6 Alternatives to a Traditional Registry

6 Alternatives to a Traditional Registry

By Kaitlyn Murray

Much to some of our grandparent’s chagrin, living with your significant other before tying the knot is not only common, but pretty much expected in today’s day and age. Sorry, Gram, but some of us like knowing which side of the bed we’ll be allocated or just how much hair our soon-to-be spouse actually leaves behind in the shower drain before signing on for forever. We might even be roomies for years before rings and vows ever become a thought.

Plus there are some perks: the best part about building a home (or, if we’re being honest, a tiny apartment that could pass as Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs) together is filling it with stuff. But the not-so-thrilling part? Paying for it yourself. Your average house / apartment / hole in the wall warming parties tend to procure more wine bottles (not that you’re complaining) than blenders and slow cookers. But stuff does eventually accumulate over time. And then before you know it you are putting a ring on it and, lo and behold, you and your partner already have more household items than you actually need.

So what, then, do you do when that disapproving but loving family member still insists on showering you with wedding gifts? You wouldn’t dare disappoint them further, so focus their finances elsewhere: here are our top 6 alternatives to a traditional registry.


1. Charity Donations

For the kind and selfless souls among us (seriously, kudos to you), consider having your guests donate whatever cash they were planning to hand over at the reception to a cause that is especially meaningful to you and your beau. I Do Foundation  is a great resource that will help you set everything up online, but if you’re not sure which charity / cause you’d like to support, these are some of our local favorites:

Hasbro Children’s Hospital

Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animalslogo-inside

Dorian J. Murray Foundation

The Katie DeCubellis Memorial Foundation

Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation

Johnny Cake Centeruntitled

The Matty Fund   

Day One

Rhode Island Food Bank


2. Honeymoon Fundeiffeltower

This is especially helpful for those couples who aren’t planning to jet off as soon as the sparklers fizzle out. Ask your guests to help you take the trip you’ve always dreamed about with HoneyFund or Traveler’s Joy. And if you’re at a loss of where to even begin when it comes to the actual planning, our friends, DWH planners, are experts in their field.

3. Future Homeowner Fund

Because even Harry got out of that cupboard eventually. Try Upon Our Star or Feather Our Nest.


4. College Savings

Planning on having a couple of tykes running around your feet in the near future? Well, they won’t be tykes forever, and as we millennials love to bemoan, college ain’t cheap. Be proactive and start saving for their higher education now with Grad Save Gifts. Future you will be eternally grateful.


5. All the Gift Cards

You spent enough on your wedding, so don’t pay for anything else (i.e. meals, clothes, etc.) for the next year or so: Card Avenue.

6. And if you really just don’t want yourwine-box-bottle-case guests to have to spend a single dime, ask them to bring something personal.

A beloved book or movie. A letter or notepad filled with their best bits of marriage advice. A great photo of you and them to add to a pin-up collage. A home cooked appetizer or dessert. A favorite bottle of wine. A flower from their garden to press in a scrapbook. The possibilities are endless!

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