry from, but that would be a bad idea. It’s better to choose stores with different locations throughout the country, meaning your grandma can shop at the store in her own town she’s comfortable in on her own time before making the trip to your wedding.

3.) Have an online registry. Having an online registry not only means guests can search for presents from the comfort of their living room, but it also means they can search for a better deal. Do you want a particular blender from a fancy box store? Your niece might be able to find it half-price at Kohl’s.

An online registry also means people will have a place to look to see how their names are spelled. You might have known your friends and family all your life, but they may not know how to spell your fiancé’s name.

And more registry 101…

4.) Choose gifts that are easy to ship. Many guests won’t be able to make it to your wedding, it’s just a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be involved, so many of them will still want to be able to get you a wedding gift. So choose some gifts that will be foolproof to ship.

5.) Give your guests plenty of time. Giving your guests a decent heads up (we’re talking at least 2-3 months) will ensure you don’t end up with a million of the same thing. If you inform them of your registry too late, they might have to get you a present using their own imagination, and nothing’s quite as awkward as staring at three customized mailboxes the day after the wedding and having to decide how you are going to change them out when the corresponding giver comes to visit.

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