By Katherine Gray, Tecca.com
So much of planning a wedding can be done online these days that it's no surprise there are a plethora of ways and websites with which you can create your gift registry online, too! Getting married isn't just an opportunity to get presents, of course; it's about joining your life with the person you love and inviting your friends and family to share in the day.
But starting a new life together does usually involve joining households, and you might be surprised with how many new things a modern couple finds themselves needing. You might have been content before to use your threadbare old towels, but now that you're married, don't you think it's time to commit them to the rag bag and treat your guests to something new?
Of course, you could just register at an individual store such as Target, Crate & Barrel, or Macy's, but who wants to be limited to one store? And what if you need new towels, but you'd also really love that new camping gear you and your beloved have been eyeing? Here are a handful of options for registries where the sky is the limit and you can ask for anything from cookware to golf clubs.
1. Amazon Wedding As with many facets of online shopping, Amazon is a major presence among wedding registries. You have access to the website's vast product list, which of course has long since branched out into much more than just books. One of the helpful features of Amazon's registry is the Thank You List, which keeps track of every gift purchased and even records the sender's mailing address, so you can be sure to send thank-you notes.
Amazon's registry also includes guides written by their wedding registry experts, in case you need help choosing the right goodies. The website also includes wedding planning advice on a wide range of topics, from flowers to seating charts.
2. MyRegistry is one of several websites that let you create a list and add items from any store on the web. It does this via a button that you place in your browser's toolbar. As you browse the web and find something you like, simply click the button to add the item to your registry. You can include details such as color and size to make sure you get exactly what you want, and your guests buy the items directly from the store itself.
You can also sync registries that you've created at other online retailers, so that your guests only have to look in one place. With MyRegistry's Cash Gift Service, you can tastefully ask your guests for money to put toward your honeymoon, home improvements, or even just building up your family nest egg.
3. Wishpot is another website that lets you create a list and add items from online retailers around the web via the Wishpot button, which you install in your browser's toolbar. This website adds a bit of social networking flavor, with suggestions of popular items, gift ideas, expert advice, and recommendations and comments from other users.
Wishpot also offers a price comparison engine that searches online merchants to find the lowest price on your wish list items, notifying you when the item goes on sale. In addition to the wedding registry, Wishpot offers honeymoon and baby registries, as well as a cash gift option.
4. A Simpler Wedding Registry also uses a downloadable button to let you add items from any store on the web. Just install the button, click when you find something you like, and add the details. You can also add items that aren't online using a simple form.
Guests can shop using A Simpler Wedding Registry's website or purchase items themselves from brick-and-mortar stores, then return to your registry and check off whatever they bought so that you don't get duplicates. Guests can also leave their names and addresses so you can send thank-you cards.
5. SocialGift puts an interesting social spin on the wedding registry concept. The idea is that your friends get together, vote on the best gift ideas, and then chip in whatever amount they can afford to get you the things you want. You and your friends can choose items from the SocialGift catalog, which has everything from shoes and handbags to collectibles and household items — even "experience" gifts like classes, spa days, and travel. Once enough people have donated toward a particular item, SocialGift ships it off to the recipient.
6. TheBigDay Honeymoon Registry is a great option for couples who don't really need a lot of stuff (or who want to go somewhere awesome for a honeymoon, in addition to whatever stuff they might need). Couples can register for vacation packages to dozens of exotic locales for their honeymoon or a destination wedding. Instead of requesting things like table settings or towels, you can request an upgraded honeymoon suite, a romantic dinner for two, or a spa package.
Guests can chip in various amounts or purchase specific gift items. There is no set-up fee to start using TheBigDay, but the registry does charge modest service fees on all transactions. If you book your travel through TheBigDay, however, those services fees are waived.
The Internet offers a host of tools for tech-savvy couples to make their wedding planning easier. These six websites take the hassle out of organizing your gift registry, so that your guests have no problem finding the perfect gift — and you can spend more of your free time as a newly married couple writing thank-you notes!
More from Tecca: