We registered at Macy's, Sur la Table, and replacements.com. We registered in-store at Macy's and Sur la Table, with lots of online supplements. Hope these observations help other people with their registry process.
1. Almost every gift we've received so far was purchased on sale. If you're worried that a store's normal prices are too high, but its sale prices are acceptable, don't let it stop you from registering there. This includes gifts from guests I didn't expect to be savvy shoppers.
2. I was right that our mostly older guest list would buy things in-store, not online.
3. For me, the only way to get the sense of the size of a frying pan is to see it in person. This was tricky because registering for cookware was physically difficult. I was balancing the heavy pans with a checklist and the scanner. (My fiance was tired by that point and had left me to finish alone.) Neither store had each in-stock pan in easy reach for scanning, so I added most of the cookware online, after selecting the brand in-store. Now we have a few frying pans that just aren't a size we'll ever use.
4. We registered for Fiestaware open stock, rather than in place settings, because I wanted unusually-sized bowls and didn't want mugs. The guests at my shower (except my mother) didn't understand or ignored this. We've received at least 7 boxed place settings, in addition to about half what we registered for.
Observations on Macy's in particular:
1. At least online, you can't add anything Macy's sells to a wedding registry. We wanted to add a couple pieces of furniture. Theknot told me they'd add it if I asked in-store, but I never got around to it.
2. There were a couple snafus with online warnings something was being discontinued, that then remained available for months or the warning went away. I just started ignoring the warnings. Our registry was always big enough their were choices in every department and price-point, even if a few things were discontinued.
Sur la Table:
1. Golly, with the in-store pressure to register for Rosle utensils. This came from multiple sales people and multiple stores. [We registered in-store a second time after a couple cooking disasters destroyed some things I already owned.] It was both hilarious and annoying.
2. I don't know if their system is bad, guests shopped simultaneously, or guests ignored "fulfilled" notes, or some combination, but we received 5 cake pans when we registered for 2, and we were "over-subscribed" with other registry gifts at my shower as well.
Only received one gift from them so far. It almost went to an old address when changing my address online didn't work completely. I called, and they changed the delivery address before the package went out. I knew the gift was coming because they sent me an e-mail something had been purchased from my registry. So much for no registry stalking! I don't know if there's a way to prevent such e-mails, either at my end or the guest's. Obviously, it was lucky for me.