A colleague of mine is getting married -- but, because they're both in their early 30s and have been living together for four years, they considered alternatives for the gift registry.
"At our age and stage of life, we really felt greedy asking for cash toward savings for our honeymoon or a home improvement project," says Priscilla Gomez, a reporter in Portland, Ore. "And, we've already got most of the household stuff. We chose an online all-in-one registry for specific items we still need or want from all different types of stores. Since my friends and family come from all over the country, this seemed like the simplest option for us and for them."
She says she's used charitable donation registries and honeymoon registries for friends' weddings. "One friend asked for gift cards as wedding gifts because they were moving. What you do with your registry just depends on your stage of life."
"The trend in marriage as it applies to wedding registries is that couples are getting married later in life or living together before marriage," says Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert for Kinoli Inc. "So they already own all the traditional wedding gifts like pots and pans, linens, and china. Also, some couples are cash-strapped or are overcoming financial hardships due to the recession, and now gift givers can help."
Whether you are looking to register or are the gift giver, here's Woroch's list of new alternative wedding registries you may encounter.
- Home down payment and mortgage registries: Guests contribute toward the couple's down payment or principal on their home mortgage.
- Gift card registries: Couples register for specific gift cards, and guests have the opportunity to save by buying them at discount gift card websites.
- Cash or wish registries: Couples register for "wishes," and guests give cash payments toward the wish.
- Honeymoon registries: Guests contribute to the couple's honeymoon plans.
- Home improvement registries: Guests contribute to help home improvement projects become a reality.
- Charitable donation registries: Couples register for their favorite charity and ask that guests make a donation.
- All-in-one registries: Instead of creating several separate registries at separate retailers, the couple can select items to by retailer or category from all over the Web.
Luke Knowles, the founder of CardAvenue.com adds, "In this difficult economy, gift givers want to make sure their present is truly useful."
I agree. What about you? Is this trend toward more specific wedding gift and cash requests tacky or timely?