The Master Registry Store Guide (Pros, Cons and Discounts)

From the bigger players to the boutique options, we've got the nitty gritty on every department store and online retailer.
by Emma Baty
ultimate guide to registry stores
photo by iStock

It seems like there are a million places to create your registres (yes, plural—it's a good idea to create a wishlist at two or three different stores) and the idea of having to play favorites between your beloved brands can leave you feeling exhasted.

Don't worry, we're kind of the experts here, so we wanted to help you along the way. We've compiled an ultimate guide of places you can register, including the ones you've probably already thought of, and the ones you probably haven't but should. We've even evaluated the pros and cons of each. You can thank us later.

Amazon

Why you'll love it: Amazon has a universal registry program, which means you can add items to your registry that aren't on Amazon.com using a browser extension. Also, customers can shop Amazon Smile to support their favorite charities with their registry. There's also a thank-you note feature which allows you to track which guest gave you what.

Potential downsides: You don't have the option for a traditional "walk through the store with a scan gun" experience or having the advantage of seeing things in person before you register for them.

Bonus perks: You can browse curated selections of items, like "dinner and serveware" and the top 100 items people are registering for. Or you can check out products from third-party boutique options, like the MoMA Design Store.

Where to start: Register online at Amazon.com.

Anthropologie

Why you’ll love it: Anthropologie believes that creating a registry can be one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process. Your registry will stay open for up to a year after your event, and Anthropologie lets you enter two different shipping addresses to accommodate for moves and other big changes during your engagement and after.

Potential downsides: Anthropologie has plenty of products with ecclectic spins on them, perfect for the trendy couple, but you may not find what you’re looking for in terms of simple, minimalistic designs.

Bonus perks: Your guests can have your gifts wrapped for $4.00 a box. Even though some larger items don’t apply, Anthropologie can include a gift message for free.

Where to start: Start your registry online or with the Anthropologie app.  

Bed Bath & Beyond

Why you'll love it: You can make an appointment to visit a store and build your registry with a consultant. Bed Bath & Beyond has different curated online collections to help you with making your registry. For example, the "build your bar" collection has the best bar essentials on one page for easy browsing. You can add one product from these lists or the entire collection.

Potential downsides: Bed Bath & Beyond is known for affordability, which means the selection of high-end luxury brands is limited.

Bonus perk: Family and friends can contribute to your registry by giving recommendations for particular products they love. There's also a discount offered postwedding to scoop up any items you really wanted, but no one purchased off your wish list.

Where to start: Create your registry online or in stores and manage it through the Bed Bath & Beyond website or app. Make an appointment in one of their 1,000 stores around the country.

Belk

Why you'll love it: The Belk app lets you scan items directly with your smartphone to add them to your registry. The app also has checklists and thank-you lists to help you make sure you get everything you need and thank your guests.

Potential downsides: Belk only has physical stores in certain states (mostly the Southern US), but you can always register online. 

Bonus perks: Belk has engagement parties in their stores twice a year where you can come in, create a new registry or add to an existing one. They also hold two 10-day completion events during the year where couples can get 20 percent off on select items.

Where to start: Register in one of Belk's 290 stores, online or with their free registry app.

Best Buy

Why you'll love it: Couples are able to register for the tech items highest on their wish list, and technology and gadgets that make life easier in the newlywed nest is something brides and grooms can definitely agree on. All the products on your registry will be eligible for free shipping, with no minimum purchase requirement.

Potential downsides: We're pretty sure Best Buy won't start selling fine china anytime soon, so you'll probably need to register elsewhere too. That's okay, we don't hold it against them.

Bonus perk: For more expensive items on your registry, like the new flat screen TV you've been coveting, there's a group gifting option. If the item is over $200, gift givers can purchase an electronic gift card you can use on anything on your registry. All they have to do is find the item on your registry, select "contribute," and choose the dollar amount. Best Buy also offers a store pickup program.

Where to start: The registry process starts with signing up online or in stores. The Best Buy mobile app and kiosks help both couples and gift givers.

