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A row of department stores

10 reasons why guests hate your big-box store wedding registry

Ollie Rozdarz, Co-Founder of Hitchd
from Hitchd
Apr 14, 20226 min read

When thinking about your wedding registry, your mind might immediately jump to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond or other big-box stores. After all, most people are familiar with them, and you will probably find something that you’d like as a gift on any of those platforms.

But if you think that these big-box wedding registries make guests happy, then you might be in for a surprise. The truth is that many guests don’t actually like big-box wedding registries and find them boring and sometimes even difficult to use. As more people have reconsidered what it means to give an engaged couple a gift, the thought of giving toasters and blankets seems less special.

Big-box wedding registries come with a number of drawbacks for guests - and even couples as well. Here are the top reasons guests hate big-box wedding registries and what might be a better alternative.

#1: No one big-box registry will satisfy the needs of every guest - or couple

You may be able to find thousands of products on any given big-box store’s website, but it will be impossible to satisfy every guest or even your own needs.

The truth is that wedding guests often have their own ideas about what the happy couple should have. Some will insist that they know of a better toaster than the one you listed and get you that instead. Others will choose items you never asked for and never wanted, and while that may seem like a nice gesture, it only leads to more clutter in your home or all the hassle of having to return the gift.

At the same time, a big-box registry likely can’t give you and your partner everything that you need. Maybe you’ve been living together for some time and have all of the essentials, so many of these home gifts are unneeded. Or perhaps what you really need as a gift is money to save for that honeymoon or even a downpayment on a house. A big-box registry can’t give you any of these gifts.

#2: A big-box registry is impersonal

A wedding is an extremely personal occasion, both for the couple and the people that know and love them. So why is it that we turn to impersonal platforms in order to ask for gifts for one of the most important experiences of our lives?

A big-box wedding registry leaves very little room for personal messages or touches. When guests come to the registry, they don’t get to read a personalised thank-you message from you and your partner or an explanation about why you chose this particular toaster or that exact sheet set.

With Hitchd, the honeymoon registry platform, couples can write out their own introductions and gift descriptions so every guest feels a sense of connection to you two and understands exactly why you asked for each and every gift. They’ll see why it’s meaningful and feel excited to help you enjoy your honeymoon.

#3: It’s hard to fill up a big-box registry with items you actually need

If you and your partner have been living together before tying the knot, then there’s a good chance that you already have everything that you would traditionally put on a registry. Since you combine your homes, there was very little left to be purchased, and most of the things you did buy are still brand new.

Like many couples, you might also be marrying later in life, which means you’ve already purchased and maybe even replaced most of those home good essentials by now. You have the items you want and you don’t need new replacements. Though you might not have purchased your first home yet, you don’t even know what that space will look like anyway, so what’s the point of asking for new home goods?

If you don’t have enough to fill a registry, then guests will likely feel a little frustrated when they try to buy you a gift, especially if most of the items you ask for are more expensive.

#4; The free-shipping threshold is too high

The free-shipping threshold differs depending on the store you chose. Some ship lightweight items like blankets, pillows and sheets for free regardless of cost because they’re so easy to carry, but for dinnerware, furniture or serverware, those shipping thresholds can be high, if they even exist at all. Some companies charge a flat rate for furniture shipping, which just adds another cost to your guests’ budgets.

Because of high free-shipping thresholds, some guests might end up spending way more than they originally budgeted for, and that will leave a bad taste in their mouths for the rest of the wedding.

#5: Guests don’t always have the store nearby

Although online shopping has become the defacto method that most people prefer to shop, that isn’t true of everyone. Some people still like to go to the store and see and touch the item before they buy it.

But if you’ve chosen a store with few nationwide locations, then you might be inconveniencing some of your guests without realizing it.

#6: It’s not always easy to find items to fill the registry at multiple price points

If you identify as one of those couples who already has the basic home goods down pat, then you might think that filling your registry with better quality and high-end items will make a good solution. But there’s a problem with that.

Your registry should have multiple price points so everyone finds something in their budget. But most items that are of better quality or a high-end company cost much more than other lower-quality products.Guests might feel put out at having to stretch their budgets or they might just get you something of lesser quality that is in your budget. That means you’re almost guaranteed a return or exchange.

#7: There’s no way to split the cost of an item through the registry

For some of the high-priced items, it would be great if multiple guests could chip in and buy it for you. That way, no one person has to foot the entire bill and you still get the gift you want.

But few big-box stores allow for this type of purchase. While guests can always team up on their own to buy you a gift, having the option on the registry makes it a little easier for everyone. With Hitchd, you can take big, expensive items, such as airfare, and break them down into smaller amounts, which means more gifts for your registry and more reasonable price points for all guests.

#8: The same items can be found for cheaper elsewhere

There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving multiple toasters of the same brand because all of your guests found the same product at a cheaper price elsewhere. While it’s okay to want guests to save money, the problem is that those purchases don’t register with the big-box store you chose, so it appears that the item is still available. You end up with multiple products, which can be somewhat embarrassing to open knowing some gifts will be going back, and you have to go through the hassle of returning everything you don’t need.

#9: It’s easy for wedding registries to look picked over

It’s not always easy to keep up with registries, and you’d be surprised how generous some guests can be. If too many people buy you gifts at once, maybe grabbing all of the inexpensive items, then your registry will probably look picked over and bare. Guests still looking to buy a gift may be stuck with buying something outside their price ranges.

You can always go back and add more gifts, but you may not have more items that you need or the time to keep an eye on your registry. Because you can break down expensive gifts on Hitchd, you can easily turn one gift into five gifts, which will keep your registry looking full. You can also add a cash fund, which allows anyone to contribute any amount of money that feels right for them.

#10: Big-box registries feel so boring

What is it about big-box stores that feel so boring to many guests? Maybe it’s the fact that your guests have probably used these registries multiple times before or that they’re tired of wrapping boring blenders and towel sets. Whatever the reason, there’s a sense of “been there done that,” which can make your wedding feel less special.

Traditional wedding registries at big-box stores like Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and even Amazon feel tired and overdone. More and more guests are realising that experience-based gifts, ones that create lasting memories, mean more to couples and make for better gifts. With Hitchd, guests can treat you and your partner to the trip of a lifetime and help you create memories that will stay with you forever.

Ready to create a one-of-a-kind honeymoon registry through Hitchd? Here’s how to set it up.

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