Getting married is exciting, but if you and your partner move often, furnishing a house and stocking up on home essentials before walking down the aisle is impractical. If you have no desire to add to your collection of towels and kitchen appliances, creating a wedding registry can be a challenge.
So, what should you do? Instead of telling your guests to skip the gifts (they probably won’t listen to you, anyway), create a nontraditional wedding registry with these seven ideas.
1. Ask for experiences
Instead of material items, ask your guests to gift you an experience. Sites like Zola let your guests contribute to airfare for a trip, buy tickets to a show or performance, or gift a night in an Airbnb. Skipping the honeymoon? Ask for a wine club subscription, cooking classes, or meal delivery service, or explore your hometown together with a kayak tour, sunset cruise, or bike-share membership. It’s fun to think outside the box, and you’ll have a blast doing everything together as a married couple.
2. Contribute to a honeymoon fund
If travel is your thing, let your guests get in on the planning. Sites like Honeyfund and Traveler’s Joy let you choose a destination, and guests can contribute to adventures, restaurants, and activities. If friends or family have been to where you’re traveling to, let them surprise you with their favorite activity from their trip.
3. Stock the bar
Getting married is a great reason to restock your bar. ThirstyNest lets your guests buy you a bottle of your favorite wine or liquor to enjoy once the festivities are over. They can even buy a bottle for everyone to enjoy at the wedding—who wouldn’t love a gift like that?
4. Ask for jewelry or handmade accessories
Maybe you don’t need anything for your house but would like some jewelry or accessories to wear at your wedding, on the honeymoon, or after the big day. Sites like Etsy specialize in unique handmade items that make great gifts and serve as a special memory that can be enjoyed for years to come.
5. Donate to a charity
If you have a special cause that’s close to your heart, ask everyone to donate to a charity in lieu of a gift. Charity sites like JustGiving let you choose what you’d like to raise money for, and your guests can choose how much they’d like to give. Some sites, like Blueprint Registry, include donations as part of your registry, so guests can choose to give to charity or gift you with something from your list.
6. Register for big-ticket items
Even if you have all the essentials, all couples have a few big-ticket items on their wish list. Whether it’s a new couch, the latest laptop, or gear to support your favorite hobby, many sites let guests contribute to expensive items as part of a group gift.
7. Create a cash registry
Money is a popular (and welcome) wedding gift, but it can be considered rude to ask for it. A cash registry, such as the Newlywed Fund at The Knot, earmarks the money for something special, so your guests contribute towards a bigger goal, like a down payment on a new home or a dream vacation.
A wedding registry doesn’t just need to be for home essentials. From once-in-a-lifetime experiences to practical, big-ticket items, these non-traditional ideas are perfect for modern couples who already have everything they need.
Christina Wood covers topics including money-saving advice, technology, and business. She contributes to publications like Family Circle, PC World, Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Science, This Old House Magazine, NASDAQ International, Working Woman, Discovery, Greatschools.org, Jaguar Magazine, and JeanKnowsCars.com. She covers money-saving and shopping tips for Groupon. You can find savings on school supplies and more on Groupon’s Bed Bath & Beyond page here.