Wedding Planning

Everything You Need to Know About Non-Traditional Gift Registries

Read up before asking for money, a honeymoon, or something else entirely.

Registries used to all look the same—some china, some linens, and some other household gear. But nowadays, couples are breaking from the norm, and especially when they already have the classic registry items. Check out some of the most common types of non-traditional gifts, and get tips for asking for them. Whatever you choose, be sure to make your guests aware of your decision, and explain what you’re choosing and why—chances are, at least a few of them are only familiar with the traditional gift lists.



If you aren’t sure what you need and want more time to decide, you can ask for money. Be warned that some guests might consider the option tacky, but for modern couples, it’s becoming more and more acceptable. Plus, asking for moola doesn’t just mean recommending celebrants bring envelopes of cash to your wedding. Certain websites let you ask guests to contribute money to general categories, which can be anything from ‘future home purchases’ to ‘future date nights.’ The plus to this is that attendees have some idea of what their money is going toward.


Registering for your honeymoon can look a lot like registering for money, especially if you’re just asking guests to contribute to a general fund. Alternatively, you can offer a few separate pieces of the honeymoon for them to chip-in on. Someone can buy you new luggage, a few people can contribute to your lodging, and others can pay for travel expenses, for example.


If you really don’t need anything, feel free to ask guests to contribute to one or more charitable causes of your choosing (it’s nice to provide a few options, in case one is political or religious, which can be polarizing). Their gifts will serve as donations, whether monetary or physical (like supplies). Like any registry, it’s nice to organize this on a website, both to hold guests accountable (they might think they can skip since it’s not going directly to you) and to track the impact that you’re making.

Anything You Want

Is nothing on this list catching your eye, or are you looking to mix and match ideas? Go for it! There are tons of options out there—you can even register for wine and spirits! As we said before, the most important thing is to warn your guests in advance, and to clear up any confusion surrounding what you’re hoping for.