11 Unique Wedding Registry Ideas That Are Beyond Awesome
08 Sep 2021 •21 min read
You may be starting a new life together with your spouse-to-be, but there's a good chance you already have a well-stocked kitchen and some decent linens in your life—and you don't need any more stuff! If that's the case, don't feel pressured to start a wedding registry for those household items. Now that couples are marrying later in life, less traditional and more unique wedding registries are becoming totally acceptable! And there are tons of unconventional wedding registry ideas to choose from, so your guests can help support your travels, your home, or something else you really care about.
What is a wedding registry?Before we start, however, we should just clarify what we mean by a wedding registry in case anyone is unclear about that process. Usually, at some point during the wedding planning process, couples will set up a wedding registry that is essentially a curated list of items that you would love to get as wedding gifts. Some traditional wedding registry ideas include gifts such as sets of linens, kitchen appliances, home decór, and more, basically, anything that will add that “new home” feeling to recently married couples’ lives. Whether you’re already living together or will be soon after you tie the knot, a wedding registry ensures that your guests have plenty of ideas on what to gift you and that you receive plenty of gifts that are the best of the best for whatever you need to start your new life, even if you don’t have to move at all.
What are some wedding registry must-haves?On a list of unique wedding registry ideas, we would be silly to try to box you in with any sort of restrictions on wedding registry “must-have” items! We truly think that a wedding gift that means the most is going to be the one that holds the most value to you and your partner—whether that is sentimental, abstract, or physical. In our opinion, registry ideas sometimes mean more than the actual wedding registry items themselves. Just take care to ensure that whatever wedding registry you select means something to you. The greatest registry gift that you can receive and the one that is a “must have” on your list is the one that you are the most excited about and that you want to add to your life. Be as creative or as traditional as you want!
How do you make wedding registry ideas unique?The wedding registry tradition does have a long history, so it can be tricky to have wedding registry ideas that you feel are the most “you.” However, recently, many companies have dedicated time to making sure that there are plenty of wedding registry ideas out there for anyone—regardless of what type of couples there are. If you’re looking for a wedding gift that will really add the most value to your life, there are some great alternatives to the sheets and silverware gifts that, while essential, might not be the most exciting. Below are our favorite unique wedding registry ideas! Whatever you choose, be sure to share it on your wedding website and include some time to decide early in the wedding planning process. You don’t want to catch your friends and family off-guard by offering them all of the best wedding gift ideas so close to your wedding day. Also, as we note later, this is by no means an exhaustive list! There are plenty of ways for couples to be creative about their wedding gifts. This is just a list to get you started brainstorming about what might be your ideal wedding gift.
1The Honeymoon Registry
Perhaps the most conventional of the unique wedding registry ideas is thehoneymoon registry! If you’re unfamiliar, a honeymoon registry is basically asking guests to make a financial contribution to your post-wedding getaway as a wedding gift. The best part, though, is that your guests don’t have to feel like they’re just forking over cash for some undefined purpose. On sites likeHoneyfund, guests can choose which part of the trip they want to fund. You can ask for a little help paying for everything from airfare and nights at luxury hotels to romantic dinners and outdoor adventures. That way, it feels a bit more like a conventional gifts registry; relatives and friends can easily connect with you about your list of honeymoon registry items and make sure that you enjoyed every second of their contribution.
Photo by Tatiana Gonzales on Unsplash Another perk of one of our favorite registry ideas: it’s all online—talk about easy! Plus, your guests won’t have to worry about ideas for wedding registry gifts for you; it’s all included in one package—literally. Couples who might have a limited honeymoon and wedding budget in the first place can now feel free to dream big (at least within reason). If you are choosing this registry idea, take the time to make a list of the pieces you can feasibly afford and what upgrades or inspiration that you would want to include. Take one piece of your wedding planning off your plate and allow your loved ones to add a great new spin to your honeymoon. Choose where you’re off to, and they’ll provide the rest!
