Your wedding is an exciting time of anticipation and planning. While some people use their wedding as a chance to gather all of the items on their wish list that they need for their new life and home, others may choose a less traditional route when registering for wedding gifts.
Experiences and big-ticket items are becoming more popular wedding registry items among couples. But how do you register for expensive gifts for your wedding without feeling tacky? With the right technology, language, and personal touch, registering for large items is a great way to let your guests know what you really want.
The good news is that, on sites like Hitchd, guests can collaborate on gifting expensive items. You register for what you want and need, and your guests get to come along for the (virtual) ride.
We’ll share ways to make your wedding registry feel personal and inclusive rather than transactional or materialistic.
What are some examples of expensive gifts on wedding registries?
Traditionally, couples would add wedding gifts such as bed, bath, and kitchen items like sheets, towels, and dinner plates to their wedding registry. They were registering for gifts they needed because they just didn’t have them yet. However, many couples today live together before getting married and already have many of the “household” items that you’d normally find on a wedding registry.
Today’s love birds are looking beyond toasters and China that they’ll never use and opting for memorable experiences and higher-quality registry gifts to add to their wish list.
We’ve compiled a list of wedding registry gift ideas that may cost a bit more with advice on how to ask for them graciously.
Guests want you to be happy with their gift. Adding an experience to your wedding registry lets them know you will be doing something fabulous because of them.
Most people understand the value of an amazing trip. The memories you make during a backpacking trip to Europe, wine tasting through Napa, or surfing in Costa Rica last much longer and mean more than something you buy from a store, like a gravy boat. Experiences can also include a class you take together after marriage, like dance lessons or cooking classes.
But how do you ask for this type of alternative wedding gift without sounding greedy?
Be specific on your wedding registry or wedding website about the type of experiences you want to have as newlyweds. Evoke emotion by describing how a trip will make you feel, connect you as a couple, and bring you joy and memories to last a lifetime.
Maybe you want to explore the city you live in — share why that’s important to you and add some of the things you’ll do in your city to your wedding registry fund.
Allow your guests to collaborate as a group on one registry that allows for experience-funding. Hitchd makes it easy for wedding guests to contribute to a gift that you actually want at price ranges that are comfortable for them.
Honeymoon funds have become much more popular and common on wedding registries. After planning a wedding and likely paying thousands of dollars to treat each other and your guests, a prepaid honeymoon sounds nice, right?
You can register for your honeymoon by breaking it into categories like flights, hotels, excursions, fun money, and dining so that guests can contribute to the areas they feel most passionate about.
Think about what you may need to take the best trip of your life - is it new luggage? Airpods to enjoy some peace on the flight? First-class tickets to fly in comfort?
These are all great items to add to your honeymoon fund, and guests will have a fun time imagining you jetting off with the things and experiences that will make you happy.
High-quality electronics and kitchenware
Your new life as newlyweds is a chance for you to establish yourselves as real adults and start leaning into the areas of your life you really enjoy.
Use your registry as a chance to register for the high end electronics and kitchen items you likely won’t buy yourself. Instead of using a retailer wedding registry, consider setting up a fund specifically for the items you want. This way, your friends and family still get to choose “physical” gifts to purchase while contributing to them along with others as a group.
If really good coffee and lattes are your jam, why not ask for a top-of-the-line espresso machine that will light up your morning every day? You probably won’t buy it yourself, but your guests can go in on it together and get it for you.
Maybe you and your partner have a goal to bake or cook more. A beautiful stand mixer or a line of lifetime-lasting cookware may help propel you into the chefs you’ve always wanted to be.
Chef-quality knives can change your life. If you’ve spent your entire life using dull knives that cramp your hands and can easily injure you, it’s time for professional-quality knives. Good knife sets from trusted retailers can cost up to $2-3k, so having others help fund them may be the way to go.
Take an audit of the current state of your living space. Are you and your partner sharing a bed that’s been passed down by someone’s older brother that his aunt passed down? It might be time for an upgrade.
Marriage is a chance to create a home, not just a place to come and go each day.
Most people wouldn’t consider adding furniture to their wedding registry, but it may be what they really need. Having nice furniture can make you feel more connected to your home and each other, and may encourage you to invite your friends over more often.
If ethics and the environment are important to you as a couple, consider registering for ethically sourced and environmentally friendly furniture. Consider registering for high-quality pieces of furniture that are built to last. Do some research into brands that use sturdy materials.
