Why My Wedding Registry Was Private

Why My Wedding Registry Was Private

C.J. Amott
May 24, 2017
(Image credit: With Love & Embers)

I'll be honest: I didn't really want a wedding registry. The thought of my family and friends skimming a list of things to buy me, things I picked out, made me incredibly uncomfortable. But my mom was able to persuade me, arguing that people were going to give us gifts anyway and with no registry they'd have to spend time trying to figure out what we might want. Plus, "Everyone is going to end up calling me, asking what color your kitchen is, or if you need new towels," she told me. It was a valid point.

If you're on Team No-Registry: Wedding Registries Are a Necessary Evil. Here's How You Make Your Peace with Them.

With a glass of wine in hand, I pulled up the Williams-Sonoma website on my computer and began clicking, and told my fiancé to do the same on his laptop.

Choosing items for our registry wasn't hard. We'd just moved into a new apartment, and donated most of our old furniture and kitchen items — things we'd purchased before we were together — to local charities, in the spirit of starting over with décor and gadgets we both liked. And after agreeing on a few basics, like towel colors (crisp white), kitchen vibe (modern), and the things we definitely didn't want (neither of us has ever thought, Too bad we don't have a stand mixer), we developed a system. Both of us could register for whatever we wanted that fit our set criteria, and the other person had veto power. We deleted a few things here and there, but mostly we were on the same page.

There was just one remaining thing that really bugged me, though: The fact that our registry was so easy for anyone to find.

A quick Google search of my name or my fiancé's name, and even a total stranger could get a glimpse into our home, and therefore into our lives. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal — who cares if somebody sees your taste in wine glasses, right? — but for me it was.

I have a very public job (it's why I'm writing this with a pen name), and while I'm far from famous, people I work with do Google me. And my registry, to me, represented my married life — one I did not wish to make available for public consumption. It was filled with items my now-husband and I would use in our home for years to come. The dishes we'd use to serve Thanksgiving dinner to our families. The sheets we'd get tangled up. The towels we'd wrap ourselves up in. Yeah, they were things, but they would be our things. I wanted to protect that.

I contacted the two companies we registered with — Williams Sonoma and Restoration Hardware — and asked how I could make our registries private. Luckily, they both had an option: I could protect them with a password, which meant a little more work for guests, but a big sigh of relief for me.

I immediately opted for the password option, and asked my mom to include it on shower invites so guests weren't locked out, but the public was. I also included the registry link and password on our wedding website, which did not include my or my fiancé's last names — not anywhere — so that it was unsearchable.

I was a little worried guests might roll their eyes at our "top secret" registry, but the privacy settings turned out to be a non-issue. My loved ones had no problem using the password, and I even had two girlfriends say they wish they had known about the password option when they got hitched. If I ever get muscled into a baby shower, you can bet that registry will be private, too.

Do you care if the world can find your registry?

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