Rachel Geeser

Unique bridesmaid dresses in stripe and polka dot prints
by Rachel Geeser

Once you’ve asked your best gals to be a part of your big day, likely the next question will be “so what are we wearing”? Lucky for you and your bridesmaids, the days of hideous taffeta bridesmaid dresses are gone and there are so many options for stylish, flattering dresses. You also aren’t tied to choosing dresses from a bridesmaid collection (though there is nothing wrong with this!).

I knew for my wedding I didn’t want to go the traditional bridesmaid dress route and chose a gold and glittery polka dotted dress that spoke to my style and personality, but also complemented each girl nicely. Stripes are another great option for infusing a little personality into your dresses. Both patterns are classic enough that it won’t take away from and your dress (the most important one!).

It’s also a great way to tie in your theme if you are having a preppy, nautical wedding or even if you’ve chosen a striped or polka dot motif for your invitations. Once you’ve chosen a striped dress, think about picking striped or polka dot ties or bowties in a similar pattern and even adding a similar patterned ribbon to your bouquet or striped shoes.

Just keep in mind when choosing stripe or polka dot print bridesmaids dresses , it’s a good idea to choose one pattern rather than letting your girls choose their own dresses. Too many different striped or polka dot patterns could make your bridal party look too busy.

Here are my favorite striped and polka dot dresses that will make a statement at your wedding... which are your favorites?

Mix & Match

Photo by  Tessa Barton

Photo by Tessa Barton

 

Go Bold

 

Preppy

 

Subtle Prints

 

Stripes AND Polka Dots

 

And don’t forget your little ladies too!

Which of these fun printed bridesmaid dress ideas is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Check out Rachel's perfect planning tips here

Fun wedding thank-you card ideas for after the big day
by Rachel Geeser

Congratulations! You’re a newlywed! Now that you’re back from the honeymoon and you’ve opened all your gifts the next big thing to do is start writing those wedding thank-you cards. Technically you have 2 weeks post-shower and 3 months post-wedding date to get these out, but there is nothing worse than knowing you have a long list of thank you’s hanging over your head. As a newlywed myself, I’m here to help with tips for how to make this tedious little task a little less painful, plus some really great cards that will set the tone for your note.

1. Keep track of things

To help lessen the burden when you return from your honeymoon, write any notes for gifts you receive before the wedding as you receive these. If you know the guest will be attending the wedding, make sure to include a note that you look forward to seeing them on the big day.

2. Delegate, delegate, delegate

Split the task up! You fiancé/husband may try and claim his handwriting isn’t the greatest (mine did), but it’s not fair to you to have to write all the notes. Especially when the gifts where meant for both of you. Divide the list evenly or by family/friend sets. Regardless how you do it, make sure you both sign each card.

3. Make it personal

With each note, personalize it to the person who sent the gift. Make sure to mention the item specifically and how you plan to use it. If the gift is cash, you do not have to mention the specific amount, but do note how you’ll be using the cash (We’re saving for a house and your generous gift gets us one step closer to a down payment!)

4. Plan ahead

For the design of your thank you there are so many options! You can match the design of your invitation suite, opt for a simple card with “thank you” or “thanks” on the front or personalize it with a photo from your wedding. This is a very popular right now and the ideas are endless (see below for a few of my favorites!). If you go this option though, keep in mind how long it will take to get your photos back from your photographer and how long it will take to receive your order and then write those thank you’s.

5. Thank your vendors, too!

In addition to thanking your guests and anyone who sent you a gift, don’t forget to thank your vendors. If they went above and beyond to make your day perfect, a handwritten note goes a long way. I also sent a quick text to all my guests and bridal party the day after our wedding thanking them for coming and letting them know how much it meant to my husband and I to have them there. I of course followed up with a handwritten note, but I was filled with so much gratitude for the people in our lives who made the trip to be at our wedding, I wanted to let them know right away how much it meant to us to have them there.

