The MANual: Wedding Registry

Alternative Registries: Thinking Outside The Gift-Wrapped Box

There’s no law that says you must limit your registry to the stereotypical mix of blenders, towels, china patterns and crystal gravy boats. There is a whole industry of alternative registries that offer the opportunity to get what you really need, not what tradition tells you you need.

Maybe you already have most of the things necessary for setting up a home together. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable asking people for material things. Maybe you just really love pizza (see below).  There is a registry out there for you and your fiancée.


Honeymoons are one of the most expensive parts of any wedding. So instead of pestering your parents or sucking up to that one rich great aunt who’s willing to bankroll your dream vacation, use your honeymoon registry to spread the cost around.

Online registry sites like and can help you get funds to pay for all your projected honeymoon expenses. They take a percentage of each monetary gift in lieu of a subscription payment.

Popular vacation destination like Sandals Resorts and Walt Disney World offer their own honeymoon registries that can help you itemize and plan all of your vacation requirements.

With most honeymoon registries, you’re not locked in to your initial plan. Like someone who buys something from a brick and mortar store, you may decide you don’t like it and take it back. You’re free to change your mind and do something else.

Wedding Registries

Asking For Money With A Cash Registry


Say that you and your fiancée are tired of living in apartments, efficiencies or those tiny homes from HGTV reality shows. It’s not easy to find a decent home without racking up a lot of debt.

Most of the popular wedding registries sites like let you request a donation for a down payment on a new home, or to help fund construction or renovations on a new home. You can even set up a simple fundraising page on a crowdfunding site like or an account on, where guests can offer to help fund your new home.

Home registries require a little finesse when it comes to how you ask for your gifts. You don’t necessarily want to ask for a specific amount. That might come off as tacky. Most home registries will break everything out, such as the closing costs for a new home or upgrades you need for your kitchen.


The cost of college tuition keeps growing at an astronomical rate. If that scares the bejesus out of you, start preparing for your future children’s education with your wedding registry.

The Gift of Education seems to be the most popular registry of its kind. It not only offers a smart way to start a college fund for the kids you plan on having (or already have), but also eliminates some of the extra burdens of managing a registry.

For instance, you can inform your guests about your special registry by sending messages through their social media accounts and send thank you notes when you receive a gift.

Do you have a student loan looming over your head? Chances are you do since there’s $1.3 trillion of it floating around out there, according to LendEdu. There’s nothing wrong with using your registry to help pay off your own education.

Wedding Registries

Start Your Registry With A Checklist


Let’s say you’ve got your honeymoon all paid for, you have a house to live in and Einstein-level smarts to pass on to your offspring, so they won’t even need to go to college. Time to get weird.

Pretty much every registry site or service lets you link to retail sites, so you can customize your dream registry. Let’s say you’re a doomsday prepper, for instance (hey, they get married too: someone’s got to repopulate the apocalyptic wasteland.) You can link stores like Walmart and Amazon, and ask your guests for things like bulk cereals, water filters, duct tape, shotgun shells, bowie knives and chemical toilets.

Maybe not that’s not crazy enough for you. Fine. We’ll be your huckleberry. How about a Domino’s Pizza registry?

Yes, the company you always call right after you text your weed dealer. You can register for items like gift cards and custom meals on special occasions like date nights, anniversaries or even the wedding reception. Domino’s at your wedding reception? Only a madman would contemplate such a plan.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of alternatives to the traditional place setting and towel-set registry. Don’t be afraid to explore your options: this is a case where you should get what you really need.

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Even More Wedding Registries