By Real Simple
Updated January 07, 2010
Credit: Jonny Valiant

In-store vs. online: Registering online is smart, since each of the more than 960 stores have registry consultants who can help you figure out what to select. You can make changes or updates anytime on the website,

Return policy: Your registry itself serves as a receipt, meaning you can easily return items for either store credit or for a corporate check, says Audrey Stavish, bridal expert at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Length of time the registry’s active: Two years after the wedding date.

Discount: For 90 days after your wedding date, you’re eligible to use a 10 percent completion discount on both a one-time online purchase and a one-time in-store purchase.

Most popular items: Fine tabletop and giftware, cookware, electronics, luggage.

Perks: Enroll in the Start-to-Finish incentive program and you’ll receive free gifts for registering for certain items and more free stuff when your guests purchase it (for example, you’ll get a Santoku knife for registering for $500 worth of Calphalon products, and, if guests purchase it, a wok set).