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Wedding Registry: Registry 411

Deciding what to register for may still cause some stress, but where to register just got easier. We did the research for you (figured you had enough to do). So, here it is.

Photo: Antonis Achilleos


The Goods: Sure, you can find colored glassware and china, but make sure you don't miss the most-wanteds. Music? Check. Books? Dig in. Food and wine? Yup, that too.
Locations: Searching for a storefront? No point -- this is strictly an online retailer.
Registry Tools: Registry and planning checklists; email registry to friends and family; thank-you list manager.
Extras: Customer reviews on all items; free announcement cards.
The Fine Print: Free Super Saver shipping deal on particular orders of at least $25; gift wrap charges range from $3.99 to $5.99 per item; receive a refund or gift certificate for new items returned directly to Amazon within 30 days. Keep in mind that returns to third-party sellers may be handled differently. 

Bed Bath & Beyond

The Goods: The name pretty much sums it all up. Add on the shower curtains and duvet covers, as well as a blender and a vacuum.
Locations: Nationwide stores as well as online. Phone orders also accepted.
Registry Tools: Create your personal wedding website; guest list manager; budget calculator; task manager.
Extras: Bridal brochure and enclosure cards; free gifts from certain brands when you add items to their registry; refer a friend and receive a $25 referral award good toward any in-store purchase of $50 or more; completion program includes discount once in-store and once online for three months after wedding.
The Fine Print: Complimentary gift wrap for in-store purchases; online shipping fees start at $5.99. .


The Goods: Luxury organic towels and tableware? Stock up. Designer shoes, handbags and even that Juicy Couture swimsuit. (Plan ahead; the honeymoon awaits!) 
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders are accepted.
Registry Tools: Thank-you card manager; personal wedding website.
Extras: The New Rules of the Registry catalog; enclosure cards; seasonal vendor gifts and exclusives; free gifts from several brands; completion program: 10 percent for six months after wedding date; personal registry consultant appointments available; updated registry within 24 hours.
The Fine Print: Complimentary gift wrap for most purchases; shipping starts at $6; credit on returns.

Crate & Barrel

The Goods: You can find everything from pots and pans to bedding and bar carts. This is the place for picking up the living room couch, plus an ottoman to match; heck, add on the apple corer and mango pitter while you're at it.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders are accepted.
Registry Tools: Announcement cards; guest book feature; save-the-date email.
Extras: The One & Only registry guide, which includes an online resource guidebook; completion program involves 10 percent off for six months in-store, online or over the phone; registry is updated within 15 minutes of purchase.
The Fine Print: Make returns or exchanges for one year after your wedding date; flat rate shipping fee of $4.95; gift wrap $5.50 per box.


The Goods: Window treatments, rugs, china and flatware. Dreaming of a king-size bed in the near future? Score a box spring, headboard and mattress too.
Locations: Name the state, you'll find a store near you. Online and phone orders too.
Registry Tools: Planning checklist; guest list manager and budget calculator; personal  wedding website.
Extras: Enclosure cards; free sitting and an 8" x 10" engagement photo; $80 off a deluxe gown-preservation package; returns and exchanges on everything are welcome at store locations; complimentary wedding organizer; consultants on the phone seven days a week; immediate registry update.
The Fine Print: Free shipping on purchases of $49 or more; recent changes to their return policy mean you're eligible for a full refund with or without a receipt for as long as you both shall live!


The Goods: Coffeemakers and cutlery to swimsuits and candlesticks. Looking for some well-known designers? Look no more. Even Vera Wang has landed her lines nationwide.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders also accepted. 
Registry Tools: Email registry; registry checklist; bridal shower info and ideas.
Extras: Kohl's Wedding Wishes registry guide; score free gifts from several brands;  completion program includes 15 percent off items left on your registry.
The Fine Print: Shipping starts at $5.95; items can be returned or exchanged with a gift receipt in-store.


The Goods: This is not just a miracle on 34th Street. Seriously, this superstore has more products than any registering to-be-weds could possibly ask for. Find mixing bowls and baking pans, luggage, and digital cameras.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders are accepted.
Registry Tools: Personal wedding web page; thank-you card manager; enclosure cards; registry checklist.
Extras: Star Rewards program; donate to a charity of choice; completion program: 10 percent for 90 days after wedding.
The Fine Print: Shipping fees start at $5.95; $6 gift wrapping charge; receive credit on an existing gift card or store merchandise credit within one year of purchase on gifts.

Neiman Marcus

The Goods: This is just the spot for those with slightly finer taste. You'll find items such as black crystal chandeliers and Egyptian cotton blankets, as well as exclusive, trendy lines from a variety of designer boutiques.
Locations: Nationwide in major cities and online. Phone orders are also accepted.
Registry Tools: Post messages to your guests on your Neiman Marcus registry page; experienced sales associates on call.
Extras: Receive a bridal registry catalog; gift wrap services available.
The Fine Print: Returns can be exchanged for a Neiman Marcus gift card within one year after your wedding date; standard shipping charges start at $6 per package.

Pottery Barn

The Goods: This classic has yet to let us down, so why not make it one of your registry spots? Get colorful geometric rugs, barware, bright settees and fun entertaining pieces.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders are accepted.
Registry Tools: Thank-you note manager; email registry to friends and family. 
Extras: 10 percent discount on items left on your registry for up to six months after your date; registry updated within 48 hours and remains active until a year after your event.
The Fine Print: Gifts can be returned for a merchandise voucher or exchanged for 90 days after the wedding date or purchase date, whichever occurs later; gift wrap fee: $5.50; returns not accepted on any personalized or monogrammed items, special orders, or final sales; shipping fees start at $4.95.


The Goods: Bull's-eye! There's no striking out with this selection of cool gardening gear, kitchen appliances, love seats and electronics. Need some tennis rackets? Go on and throw those onto the list as well.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders are accepted.
Registry Tools: Registry checklist; Club Wedd Catalog. 
Extras: Free shipping might be available on certain items in the store.
The Fine Print: Gifts can be returned or exchanged within 90 days with a receipt, gift receipt or gift purchase log; gift wrap on most items is $5.99; your registry stays active for 90 days after your wedding date.

Restoration Hardware

The Goods: Couches to consoles. Need a few options for hardware? This is the place.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders also accepted.
Registry Tools: Thank-you note manager.
Extras: Registry folio and announcement cards; 10 percent completion program one time for 12 months post-event; registry updated immediately.
The Fine Print: Shipping fees start at $4.95; gift wrap starts at $5.95; store credit for returns or exchanges.


The Goods: Beginners? After registering at Williams-Sonoma, you should prepare to turn into gourmets in the kitchen.
Locations: Nationwide and online. Phone orders accepted.
Registry Tools: Checklist manager; enclosure cards; thank-you note manager.
Extras: Complimentary registry guide; private consultations; completion program includes 10 percent discount on all items, even those not on registry, for up to six months after your wedding date; gift when you register for a certain amount of items; the registry updates within 24 hours if purchased online, or 48 hours if purchased in-store.
The Fine Print: Merchandise credit or exchange for returns with receipt; gift wrap fee is $5.95; personalized and monogrammed items can't be returned and orders can't be canceled once made; shipping fees begin at $5.50.

-- Elena Donovan Mauer