Without further ado, let us share some of our favorite ways to thank your guests...

Share a memory

Include a picture of you and the guest(s) from the wedding day. They may not have taken photos themselves and now they’ll have a special memory of the day to hold on to.

 

Say it with a postcard

Pick up postcards from your honeymoon and use these as your thank you’s. You can even get a head start on your notes and start writing these as you wait in the airport to head home!

As I mentioned above, saying “thank you” with a handmade sign on your wedding day is uber trendy right now. The ideas are endless so I’ve picked out a few of my favorites.

For book lovers…

Photo by  Louisa Podlich

 

For game lovers…

Photo by  Lana Lou Style

 

Make a chalkboard sign…

 

Or a wooden sign for a rustic-themed wedding...

 

Add a special touch

Did you take a group shot of all your guests at your wedding? We did and it’s one of my favorite pictures! Had I seen this DIY tutorial previously, I would have loved to use this photo as a liner for our thank you notes.

Photo by  Wedding Bee

Photo by Wedding Bee

 

Or get creative with a newspaper

If you aren’t DIY’d out by the end of your wedding, take your favorite photos from the day and compile them into a newspaper-esque article to send with your thank you. If your guests had as much fun as you did, they’ll love reliving the day.

Which of these amazing wedding thank-you card ideas will you use for the big day? Let us know!

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

3 unique honeymoon destinations you haven't thought of & tips to plan your own trip
by Rachel Geeser

With my wedding less than two months away I could not be more excited for the big day. With all the stress that goes into getting ready for the wedding though, what I am really looking forward to is a relaxing week on the beach with my new husband! For my fiance and I picking a honeymoon destination was pretty simple. We knew we wanted a tropical locale, a short flight to maximize our time on the beach and it had to be a spot neither of us had visited before. The Bahamas checked all these boxes and we cannot wait to celebrate our new "married" status island style.

There is a lot to consider when planning a honeymoon so here are a few tips on help you get started, plus three unique honeymoon destinations you haven't thought of!

How To Start Researching Destinations?

To make a fun game of it, have you and your fiance make a list of honeymoon destinations you'd like to go to. Compare lists and see how many you have in common and start narrowing down your list from there. You'll also want to discuss the type honeymoon you want. If you would rather spend your week relaxing on the beach, the Caribbean may be the way to go. If you're an on-the-go adventure couple, think about Europe or even Asia.

How Much Should You Spend?

Once you've decided on the destination, you'll want to start thinking about what your budget is. The average honeymoon costs about $5,000 for an 8-day trip. Traditionally the groom pays for the honeymoon, but as it becomes more common for both families and the bride and groom to pay for the wedding, this allows the bride and groom to organize and plan for the honeymoon together. Regardless of who is paying, you'll want to have an honest conversation about expectations upfront so there aren't any disappoints down the road.

When To Go?

Traditionally the bride and groom leave directly after their wedding for the honeymoon, but it's becoming more and more common for the newlyweds to leave the day after, a week after or even a few months after. A few things to consider are seasonality, vacation time for you and your spouse and holidays. You'll want to avoid hurricane season in the Caribbean, which runs end of June - November and rainy season in Hawaii which runs November - March, or invest in travel insurance that covers weather-related incidents.

If you plan on taking a longer honeymoon (2 weeks+) you'll want to take into consideration how much time you're taking off work before the wedding and how much time your companies will allow. For teachers it is tough to take off extended periods of time during the school year so think about going on a "mini-moon" right after the wedding and your honeymoon in the summer months. Lastly to maximize your vacation days, think about planning your honeymoon around paid holidays. Just keep in mind traveling on holidays can increase your cost.

Three Offbeat Honeymoons

1. Cross-Country Road Trip

It's becoming increasingly popular for newlyweds to travel the US for their honeymoon. In fact in 2010 the US surpassed the Caribbean in terms of honeymoon destinations for couples. Check out VRBO or Airbnb for houses, cottages and condos you can rent at a variety of price points you can stay at as you travel the country.

