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Bridal Registry

Giving gifts to the bride and groom is a very old and respected tradition. But, as with all traditions, it has evolved over the centuries. Those changes are coming ever quicker in the Internet age, which is a great benefit to the happy couple.

Couples can register anywhere they want to receive gifts from. Department stores, Amazon and many more businesses all offer wedding registration. Couples then simply mark items that they would like to encourage friends, family and wedding guests to give.

But registering in a dozen or so separate spots is rapidly becoming a thing of the past in the Internet age. Now there are several sites, such as The Wedding Channel that offer registration in one spot. It's still necessary to select individual items from the business listed. But it does save both the couple and the givers from having to visit a dozen different places. Even with the Internet, it can be tiresome to go to multiple locations to find out what the couple wants.

Of course, given that only a few years ago it meant actually going to (potentially) a dozen or so real locations, one can't complain too much.

Since the practice has opened up to the Internet, the range of possible gifts has expanded, too. Glassware, china, and other small household items used to be the norm. Occasionally, parents would give the couple a down payment on a house. That still happens, naturally. Today, the planet is literally the limit.

Pre-paid honeymoon cruises to Tahiti are one option. Three nights in a hotel in St. Petersburg can be paid for by a generous guest, even though it only covers a small part of the total vacation. Massages at a spa or even gambling chips might be part of a Las Vegas-related gift.

Physical gifts have expanded in a similar way. While, no doubt, many couples still receive toasters and such, there are many new possibilities. Golf clubs for each, when the giver knows they would be appreciated thanks to information on the registry, is an option. Clothing, cars, computers, appliances or even an inexpensive digital camera can be found listed today. The range of prices and types is all over the map.

Part of the reason behind that explosion of choices is what helps both the couple and the giver: information. A wedding registry of the past was just a list of desired items at a department store. To find out more, the giver had to question a salesperson, who often had no knowledge of the couple at all.

Today, gift givers can find out much more than the item and price. They can go through recommendations ala Amazon or read comments by the couple themselves. That way, both sides have improved the odds of getting something that will genuinely be appreciated.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with getting those traditional wine glasses or dishware. They're still needed and many couples list them as desired items. Fortunately, it's now possible to zero in on exactly the right ones with little chance of error. That will lead to real smiles all around.

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