Looking back, I think my wedding-related stresses peaked as my husband-to-be and I stumbled through the aisles of Target, scanning gun in hand. We didn’t know where to start and just the kitchen appliance aisle brought us face-to-face with an abundance of seemingly-the-same-but-apparently-oh-so-different variations of gadgets. How are we supposed to know which one to get? Wait, don’t I already have one of these? What does this contraption even do? We scanned roughly 30 items and went on our way, later to receive them as gifts with little to no insight as to what they actually did.
So in lieu of calling your mother every other day desperate for gadget-related advice, we’re proposing that you take on a different approach to your wedding registry!
Unique Registry Ideas for the Modern Couple
Brian Bossany Photography
Nearly half of couples are living with their spouses-to-be before they tie the knot, ensuring you may already have your everyday living necessities. Recognizing this, some stores have taken matters into their own hands to present you with unique and fabulous options.
Maybe you’re hoping to buy a house soon, or you’re planning a killer honeymoon, or maybe you don’t want the gifts at all. To help you out, we’ve compiled a helpful list of registry alternatives for the modern couple.
1. Charitable donations
In lieu of gifts, some couples are opting to ask their attendees for donations to a charity of their choice. Sites like the I Do Foundation and Zank You make it easy for guests to donate to whichever charity you see fit. Just add it to your registry page on The Knot for a simplified way to put your philanthropic undertakings alongside of your other registries. Zank You allows you to choose a variety of options for where you want your gifted money funneled: be it to your honeymoon or to UNICEF, making it a great one-stop shop for couples looking for alternative registry ideas!
Want to crowdsource for a friend or family member’s medical expenses, a mission trip, or support goods made overseas? You can be sure that there is a web platform to accommodate that! Check out Deposit a Gift or Plumfund to support that friend in need, or visit Seven Hopes United, which provides a platform of handcrafted Fair Trade sustainable options that you can register for. Everyone wins!
Eileen K Photography
2. Homebuilding registry
Take the idea of “starting a home together” and do just that: build a house! Ask your guests to contribute cash toward a down payment or have them donate to different aspects of the home building process by using sites like Blueprint, Hatch My House, or Upon Our Star. Blueprint, for example, enables you to customize a model for your dream home by registering for things you will need on a room-by-room basis. These tools are super-fun because they allow for your attendees to see a better picture of what they’re gifting to you in your future together.
3. Suit your style!
Reflect your personal style by registering at a store that is unique to you! Art aficionado? Register at the Museum of Modern Art store. Outdoor enthusiast? Pick up your scanner at REI. Wine connoisseur? Check out Bottlenotes, an online wine community that allows you to ask your guests for your favorite libations. There’s something for any and every niche!
Brian Bossany Photography
4. Honeymoon Hedge Fund
Ahh, the Honeymoon. For the couple that prefers a romantic getaway over a salad bowl, asking guests to chip in toward a dream vacation is the perfect solution to all of your registry troubles. In lieu of gifts, give your guests the option to purchase you honeymoon-enhancers, such as a couple’s massage, candlelit dinners on the beach, or SCUBA lessons! Honeyfund, Buy Our Honeymoon, and Wanderable are all great sites to guide your attendees to gifts that you would totally enjoy.
Make your dream honeymoon a reality with Honeyfund or Wanderable, sites that give your guests a platform to chip in toward your trip of a lifetime. Or ask them to purchase fun experiences for you to have while on your vacay with Buy Our Honeymoon!
5. Meaningful Momentos
Instead of asking for gifts for your home, ask each guest to bring you their favorite movie, book, or album. Not only will you and your spouse have all of your media needs set, but you’ll have things to talk about with your friends and family the next time you see them.
Eileen K Photography
6. Cash in
While every couple needs a 12-piece dishware set, Egyptian cotton linens, and a KitchenAid mixer (with all of the add-ons, of course), maybe you’re opting for something a little more practical: cash. While this remains a contested and controversial registry option, sometimes practicality wins over family feuds.
Capture Life Moments Photography
7. Go Local
If you favor local, handmade goods over large departments stores, curate a selection of your favorite handcrafted things by registering through Etsy or My Registry.
My Registry allows you to register at stores both large and small, enabling you to ask for both the Pottery Barn bedspread and the dishes from your local potter—all in the same place! Sites like Zola and Simple Registry also provide platforms to store all of your gifts on one site. Score!
8. Invest in experiences
The old adage says money can’t buy happiness—but experiences can! Ask your attendees to purchase you cooking lessons, snowboarding passes, bike rentals, or gift cards for your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.)
9. Gift card registry
Say “so long!” to homemade potholders! For the couple that has everything, gift cards are always a great option. Register for a variety of gift cards from all of your favorite stores and restaurants at Card Avenue.
Any other tried and true registry options that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
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