Oh yes, this time has come. Gift registries can be a serious nightmare, not gonna lie. But before we get into that, I’ll give you some tips.
When we were registering, someone told us to take the number of guests you’re inviting, multiply by three, and register for that many gifts. This gives your guests lots and lots of things to choose from for you two. You should also register at a minimum of 3 different retailers, again giving your guests a selection. We did not register for that many gifts, and we only registered at 3 retailers. We found that more guests purchased from our Bed, Bath, and Beyond registry than our other two (which was fine by us! We love them), but that was also the store we had the most gifts registered for. I think we got more money and gift cards than anything else (which again was fine by us!)
As you probably saw in the Invitations & Save the Dates post, we registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, JC Penny, and Sears. BBB was absolutely wonderful. The registry consultant sat down with us, filled out all the paperwork with us, and even walked around the entire store and scanned items with us. We must have been in there at least 3 whole hours. But it was so much fun. Best part about the BBB bridal registry is after your event, if you don’t get everything you wanted, you can go back and get 20% off anything you buy. We made a killing after our wedding! And got everything we needed for our home together. My advice: GO TO BBB. RIGHT NOW. Okay maybe not right now, but definitely register there.
Sears and Penny’s were not such great experiences unfortunately. For JCP, we drove all the way downtown to the Anchorage store, just to find out they don’t do registries in-store. You have to do it all online. And the lady we talked to was very rude to us. So not all bad, but online registering isn’t as fun and it’s a little harder since you can’t see the item or check it out.
Our experience with Sears was terrible. Downright awful. I never should have bothered with them. Before going I signed up online so I wouldn’t have to do that part in the store. Then when we got there and asked about registering for gifts, the first couple associates we talked to didn’t know what the heck we were talking about, and when we found someone who did they didn’t know where the scanner was. Someone ELSE found the scanner, then no one knew how it worked. I finally got a manager who knew how everything worked, and he helped us set it up and start scanning. Not 10 minutes into scanning the scanners battery died… Oh LORD! I took it back to the counter – where four girls had been standing around chatting and joking so loud we could hear them from the next department – it took me a minute to get their attention, and when I did they didn’t know how to change the battery. One of them actually took it from me and said “What is this? Why do you have this? Who let you have this?” Oh I was furious. I got the manager again, told him what was going on, and after fidgeting with the scanner some more we gave up and left. I was so angry. The customer service was so bad (I’ve been there two other times and gotten the same cruddy service). The other con is their online registry doesn’t make gifts you’ve already received unavailable, so multiple people can purchase the same gift. Which happened to us. Duplicate gifts wouldn’t be an issue if Sears would issue you store credit. No. They told me it would be returned to the original credit card. Meaning the person who purchased the gift would know that we had to return it!
Oh my, that makes me mad all over again just thinking about it! Okay, off my soapbox here. You should think about doing your gift registries right around 5-6 months prior to the wedding, and definitely before sending out your invitations (since you’re going to make those registry cards, right?). Also, don’t forget to add your registries to your wedding website when you’ve finished! (I found that Bed, Bath, and Beyond and JC Penny’s both automatically showed up on our website. Which was awesome.) Other places to think about registering are Scan Home, Lennox, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Target, and Pottery Barn. Among many others I’m sure.
If you have a great experience, or a terrible one, please share! (Or vent, whichever you need)
I thought this was an appropriate verse to go with this. It reminds us that God’s light shines through us as Christians, so no matter how mad we are about a gift registry, we should still demonstrate the heart of Christ to those we deal with.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise your father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV84)