Today's engaged couples look much different than those from 20 or even 10 years ago. They're older and dating for a longer period of time before getting engaged, and they're also living together before tying the knot.
Knowing this, it's not surprising that couples feel at a loss of what to do when it comes to a wedding registry. They often have all of those household goods already, so what's the point of registering at a store?
But there are so many other wedding registry alternatives to consider, each one designed to help couples no matter what stage of life they're in when they get married. Here are nine wedding registry alternatives that are fun, creative and above all practical.
Set up a cash fund
As you probably know, asking for cash as a wedding gift is often considered rude and tacky, especially by older guests. None of your wedding guests should ever feel like they need to pay a cover charge to attend your wedding, and for whatever gift they choose to give, guests want to feel respected and appreciated.
So why is a cash fund — an online fund in which guests can contribute any amount they'd like — considered acceptable?
Although a cash fund does ask for cash, the fund does not have a minimum amount that must be contributed. That means guests can give whatever amount feels comfortable to them. This can be a major relief for wedding guests on a budget themselves.
Cash funds can also be great for acquaintances who would like to give a small gift. Your co-workers, for example, might want to wish you well, but they might not know you well enough to feel comfortable spending a lot on a gift. A cash fund lets them give what feels right.
Hitchd tip: When designing a cash fund on Hitchd, spend some time writing out a nice thank-you in the description. Your guests want to feel appreciated, no matter how much they can afford to give. A thoughtful thank-you will warmly welcome guests to your fund.
Be a tourist in your city
If you live in a large city or suburb surrounding one, then there are likely a ton of tourist activities that you've never tried. It's easy to overlook all the cool stuff to do in a city when you live in it or nearby, so if you're looking for a unique wedding registry, why not design a city-centric registry?
This is your chance to explore all of the amazing offerings your city provides and act like tourists for a few days. You can ask for tickets to see your local sports teams or a new play or musical in town. If you've never dined at some of the top restaurants in your city, now's your chance to ask for gift certificates to these hot spots. You can even ask for museum memberships so you can enjoy new exhibits year round.
For couples that feel passionate about helping their local communities, a city-centric registry provides a great way to bring money to businesses and institutions that keep your community vibrant. At a time when shopping locally has become more important than ever, your registry could give your beloved city a little boost and maybe convince you to invest in museum memberships next year.
Hitchd tip: Some of the items on your registry, such as sports tickets or flights, might be a little expensive for just one person to give as a gift. You can set the gift type as “cash fund” allowing guests to contribute whatever they are comfortable with or set the goal and Hitchd will let multiple people contribute to it.
Support your favorite charity
You and your partner may be fortunate to have everything you need as you start your lives together, but your wedding can still be an opportunity to raise money for good causes.
A cash fund can easily be turned into a charity fund that will raise money towards a cause that you and your partner care about. You might use it for a charity that:
- Helps people in your local community.
- Funds research for a disease that has impacted your family or friends.
- You and your partner volunteer with throughout the year.
When choosing your charity, write out what this organization or cause means to you and your partner. It will help guests understand why you chose this charity and why they should want to contribute.
Hitchd tip:In your registry introduction or cash fund description, give guests an exact date for when you plan to donate the money. Then when that day arrives, take a photo of the receipt or screenshot the thank-you page online as proof that you sent in the money. You can easily share that photo with everyone who donated as you thank your guests via Hitchd, as a way to assure them that their money went where you said it would and that you've completed the donation. It will make your guests feel even better about their donation.
Learn a new skill
You and your partner likely balance a lot between the two of you. You both might work or share childcare duties, and if you already own a home, then there's probably no end to the work that needs to be done around the house. With all that time spent on work, children or chores, you two might feel like you never get a chance to try something new.
So why not use your wedding registry to carve out time for yourself and learn a new skill? Maybe you two have always wanted to learn how to make your own pasta or master a foreign language. These are great bonding experiences in which you two can help each other along and take the time to get good at something you've always wanted to try.
You can find great cooking classes at Sur La Table or try a foreign language course through Berlitz. For other classes in your area, check out your local art or community centers. You might find painting, sewing or even woodworking classes that could be fun to take together.
Hitchd tip: Add links to the classes or companies that will be teaching you. This helps guests get excited for giving the gift and better visualise what it is that they'll be giving.
