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Alternative Registry Ideas

Are you and your partner living together and already have everything you would register for? Check out these alternative registry ideas below!

Photo: Glasser Images

With more couples moving in together before getting married, many are often finding there aren't many items they want to put on a gift registry because they already have everything they would need... But how do you communicate this in a tasteful way? And what do you ask for instead?

We'll start off by saying, you do not need to feel bad about asking for money towards something if that is what you want or need. Your family and friends are coming to support you as a couple, so they are going to want to get you something that is going to support your new life together... Whether that is cash, a fun date night, or a cute mixer from your registry.

While some generations may think that fund-registries untraditional, there is no point in registering for items that won't be used or will end up being returned/donated. There are some great websites that you can use to set up fund-registries like The Knot and Zola. Some even give you the option to specify what those funds will go towards, so Grandma and traditional Aunt Becky will feel like they are still buying you a specific gift.

Alternative Ideas:

-Honeymoon fund: Requesting money towards your honeymoon is one of the most popular alternative registry options. You could either request the funds in general, or make it fun and break out specific expenses throughout the trip... Round trip plane tickets, an upgraded hotel room, a romantic dinner on a beach, zip-lining through the forest... You can be as detailed or vague as you'd like. But, if you do go the detailed route, it can be kind of fun to see what people want to "contribute" towards.... And makes writing thank you cards a bit easier!

-House fund: Saving up for a house? Opting for a house fund is a great opportunity to save some extra cash for a down payment.

-Home improvement fund: Do you already own a house, but have some upgrades you'd like to do? Select some specific rooms that need upgrades and guests can contribute toward your bathroom or kitchen reno! This might also be a great spot to find some physical gifts for those who don't love the cash idea... Tools and materials are definitely essential for DIY success!

-Donate to a local charity: You can go about this in a few ways: Either ask for donations in your honor toward a particular charity... Or ask for commonly needed items and donate them yourselves after the wedding.

-Register for experiences: Think of some things you'd like to do for dates and register for that! Think of things like Top Golf, couples massages, mini golfing, even letting the guests choose a date night for you! The options are endless. Zola offers this option on their registry.

-Register for upgrades: Definitely a bit more traditional, but you could also register for things that you have already but could use an upgrade. Maybe you have certain items that are worn down or poor quality... Or maybe you just want to ditch the mis-matched towels and get a nice matching set. Either way, this is a nice option to have for those traditional wedding guests that prefer to give physical gifts.

The beauty of Zola and The Knot is that you can do a combination of any of the above! They make it super easy and customizable.

Ways to Request Money as a Gift

In lieu of a traditional registry, we're asking for contributions towards our ______.

If you'd like to give a gift to help us celebrate, some help toward our ____ would be really great!

If you'd like to give a gift and send us on our way, a donation toward our honeymoon would really make our day!

Your presence is our present! However, we would be grateful for any support to our home improvement fund to help make our starter house a true home. There will be a gift box at the wedding where guests are welcome to drop off cards.

Being Mindful When Going With an Alternative Registry

Regardless if you go for a traditional or a non-traditional registry, the registry information shouldn't go on your wedding invitations. This info is best provided on your wedding website, and/or on invitations to your wedding shower(s).

In additional to the above, it is important to be mindful when you opt to go for an alternative registry instead of a traditional gift registry. While it is totally acceptable to have a box for cards, we recommend against having an additional jar or tip jar that says "honeymoon fund/ house fund" at your wedding. This could come off as you expecting additional donations to this when they have already given a card, even if that wasn't your intent. Stick with just the basic "cards and gifts sign".

Hopefully these alternative registry tips and ideas are helpful! Best of luck as you and your partner figure out what route is best for you as a couple! Any other ideas? Drop them in the comments below!

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