The Ultimate Alternative Registry Guide
As more couples wait to tie the knot, the wedding industry is changing. The stiff traditions and cookie-cutter décor are gone. In their place are modern celebrations that feature the personalized style of the central couple. This spirit applies to all aspects of the wedding, including the registry. Contemporary couples—who are are getting married later in life, and therefore already own a set of dinner plates and wine glasses—are opting out of the customary scanner-gun registry. Instead, they are turning to a slew of alternative new registry services for everything from wine to abstract art. If you’re recently engaged and are wondering where to register, you came to the right place. Here is the ultimate alternative registry guide.
When it comes to long-established registry rules, a couple is supposed to select two or three stores and get everything from these places. However, what if you want an item, like a specialty camera or Persian rug, that isn't available at your two stores? Enter SimpleRegistry, a website that allows you to create a unique registry in the same way that you would put together a Pinterest board. Pull gifts from anywhere on the Internet, including Etsy, to make your ideal list of wedding gifts. SimpleRegistry also allows you to split pricey items into smaller portions, so if you want that $6000 couch, go ahead and add it to the registry. Thirty of your friends need to chip in $200 each, and you’ll be able to get the couch. If you don’t have time to register, SimpleRegistry has an instant registry option. The site's registry experts have put together a series of ready-to-go themed registries like The Perfect Kitchen or Outdoor Adventures. Select one of these registries, edit it to your liking, and then tell your friends about it. A set of eight ramekins or a new camping tent will arrive at your home in no time.
Honeyfund is like the Kickstarter of the wedding world; it’s a website that allows you to ask your guests for monetary donations in a non-tacky way. Whether you want cash to help fund your honeymoon to the Greek islands or are hoping to make a down payment on your first home, you can do it with Honeyfund. While Honeyfund breaks down the expenses into detailed descriptions on the website (like an elephant ride, a couples massage, a furniture upgrade, or guest bath accessories), all of the money you’re gifted goes into one big account. You don’t actually have to use it on an elephant ride or new bath towels; you’re free to use the money however you want.
Art lovers, UGallery is the registry for you. UGallery is an online showroom of original art from the nation’s top emerging artists. Couples can choose from a variety of mediums, sizes, subjects, and colors to put together their dream gallery of art. Their friends can buy the entire piece, contribute an amount to a single piece of artwork, or purchase a giftcard to UGallery.
Many couples prefer not to receive gifts and instead ask their friends and family members to make a donation to charity. To facilitate this type of registry, head to the I Do Foundation. The I Do Foundation, the nation’s first wedding-focused nonprofit, launched in 2002 with the goal of helping couples raise donations for the charity of their choice. Maybe your groom-to-be’s mom died unexpectedly after a short but difficult bout with cancer, so you want to help fund cancer research. Or perhaps you want to help underprivileged girls get a better education. Whatever ignites your passion, find the charity and set up a registry on the foundation’s website. In the past 10 years, over 5500 charities have received donations from more than 75,000 couples. If you prefer to do a more standard registry but want to donate money as a couple instead of giving favors to your guests, you can do this through the I Do Foundation, too.
Sometimes nothing beats the gift of a gift card. If you’re a fan of gift cards, set up a registry on Card Avenue. This website allows you to make a list of all your favorite shops. Over 250 stores, including Amazon, Target, Macy’s, and Home Depot, are among Card Avenue’s inventory of gift cards. Once you start to get the gift cards, be sure to use them!
Wanderable is the honeymoon registry for the design savvy couple. While it’s similar to Honeyfund in that it lets you ask for a cash donation, Wanderable has beautiful templates that lets your dream vacation vision inspire your guests to give. It’s also cool because you can actually book activities and experiences through the website. Want to kiteboard off the coast of Mexico? Walk the lavender fields of Provence? Or learn how to make traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Hanoi? All of these adventures of a lifetime can be booked through the website.
NewlyWish is a curated all-in-one wedding registry that lets you put home goods, experiences, and cash funds all on the same registry. Register for a Kate Spade vase, Parachute all-season down duvet insert, the ravioli attachment for your KitchenAid stand mixer, and tickets to your favorite MLB team's games. There are also food items (like premium meats), jewelry, fine china collections, and the option to set up a cash fund. The website is sleek, stylish, and user-friendly.
Bottlenotes is a web resource devoted to all things wine. The company emails a fun daily newsletter, hosts wine events all over the U.S., and has a wine registry. Yes, you can set up a registry for wine! Bottlenotes has an online boutique wine shop with a massive selection of wines from all over the world. Register for a collection of sparkling wine, the most hard-to-get Napa cult cabs, or a smattering of new releases from your wedding year to age now and enjoy later. Cheers!
Below are four wines that I would put on my wine registry. Shop them now.
Are you getting married soon? Where are you registered?