Bloomingdale's

Why you’ll love it: Bloomingdale’s have consultants that work strictly on wedding registries, so they’re a consistent resource while you’re going through the process. They offer completion discounts, too. 10 percent off for the first six months after your event and 20 percent off during special discount times.  

Potential downsides: Bloomingdale’s offers a huge variety of items, but not a huge variety of price points. This may not be the most wallet-friendly option for your guests.

Bonus perks: Since Bloomingdale’s has clothes, they give discounts to registry couples for certain clothing items. For example, when you start a registry, you get 25 percent off a single regular-price men's purchase of $500 or more. Sounds like the perfect excuse for your fiancee to buy a new suit.

Where to start: Register in stores or online and manage your registry through the Bloomingdale’s app.

Boscov's

Why you'll love it: Boscov's has registry consultants in every store (and one online) to help couples build registries and then monitor the lists to notify couples when they're running out of gifts, when something goes out of stock and so on. Additionally, when a couple registers at Boscov's, they get personalized cards to put in their wedding or shower invites that give guests a 10 percent discount when shopping for the couple.

Potential downsides: Boscov's only has stores in six states and they're mostly on the East Coast.

Bonus perks: Couples get a 15 percent shopping pass discount just for registering. Boscov's gives couples 10 percent back on every gift their guests purchase from the registry, and the couple can use that to purchase remaining items. On top of that, they give couples a 10 percent discount on almost all the items left on their registry.

Where to start: Open and manage your registry online or in stores.

CB2

Why you'll love it: Update your registry on the go through the app and updates go "live" within 15 minutes. Plus, you can share your registry with friends and family easily through its email notification feature.

Potential downsides: CB2 is like Crate & Barrel's little sister. It only has brick-and-mortar stores in five states, so if your friends are the type who like to shop in store instead of online, this could be tricky.

Bonus perks: CB2 will help your guests by including gift wrapping and a personalized gift message for free.

Where to start: Start your registry using the CB2 registry app or the website, then you can add items in stores by using the app to scan a barcode or online by selecting items on the website.

The Container Store

Why you'll love it: The Container Store (aka the organizational mecca) lets you manage your registry online, making adding or deleting products easy. The Container Store also offers a registry checklist of some of its most popular wedding gifts to guide you in your shopping.

Potential downsides: Registering at The Container Store would probably mean you'd have to have more than one registry, considering it's mostly organizational products and they don't have things like sheets, towels or dinnerware.

Bonus perks: After the wedding, you can save 10 percent on any items still left on your registry. Your guests get free shipping and gift wrapping on purchases of $75 or more, and they can also buy gifts in groups, so if you register for something that's more expensive, different guests can contribute as much as they want to the purchase of that individual product.

Where to start: Register online or in stores.

Crate & Barrel

Why you'll love it: Crate & Barrel offers engaged couples private registry events for one-on-one attention and advice. It also offers a 10 percent discount not only on registry items, but on other items in stores and online for six months after your wedding. Just in case you're moving around during the time of your wedding, you can even add two addresses when you create your registry.

Potential downsides: If it's even possible, you may end up registering for too many gifts. 

Bonus perks: Guests receive free shipping on registry items more than $99 and the registry stays open for 18 months after your event date.

Where to start: Register in stores, online or with the Crate & Barrel Wedding Registry app.

Gearys

Why you'll love it: Whenever a guest buys a gift off your registry, you get an email that allows you to digitally "unwrap" the gift and see the value. The value is added to your registry account as store credit. Then, whenever you're ready, you can make final decisions and purchases with that flexible account. You can even choose items that weren't on your original registry. The money in your registry account never expires, so if you change your mind about your china pattern three years down the road, you could use your leftover credit to buy a new set.

Potential downsides: Gearys only has store locations in California.

Bonus perks: You'll receive a personal registry consultant to help you select the perfect items.

Where to start: Register online or in stores.

