Where You Should Register and Why

Me: Sweater | J. Brand Jeans | Statement NecklaceEarrings | Booties

Nick: Sweater | Jeans | Sperries

I have had these photos in cue since April 25, 2016. Yes...you read that right. OVER A YEAR AGO...6 months before our wedding and now it is over 6 months after our wedding. Anyway, I have been putting off writing this post for 2 main reasons 1) it's going to be a super long, intensive post and those take me FOREVER and 2) I wanted to wait and see how I actually liked what I registered for and such. SO, let's get started, shall we?

Now let's begin with some questions...believe it or not, you have some thinking to do prior to choosing where to register!

 

QUESTIONS - Ask yourself these questions before considering where to register.

1) What's your living situation? This defines what you need vs don't need. For example, apartment or house? How much room do you have to put stuff in? Also, do you live together already? Nick and I didn't, but often times people who do, already have plates, dishes, etc and want to focus more on furniture/decorating. I also know people who just wanted to upgrade or get something that represented both of them stylistically instead of just one of them. 

2) What's the bulk of what you are looking to register for? This definitely ties into question one, but is slightly different. Maybe store A has a lamp you want, but store B has everything else. You probably don't need to register at store A...maybe take your wedding money that comes in as gifts and buy it yourself! There are a lot of list suggestions you can use - I used The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer; however, I encourage you to make a list of the top things you want to register for, and then look at a list helper...otherwise it can be kind of overwhelming.

3) What demographics are your guests? Where do they live? Is there a brick and mortar store of at least one of the places you registered, near them? What age are they? Some people are very opposed to online shopping, which can make it hard. If you don't keep these things in mind, you might get some weirdo gift you don't know where to put or what to do with. Not that those don't have thought...but you catch my drift! (Not being ungrateful. You understand if you have gone through the registry/gift process before!) I actually did a post on "The Foolproof way to go Rogue and not Buy from a Wedding Registry" You're welcome;)

 

TIPS - Read these before you decide where to register AND read them again before you go to register!

Register for what you need. Please don't go crazy! You'll regret it. Make a list and stick to it! This isn't to say don't register for things you wouldn't buy yourself, though. For example, afterwards I was like "oh, why the heck did I think I needed XXX? I would have rather had something more practical and useful like an attachment for my Kitchenaid". If you find yourself wanting to add something, ask yourself "where will I put it?" and "when will I use it?" It helps:)

Don't just register for cheap, budget friendly stuff. When registering, we we kind of nervous about registering for certain items, that were  not so cheap, ie our everyday plates were from Williams Sonoma - they were $100+ for a set of 4. However, we had friends who said don't cheap out. They wished they had registered for nicer everyday ware, because this is like the one time you get it given to you, plus you want it to last for a while!

Register at no more than 3 places. Just don't. You'll probable end up with overlap and it just gets weird. Defer to question #2, above.

Consider Classics. So Nick and I aren't what I would consider trendy, but we are definitively more modern than we used to be and modern can be trendy. We almost went with these gorgeous grey dishes, but in the end, they were more trendy than we wanted them to be. Now you probably won't keep all of your wedding gifts forever, but you should think about bigger items like your Kitchenaid mixer and dishes and make sure you won't want to buy new colors or styles because they don't fit you anymore. 

Don't put registry info on invitations.  Please don't. It's tacky. Direct people to your website for information.

Register for guest list x 1.5-2. Give our take. We invited around 225 - of those the rule is about 85% come. We had right under 200 RSVP yes. You have to remember that some guests who can't come, will still get you a gift. ALSO some things like a set of plates is 4 items, not 1. I think we registered for about 350ish and were fine. It's also helpful to do this, because you can get a discount on it after the wedding if you didn't get it and want to purchase it yourself!

Shop around. We didn't blindly decide where to register. We looked at several places (which you can do online or in store). I really made my decision on where I found my dishes and the place that had the most inventory of the little gadgets and stuff, coupled with where I liked to buy gifts for weddings I had been to. I will also say that we registered for stuff at multiple locations and then went back and edited /deleted items to see which we liked better or which was cheaper. We definitely did this with silverware. 

You don't have to have china... So, we didn't buy china! My mom has so much china, if I needed it, I could always use hers. We did get a "nicer" dish though! It is similar to our everyday dishes, but have a gold rim and are more modern. 

Buy 13 of cups and plates? Some places tell you to register for 13 instead of 12, so you have some in case things break. We did buy 13 of our "nicer" dishes, but only 12 of our everyday dishes. The people at Williams Sonoma convinced us that we didn't 13 because 1) the dishes are super sturdy (something else to look for in dishes!) and 2) it's a classic WS piece, so they keep it in stock all the time!

