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The real reason anyone gets married -- gifts!

Wedding presents

10 tips for creating a wedding registry

Armed with a hand-held scanner, you can traipse down the aisles of your favorite department stores zapping the barcodes of items you want on your registry. Or, if you prefer to shop online, you can click your way to a complete wedding registry.

Registries are easy to set up, but not reading the fine print or researching your choices could cost you later on. Hidden fees, poor quality items, strict completion packages and other registry caveats can give you a large financial headache.

Before you say "I do" on the big day, say "I do" to these registry tips:

1. Do register with two or three different merchants. It gives your guests more options, especially if one or two of your selected stores aren't familiar or appealing to your guests.

2. Do register at physical, as well as online, stores. The last thing you want to do is register with just one Web-only retailer and confuse Aunt Edna who has never shopped online. Pick a combination of merchants that will accommodate the Web-savvy and the traditional, in-store shoppers.

3. Do read FAQs and check hidden fees before setting up a registry. "Read the fine print very carefully, and be aware of what you're signing up for," says Joyce Scardina Becker, certified wedding consultant, president of Events of Distinction and author of "Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding." You might be dinging the person who's buying the gift with a hefty service charge.

4. Do remember your general retailers. Unlike some department stores, you can register for fun items such as Rollerblades and things for your pet, says Leah Ingram, a certified etiquette and protocol consultant.

5. Do register for items to fit every budget -- but don't shy away from big-ticket items such as that nice luggage set. A big trend among wedding guests is to pool money and buy expensive gifts as a group, says Sharon Naylor, author of "The Ultimate Wedding Registry Workbook."

-- Updated: July 23, 2007
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