Wednesday, June 15, 2011

unsolicited wedding advice wednesdays : where to register

As stated in the previous post I certainly am no wedding expert and I can only share what I have personally gone through so here's what I can tell you:

My experience was as a traveling bride, meaning I moved from CA to IL after the wedding so naturally this impacted where and how Mark and I decided to register.  Our criteria was simple: 1. Be easily available for guests in multiple states around the country 2. Have the option to order online and ship to IL  3. Be able to refund gifts for cash  3. Easily add items to the registry online (since I was in CA and Mark in IL).  4.  Have stuff we want.  

For better or worse we decided to register (although in hindsight we probably should not have) with Bed Bath & Beyond (BBB) and  BBB was a chosen because we were told that we would be able to refund any of our received wedding gifts for cash and we felt that guests that were coming from CA and IL would be able to find a BBB in their respective areas. was chosen because we wanted to register for specific items that would not be at the same store (such as Apple products and specific kitchenware) and we knew that refunding items would be relatively easy.  

In addition we registered with Crate and Barrel (CB) but kept the registry private because we wanted to only have a maximum of 2 registries public for simplicity sake.  In our price comparisons between BBB and CB we found that CB was actually slightly cheaper and we liked the designs much more however we couldn't get a clear answer whether we could refund received gifts for cash as easily as BBB.  So the private registry served as a list of things we'd probably want to get after the wedding. 

Now that the wedding has come and gone I would have to say that was the easiest to work with.  Keeping track of gift givers was the easiest with Amazon because a convenient list of the gift giver and gift is recorded online.  This was not the case with BBB gifts and we had to hang on to every packing slip from each BBB shipment in order to figure out who had given what to us.  This was annoying because we had several boxes from BBB coming to the new house and each packing slip had to be saved.

We did decide to return some gifts to BBB and we ran in to some issues when we wanted to get cash back.  We eventually did get cash back however we discovered that they were reluctant to do so.  We're not sure if the issue was that the items were purchased online or if it was because we were making the return to a store location that was different from our primary location selection.  The point is that the cash back guarantee didn't exactly go the way it was described.  My advice would be to contact the store you think you may make returns at before you start your registry and talk to the store manager about returns.

One last thing to remember is that after your wedding you will receive discount coupons in the mail from your registry locations (except for Amazon) so wait for these coupons before purchasing items off your registry that you didn't receive.  This was another mistake we made hahaha, we made our purchases (and of course the stores said nothing about the discount) and then a few days later the coupon came in the mail.  FAIL. :P 

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