– Ask a Real Bride – The Pros and Cons of Registering Completely Online

We’ve gotten used to doing pretty much everything from the comfort of our own homes on our computers and devices. Wedding registries are no exception! Years ago, choosing items for your registry meant going to a store, being handed a scan gun, and manually picking items to add. Not any longer! With just a few taps and clicks, you can find everything you need (and more) on retailer websites.

Wedding registries online

But just because you can, does that mean you should? With the help of real brides, we’re breaking down the pros and cons of creating your registry entirely online. Hopefully, their advice helps you and your fiance decide which method will work best for you!

Pro: You don’t have to go to a physical store

This point is somewhat obvious, but it is a huge benefit to browse thousands of items across dozens of websites without braving traffic, crowds, or lines. With so many of us used to shopping online, scrolling, filtering, and clicking can feel easier than walking into an actual store.

Pro: You can see more items than what the store may have in stock

Supply chain issues seem to have impacted inventory levels in every store. Many retailers offer a wider variety of choices online than they stock on the shelves, so registering online may reveal more options than you can see in the store!

Pro: You can read tons of reviews

I absolutely love and appreciate the shoppers who leave detailed reviews. My husband often laughs at me because I will read every page of reviews before I purchase something. If you’re like me, then you will love this aspect of registering online!

As easy as it is to scroll and click your way through retailers’ websites, there are still some benefits to going to the store. Here are a few drawbacks to registering entirely online:

Couple shopping in store.

Con: You don’t get to feel and hold the physical items

“[At the store], you can actually see what you’re getting. Things I saw and thought I liked online looked totally different in person.”

“It’s so hard to tell the quality by the photo online.”

We’ve all ordered something online only to be (unpleasantly) surprised by what actually arrived. The items you choose for your registry are ones you hope to use in your home for years to come, so it makes sense that you would want to see at least some of them in person!

Which items do our real brides think are most important to feel in person?

  • Towels
  • Bedding and sheets
  • Flatware
  • Dinnerware

While some items might be fine to select sight unseen, the ones above are worth visiting the store for a “touch test.”

Con: You miss out on inspiration and expert advice

So many home stores take great care in setting display tables and staging bedding and dining areas. Something that wouldn’t necessarily catch your eye online may grab your attention once you see it on display!

“I got so many great recommendations from employees”

While I love a good online review, I also value feedback from store employees who are experts in their fields. As the bride above shared, their recommendations can steer you toward items you might have missed or overlooked online.

registering for wedding at store

Con: You don’t get the experience with your fiance

“We made it a date day, and it is still one of my favorite days. It was such a fun experience to pick out items for our future home together.”

While you could sit side-by-side in front of the screen as you create your online registry, going to the store with your partner makes for a fun activity and memorable experience. As you move through the stores, select items, and keep track of your choices, you might learn a lot about each other’s style and decision-making in the process!

Most couples do a hybrid:

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The statistics below show that most couples do a hybrid of in-person and online registering! Here’s how you can combine the methods:

let's talk about registries

Step One: Choose your retailers and create your registry online

Consider your wedding gift needs and wants. Are you gourmet chefs who value high-quality cookware? Is there a particular store that suits your aesthetic? Are you interested in adding items for your hobbies and interests? Do you need a little bit of everything? Browse retailer websites to get a feel for which stores are a good fit for what you’d like. Choose at least one that’s convenient for most of your guests to visit in person if they choose to shop that way!

One good place to start is our registry creation page. You’ll get a quick snapshot of each retailer’s registry benefits and perks and can easily start the process from there!

Step Two: Go to the store together to establish your sense of style and select items based on feel and touch.

Once you’ve established your registries online, plan to make an in-person visit.: Make a day out of it: hit a few of your stores and choose key items together, like your bedding, towels, china, and cookware.

Step Three: Revise and add online

Once you’ve registered for the foundational items in person, take your time browsing all the selections online, reading reviews, and adding more items. There’s no need to make your registry public until your invitations go out, so take your time with this step in the process!

Other key times to revise and add items: after your bridal showers. You want to avoid your registry looking too “picked over” in the last few weeks leading up to the wedding, so hop online to ensure that guests still have a few options at various price points!

No matter how you register, your guests can find all your registries in one place: RegistryFinder.com!

Whether you choose to register online, in person, or a combination of both, your guests can easily find all your registries here at RegistryFinder.com. There’s no need for brides to “sign up”–the search engine collects your information across the stores’ platforms and delivers them to your guests via a simple search. Most stores give you the option to make all of your registries searchable online, so be sure to input consistent information (how your name appears, wedding date, etc.) across all stores.

Once you’ve created your registries, search your name here at RegistryFinder.com to get a link to all your registries in one place! You can even add it to your wedding website and send it to your bridal shower host.

Have a Question for our Real Brides?

Let me know what topic you’d like us to tackle next! And if you’re interested in learning more about etiquette, gift-giving, and celebrating in style, be sure to subscribe to the RegistryFinder GiveIt blog for weekly posts on wedding etiquette, bridal showers, wedding trends, and of course, wedding registry guidelines and tips!

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