Wedding Registries

by brian d foy

About five years ago, one of my friends thought that online wedding registries and planning services would be a huge market, and the situation now seems not much farther along.

My wife and I had a quick civil wedding (two minutes, sign here, pay there) before I left for Iraq, and we are going to have the real thing once I get back. While we were instant messaging one night, we decided to set up an online wedding registry. We are not really excited about the technology, and we realize that a good portion of our guests will probably have trouble using it, but it is something we can do together even though I am on the other side of the world.

Tiffany makes you call them to talk to a registry consultant first, and Mikasa tells you to visit a store first. Several other places we checked had no mention of their wedding registry on their web site.

So, we tried, which, despite its geeky and progressive TK, has a online registry that we can set up in a couple of minutes without talking to anyone else. Their selection of traditional wedding gifts (e.g. china) is very limited, but we found some of the stuff we wanted that they offer through third parties.

Setting up the registry is much like shopping at, although you never checkout. Using the registry to buy gifts looks exceeding difficult. If you find the wedding registry link, which shows up in different places on different pages, but usually near the bottom, you can search by the couple's name and town of the wedding to find out just how many other brides share my wife's less common spelling of her name. The search results got better over a couple days, and Amazon had made some remark on how that might be the case. They must have some sort of delayed indexer at work. This is not a huge problem though, since we can just provide our guests with the appropriate link.

How is this going to work out? You will have to wait to find out, just like me.

Does a good online wedding registry exist?


2004-02-15 11:20:10
other registries, and musings
Both Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn have good registry systems; we used both of them for our wedding. They have decent products in a mix between neo, retro, and classical. For your guests who'd rather not shop online, and are near one of those stores, they can purchase directly off the registry right there in the store.

If you're outdoorsy types, REI also has a registry. Well, it looks like they partner with

The whole issue of the practice & ethics of the wedding registry could fill a good-sized article (my wife could probably write it ;). Our suggestions would be:

  • choose a range of gifts, from less expensive to more expensive, for guests who want to buy you something but don't have much cash, to those guests who really feel they need to buy you something big
  • if it's appropriate for you, find some gifts that are classic (eg, china) and some that are just cool -- it gives people a good range of choices
  • expect that some people will look at the registries, then buy the gift separately, resulting in occasional duplicate gifts

Best of luck!


2004-02-16 08:43:03
Bed, Bath & Beyond
BB&B has a pretty good registry that's linked to their store. You can wander around in the store and select things, and their website (once the info from the "gun" is uploaded) is updated to reflect that. You can also select things online and have them added to the registry. Things can be bought in the store or online and the registry will note that. Pretty slick, and accessible at any BB&B store in the country. My fiance and I were rather impressed.