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Top 5 Wedding Registry Ideas for Couples Who Already Live Together

Jun 21, 2019 13 min read
Ollie Rozdarz, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Ollie Rozdarz
Co-Founder of Hitchd

A generation ago, few couples ever lived together before getting married, and a generation before that, most people never lived outside of their parents' homes before they got married.

That's no longer the case, according to Wedding Wire's 2019 Newlywed Report. Today's couples live a lot differently. A whopping 72% of couples lived together before getting engaged, but that's not all:

  • 55% dated for two or more years;
  • 35% owned a pet together; and
  • 54% discussed finances.

From this data, it's clear that couples think about more than just love when it comes to marriage. While love still matters, couples want to make sure they're compatible in other ways, and living together is an easy way to test whether a relationship is made to last. If couples can share responsibilities, like walking a dog, or talk honestly about their fiances, then there's a good chance they're ready for marriage.

Because the way that couples live has changed, so has the wedding registry. Many couples who live together struggle with wedding registry ideas because they feel like they already have everything they need and they might not feel like they have room in their homes for anything else.

And really, who needs two blenders?

But couples who live together have more options when it comes to their wedding registry ideas. They don't need to ask for fine China, silverware or crystal if they don't want it, and if what they really need is cash (and who doesn't?), then there are ways to add cash-based gifts to wedding registries that don't feel so impersonal or rude.

So if you and your cohabiting partner are wracking your minds for wedding registry ideas, look no further. Here are five tips for creating a wedding registry for couples who already share a space.

Replace staples with high quality items, like this Smeg toaster

Replace your staples with higher quality items

When you and your partner moved in together, you probably consolidated your belongings and furniture, and whatever you didn't already have, you bought together. For two people coming out of school — high school, technical school or university — that probably means your budget was low, and you were likely more concerned with price than with quality.

Now that you and your partner are getting married and looking for wedding registry ideas, it is time to revisit some of those items that may be looking a little bit worn. Sure, they might still function, but maybe not for long.

As with just about everything in life, you really do get what you pay for. Most inexpensive products like blenders, toasters, and cooking utensils aren't made to last more than a few years. If you need wedding registry ideas, then start by looking for cheap items in your home that are just a few uses away from the garbage can.

Some items you might consider replacing:

  • Pots and pans:
    You probably have a few good pots and pans for cooking, but chances are, the set is old, and you could use a complete set.
  • Sheets and towels:
    If you've ever slept on a nice pair of sheets, then it's hard to go back to the lower thread counts you might be used to. Nicer sheets and towels not only feel softer, but they also last longer, assuming you take care of them.
  • Specialty appliances:
    How nice is your vacuum? Do you have a pet that sheds? Some of the more expensive vacuums are designed to pick up tons of pet hair and other little messes around the home.
  • Accent furniture:
    Your small bookcases, end tables and chairs likely came from IKEA or similar, and there's a good chance they're falling apart. Accent furniture and storage options like ottomans and plastic containers can help your home feel less cluttered and give you more storage space — something vitally important to those living in small spaces.

If it helps, go room by room in your home and look at the state of the items you use the most. In your bathroom, do you see mold on your shower curtain liner? Are your towels stained with bleach or ripped from so many cycles in the washing machine? These are great wedding registry ideas because even for nicer items, the cost still isn't too high, which means your registry won't be out of the price point for some of your guests.

You may not need to upgrade everything in your home, but if you need wedding registry ideas, these upgrades will give your guests options. Cash Wedding registry sites like Hitchd.com can help you create an online wedding registry that feels traditional — you can also add several small items from different stores — and keep track of them all in one place.

Plan for your future by prioritizing things such as travel

Plan for your future selves

Not all engaged couples need to upgrade their possessions. For those a little more established in their careers, a better vacuum or coffee table may not be needed. So if that's you and you're low on wedding registry ideas, consider planning ahead for the life you and your partner want.