2The Absolutely Anything Registry
So maybe you do need a set of mixing bowls or maybe a set of nice china for future dinner parties…but you don’t want to only register for household items. A more traditional wedding registry may limit you to only one store, and that store might not have everything you need (or want) for your wedding gifts. Your answer: sites like Zola that let you register for anything across the web.
Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash You can add the flat-screen TV from Best Buy, the bedding fromBed Bath & Beyond, and a set of stainless steel kitchen gadgets from Crate and Barrel, and it’ll all show up in one place (making your guests’ lives way easier). Instead of opening a separate wedding registry at every store you want separate registry items from, this is the best wedding registry for more “one-stop-shop” couples (and their loved ones). Another feature that we love? On Zola, they have a feature called group gifting, which allows you to break down big-ticket wedding registry items (whether it’s a new car or a fancy camera) into smaller chunks so your friends on a budget can make a contribution. This way, both the couple and the gifters can get the most bang for their buck. The idea behind Zola isn’t exactly unique to the wedding registry world, but we love the way that you can group wedding registry items all in the same place. Help turn your perfect wedding day into a perfect start to married life.
3The Absolutely Anything—With Added Style—Registry
There’s one flaw with the option above (as there always seems to be with the best of things). Sometimes having too many options at your fingertips makes the whole process even more overwhelming. That’s why we loveZola for registries. They've got just about everything you could want to register for, but the options are picked from specific, stylish brands. From home to weekend to experiences, it’s not just things on this registry. In addition to your traditional toaster and towels, you can register for experiences (like a couples massage), hobby items (like camping gear), and cash gifts (like your future kids’ college funds).
Photo by Kevin Ianeselli on Unsplash Zola is redefining what it means to be the perfect wedding registry. After all, what’s better than having all of the best wedding registry ideas all in one place? If your wedding registry ideas are outweighing the capabilities of one store, Zola is the perfect place to help you organize your wedding gifts and provide plenty of gift ideas to your guests well before your wedding day. By the time you’re done with Zola, your new home (or old one) will have everything it needs for a great new start.
4The Homebuilding Registry
Everyone’s situation is different, but for tying the knot often still comes moving in together or buying a house—which is both exciting and expensive. With a registry likethis, your loved ones can help you with your down payment or home renovations. Blueprint allows you to both create a traditional wedding registry (in case you are a couple that’s in need of some of the basics) or create a flexible cash-based wedding registry that will allow you to upgrade or update your home.
Photo by Maurice Williams on Unsplash Blueprint has an entire section on its website for “home funds” projects, and they are all organized just like those more traditional items. That way, much like the honeymoon planning, guests can truly see what they’re paying for which, in our opinion, is a registry must. Not only will it help guests feel more comfortable diving deep into their pockets, but it will also make the gifts feel more meaningful if they can have a conversation with you about how much it meant to have a new roof before winter or finally get the interior design of your house just right. After all, after your wedding, home truly is where the heart is, and a wedding registry is all about helping the newlyweds start their life together!
5The Gift Card Registry
It’s true—you can register for gift cards! OnHoneyfund, your wedding guests can send you gift cards to just about anywhere, from Target and Amazon to Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret. Now, we can all recall a point in our lives (probably somewhere in our late pre-teendom) where we switched from resenting gift cards to hoarding them. There’s no doubt about it: gift cards are some of the most useful wedding gifts you can get. Why not have your wedding registry items just be cash devoted to the places you need it most? If you want to avoid receiving a wedding gift that you know will only last a couple of years, think about instead asking for a gift card that will allow you to put money towards a new and better model. Gift cards are flexible enough to allow you to choose what you truly want in your life but directed enough so that you know the cash is going to its intended purpose, instead of just put towards your monthly grocery fund.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels Your more old-fashioned guests may appreciate the opportunity to give you a gift card instead of straight-up cash (and you’ll appreciate the opportunity to spend it how you want). This is a great option especially for couples who don’t have a lot of space for stuff right away but may be moving into a new home in the near future. Also, remember that gift cards don’t have to cover the entire balance of whatever item you might want; they can be a great way to whittle down the cost of bigger-ticket items so that couples can budget more effectively and work towards the best version that they can afford. Create your best wedding registry with items that will just keep on giving (at least until the balance runs out).