Hitchd offers a way to personalize your registry items so that you can let friends and family know why a particular piece is important to you and your partner. They can crowdfund the items and feel included in something that will be a special part of your new life as a married couple.
There is no shame in admitting that you just need money to start your life after your wedding, especially in today’s economy. Perhaps you and your partner are saving for a down payment on a home, or would prefer to donate to a charity because you have everything you need already.
You’re not alone if you want to register for cash but don’t know if it’s appropriate. Asking for money as a wedding gift via an online cash fund instead of wedding gifts is becoming more popular. In fact, the number of couples registering for cash using online sites increased 10% already in 2022 as compared to last year.
Online cash funds are a great way for out-of-town guests or guests who cannot travel to celebrate your big day from afar. Setting up a cash fund is also great for those friends, colleagues, or neighbors who want to celebrate your wedding by giving you a small gift but aren’t sure what to give.
However, some guests, especially older guests, may feel uncomfortable giving you money online. This may be because some sites that offer cash funds for weddings can come across as transactional and cold. Most online registries offer very little in the way of customizations. Worse, many sites slap you with high transaction fees, leaving you with less money than you actually needed in the first place.
When you set up a cash fund on a site like Hitchd, you can be specific on what you’ll use the money for, offer gratitude, provide updates, and leave off a minimum or suggested amount. You only pay a one-time fee, and we deliver the money directly to your bank account.
What’s the etiquette for adding gift cards to your wedding registry?
You may be tempted to forego adding gifts, experiences, or a cash fund and instead ask for gift cards to specific retailers or sites.
People expect gift cards on department store wedding registry sites like Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. But, asking for gift cards outright as the only gift option comes off a bit tacky. Your friends and family want to give you a wedding gift that will make an impact, and a gift card doesn’t allow them to imagine the joy it will bring you, like funding an experience would.
Instead of asking for gift cards, consider setting up a specific cash fund for an experience, large item or honeymoon.
3 tips on adding expensive gifts to your wedding registry
Everyone has different ideas on registry etiquette. While older generations may feel that couples registering for large items on their wish list is taboo, most people want to give the newlyweds what they really want to kick off their life together.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you build your wedding registry with higher-cost gifts.
Keep it tasteful vs. transactional.
How you communicate with your wedding guests will make a big difference in how your unique wedding registry comes across.
Some online platforms limit how you can build your wedding website. As much as possible, you want to be able to customize your registry, including messaging around larger gifts and cash funds, so that guests don’t feel slighted and you don’t have an awkward run-in on the big day.
Explain your reasoning behind the gift or fund. Tell a story, or create a future-state vision so that guests feel they are a part of the experience and helping you as a couple to start your new life.
Most importantly, THANK THEM. Personalized thank you notes should be the norm when it comes to gift-giving. Most online wedding registries will allow you to send electronic thank you notes with little customization. With Hitchd, you can create customized and personalized physical thank you notes sent right to the wedding guest.
Offer varying price points.
Allow your guests to choose from a variety of price points. The truth is that some guests may not have the spending power to purchase large items. With a traditional wedding registry, you miss out on many of the larger gifts.
If you do choose to go the traditional registry route and register for gifts that guests can purchase at a store, make sure to include prices that anyone at your wedding could afford. Start with $50 and go up from there.
Hitchd enables guests to collaborate on gifts as a group and fund larger gifts and experiences without a minimum (or maximum) amount. In turn, the guests feel better about contributing toward an expensive gift they would have otherwise not been able to purchase.
Allow guests to collaborate on gifts.
This brings us to our next point — allow for group gifts!
The absolute best way to register for expensive gifts is to allow guests to collaborate and fund those gifts together. Instead of receiving a bunch of small gifts, you will have to return, or physical cash that you have to take to the bank or risk losing, funds for larger items on your registry the way to go.
Hitchd.com is the #1 place for adding large gifts to your wedding registry
Hitchd helps take some of the stress out of wedding planning by helping you create a wedding registry that includes the gifts and experiences on the wish list of your dreams. We integrate seamlessly into your wedding website and make gift-giving easy and exciting.
Crowdfunding, or allowing guests to purchase a gift as a group, is the new way to register for wedding gifts that mean something to you.
With Hitchd, you complete your registry by adding beautiful photos, heartfelt messages, and every item you could ever think of. Your guests contribute any amount they feel comfortable with and feel like they are part of your journey into post-marital bliss. Sign up today.