You’ve probably come upon this article because you’re a bride or groom in a classic newly-engaged conundrum of which wedding registry site to choose. If that’s not the case, you’re probably almost there, or are just curious about the world of weddings and online registries — because what could be any more fun than creating a lengthy wish list of all your favorite utensils, appliances and gadgets?
Between the engagement happiness and the natural stress, is the need to complete the tasks, the required practicalities that need to get taken care of before the big day, such as choosing a registry site. Read on to learn about the top 10 registry sites and how to choose the one that’s best suited for you and your partner.
High-end Items and Great Service
For a registry that takes it one step further than plates, cups, knives and spoons, Bloomingdale's is the one. As the Macy’s-owned department store that sells designer clothes, bags, shoes and home pieces, Bloomingdale's is known to be high-price and to offer high-level customer service. On top of having classy and timeless items that are not usually found at other stores, Bloomingdale’s registry service offers quite a bit more than other ones out there. If you’re a frequent Bloomingdale’s shopper, you’ll enjoy their special offer, which gives you 20% off an assortment of clothing, jewelry and intimate items from the time you register until the date of your wedding. Another great perk of using Bloomingdale’s is that you receive 10% off when you purchase the items that are left on your registry for 6 months after the occasion. So, if your Grandma's friend gifts you only 3 of the 4 canisters you wanted, you can buy the 4th one for a reduced price.
Similar to the high-style items that Bloomingdale’s offers, is Williams-Sonoma, which is known for its “upscale simplicity.” Unlike other sites that offer various homegood products, clothing and accessories, Williams-Sonoma only offers kitchen wares and home furnishings. Though this may seem like a downside because you will have to register with more than one company, you know that every item you receive from it are quality items from a trusted name in the industry. Both Bloomingdale’s and Williams-Sonoma offer excellent customer service and allow you to set up private appointments.
All Around Practical
Since not everyone is looking for a $30 plate or other high-end products, there are many other registry options you can use. One of the most common registry sites is Bed, Bath & Beyond. Yes, “Bed Bath” offers items for the bedroom and the bathroom, but it also offers items for the kitchen and outdoor space. It truly has everything, but the reason that so many choose to register with Bed, Bath & Beyond is because of its return policy. If you have your original receipt, you can return any item to any of its stores (online purchases included), and receive a complete exchange or money refund, whenever. Don’t have your receipt? No problem. If the purchase was made within the past year, Bed, Bath & Beyond will give you a refund for 20% less than the item’s current selling price, or give you store credit.
Just as practical in terms of items available and just as good with returns, are Target and Macy’s. Target is a popular choice for many, as it offers affordable household, cleaning and pet products, stylish clothing and accessories and much more. It’s registry site is extremely simple and to the point, not offering any extra frills. Macy’s is known to be higher-end than Target, so if you’re looking to register for slightly nicer items, it is a good choice. Macy’s also has occasional events at its store, that offer couples a fun night of good eats and the chance to hear expert wedding and registry advice. A big plus of registering with Target or Macy’s is that both have stores located all over the country, so in the case a return is needed, it can be done quickly and easily.
One of the most practical, easy-to-use and organized registry sites out there is Amazon. Like many, it offers registry holders extra benefits to thank them for choosing its site to register with. But, Amazon offers much more than just just those benefits. It has a 30-day return policy on all of its items and bonus gifts for the couple. But the most incredible benefit that only Amazon has is its Universal Registry Button. As the eCommerce giant it is, Amazon has created a browser extension that allows you to find and keep track of anything you see on any other website. So let's say you’re browsing another online store and you just need those nesting bowls, you can easily click the item, using your universal registry button, and add it to your Amazon registry.
Classic and Timeless Pieces
If you’re looking for a wedding registry site that has it all, you will not be disappointed by Crate & Barrel. It has the white bowls you see in magazine ads, plush throws that hang over your sofa and salad tongs that are too beautiful to use. Its registry site offers many extra benefits to say thank you for choosing to use it. From exclusive Crate & Barrel houseware and furniture items, to a special gift of wine glasses and an embroidered bag, and even a neat tool to help you keep track of who gave you what, the site takes extra steps to make a very stressful time a breeze. Plus, Crate & Barrel offer free shipping on all registry orders over $99.
Pottery Barn has a similar style to Crate & Barrel, but has a much greater selection of items, which range from pillows and decor, to lighting and tabletop pieces. The website presents its overall tone and seasonal inspiration, as well as offers a section for wedding day and decor inspiration. Much emphasis is placed on its care for timeless designs, craftsmanship, and premium materials. Registry holders also get great customer service, from a dedicated team, to hassle-free returns that can be made up to 90 days after the big day.
For the Alternative
For the couples that prefer experiences over things, there’s Zola and Honeyfund. Offering a free suite of wedding tools, from wedding website creation to guest checklists, Zola’s most popular tool is its registry site. This registry is a common choice for couples who prefer to receive money from guests, rather than physical gifts, as it offers a low cash fee. So if a guest wants to gift you $100, they pay $110, and you get the $100. With this, all the money that you get from guests can go to your honeymoon, and not to credit card fees.
Like Zola, Honeyfund is a cash wedding gift registry, as well as a honeymoon registry. All you have to do is set up your registry, which means writing in your honeymoon details and the amount you need to make it happen, and share it with your guests. They’ll then be able to make payments through the website or app to help you see your dream honeymoon come true.
Choose the “Right One”
Though some registry sites are on the higher-end and some are on the lower-end of the scale in terms of products offered, all are free. The higher-end ones often promise better customer care than the rest, but they all do about the same thing — allow your guests to shower you with gifts. From top-of-the-line sites to the practical ones, and even the alternative ones, we hope this breakdown gave you the information you need to make the right registry choice decision.
*Updated September 2017