Register for sets and individuals. Our wonderful lady at WS recommended this to us and it was perfect! We registered for individual pots and the set of pots, the baking set, and the individual cookie sheets and cooling racks, etc. If you get both, yay! Return one and get something else :)

Consider Price-points. So yeah, I said don't just put cheap stuff, buuuuut be sure to include all different price-points so that people can afford things. Or maybe you are like my sister and like to buy lots of different things so you get "more", but it is the same amount of $$ you would have spent on one item.

Black Friday!! We lucked out getting married near Black Friday. When we went to return stuff, we were able to get full price from our gifts that were then on sale, but also get other items we wanted and didn't receive. A lot of places will do sales near holidays, so keep that in mind when you return and go back for more.

 

WHERE TO REGISTER - A look at the most popular places to register and my exact thoughts on them.

Nick and I both looked at a lot of places and definitely did our research, then narrowed it down based on our needs. We didn't live together before getting married, so we were in need of some of the basics Here's a look at places to register.

Amazon - This was one of our top contenders. We love Amazon and get everything from groceries to paper towels from it, but it didn't make sense for the things we were wanting to register for.

Bed Bath and Beyond - WE REGISTERED HERE First of all, Nick is obsessed with BBB (lol). But also, this is where we picked our "nicer" dishes, wine glasses and silverware. We got most of those little kitchen utensils and stuff here as well!

Crate and Barrel - WE REGISTERED HERE I love C&B. It's always a good store to walk through and get home inspo. I will say I was a little disappointed in registering here, not because of the product selection, but because I thought we could register for more here? I can't really explain it... It was definitely a good place to get cool stuff, but remain price conscious. All of my beloved white marble stuff is from here and so is my heart shaped waffle iron!

Dillard's - Some people say "register for at least one department store, for old people to go to" (LOL). I honestly don't have anything against department stores, I just really looked at places with dishes I liked.

Honeyfund - This is a cool option! I don't really like to just give money for something...but I don't mind buying "experiences"! They have things like "buy a dolphin swim" or "dinner HERE", etc. Asking just for money is generally seen as tacky, but I have seen some people pull Honeyfund off well!

JC Penney - Ditto as Dillard's.

Macy's - Sammmme as JC Penney. Macy's does put a great coupons, though!

Neiman Marcus - A department store, but $$$.

Pottery Barn - We didn't really look into this, because 1) kinda same reason for not registering at West Elm 2) I heard they were annoying to use and don't mark off purchased gifts, etc 3) $$$

Restoration Hardware - Same reasoning as West Elm, only $$$ involved.

Target - This is actually a popular place to register! To me, I could find everything I needed at Bed Bath and Beyond and had more stuff I wanted to register for there, PLUS BBB has great coupons. I did have someone look at my BBB registry and buy similar items from Target (lol)...I figured it out when I tried to return them after getting  a similar set.

The Container Store - The Container Store is great! I just usually go to BBB instead. The last time I went to a container store, was right before college.

West Elm - This was one of our top contenders. We love their products, but it is much more "homey" than we were ready for at this stage. We were going to move into our first apartment then and even after being there for over 7 months, we still don't have stuff on the walls, let alone know our vibe.

Williams-Sonoma - WE REGISTERED HERE Nick is also obsessed with WS. I will say that the lady we did our one on one registry experience with was AMAZING; however, the "best" Williams Sonoma near us is Northpark and their management has some serious issues we have experienced on multiple occasions. So yeah - be careful. They did just do some amazing renovations though!! This is where we got our everyday dishes, glasses, and some high end gadgets.

Zola - The was last of our top contenders. This is new and pretty cool! You can register at different places and it all is in one place. You  immediately see what someone bought you and you can do cool things like trade it out for something else or hold all of your gifts to ship until X date. I didn't really want to be notified of what I was sent, because that takes the fun out of it. Also, let's say you didn't want anything on the site and had things you didn't want...you don't get the cold, hard cash from it. Great concept, though!

 

REGISTRY OPTIONS AT A GLANCE <---Click there to be taken to a google sheet with all the info + direct links to registry sign up pages OR if you want a better mobile view. I wen through top registry contenders and sorted out all the info for ya! Consider these things, in addition to whether or not they have the products you want.