2. Go Glamping

Glamping isn't for everyone, but if you are the kind of couple who love an adventure, but also appreciate a little luxury this could be the trip of a lifetime for you. Glamping.com offers high-end camping destinations around the world. Think less tent & sleeping bag and more cozy beds and five-star luxuries.

3. Under The Sea

Who says you have to spend your honeymoon on dry land? Oliver's Travels have created a package that allows you to honeymoon aboard a luxury submarine. We have to warn you this is quite pricey (starting at $600,000+), but this will be an experience you'll be sharing with your grandkids and great-grandkids. The sub comes with a butler and chef and you can pick your underwater destination from anywhere in the Caribbean.

Photo by  Adrienne Gund

Photo by Adrienne Gund

Well brides, are you planning on  having an offbeat honeymoon? Which unique honeymoon destination are you planning for after the big day? Let us know in the comments!

rachel_headshot
rachel_headshot

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

4 romantic wedding updo ideas for the spring and summer bride
by Rachel Geeser

With my own wedding less than three months away, one of the biggest decisions left to be made is how to style my hair on the big day. There's a lot to take into account - the time of day, formality of wedding, dress style and personal style. I've been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks looking for inspiration for my own wedding, so today I have 12 up do's for a romantic wedding style.

Although I love the romantic look of long, flowing locks on brides, up do's can be just as pretty and sometimes more practical. If you're worried about the wind whipping your hair in your face, your locks falling limp a style pulled back and away from your face makes more sense. Plus, if you've chosen a dress with a detailed back as so many styles have now you'll want to be able to show off these details from every angle.

Read on for more romantic wedding updo ideas that I know you'll love!

1. Low Bun

A simple, classic style that can work well with both long and shorter hair is perfect for a modern garden wedding or unique indoor venue.

Photo by  City Sage

Photo by City Sage

Photo by  Jose Villa

Photo by Jose Villa

Steal this look for yourself, and learn how to DIY a pretty, twisted low bun with a tutorial from Once Wed.

For an extra-special touch, incorporate this beautiful crystal-encrusted barrette or jeweled hair comb.

2. Classic French Twist

A french twist is as classic as they come so this style is perfect for a traditional ballroom wedding. If you've opted for a classic ball gown dress, this may be the look for you.

Photo by  Matt Edge

Photo by Matt Edge

Photo by  LH Photography
Photo by  Irrelephant

Photo by Irrelephant

Recreate this gorgeous messy french twist (above) for yourself with this handy lil tutorial.

Dress up your french twist with this elegant floral patterned comb or this flower comb made of crystal.

3. Messy and Whimsical

Flower Crowns made a big statement in 2014 and I have a feeling they will continue to be a big trend this year. If you're a more bohemian bride, flower crowns and messy updo's are perfect for you.

Photo by  Irrelephant

Photo by Irrelephant

Wanna do the messy, whimsical 'do for your wedding day? Get the tutorial here.

Make your whimsical hairstyle even more special with this cute flower crown or organza floral hair clip.

4. 20s Inspired

If Gatsby is your favorite character and you love sipping vintage-inspired cocktails, a 20s inspired look will be a great way to have your personality shine through.

Photo by  Ruffled Blog

Photo by Ruffled Blog

If a Gatsby-inspired hairstyle is your dream, then DIY it with this tutorial from The Beauty Department.

Complete your look with this bejeweled headband or embroidered hair comb.

