Apparently, there are people out there who don't like registries. They think they are greedy. They think that "expecting" guests to buy you gifts is bratty.
I think that's just silly. Look, your guests want to buy you something. It may as well be something you've chosen to coordinate with your home decor or that you'll actually use, rather than some weird lamp from Italy that only Ralphie's dad would be proud to display.
And, as long as you're giving your guests the option to buy you things ranging in price from $5 to $500, I hardly think that that's being greedy.
When it came time to deciding about where we would register, the answer was pretty obvious to me: Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I had worked there all through grad school (as a Registry Consultant) and know they have a great program, plus I covet about 90% of the items in that store. However, Matt and I have been living on our own for 7 years (give or take). We have almost everything we need - dishes, pots, pans, kitche appliances, sheets, towels, etc. And almost everything we have is old. Some of it is as old as I am. Seriously. A lot of it is stuff that Matt inherited from his grandparents, or that I got from my step-dad when he and my mom got married. Almost all of it is hand-me-downs from somewhere. And it looked it. And acted like it. So it was time to upgrade. And that's what we did - we went to BBBY (as my former colleagues and I liked to call it) and we upgraded. Nicer, non-stick pots and pans, plastic utensils that won't scratch our non-stick pots, dishes that match...you get the drift.
Since I had been a registry consultant, the consultant we met with left us to our own devices. We were handed a shopping list (which I totally didn't need) and the scanning gun. I expected Matt to be like most boys and totally get into the whole gun thing, but he didn't! He used it for a bit and then handed it off to me. Which was fine - I always loved when couples wanted me to come with them and scan things for them, and I loved it even more when I got to scan my own stuff. (Duh!) We spent about 2 hours there our first time, and had a blast. We've since added or deleted things online, too (another major bonus). Which also means that I have been stalking. Woops!
But The Powers That Be in the wedding world tell you to have at least 2 registries. Give your guests some variety. Well, we already registered for everything we needed at BBBY, so other "brick-and-mortar" stores seemed silly. I considered an Amazon.com registry, but...meh. I couldn't get excited about it. Then I remembered that when my sister got married, they had a honeymoon registry. Ding ding ding!!! It seems, however, that honeymoon registries are met with even more disdain than a traditional registry. But here's the way Matt and I looked at it. We're not askign people to buy us our honeymoon - that was booked and paid for already. What we're registering for are upgrades and excursions. We'll probably be content to just lay around the beach/pool at the resort, but that can get kind of old, even for a burned-out social worker. So by registering for excursions, we're giving people the opportunity to make our honeymoon even more special. I bought my sister and her hubby a golf game for their honeymoon, and they loved it! Our thank you card included a picture of them on the golf course - it was great! I loved knowing that they had fun and made a great memory with something that I bought for them. So that's what I have to say to all the honeymoon registry naysayers out there!
I did some research and found that Honeyfund.com had the best options - the most variety of layouts, ability to customize or choose a predetermined registry, no fees for having the registry, and the lowest transaction fees. Honeyfund also provides options to our guests. They can decide how to pay (PayPal, check, or bank deposit) and they can decide how we're notified. All in all, we thought it seemed like the best option. We sat down and perused the excursions that Sandals Halcyon has to offer. We also looked at the excursions that the other 2 Sandals resorts on St. Lucia offer, because of their whole "Stay at 1, Play at 3" deal. We chose a good number of options, and started putting together our registry on Honeyfund. Another great thing about Honeyfund is that you can break large gifts down into smaller increments. For example, for 2 people, the Soufriere Adventure Cruise is $240. I doubt that most of our guests would be willing to spend that much on a honeymoon tour for us, so we broke it down into 4 $60 gifts. We did that with several of our tours (ps - Sandals excursions are kinda pricey!).
So that's it! Our two registries! So far we have gotten a few gifts from our Honeyfund and of course we got several gifts from our BBBY registry at the shower. We're really pleased with the customer service at both and hope that our guests like the options we've given them.