I already shared how we put together our registry (with some tips, and a lot of white plates), at very typical stores, but there are lots of other options out there. All kinds of stores have registries, plus you can register at some home improvement stores, REI or even online.
Although these can be fun alternatives, the part where you only just now heard of them can be frustrating for your guests, who almost definitely haven’t heard of them. I remember a surprised wedding guest heading in to my store from Radio Shack, which had an online only registry at the time. She’d come to buy a gift and was frustrated that the store employee hadn’t even heard of the registry program. In our store, she was frustrated to see that almost all of the items the couple registered for were online only. I finally found her something, but she was thisclose to buying them a random vase from Macy’s and being done with it.
Of those who still have a store registry, one of the most popular offbeat choices is registering for tools (something we considered too). BM Mathlete also registered for some camping gear, and those choices can be really helpful, especially if you’ve been together for quite some time. Amazon’s Universal Registry lets you register for anything on the web basically, but might be unfamiliar enough to your guests that they don’t use it as much as a more well known choice.
Several other more-established brides mentioned in comments on my registry posts that they plan on registering for the honeymoon instead of household goods they already have. Honeymoon registries are growing in popularity, especially as couples get married later and with more established homes. I considered a honeymoon registry, but I think it works much better if you’re going to one resort and staying there, so it’s easy to buy a dinner, spa service, or excursion. That doesn’t really mesh with our honeymoon plans, so it wasn’t a great fit for us.
Then Mama Clover sent me an email about an entirely different sort of registry:
Image via sokindregistry
Basically, you register for whatever you want, wherever (and whomever) it’s from.
The site explains, “SoKind is completely customizable, allowing you to think outside the (big) box and request gifts that are truly meaningful to you.” They have wedding registries, but also baby, graduation & family wishlists.
An example registry asks for cooking lessons, a friend to photograph the day and hand-painted dishes.
For a small wedding where your guests know both you and your tastes pretty well, I think this could be a nice option, especially if what you really want is 8 dozen cupcakes, borrowed chairs and someone to man the iPod. Almost every member of my family will be flying here, so a traditional gift will be much easier for them to manage but I think this is so interesting!
I’ve also heard of making your own registry, a similar ideas where you tell you guests you trust their judgment and you want new knives–up to them to choose which ones. While the freedom is nice, a lot of guests prefer to give items they know you both want and can/will use. I don’t think my family or friends would be thrilled by this either.
Would you use a nontraditional registry? Has anyone you know used one? Anyone register for help with parts of their wedding?