Home Tech How to Choose an Online Registry for Your Wedding or Baby Shower (and Our Favorite Sites)

How to Choose an Online Registry for Your Wedding or Baby Shower (and Our Favorite Sites)

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How to Choose an Online Registry for Your Wedding or Baby Shower (and Our Favorite Sites)

in the period Over a year and a half, I had two weddings (one was a Covid lockdown elopement, the other a post-lockdown reception) and a baby shower. I made several online registrations in that time, because in the style of a true product reviewer, I wanted to try all the popular ones before choosing my favorite.

It’s easy for you to create a nice wedding registry or baby registry and for your loved ones to shop on your behalf without worrying if you already have a high-quality air fryer or sheets. The best registries are easy to browse and shop for because, let’s be honest: you won’t get as many gifts if you have a hard time shopping. Not all registries are created equal and there are plenty of options to navigate. Here’s what to consider when choosing an online registry and which ones we like best, based on my own research and testing, plus feedback from other WIRED reviewers.

Updated May 2024: We added notes about Joy’s baby registry.

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How online registrations work

Online registries are designed so that you can create a wish list on a web page shared through various forms of electronic communication and can even be searched by your and your partner’s name. They are either a universal registrationwhich means you can add gifts from any store you want, or brand registrations and affiliated storeswhich allows you to register only for products at that specific store (think Crate & Barrel or Anthropologie).

Both styles want you and your givers to stay on the site and purchase gifts through them, as this is how they make money, generating a portion of the product purchased by the giver. Universal registries allow you to add other sites, but there are are Benefits of keeping track of products available on a specific registry: It’s easier to track who bought what, you can control when everything ships, and it’s convenient for your guests to check out without leaving the site and not having to worry about anything else.

Do you need a registration?

Need It’s a strong word, but when you get married or have a child, everyone asks for a link to your registry. A good registry makes it more convenient for people to buy you a gift without having to spend a lot of time looking around or worrying about what to get you, where to send it, and whether you’ll use it.

It’s always best to keep expectations low about what you’ll receive, and I was sure to have a variety of prices to fit everyone’s budget. In my experience, people who couldn’t make it to the wedding loved buying nice things like plate sets, while those who shouldered the cost of travel bought us more affordable items like candle holders and satin sheets.

What about cash funds (and fees)?

Universal registries have an option for cash funds and allow you to theme them around milestones like a honeymoon or a future home. Most of these sites charge you a 2.5 percent processing fee when you withdraw the money (and may charge fees depending on the size of the gift to your donor), but not all sites do. Our top two recommendations for wedding registries either charge no fee or have a free option. However, store-specific registries, like Amazon, only allow you to give cash in the form of a store gift card.

The best wedding registries

When I think of wedding registries, I think of the scene of 27 dresses where Katherine Heigl’s character goes around scanning an incredible variety of things for the bride’s registry, some of which she added just to annoy said bride. I would do the same thing if I had to deal with someone else’s registry: I barely wanted to work for myself and it took me an irritatingly long time to go through pages and pages of options and types of gifts with my future. be-husband

Wedding registries were originally designed to help couples get everything they need for their first home together. If you’re like my husband and I, you may already have the basics, but a registry is a good opportunity to invest in things you can use for years to come (and finally get rid of your old Ikea dishes).

Best Universal Registration (and commission-free cash funds)

He universal joy registry It has been popular with my married friends for their weddings for one very important reason: there are no charges for cash gifts. While most other registries charge a processing fee for handling money, Joy’s registry does not charge that fee. You can theme her background as you see fit, and Joy also lets you sign up for regular giveaways both on her site and off.

Joy also has a website builder, but it’s not as flashy as the designs from Zola or The Knot. She can set up a registry there without using the website, and she can link it on the wedding website of her choosing if she uses a different site builder. The website has tools for sending save dates and invitations, and makes it easy to manage a guest list and RSVPs. Joy also has a baby registry, so she can have an account now and later (and free funds for diapers!).

Also consider: MyRegistration is another good universal registry, but it charges fees that can reach almost 7 percent, depending on the size of the cash donation.

The best combination of website and registration

I clearly remember making websites on both Zola and the knot the same day to see which one I wanted to use, and I quickly decided on Zola. He has a better library of website designs, while Knot was too focused on helping me plan the wedding and generating incredibly long to-do lists. All I wanted was a place for everything, with a themed website that wasn’t horrible, and Zola came through easily.

The registration tool is easy to use. It organizes gifts by type and has a fairly sizable library of well-known (and often more expensive) brands. Zola is also a universal registry: I was able to add gifts from outside stores (you can choose to get cash for these or direct the giver to the outside site), and my friends and family were able to mark those outside gifts as purchased. about Zola. There are also options for cash gifts, although Zola charges fees.

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