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What is a universal wedding registry?

Isuru, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Isuru from Hitchd
Jun 26, 20226 min read

One of the things couples love checking off their wedding planning lists is setting up their wedding registry.

There are so many online wedding registries to choose from, though, that it can be quite overwhelming as you are also trying to plan a wedding.

Many couples are setting up a universal wedding registry instead of a traditional store registry because of the endless options it allows for. Universal wedding registries allow couples to add gifts from multiple retailers and even register for cash gifts for things like a honeymoon fund or a downpayment on a home.

We’ll share more about the benefits of choosing a universal registry and ways that you can make it easy, safe, and ultimately effective for you and your wedding guests to give and receive the gifts you want.

With hitchd, you can create a unique cash gift registry that includes items and experiences. You’re not bound to certain stores, and you can receive the cash immediately, to help plan for your honeymoon or use it toward whatever you choose!

How do universal wedding registries work?

Universal registries are sites that allow you to register for gifts from multiple retailers.

With a traditional store registry, you’re limited to the items they sell, and even more limited to what’s in stock. You might register for a gift, but your guests can’t purchase it due to low stock, or the store stops carrying it altogether.

Some universal wedding registries, like hitchd, allow you to register for cash, making your gift options virtually limitless.

You simply create a registry, add “funds” for different items or experiences, and guests can contribute to those items via online cash payments. You can make one fund for a honeymoon, for example, or multiple funds for specific parts of your honeymoon (like spa experiences or fine dining) or for items (like luggage).

Is a cash gift registry the same as a universal wedding registry?

While a cash gift registry is considered a universal wedding registry, it differs slightly from a traditional one.

With a cash registry, your guests contribute cash toward experiences or large wedding gifts, rather than choose a physical gift. With a universal wedding registry, your guests can buy gifts from multiple retailers.

Couples choose cash gift registries over a universal retailer-type wedding registry because of the flexibility it allows. You can use the cash for experiences that you wouldn’t be able to add to a universal wedding registry. Plus, with group gifting, you can register for higher-ticket gifts that your guests wouldn’t typically purchase on their own.

Why guests love universal wedding registries

Your guests love having one place to go to when trying to find the perfect gift. With store registries, you typically have to register on a few websites to get all of the items you want. This makes it hard for guests to figure out what type of gift you really want, or what gifts you really need to start your life.

For universal registries that offer a group gifting component like you typically see on a cash gift site or honeymoon fund website, your friends and family can collaborate to gift you an experience that will last longer in your memories than a gravy boat ever will. Plus, there are no shipping costs!

Even better, guests won’t need to visit a store to purchase your gift. They have a one stop shop to gift you what you and your partner really desire.

When to set up your universal wedding registry website

Universal wedding registries are great to set up well before your wedding date. When you and your partner get engaged, you should start thinking about your registry, as you likely have multiple wedding events before the big day.

It’s never too early to start planning your registry, and in fact, getting a head start may give you the momentum you need to start planning the rest of your wedding. After all, who doesn’t love choosing gifts for themselves?

With a cash registry site like hitchd, the same holds true. You can set up your registry for free as soon as you get engaged and start choosing from thousands of stock photos to make your site beautiful and ready to shine when it’s time to share with your friends and family.

How to use a universal registry to plan a honeymoon

What’s more fun than planning your dream honeymoon?

With a universal wedding registry, you can add gifts that will help you embark on an amazing adventure as newlyweds. Most universal registries allow you to register for travel accessories like luggage, headphones and passport holders. Some even let you register for plane tickets or hotel stays.

With a cash wedding registry like hitchd, you can create a wedding registry that allows guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund directly, or by collaborating (group gifting)on gifts or experiences for your honeymoon.

Popular ways that couples use a cash gift registry for a honeymoon include:

  • Having one place for guests to contribute funds to - like a blanket “honeymoon fund”
  • Creating separate “items” or “funds” for individual gifts, like luggage, hiking gear, kayaks, skis, etc.
  • Creating separate “items” or “funds” for experiences like wine tasting, scuba diving, helicopter touring, surf lessons, whale watching, etc.
  • Funding travel expenses like hotel stays, airline tickets (and first-class upgrades), cruises and train tickets

You have endless opportunities to create the honeymoon of your dreams with a cash wedding registry.

How much does a universal wedding registry cost?

The cost of setting up a universal wedding registry varies. Some sites charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee to set up a website and register for items.

Some cash gift registries charge high credit card fees and processing fees, ultimately taking away from the money you hope to receive to help you pay for your gifts or experiences.

Hitchd is free to set up and offers one-time fees based on the number of contributions you expect to receive. Have a small guest list in mind? No problem! You can choose a lower plan with a lower fee.

Some disadvantages of using a universal registry

While setting up a universal gift registry may give you more flexibility than a store registry, it still has some limitations.

  • You are still a bit limited with universal wedding registries as you can only register for the items available from specific online retailers who are a part of the registry’s group of vendors.
  • Some universal wedding registries only allow you to register for physical gifts, leaving you to pay for your dream honeymoon from your personal funds.
  • Many universal wedding registries rely on sponsored advertisements from their retailer partners to generate revenue. This can take away from your message to your guests and make for poor shopping experiences.
  • Some universal registries that offer cash gifts take a percentage of the gift amounts, leaving you with less money to purchase the gifts you need to take your dream honeymoon.

Let your guests know where they can go to find your registry

Some universal wedding registries allow you to create a website with a custom URL, while others only let you add on to their URL

Having a unique URL is important to ensure your guests can easily access your website. Equally important is having all of your wedding details in one place. You can include your website right on the invitation for your wedding shower and wedding day, without looking tacky.

Simply direct guests to your wedding website without saying that you have created a cash gift registry or a universal wedding registry.

With hitchd, you’ll receive a unique URL to share with guests. When they visit your site, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by how personal it is and how easily it is to gift you the items you and your partner really want.

Handling thank you notes with a universal wedding registry

All online registries, including store registries and universal registries, allow you to track gifts received from guests so that you can send them a thank you card. (P.S., for etiquette around wedding thank you notes, click here!).

While this is helpful, you still need to purchase thank you cards, think of what to write, write your message, buy stamps, and get everything in the mail.

With hitchd, thank you notes are a breeze. Not only can you send electronic thank you notes with personal messages and beautiful photos, but you have the option to let us do the heavy lifting and send printed thank you notes, if you prefer!

How is hitchd different from other universal wedding registry websites?

Hitchd allows you to create a beautiful wedding registry that’s tasteful, never tacky.

With hitchd, your site is fully customizable and allows you to speak from the heart, tell your unique story as a couple and let friends and family know why your gift choices are important to you.

Unlike the others, we’ll never:

  • Upsell your guests
  • Display Ads on your registry
  • Profit from your contributions

We know that today’s couples want more than just physical gifts. They want to explore the world, find items that align with their environmental values and offer one place their guests go to celebrate them before and up to their big day.

Sign up for free and get started today

Create your free registry on today. When you’re ready to share your wedding registry, pay a one time fee that fits the size, scope and budget of your wedding.

Fund memories, not things.

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