Times have changed since your parents got married, and so have wedding registries! No longer are newlyweds confined to a gift table filled with salad spinners and Corningware. With today’s more flexible gifting options and innovative online registry tools, you now have the freedom to design a wedding registry that will truly fit your needs as a couple, rather than fill your cupboards with stuff you’ll hardly use.
A great way to make sure you get what you need from family and friends is to build your wedding registry around your goals for travel, saving, or living. This not only takes the guesswork out of gift-giving for your guests, but makes it easier for you to define your wish list. To help you get started, we’ve outlined some of our favorite wedding registry ideas below.
For the Jetsetters: The Honeymoon Fund
Instead of opting for the twenty-piece china set, why not fly to Bali instead?
Sure, travel can be pricey, but that shouldn’t stop you from starting your marriage with a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. If you don’t know where to start, there are plenty of resources to help you set up a honeymoon registry. Simply figure out a rough estimate of total costs (err on the high side) including airfare, accommodations, food, and any touristy extras that you might want to partake in—you can even ask for Rosetta Stone to learn a new language if you want!
Here are our favorite sites for creating a killer honeymoon registry:
Looking for the best ways to compare airfare? Check out these helpful travel sites to find the best, most affordable ways to fly.
For the Practical Couple: Grow Your Nest Egg
The first years of marriage can be particularly stressful if a couple has to navigate the tricky financial reality of entry level jobs, merging bank accounts, and student loan payments. Plus, many couples dream of owning a home shortly after tying the knot, but all of life’s expenses can threaten to put this dream on hold.
A great way to get a jumpstart on adulthood is to accept a little financial help from your family and friends. Creating a wedding nest egg “registry” in lieu of a list full of bedsheets and wine glasses can help the monetary gifts feel like less of a hand-out, and more of a celebration of your new life together.
Some common goals with a money-based registry:
- Start a Savings Account
- Raise Money for a Down Payment on a Home
- Pay Off Debt
Our recommended approach? Let your loved ones know what you are saving for, and how the money will help. Online tools like Simple Registry allow you to build a cash-based wedding registry for free (although gifts made by credit card may involve a fee for the giver).
For Home Improvement Fanatics: Boost Funding for Your Renovation
So, you’ve bought the house of your dreams! Of course, you still need to make it “yours,” which often requires time, a little elbow grease, and, of course, money. A great way to get started on your home projects is to ask for home improvement help!
- Start with a list of updates you’d like to make: kitchen, bath, landscaping, etc.
- Prioritize your list to focus on what needs attention now and what you can live with until later.
- One of the easiest ways to register for items is through gift cards. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have E-gift card programs that allow gift-givers to instantly send store credit to you and your betrothed. You can “register” by sending your guests an email with the links.
- There’s no rule saying that your registry has to be limited to things you buy! Set up a volunteer registry where friends can sign up to help paint, lay tile, move furniture, or do any other grunt work that will save you time and money. Budget-conscious friends will likely be delighted to have this option, and sites like Volunteer Spot let you organize your volunteer efforts easily.
BONUS: Plan on having a housewarming party for your biggest supporters to show them all of your hard work!
For the Old School: The “Trad” Wedding Registry
Some of us relish in the old-fashioned hominess of a registry filled with all the goodies to create a perfect dinner party. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional registry if that’s what you want! Besides, it’s fun to start your life together with things you both love, instead of coming home to stuff your old roommate left in the cupboards, mismatched napkins, and ratty towels.
If you want to keep it classic, there are plenty of stores that cater to couples and truly want your business. Just find a style you like and have fun picking out your well-deserved cutlery—which actually matches!
Our list of the most popular national retailers, all who have easy-to-use registry apps:
If you want to keep it local and one-of-a-kind, visit your favorite boutiques and gift shops to see if they’d be willing to offer a registry for you—chances are they’ll be thrilled to help outfit your new home.
For the Indecisive Couple: Mix & Match Wedding Registries
We’ve just scratched the surface of creative wedding gift ideas; really, the possibilities are endless. You can always combine these suggestions to cover all your newlywed bases, or come up with your own original wedding registry that reflects your special interests as a couple. Amazon’s Universal Registry tool allows you to collect a wish-list of items from multiple websites in one location.
Let’s hear your ideas! What registries have inspired you in the past? Are there any particularly fun gifts you’d like to add to your own registry? Leave us a comment to share your stories and ideas.