Posts in the 'Registry' Category

Ask Heather: How Do I Return an Off-Registry Gift?

Ask Heather How Do I Return an Off-Registry Gift

Dear Heather,

I have an etiquette question for you. Someone sent me a gift in the mail, and it was off registry. It is a kitchen item I already own. It didn’t have a receipt, so I don’t know how or where to return it. What do I do?


Dear Ansley,

Hopefully there was a card with the gift, so you at least know who sent it. If so, and it’s a close friend or family member, I see nothing wrong with calling them and explaining that, due to them clearly having fabulous taste, you already own what they purchased for you, and that you’d like to exchange their present for something you don’t already have. If they’ve already given you something, clearly they want you to enjoy whatever you end up getting! In a perfect world, they might even still have the receipt, which would make your life much easier.

If that won’t work, but the item in question is fairly common, I’d go to a store with a liberal return or exchange policy and simply ask if you can exchange it for something else, explaining that it was a present without a gift receipt included. You can verify ahead of time, either online or in person, that the store sells the item you need to exchange.

If the gift is uncommon, or only sold at stores with a painful exchange policy, you can attempt to exchange it for something else, or save it for later re-gifting. Just make sure you don’t give it back to the person who gave it to you.

Have you received any off-registry gifts that you either already owned or did not want? Did you exchange them or just end up keeping them? Let us know in the comments below!

Five for Friday: Add Some Pop to Your Registry

One of my favorite ideas for a wedding sendoff has always been bubbles — they’re fun, they get people (and dogs!) excited and they add serious pop (heh) to a wedding tradition. In that vein, I thought it would be fun to find other ways to make life more poppy, and these five items won’t burst your registry bubble!

EP Phone Home Phone Stand – $19.99
 from ModCloth
For playing all your favorite pop tunes, no matter which room of the house you’re in.

Schott Zwiesel Coupe Cocktail Glasses, Set of 6

Schott Zwiesel Coupe Cocktail Glasses, Set of 6 – $77.95  from Williams-Sonoma

I’ve been in love with Champagne coupes lately, which, of course, are perfect right after you pop the cork on a bottle.

SodaStream Source Soda Maker, Black Plastic

Soda Stream Source – $89.95 from Williams-Sonoma

Add a little pop to your beverage, great for cocktails or just to play up regular ol’ water.

Coca Cola Coke Couple on Beach Retro Vintage Tin Sign – $11.11 from Amazon

Pop art for your walls? All punny bases covered. BOOM.

Quilt for the Day Duvet Cover in Full/Queen – $89.99
 from ModCloth
And, of course, a big ol’ pop of color to add a little fun to your bedroom.

Five for Friday: Registry Essentials for the Entertainer

Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! For this week’s Five for Friday, we’re partnering with Blueprint Registry, a free registry site that helps you set up your wishlist based on the layout of your home. Since Blueprint partners with a huge number of retailers, you can build the registry more with your home in mind and less by the restrictions of one specific store. Which is pretty cool. 

With summer comes parties and cookouts and loads of time with friends spent noshing on some grub, sipping cocktails and shooting the proverbial shit. If you’re big into hosting your homies, as I am, it’s always a fun idea to have eye-catching pieces that compliment your style and strike up a conversation. Here are five of my favorite pieces that crank up the hostessing notch:

border stripe yarn die place mat

These striped place mats from West Elm are fun and classy at the same time. Whether you love an abundance of color on your tabletop or just strategically placed pops, they’ll bring the rainbow to your next dinner party. ($12 for set of 2)

PB barcelona melamine plate

If you’re HUGE on color, color, everywhere! Then the Barcelona Melamine dinner plates from Pottery Barn are pretty perfect for your next hostessing festivities. ($34 for set of 4)

gold flatwear

Y’all, I love a good gold … anything, as long as it’s used sparingly. And this gilded serving set fits that bill perfectly. ($39 at West Elm)

Drummond Frosted Vases

Got some blooming buds you want to make center of attention at your feast? Terrain’s frosted Drummond vases come in a variety of sizes, shapes and shades to pair with any color scheme. ($44 each)

anthro champagne bubbles glasses

Of course, what would any gathering be without super fun drinking vessels? Gold confetti? Yes please!

($58 for a set of 4, Anthropologie)

Are any of these must-haves for your fabulous self? Head on over to Blueprint Registry to see how they’d look in your home!

Five for Friday: Fun, Vintageous Finds for Your Registry

Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! For this week’s Five for Friday, we’re partnering with Blueprint Registry, a free registry site that helps you set up your wishlist based on the layout of your home. Since Blueprint partners with a huge number of retailers, you can build the registry more with your home in mind and less by the restrictions of one specific store. Which is pretty cool. As usually happens when my love affair with Don Draper returns to the airwaves, I’ve gotten on a vintage-y kick lately, so Blueprint Registry helped me find some awesome gems that lend a retro air to any abode. Bonus: All the goodies are under $100. Ya dig?