Think about where you and your partner want to be in five years. Your lives will probably look a lot different. You might be moving to a new city or country. You might be working in a new job or a new industry. Your wedding registry can help you prepare for some of these life changes, such as:

  • Moving cities:
    You may not be ready to go just yet, but if you and your partner plan to move within the next five years, then build a wedding registry with moving in mind: storage containers, furniture that can be taken apart easily and plastic or acrylic utensils.
  • Travel:
    If you and your spouse plan to travel, luggage will make a great registry item. You can also ask for neck rests (for airplanes) and other fun travel accessories.
  • Baby:
    If you know you're going to have kids in the near future, then you can always ask for baby-related items if you need wedding registry ideas. Keep in mind, you will probably have a baby shower, but if you plan to have a baby right away, there's no reason not to ask for some baby-related items.
  • An extended houseguest:
    It's not uncommon for couples to live with a roommate to help offset high rent costs. Some couples even have an in-law living with them, one who might need medical care. If that's you, then be sure to add extra sheets, towels and storage options to your wedding registry.

It never hurts to plan ahead, and if you're searching for wedding registry ideas, then plan for the future you think you'll have.

Splurge on your gift list for things such as gifts and experiences

Splurge on your wedding gift list

There's a time to be practical and there's a time to be a little whimsical. For couples who feel like they have what they need already, then the wedding registry can be more about helping the happy couple have fun. After all, you only need so many blankets, towels and plate settings. If you have all of those things and don't need any replaced, then it's time to have fun with your wedding registry ideas.

Rather than asking for traditional household goods, consider asking for gifts that pertain to a hobby you and your partner share. If you two are known for your camping excursions, for example, then use your wedding registry to ask for camping items like tents, sleeping bags, high-quality coats and backpacks.

You can also use your wedding registry to get into a hobby you've always wanted to try. If you want to be a better cook, for example, then add a cast iron skillet to your registry or a good set of knives. If you've wanted to get into mixology, ask for a nice barware set or even a bar cart.

These items may not seem like traditional wedding registry ideas, but if you can always make the gifts more about your guests than you. If you ask for a grill and nice grilling utensils, tell your guests that you plan on throwing barbeques and cookouts. In a way, they'll get to enjoy your gifts just as much as you will.

If you do want to keep your wedding registry ideas centered on your home, then it's time to get a little creative.

3 wedding registry items to splurge on

  1. A robotic vacuum:
    Wouldn't it be nice to have a robot do the vacuuming for you? Even though these vacuums can be more expensive, it's worth the price to not have to vacuum. There are different price points for these vacuums so look for one you think your guests would be comfortable buying.
  2. Smart-home products:
    As smart technology improves, you can start turning your home into a smart one, and before long, you can control everything from your smart phone. If you already have a home assistant (Google Home or Amazon Echo), then look for compatible products. There are doorbells, thermostats and even light bulbs and fixtures that can make your home smarter.
  3. Complete table settings:
    For older generations, a fine China set was the foundation of a wedding registry. That's not always the case for younger couples, but if you already entertain a lot and you think you'll be hosting family holidays, then having a nice, complete set of dishes and silverware would make an excellent wedding registry idea.

Even if your home is a little more established, some creative thinking about the hobbies you do and would like to try can help you build a fantastic wedding registry.

Create a modern honeymoon registry like Hitchd.com

Create a honeymoon registry

A honeymoon registry is a new alternative to the traditional wedding registry that's been growing in popularity. Rather than giving traditional gifts, a honeymoon registry lets wedding guests give the couple experiences and helps them pay for their honeymoon. For those struggling with wedding registry ideas, this is a fun alternative that lets the couple have an amazing vacation rather than things they don't really need.

Now not all wedding guests like to give the couple straight cash. A honeymoon fund is a more fun way to give cash because the giver can put it towards a specific experience. Guests can pay for a couple to have a spa day or go on a day-long adventure tour or have a gourmet meal together. This option lets guests feel more involved, and you'll certainly think of them as your sitting down to your meal.

The honeymoon registry is great for couples who have been living together and don't need some of the wedding registry staples like sheets and bathroom accessories. They're also easy to set up.

