Giveaways and daily deals are great, but in wading through e-mails from companies like Groupon and Living Social and checking your favorite savings-oriented websites like Free Snatcher, you must not forget to capitalize on traditional savings opportunities. While weddings are financially draining, they are also about starting a new life, and the presents you receive on your wedding day can help you get started monetarily. Marriage comes with a variety of costs, after all, from the ceremony and the honeymoon to a bigger place, new furniture, guest linens, fancy china, etc. If you play your cards right, your wedding gifts will help cover a substantial portion of these costs. So, how can one go about maximizing the potential of your wedding registry?
Gift Card Registries
While I’m obviously biased, I believe the answer to be simple: Use a gift card registry. A gift card registry allows you to create a list of your favorite stores, rather than specific items you desire and thereby confers a wide range of benefits upon a soon-to-be-betrothed couple. But before we get into them, let’s first clear up a few common misconceptions about gift card registries:
- I’ll get nothing but iTunes and Barnes & Noble cards: Just because you get the same gift cards from your grandparents every holiday season, doesn’t mean that those are the only gift cards on the market. In fact, most retailers – including airlines, home supply stores, hotel chains and furniture stores – offer their own gift cards, and the selection available on most gift card registries reflects that.
- A gift card isn’t fancy enough for a wedding: There’s nothing that says you can’t wrap a gift card in fancy wrapping paper and ribbons. Besides, would you rather have “fancy” gifts or presents you really want that are really of worth to you?
- Gift cards are impersonal: Let me ask you, what makes a toaster so personal?
Ok, as promised, let’s get into the benefits of using a gift card registry:
- Higher-value gifts: Your guests won’t have to waste money on shipping or wrapping, so the entirety of their budget can go to the gift itself. Not only that, but you can also use multiple gift cards to purchase an expensive item that would get no attention on a traditional wedding registry – a honeymoon or refrigerator, for example.
- Less hassle: Eliminate the pre-wedding task of having to decide every little item you want on your registry. Simply choose your favorite stores and leave the specifics for a less-hectic time. Fussing with returns won’t be necessary either given the fact that even if you get multiple gift cards to the same store, you can use them to buy different items or put them all toward a single large purchase.
- Easy access to cash: Stores aren’t the only issuers of gift cards. Visa and MasterCard also offer their own gift cards, which can be used anywhere these two worldwide credit networks are accepted. You can also sell your gift cards online through a gift card exchange in order to quickly turn your presents into cash.
Perhaps by now you are convinced of the utility gift card registries provide. If so, all that’s left is to set up your own registry before the big day. Luckily, this is quite easy, as you probably have a lot on your plate in the midst of planning a wedding. Just log onto your registry of choice, create a list of your favorite stores and companies and tell your friends. Now, with one less thing to do, you can focus on writing those vows or finding just the right bridesmaid’s dress!