The wedding gift industry is as booming as ever: A whopping $19 billion is spent annually on wedding registries, and the average gift costs somewhere between $70 and $90. With so many options out there, how do you know which are the best wedding registry websites?
The average bride has a minimum of four registries. As retail has shifted more and more towards e-commerce, the days of registry guns are quickly passing, and in are the days of “add to favorites” and “add to wishlist.” Of course, some traditional stores (including a few of our favorites) still enable brides-to-be to register in person, but often the technology is outdated and the outcome is less than ideal, as a majority of guests would rather purchase a gift online and in-store inventory does not always match online inventory. For gift givers and brides-to-be, it’s much easier to search and add items from the comfort of your home than bother with in-store dealings.
Additionally, nowadays brides don’t have to register for just physical goods – they can ask their guests to help fund the honeymoon, chip in on a down payment on a house, pay for the first-anniversary dinner or all of the above (and more). Plus, wedding registry websites are no longer just about the registry and can help couples with everything from creating a personalized wedding website to reminding them to send thank you notes.
With so many wedding websites out there, it can be hard to narrow them down. Here’s our roundup of the best wedding registry websites in 2018:
5.) Traveler’s Joy
Would you rather a new china pattern or a trip to China? If the latter, you should consider registering with Traveler’s Joy, a relatively new site that enables couples to register for honeymoon experiences. In our opinion, this is one of the best wedding websites (if not the best) for travel junkies.
As couples are moving away from traditional registries and gifts, many are turning to websites that enable them to ask for experiences. While cash is always a great and much-appreciated gift, couples often feel funny asking for it, and the gift giver feels awkward giving it. How much do you give? Will the couple use it for something celebratory, or just put it in the bank? While the later is certainly good, gift givers often like to see their gifts in action and see the couple enjoying it.
Traveler’s Joy not only helps couples plan their honeymoons but enables their guests to contribute to it. You can create the entire trip itinerary: the flight, the hotels, a tour of the Great Wall, even the restaurants you’d like to try, and guests can select which part of the trip they would like to contribute to. Couples have been surprised with how generous their guests are when contributing to honeymoons vs. just cash.
Because Traveler’s Joy is a registry service and not a travel agency, you’re not tied to any specific airline or hotel chain and can still select the most cost-effective deals. The site is perfect for both novice travelers as well as experienced, thus is one of the best wedding websites for those seeking an amazing honeymoon but perhaps lack the funds. If you know exactly where you want to go and what you want to do, you can create your registry around that. However, if you know you want to go to the beach but don’t know where. the Instant Registries feature can aid in the process. Based on themes such as mountain or beach, as well as destinations such as Rome, Bali or London, you can have a preset base and recommendations and then add or remove any experiences.
Founded in 2005, MyRegistry is one of the best wedding registry websites out there, as it is one of the oldest universal gift registry services, enabling couples to register for traditional and non-traditional gifts from a multitude of retailers. With MyRegistry, couples can compile gifts from any website on the internet into one universal gift registry. Not only is it easy for guests to use, it’s also a great way to help support small businesses.
The site is easy to use and provides sample registries and suggestions should you need help deciding what to register for. It also enables you to sync existing wedding registries from other stores so you can have them all in one place.
Similar to Honeyfund and Traveler’s Joy, MyRegistry enables couples to politely register for cash and experiences. While MyRegistry does not charge a fee for cash transactions, similar to other sites, they set up the transfer of funds via Paypal, which will charge a percentage when it’s time to deduct the funds.
MyRegistry is not just limited to weddings: The site also has a baby registry, so if you like what you see when planning your wedding, keep the site in mind when it comes down to planning for your first child. It’s not only one of the best wedding websites, but also one of the best baby registry sites.
It’s a bold statement to say that Amazon has changed the world, but in truth, it has. It has revolutionized the way we shop and has made our lives easier, so it should come as no surprise that the U.S.-based mega-retailer is one of our go-to’s for best wedding registry websites.
Creating a wedding registry on Amazon allows a couple to register for pretty much everything. It’s ideal for practical couples (even better for those who already live together) who may already have their key home items (i.e., traditional registry items) and would prefer to register for items they actually need vs. want (although, it’s perfectly fine to add the want items, too!). Amazon’s registry is easy to create, simple to share with guests, and Amazon will track who bought which gift to help with thank-you note management. Plus – shipping is free!
Want to register for practical items like paper towels? Amazon’s got it.
Has your fiance been dying for a new grill? Amazon’s your best wedding registry.
Considering camping on your honeymoon but don’t have a tent? Just ask Alexa to add it to your registry.
Don’t have an Alexa? Add an Amazon Echo to your registry and have Alexa help you with your wedding planning needs. Thanks to Amazon’s new partnership with TheKnot, Alexa can keep you updated on your wedding planning, including a checklist of tasks and even a countdown to the big day.
Honeyfund is similar to Traveler’s Joy in that it is an experiential registry that enables the couple to politely ask for cash. However, while Traveler’s Joy focuses solely on travel experiences, Honeyfund focuses on raising funds for travel as well as other needs. Thus, it’s top on our list of best wedding registry websites for overall funding.
Honeyfund enables couples to ask their guests for money in a socially acceptable way – including for everything from help with a down payment on a home or even a donation to a favorite charity. The site does not charge any transaction fees for the couples or gift-givers upon setting up the registry, but there is a small fee through WePay or PayPal when the couple chooses to cash out.
Founded approximately 12 years ago, Honeyfund quickly became the most popular experiential wedding registry, and, to date, guests have given $500 million to couples through Honeyfund. The company continues to expand and recently partnered with Target’s registry to allow Target customers to register for cash gifts through Honeyfund’s platform.
In our opinion, Zola is hands-down one of the best wedding websites around – perhaps it’s even the best. It’s the most inclusive we’ve come across and aids the bride in a few of the most important initial steps of wedding planning:
Step 1: Create your wedding website
All engaged couples should create a Zola wedding website. It’s a cute way of telling guests how you met, as well as a method of keeping them informed of your wedding details and – if it’s a destination wedding – it informs guests what they can do at the destination. Zola not only provides that platform but lets you customize the URL as well.
Step 2: Register for gifts, experiences and funds
Zola enables you to register for traditional gifts (think Cuisinart pots and pans and Waterford stemware), experiences (think African safari) and funds (ask for help with your future home down payment) all in one place. As Zola isn’t an actual brick-and-mortar store, though (it’s more of a registry aggregator), it lets couples select gifts from any store and compile them into one registry. Want a sofa from Restoration Hardware, a chair from Crate and Barrel and a few throw pillows from West Elm? No problem! Put them on the Zola registry. Plus, there’s free shipping! Need a bit of help? Zola can curate pre-existing registries for couples who may need a little direction asking for gifts. The “Experience” section works the same way and helps calculate everything from Blue Apron meal plans to DJ lessons in Miami.
Moving into a new house together post-wedding and prefer that all gifts arrive there? No problem. Zola can hold onto gifts until you’re ready to receive them.
Step 3: Send thank-you notes
Zola’s thank-you note manager helps you track who gave you what, and pings you with reminders to send thank-you notes.
Step 4: Continue shopping all year round
Zola gives you 10% off the website for an entire year after your wedding – even on gifts that weren’t on your initial list! And the free shipping continues even f…
Getting married? We hope you consider checking out at least one of the above sites! Have a new one you think we should check out? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for the absolute perfect gift to give your guests after the wedding? We present our list of the best wedding favors out there.