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An amazon gift registry full of gifts

Why you shouldn't use an Amazon wedding registry

Ollie, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Ollie from Hitchd
Jan 18, 202216 min read

One of the most exciting tasks that all engaged couples look forward to has to be creating a wedding registry. Picking out venues and tasting menus may be fun, but building a registry helps you and your partner visualise what your lives will look like after you say, "I do." What towels will you use in your bathroom? Which set of bedsheets will you two curl up in at the end of a long day?

For most couples today, creating an Amazon wedding registry may seem like a no-brainer. There are plenty of reasons why it's one of the most popular choices for wedding registries — but it's not without its flaws.

Depending on you and your partner's needs, an Amazon wedding registry may not be the best fit for you. Here's why you shouldn't use an Amazon wedding registry and how to find the right platform for you.

Why Amazon is a popular choice for a wedding registry

What started as an online bookseller in 1994 has grown to become one of the most well-known sellers of just about anything you can imagine. As they say, if you can dream it, it's probably for sale on Amazon.

It goes without saying that Amazon functions like an online department store and sells just about every single thing you could possibly need for your home. That includes home goods, furniture and outdoor items such as grills and patio furniture. If you're looking for sheets or towels in a certain color, chances are Amazon will have them all. The site also sells well-known brands such as Kitchen Aid and Dyson, so you'll feel confident finding good brands you trust.

The company's Prime subscription service has exploded in popularity over the years, and its two-day shipping guarantee has been a lifesaver for anyone who's forgotten to pick up dog food or a last-minute gift. Because so many people have Prime accounts, it's easy for them to access Amazon wedding registries, pick out their gifts and have them delivered to their doorstep or even yours.

Amazon will even offer discounts on those items not purchased. After your wedding, Amazon will give you 20% off anything left on your registry. If you've added a few expensive items that you expected no one would buy, now's your chance to get them yourself at a discounted price.

Even if some of your guests do not have Prime accounts, Amazon wedding registries are easy to find and user friendly. You can feel confident that your older relatives will be able to find your registry on Amazon and understand which gifts are available and which ones have already been purchased. This will ensure that you don't receive five vacuums, and even if you do, Amazon's return policy is usually generous on most items and easy to complete at stores like Whole Foods, Kohl's or even Amazon stores.

By the time your wedding arrives, your registry may look a little bare, and those guests still buying their gifts might not want to shell out for the more expensive items that are left over. If they opt to get you an Amazon gift card, as many guests will do, then you can still buy those items after your wedding. Or you can spend the gift card on any other product, such as clothing or beauty products.

Drawbacks of using an Amazon wedding registry

Clearly, there are a lot of benefits of using an Amazon wedding registry, but that doesn't mean it is the right platform for you and your partner. There are some major drawbacks of an Amazon registry.

Here are some of the biggest drawbacks of using an Amazon wedding registry and what you and your partner need to consider before you create one.

Product and product only

Up until the last decade or so, most engaged couples never lived together before tying the knot. While it was less common for 18- and 19-year-olds to get engaged right out of high school, many couples were in their early 20s when they got married. If you went to a wedding shower for these couples, you almost certainly brought them home goods as a gift. After all, they would be building up their homes from scratch and would need all of the basics before they moved in together.

Nowadays, the profile of your average engaged couple has changed. More and more people are waiting until their late 20s or even 30s to get married. Perhaps more importantly, they're also choosing to live together first before getting engaged. This matters for two reasons:

  • Because couples are older when they move in together, they've already replaced many of their college leftovers, which means they already have nice vacuums, cooking sets and even furniture. There's no need to ask for them as gifts on a wedding registry.
  • When couples do combine households, chances are they have most of the essentials already between them. If one person brings a nice set of sheets, the other will likely bring the towels or toaster.

If this sounds like you and your partner, then you might have trouble filling up an Amazon wedding registry because you have so many of the items already. Why replace a vacuum if the one you currently have is a good model and only a few years old?

No opportunity to see the product

If you were to create a wedding registry at a traditional department store, you would usually set up an appointment with a consultant and then take a tour of the store, armed with scanners. When you saw a product you wanted to add, you scanned the tag and it was included on your list. This gave you and your partner to see and feel the product. Was it the right color? Did it feel as soft as it looked? Did it look as good in person as it did on the company's website?

By going through this process, couples could accurately assess all the products available and choose the ones that would fit the decor of their home. If they were between two blue sets of towels, then they could see them both and decide which shade fits their home.

