I always just assumed that a wedding registry was one of those necessary evils of wedding planning; something that was going to make my life (and my guests’ lives) easier, but that I would never really be thrilled with. Then I heard about Thankful Registry, the one universal registry that puts gratitude (and good design) at the center of its mission, and realized I’d only thought of wedding registries with such dispassion because nobody had ever thought to make a better one. But Thankful Registry is turning all that on its head, with a universal wedding registry that not only looks good, but is super open and flexible (aka not a pain in the ass), and makes the gift-buying experience fun and rewarding for your guests. Here’s how:
One of the things that really sucks about traditional wedding registries is that the one-size-fits-all approach rarely benefits anyone. Sure, you can hack together something workable between the big box store wedding registries, and alternative options like cash registries. Or for just $30, you can get a universal wedding registry that puts all of those things in one (well-designed) place. With Thankful Registry, you can register for your favorite items from any store online, or get creative and register for things like restaurant gift cards, memberships, subscriptions, tech gifts, books, and anything else you can find online. They even have a PayPal interface, making cash gifts easy and impossible to lose in the wedding shuffle. (This happens. Trust.)
Thankful’s founder, Kathy Cheng, said in a recent NY Mag interview:
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding in 2007 and I was late to the registry, so I got my friend a $200 blender because there was nothing left. A few months later, she told me it was in storage because she didn’t have room in her kitchen. She felt embarrassed and I was upset. I created Thankful with the idea of maximizing the registry experience. Our number one priority is customization, so that it’s your registry and not Crate & Barrel’s.
Two: good design
Thankful Registry isn’t just a well-designed wedding registry. It’s a thoughtfully designed wedding registry. The minimal layout focuses on your relationship first, and “stuff” second, which is carried out in small, but significant design choices like prices that don’t reveal themselves until you hover over an item (though guests can sort gifts by price to make finding something within their budget that much easier). Thankful Registry is packed with lots of other little features from “featured” items that you can highlight within your list (if there’s a gift you really want) to the ability to include descriptions of what a particular gift means to you. You can even personalize your registry with a photo of you and your partner.
In addition to Thankful Registry‘s good design, it’s also super easy to use. You add gifts using a bookmark on your toolbar (kind of like the “Pin It” button), drag and drop gifts to arrange and sort your personal registry page, and even track who bought what in your Thank You List.
Three: The “gentle” Registry
Couples who have chosen Thankful Registry have commented on their “gentle tone.” While the service itself is $30 for twelve months (part of which goes toward raising awareness about child marriage on social media and donations to other fundraising projects via catapult.org), Thankful never tries to sell you on any products or services you don’t need, and there’s no aggressive marketing. Kathy says:
We’re not in the business of selling lots of stuff. We don’t believe in rules like “couples should add three gifts for every guest on their guest list” and we leave the sweepstakes and giveaways to the department stores because Thankful couples can see right through it. In the same spirit, you’ll never see Thankful publish a “must-have registry checklist” or try to convince couples to register for things just because they’re new or trendy. It’s not because we don’t have an opinion—or good taste!—it’s because we believe couples that choose Thankful know what they like, and we respect their individual styles and tastes. So a really important part of what we do is not bombarding couples with advertising or other retail noise. Basically, Thankful is the kind of service I’d want my family and friends to feel comfortable using.
Thankful Registry is the universal wedding registry that makes me question why all wedding registries don’t operate this way. In fact, since Thankful is so flexible, I’ll probably be paying $30 a year myself for the ease of a Thankful Registry Christmas list, and recommending it to all my friends expecting little ones this year. So go check out Thankful Registry, browse the sample pages, then sign up for a free trial, and you’ll see what I mean. Because registering for gifts should be fun. And so should buying them.
Plus, that scan gun is overrated.
Click here to start your free Thankful Registry trial!