All of us dream. And, if truth be told, most girls dream about their wedding days. They envision the groom, the dress, the flowers, the cake and of course, the bridal registry. It is no secret that I am passionate about china, crystal and silver. I was more excited about selecting my china patterns than I was about the dress that I would wear.
During the time of my engagement, bridal registries were mostly comprised of tableware. Today, brides are able to select everything from towels, appliances and furniture to garden tools and barware. Every time I receive a wedding invitation, I want to give the couple a special gift they want or need. Knowing that I can select from a list and have the gift wrapped, delivered or shipped is a big help. A registry keeps things organized and limits duplication. After all, how many blenders does a girl need?
While there is a plethora of online registries and wedding sites with tons of information, I want to focus on a more personal and informative system that literally holds the hand of the bride while guiding her in these special decisions.
The online registries have their place and can be helpful, but there is nothing that can replace personal service and professional guidance. In Savannah, the perfect place to find that guidance is The Cottage Shop. This quaint store, located on Abercorn Street, has been operating since 1946.
“Bridal registries began as a way for the new couple to outfit their home,” says owner Beverley Reynolds. “Historically, very young couples had very little when they married.” With a combination of more than 95 years of sales experience, Reynolds and the rest of the ladies at The Cottage Shop take their jobs seriously. They are committed to guiding their brides in wise selections. By focusing on teaching their customers about practical uses for fine dinnerware, the sales associates help brides become comfortable with fine porcelain and crystal.
Coren Ross, a sales associate at The Cottage Shop, encourages brides to think beyond their current dwelling and circumstances. She wants the young ladies to “build for a lifetime,” but also urges them to add trendy accessories to their registry lists. Ross says the selection of just one decorative item can influence the rest of the visit. If a bride selects a lamp with a certain color scheme or pattern, it can immediately lead to a certain style that can be reflected in additional items.
A good registry professional will ask a lot of questions so that she understands the bride. Ross says that she spends at least two hours with a new bride on her first visit to register. Reynolds believes that getting to know her is key to helping her make the right choices. “This can be overwhelming,” Reynolds explains, “so if the bride doesn’t like to polish silver, we try to steer her towards something more practical.” And that, says Reynolds, is what online registries cannot do: provide personal—and patient—service. “This is their one and only time to do this,” Reynolds continues “They need to schedule the time to register because they will live with their choices for a very long time.”
A few extra tips:
• Register gifts in all price ranges.
1/3 under $50
1/3 between $50 and $100
1/3 over $100
• Do not try to decorate your home with your registry. More than likely you will be moving in a few years as your family grows and careers change.
• Write your thank you notes promptly!!! This will eliminate tons of work after the wedding. It also serves as an important tool in letting the giver know that you have received the gift. Remember, anyone who takes the time to select a lovely gift deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated.
This blog is the first part of a series on weddings. Be sure to read my next post in which I interview one of Savannah’s premier wedding planners!
As always, thanks for reading.