6The Crowdfunding Registry
Instead of registering for stuff, you want to register for something big—something you can’t put a name on. Maybe it’s a donation to a charity you really care about or contributions to a loved one’s medical expenses. Whatever it is, a crowdfund might just do the trick! One of the most powerful of our unique wedding registry ideas has to be the crowdfunding wedding registry. Registries like Zola let you set up a crowd gifting campaign so your guests can contribute to something you really care about. This is a way to make sure that your wedding gifts are truly making a difference in an area that matters most to you.
Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash Now, we want to be clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using your wedding registry to help furnish your house or go on that extravagant honeymoon that you’ve had your eye on for years. However, if you are fortunate to find yourself in a position where you don’t really need items or where something else in your life feels far too important to be ignored, one of the best ways you can repurpose your wedding registry into something more than your standard wedding gifts is through crowdfunding. Whether your money is going close to home to help a family member or friend through a hard time or a little bit farther away to a charity either domestic or international, turn your perfect wedding into the perfect gift (and you can still hold dinner parties to celebrate!)
7The Socially Conscious Registry
Why shop at big-name retailers when you can support disadvantaged artists across the world? With a registry on Seven Hopes United, you can ask for fair trade gifts. In case you don’t know, “fair trade” indicates that there is a relationship between a company and a producer that ensures that the producer is compensated fairly for the products. This helps support economies and communities in developing countries and also ensures that your money (or your guests’!) is going towards an ethical cause.
Photo by AllGo - An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash Being a conscious consumer isn’t hard, but it can be overwhelming to have to sort through all of the product and company information yourself. That’s why companies like Seven Hopes United are so great; all of the research is already done for you so now you can just feel good about your choices. And your guests won’t feel limited by the selection because the site includes all of the registry items that you could possibly need for a new home—from cutting boards and margarita glasses to sheets and bath towels. Seven Hopes United is the best wedding registry for someone who wants to make sure that their gift ideas don’t just add to their own life but to an entire community of lives as well.
8The Foodie Registry
If you’re looking for something truly unique to add to your list of wedding registry ideas, check out the offerings from Sur La Table. One of the most renowned cooking stores in the world, Sur La Table has an internal wedding registry function to allow your wedding registry to cater (pun intended) to your favorite kitchen dream. If you’re a couple that prefers eating in to ordering out, make sure that the only thing you’ll ever need in your kitchen is a grocery list. At Sur La Table, your guests can get everything a budding home chef like yourself desires, and it’s all of great quality. No one wants a registry gift that won’t be strong and sound even as your marriage ages, so you can count on Sur La Table for having a great variety of items that will make your home kitchen feel like a Michelin-star-rated restaurant.
Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash If you love the idea of creating a unique wedding registry but aren’t sure you quite have the skills for using all of the gadgets available on Sur La Table, they also offer cooking classes both in-store and online! If you’re looking for a new hobby to get into as a couple, cooking is a great way to bond with each other and make sure that you always have an abundance of ideas for date night. You could even invite other couples to take the classes with you! Sur La Table’s flexibility and variety in their class offerings will make sure that you have the best experience possible and you get plenty of skills to use in your new home. If you’re struggling with gift ideas and know you would appreciate an experience more than anything else, Sur La Table might be the place for you!
9The Booze-y Registry
If you and your S.O. love a good glass of wine or a craft cocktail, then you may want to consider this totally unique registry,ThirstyNest. Not only can you register for wines and spirits, but you can also add on bar furniture and drinkware to ensure that your home bar stands up to all of the amazing ones you’ve visited in your community. Out of respect for your wedding guests, you may only limit yourself to a couple of cocktails on your actual wedding night, so why not make your wedding gifts booze-related as well?
