DIY, Finance

How to Make a Free Custom Wedding Registry

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My wife and I got married last year, and one issue that came up which I struggled with was the wedding registry. As my (then) fiancé and were hoping to avoid a large mass of items that we don’t really need at this point in our lives, I decided to make a website that allowed our guests to instead contribute money towards future purchases/events such as our honeymoon and hiking gear.

I believe that with money, instead of material gifts and even gift cards, we can make smarter choices like buying used appliances/furniture (I love Kijiji) and buy things over a long period of time when we need them, rather than acquiring a big pile of stuff on our wedding day. If you are thinking the same thing, read on to find out how to make your very own registry website!

(Check out the sample registry webpage here)

Brady’s Step-by-Step Recipe for a Make-your-own Registry

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • A website (I’ll explain how to make one)
  • Ideas of things you’d like your guests to donate towards
  • A Paypal account
  • Baking powder (optional)

STEP 1. Make a webpage (it’s free!)

You’ll of course need a website.

The sample registry is created with Weebly. It’s a super user-friendly, free service. There’s a few different companies but Weebly has worked great for me in every department. But note: it’s only free if you’re fine with the website name being: www.YourRegistryNameHere.weebly.com.

If you want: www.YourRegistryNameHere.com you’ll have to pay for the domain (usually $13-$40 / year). I like HostGator and GoDaddy for domain names.

Go to Weebly (or the website-making service of your choice), make an account, follow their steps to make a webpage, choose a theme, then leave it to chill in the fridge for a while. We’ll come back to it.

STEP 2. Create Paypal Account

If you don’t already have a Paypal account from all your notorious eBay purchases, sign up for one. You’ll need it so people can pay you with Visa/Mastercard/Paypal etc.

STEP 3. Add Banking Information to Paypal

Next you’ll need to add your banking information so you can transfer the money from your Paypal account to your bank.

Login to Paypal and go here:

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Fill out your banking information with a check in hand. Paypal will then deposit some small amounts of money in your bank for verification (thanks for the 22 cents guys!)

This will take a few days to verify.

STEP 4. Build that Beautiful Website

Now that your website is nice and chilled, let’s get working on it again. I’m hoping the Weebly interface is reasonably intuitive for most, but I can guide you a bit if you’re stuck. If you’re using another web program, no problem, but it’s going to be different than the Weebly interface.

You’ll see a bar like this:

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Here you can edit the theme, fonts etc. (Design tab), add paragraphs, titles and pictures (Elements Tab) and add any other pages/ change page layout (Pages Tab).

Open up my sample website in another tab for reference.

You can customize yours how you like by adding your own photos (i.e. where I have the flowers).

STEP 5: Create your item list

Next step is to create the item list and “Make a gift” button:

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Fill in the Title, info and add a picture. Repeat this step for as many items as you have. Don’t worry about that “Custom HTML” part yet, we’ll get to that in the next step.

STEP 6: The Donation Button.

Now for the trickiest part (but still not that tricky) is to make the Paypal button, like my “Make a Gift” button above.

Go to your Paypal account and go here:

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You’re going to create a “Buy Now” button that will bring your guests to Paypal, where they can donate a multiple of X dollars.

There are 3 steps on the Make-a-Button page. Fill in the following:

  • Item name (example: Our first car)
  • Price (put in increments of $10 or $20, how you like. Your guests will be able to select quantity, so if they want to donate $100 they select $20, quantity 5)
  • Shipping and tax rate to ‘Zero’
  • In Step 3, under “Do you want to let your customer change order quantities?” Select Yes.

As for the button itself, you can either use the Paypal default “Buy Now” button, or you can choose a custom button.  If you’re OK with the default button then you can skip the next step. If you’d like a custom button, like my “Make a Gift” button above, there’s a few things you need to do.

STEP 7 – Customize your button
On the button creation page on Paypal, look for the option under the “customize button” section for “Use custom image.” Here you will need to give a URL of an image you want to use as your button.You can either create your own button image with Photoshop or something then upload it to a website, or you can go the easier (but maybe more frowned upon) way and “borrow” someone’s button from an existing website.Google image the phrase “Make a gift button” or “Donate button” or whatever you prefer, then click on the one you like. Go to the corresponding website where the button image is located. Find the button, then right-click on it and click “copy image location.” Go back to the Paypal website and paste the URL into the given space.

STEP 8 – Put that shiny new Paypal button on to your site!

Next, click the “Create Button” and it will bring you to a box of complicated looking code:

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Click “select code” and go Edit-Copy. Then head back to your website. In those Custom HTML boxes, hit Edit-Paste. And POOF!  if all went as planned your button should be there, ready to be clicked!

You’ll need to repeat this process for all your buttons, simply by going back and changing the Item Name. That way, you can see that Uncle John gave you money towards a new car and Aunt Mary donated towards your honeymoon.

STEP 9 – Send out your tasty creation to everyone!

What’s great is you can simply add this website address to your invitation, and all your registry stuff is taken care of! Phew, one less thing to think about.

If you have any questions, comment on this and I’ll try to help!

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