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Unusual Gift Registries 

By : Catherine Torres
Wedding gift registries are a relatively new concept. In the 1920s Chicago department store Marshall Field’s introduced the wedding registry, giving newlyweds better control over the gifts they receive. Traditional registries include the makings of a home: kitchen gadgets, linens, crystal glassware, and home furnishings. But what happens when a couple already has a home set up, or isn’t interested in storing 12 sets of fine china? Enter unusual gift registries. These days, there’s a gift registry out there for every couple, it’s simply a matter of knowing what you want your guests to gift.
Hybrid registries like Zola allow for complete customization. Couples can register for gifts from numerous stores, cash to help pay for the wedding, honeymoon funds, and even charities. It’s ideal for couples that want just a few more kitchen gadgets, but also want help paying for their honeymoon airfare, and want to pay it forward with a charitable donation.
The internet lists dozens or alternative and non-traditional registry sites. With a little bit of searching, you can break out of the box of traditional gift registries. Not only will you and your spouse-to-be get stuff you actually will use, but looking through these unusual gift registries will be a breath of fresh air for your guests who’ve bought newlyweds one too many toasters.
There are more and more sites helping couples register for their honeymoon itineraries. Sites like Traveler’s Joy allow couples to list portions of their honeymoon vacation which guests can then purchase. The sites usually take a small percentage or flat processing fee which either the couple or guest can pay for. Many times, the gifts for a “fancy dinner” or “couple’s massage” actually show up as funds that the couple can spend how they wish. Even so, it’s a nicer way of giving money.
If you and your spouse-to-be love spending weekends sanding, painting, and building, then a gift registry at your local home improvement store is perfect. Register for tools, hardware, paint, and even appliances. If you want to update your home, but are apprehensive as to where to start, most home improvement stores offer free design help and even an option to purchase project management.
More the wilderness type? Head over to REI to start a registry for new camping gear or skis. This would be a great opportunity to tie in a honeymoon fund registry too, if your idea of a romantic getaway involves black diamonds or breathtaking views following a 10-mile trek in the woods. REI also allows guests to make birthday and other celebration registries, a good thing to remember when your bike-loving husband needs new gear and his birthday party guests want to know what to buy for him.
Domino’s Pizza has a wedding registry. You read that correctly. Couples can register for a $60 “2 a.m. Bachelor Party Feast,” a $25 “Wedding Night” gift, and even a $25 “Post-Honeymoon Adjustment to Real Life” gift. We might renew our vows just to register for pizza.
Register for wine, beer, and spirit clubs to keep your glasses full long after your wedding day. New York-based wine purveyor Sherry-Lehmann allows couples to create wine gift registries that cover a range of prices. Another option is to check in with your local favorite brewer or winery to see if they offer a beverage club, then request a membership in a hybrid gift registry, like Zola. With so many local wineries and breweries in our neighborhood, it’s worth asking them to view their club and registry options.
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