Photo by Chrysostomos Galathris from Pexels ThirstyNest offers a truly unique wedding registry experience, especially with features such as expertly-curated bundles that, with a 1-Click-Registries, take all of the guesswork out of building your selection. They are currently the only online wedding registry provider where you can order bottles and barware for your new life together. It truly doesn’t get any more unique than that. We all know that wedding planning is stressful, so once you’ve officially tied the knot, sit back, relax, and enjoy a drink of choice with all of the fixins’ provided to you by the people who love you the most and who want to celebrate your wedding by giving you a party from home every Saturday night. Couples will be able to enjoy a date night at home or even relive their wedding reception by making their custom wedding cocktail at home. Maybe you want to try something new or maybe you want to stick with the classics, but one thing is for sure: ThirstyNest has all of your wedding registry must-haves — with a twist (literally).
10The Registry that Gives Back
We think that the biggest wedding registry must-have is something that makes you feel good. For some couples, that might be a spa weekend to escape from your stressful work lives. For others, it might be items that hold significant sentimental value, like framed photographs or a down payment on a home. But for still others, the best gift might be that of giving back. Donations as wedding gifts are becoming more and more popular, and many couples are even advertising their charities of choice on their wedding website. However, if you decide a philanthropic wedding registry is right for you but aren’t sure how to get started, BluePrint is definitely the place to start. With a charity or crowdfunding wedding registry, you are easing the pressure on guests who may already feel financially stretched with the costs of attending a wedding celebration (travel, hotels, dresses, etc.) and who may not be able to afford an entire item from your wedding registry. This way, they can still give you a wedding gift of truly any amount and it can make a huge difference in both of your lives. If you’re struggling with wedding registry ideas because you simply can’t think of enough registry items, make your lives a little easier by talking instead about who you wish you had the ability to give more to.
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash Make a list of charities or organizations that have had an impact on your life, either as a couple or an individual, and then make a commitment to give back. While this may be a unique wedding registry at the time, the numbers are showing that charity and donation-based wedding registries are becoming all the more popular in recent years. So get ready to give back, and explore the options on BluePrint on how to get your guests involved. Also if you have the capability, inspire your guests even more by declaring that you will match their collective donation (up to whatever you are comfortable with as a couple). That way, you are demonstrating your care and commitment to this cause to your guests who may not know as much about it as you do and making an even larger positive impact in the end. It’s truly the best of both worlds, and your wedding gift is increased twofold. Perhaps you’ll have enough to sponsor a new initiative or help out with renovations, but regardless of how much you end up donating, it is sure to be appreciated in a big way.
11The Adrenaline Junkie Registry
So maybe you’re reading through this list of wedding registry ideas trying to find the one for you and you’re still feeling uninspired. Maybe you’re not looking for ideas on what to buy or where to go or more options for wedding registry items at all. If this sounds like you, Peek might be the best way to go! Peek offers couples (or anyone!) the opportunity to explore new skills and new experiences through their expansive list of activities and tours that they offer in cities across the globe. If you’re feeling uninspired by the list of “normal” wedding registry ideas, ask your friends and family for a wedding gift that will give you something that will truly change your life. With Peek, you can choose a registry gift of a helicopter tour over Manhattan, a full-day fishing trip for sharks in San Diego, or a private rock climbing class in Miami. Maybe you’re taking the opportunity to have a unique wedding gift from Peek as part of your honeymoon package or simply as a part of your new life together, but one thing is for sure: you will have plenty to talk to your wedding guests about when you thank them for their generosity.
Photo by Filip Havlik on Unsplash At the moment, Peek is mostly limited to bigger cities both globally and in the US, so if you don’t happen to live in one of the spots on their list or aren’t planning on traveling anywhere soon, check out your local offerings! Maybe a local art studio is offering pottery classes on Friday nights or a local jazz club is currently selling season tickets to their shows. See if any of your ideas offer a couples discount, and ask your friends and family to contribute towards you exploring local opportunities as a collective wedding gift. Wedding registry ideas don’t have to be limited to an actual wedding registry, so feel free to just let your wedding guests know what you want to learn or where you want to go and how they might be able to support you in that process. Remember that plenty of couples accept gift certificates as wedding gifts, so you can get as creative as you want to.