I've been all over the board with how I've wanted to style my hair for my big day, and after looking through these options I still don't have a clear idea of what I want to do. I am however excited to sit down with my stylist in a few weeks and discuss my ideas and see how she can make my vision come to life! Just remember that no matter what style you choose, be very clear with your stylist with what you want and if you don't like something at your trial, speak up because this is your chance! It's why you do a trial, right?

rachel_headshot
rachel_headshot

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Winter bridesmaid dress and outfit ideas for a seriously stylish winter wedding
by Rachel Geeser

With a winter wedding there are no rules about what color, length or style your bridesmaid dresses should be, but it’s a good idea to think about balance. If you love a short dress, think about choosing a winter bridesmaid dress with sleeves. If long is more your style it’s OK to show a little more skin on top. A tulle skirt and cozy sweater is unconventional, but can really make your wedding party stand out.

Regardless of the dress(es) you choose, a winter wedding is the perfect opportunity to really make a statement with accessories. No one wants a group of shivering, goose-bumped bridesmaids in their photos so think about how you can add layers to their dresses!

Although I will be a spring bride, after looking at all these beautiful options for winter weddings, I'm almost wishing I was a winter bride! From pashminas and shrugs to jackets and even boots here are 15 weddings that accessorized their bridal party perfectly.

Winter Boots

Winter boots are probably not your first idea for bridal party footwear, but if you plan on doing a lot of outside photos these can actually look really great AND you don't have to worry about anyone slipping and falling on snow or ice. Plus, I'm sure your maids will thank you for not putting them in uncomfortable high heels!

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Pea Coats

Photo by  Pepper Nix

Photo by Pepper Nix

A pea coat not only solves the problem of shivering bridesmaids in photos, but it's also such a generous gift to give to your maids that I'm sure they'll be thankful for.

Keep the coats on the shorter side to avoid hiding the dresses and go with something fitted so your bridal party doesn't look bulky or boxy.You can also opt for your bridesmaids picking out a light sweater to go with their dresses as a way to set each girl a part.

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Shrugs, Pashminas & Scarves

Photo by  Landon Jacob

Photo by Landon Jacob

A pashmina is a no brainer and you see these across both winter and spring and fall weddings. You can find these at all different price points and consider adding a monogram to each scarf for a personal touch. For a more wintry look, think about a patterned scarf or faux fur shrug. The oh-so-trendy blanket scarf could be a great accessory belted or draped over their shoulders!

For my bridal party gifts, I'm trying to think of gifts that the girls will use more than just my wedding day. If most of your wedding party lives in a colder climate, you'll know they will use these again and again.

[show_shopthepost_widget id="449383"]

Mittens and Muffs

Maybe buying each girl in your wedding party a coat or snow boots isn't in your budget, but you can afford a pair of mittens or hand muffs that will still keep them warm while outside. If you only plan on taking a few pictures outside, or you don't think it will be too cold out on your big day this is a perfect option.

[show_shopthepost_widget id="449399"]

Long Sleeves

Photo by  Leo Patrone

Photo by Leo Patrone

Photo by  The Melideos

Photo by The Melideos

Maybe accessorizing isn't your thing. Think about choosing a long-sleeved dress or a skirt and sweater combo to cut the chill a bit for your wedding party!

[show_shopthepost_widget id="449431"]

rachel_headshot
rachel_headshot

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

10 unique winter wedding favor ideas to keep guests cozy & happy!
by Rachel Geeser

Photo by  Raeann Kelly

Photo by Raeann Kelly

Although “wedding season” is typically spring and summer, there is something so romantic about a cozy winter wedding. No matter what time of year your wedding is planned for, if there is one thing you're going to DIY at your wedding the favor is probably the one to go with. They are usually more affordable and you know they aren’t just going to get shoved into a junk drawer once your guests get home (if they are edible that is). For winter weddings the ideas are endless so here are 10 DIY winter wedding favor ideas that will make your guests feel the love and the warmth on your big day.

According to The Knot, in 2013 most brides and grooms spent on average $281 on favors. This broke down to about $1 - $3 per favor depending on how many guests you were having.

