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Why Couples Are Ditching Traditional Wedding Registries For Wedding Registry Experiences in 2019

Jul 17, 2019 10 min read
Isuru Fonseka, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Isuru Fonseka
Co-Founder of Hitchd

You would think that coming up with wedding registry ideas would be simple, right? Not so much. With all the wedding planning and stress, the wedding registry can sometimes be an afterthought. When that happens, couples forget what they really need and ask for things that end up collecting dust.

One of the best parts of your engagement has to be choosing items for your wedding registry, after all it is like the ultimate shopping experience without spending a dime. And what could be better than that?

The truth is that there is a sea of endless items that you could add to your wedding registry, many that you will never use but just look cool, some you already have and others that someone told you to add, but you're not sure why.

While wedding registry traditions typically include items such as blenders, toasters and linens, in 2019 we are seeing a shift to less traditional wedding registries that include trips, Airbnb gift certificates, and experience-based items such as beer of the month clubs.

Are you ready to join the movement and ditch the traditional wedding registry for wedding registry experiences? Replace the traditional wedding registry with one that is filled with memories that you can share and re-live over and over.

Traditional Wedding Registries Are Out in 2019! What Is Replacing Them?

The wedding registry (or bridal registry as it is also known) began back in 1924 when the Chicago-founded department store, Marshall Field's first introduced it. The bridal registry created a means for couples to select items from the department store that matched their own style and personalities rather than getting numerous gifts that they did not like.

Today registries have evolved further by entering into other markets; weddings, to baby registries, house registries, charity registries and even honeymoon registries. Not sure that is what the founders of Marshall's Field's had in mind, but hey! Evolution is good!

Creating A Wedding Registry, Not So Traditional Anymore

For decades the normal practice for setting up your wedding registry is to visit your favorite retail store (Target, Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond etc) grab the cool scanner gun and frolic through the store scanning endless (and sometimes useless) items. Today you can even create your traditional wedding registry online with many large department stores and favorite home good stores. But you may find that you become trigger happy and just begin clicking away at endless items. Not really the best way to tackle your registry.

For decades, traditional gifts that have always been included on registries are; china, silverware, kitchen gadgets like mixers, blenders, toasters, panini presses and of course linens and décor items. These gifts could be wonderful to add to your home and may even be items that you just wouldn't splurge on yourself. But in reality most of them are material items that won't get used to often. Think about your current lifestyle, how many times do you think you are going to serve dinner on fancy china or make panini's? Not many, right? So why not create a registry that you can fill with things that you can enjoy?

Whether or not you visit your local store to shoot and scan your gifts or you create it online from home there is no doubt that creating your wedding registry will be one of the most enjoyable parts of planning the wedding. It will be fun and exhilarating but after the wedding you may sit back and think "what are we going to do with all this stuff"?

After the wedding you will dive into unwrapping all of your wedding gifts, probably hoping that you received some of your favorite items on your registry. Yet while you watch the wrapping paper pile up on the floor, you may quickly realize "we already have one of these" or "how often are we going to use this?"

Your wedding registry has now become work! You will have to do some spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of similar items that you already have to make room for the new stuff. Or worse, spend endless hours returning gifts that you realize you never really wanted or needed, you were just trigger happy with the gun.

Trust us when we say, you are not alone. A huge percentage of couples return or re-gift most of their wedding gifts. It makes us wonder, why are we still following traditional wedding registry practices when we don't really want this stuff? After all, relationships today are not "traditional" so our registries shouldn't be either.

Skip The China & Blenders, Register For Wedding Experiences

Today's couples have decided enough is enough. The old-school bridal registry is not for them, and for that we celebrate! It really is about time that we see couples receive gifts celebrating their wedding that can create memories not collect dust.

