The Couples' Registry Reminder: Don't Overlook the Obvious!

You're just embarking on the million-and-two things to do in preparation for your wedding, and somewhere early on you and your intended must make those all-important wedding-gift choices so your family and friends can be sure theirs is the perfect present. Wedding registries have made that experience a relatively painless one. The difficulty lies in deciding at which stores to create your registries and making sure you've identified items that fulfill all your needs and desires. Here's a tip or two to guide you.

Most of us are aware of the standard registry selections - fine china, silverware, crystal, glassware, kitchen items, small appliances, bedding and table linens, etc. Naturally, needs and desires differ depending on the circumstances of the engaged couple. If both are young and just starting out, the registry might be filled more with necessities. With couples who have each established homes of their own, registries lean less toward necessities and more toward items to help coordinate their combined décor.

Whether just starting out or combining two households, begin with an assessment of your lifestyle. Are you do-it-yourselfers, outdoor explorers, connoisseurs? Besides registering at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel or Macy's, register at a store that supplies you with items that feed your passion - Home Depot or your favorite hardware store, outdoor outfitters, upscale wine shops, kitchen stores like Williams-Sonoma. Be sure to register for gifts that make you both happy - individually and as a couple.

Many couples forget to register for common items like luggage, vacuums and serving platters. You're going to need them, so you might as well choose styles you'd like. Take stock of things you already have that are on their last legs and include them in your registry. Use the opportunity to upgrade some of your household items. Provide variety to your guests, both in selection and price.

Let's mention some things that might not come to mind when creating your registry. They'll all come in handy so you won't want to omit them. Think outside the "bar" when choosing barware. Wine glasses and champagne flutes are just the beginning. Make sure you're stocked with glasses for your favorite drinks - beer mugs, high balls, on-the-rocks glasses and shot glasses. A pitcher for margaritas and matching glasses will help set the mood at your barbecue or Mexican fiesta. Don't forget martini glasses with an elegant shaker, and of course, a crystal decanter.

You've chosen fine china and crystal for those dinner parties and family events, but you'll also need casual dinnerware and glasses for everyday dining. With more and more fabulous styles and patterns to choose from, you can bring your special flair to casual entertaining, too.

It's likely you'll be doing some redecorating when you move in together. Include home décor items you both like - photo frames, lamps, candlesticks, decorative bowls, vases and clocks. And think about holidays, too. Christmas, Chanukah, Thanksgiving and Fourth of July are all special occasions when you'll want your table to shine. Why not start your heirloom collection of seasonal dinnerware, glassware, serving trays, table linens, and ornaments with gifts from those you love?

Just a little extra thought can make your wedding registries categorically complete!