How to set up a honeymoon fund

  1. Log onto Hitchd.com or your preferred honeymoon registry site and sign up with an email address and password.
  2. Plug in the information of your big day — your partner's name, the date of the wedding.
  3. Personalize your page with photos of the two of you. Your wedding guests will want to make sure they have the right couple, so photos can assure them that they have the right guest.
  4. Choose the destination of your honeymoon.
  5. Select three activities that matter most to you and your partner. Think about what you're going to do in that location, rather than what you like in general. You may like adventure trips, but if you're honeymooning in Paris or New York City, then you may want to focus on sightseeing tours rather than hiking excursions.
  6. Once you choose your honeymoon location and favorite activities, Hitchd.com will give you a list of gifts to start out. You can always add more, but now comes the fun part: personalization.
    1. With each gift, write a title and enter an amount. You can also chose to receive any amount.
    2. Write a personalized message about what you plan to do. For that couple sightseeing in Paris, create a gift that covers the cost of entry to the Louvre or a day-trip out to the Loire Valley.

For a more detailed process on how to set up a honeymoon registry, check out our blog.

With honeymoon registries, the key is to provide as many price point options as possible. After all, not all of your guests will be able to contribute as much. Think about who is likely to spend a little more (probably your parents) and who might not be able to swing a bigger gift (like a friend who is still in school).

You'll need gifts for both types of wedding guests, so remember to add smaller gifts, like a round of drinks or cab fare to help you two get around. You can also break down larger bills, like hotel costs, into smaller gifts. Your friend might not be able to pay your whole hotel bill, but he or she might be able to pay for one night.

Every gift on a honeymoon registry needs to make the guest feel appreciated, so make sure you write a personalized message for each gift. Describe your favorite drinks or what drinks you plan on trying or talk about your hotel and include links to its website. Let your guests get a glimpse of the amazing honeymoon you plan on having, and they'll feel more excited about giving their gift.

Save for larger items such as a home

Save for a home

For most couples, the next step after getting married is buying a home, and for young couples, that can be difficult. When you're just starting out in your career, it can be hard to save up the funds for that large down payment that many mortgage lenders require. Depending on where the couple lives or wants to live, housing prices may be too high and will take longer to save for.

Some couples are using a honeymoon registry to help pay for their homes. Rather than asking for gifts, they're asking their wedding guests to contribute to a larger fund for the house they plan to buy.

If this is something you and your partner would like to try, honeymoon registry sites like Hitchd.com allow users to create their own gifts. Instead of listing out funds for honeymoon expenses like airfare and hotels, users can set up just one fund, title it something like “For our home” or “Welcome us home,” and let guests contribute whatever amount they'd like. You can upload photos of your dream home and tell guests more about why you love it.

As with a honeymoon registry, some guests will not want to just give cash. They want to give something a little more personal. To make this feel more personal, make sure you add details to the fund. If you're already looking at homes with a realtor, post photos of homes you've visited and describe what you're looking for and where.

For today's engaged couples, wedding registries are becoming something of a hybrid. Couples might create a small, more traditional registry through IKEA or Amazon, but they also might include a honeymoon registry as well to give guests options.

This is popular because it helps both types of wedding guests. Some guests insist on giving physical gifts. They don't want to write checks and they don't want to give cash. Those guests will likely gravitate towards the more traditional registry.

It doesn't get easier to register for what you need

A simple way to registry — whatever you need

Since you and your partner have been living together for some time, you have different needs than your parents' generation. You need a wedding registry that gives you plenty of options.

For others who would likely send cash anyway, a honeymoon registry, like one on Hitchd.com, offers a little more fun and creativity. Wedding guests can feel like part of the fun when they pay for a couple's night on the town or for massage package at a beautiful spa.

But best of all, Hitchd.com gives you options for your wedding registry, allowing you to combine a wedding, honeymoon and house registry all in one place. Sign up with Hitchd.com and create a registry that fits you and your unique partner.