If you are wondering and stressing over "How To Create My Wedding Registry?" don't worry! We are here to help you shake up the wedding registry industry by creating a wedding registry experience. To get you started we have put together the 2019 ultimate wedding registry list for you that is filled with experiences instead of stuff that you won't use. And let's just say, it's not your Grandma's wedding registry.

But first, what is an experience-based wedding registry?

A wedding experience registry (or honeymoon registry) is one that is filled with things "to do" versus things to "have or use". Whether that is simply to fund your honeymoon or if it includes things that you enjoy together over time after the wedding, like a cooking class or wine tasting, this type of wedding registry is catered totally to you as a couple. Your likes and adventures as a couple can be funded by your guests. Sounds better than a quesadilla maker that you only will use once, right?

Millenials Are Shaking Up The Wedding Industry

Gone are the days when couples just beat to the same old-fashioned drum, doing things the way they have always been done. The wedding industry is becoming more exciting every day because couples are incorporating unique elements into their ceremonies and receptions. This uniqueness is bringing to life what we like to call "interactive weddings". Rather than sit back and "watch" the wedding happen, couples are creating experiences that allow their guests to become part of the wedding.

It is simply genius! We have all been to a wedding that was drab and boring and you couldn't wait for it to end. Modern-day couples understand that and are changing the way we see and enjoy weddings.

Attending a wedding today means you will be enthralled in a unique wedding experience filled with more interactive activities such as food stations, games, photo booths and D.I.Y. bars. But while couples are changing the way we do weddings, until now the wedding registries had been left in the dark, unchanged and ordinary. Today's couples are definitely not traditional and relationships are not the same as when the bridal registry began in 1924. Let's face it, most couples live together before getting hitchd and really don't need a lot of the traditional items that are normally added to wedding registries. So why create a traditional bridal registry? Instead, why not continue the experience past the wedding into your first year of marriage?

It is time for a change! Are you ready to continue your interactive, experience filled wedding mentality into more than just the ceremony and reception? Let's bring your wedding registry to life!

Start Your First Big Adventure, Create A Wedding Experience Registry

To create the ultimate wedding registry in 2019 you won't be able to go to Target, Pottery Barn or any other retail location to randomly scan merchandise with a plastic gun. Your entire registry can be created from your couch, in comfy clothes, while sipping on a glass of wine and snacking on popcorn (or whatever your indulgences are). Simply go to hitchd.com and sign up for your honeymoon registry or what we like to call your wedding registry experience.

This evolution of the wedding registry has been long in the making. For years couples have been changing the way weddings are planned and executed. Gone are the traditional church wedding and banquet hall receptions with minimal decor. Even the wedding flowers have evolved, we are seeing less roses and more earthy elements such as greenery and unique floral explosions including different types of grasses. It only makes sense that eventually the wedding registry would change or evolve as well.

2019 Wedding Registries are Evolving, Finally

Old-school registries were definitely not made for millennial couples who value experiences more than material items. And let's be honest Honeymoons are expensive, averaging about 13% of the cost of the wedding. Most of the time couples cannot afford them immediately after the wedding unless someone has gifted it you. And while a honeymoon gift from parents or grandparents is "great" let's face it, even they can't always afford such an expensive gift.

Create A Honeymoon Registry Instead of Wedding Registry

Everyone needs a wedding registry! It is something that is expected of you even if you have been living together for years. You see, all of the family and friends that you have invited to your wedding want to give you a gift to celebrate your union. It is just customary to create a registry. But that wedding registry doesn't have to be one where your guests will shower you with things that you don't need.

Luckily there are other options. Rather than creating a traditional bridal registry filled with "stuff" you can create a registry to pay for your honeymoon. What could be better than that? Wedding planning can be stressful so you will definitely need a vacation and why not have your guests pay for it?

Ditch the traditional bridal registry items and replace them with interactive activities that will allow you to accumulate memories rather than dust. Dream up your perfect honeymoon getaway and then build your honeymoon registry to make it come to life.