Gracious Home

Why you'll love it: Gracious Home has a Registry Must-Haves inspiration page where you can see pre-styled home setups to inform your style. There are different categories, like "weekend getaway essentials" and "curated kitchen gadgets."

Potential downsides: Gracious Home only has brick-and-mortar stores in NYC, so if you live far away from the Big Apple you'll have to settle for online shopping.

Bonus perks: Gracious Home offers free gift wrapping and personal registry consultation in store or by phone.

Where to start: Register in store or online.

Gump's

Why you'll love it: Gump's, a San Francisco department store, allows you to build your registry in stores or online. It offers two registry selections: the more traditional version in which you select your gifts and they're shipped as they're purchased, and a "gift notification" program where you are notified as guests purchase your gifts and you pick a date for Gump's to ship them all to you at one time.

Potential downsides: There's only one physical Gump's store and it's in California.

Bonus perks: If you choose the gift notification option, you get an email every time a guest purchases a gift off your registry, which makes keeping track of who gave you what for your thank-you notes is a total breeze.

Where to start: Register in store or online. There's only one brick-and-mortar store and it's in San Francisco, but it ships all over the country.

Jonathan Adler

Why you'll love it: Jonathan Adler hosts their registry feature on MyRegistry.com, which is a site that combines all your registry items from different sites onto one list. You can manage it on its app too (and take advantage of the scanning feature). 

Potential downsides: Jonathan Adler is more suited to the modern, boundary-pushing couple. If you love trendy and fashion-forward décor then this designer is for you. 

Bonus perks: Your Jonathan Adler registry stays open for a year after your wedding, so people who couldn't attend can still get you the perfect gift afterward.

Where to start: Register in stores or online, then manage your registry through MyRegistry.com.

Jung Lee NY

Why you'll love it: At Jung Lee NY, the registry process starts with a discussion between a design professional and the couple. The goal is to understand the couple's lifestyle and design taste, then a list of personalized merchandise is customized to the couple. It's basically like making your registry with an interior designer sitting right next to you. Then, couples can decide whether they want items shipped to them or if they want to wait until after the wedding, which is the "at your service" registry option. With "at your service," couples have a design meeting after the wedding to review their selections.

Potential downsides: This isn't exactly the quickest or easiest registry option. It's an investment. But on the other hand, that probably means it'll be worth your time.

Bonus perks: While chatting with your design professional about your ideal design aesthetic, interests and style, it may help inspire the wedding décor too.

Where to start: Start your registry by having an in-person or phone meeting. It has one brick-and-mortar store in NYC, but other than that, it's online shopping.

JustGive

Why you'll love it: Have enough sheets and towels? JustGive lets your guests donate to a charity instead of buying you gifts. You can fundraise for one charity or multiple, and you can set a fundraising goal with an optional deadline. JustGive sends the donations directly to the charities for you, so you don't have to worry about any of the logistics, and all guests receive an email receipt for their taxes. JustGive includes every 501(c)(3) charity in the country, so regardless of how big or small, every cause is included.

Potential downsides: You may need another registry. As much as we love the idea of being charitable, you might also want to treat yourselves with a couple kitchen appliances.

Bonus perks: You can send a custom thank-you note to accompany each guest's tax receipt. JustGive also has a guide for charities, so if you know you want to be philanthropic, but don't know which cause is for you, it can help. 

Where to start: Create an account and a wedding-specific fundraiser online.

Kohl's

Why you'll love it: Kohl's registry program allows you to manage your registry in stores or online. You can get started by browsing through the registry catalog, which can help guide you through the process. And you can earn Kohl's rewards on gifts purchased from your registry.

Potential downsides: You'll be able to register for every home category (dishes, appliances, linens and so on), but you may not be able to find those unique statement pieces to complete your new abode.  

Bonus perks: You can send your guests a 20 percent discount to use on your registry, and then you can save an extra 15 percent on anything left on your registry up to three months after the wedding. 

Where to start: Create and manage your registry in stores or at home with the Kohl's website and app.

