Wednesday, January 10, 2007

On registering

We're finally starting to settle into our apartment and only now have I begun to realize the usefulness of registering (not that everyone followed what was on our registry) and the uselessness of Crate and Barrel. About this time last year we were suckered into the great marketing that C&B has -- you can set up your registry at these special hours when the store is closed to everyone but you and other engaged couples looking to register. They also promise food, free champagne flutes (kinda ugly, in my opinion), and they have these clever postcard ads that stick up in your bridal magazines to remind you of this great offer. And when you return from the event and look through the booklet they created with pretty photos and a list of the supposed essential things that you must register for, you crave all the other great things they feature. Fast forward to a year later and you realize how you don't need five different types of platters in all shapes and sizes, that cute placemats and table linens are nice but not necessary, and that you can even get by without a pitcher or cakestand. What you do need is not really carried by C&B -- iron and ironing board (especially crucial for me this week where instead, I pathetically ended up buying a new shirt instead of ironing the ones that I already have), can opener (I have no idea how to use the can opener on Dear's multi-tool), vacuum cleaner. What C&B does have, is overpriced (albeit somewhat nice) stuff. Even if we combined all the gift cards we got and returned some of the stuff people gave us, we still wouldn't be able to get the bed that we like, nor the dresser, nor the couch. Of the stuff that C&B does have that we want/need within a reasonable price range, I've come to realize that their selection isn't the best out there. For instance, we didn't add the rice cooker from C&B's registry b/c I really don't think Krups makes a better rice cooker than the ones you see in Asian stores. After all, who eats more rice, Germans or Asians? The same probably goes for the blender/food processor and ice cream maker we got. In fact, the people who gave us the ice cream maker told us to take it off our registry because they bought it for us elsewhere (undoubtedly for cheaper). Similarly, the All Clad set that we ended up getting ourselves was deeply discounted through a combination of coupons and savings through Macy's.

The caveat to registering is that there's so much stuff out there that amidst all the wedding planning, would you really have time to research which is the best iron/vacuum/rice cooker, etc. that you want? A part of me, when at C&B, thought 'Well I don't have the time to do the research, C&B probably took the time to only stock what they truly felt is quality' (sounds totally naive and ridiculous in retrospect).

Is there a perfect registry out there? I really wanted a sewing machine and some power tools but no one registry (except maybe Amazon) had both those types of things and I didn't really want to have a list of registries the size of the guest list. If I had to do it over again, I would probably register at Bed, Bath & Beyond (heard they have a great return policy, like letting you keep the cash when you return something), a department store (like Macy's, for linens and such), maybe Target for their variety of stuff (like appliances and other household stuff), and I would have fought against putting so much kitchen-related stuff on the registry. And I really would have refrained from registering at C&B!

7 comments:

Lily said...

hi

Lily said...

hi! i'm Lily and your wedding blog has given me so much inspiration! Finally!!! i can prove that i'm not the only one going through this stuff with a traditional chinese wedding. i'm getting married in august in Flushing, NY. i live upstate NY so it's a lot of hassle going to chinatown for all my wedding stuff..invites, pastry cards, dress, etc. but it's all the family stuff that's driving me up the wall...dowry, etc. so i love reading your blog for tips, what battles to pick, and most of all..the familiarity that i am and will have to go through...yep...i've heard of $20 for a family of 6! I would love to go DIY wild...but all co-workers have talked me out of some stuff...like making my own bouquets. so...thanks again for the valuable information being an ABC myself!
Lily

Lily said...

oh no...where are the monthly blogs? did you file them somewhere else? i had started w/ your first blog and i think i was only up to september. oh welll...i'll still enjoy reading the rest.

Lily said...

one last comment: my e-mail is
llcheung82@yahoo.com

JennyPah said...

I feel your pain. I'm going through the registering process and decided that if I would buy it then others can buy it for me too.

tomas said...

For the record, I did tell Dear that Bed Bath & Beyond was the place to register b/c of the liberal return policy. Last I checked, you could return items for cash! As for Target, at the risk of offending my fellow groomsman, they have a draconian return policy so I wouldn't recommend for registries. For all-around selection of goods, prices and ease of return/exchange, BB&B is the way to go, especially when you use one of their many 20% off coupons in the mail.

Christina said...

Ditto! I just got married on May 5, 2007 and I totally agree with you and the Crate and Barrel thoughts. I, too , wish I had registered with Target and BB&B instead. Good thing I didn't have too much on my registry for CB. I just put some China and flatware with a couple other random items. I am a bit sentimental too and love the idea of being able to point to the China in front of our kids and tell them it was a wedding gift.