I will start by answering the last question first because it is my favorite answer: Gift Registry 360.This site is awesome! It allows you to combine your multiple store registries into ONE list. It will link up with your online registries from Macy's, Crate and Barrel, Kohls, Amazon, Sur la Table, Target, and more. Not only that, but you can also add any item found online from any store. My fiance and I really loved this option. We had a few items we wanted from Costco, a couple from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and some from Home Depot. Now you can register at BB&B, but we only had 2 things. So we just added them to our 360 list. We gave guests the link to our 360 list and from there they could choose anything from any of our other store registries or stand-alone items. I would highly recommend using this registry tool!
Here are the stores we registered with ranked from top to bottom with satisfaction of how the whole registry process went:
Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel was great! There is no store near us so we did all online registering, which is very smooth and easy to use. I would say we got about 75% of our items from this list. We have a discount card we can use for another few months on all purchases from them, love that!
Macy's was where we got all our dishes from--Fiestaware!!! We originally started at this store with a scanner. We did towels and bedding but then I later decided I didn't really like what we had picked so took it off online and went with Target options. It was nice going in the store to see colors of dishes, but when you live in a smaller city, the inventory is smaller as well so we had to do a lot online. When I went in to make returns/exchanges/completions, the lady who helped me was AMAZING. I had several receipts and different orders and colors and coupons. But she was so patient and helped get everything I needed.
Target, was honestly a pain in the butt! It is supposed to, but would not link up to our 360 site at all. After about 2 months, we got an email saying about 20 items were no longer available. And then making returns, exchanges, and completions was terrible! We got a discount completion card but I found out we could only do ONE in-store purchase and ONE online purchase. This meant I spent several hours one day sorting out what was available in my store and what was available online. Then I spent several hours the next day to actually purchase everything. The online orders did not accept my discount and I had to call customer service several times to get it straightened out. I love our items from target but not a fan of the registry system. If I had to do it over, I would ask for Target gift cards and just go and buy stuff from them without doing a registry through them.
I learned that men (at last my man) could care less about towels and sheets. Rather than put them through misery and make you upset at their disinterest (or terrible taste), just pick what you want and they will be happy with it. It was fun to let my fiance choose some tools, electronics, and camping items and give him control in those areas.
I think it is way easier to just add a ton of stuff that you love, and then sit down and look at your list online and trim things out that you have duplicates of or really don't want after all. You should have about twice as many items as invited guests I think because you will have a shower or two, plus the wedding, and some people like to buy more than one item for you. Make sure you put in an address where gifts can be sent to. It was so fun to get packages of all shapes and sizes almost every week.
It is nice and fun to be in a store with a scanner and I recommend doing that to start off. Then you can edit and keep track of your list online.
Any other tips about registries?
Here are some pictures of my fiance and I with all our gifts and then some of our wonderful items: