Traditionally, wedding registries were a way to get a young couple started on their adult lives. Often many brides and grooms were going directly from their parents’ houses to their new married houses and needed a whole slew of domestic items to run their households. Though it’s certainly nice to get new dishes or a gravy boat, many couples have been living together for a while before their weddings and don’t necessarily need all of the traditional registry items. This doesn’t mean that you should forego the registry, however. Your wedding guests are thrilled for you and are always looking for ways to shower you with gifts to mark this new chapter in your life. So, what are some nontraditional wedding registry items you should ask for? Here are just a few ideas that we have. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your own ideas!
After a lengthy period of time spending every waking moment planning your wedding, you may understandably want (and even need) a relaxing honeymoon. However, the cold hard reality of paying for a honeymoon after spending so much on the wedding may prevent you from making plans. Instead of registering for a bunch of formal china place settings that you’ll never use, consider registering for honeymoon funds. Websites like Honeyfund and Traveler’s Joy are easy to set up and make it possible for your guests to contribute to the trip of a lifetime.
2. Down Payment
If you and your spouse-to-be have real estate on the mind, a different registry idea would be for guests to contribute to a down payment fund. Because down payments can be extremely costly, it can often take couples years to save up enough money for a home. However, there are lots of wedding registry sites that now make it possible for guests to get you closer to that 20% down payment and into your dream home faster.
3. Donations to Charity
Not a believer in wedding registries? Consider having your guests donate to the charity of your choice. If you and your future spouse normally donate your time or money to a certain organization, have your entire wedding party and guests chip in for the cause in your honor. Not only will it help out the organization, but it will also lighten the carload on the way home from the wedding.
4. Gift Cards
Are you a bit overwhelmed with a bridal registry? Are you completely unsure of what you need? The option to register for gift cards may just be exactly what you’re looking for. Wedding guests love giving gift cards because they’re 100% certain you’ll love it, and it takes fewer than 10 seconds to buy. Sites like Card Avenue allow you to create a gift card registry for your favorite stores, so you can be sure that you’re getting exactly what you want and need.
5. Home Improvement Items
If you own a home and it is a bit of a fixer upper (and you don’t have Chip and Joanna Gaines on speed dial), then you may need to register for some home improvement tools. You could even ask if guests would be willing to give you a coupon for a couple hours of work in lieu of a gift. Register at one of the old standbys like Home Depot to get all of the home improvement supplies that you may need.
6. Something Handcrafted
For the brides and grooms who appreciate handcrafted and unique gifts, Etsy has now opened up a wedding registry on its site. This is a perfect opportunity to furnish your home with some truly one-of-a-kind items or get some great art to hang on your walls.
Are the two of you book obsessed? Are your bookshelves craving some new things? Ask your guests to bring a book or two that they love to add to your collection. To make it even more special, ask them to inscribe the inside front cover with a special message to the two of you and date it. These will be treasured items for years to come—sure to outlast any cookie sheet or flatware set that you may have registered for.
You and your betrothed may have a wide variety of interests—from wine to museums to books to exercising. Ask your guests to give you the gift of the subscription box or membership. If you enjoy going to your local museum but don’t enjoy paying full price each time, consider asking for a premium membership that you can enjoy all year round. Are you both so busy that you don’t have time to go grocery shopping? Ask for a subscription for meal delivery services like Plated or Blue Apron to make your lives a little easier in the weekday grind. Are you into wine? Ask for a membership to your favorite winery or get a subscription service to a wine of the month club. The options here are really limitless and best of all, fun.