Seattle Map Poster

Map Poster – Birdseye View of Seattle, 24″x14″, $15.99

This map is a great reminder of what a now-bustling city once looked like.


Side-mounted station clock, $99

All aboard! I love that this clock instantly reminds me of the days of smoking cars and when single-serving friends were those dapper fellas drinking highballs and ladies with hat boxes.

Encyclopedia of Forgotten Yet Delightful Things

Let’s Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By, $9.99-$28.46

I want this book. Plain and simple.

Crosley CR6019A-BK Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable (Black & White)

Crosley CR6019A-BK Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable (Black & White), $99.95

Psshhh! Beck has nothing on this turntable. “Moonrise Kingdom” is one of my favorite movies, and just having this in my vicinity would make me feel like I belong in that mod, mod world.

5-Pc Linus Whiskey Set
5-piece Linus Whiskey Set, $49

Real talk: Absolutely nothing says classy retro like a sleek decanter filled with a good brown liquor.

I’ll take mine on the rocks, please.

What retro, vintage-y pieces would you love for your home? Head on over to Blueprint Registry to see how it would fit in your casa!

Ask Heather: What Do I Do with Store Registry Cards?

Wedding presents

Image courtesy of Asdrid

Dear Heather,

I have all these cards and slips from the stores where we registered that I want to distribute, but all of the books and websites say to not include them with your invitations because it’s rude. My save the dates already went out, so I can’t include them with those. What am I supposed to do with these cards? How do I let people know where we registered? I’m mostly referring to my guests who are not computer literate. Thank you!

Confused about registry

Dear Confused,

In some areas, it’s customary to include those registry cards with the invitations. However, if you don’t know for certain that it is what’s done in your social circle, I would avoid including them. Personally, I sort of feel like the stores give them to folks who have registered just to drive up business at their own stores, but that might be just me :)

There are a few ways to let people know where you registered. First, if you’re having a shower, it’s totally acceptable to include registry information with those invitations. After all, the whole point of a shower is to “shower” the guest of honor with gifts. Second, if you’ve made a wedding website, you can definitely include a page with registry information there. As for those guests who are not computer literate and who will not be invited to a shower, the best way to reach them is to make sure your immediate family knows where you are registered, so they can spread the word when asked.

No matter what you do, though, odds are some folks will go “off registry” and buy something you haven’t specifically requested. My husband and I received gifts that definitely don’t go with our aesthetic, but we know the people who gave those presents meant well. And one of our “off registry” gifts was one of my favorites; a friend of mine had one of our invitations custom-framed using stained glass. It’s nothing I ever would have asked for, but I absolutely love it. So, give them a chance — your guests might surprise you!

How did you let your guests know where you registered? Is it the norm in your social circle to include registry cards with the invitations? Did you get anything fantastic that wasn’t on one of your registries? Let us know in the comments below!

Real Bride Jess: Registries … aka Buy Us Presents

Wedding registries are hard. Everyone’s telling you “don’t forget anything!” “register for more than you need!” “don’t forget China!” “you can always return it!”

Why can’t I just register for the things I want? Neither Michael nor I drink coffee so we really don’t need a coffee maker. My parents have used their wedding China maybe one time, so I probably don’t need wedding China, can’t I just get regular cute dishware? I do see the use of those “things most brides forget to register for” lists, I like to look at those lists! But I don’t think I’m a bad bride for ignoring the item Espresso Machine or Fondue Pot.

What I love about this day and age is you can basically do all of your registering online. The one thing I did want to do in person was register for sheets. I wanted to feel them & make sure that I wasn’t going to receive some thin sheet sized cardboard, but rather cloud-like perfection.

Now I thought this was going to be easy: go in, say you have a registry & would like to add to it, they give you a scan gun, boom. False. You have to sit down, they have to give you paperwork, they discuss your registry & why you don’t have certain things. I felt like I was being interrogated by undercover cops. And THEN (this part was actually the most scarring) someone has to go with you and scan what you want! You’re not even trusted to handle a scanner. The reason for this, I’m sure, is to make suggestions as to what else you should register for and drive up the amount of money guests will hopefully spend. I did succeed in only shopping for bed-related things, but she did win and get me to register not just for sheets but also for fancy pillows,a comforter and a quilt.

Will I be glad to possibly have these items: yes. After I recover from my bitchy resentment will I be glad I went to the store to feel the sheets: yes.

Ok, whining over.

I do have a confession: I am a registery-o-holic. I have four registries. I just like options! I registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, Target and Anthropologie. You want to know something else? If four registries is wrong, I don’t want to be right!


