My fiancé and I had planned on registering for our wedding gifts at two different stores from the beginning of our wedding planning venture. We love cooking and entertaining so we knew we wanted to register at a one of a kind, one hundred year old kitchen and entertaining institution located in the heart of our quaint hometown. This poses an immediate problem as several of our guests won’t be coming from our distant hometown. To solve this problem we decided we would register at a national chain store in addition to the boutique shop with only one obscure location. For many reasons, including the old, ‘this used to be better,’ we decided to not register at the small town store and register only at the national chain department store. This large well known store is The Bay, it was one of the first department stores in Canada, and therefore, just about every city has at least one. They also boast being “Canada’s biggest and best gift registry.” These facts left us feeling pretty confident that we would be able to find everything we had ever wanted or needed with this one store – we were sorely mistaken.
Although we are committing to a life of getting everything we need from one person, we should have known better than to expect to get everything we need from one department store. After a few days of feeling frustrated from not being able to find a good three quarters of the items on my shopping list and feeling guilty about being such a selfish, spoiled consumer that I couldn’t find many things to be happy about during one of the most exciting shopping trips of my life, I asked some friends for suggestions. Many of them only furthered my fear of having a disappointing registry by naming stores that were similarly dissatisfying but one friend did mention Bed Bath and Beyond. This excellent American chain has only just begun permeating the Canadian boarder, so its locations are few and far between but one advantage it does have over the competition is a beautifully accessible website.
During our preliminary research, my fiancé and I were discouraged by the fact that the nearest Bed Bath and Beyond location is in the Toronto area, a little over an hour away from us but then we recalled that in the early seasons of on of our favourite television shows, Good Eats, the host frequently visits a Bed Bath and Beyond to teach the viewer how to shop for kitchen tools. This led us to browsing their website just to see if they had a lot of the products we were missing from our registry at The Bay. Then I made an astonishing discovery: they have an online bridal registry! Like many people our age, my fiancé and I have a fair amount of experience with online shopping. The confidence this experience gives us coupled with the ease of using this specific shopping website made registering entirely online more pleasant and enjoyable than registering in person, in store. Some of our guests live much closer to a Bed Bath and Beyond store location than we do, but for those who don’t, the store offers the best online bridal registry shopping options I’ve ever seen. For all of the same reasons people love shopping online, I loved registering for my wedding gifts online. I would highly recommend not only Bed Bath and Beyond specifically but also completing your bridal registry online. If you do choose to do an online registry, I would also recommend reading Wedding Planning VI.
After filling two completely separate bridal registries at two different stores, I wondered how common this practice is and how well it would be received by our wedding guests. I found out quite quickly that many modern couples are doing this, not out of elaborate vanity but out of necessity. Many couples today are living together before they get married, they have already complied many of the basic household items needed for their day-to-day lives and are looking for things that are more specific. For example, my fiancé and I already have more plates, glasses and flatware than we can shake a stick at, what we really need are the more specialized items like a good microplane grater, a digital probe cooking thermometer and a pastry crimper – and those things can be harder to find. Every friend and family member that I’ve told about my double registry so far has reacted with joy and excitement, and in some cases, relief, telling me that they didn’t like one of the stores I had chosen. With so many advantages and positive experiences, I believe this trend will catch on and quickly become the norm for modern brides and grooms.