Did you get engaged this past holiday season? Or, perhaps, shortly before the holidays, but soon after telling your boyfriend that you wanted to kill him for taking you on a ferris wheel ride on a rainy, blustery night? Just me on that one? Well, whether you got a ring under the tree, back on safe ground, or are hoping to get one on Valentine’s Day, CONGRATULATIONS! An engagement is such a happy event and exciting time. You know what else is happy and exciting? Your Sur La Table Gift Registry!
That’s right, the Gift Registry: the holy grail of getting new and awesome items for your home and married life. Interested in taking the pasta maker plunge? Register for it! Super into spatulas (because, who isn’t)? Put six on the list! And so on.
Although mine is my first engagement (despite believing, from about 1990-1992, that tennis legend and person-who-I-had-never-met Andre Agassi was a real contender for it to happen with), it isn’t my first registry rodeo. When I started working for Sur La Table, I visited one of our stores and created a mock registry (registrant names: “Me” and “MyselfandI”) to get a sense of the process.
“Think beyond your kitchen and dining room,” the Sales Associate showing me the registry ropes said. That seemed weird. Wasn’t Sur La Table all about those two places?
“Think to the backyard,” she continued. Her voice was so soothing. “Think about BBQs and things you’ve seen at your friends’ dinner parties. Think about the parties you’d like to host someday. Think about holidays. Just think beyond the basics!” I loved this advice, and immediately bumped that steak knife up to a full set. This woman is a wizard, I thought, and suddenly the whole store was a possibility.
Three years later, with a “real” registry finally on the horizon (spoiler: I’m good on knives and the rest of it, wondering if FURNACES R’ US has options) I thought I’d get some expert advice from the people who work in our stores and specialize in helping people create registries. So that’s what I did! Turns out there are many wizards among us. Here’s what one of them, Assistant Manager Phillip Cross from the Sur La Table in Fresno, CA, had to say:
Hi Phillip! What’s your #1 tip for couples creating a Gift Registry?
The biggest piece of advice is to go for it! Go big and think of your dream kitchen and dining room. This is a rare opportunity to ask for gifts that your friends and family will be excited to give you. Don’t miss it! The worst thing that can happen with a registry is to run out of items. It’s always better to have too many options for people to choose from than too few.
What’s a common mistake people make when creating a Gift Registry? What should they avoid?
Worrying about the price of an item. People often end up with too little on their registry because they’re worried what people in their families will think about them asking for things that they consider expensive. Don’t worry about it; instead give lots of options in lots of price ranges. I always suggest spending time in our tools section to make sure they have smaller gift options to balance out the big ones. And remember that often people go in together on a large item, and want to spend a bit more on you for your special occasion.
Another mistake we see a lot is couples overlooking the whole place setting. It’s common to pick out plates and silverware, but linens, glassware, placemats, etc. are often overlooked. These things should be thought of as one complete unit. Imagine a full place setting on your kitchen and/or dinner table; what does it look like?
What advice do you have for couples who visit their local store to register?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Registering in person is a great way to get expert advice and instant answers. Chances are one of us has used that knife or sauté pan and can tell you all about it! We are here to help and make the process an enjoyable one. Plus you can always update your registry and add or change items online later.
Last question: what do you love about helping couples create Gift Registries?
I love to inspire couples by showing them how food and cooking can enrich their new life together. I love to help spark their imaginations and see the excitement as they realize all the things they’re going to be able to do together and for each other. It’s really very rewarding, and many of the couples who have created registries with us return over and over again as customers. It’s that kind of response that lets me know I’m doing it right.
And here’s my tip: whether yours is a wedding, housewarming, or birthday Gift Registry, have fun creating it! Don’t forget those spatulas. :)
Need some inspiration and expert product advice for your Gift Registry? Check out our awesome Registry Tips and Guides section on surlatable.com— it’s got everything from staff recommendations to product explanations.