Design the perfect honeymoon registry
When you're planning and budgeting for your wedding, it's easy for the honeymoon to slip through the cracks. By the time you and your partner come up for air, it's too late to book hotels and flights to your honeymoon destination, and your budget can't support the trip you really want to take.
As a result, more couples are turning wedding registries into honeymoon registries to support their dream vacation. This helps them think ahead to start planning their honeymoon long before flights and hotels fill up, and it provides guests with a meaningful gift.
A honeymoon registry looks a lot like a traditional wedding registry, but instead of home goods, gifts consist of honeymoon-related experiences and expenses. Some couples use these registries to help pay for flights and accommodations, and they add fun tours and excursions to round out the gifts. Others add luggage so guests who insist on giving physical gifts will still have something to buy for the couple.
Hitchd tip: Need another reason to sign up with Hitchd? Our platform allows you to access your money right away for free. While other platforms won't let you withdraw funds until after the wedding or charge you for each withdrawal, Hitchd makes sure your funds are available to you when you need it for booking flights and paying down credit cards.
Save for a new home
While there's nothing wrong with having a cash fund as a wedding registry, you and your partner can make it feel more personal by assigning it a purpose – and what better purpose is there than buying your first home together?
Many couples are using cash funds to help them save for a down payment on a house. It's a worthwhile goal that wedding guests can support, and the funds can help couples buy that house sometimes years ahead of what they could otherwise afford.
If you already own a home with your partner, then a cash fund can be used instead to fund renovation projects around the house. Renovations can be especially costly, so using the money to fix up your home can go a long way towards making it liveable in the long term.
By giving your cash fund a specific purpose, you assure guests that their money will go towards a tangible item, not a new coat for winter or your electricity bill. Family members and friends want to see their money go towards a bigger purpose for the couple.
Hitchd tip: Throw in a few Zillow or Refin links to homes that you'd like to buy or at least tour to give guests an idea of what you two are looking for in a home. Your guests will get a sense of what type of house you're looking for and where you want to settle down.
Prepare to start a family
Some couples know they want a family — and they're going to start it right after they say “I do.” If that describes you and your partner, then a baby cash fund can help you start preparing for baby-related expenses such as furniture and nursery renovations.
Your wedding guests will be so excited to hear your news that they'll feel good about helping you start off on the right track. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child, and this cash fund will be a good start in that journey.
Hitchd tip: Describe how you want to decorate your nursery in your cash fund description. This shows guests that you're already thinking about the future and how your lives will change when the baby arrives.
Try new wines
What do you give couples who have their house, their family and their health? Why not turn away from traditional wedding gifts and ask for something you'd never get for yourself?
For something fun and little offbeat as far as wedding presents go, wine and other subscription services let you and your partner try something different that you otherwise might not ever buy for yourself. This is a fun gift idea for couples that have everything they need and don't expect many, if any, gifts from guests. They can still have fun giving you something cool, and you two can enjoy sharing in something unique.
Hitchd tip: Just like with hotels and flights, break up the amount of the subscription into smaller amounts when you list the gift on your Hitchd registry. That will allow more people to give in while costing them less money in the process.
Plan the ultimate staycation
Who says you need to leave your hometown in order to have a relaxing vacation? The staycation, a vacation that you spend at home relaxing, became more popular during the coronavirus pandemic, but it has staying power even as lockdowns have lifted. A staycation does away with the stressful parts of vacationing, such as air travel and managing itineraries and allows couples to focus on enjoying their time together.
Like a regular honeymoon registry, a staycation registry can be filled with activities and expenses tailored to your liking. You can ask for guests to treat you to dinners at your favorite restaurants or a day at a local spa to really pamper yourselves. If you already love the previous idea of being a tourist in your own city, you can fold those ideas into your staycation and ask for tickets to local events or passes to nearby museums.
Hitchd tip: Add at least six items to your staycation registry. Our data shows that the average contribution size comes to USD $130 for registries with six or more gifts compared to USD $93 with less than six gifts.
Even if you have your blenders, towels and sheet sets, you and your partner can still create your own wedding registry. With a little creativity and a lot of heart, you can design a registry that fits your needs and gets your guests excited to give to you.
Looking for the #1 way to fund your honeymoon? Hitchd.com has you covered.
Hitchd is a new type of honeymoon registry that helps fund your adventure of a lifetime. Think of us as your very own wishing well, Kickstarter, and travel planner, all rolled into one beautiful experience.