According to a new report from The NPD Group, “Understanding Today’s Bride 2012,” the bridal registry remains a key component in the overall bridal experience. While the idea of a registry being a fun rite of passage may be overstated, brides still have an enthusiastic view.

According to the report, 6 in 10 brides-to-be and newlyweds surveyed indicated they have registered or plan to register prior to their wedding day. First-time brides and younger brides are more likely to register than are older or encore brides. This is not surprising, given that encore brides have likely already built their “homes” and perhaps own many of the standard items seen on bridal registries.

An overwhelming majority of those registering believe that it will be fun (81%). However, few believe that it makes wedding planning easier (41%), and over half (53%) actually consider registering a very stressful process.

WHY DO BRIDES REGISTER?

So why do they do it? It’s about making it easier for everyone, including themselves:

  • The majority of brides view the bridal registry as the ideal way to assist their guests in selecting the perfect gift for the bride and groom, and the registry is felt to be equally important for both wedding and shower/engagement gifts.
  • It helps in finding gifts in a price range that is suitable for the guest (83%), as well as making shopping easier (79%).
  • The registry helps guests choose gifts that are really wanted and needed (81%). Most brides will be fine with guests choosing something apart from the registry (74%), but they also believe that many guests expect to have a registry to help them in the buying process (58%).

Many criteria are considered when choosing a retailer for the registry, but once again, ease is paramount. As many brides consider the registration process stressful, it is no surprise that an easy to use Web site (83%), an easy registration process (79%), and an easy return/exchange process (76%) rank in importance.

Of course, product selection (81%) and offering products that fit her style (79%) are also at the top of the list when deciding where to register.

REGISTERING AT A VARIETY OF STORES

In addition, brides are choosing to register at a variety of stores, three on average, including mass/discount, department, home specialty, national chain, and home improvement retailers. The entrance of universal registries* into the bridal space has combined online’s ease-of-use with an expansion of products offerings – a compelling combination for many brides.

“The convenience of having everything in one place, online for easy access, makes universal registries a popular option, especially among more mature (35 to 54) brides. With a quarter of brides making use of universal registry sites, they are already impacting the world of registries,” said Perry James, president of The NPD Group, Inc., home and office supplies division.

“Online registry options are becoming more and more important to today’s bride. While the interactive nature of walking the floor of a brick-and-mortar store to choose one’s items is still attractive to many brides, the influence and importance of the Web continues to grow. Retailers need to be on-board,” ended James.

[Source:  “Understanding Today’s Bride 2012.”  The NPD Group.  17 Apr. 2012.  Web.  19 Apr. 2012.]