When Andrew and I got engaged one of the first things we discussed was the bridal registry. Now I know what you’re thinking “Oh my gosh you thought of presents first???” and no, that wasn’t the first thought. We thought “Oh we don’t need anything, what are we going to do?!?!?!” No I’m serious. I bought a house in June and by November it was fully furnished. I’m just one of those people, I want it, I buy it, especially when it comes to home goods (and yes that store is one of my favorite places on the planet). We both knew that having a bridal registry was a “must” on the etiquette list, so we knew we had to figure something out.
I started doing some research online and liked the idea of donating to a charity, but there really isn’t a charity that Andrew and I are committed to, so we just didn’t feel that was a viable option. I stumbled upon the idea of a honeymoon registry in a small editorial in Martha Stewart Weddings. I mean miniscule. But, I wanted to check it out. So I started doing my research (and for those of you that know me, you know this was not a small task) on all of the different site that are currently on the market and are real contenders in the wedding registry game. I created pros and cons lists of all the registries (Wish Upon a Star, Honey Fund, Our Wishing Well, Honeymoon Wishes, etc) and even wrote a few to ask for trial access to see whether or not I would be comfortable using their services. We settled upon TravelersJoy.com. Both sets of our parents were a little concerned BUT everyone really liked using it, and complimented us on how cool it was. So don’t let your parents talk you out of it, and no you don’t need a blender or an electric knife (unless you really do and then do a kitchen themed bridal shower and call it a day). Okay, so here’s where I give you the good, the bad, and the ugly of Traveler’s Joy.
- Traveler’s Joy has the lowest overall fees. When a user gives you a gift, they take the fee right then instead of assessing it at the end like some of the registries do, AND it didn’t cost a dime to set up. That was key for Andrew and I.
- They technically are the official partner of some of the biggest wedding publications in the country. That made me feel a bit at ease.
- The registry was so easy to set up and the URL wasn’t terribly long. It appeared some of the registries had REALLY long URLs and were just cumbersome to put together. Traveler’s Joy has premade templates for your registry, icons already loaded, AND they have honeymoons already loaded with items that you may want to include. So it really is SUPER easy to get started. You don’t have to know any code, you don’t even really need to know where you are going yet. That really was such a great part of the process. The template was there and I just added as I went along.
- They have a really cool transaction history that lets you know who bought what, when.
- For those of you uncertain about where to honeymoon they have really great destination guides and partnerships with hotels and travel agencies around the world. Andrew and I knew exactly where we want to go so we didn’t leverage that piece, but I still thought it was a great service.
- Redeeming our funds was quite possibly the easiest task in the entire process. You can either do an electronic transfer to your bank account, PayPal, or via hard check. We did the transfer into our checking account. Easy peasy.
- The “How to Give a Gift” was super easy for some of my less technically savvy users. It was greatly greatly appreciated!
- The pre-made templates are a little less than stellar in their appearance. Really its just the backgrounds. I would have liked to have jazzed mine up a bit more but that’s also b/c I know code and I’m not a “normal consumer.” I made my own wedding website for the love. So really can you hold this against them? I would suggest they put just a few more in there, with a bit more jazz to them, but that’s just my suggestion. Oh and the picture fade-in (if you have more than one picture) is strange. They all come in from the left corner. I don’t know, very 2003 PowerPointish.
- They don’t tell you when a gift has been fulfilled! I had to constantly check and see where my levels were. That was annoying. Just send me an email (let me pick how often I want to get it) and tell me when things are getting close to running out or not being touched at all.
- They just recently added an export option for your “thank you” list. This wasn’t available when I used it, so I had to manually go through the list of what people gave us. Annoyance! I unfortunately have to dock them for such, but that wouldn’t apply to you, it’s there now.
- I had to manually figure out where I was with all of my gifts. Again, this is another item that has recently been updated so it no longer applies, but it was a PITA just 9 months ago when I was coming down to the wire.
The Ugly: NONE! Honestly it was so easy to use and just minor things, like I mentioned above, that they are fixing as they grow as a company. It was such a great idea and everyone was SO GENEROUS, we can’t thank them enough. They almost paid for our honeymoon in full. I mean really what more could you ask?!?!?
You can check out registry here. It will only be up until October 2013 (they give you a year *ahem folks who haven’t been kind enough to give us something yet* (I’M KIDDING!!)) so you better look soon.
Let me know if you have any questions, I’m more than happy to answer them based off of my experience!