Macy's

Why you'll love it: Macy's offers a newlywed discount so you can get an extra 20 percent on most of the items on your registry, and that discount lasts for six months after your wedding. Plus, its Registry Star Rewards program allows couples to earn points as people shop for them. So when they receive a gift or buy something from Macy's (like a rehearsal dinner outfit), they earn points that translate into a gift card.

Potential downsides: Macy's has so many products that you may get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of registry potential.

Bonus perks: Macy's hosts Sip & Scan events during the year where couples can come, listen to DJs, drink refreshments and start on their registries with the help of personalized registry consultants.

Where to start: Add items to your registry in stores or online. Enlist the help of wedding and gift advisors in stores.

Michael C. Fina

Why you'll love it: Michael C. Fina is partnered with Zola. Through this external registry service, you have access to Michael C. Fina's entire product assortment, including more than 2,000 different styles from their luxury tableware catalog.

Potential downsides: Michael C. Fina's inventory is higher end, so there isn't as much variety with price points. 

Bonus perks: Zola offers price matching on certain items and a postwedding 10 percent discount. 

Where to start: Register online via Michael C. Fina or through Zola, their registry partner.

MoMA Design Store

Why you'll love it: If you're a couple who loves to sip rosé while looking at Monet, a Museum of Modern Art Design Store registry is calling your name. Register for everything from desk accessories to coffee table books (even jewelry!) and create a cutting-edge and modern aesthetic for your new life together.

Potential downsides: MoMA design store is definitely more for creating a stylish registry than a practical one. But who says you can only have one? 

Bonus perks: All the proceeds from MoMA design store go towards supporting the museum itself and this is true for registry, also. So you can start to create a well-decorated home while supporting the Museum of Modern Art in the process.

Where to start: Create and manage your registry online through the MoMA Design Store's website.

Pottery Barn

Why you'll love it: Three words: free design services. When you create a registry account you're given access to Pottery Barn's team of design specialists who can help you curate the exact aesthetic you're looking for. Guests also have the option of sending you gift cards that work at Pottery Barn and its sister stores, Williams-Sonoma and West Elm.

Potential downsides: Pottery Barn doesn't have an app, so managing your registry on the go isn't quite as easy.

Bonus perks: You get a postwedding discount of 10 percent off your registry for up to six months after your wedding. It also offers a thank-you tracker service so you can remember who gave you what and send your thank-you notes promptly.

Where to start: Register and manage registry in stores or online.

Restoration Hardware

Why you'll love it: Your registry stays open for three years after you make it, and you can enter two different shipping addresses for pre- and post-event. Going on an extended honeymoon? No worries—you can ship your gifts to someone else!

Potential downsides: Restoration Hardware carries bigger items like furniture, but isn't as helpful with smaller items like kitchen tools or linens.  

Bonus perks: If you register for a Restoration Hardware Grey Card, you can pay $100 a year to get 25 percent off everything you buy. Depending on the severity of your online shopping addiction, this could be totally worth it.

Where to start: Register online or in stores.

Scully & Scully

Why you'll love it: At Scully & Scully, the registry program is a "hold all gifts" format. So, instead of receiving gifts as guests purchase them, you actually accumulate credit from those purchases that you can use that however you want within the store. So if a guest buys you a $200 bedspread from your list, you can use that $200 on the comforter or something else. This makes selecting the products for your registry seem a lot less final.

Potential downsides: There's only one Scully & Scully store in the country and it's in NYC. 

Bonus perks: If dinner parties are important to you, Scully & Scully has a huge selection of tabletop products and you can have a one-on-one consultation to see different styles and patterns of china.

Where to start: Start your registry in store or online.

Sur La Table

Why you'll love it: For the couple who loves to spend their evenings creating feasts in the kitchen, Sur La Table not only lets you manage your registry online, it also gives you a registry concierge who helps you through the entire process. There's a comprehensive online guide to all the Sur La Table brands and products to help you select everything you need. It also offers a 10 percent completion discount with no exclusions.

