Alternative Wedding Gift Registries

One of my husband’s favorite parts of wedding planning and I assume it’s like this for many guys, is registering for gifts. Having control of the scanner gun was a must for him! We registered in 2 stores and each time he had to have control. I think I only got to scan a few items.

When it comes to the gifts, they can be difficult for both newlyweds and guests. Guests aren’t sure what to buy, and usually have a price range they’d like to keep. And the bride and groom don’t know where it’s best to register and what price range they should stay within. There’s also always the possibility that relatives will come with a surprise gift that you didn’t ask for, but they just knew you’d love. Couples can save the stress of registering with multiple stores or confining all gifts to one store while trying to keep a decent price range. And, guests can also no longer have to scope out multiple registries hoping affordable gifts are still available, while also wondering if they’ve spent enough on the item. Something that is meant to be sweet and caring can turn into a headache quite quickly for both parties. So, for those hoping to lose the stress on both the couple and the guests, consider an alternative wedding gift registry.

Here are 5 ideas:

HONEYMOON FUND

Photo Credit: Kate Miller Photography

This may be the current most popular gift registry idea. Rather than asking for specific items, the couple asks for guests to make a donation towards dream trip. This could be done simply with a jar at the reception or more technologically with a established fund at Honey Fund. Honey Fund is free and very customizable. With it, you can receive the money gifts before the wedding and therefore use it to plan your honeymoon. With the jar at the reception option, you will recoup the expenses you’ve already spent on the trip, or use them to plan a honeymoon at a later date. So, the method you choose is all a matter of time and presentation. There are also other websites that can be used, such as Upon Our Star, Honeymoon Wishes, and  The Honeymoon.

HOUSE FUND

One of the biggest dreams for couples after they get married is buying their own home. But after paying for a wedding, funds may be tight. This may be to help save up for a downpayment on their first house or to help renovate an old fixer-upper that was just bought. It’s all about making a home for the happy new couple. Hatch My House is a great website to use as a registry if this is what you’d like to do. It can be used to establish a fund for a downpayment or to break down each element of the house that needs to be paid for, so guests can choose what exactly they’d like to pay for. To make everything a little more real also, you actually create your house when you create your registry, so guests can get an idea (even if vague) just what your house will be.

COMMON ITEMS YOU USE

To help stock that new home with practical items and save newlyweds from receiving things, such as crystal stemware and fondue sets that will only be used when the gift-giver comes to visit, ask for things that you will always have a use for. This may mean a broom, soap, cleaning supplies, and possibly a few more permanent items such as a toaster or blender. This idea somewhat coincides with Greek customs. For Greek weddings, the newlyweds get their entire home stocked from top to bottom with everything they could possibly need.  All cupboards are filled to the top and the house is set up in a way that they can walk in the door and just begin their lives as husband and wife. So, ask for the items that you know you will need, so your guests can save you large and frequent trips to the store. And to escape multiple registries or confining to one store, use online registries such as Gift Registry 360 or Simple Registry.

DAILY COUPON DEALS

Ask for coupons, not for the grocery store, but from daily deal websites. Refer guests to YipitLifebookerLiving Social , Dealery  more so that they can buy coupons to restaurants, hotels, salons, spas and more to keep you busy with fun and useful activities throughout the first year of your marriage. Just create a fillable Google spreadsheet giving some outlines of your interests and tastes, so guests have an idea what to buy. Link that spreadsheet to your wedding website or blog as your registry, and let guests fill it out when they buy a daily deal, so no one double buys. You’ll be surprised with how many new places and activities you will discover in your city and you will also have date night plans and relaxing spa days for a long time to come. Best of all, your guests will be able to get great gifts at a fraction of the cost saving them money.

CHARITY DONATIONS

Last but not least is the option of charitable donations. It’s not a new idea, but is as important as ever. If you can spare your wedding gifts, consider giving it to those in need. Just Give makes it easy to for your guests give to your favorite charities. You can add charities of your choice to your registry on Just Give and your guests can choose which to give to.

Whether you choose a traditional or alternative wedding registry, make sure it’s what you want and you will be sure to enjoy it.

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