Wedding Registry Post Mortem

Posted by Ross Poulton on Mon 14 May 2007 #wedding #personal

I married by lovely wife on March 31st of this year. To handle our gift registry, I used my new Registry website (which I've spoken about in the past). Although I'm not quite ready to go live, I've analysed some of the data from our usage of the Registry system and made some interesting observations.

The chart to the right shows cumulative purchases over time, from the first purchase (around two months before the wedding, when we gave invites & registry details to our families) to the last purchase, 2 days before the wedding.

I've removed the numbers from the y-axis as they're irrelevant to everybody except me, but the axis hasn't been altered at all -- the scale has been kept intact and increases proportionately from 0 to n.

As you can see, the bulk of the purchases happened two-three weeks before the wedding. In fact, until 17 days before the wedding there were only around 10% of purchases.

Other quick observations that we noticed:

  • Although we listed our items in order of priority, the priority not the most important factor to purchasers (this takes into account price of items too -- we didn't just put big-ticket items at the top of the list, it was (we belive) a pretty even spread of prices.
  • Most people veered away from suggestions that were unique or otherwise not mainstream. This is probably a valid representation of our invite list, more than anything -- we did get some fantastic unique gifts from people who are more open to being untraditional!
  • More traditional guests (mostly our grandparents or older relatives) still prefer traditional gifts and/or cash. Nothing will change that, and nor should it change.
  • Only one guest didn't understand the registry system -- they thought they were shopping online rather than selecting gifts they can then go and buy themselves. I've since clarified the wording on the website.
  • Feedback shows guests were happy to be able to browse a list of items we had suggested for them to buy us, and they were happy to then be able to go to their own choice of store and make the purchase.
  • A few guests were able to use their work or other industry contacts to get us items off the list that we wanted, without spending as much of their hard-earned cash. This is the way I planned for the registry website to be used!

For most people this is probably relatively useless information -- but we found it interesting and it may assist others with preparing their registries.

I'm hoping to announce my registry website soon so people can start using it -- I'm moving it to a new server at the moment, and changing the look and feel to be a little less nerdy. Stay tuned.