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  • Alexis Alvarez

Alternative Wedding Registry Ideas

newlywed couple walking
Photo: Coss Creative

Did you know that the concept of a wedding registry was started right here in Chicago? In 1924, Marshall Fields created the first wedding registry which was a means for couples to communicate their crystal, china, and silver pattern selections to their friends and family; however, the practice of giving newly married couples gifts for their new home has been a tradition for many cultures for generations before the creation of The Marshall Field’s wedding registry.

But now, with most couples getting married in their late 20s to mid-30s and beyond, many couples have already purchased their first home or at least begun living together and accumulating home goods. So how is the concept of a wedding registry changing to keep up with the evolving needs of newly married couples? Here are a few of our favorites:

Charity Registry

We hear a lot of couples say that they know how fortunate they are to be in a position to host a wedding, given the average cost of planning a wedding. Those couples often want a way to give back without seeming performative, so a charity registry makes sense! Whether you decide to only register for charitable causes using a site like The Good Beginning or you choose to make charitable donations only an aspect of your registry, it’s the perfect way to allow your wedding to make a bigger impact on the world for a long time to come. The Knot even has a feature that you can add GoFundMe campaigns that are important to you to your registry!

Experience Registry

I’ll be honest, I’m not a super big fan of the honeymoon registry, but I do love a good experience registry where couples can register for experiences to use throughout their first year of marriage like museum memberships, wine tasting subscriptions, tickets to a comedy show, and art classes! This is a great way to give your guests a gift that will create memories for you (and give you something to talk to Aunt Sally about at Thanksgiving next year)! Take a look at SPUR Experiences for ideas.

Cash Registries

Guests love a financially responsible couple! I get asked by a lot of couples if asking for cash is weird and like sure, Grandma might find the practice a little tacky. But overall I think creating a cash registry with a note about funding your savings account or the down payment on your home, guests feel actively involved in the betterment of your future and don’t give it another thought. Honeyfund is a great place to create a cash registry.

Registry Hack: If you’re feeling uncomfortable with creating a cash registry (or any of the other alternative options here), you can always create multiple registry options, including a few physical home good products to give every guest attending your wedding an option that feels comfortable to them. And remember, most of your friends and family know your heart, so don’t overthink it.

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