It is easy for you, and completely enjoyable for your guests. Imagine them being able to picture you on an African safari or cruising through Europe all because of their gift. It's not every day that your friends and family can afford such a magical gift that you will cherish and relive forever. But using this non-traditional wedding registry allows them to do just that!

In the end, you will be happier with your registry experience and your guests will feel relieved that they don't have to scroll through an endless list of miscellaneous items on a Bed Bath & Beyond wedding registry trying to find something they feel good about giving (and can afford).

I am sure by now, your mind is already dancing with ideas. Let's start planning your honeymoon registry now.

What Exactly Should You Include In Your Cash Wedding Registry?

This is the fun part! Where you get to design your cash wedding registry. To get you started we have created the ultimate honeymoon registry list, but by no means are the things on our list the only honeymoon or experience-based items that you can ask for.

The average cost of honeymoons today ranges from $4,000 - $5,000 which is roughly 13% of the total cost of the wedding. Ouch! After spending so much money on your wedding it's hard to have left over cash to fund the honeymoon which makes having your guests fund your honeymoon vacation a genius idea! Let's think for a moment about what is included in a honeymoon. You will need a destination, hotel or Airbnb, flights, car rental, luggage, travel insurance and possibly a passport.

You can see how costs quickly add up. Signing up for a honeymoon fund or registry is a great way to get what you want without having to open your wallet. And what is most interesting about creating this type of wedding registry is that rather than scrolling through an endless list of boring gift items for your kitchen your guests will actually be enthralled in helping you plan your honeymoon. They will get to know you on a different level, maybe even learning things about you that they didn't know before (like your extreme passion for bungy jumping).

While they are looking through your honeyfund they will become immersed in Yes, you get it! "The experience". And quickly they will find themselves not just buying you a gift but participating in your honeymoon (without being there of course). It will inspire a level of excitement that no kitchen gadget can create and they will quickly find themselves waiting and watching your Instagram or Facebook posts after the wedding so that they can live that experience through you. What a genius way to continue to include your guests in the total experience of your wedding.

Here are our favorite ideas to include in your wedding registry experience. Of course, things will need to vary depending on the destination you choose but you will get the idea. The choices are endless.

The Ultimate 2019 Wedding Registry Experiences

  1. 1. Accommodation

  2. 2. Day Tours

  3. 3. Wine Tasting

  4. 4. Cooking Classes

  5. 5. Dinner Reservations

  6. 6. Horseback Riding

  7. 7. Museum Membership

  8. 8. Beer of the Month Club

  9. 9. Spa Treatments

  10. 10. Brewery Tour

  11. 11. Hot Air Balloon Ride

  12. 12. Arts & Culture

  13. 13. Sporting Event

  14. 14. Date Nights

  15. 15. Babysitting

It is so easy to set up, your guests will love it and the best part, you won't have to worry about opening and possibly returning unwanted gifts.

Your Wedding Experience Registry Is Just Like Cash!

A honeymoon registry (also known as cash fund, cash registry, honeymoon fund or wedding experience registry) is a non-traditional wedding registry that allows guests to fund your adventure of a lifetime! This is quite possibly the best wedding trend in 2019 because couples today are just that "non-traditional".

Why is a honeymoon registry just like cash? Cash wedding registries allow you to fund your honeymoon by creating gifts and experiences (hot air balloon ride, couples massage, flights etc) that your guests will contribute money to. Simply plan your honeymoon online, on websites such as Hitchd.com, then invite your guests to review your experiences and make their donation.

Once a gift has been funded, the contribution is securely deposited into your account allowing you to determine exactly how to allocate the funds (maybe you opt for a more luxurious hotel or upgrade to first class airfare). In essence it is a cash wedding registry without the awkwardness of asking for money. And by giving your guests the power to select the gift or experience it creates a wonderful, personal interaction of helping you plan and enjoy your honeymoon.

Are you ready to kickstart the honeymoon of your dreams, get started today!