Amazon wedding registries do not offer this service at all. Since there are no stores, you and your partner can't see the products in person before adding them to your registry list, and this can cause problems. While you may feel confident adding a Cuisinart toaster to your list because you've seen it in other stores, you may not be able to judge the quality or color of other products from online photos alone. When you receive the product as a gift, you might have to return it because it's not the right shade or size or because the quality is so poor that it's already unravelling.

When you can't see and feel the product in person, you take a chance and accept that you might be making several trips to Whole Foods or Kohl's to return or exchange gifts. That can be a lot of extra work.

Possibility of fraudulent products

Even the branded products on Amazon cannot be fully trusted. Although many are sold directly from Amazon itself, you do need to be watchful for third-party sellers. These are usually small businesses that use Amazon's platform to sell their products.

But anyone can create a storefront on Amazon, and the company isn't always reliable in policing fraudulent sellers. This means that you might have knockoff items on your registry, such as KitchenAid stand mixers or UGG sheets.

These brands pride themselves on providing high-quality products, which are meant to last you for years to come. It will be incredibly frustrating for you to turn on your mixer a year later only to find that it's already falling apart. Now you and your partner will have to replace your mixer — and that won't be an inexpensive purchase.

Whenever you post a product to your wedding registry that isn't sold directly through Amazon, you do run the risk of adding knockoff products to your registry, and those third-party sellers might not have as generous of a return policy as Amazon.

Easy to stray from traditional wedding gifts

Amazon really does sell just about anything you could possibly need for your home, but it also sells clothing, movies, video games, electronics and more.

With so many other items available, some couples find it difficult not to stray and add non-traditional products to their wedding registries. This can be extremely tempting, especially when you're looking at that new video game console that you've been dying to get or that new winter coat you love.

Couples should stick to the home goods department because guests may feel offended at being asked to buy you clothes. They want to help you two build your new home together, not your wardrobe. Older guests who are more traditional might opt for a gift card or even skip the gift altogether. Even younger guests who might accept a Nintendo Switch as a home goods item might feel slighted over having to buy you books, movies or clothes.

The last thing you want to do is hurt your guests' feelings. Many guests won't complain to the couple — but they will talk amongst themselves and even possibly with your parents. You don't want to hear about guests' displeasure from your parents.

Fund memories, not things.

The modern registry where guests fund your dream honeymoon. It's simple and beautiful. Start your registry

No option to ask for cash

The most popular wedding gift — the one many couples prefer above all other gifts — is also the one gift that they cannot ask for directly: cash. Users cannot create a cash fund on Amazon. The only option is to ask for gift cards.

You might think that gift cards are a suitable substitution for cash, but they do have limits. Amazon gift cards, of course, can only be redeemed on the site, which limits how you can spend your money. While you could use the gift cards on more personal items that you couldn't list on your registry, you are still limited. What if you don't like the quality of Amazon's clothing or furniture? Or what if the product you want is sold out on Amazon but available through another retailer?

Without a polite way to ask for cash, you and your partner will likely get gift cards when you would have preferred a cheque. Amazon gift cards can go a long way — but they can't help you buy a house or pay for your hotel on your honeymoon.

Poor environmental and local impact

Let's face it: Amazon isn't the most eco-friendly company or the biggest champion of local economies. All of those boxes and packaging will have to be either thrown away or possibly recycled — if your recycling service accepts those types of boxes and plastic packaging. Then there's the fuel used and emissions produced in the process of shipping all of those items. Although Amazon does try to offset some of these problems, such as offering pickups at lockers and weekly Amazon delivery days, not all of your guests will take advantage of these perks.

Amazon also isn't helping small businesses in local economies. Many of them can't compete with Amazon's platform or fast shipping speeds, and they don't always pay liveable wages in communities where they have warehouses and distribution centers. Shopping local benefits your immediate community and keeps your well-earned paycheck supporting the lifeblood around it. You might not be able to create a registry through your local shops (more on this later), but you also don't have to give more money to an already thriving company.

Maybe these points matter to you. Maybe they don't. But it is worth considering how your Amazon wedding registry could be adversely affecting the planet and your town or city — especially when there are other wedding registry options that offer more flexibility and thoughtfulness.

