Planning your wedding is stressful. Setting the date, finding the dress, creating a website (woot, woot, Weduary!), choosing your wedding party, budgeting for every little thing, and planning the actual event. Sure, you’re pumped about the big day but those details can sometimes feel like a chore. But there’s one part of planning that can actually be a lot of fun, and happens to be free: The Registry.
Luckily, registries aren’t just for toaster ovens, new linens, and bread makers anymore. We’ve rounded up 15 ways for your guests to give you just what you want, from charitable donations to the roof over your head, time to get your registry on.
For the Do-Gooders
1. I Do Foundation: This option makes it easy for you to give back by offering multiple ways for your guests to make charitable contributions. Create a registry where all the gifts are charitable contributions, or make a more traditional one through I Do Foundation partner stores and 5% of all purchases will benefit the charity of your choice.
2. Heifer International: You’ve likely heard of Heifer before, an organization that works to end poverty and hunger by encouraging gifts of animals that will provide children and families around the world a sense of hope and self-reliance. If charitable contributions won’t do the trick, give them the option of gifting an animal to a family in need.
Keep It Green
3. Green Bride Guide: This one is the wedding planning queen of all things green. Not only can you learn how to throw a super eco-chic wedding, but you can create a green registry as well. Every product available through Green Bride’s registry service is well-researched and tagged with its country of origin, eco-certifications, and eco-strategy so you can quickly assess its social and environmental benefits. We’ll let Kermit know this site makes it easy being green.
Foodies and Winos Rejoice
4. Italian Wine Merchants: Ready to get a little bit fancy? Register for Mario Batali’s co-owned Italian Wine Merchants. And if the thought of curating a collection overwhelms you, opt for a personal sommelier at no extra charge. And feel free to crack open a bottle or two on your big day! :)
5. Foodie Registry: Would you and your beau prefer an incredible meal out over mastering your new food processor? Then Foodie Registry is for you. Started by a couple of Chicago foodies, this site allows you to register for gift certificates to restaurants. Sounds like a great idea to us! Nom nom nom!
For the Couple with Wanderlust
6. REI: Marriage really is the ultimate adventure, but maybe you and your darlin’ love the more traditional outdoor kind too. If you’re a nature and activity junkie, use REI’s registry to stock up on gear to make future memories together.
7. Wanderable: Got the travel bug? This site encourages not only engaged couples but everyone to create bucket lists of experiences on the site to share with friends. Engaged couples can turn these lists into sweet honeymoon registries so guests can contribute to what could be the most special trip of your lives.
8. Traveler’s Joy: Similar to Wanderable, Traveler’s Joy is a slightly more traditional non-traditional registry. It’s specifically designed with the honeymooner in mind, and lets guests contribute towards part or all of your trip.
9. Honeyfund: What started as a honeymoon funding site has expanded into a way for the newly engaged to not only register for travel funds but also anything your heart desires. It’s basically a classier way to collect cash for the items you really want.
Get All Your Gifts in One Place
10. Newlywish: Newlywish is a one-stop registry shop that helps you register for gifts as well as experiences such as spa treatments, cooking classes, dancing lessons, interior design/organization, and events. Similar to Weduary, this site was the brainchild of an engaged couple who found existing registry services to be lacking in terms of features and options.
11. Wedding Registry by iList Apps: This little app could change registries in a big way. Rather than registering at multiple stores around town, the app lets you create one registry, saving your guests time when trying to find the perfect gift. The app includes a barcode scanner so you can add items from any store you visit to your registry, and also lets you add gifts from stores you love online. Oh, how we love technology that make our lives more simple.
12. Weduary: While not specifically a registry site, our very own Weduary will help you manage your registries in one place. Use the Traditional Registry feature to list stores where you’ve registered; use the Donation Registry to tell your guests about the cause you’ve chosen; or create a Custom Registry by listing individual items.
13. Hatch My House: While many newly engaged and newlywed couples can afford a mortgage, saving up for that down payment isn’t easy. Plus, many couples these days are waiting longer to get married and have already accumulated many of the gifts most young couples register for. Hatch My House is a tasteful site that allows your guests to contribute to your home sweet home fund.
14. Antiquaria: Have your china collection reflect your personal style.The Austin-based design team of Bailey Amon and Emma James will help you create a unique and vintage china collection for your registry. These two ladies will work to coordinate a gorgeous china set and also other items that fit your lifestyle.
15. Etsy: We wrote about this in last week’s wedding-focused Tech of the Week, but have to mention it here as well. Being fans of all things DIY and hand-crafted, we were jazzed to hear Etsy had created a registry service. This is a fantastic way to register for just about everything handmade or vintage you can dream of.
What non-traditional registries have you found or dreamed up? Let us know in the comments below or send registry sites our way on Twitter.