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How -- and Why -- to Build Your Wedding Registry Online

Image Gallery: Wedding Registry Basics When you can create a registry from the comfort of home, why do it in the department store? See pictures of wedding registry basics.
John Howard/Thinkstock

Let's face it -- you're getting married and setting up a new home, so you need a lot of stuff. A blender, sheets, high-quality china and a deluxe coffeemaker are just a few of the items that you and your hubby will require to start off your new life together.

Unfortunately, since planning and organizing a wedding is a full-time job (plus, you both have to work for a living), you don't have an unlimited number of hours to peruse multiple stores to find all the products you're looking for. Thankfully, you can now build your wedding registry online. For modern couples, coming up with a list of needed goods only requires an Internet connection and a few hours of your time.

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Online registries are really no different than the ones you set up in a store. You just create them online instead of scanning items you like while trolling the aisles of your favorite department store. All you need to do is visit a preferred retailer's Web site and head to the registry section to get started. Most sites will walk you through the set-up process, and since you're using your own computer at home, it's often much easier (and more comfortable) than standing in front of a grimy, unresponsive touch-screen in a department store or tracking down an employee to assist you.

You also don't have to worry about would-be gift-purchasers overlooking your registry or having trouble finding it online. Just as in the old, pre-Internet days, your maid of honor, parents or anyone else who wants to spread the word about your registry can do so -- it's as simple as sending out a direct link to a Web page with your selected gifts. Guests won't even have to leave their homes to purchase your presents, though they can always head down to the store to do so if you're registered with outlets that also have physical locations (which is great for those relatives who don't know the difference between a TV and a laptop).

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Sure, online wedding registries are great and all, but how can you build a better, more personalized registry than you could in the store? Read the next page to find out.

It might make registering for gifts easier, but some brides are still a little leery about setting up their registry online. After all, it's one thing to order books, DVDs or even televisions on the Web, but it's another to pick out dishware, right? Well, not really.

Many couples go to retail stores to set up their registry and add a few items they want to see up close (china) or feel (towels), but then do the rest of their shopping from home. Online registries eliminate the chaos and clutter of physically registering for all your gifts, and they often offer a much better selection than what you'd find in a brick-and-mortar store. So, if you want to add a set of dishes to your registry, for example, you can go to the store and make do with whatever is in stock, or you could browse the entire selection online. Plus, many outlets carry a much wider variety of products online than they do in-store, so there's a good chance that hand-painted earthenware dining set you fell in love with while e-shopping won't even be available inside the store's physical location. Plus, it's easy to add, delete and modify your prospective gifts, so if you find a dinnerware collection later that you like more than those hand-painted plates, you can easily swap them out.

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Building your registry online is also incredibly easy. You can register room by room (all the kitchenware in one section, bathroom products in another) or you can organize your selections by product type -- cookery, electronics, furniture and so on. You can also better utilize your time by registering online. Look up exactly what you want by specific keywords and search terms, such as "silk sheets" and "red mixer," instead of wasting half a day wading through countless aisles of stuff.

Towels -- and plenty of them -- are a must for any wedding registry.
Towels -- and plenty of them -- are a must for any wedding registry.
Creatas Images/Thinkstock

Online registries are so hassle-free and easy to use that your future hubby can help you set up the list and even have a say in what's included. He can surf the site with you or on his own computer and add whatever he wants to the list (don't worry, you'll have the option of deleting it later). That way you two can build the registry together, even if that Blu-ray player he selected doesn't make the final cut.

You can also request unusual or nontraditional items with an online registry. Plates and bath towels are great, but if you two just can't decide on a vacuum cleaner, don't be afraid to ask for a gift card or two. If you're thinking of something a little more adult, you can always open another account and make it only visible to your maid of honor, bridesmaids and a few carefully chosen friends. Your girlfriends can get you something a little risqué, and your snooty aunt will never be the wiser.

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