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Special section Wedding costs

The real reason anyone gets married -- gifts!

Wedding presents

Offbeat wedding registry ideas

Modern wedding registries go beyond mere towels and toasters. Today's brides and grooms can use registries to help fund their honeymoons, improve their homes and even purchase his-and-her sporting gear.

Wedding registries can include just about anything, from jewelry to wine to home-office supplies.

If you love to go camping, register for camping gear, says Joyce Scardina Becker, certified wedding consultant, president of Events of Distinction and author of "Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding." "The most unique registries come from your personality."

With brides and grooms marrying later in life -- the average bride is 27 and her groom, 29, according to a 2006 survey conducted for The Conde Nast Bridal Group -- couples may already own all the home essentials. Luckily, there are many useful registry options to guide friends and family who wish to give gifts in honor of the marriage.

To help jump-start your registry wish list, we compiled the registry trends and emerging registry categories noted by wedding industry professionals. Some of the gift picks extend far beyond the conventional selections.

Wedding registry ideas and trends
Backyard entertainment
Bathroom spas
Household decor
Financial registries
Home improvement
Home office
Movies, music and books
Sporting goods

Backyard entertainment -- The "backyard oasis" is a new category that's growing in popularity, says Sharon Naylor, author of "The Ultimate Wedding Registry Workbook" and 26 other wedding-planning books. Items in this category include new grills, hammocks, patio sets and chimeneas.

Find outdoor entertaining supplies at general retailers such as Wal-Mart and home improvement stores such as The Home Depot.

Bathroom spas -- Though the bathroom is a traditional category in a traditional registry, couples are making the bathroom more of a spa experience, says Naylor, and are equipping it with luxury pieces, such as heated towel racks and fountain shower heads.

If you want to upgrade your bathroom, consider registering with home-decor retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens 'N Things.

Household-blending decor and organizers -- "Couples are registering for organizers and home decor that blends the styles of different collections and households," says Naylor. This could be a new leather ottoman that ties in the couch and loveseat or it could even be telescopes.
-- Updated: July 23, 2007
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