As a rule of thumb, stick to two to four stores you simply love. A great suggestion is to pick one or two national chains and one or two local boutiques. Most stores will maintain your registry for up to a year, and offer a discount on any remaining items you may have left after the wedding.
These days, couples might have everything they could possibly need already. Consider registering at a local sporting goods store or home improvement store. It’s still taboo to ask for money, but there are websites out there that makes asking for cash less awkward: http://www.giftsofstock.com/, http://www.thehoneymoon.com/, (this one lets people donate to your post-wedding getaway), or register with your favorite charity at http://www.idofoundation.org/. Proceed with caution: your grandparents or more traditional folks might still prefer to give you an actual gift!
Emily Post will tell you that it’s never acceptable to include where you’ve registered on the wedding invitation. Rely on word of mouth through friends and family, and it’s always okay to list the stores of your choice on the shower invitations.
Do you need more inspiration to get you started? Don’t know the difference between a saute pan and a gratin dish? We LOVE Martha Stewart’s bridal registry checklist. Download this wonderful tool here: http://tinyurl.com/4kq8u79
P.S. Don’t forget to say thank you! For help on writing the perfect thank you note, visit our blog post on that very topic here