Alternative wedding gift ideas for the couple that has everything

Where should you register for your wedding when you don't "need anything"




Some couples are finding themselves in a tricky spot when it comes to registering for gifts. In many instances couples have lived together — or lived on their own — for a number of years before the wedding date arrives.

It’s no secret that many people aren’t choosing to get married until their late 20s or early 30s. Recent studies in the US reveal that the average age at a woman’s first marriage is 27. As of 2011, 51 percent of all Americans were married, which is a significant drop from 72 percent back in 1960. Meanwhile, the number of unmarried cohabiting couples is on the rise — in 1960 less than half a million unmarried couples lived together, compared to 7.5 million in 2010.

The traditional gift registry might not be the best fit for a couple that has already accumulated the many things that make a house a home. Still, well-meaning relatives and loved ones will want to celebrate your marriage with gifts, and registries can help guide them. This ultimately means less stress or confusion for your guests and less potential of receiving items you can’t use or will end up returning. And just because you already have a blender and a nice set of dishes doesn’t mean you have everything you want or need.

Enter alterative registries such as honeymoon registries (two popular options are Traveler’s Joy, travelersjoy.com, and the Honey Fund, www.honeyfund.com); house registries (try Hatch My House, www.hatchmyhouse.com); cross-company registries such as www.SimpleRegistry.com or www.zola.com, where you can register for just about anything; ask for charitable donations in lieu of gifts at the I Do Foundation (www.idofoundation.org); go artsy with something like the MoMA gift registry (www.moma.org) or even register for just gift cards through Card Avenue (www.cardavenue.com).

Concerned about the wedding shower? Try a combination of a traditional gift registry and one or two alternative registries. Not only will this allow friends and family to give you physical gifts at your shower, but it also offers options to your guests who might not be comfortable with something like a honeymoon registry.

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