Ah registries! One of the many tricky aspects of a wedding (as I’m reflecting on our wonderful gifts from the continued session of Thank You note writing). I honestly had no familiarity with this concept until we started receiving invites directly addressed to us! As a guest, most people don’t start looking at the registry until 2 weeks prior to the event. Be it a wedding shower OR the actual wedding. As the couple getting married, they also must walk the line of picking out appropriate items without coming off as greedy: wide price range and quantity for guests to choose from. For someone who hates surprises, I love registries now!
Do people (our age) still follow the convention of sending a gift even though they can’t attend the wedding? We’ve encountered several flustered friends who when we have talked to them immediately mention they will send a gift without us mentioning. Do or don’t, just be candid with us haha. There’s no need to avoid us over this awkward topic! We enjoy quality time with folks and appreciate friends making the effort to reach out to catch up. Etiquette suggests that they still have up to a year after the wedding date. However, I just learned that it’s a MYTH that you have up to a year from the wedding/receiving the gift to write a thank you note back. Gulp… according to this we have until the end of July!
We set up 4 separate registries with Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Zola!
TheKnot website mentioned that they would donate a portion of any purchase made through the website link to a charity of my choosing, American Cancer Society up to 6 months post wedding date. All items purchased after will not be counted. (It’s really unclear if they will show you the actual amount contributed. Better than nothing?) Similar to the wedding website post(s) this will be a 2 parter as well. I will do an actual full blown review next week of Amazon and Zola, as that was where 90% of our items were located.
Target – As a current RedCard holder I love this place and all of the conveniences of ordering online for picking up in store. Naturally I set up a quick registry. I also received not ONE but TWO promotions in the mail for $20 Gift Cards, just for showing them my registry was set up! We only had a handful of items on here and we received all of them. We are so IN LOVE with the beautiful glass containers! They also sent a 15% off completion discount so if some of your registry items were not purchased you could buy them yourself. I did not check if there were any restrictions such as pricey electronics. Also it’s worth noting that you can mark the item as purchased on Target just by filling out a quick form with your name and the store/reason you purchased it elsewhere. Very slick!
Rating: 4/5 ★★★★
Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) – A favorite of many wedding guests and couples for traditional gifts. Has anyone ever paid full price here? The brand is notorious for their flexibility with the 20% off coupon dates! Probably everyone also can tell that distinct complimentary BB&B packaging. They also have the added benefit of having a registry consultant. They sent me an offer in the mail to pick up 2 complimentary mugs and something else but we never got around to it with all the craziness that ensued the 2 months prior. I’ve also heard that they have a relaxed return/exchange policy for items on the registry. Similar to Target we only picked out a handful of items since our message was to avoid getting too many large physical items since I secretly knew of the sheer amount of THINGS we amassed to while living together even with roommates haha. (Moving all of it, was NOT pleasant.) We can’t wait to use the items we received to entertain guests in the future!
Rating: 3/5 ★★★
Online Registries Physical/Honeymoon (To be continued)
Amazon – Dana is a Prime member and I used to be one for 4 years when they had the unbeatable student rate. Our confidence in this online retailer giant transitioned into the bulk of our physical gifts here. The downside obviously is that it’s a hassle to return or exchange item purchased online, especially very heavy/bulky items. However, we were confident in the majority of the items and have had a generally positive experience dealing with the customer service. They also offered a 15% completion discount, but it comes with a huge caveat that it has to be purchased from Amazon directly not one of their 3rd party sellers that fulfill shipments through Amazon.
Rating: 3/5 ★★★
Zola – I’m sure not too many people have heard of this retailer. It’s not even listed as an official affiliated partner on TheKnot! We wanted a honeymoon registry, as I alluded we were trying to reduce the amount of physical items and to enhance our once in a lifetime honeymoon. After several weeks of research to find the perfect website I settled on Zola from the glowing reviews. This website also seemed to charge the least % of upfront fees. (I know it is annoying that they have this but that’s what we pay for convenience, and your guests can use their credit card. Knowing this, as a guest in the future I would just write a check for the amount and indicate which item it’s for.) They also have a huge range of physical items you can add so you really could have ALL your items in one place if you wanted. They do offer price matching as well but you will need to contact their customer service via e-mail.
Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★1/2
More to follow on my impression of Amazon & Zola registries in Part 2!