Great alternatives to Amazon wedding registries

Above all, Amazon wedding registries feel impersonal. You can't send out thank-yous from your registry, and you can't personalise your registry by writing out your own introduction or gift descriptions. You and your partner will be limited to products, not cash or experiences, as gifts, and because you can't add your own descriptions or thoughts, your registry will look just like every other registry that your wedding guests have seen. And where's the fun in that?

But Amazon isn't the only option when it comes to wedding registries. Online platforms like Hitchd allow you to create the perfect registry that fits your needs and allows you to ask for exactly what you and your partner want. Instead of keeping it bland and predictably on Amazon, why not use your registry to fund your honeymoon or raise money for your community?

Here are great alternatives to Amazon wedding registries that ask for what you truly want and make all guests feel welcome and appreciated.

Honeymoon registry

As more couples started paying for their own weddings, the honeymoon registry exploded in popularity. This registry functions like a regular wedding registry, but all of the gifts are related to the honeymoon, such as walking tours of the city you're visiting, dinner for two or even airfare.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a honeymoon registry is its flexibility and design. Unlike Amazon registries, which always look a certain way because you're limited to products as gifts, honeymoon registries can be customised. You design each and every gift, and you can ask for just about anything, such as:

  • Airfare and accommodation expenses: These big-ticket gifts can be broken down into smaller price points, so multiple people can help you fund one large expense.
  • Tours and activities: Sometimes guests like to use the honeymoon registry as a way to live vicariously through the happy couple. Gifts such as snorkeling or museum tours are popular choices because they allow guests to help you have fun on your honeymoon — and to come back home with a great story to tell them later.
  • Dinners and drinks: Who wouldn't want to send you two out for a romantic candlelit dinner? By adding links to the restaurants you plan to try to your descriptions, guests can get a glimpse of the experience they'll be funding.
  • Luggage: Honeymoon registries like Hitchd do allow for some flexibility, including the ability to add products to your registry. Instead of buying these items, guests will simply give you the money so you can make the purchase yourself.

Honeymoon registries place an emphasis on experience over product. For couples that have lived together and already built a life and home, asking for more toasters and sheet sets will feel like an obligation rather than an exciting part of the wedding. With a honeymoon registry, you and your partner can ask for what you really want and need in a way that feels mindful and thankful.

Cash fund

As previously mentioned, cash can be a tricky gift. It's the one that almost all couples would prefer, so they can use it however they see fit, but it's also the one that asking for outright is considered rude and tacky. But maybe not if you use a cash fund.

A cash fund is like a money pool where guests can contribute any amount that they would like. It's a catch-all with no minimum, maximum or expectation at all, which means all kinds of guests and well wishers can contribute. Your wedding guests will be able to give whatever amount they'd like, and acquaintances, such as coworkers, can also chip in. Your coworkers might not know you well know to want to purchase a big gift for you, but they might be happy to throw $25 into your cash fund.

But how do you assure guests that this money will go towards a specific cause, not just paying your bills or buying a new winter coat? The joy of giving a toaster comes from the satisfaction of seeing it in the couple's home when the guest visits after the wedding and from knowing that the gift is making life easier for the couple. By giving your cash fund a purpose, you explain to your guests how you're going to use the money.

Popular cash fund ideas include:

  • House funds: Although many couples live together before buying a home, it's not always easy for them to save enough money for a large down payment on a house. With a house cash fund, all of the money will go towards that big payment once you find the house of your dreams. In your description, describe where you plan to buy your house and any must-haves, such as backyards or sunrooms, on your list. If you're planning to look for a home right after the wedding, include a few links to homes listed on realtor sites so guests can get a feel for what you're looking for.
  • Baby funds: Some couples can't wait to be parents, and they're planning to start a family almost immediately after they say, "I do." Chances are your guests know how excited you are to start your family, so why not start a baby fund to get a jumpstart on those expenses? You can use the money to help pay for supplies to convert a second bedroom or office into a nursery or you can use the money for expensive items, such as cribs and strollers.
  • Furniture funds: Okay, you have the new house and you're bringing all of the home goods you already have to your new place, but while you've been able to upgrade your sheet sets and vacuum over the years, you haven't been able to buy nice, new furniture. Or maybe your old furniture doesn't fit in with your new place. Whatever the reason, a furniture fund will help you buy quality furniture that will last for years. In your furniture fund description, add links to specific pieces you plan to buy after the wedding to show guests you're serious.
  • Remodeling fund: If you've ever considered redoing your bathroom or kitchen, then you probably know just how expensive a remodeling job can be. If you and your partner already own a home together or just bought a fixer upper, then a remodeling fund can help you raise money for a major project. Use the description to talk about your project and explain what you want to accomplish. Describe how much more inviting or manageable your house will be after the remodel is complete and how excited you will be to host your wedding guests in your new dining room or guest bedroom.

