Borrowed and Blue Diaries | A Guide to Registries: Where to Begin

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When Seth and I started the craziness of wedding planning, one of the things we were really looking forward to was making our registries. I mean, who doesn’t want to spend a few hours dreaming of the gadgets that could possibly fill your future home? What we didn’t realize was how overwhelming the task can be. With that in mind, I’ll be blogging this series over the next few weeks to help you pick navigate the world of registries. There are definitely an infinite amount to choose from, but narrowing them down can keep you from turning into “that couple.” You know- the ones who have a registry list almost as long as their guest list.

I can’t lie though- Seth and I were almost THAT couple. We didn’t really NEED anything, so we had fun with it, and had a variety of registries. I think this is totally acceptable, as long as you don’t go overboard.

Here are a few important tips to keep in mind:

1) Register early. Try to complete your registries as early in your engagement as possible. This makes things a lot easier on your bridesmaids as they plan your shower, and allows out of town guests to plan ahead if they’d prefer to ship your gifts for you. Pick a weekend and make a day or two of it- complete with lunch or a movie afterwards!

2) Have a variety. Again, don’t go overboard, but make sure your guests have options. They might be offended if you’re only registered for items at extremely expensive stores, and older relatives might have a hard time finding you a gift if the store you are registered at isn’t near them. Make a list of your favorite stores, as well as a few out of the box places, and narrow it down from there.

3) Look for incentives. Many stores offer completion discounts if you don’t get everything you asked for. Many times this amounts to 15-20% off your remaining items up to a year after your wedding. Others have registry nights when the store is only open for several couples to scan, see product demonstrations, and have some light snacks.

4) Include your fiance. Ladies, lets be honest- we’re doing most of the planning when it comes to the wedding day. Your hubby-to-be might not care much about linen colors or centerpieces, but he’ll probably want an opinion on what will be filling the walls, cabinets, and drawers in your new abode. Take it a step further and have him make his own registry. Seth is a regular Mr. Fix It, so we went to Sear’s and he made a registry dedicated to tools he’d love to have around the house.

 

Here are the places we registered before the big day, complete with some of our favorite parts:

 

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Something about Crate & Barrel just screams “We’re Getting Married!” When we started registering this was the first place on my list.

Pros: They send out a LOT of discount coupons throughout your registry period. If you love C&B, this is a great chance to save some money. If you have an iPhone, there is a mobile registry app you can download to scan items directly using your phone. If you’re like me and feel weird about making small talk with sales associates, this is a great way to walk in and get things done. They also offer “The Wedding Parties” events. They close down the store and you can enjoy some treats and a night of registering with other couples.

Cons: Prices tend to be on the higher side. It’s also really easy to get carried away and have an abundance of random items on your registry.

 

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We actually weren’t going to register at Macy’s, but after a Kohl’s registry gone wrong (think 2 hours of scanning, only to not have anything save to the gun)- we reconsidered.

Pros: Macy’s has literally EVERYTHING you could think of. Fine china, blankets, luggage, shower curtains, kitchen gadgets- this is where we got most of our stuff from. They also have something called a “Dream Fund” card. When you create your registry, you have the option of taking advantage of this option. Let’s say you want a new couch, or other big ticket item. You could hardly expect one person to buy you such a thing. But with the Dream Fund, anyone can make smaller donations to go onto your Dream Card. You can use this just like a gift card as soon as money is added to it, or you can save it up to make a larger purchase. They gave my bridesmaid and I a small goodie bag of chocolates and water bottles to snack on as we registered. They have an awesome completion program- 15% off of anything left on your registry up to 6 months after the wedding. Other goodies include a ton of coupons including exclusive discounts on designer clothing, a mobile registry app, discounts with Wedding Paper Divas, and Sip & Scan events.

Cons: Honestly, I can’t think of anything bad here. We had a great experience, and even the sales woman was super great about helping us when needed, but mostly just left us to scan.

 

 

Bed Bath & Beyond

I could spend hours in BB&B if Seth would let me. I mean seriously, this is like decorating heaven.

Pros: Sales Associates were super helpful in showing us where things were located in the store, and there is SO much to choose from. I loved that there were tons of different options for everything- especially silverware. I have a super picky husband when it comes to the weight of utensils. Anywho- their completion incentives are pretty awesome as well. We got 20% of things remaining on our registry- I was even able to add a few things to the registry while we were shopping and get the discount on those as well.

Cons: As awesome as it is to have such a vast selection, it also gets overwhelming. We ended up with some really random things on our registry. We also ran into some problems because I had started the registry online, then we went to the store to complete it. That was resolved pretty quickly though.

 

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If you’re an organizational obsessive girl like I am, this is the registry for you.

Pros: So many stylish organizational tools! Seriously- things I’d never even think existed. I planned out all kinds of different layouts to organize our closet. They also offer a 10% off completion discount.

Cons: Limited brick and mortar stores- at least in our area. They have free shipping incentives though, so it’s not a total deal breaker.

 

I hope this helps those of you getting ready to figure out where to do your registries! Be sure to come back next week- I’ll have some helpful tips for figuring out what to actually put on those registries!

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