You guys. I can STILL feel the anxiety I felt when I was trying to figure out where the heck we were going to register last year. Trev and I were SO CONFLICTED. When Store A has a really great program, but Store B has everything you could ever want and Store C gives out really great sales for your guests, it can be hard.
For example. We LOVED so many things at Williams Sonoma. But, 95% of our guests lived in towns where the closest Williams Sonoma was a 2 hour drive. They weren’t going to buy from a store that they didn’t have easy access to, and maybe hadn’t even heard of. (We’re from small towns… trust me. Not everyone has heard of Williams-Sonoma like you might think!)
With so many great options out there, for us, it came down to what stores suited our needs best. We made a small checklist, and did our research. The stores that checked off the most boxes? They were our winners!
Our checklist was simple. The stores we chose for our registry should…
- Be Easily Accessible to our Guests. Residents of Small Town, USA will get me here. It’s HARD to shop when you have zero stores around you. (Seriously. The closest mall to my parents house is an hour away.) And while many guests may choose to order online, some still want to go in the store to pick out the perfect gift for you. So, for us, the stores we chose had to be stores our guests could easily get to.
- Have items that suited us. We wanted to choose stores that were filled with items that suited us. One of our favorite places in the world to shop is Target. So clearly, we were going to register there. Think of places you love, and check out their Wedding Registry.
- Offer good sales and discounts. This one was one of the most important things to us. Everyone loves a good sale. And we didn’t want our guests having to spend hundreds of dollars on us when they were already paying to come all the way to Glen Arbor for our big day. So we chose stores that offer great sales on items we knew would be on our registries.
- Have an easy to use registry website. This one was more for us. We wanted a no-fuss registry website. We did ALL of our registering online because it was quick and easy for us.
- Have an easy return policy. This is important. You will get doubles, triples, even quadruples of items for your wedding. Choose stores with easy return policies so you can exchange/ return them without any hassles.
Now that you’ve got your checklist, it’s time to choose your stores. Please know, this next section isn’t meant to hurt ANY feelings if your registry experience was super positive through a store. These are my personal opinions.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the most Popular Wedding Registries
Bed Bath and Beyond. Might as well start with a classic, right? Bed Bath and Beyond has all the registry classics. It’s easy to see why this is consistently a favorite of couples year after year. I have nothing negative to say about BBB. I loved that I could register online. I loved that my guests got free shipping if they spent more than $49. I loved that gift wrap was FREE in store for them. And I loved the completion discount we got after our wedding. It was user friendly, easy, and honestly, we got some really great quality products.
Target. EEEEK. I love Target. It’s one of my most favorite stores. I’m literally one of those people who could spend 2 hours walking around Target. There were so many things to love about registering at Target. We have an entire year to return any items that were bought through our registry. The online registry was in my opinion, the easiest to use. The only downside? Luxury brands aren’t available at Target. Which for us, wasn’t a big deal. However, I can see how it could be for some people.
Best Buy. Trev is still rolling his eyes at me for not letting him register at Best Buy. But seriously, the last thing we needed was hundreds of Blue Rays and headphones. For me, it wasn’t worth registering here. We simply didn’t need “tech” stuff on our registry, and that is all Best Buy offers. And to be honest, you can probably register for the same TV at Best Buy that you could at Target.
Crate and Barrel. Ugh. Here’s another store I REALLY wanted to register at. But, I knew we wouldn’t get a whole lot off this registry because there literally isn’t a Crate and Barrel anywhere near either of our hometowns. Not having personal experience with this registry, I can’t rave about it to you. But I can tell you, I’ve heard nothing but good things about registering at this ultra chic registry favorite.
Kohls. Alright. I’m super torn on this one. I know people LOVE Kohls. I do too. However, I don’t think it’s the best place to register. Hear me out… Kohls prices look great. Until you compare the exact same item on another site. Their “sale prices” are actually right about what the actual price of items were not on sale at other places. So my guests actually got a better deal buying them on an actual sale at another retailer, than they got on the “sale price” at Kohls. Confusing. I know. Now, if you’re not worried about that, Kohls does offer some great incentives, like getting the chance to send your guests a 20% off coupon when they purchase something from your registry.
Macy’s. We registered with Macy’s and honestly, couldn’t have been happier. We loved that they had everything we could ever want to register for online, from high end brands to great discounts. We also loved how easy their registry was to use, and the fact that our guests that purchased items for us got a coupon to receive $20 off their next personal purchase of $50 or more. The one downside of Macy’s is that not all stores have a huge “home” section in them. So chances are, your guests will end up ordering things from your registry whether they do it from home or in store.
Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn is perfect for all you stylish couples looking to perfect your home. We would have registered here if we already had a house, but we don’t. And we didn’t want to “decorate” a home that we don’t even have yet. (Let’s be real… we could have had a super fabulous apartment, but when we do buy a house someday, we’d want all new stuff inside it.) Pottery Barn offers “design studio specialists” that will help you pick out the perfect items to make your new home the home of your dreams. The one major downside? No app. So it’s hard to adjust your registry on the go.
Williams-Sonoma. The kitchen of my dreams is waiting for me at Williams-Sonoma. I already mentioned why we didn’t register here above. But don’t let that be the same reason you don’t. Williams-Sonoma offers top-rated kitchen essentials that you will love. However, that’s the one thing they’re really known for. Kitchen stuff. If you’re looking for a broader range of home goods, Williams-Sonoma might not be the right choice for you.
*Snapple fact! Pottery Barn, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma are owned by the same company. So any gift cards you get through a registry at any of the stores can be used at the others too.
Amazon. The best part about registering on Amazon? You can get literally anything you want. Maybe you don’t want to worry about buying Toilet Paper for the first year of your married life. (Hey… it could be someone’s dream!) You can register for it on Amazon. Plus, prices on Amazon are usually the best you’re going to find, which your guests will appreciate. The only downside with Amazon is that you, and your guests can’t see the items in person before registering/purchasing. And, they don’t offer any “completion” incentives like most places do.
ZOLA. ZOLA is PERFECT for those of you who can’t decide on just 2 or 3 stores to register at. Offering 450 top brands and thousands of gifts, you’re probably going to find exactly what you’re looking for here. It’s supposedly super easy to use, and comes with glowing reviews from pretty much everyone.
Honeyfund. Okay. Before you wrinkle your nose at me for this non traditional website, just listen. Honeyfund is kind of awesome. I mean, if you want a chance to go on the trip of a lifetime, and already have a home full of everything you need, this is the place to register. Basically, people give you money towards things for your honeymoon. From air fare to excursions, meals to spa treatments it’s all there. You choose your destination, and create your dream vacation.
So where are you going to register? We ended up with 3 “classics”, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s and Target. We were really happy with all our choices! However, I wished we’d looked more into Honeyfund and ZOLA when we were registering!
Good news guys! I’m feeling a lot better today. I think going to bed before 8 the last few nights has really helped. I’m off to go enjoy this insanely gorgeous day we’re having! I’m back tomorrow with some ideas for your Mama’s. Mother’s Day will be here before you know it!
PS. Survivor is on tonight, and y’all know I love me some Survivor. But do you know what I just realized?! I’ve been watching Survivor for SEVENTEEN YEARS. SEVENTEEN. That’s more than half my life! Mind = Blown.