When using Hitchd, you can add a cash fund to any type of registry. Some couples like to add cash funds to their honeymoon registries just in case any guest doesn't feel comfortable giving the amounts left on the registry. Some guests who give close to the wedding day may find that most of the gifts left on your honeymoon registry are too expensive for their budgets. A cash fund lets them give an amount that feels comfortable for them.

Local registry

If you're a big proponent of "shop small" and "shop local" campaigns, then building an Amazon wedding registry can feel like a betrayal of your core values. It's hard for small shops in your city or town to compete with Amazon's massive product offering and its two-day shipping. But if you want to support your local or regional community, then you can build a wedding registry that reflects your values and brings money to businesses you love.

You and your husband probably lead busy lives, and sometimes, staying home and relaxing can give you the biggest recharge of all. If you're planning a week at home instead of a honeymoon away, then build your registry as a staycation. You won't need airfare or accommodations, but you can ask for spa excursions to your favorite day spa and dinners at your favorite local restaurants.

This is your chance to be a tourist in your own city, so look for local tours and parks to visit as well as new restaurants and other places you've yet to try. Now that you have the time, you can really explore everything your area has to offer, and you might find new shops and restaurants that you love. This is also a good time to go to those businesses you've wanted to try but have not had the chance to visit.

If you live near museums, zoos or aquariums, ask for annual memberships. This allows you to visit those places all year long, and it sends money right away to organizations that need them. You can also support local theater groups or minor league sports teams with annual passes, and you can even take some of your guests to these events after the wedding.

Charity fund

One of the great benefits of living together and building careers before getting married is feeling the stability. You and your partner feel comfortable financially, and if there's anything that you want to buy, you have the power to do it right away. Your savings account looks healthy, and you either bought your home already or you're in a good place to do it once you're ready. If this describes you, then maybe you don't need a honeymoon registry or a wedding registry at all.

Instead of asking for more things for yourself, why not use your wedding to ask for things for others? You turn a cash fund into a charity fund and ask wedding guests to donate instead of buying you a gift. Charity funds function exactly like cash funds, but instead of keeping the money, you donate it to a reputable organization. This is a great way to call attention to a problem or organization that matters to you and to do a little good through your wedding.

Here's what to know when creating a charity fund:

  • Designate an organization in the description: Make it very clear who will be receiving the money and include a link to that organization's website or contact information. If guests want to know more before giving, then they can do their own research, and you will make it as transparent as possible.
  • Explain why the charity matters: Some couples choose to honor family members that have died because of certain diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer's by donating to charities that fund research for those illnesses. Others want to support organizations that they volunteer with or that they know do good work in their communities. Whatever the reason, make sure it's clear in the description.
  • Include a date for the donation: Your guests want to feel assured that the money they give will definitely go to that organization. To hold yourself accountable, choose a date on which you will donate the money. It can be after the wedding (no one expects you do donate the day after the wedding), but just make sure it's clear.
  • Provide proof of the donation: Once you've taken the money collected and donated it, screenshot your receipt and email it to everyone who contributed to your fund (Hitchd keeps track of everyone who gave to your fund, so this will be easy), thanking them for making a difference. You can also blast out the screenshot on social media, once again thanking everyone who contributed. Your guests will feel good knowing their money went to a good cause, and they'll know you kept your word and followed through with the donation.

For couples that have everything — and now each other — a charity fund can help others find that same happiness.

Amazon wedding registries may be easy to use and provide you with tons of product options, but they do have major drawbacks.They're tough to personalise, and if you don't want tons of home goods, then you won't find much flexibility on Amazon.

Hitchd provides couples with endless possibilities. Whether you want to build a cash fund, a honeymoon registry or even a hybrid registry, you can pick and choose which gifts you want to include and how you want to design your registry.

Looking for the #1 way to fund your honeymoon? has you covered.

Hitchd is a new type of honeymoon registry that helps fund your adventure of a lifetime. Think of us as your very own wishing well, Kickstarter, and travel planner, all rolled into one beautiful experience.

Fund memories, not things.

The modern registry where guests fund your dream honeymoon. It's simple and beautiful. Start your registry