10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a couple holding hands and a clear view of their blue band wedding rings.

We’re taking a quick break from the traditional wedding registry to highlight alternative wedding gift ideas.

It’s wedding season! And the most epic wedding series in TLC history, Say Yes to the Dress America, features a whopping 50 brides, one from every state.

While the dress is an integral part of any wedding day, there are so many other things to think about, including the venue, food, music, and of course, the gifts.

When it comes to wedding registries, it can be difficult to know what to ask for. Are some gifts considered more appropriate than others? Is there a price limit to stick to? And finally, what are the “normal” gifts to register for anyway?

Traditionally, wedding registries were a way for a young bride and groom to receive items they’d need for their new home. The perfect wedding gifts might have included cookware, serveware, household appliances, bedding, and bath linens. But now that it’s increasingly common for couples to live together before they’re married, many couples already have the basics they need for a shared home.

So what unique wedding gifts can you put on your registry instead? If you’re unsure, here are 10 wedding gift ideas to consider:

Custom or Monogrammed Gifts

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, an envelope decorated with calligraphy initials

Everyone loves receiving personalized wedding gifts. It’s nice to have something that includes your name or a couple photo you adore. Consider registering for “his and her” customized gifts, such as a pair of personalized wineglasses or coffee mugs, even his-and-her towels or robes. There’s also a print of your wedding song or a framed piece of monogrammed stationery. You’ll always have a fun memento of your special day.

Home Decor

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a table with plants in front of a couch with decorative throw pillows.

Home decor may not seem like a necessity, but it’s those personal touches that turn a house into a home — and since it’s all about personal taste, these are gifts you’ll definitely want to pick out yourself. Even if you and your partner have lived together for a while, home accessories are always a great addition, from throw pillows and throw blankets to accent lamps, tabletop frames, and art.

Luggage

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a pink suitcase filled with clothes, a pair of sunglasses, and a pair of shoes.

If you and your spouse-to-be are travelers, upgraded luggage is a great gift idea. Register for a new luggage now and you’ll be ready for your next trip — your honeymoon!

Outdoor Gear

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, two people lying on the ground, with only their sneakers visible and a bicycle next to them.

Hobby gear has become popular on wedding registries, something like the modern version of homemaking basics. If you and your fiance are activity seekers, you probably already have a list in mind, whether it’s tents and backpacks or high-end sports equipment like skis, bikes, or surfboards. This is your opportunity to upgrade your gear, so ask for what you want!

Pet Supplies

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a cat sitting on a bed with pink toys surrounding it.

Maybe you and your fiance don’t need anything for yourselves — but you do need something for your four-legged family member. If you have a pet, know that pet supplies are now making an appearance on wedding registries. Maybe it’s a fancy dog bed or a play gym for your cat — making your pet happy will make you happy too.

Experience Gifts

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a campsite where two people are lounging on a hammock.

If there are no material gifts you want to ask for, experience gifts are a great alternative. This is an opportunity for loving couples to celebrate their new life together with new experiences, whether that’s learning a new skill, exploring a new place, or getting out and discovering your own town in a new way. Intrigued but short on ideas? Check out this guide to “Experience Gifts for Adventurous Couples.” Whatever you choose, you’ll be creating memories together.

Wine-of-the-Month Subscription

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a woman holding a wine glass that's being filled up by someone holding a wine bottle.

There’s not much more relaxing than enjoying a glass of wine together at the end of the day. Whether you two are true wine lovers or interested novices, you probably like to try new wines whenever you have the chance. That’s where a wine subscription comes in. Each month, you’ll get a new wine or two to try, and you’re sure to find a few new favorites.

Meal Delivery Service

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a couple in the kitchen cooking. The woman is making a salad and the man is seasoning something in a pan.

If you and your spouse like to cook — or want to learn — a subscription to an ingredient-and-recipe meal kit is for you. You’ll receive fresh pre-measured ingredients, a recipe, and step-by-step instructions, so making a perfect dinner is pretty much foolproof.

Charity Donations

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, woman's hands filled with coins and a small slip of paper that reads 'make a change.'

If you’ve seen those birthday fundraisers on Facebook, you know what a marvelous idea this is. Tell your guests that instead of (or in addition to) material gifts, you’d like everyone to donate to the charity or charities close to your heart.

Cash Gift Fund

10 Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for a Modern Couple, a couple kissing in front of a house.

If you know what you want but it’s not exactly a “gift,” registering for a cash gift fund is now totally acceptable. For one happy couple it might be funding a house down payment, for another it might be a dream honeymoon. Be transparent (and let your friends and family in on the fun) by telling people exactly what the fund is for. Then enjoy!

Wedding registries are supposed to be fun, not stressful. As your wedding date approaches, know that there’s no “normal” or even “new normal” when it comes to wedding registries, just what’s right for you.

You can use any or all of these ideas to add gifts to your MyRegistry.com wedding registry. Don’t have one? It’s amazing — you can add any gift from any store! Create your registry here.

Tune into “Say Yes to the Dress America” Saturdays at 8/7c on TLC. We’ll be watching! Will you?

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