We started our "real" registry on Saturday at the Towson Bed Bath & Beyond. I had previously been concerned over whatever brick & mortar store we wanted to register at being one of the ones that would share my personal info with Wedding Channel. (I know some other people have written about this recently.) Since I'm still on the job hunt, I do try to keep my wedding obsession on the DL, and I don't mention the wedding on interviews, and I would hate for an employer to Google me and find me on there and judge me by my taste in china.
So when we filled out the registry sign-up sheet, I bossily asked BB&B how they could keep our info private, short of my using a fake last name (which I was totally willing to do); and they were unable to figure it out. Finally, Helen, aka the Registry Lady of Awesomeness, who was generally super-nice, said, "well, if we let you register as a Housewarming party and not a wedding, we don't share your information with Wedding Channel." The only problem is that we have to get a paper coupon for our 10% registry completion. That sounded worth it to me. (Besides, everybody will get us everything off the registry, so we won't need to complete it, right?)
So if you are registering and not wishing to share your last name and china pattern with the world, ask BB&B if you can register as a housewarming instead of a wedding. If you are going to Towson, ask for Helen because she was super-nice, not at all pushy, and encouraged us to take it slowly and register for one room at a time instead of burning out. She did not make any obnoxious recommendations, like that we should get the super-expensive flatware, and she was very knowledgeable about the china we were looking at.
She also suggested that if we were planning to register for towels, we should find a set we liked and scan the washcloth, and then go back to the desk and have them fill in the big towels and hand towels from the set, because the washcloth is small and easy to scan. This avoids pulling out a huge bath sheet, unfolding it, and looking for the tag to scan.