Registry Completion Coupon Shipping Costs Return Policies Extras
Amazon • 20% for Prime or 10% for non-members
• One time only
• Within 90 days after wedding
Free Shipping for registry purchases >$35 Return/Exchange within 180 days of wedding date • Bonus gifts
• Gift Financing Available
• Thank You Note Manager
• Universal Shopping Cart Capability
Bed Bath and Beyond • 30% off
• For use one time in store and one time online
• Within 90 days after wedding
Free Shipping for orders >$29 Return/Exchange any gift from your registry anytime • Bonus gifts
• Free Gift Wrap
• Frequent Store Coupons
• Group Setting Private Registry Time Available
Crate and Barrel • 10% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 180 days after wedding
Free Shipping for orders >$99 Return/Exchange within 90 days of wedding date • App available
• Bonus gifts
• Group Setting Private Registry Time Available
• Thank You Note Manager
Dillard's • 20% off
• One time use in store
• Within date set by store
Calculated as normal Return/Exchange within 30 days of wedding date • Frequent Store Coupons
Honeyfund • N/A N/A N/A • Receive money and/or experiences instead of material things/traditional gifts
JC Penney • 10% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 180 days after wedding
Free Shipping >$99 Return/Exchange w/gift receipt anytime • App available
Macy's • N/A Free Shipping >$49 Return/Exchange within 365 days of wedding date • Additional Incentives for Store Credit Card Users
• Frequent Store Coupons
• Internal Registry Rewards Program
Neiman Marcus • 10% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 365 days after wedding
Free Shipping Return/Exchange within 60 days of wedding date • Free Gift Wrap
• 10% off NM restaurant catering or dine-in food purchases
Pottery Barn • 10% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 180 days after wedding
Calculated as normal Return/Exchange within 90 days of wedding date • One-on-One Registry Experience Available
• Gift Cards work at West Elm and Williams Sonoma too
• Thank You Note Manager
Restoration Hardware • N/A Calculated as normal Return/Exchange within 30 days of wedding date • N/A
Target • 15% off
• For use on time in store and one time online
• Within date set by coupon
Calculated as normal Return/Exchange within 365 days of wedding date • Additional Incentives for Store Credit Card Users
• App available
• Bonus gifts
• Group Gifting options
• Thank You Note Manager
• Universal Shopping Cart Capability
The Container Store • 10% off
• One time in-store only
• Within 30 days after wedding
Free Shipping >$75 Return/Exchange within 120 days of wedding date w/gift receipt • Free Gift Wrap on orders >$75
• Group Gifting options
West Elm • 15% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 180 days after wedding
Calculated as normal Return/Exchange within 30 days of wedding date • One-on-One Registry Experience Available
• Gift Cards work at Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma too
Williams Sonoma • 10% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 180 days after wedding
Calculated as normal Return/Exchange within 90 days of wedding date • App available
• Bonus gifts
• One-on-One Registry Experience Available
• Gift Cards work at Pottery Barn and West Elm too
• Thank You Note Manager
Zola • 10% off
• Multiple uses
• Within 365 days after wedding
Calculated as normal Ability to Return/Exchange before you even receive item • App available
• Bonus gifts
• One-on-One Registry Experience Available
• Group Gifting options
• Instant Exchange options
• International friendly
• Price Matching Enforced
• Shipping Manager
• Thank You Note Manager
• Universal Shopping Cart Capability

 

WHAT WE REGISTERED FOR - Here's some of my favorite and most necessary things we registered for.

Everyday Plates and Glasses - Williams Sonoma. These are heavy duty and timeless. They are a pattern that WS will keep for a very long time. Same with the glasses.

Nicer Plates and Glasses - Bed Bath and Beyond. Like I mentioned above, we didn't do traditional china. A benefit of these is that they are dishwasher safe. SCORE!

Kitchenaid Mixer and attachments - Bed Bath and Beyond. Nick was more excited that I was for this. It is #worthit

White Marble Goods - Crate and Barrel (also some at Williams Sonoma, but more and less expensive at CandB) These are even more beautiful in person. I love how they look in the kitchen.

Waffle Iron -Crate and Barrel. This just makes my waffles happier!

Pots and Pans Set - Williams Sonoma (we didn't do AllClad, we did WS brand!) We hang them up over our bar like this and it is awesome. It looks cool and frees up space! We ended up liking the WS pots and pans better than AllClad, because of the ergonomic handles and the price;)

Goldtouch Baking Accessories - Williams Sonoma. I love the gold look! It is so classy. The only thing is that don't use pam on these. Butter always!

Wine Glasses - Bed Bath and Beyond. the Vinum XL glasses and the pinot ones are our favorite. We do have matching glasses for our nicer plates, but other than that, Riedel is the way to go

Kitchen Gadgets - Bed Bath and Beyond (some at WS, but mainly BBB) You just need these...I mean how many times do you lose 1 cup  here or a teaspoon there. Always necessary!

Le Creuset - Williams Sonoma. These are just so classic and perfect for yummy dishes.

Soooo a lot of info, right? I hope you found it helpful! Did I leave something out? Drop me an email or comment and I'll answer you. If I get enough, I can always do a part 2;) Oh and when you register, be sure to bring snacks... It tuckered me out!!

P.S. Anthropologie is fairly popular place to register, but I didn't include it, because when people register there, they register for bedding, knickknacks, and expensive furniture. More often than not, no one buys the expensive stuff (bedding included) andddd they buy the goodies...which are really cute, don't get me wrong. BUT you end up not needing them, not knowing where to put them, or rather having something more useful to them.  

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