Over the holiday break fiance and I finally started the registration process. We'd been putting it off because it seemed so daunting. Like most couples we'd probably rather just have money but that's not an appropriate gift for everyone (I know I like to give an actual gift and not just cash).
One of the top things on my list was china, crystal, and nice flatware. I know, I know, most brides aren't registering for this stuff anymore b/c they know they won't use it or will only use it occasionally. Fiance and I are the opposite. Our jobs often require us to entertain at home in a formal fashion and if we tried to buy a set of 12 on our own it would be pretty pricey. No better time then a wedding to ask for china. Besides, we already have casual everyday dining ware and a slightly nicer set as well.
On the advice of a bride on the D.C. Knot board I went to the Macy's Home Store at Montgomery Mall (right off 495). This is a one floor Macys completely devoted to homeware and furniture. I figured this Macys would have the most selection. Really, once you strip away the furniture section I'd say it's comparable in size to most Macys home sections. Take away the "martha stewart" section and it's even smaller. On this trip we were just browsing to see what appealed to us. We also went to the Bloomingdales in Friendship Heights because they have a much larger china selection just to make sure we were seeing all that was out there.
At both stores we ended up liking the below place setting the most. It is called Library Lane and it is a design by Kate Spade for Lenox. It's fine bone china with an inner and outer platinum band. We liked the simplicity of it and the fact that it's neutral enough to be dressed up in different styles. I also like that the pattern won't be outdated in 10 or 20 yrs. We also chose the corresponding flatware. We weren't crazy on the matching crystal so we chose a coordinating set called Sterling from Wedgewood. So did we end up registering at Macys or at Bloomingdales? Well, neither.
Turns out Bed Bath and Beyond has the same china, crystal, and flatware patterns at their online store as Macys and Bloomingdales. They also carry top brand pots/pans like All Clad and the same small kitchen appliance brands (like Krups) as the department stores, Crate and Barrel and Williams and Sonoma.
I went with Bed Bath and Beyond for a number of reasons 1) I wanted as few stores as possible. Macys and Bloomies had some things but they were missing a lot of the other kitchen gadgets we were looking for. I didn't want to register at Macys for one thing and have to register somewhere else for corn holders. 2) Bed Bath and Beyond is everywhere. Neither Macys nor Bloomingdales is in my home state and as much as I like shopping online some people just will not do it. 3) I have heard universally good reviews about Bed Bath and Beyond on my Knot board and their return/exchange program. Whereas I've heard that Macys can be a hassle with returns sometimes and stores like Crate and Barrel are so seasonal that a lot of times things you like get sold out before your wedding. 5) Bed Bath and Beyond is always sending out those 20% off coupons. I'm all for people getting discounts on our gifts.
My only problem now is I haven't found linens at any of the stores we've visited that I've liked. So we my end up registering at a second home type store anyway. Bummer.