Erin (née Fink) and David Levy pursued a wedding registry for the same reasons as many other engaged couples who live together prior to their big day: to replace some existing hand-me-down items and also add unique new elements to start a home together. “We were also looking for pieces that could be used for entertaining a large group one day,” the bride explains. Erin managed most aspects of their registries, though she and her sweetheart initially created their wish lists together.
While contemplating the wide array of china, kitchenware, linens, and other household items they desired for their New York apartment, the pair elected three department stores with popular wedding-registry programs: Bloomingdale’s, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn. “We chose Bloomingdale’s because of its wide range of luxury designer brands across dining and entertaining, kitchen, and home décor; Williams-Sonoma because of its specialty gadgets for the kitchen, and Pottery Barn because of its fine linens for the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom,” Erin says. Although they arranged their registries and shopped for products in person, they consistently refined their wish lists online to ensure that each product matched their tastes and suited their needs.
Photo by Paul Barnett Photography
Considering the three retailers, the bride and groom confide that they were most satisfied with their registry experience at Bloomingdale’s. “If I had to pick a place that was most up my alley, [this was the store] because it had almost everything we were looking for,” David remembers. Among their selections here were a few sets of timeless Waterford “Lismore Encore” candlesticks, a variety of Waterford glassware, and lovely serving dishes by Nambé from the “Braid” collection. They additionally received an assortment of Bernardaud “Louvre” dinnerware from Bloomingdale’s, which made for some of their favorite items received.
Nearly all 250 of their wedding guests gifted products from one of their three registry lists. While they were thrilled to receive multiple appliances and gorgeous Le Creuset stoneware from Williams-Sonoma as well as luxe linens and chrome bathroom décor from Pottery Barn, the couple sadly reveals why they did not enjoy these two retailers as much as the aforementioned upscale department store. “Their exchange and return policies were stricter. Unfortunately, this became a problem when we tried to return a few things for store credit months after our wedding,” Erin describes. It was also problematic for the groom, whose main concern was having enough space in their home. “We had everything sent to my parents’ house in the suburbs because not everything fit in our apartment in New York making the return process even more difficult,” he recalls.
Although they admit that their experience was not ideal, the couple is pleased that they share the same taste for most things and were able to easily collaborate to make final decisions. “However, we couldn’t agree on flatware,” Erin laughs, “but mostly because there weren’t any that we really loved.”
While shopping in-store is always a good choice for a registry, the bride and groom realized that an online retailer would have likely eased the process for them and potentially provided a wider selection of items. “Knowing what we know now, maybe we might have considered registering at Zola or Amazon,” Erin divulges.
Considering the best advice to pass on to other engaged couples, the groom strongly encourages that they should think long-term instead of choosing items that they want or need at that moment. “I underestimated the number of things that we needed to register for and was thinking about more things we need now versus in the future,” confirms David.
Think timeless. “Register for classic, neutral items because you don’t know what your future home is going to look like.”
Stay organized. “Keep a spreadsheet of everything people get you for thank-you card writing purposes.”
Continually evolve. “Continue editing the list online and add or remove items as your tastes change over time.”
Take a peek. “Open and check every item for defects. Some things might arrive damaged and will need to be returned or exchanged.”