So what are the pros and cons to DIYing your own wedding favors? I've broken them down below:

Pros: 

  • They make your wedding personal
  • They usually will cost less than buying pre-made favors
  • It can be a fun weekend project to do with your maids (of course don't forget to provide treats & drinks!)
  • The ideas are endless for DIY favors. It was difficult to narrow it down to just 10 for this list!

Cons: 

  • They take time to assemble, time that you may not have the closer you get to your wedding
  • The vision you had in your head may not be exactly they way they come out. Don't beat yourself up about this!
  • You may not have all the tools necessary to assemble your favors and if you have to buy these items it could end up costing you more in the end.
  • Yes, it can be a fun project to do with your maids, but don't expect all of your bridesmaids to want (or be able) to DIY.

Soy Candle: $2 per candle

A thoughtful gift that keeps on giving, making your own candles are surprisingly easy. For an extra touch, tie your candle together with a box of personalized matches.

Photo / tutorial:  Ruffled Blog

Photo / tutorial: Ruffled Blog

 

Ornament Place Card: $1.50 per ornament

The perfect favor for a Christmas wedding, guests will remember your day each year as they decorate their tree.

Photo / Tutorial:  Something Turquoise

Photo / Tutorial: Something Turquoise

 

Hand Warmers: $1.25 per pair

This favor is especially perfect if any part of your day is outside. They do require a bit of assembly time so make sure to take this into account, but this could be the perfect project for your future MIL who’s offered to help or your crafty aunt.

Photo / tutorial: Swoon Studio

Photo / tutorial: Swoon Studio

 

Mittens or Glove: $3 per pair

For a less time consuming version of the hand warmers, pick up sets of gloves in your wedding colors and tie a ribbon around each pair. Your guests will appreciate the extra warmth as they leave your reception!

Photo / tutorial:  Bridal Guide  via  Live View Studios

Photo / tutorial: Bridal Guide via Live View Studios

Photo / tutorial: Bridal Guide via Live View Studios

Soup in a Bag (or jar): $1 per bag

Nothing is better than a hearty soup after a night of celebrating. Send your guests on their way with all the dry ingredients for delicious soup and package up with a pretty bow and directions.

Photo:  Evermine Blog  / Tutorial:  Bridal Guide

Photo: Evermine Blog / Tutorial: Bridal Guide

 

Homemade Cranberry Liqueur: $3 per jar

Keep the party going for your adult guests with homemade infused cranberry liqueur.

Photo / tutorial:  Style Me Pretty  via  Genevieve Nisly

Photo / tutorial: Style Me Pretty via Genevieve Nisly

 

Hot Cocoa Cones: $0.50

Send your guest off with a sweet treat they can enjoy the next morning with hot cocoa in a bag. You’ll need hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows, disposable decorating bags, ribbon and a card.

Photo / tutorial:  Real Simple

Photo / tutorial: Real Simple

 

Popcorn Jars: $1.50 per jar

Because popcorn kernels have a pretty long shelf life, this favor can be put together well in advance of your wedding, saving you from the last minute stress of making favors the week of.

Photo / tutorial:  Evermine

Photo / tutorial: Evermine

 

Lip Balm: $3.50 per stick

Chapped lips during the winter are the worst! Give your guests the gift of kissably soft lips.

Photo / tutorial:  Something Turquoise

Photo / tutorial: Something Turquoise

 

Warm and Fuzzy Felt Mug Wraps: $1 per wrap

Get your bridesmaids together for craft night and assemble these wraps that will bring a smile to your guests face and memories of your day with each sip.

Photo / tutorial:  Real Simple  via  Not Martha

Photo / tutorial: Real Simple via Not Martha

rachel_headshot
rachel_headshot

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

5 smart tips to trim your wedding budget from a real bride
by Rachel Geeser

Let’s face it, regardless of how big or how small how elaborate how simple your affair will be you most likely have some sort of budget you’re working with. There are a ton of articles that talk about trimming your wedding budget by cutting the guest list, serving a limited (or no) bar, hosting a day reception etc., but beyond that there are still many ways to save money without sacrificing your vision for the big day.

