Cash, Gift Cards and Other Wedding Registry Alternatives

February 18 2021 – Mike Yarbrough

giving cash gift at wedding
giving cash gift at wedding

Setting up a wedding registry is a way for a newlywed couple to get a jump-start on their new life together. (Plus, who doesn't like being showered in gifts?) The wedding registry, in its most traditional form, dates back to in 1924. It was invented by the retailer Marshall Field's (now called Macy's), to help newlyweds pick out china, crystal and silver. In essence, it was a clever marketing tactic that caught on in a big way. 

These days, the traditional idea of a wedding registry might seem outdated to a modern couple, leading many to seek out wedding registry alternatives. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there, all of which should be easy to set up or link to on your wedding website.

Honeymoon Registry

Wedding registries have usually been focused on filling a newlywed couple's house with lots of new stuff. But you could argue that experiences carry far more value than things. That's why a honeymoon registry is one of our favorite wedding registry alternatives. 

A honeymoon registry allows your friends and family to contribute in any number of ways. You could have individuals choose to pay for various aspects of the trip, like chipping in for airfare, car rentals and hotels, or you could include honeymoon add-ons like a couples' massage or dinner at a nice restaurant. Several websites let you easily set up a honeymoon registry, with Honeyfund, Buy Our Honeymoon, and Wanderable being a few of the most popular. 

Charitable Registry

Maybe you're already blessed with an abundance of possessions, or maybe you're a pair of generous souls who are genuinely happy with less. Either way, many couples simply don't want wedding gifts. 

If that's the case, you have an opportunity to give something back by setting up a charitable registry. This fun wedding registry alternative allows you to pick a charity of your choice to which your guests can donate. You could even choose multiple charities and give folks the option of donating to their favorite. 

New Home Fund

You and your significant other are starting a new life together and there's a very good chance you'll be buying, building or renovating a home in the not-too-distant future. If that is indeed the case, you can ask your wedding guests to contribute to your new home fund, home renovation fund or home building registry. 

There are quite a few ways to set that up. It could be as simple as creating a registry with your local hardware store or lumberyard! Sites like Hatch My House and Blueprint also make it simple to set up a new home registry.

Gift Card Registry

Maybe you have brands or stores you like, but don't know exactly what you need. Maybe you just enjoy the process of shopping for home goods yourself. Whatever the reason, there are times when asking for gift cards is just better for everybody.

gift card registry for wedding

Like the other options on this list so far, setting up a gift card registry also lets you focus on experiences over things. You could ask for gift cards to your favorite restaurant or movie theater for future date nights. You could ask for subscriptions to a wine club or meal delivery service that you can enjoy for months. You could even ask for a gas gift card for that big road trip you're planning. The options are endless.

Locally Focused Registry

Not everybody wants their wedding registry to support big box stores and online mega-retailers. Creating a locally-focused wedding gift registry is a way to support your community while receiving gifts you'll really love. 

If you know of businesses in your area you'd like to support, chances are, it will be easy to approach them directly about setting up your registry with them. You can curate your registry of local goods through Etsy, and some sites like My Registry allow you to choose small, local businesses. 

Cash Is King

While asking your wedding guests for cash instead of gifts is a bit of a controversial idea in some circles and can make some people uncomfortable, that doesn't mean you should totally write off the possibility. The fact is, getting married is expensive, and starting a new life as a married couple carries with it all manner of unforeseen expenses.

You can use your cash gifts to help fund your wedding and honeymoon, or to stock your new home with furnishings of your choice. You could simply put it aside as your nest egg. In any case, bear in mind that giving cash takes a bit of the fun out of gift-giving for many of your guests, so be sure to write lavish thank-you cards to anyone who gives you cash. 

The type of wedding registry you opt to have will depend a lot on your style of wedding. Take our brief wedding style quiz to discover which wedding style is best for you.

Before thinking about the honeymoon or the new home for you and your future spouse, you’ll need some wedding rings! Get in touch with our team today to start designing your own custom wedding rings! Our live chat team is here to answer any and all of your questions.