Over the last couple weeks Ms. Temple of Groom and I have registered for our wedding. Registering was something I looked forward to ever since I got down on my knee and asked Rebecca to be my wife. Needless to say, I was excited!
So after all the dust settled, the registry guns have cooled, I have just one question: Is it just me, or does anyone else think registering is totally overhyped?! There were moments where we had a blast registering, however I wouldn't say that we were skipping down the aisles of the stores, but we were on a roll, finding stuff we liked, and zapping it.
While we were trudging down the aisles of Bed Bath & Beyond, I did come up with some ideas that I think would make the whole registering thing more enjoyable for an engaged couple.
1. Use real guns, then tell the store to go tally up everything with a bullet hole and THAT'S what you want on your registry. (kidding)
2. Jump start your registry online before going into the store. This is my biggest morsel of advice for you. If you've already started your registry online you don't have to go through the store clerks hour long lecture about how registries work. He'll do 15 solid minutes of registry humor that will leave you miserable. Then you get to tell him the entire story of how the two of you met, and when you're getting married. If you're like me, and generally get annoyed pretty quickly, this will put you over the edge. It honestly tainted the entire day. I'm guessing that a lot of you women out there have much more patience for this than us guys, but keeping your fiance happy and attentive will make for a better registering experience.
3. Register for everything, everywhere. If you're going to multiple stores, don't kill momentum by standing in the middle of the aisle thinking "Did we like this food processor more than the one we registered for at the other store?" just zap it! You can decide which one is cooler online later.
You should either go into each store with a specific list of things you want (IE. Crate & Barrel get accessories only, Bed Bath & Beyond get kitchen things only, etc) or just go in prepared to gun just about anything that looks appealing that you want with the assumption that you'll get online later and clean up your registry list.
4. Take turns playing with the gun. If you want your fiance to help, you should let him get some target practice as well. It's only fair. Additionally, even if you know he's breaking the gun, let him figure it out. Rebecca did a good job of sharing the gun and that was much appreciated.
5. Get online. I really have enjoyed managing our registries online. It takes pressure off of being in the actual store and forgetting things. Additionally AMAZON's registry has been incredible. You can add anything that's for sale online into your amazon registry. It's been great. Let your guy make a list of cool items he wants that you may not find in the stores you're registered. Then perhaps you can weed out items like the 3 video game systems and the Monkey Art off the list, and narrow it down to that awesome Popsicle machine he found.
5a. Some stores are just better online than in person. When we went to Bed Bath & Beyond, we had a terrible time registering. We couldn't get out of the store fast enough. Spoiler Alert: Readers that work at the North Hollywood Bed Bath & Beyond should skip down to tip #6. First of all, even though we registered online - they STILL made us go into some seedy room for 40 minutes to talk to a "Registry Specialist" who showed us Bed Bath & Beyond's website on a 10 year old monitor. It was a little less fun than I'm making it sound. We had perfect intentions to look for everyday casual china, but much to our dismay when we inquired, she brought out a binder with terrible picture printouts of the plates. That's when we got to watch her browse the internet looking for better pictures. Then we had to make chit chat with her before she gave us our gun. Rebecca also told me to add a tip not to drink too much coffee before you go to these things...I digress...
Finally when we got out into the store, we quickly realized that Bed Bath and Beyond only shows about a quarter of their inventory in the store. We asked for multiple items only to be told "Oh, you have to register for that online!" While it's mandatory that you see specific items in person - china, linens - there are a whole lot of items you can just register for online. Plus you don't have to deal with screaming babies and people that just seem to stare at the ceiling and lights when they walk around the store.
6. Not all stores are created equal. Sometimes it's cool to register at a store that nobody you know registered, HOWEVER, more times than not there's an absolute reason nobody has registered there.
Here's my note to you, SUR LA TABLE. Get with it! People love your store. I LOVE your store. Your registry division is a JOKE. Your website is not navigable. Rebecca and I went to register at one of the most popular store locations in LA. When we stepped foot in the store we got excited about registering for the first time! Everything we saw we wanted. It was the feeling we were looking for. When we asked for a registry gun, the store apologetically told us that the ONE registry scanner they had was broken. ONE?! Really?! So we went to another sur la table store, and while their gun was working, the clerks certainly didn't know how to load our registry into the computer. We had to go through and tell them everything that we wanted, and everything that was on our list that we did NOT register for. It was a mess. So we went home, checked our registry online, only to discover that on the site they don't include thumbnail pictures and adequate descriptions for every item. Nobody will want to buy us an item they can't see, or don't know what it is. No joke, one item was called "Made in Thailand" and it didn't have a picture. Needless to say, we wound up deleting our Sur La Table registry. So my advice is to stick with the stores that seem to know what they're doing. There's a reason you haven't seen people use certain stores.
7. Spoil yourself. Originally we didn't register at Bloomingdales because I figured it was just way too overpriced and I took my guests pocketbooks into consideration. However when we went into the store last week it was completely competitively priced with other places we registered. The best thing about Bloomingdales was the layout of their store. They had everything displayed nicely, and most of their inventory is out and you can touch it (they had every color kitchen aid, every le creuset item, china, everyday plates, etc). Additionally, the store was much calmer than a Crate & Barrel. We had such a fun time picturing everything in our house and deciding what to get. Another definite pro of going to a finer store was that the sales staff knew the product. They were very knowledgeable about every item we asked about and when we asked for suggestions they were able to supply opinions. Whereas at another store we went to coughBED BATH & BEYONDcough when we asked for a suggestion we got this as an answer "You know, you can really do whatever you'd like. It's like you either like this plate or you go a different route and get something totally different. The thing to remember is that it's your registry so you can like get anything you want! It's like you want to look for a plate, and you can totally go to our website to see everything!" Go to a nice place. You'll be shocked at the serenity... you'll enjoy the service... and you'd be surprised that it's not more expensive.
8. Add some fun items to your list you don't think anyone will buy. There are a couple of items that I really want that are obviously crazy overpriced. Look, there's really only two things that can happen - your friends get a good chuckle that you registered for a $5400 photograph of a monkey (monkey 1 or monkey 2) or someone is going to be crazy enough to buy you that monkey photo! Okay, maybe the latter is never ever going to happen, but there are most likely some items you think are a tad excessive to put on your list that others wouldn't think are all that bad. Or maybe you have a couple relatives that will go in together to get the big ticket item. The moral of the story is don't hold back. You have nothing to lose.