Here are five ways to plan a wedding without breaking the bank.

Do your research!

More often than not you can find a vendor within your budget without sacrificing quality by doing a little extra research and even asking other vendors that may be out of your budget who they would recommend. The wedding community is extremely tight knit and most likely they are more than happy to recommend someone for you. Google, word of mouth and other wedding vendors will become your best friend when looking for vendors.

When my fiancé and I were looking for a photographer, we talked to A LOT of photographers. We were about to book a photographer that I wasn't really crazy about when I went back to Google for the umpteenth time and on about page 9... found a photographer that I loved and fit within our budget! As an added a bonus, we were even able to negotiate their travel to Chicago for our engagement session at no extra cost!

The lesson? A little patience and time really pays off.

Prioritize

Know what's important to you and your fiancé: where you want to splurge, and how much you want to splurge. Setting these limits ahead of time will help you stay in check later on.

Do you have your heart set on elaborate floral arrangements but don't have a big preference on programs and stationery? Go all out on flowers, but keep your programs and invitations simple and minimal.

Because we are having an outdoor reception, I knew I wanted gold Chiavari chairs to make it feel a little more formal, so I made sure to budget extra for chairs. I was fine with the standard linens that came with our venue package though, and was able to save a little here.

Skip the designer shoes.

Yes, they make for a terrific picture when placed with your rings or bouquet, but when it comes time for your walk down the aisle no one is going to be looking at your feet.

Save the money and opt for a more practical, but still stylish pair!

Get creative!

Maybe you can't afford a five-piece band for the reception, but you can afford an acoustic guitar player for the cocktail hour. We have a special surprise for our guests in lieu of a full band, but we don't want to spoil it just yet! (Don't worry though, I'll be more than willing to share all details after May!).

Do you love the look of Chiavari chairs, but they aren't fitting in to your budget? Think about upgrading chairs for your head table, but going with a less expensive option for the rest of your guests. Just make sure you ask your photographer to get a picture of you from the backs of those chairs!

 

Speak Up

You don’t want to be nickel and diming each of your vendors, but also don’t be afraid to ask when and where you can save a few pennies.

With your caterer for example, ask what type of substitutions you can make to bring down your budget. If you’re having a candy bar with multiple types of candy, it may make sense to serve only a few options (like you and your fiancé’s favorite candy). Remember, the more you buy in bulk, the more you save!

Speaking of buying in bulk, my fiancé and I learned you can save $$$ by buying your flowers wholesale and DIYing them. However, make sure you have a trusted, reliable source to do the arrangements on your big day so you aren't left putting together bouquets minutes before your ceremony starts. If you are going down the more traditional florist route, talk with your florist about your vision for your centerpieces and then ask for recommendations on how to make this vision come to life within your budget.

When in doubt, over estimate so you aren't hit with a large bill the week of your wedding (when stress is at an all-time high!). Just keep in mind that at the end of the day, you’ll be married to your best friend and all the little “extras” won’t really matter. And let’s be honest, no one has ever said they didn't have a fun time at a wedding because there was a DJ instead of a band!

rachel_headshot
rachel_headshot

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

6 simple tips for conquering the wedding registry without breaking a sweat
by Rachel Geeser

Congratulations! You found the man, you got the ring and you’ve set a date. Now it’s time to start registering. What seems like a really fun activity to do with your groom can be a little overwhelming if you don’t do your research beforehand.

1. Keep a balanced plate

This is one of the few times in your life you get to put together a list of gifts and ask people for these gifts. While you may only want to register for top of the line everything, it’s important to include gifts at a variety of price points. Each wedding is different, but you'll want to include some smaller items (anywhere from $5 - $25) that can be bought on their own or also bundled together to make a larger gift. Try and the majority of your gifts should be under $100-$150, but don't feel like you can't ask for some splurge-worthy items as well. Just make sure these are high quality items you'll use for a long time and not just a trend that will be tossed to the side within a year.