Use Your Registry To Go BPA-Free In the Kitchen

Oh, the registry. Definitely one of the more fun aspects of wedding planning, because you get to think about your space and your life and how you want to live it. And with all the harmful, nasty-ass shizz out in the world, why not let your home be a sanctuary of sorts? Here are 15 fabulous BPA-free items that are perfect for any registry and kitchen! BPA-Free Kitchen Registry

1. Prepworks from Progressive GPC-3681 Dice and Slice Chopper
2. Lekue Lemon Press Set, Green, 2-Piece
3. S/3 Assorted Fluted Mixing Bowls
4. Glass Dharma Decorative Dots Multicolored 5 Piece Glass Straws and Brush Set
5. Ninja Professional Blender with Single Serve Blending Cups (BL660)
6. Lekue Silicone Kitchen Grip
7. Knife Sharpening Steel
8. New Snaplock Lid: Tempered Glasslock Storage Containers 18pc set
9. 5 Piece cmsHome Ultimate Kitchen Utensils Tools Gift Set
10. Chef’s Knife
11. S/4 Assorted Porcelain Spoons
12. Essential Bakeware Set
13. 3-Pc Nesting Bowl Set w/ Handle, White
14. Norpro Silicone Mini Pinch Bowls, 4 Piece Set
15. Soma Water Filter {eds. note: I have one and I love it. It makes stinky Florida water taste AMAZE.}

What items are you pumped to be able to add to your registry?

Game Changer: Makes Registry Sleuthing Way Easier

*This post brought to you by our friends at RegistryFinder.*


You guys, this whole etiquette-in-the-digital-age thing is really messing with the way we spread the word about gift registries. While it’s pretty much universally agreed that specifics about registries should in no way, shape or form be included on the wedding invitation itself, there’s really no general consensus about how to spread the word.

The result of this kerfuffle? Vague allusions to a website. A typed-up insert stuffed into the invitation suite. A website printed on the Save the Date that went out moons ago. And, in an astronomically large amount of cases, wedding guests who are left with no clue on where the couple is registered or how to find said registry.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 6.27.19 PM

Well, screw that noise. changes alla dat bizznizz. Sure, you could sit and type the couple’s name into Google to see what comes up, then sit and scroll through pages of social media profiles before you find the couple or where they’re registered.


Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 6.27.42 PM

Go to, type in the bride’s or groom’s names, or at least a few corresponding letters, and voila! Yes, it’s pretty much like Google, but instead of giving you the result of ALL OF THE INTERNETZ, you get registries and only registries. From there, you just click on over, find what you want to bestow upon the happy couple, bada-bing, bada-boom and you’re done!

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 6.28.31 PM takes a lot of the guesswork and headache out of trying to track down those elusive registries and lets you get on with your day … or figuring out which rockin’ outfit you’re going to wear to that wedding.

Or, you can take BAB Head Homie Mellzah’s approach and get a running start on registry sleuthing. In her words, “I have already stalked the registries of friends who haven’t even sent their invitations yet and started plotting what to get them!”

Go on, make your life easier and check out your homies’ wishlists on

Get Fun for Your Wedding with SimpleRegistry

Brought to you by our friends at Simple Registry.


I dunno about y’all, but I like to make sure that if people are going to give me something, it’s something I want and will really, truly use. Because: Guilt. I have this amazing problem of feeling guilty for not necessarily loving a gift, but hanging on to it nonetheless, which just results in clutter and hoarding and anxiety and … damnit, where’s my whiskey?

All this and the pressure of wedding planning? OOF. Nope. I’d like to have fun, please.

So make things easier on yourself and on your guests and set up a registry that allows you to steer your loved ones toward items or experiences that you’d really like and therefore use. “But Christen,” you say, “Wherever shall I find such a glorious unicorn of registries?”

YOU GUYS. I got this! SimpleRegistry.

Not only is SimpleRegistry super easy to use (I signed up myself. So, for realz.), but you can add pretty much anything: Need a toaster, like classic-style? BOOM. How ’bout tickets for the first Red Sox-Yankees face-off of the season? NAILED IT. Feeling more philanthropic and want to donate your dollaz to the ASPCA (one of the BAB’s charities of choice)? YEAH, THAT TOO.

And you know how that girlfriend of yours is always suggesting different activities or restaurants, just insisting that you’ll loooovvveee it? Well, she can take those ideas and add them as ideas on your SimpleRegistry list and your whole damn bridal party — you know, the ones who have the most fun? — can split that experience to make it one for the ages. Yup, birds, stones, etc. Doesn’t matter. You get to go biking through a vineyard!

Go get your fun on and set up your SimpleRegistry!