Potential downsides: Sur La Table is a kitchen specialty store, so you'll definitely need a separate wish list elsewhere to complete the other rooms in your home. 

Bonus perks: You can get certain extra gifts just for registering, or when certain items on your registry have been purchased. Pretty sweet, right?

Where to start: Register online at SurLaTable.com. You can add or change items and track purchases from the site.

Target

Why you'll love it: You have up to one year after your wedding to return any gift from your registry. There's also a 15 percent completion code for whatever's left on your registry that your guests didn't get. Target allows for group gifting, so your friends and family can chip in toward the purchase of bigger gifts. You can also find inspiration in the Wedding Shop, which includes gifts for their wedding party or faves from Target's Home Style Expert Emily Henderson.

Potential downsides: You may not be able to register for that cashmere blanket you've always wanted, but you'll be able to get practically everything else. 

Bonus perks: Target has a feature called Add from Anywhere. Basically, if you see something you love that Target doesn't carry, like something handmade from Etsy, you can still add it to your Target registry.

Where to start: Start and manage your registry online, in one of its 1,800 stores nationwide or on the Target Registry mobile app.

Traveler's Joy

Why you'll love it: Traveler's Joy is a registry service that lets you collect money toward your honeymoon as opposed to traditional gifts. You create an account based on your honeymoon and the activities you want to do, and Traveler's Joy lets your guests contribute monetary gifts toward your trip. The "gifts" you ask for can be experience based or practical. So, let's say you're going on a cruise for your honeymoon: You can add extra excursions like scuba diving to the registry or more tangible products like sunglasses and sunscreen.

Potential downsides: There are some service charges involved. For example, Traveler's Joy takes a small portion of your gifts for credit card processing, hosting fees and so on.

Bonus perks: Unlike other honeymoon registry sites, Traveler's Joy lets you book your honeymoon through whomever you'd like. You don't have to use a specific travel agent or company. Traveler's Joy also lets you split up the cost of an item, so if your couple's massage is going to be $200, you can turn that into four gifts of $50.

Where to start: Make an account on the Traveler's Joy website for free.

Williams-Sonoma

Why you’ll love it: Williams-Sonoma is owned by the same company that owns West Elm and Pottery Barn, meaning gift cards you receive from your registry can be used at any of these three stores. Williams-Sonoma also offers product help after your wedding, so if you can’t figure out how to use that high-tech juicer you registered for, they can step in.

Potential downsides: Although Williams-Sonoma does have homegoods for every room of the house, their specialty is kitchen equipment, so even though you’ll be able to deck out your kitchen, you may need more than one registry.

Bonus perks: You can make a one-on-one appointment with a registry specialist or attend a private shopping event with experts who can help you craft the perfect registry, and you get a 10 percent discount on everything left on your registry up to six months past the event.

Where to start: Register online, in stores, or through the Williams-Sonoma app.

Zola

Why you’ll love it: Zola is a service that lets you have everything in one place. They have a curated selection of products from brands you’ll recognize, but they also let you create funds for your registry, like a honeymoon fund. You can even add experiences to your registry, like a cooking class or wine tasting tour.

Potential downsides: Zola has so many registry options (like being able to add any item on the internet) that it’s almost a little daunting.

Bonus perks: Zola has a button you can install in your browser to let you add items from anywhere, so if there’s a boutique in your hometown that you really love that doesn’t offer a registry service, Zola has you covered.

Where to start: Start your registry online or using the Zola app.

Z Gallerie

Why you'll love it: Z Gallerie is a member of the MyRegistry.com family, which means that when you make a registry from this trendy home goods store, it will be synced with your other registries.

Potential downsides: MyRegistry.com is an online service that doesn't offer in-person help, so it can feel less personal than other options. 

Bonus perks: MyRegistry.com allows you to register for cash gifts as well as more traditional gifts, which is nice for people with registry indecision. 

Where to start: Register online and use the Z Gallerie website or the MyRegistry app.

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