This is the second installment of a three-post series on wedding gifts. Monday’s post discussed alternative gift ideas. Today’s installment will cover some popular online registry services available and how to integrate them with your wedding website. My wrap-up post on Friday will guide you through gift tracking and writing thank-you notes.
Wedding gifts have traditionally been a way for guests to contribute to your new life together by providing you with all kinds of vital household necessities with which to feather your nest. Nowadays, couples are marrying older and are often combining households, or for whatever reason just may not want another blender or linen set. In Monday’s post, I covered alternative wedding gift ideas for couples who prefer not to receive wedding gifts, such as charity and honeymoon registries.
So who said registries need to be traditional? Beyond charity and cash registries, you can set up gift registries that include anything online or even offline that you can find. Combine traditional and nontraditional items. Include a honeymoon registry on top of that. Online gift registries are updated automatically when guests purchase, so you can see at a glance if available items are running low in any of your price ranges, making it easy to stay on top of your registry selections as time goes on.
One of my favorite online registry services is Wishpot (wishpot.com), which lets you add any online item to your registry using a downloadable browser toolbar widget. Such shop-anywhere consolidation services make it really easy for you to build a single list of items for your guests to select from, containing items from any store online. Wishpot also includes options for charity and cash registries, by the way, so definitely check them out.
My Registry (myregistry.com) is another consolidation gift registry service that lets you add items from any store for your guests to view and purchase in one place. Amazon.com launched their own gift registry service as well, with the similar goal of consolidating all your gifts into a single list.
Getting the Word Out
Where guests traditionally had to be informed of your gift registries by word of mouth, today’s personal wedding websites offer the best medium to give guests the scoop. Guests will be there anyway, checking out your photos, signing your guestbook, posting their online RSVP, and finding hotel information. And it’s the same place they’ll access your registries. Embedding or linking your registry details is a snap, too. Most wedding website services allow you to embed third-party code snippets or, at the very least, links to your registry service(s); WedShare even has its own cash registry you can take advantage of.
As an example, see how simple it is to add a Wishpot gift registry widget to a WedShare wedding website in two steps:
Step 1: Copy the code or link to your registry.
Step 2: Paste the code or add the link to your website’s Gift Registry page or section.
That’s it! It’s really very easy to build your own consolidated wedding gift registry and add it to your wedding website. Having everything together in one place also makes it convenient and quick for your guests, which they’re sure to appreciate. And today’s online registry services provide options and flexibility to build and manage your lists like never before…I sure wish this stuff had been around back in the days of yore for my own wedding, I’ll tell you. Too bad that was circa the Triassic.
Friday I’ll delve into some great tools to help you track your gifts, and I’ll also share with you the art of the Thank-You letter.