What to Know About Wedding Registries

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Insider Perspective

During graduate school, I used to work in customer service at Bed Bath and Beyond. Like with any other customer service department, I primarily focused on returns and exchanges. Aside from that, I also answered product questions and assisted couples with their registries. The job may have only been a six-month stent but it undoubtedly strengthened my people skills and taught me a thing or two about the wedding registry experience.  

Compared to other competitors like Macy’s and Target, I came to view Bed Bath and Beyond as the “top dog,” so to speak. At that time, one key difference that made Bed Bath and Beyond stands out to me is that it offered a lifetime guarantee on its products. This means that if something bad happened with a product outside the limits of the manufacturer’s warranty, Bed Bath and Beyond would honor the purchase and provide a new product. Essentially, it was like having an extended warranty at no extra cost. To me, wedding or not, this seemed like a no-brainer for any consumer seeking household furnishings.

Unfortunately, I recently learned this isn’t happening anymore. As of July 2018, policies changed. When it comes to returns, it’s now either based on the manufacturer’s warranty for certain items or return policy for said other items. While I find this disappointing compared to the previous offering, I still think Bed Bath and Beyond is kind of THE place for anyone in the market to register for a wedding. Here’s why:

bride in robe reading card from groom

Returns

When you’re engaged, figuring out what to register for is usually only half of the battle. Think beyond the wedding. If for any reason you may need to bring an item back, it’s valuable to know the store’s return policy since it provides a framework for what’s acceptable and what’s not. Like anyone else, you probably want the experience to be easy and as painless as possible.

Out of the three places already discussed, Bed Bath and Beyond, in my mind, wins here. Basically, anything purchased from a Bed Bath and Beyond registry can be exchanged or refunded in the form of a merchandise credit for the amount paid, for up to 365 days from the date of purchase. In addition, if you don’t have a receipt, Bed Bath and Beyond will do its best to find the transaction and the amount paid.

The return policy at Target says you have up to one year after the event to return most new, unopened items at a store using a return barcode, which is accessible through the Target registry app. What makes this less certain; however, is that it says most items and mentions unopened. Keep in mind, the return time frame is 90 days for everything else. If for some reason one of your guests doesn’t get the gift marked on your registry, you more than likely will have to adhere to the 90-day return policy.

Macy’s states that any return from a registry must be made within 180 days of the event date. Again, this feels a bit iffy, especially if an item is not marked properly on a registry. In the event this happens, it suggests, at least to me, that the item has to be returned within 180 days from the time of purchase, which is the return policy for everything else. In addition, Macy’s mentions bringing a receipt for returns and exchanges. It’s not incredibly clear as to what happens when there’s not a receipt, but let’s face it, most people who buy something from a registry generally don’t attach their receipts.

cards and gifts sign for wedding reception

Experience

There are a lot of reasons to love all of these stores. I mean, when is the last time you went to a Target and didn’t spend any money? What about Macy’s unbelievable holiday sales? It’s hard to not shop at these places or have a fondness for them. They get so much right!

Of the three, though, it’s evident that Bed Bath and Beyond’s focuses its efforts on weddings, particularly registries. It offers in-store and online consultants to assist with your registry; it provides tools like an interactive checklist, mobile app and a way to track gifts online, which streamlines sending thank you notes; it accepts price matches; and, it discounts 20% off any remaining items on your registry. I think all of this speaks for itself. 45

Other Registry Considerations

  • If you’re in a small town or your guests live in areas farther away, it’s not a bad idea to register at a couple of places or several. You may want to do this regardless for the sake of options.
  • Not every store carries the same line of products. You may prefer dinnerware at Macy’s and flatware somewhere else. That’s OK. Register at multiple places and go for what you truly want.
  • You may already be at a point in your life where you already have everything you want or need. If this is the case, an online honeymoon registry like Honeyfund can work well to fund expenses like flights, hotels, meals, and excursions.

At the end of the day, it’s your special occasion. Register for what you want and need, and where it makes the most sense for you and your guests.

Featured image by David and Sarah Lynn

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