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Special section Wedding costs

The real reason anyone gets married -- gifts!

Wedding presents

Offbeat wedding registry ideas

Browse decor shops such as Z Gallerie for household-blending furnishings and general retailers such as Target for organizers.

Charities -- Some people who don't want material gifts can register at Web sites such as the I Do Foundation and where their families and friends can make a donation to help a favorite charity. If you want gifts, as well, the I Do Foundation also has a gift registry that donates a percentage of the purchases made to the charity.

If couples want to register with a local chapter of an organization, Becker suggests calling the local branch directly to set it up -- otherwise all the donations will go to the national headquarters.

Besides researching how the registry will work, Naylor suggests staying away from controversial charities such as politically charged ones, as these may offend some relatives and reduce the donation amounts they otherwise would make.

Financial registries -- There has been a little growth in financial registries, such as the house down-payment registry, says Naylor, but they are not fully accepted yet.

If you think some of your guests might contribute to a down-payment registry, check with your bank to see what's available. If you want gift certificates for other expensive endeavors, such as moving to a new city, consider a registry that allows guests to contribute toward your goals.

One such site, lets couples register for nongift items, such as money for honeymoon expenses or moving costs, and then allows guests to put any amount toward the total.

"For example, a registrant could list 'down payment for house,' without having to count on word-of-mouth that they would prefer cash, as opposed to a toaster," says Peter DiSalvo, Felicite's vice president of marketing. "Felicite will collect contributions, then send the registrant a check."

Be aware that sites offering services such as this will generally charge a fee. Read all the fine print before signing up.

Are financial registries considered impolite?
Certified etiquette and protocol consultant Leah Ingram says these registries aren't as insulting as asking for money. "Something that involves money but doesn't involve greenbacks seems less bad to me, less offensive," she says.

-- Updated: July 23, 2007
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