Photo by  Anthropolgie

Photo by Anthropolgie

Along these same lines, you’ll want to include both practical and impractical items on the list. It’s absolutely OK to ask for a set of crystal vases, but balance that out with everyday essentials. As you want your guests to feel like they are buying things you'll be using frequently, a good rule of thumb is to keep 75% of your registry to practical, good quality items.

2. Plan for the future, not today

Keep in mind that most likely the home you’re living in now is not your forever home so what may look great in your living room now may not necessarily work in your next house. Stick to neutrals and classic pieces that will last throughout the years. Before you register, take inventory of what you and your fiance currently have, what items you would like to replace or upgrade and what you need. This will help you build a base for where to start when you hit the stores.

If you are registering at multiple places, it may make sense to keep a spreadsheet of what you've registered at each store so you aren't registering for 10 sets of towels (unless you think you'll need those 10 sets of course). Keep in mind when registering for linens, china and every day dishes, you'll want to register for enough that will allow you to have complete sets when you have guests and entertain in the future. At least 8 place settings and 4 sets of linens is a good start.

3. Practice the art of compromise

Asking your groom to spend 2-3 hours picking out linens and china may not be exactly at the top of his list of things to do on a Saturday afternoon. Have in mind a few “man-friendly” items to register for that he can get excited about (think grill accessories, a smoker etc.).

Don’t get upset if your groom doesn’t have an opinion on what type of towels to choose and vice versa, don’t get upset if his opinion doesn’t agree with yours. You may have had your heart set on an ultra girly china pattern, but this is something you’ll be using for years to come so it’s important to choose a pattern you’ll both love. Plus, marriage is all about compromise and this is a great exercise in compromise.

4. Make it a date night activity

Although online registering is incredibly convenient, it’s a good idea to go to the actual store first because you can’t test the thickness of towels or softness or sheets online. You can always add to your registry online later.

Make sure to allow more time than you think you’ll need to register so you aren’t rushed and don’t go registering on an empty stomach. Fuel up before you go and even think about bringing along water and snacks. Wearing comfortable shoes is also a good idea because you will be making several laps around the store. Once you're finished treat yourselves to a nice dinner!

5. Don't open till wedding day

Once you’ve finalized your registry, don’t peek! You’ll want to be surprised at your showers and at your wedding so ask your maid of honor or mother to monitor your registry for out of stock items and to let you know if you need to make any changes.

 

6. Think outside the box

If you are feeling limited with the traditional registries (Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Crate and Barrel etc.) there are a handful of sites out there that allow you to have one registry with multiple stores.

  • Simpleregistry.com allows you to register for anything, anywhere including non-tangible things like cooking classes, indoor skydiving sessions or a donation to a favorite charity.
  • BlueprintRegistry.com offers you the ability to create an ultimate wedding wish list based on the layout of your home. By using the home’s blueprint to organize your wedding registry (as opposed to a traditional list format), you can better visualize your needs as you shop room by room.You are able to shop from well-known retailers like Amazon, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma and West Elm as well as a collection of unique items from select boutiques and designers.
  • With IDoFoundation.org you can either choose to create a registry for direct donations to a selected charity or an "I Do" gift registry, which partners with traditional registry stores such as Macy's, Tiffany & Co., Bloomingdales and Restoration Hardware to donate up to 3 percent of the spending on your gift registry to your selected charity.

When it's all said and done the most important thing is to be gracious of the gifts you receive and send thank you's promptly with a sincere note to each sender.

Happy registering!

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rachel_headshot

Rachel Geeser is a Chicago newlywed who can't remember a time when she didn't love weddings. As editor of An Eventful Life she writes about fashion, food, entertaining & DIY projects. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.