Category: Planning & Etiquette
You know the part of the wedding planning process when you decide if and where to register for wedding gifts, and you browse department stores with a handheld scanner or create a wedding registry online for ease and convenience—but what if you already have everything you need? If you don’t want a dozen more blenders and the latest versions of other household items you already own, consider these unique wedding registry ideas instead.
1. Go for fair trade. For couples who want to give back in a different way, give your guests the option of buying fair trade—allowing them to give you a wedding gift while also serving a community in need. Register with fair trade companies like Seven Hopes United, which specializes in fair trade and eco-friendly gifts from around the world and pays the artists living wages for their work.When your future brother-in-law or best friend from college buys you a new cutting board, they can rest easy knowing that a portion of their purchase will go toward creating safe working conditions and providing a reasonable wage for workers in impoverished communities.
2. Celebrate a cause close to your heart. Let your guests make a donation to a charity of your choosing in lieu of gifts through the I Do Foundation and JustGive.org. To take it up a notch, tell your friends and family exactly how their contributions will make a difference by giving everyone a card detailing how they helped a cause close to your heart. Want to make an even bigger impact? Arrange to have your wedding leftovers donated to a nearby shelter to feed people in need in your community.
3. Build a nest. If you have all the things you absolutely need but you dream of a bigger home for a lifetime of memories, don’t rule out registering for a house. You can register through sites like Hatch My House, DownPaymentDreams.com and Upon Our Star so guests can pitch in towards a down payment, renovations, home décor and even homebuilding.
4. Raise some money for your honey(moon). You don’t need a blender or dinnerware or fresh linens, but you do want to celebrate with your beloved when the festivities are over and everyone’s gone home. Whether you choose to stay close to home or trek abroad for your honeymoon, you can get a little help from your guests through sites like The Honeymoon, Honeyfund and Wanderable. It beats registering for a set of pots and pans you know you won’t use, and your friends and family will have the option to put money toward one specific part of your trip—like airfare, romantic dinners or your hotel stay.
5. Shop local. If you have all the basics at home but could use some artsy touches around the house, head to a local shop or specialty boutique. Even though it’s easier to register with a department store or well-known online wedding registry than it is to see if your favorite local boutique has registry options, the effort is worth it. Those one-of-a-kind gifts will always be associated with the family and friends who purchased them. Lost Pines Art Bazaar in Bastrop is among those shops that allow couples to set up an in-store registry, and they offer wonderful wares from around Texas and the world. You can also buy select items from Lost Pines Art Bazaar online, if that sweetens the pot. Other area vendors include HACIENDA Austin and Breed & Co.Bonus: If you want to curate all of your wedding registries into one, Zola is an easy-to-share option that gives you the freedom to register at multiple stores in one place.
6. Make it personal. Rather than register for kitchen items and bathroom décor, ask your guests to bring something that’s meaningful to them. It can be a book, movie or CD (or a record, if that’s more your style) that they cherish, and you’ll end up with gifts that feel more personal and special than a brand new toaster oven ever could.