Out of the Box
Wedding registry alternatives
Words by Samantha Simma
Packing along a gift can be cumbersome for guests traveling to a destination wedding, as stuffing their suitcase full of clothing for mountain weather may already tip them over baggage weight limits. Instead, consider a modern wedding registry that provides your guests with intangible gift options. From newlywed experiences to home renovation funds, online registries are fully customizable to your needs and lifestyle.
Let your guests play an important part in making your honeymoon the vacation of a lifetime. Websites like Honeyfund and Traveler’s Joy allow you to create an online portal for guests to make contributions. Each site varies on how it handles transaction fees and payment methods, but the real beauty lies in the freedom to use your funds toward different portions of travel: airline tickets and upgrades, accommodations, food and drink, or excursions. Some sites let guests select the experience they would like to contribute to, while others host the fund as a lump sum.
User-friendly web interfaces make both your setup process and your guests’ gifting experience easy to execute. Step-by-step instructions walk you through adding your destination and activities into one dreamy fund. On Traveler’s Joy, for example, your profile can include a letter to your guests, a map of your trip’s destination, and categorized honeymoon activities broken into multiple contributions from more than one guest. From scuba diving to sailing, let your guests take the stress out of your trip planning. Also, by adding experiences to your honeymoon registry, those staunch on tradition—who may balk at the idea of gifting cash—can feel like their contribution is concrete.
A home-funding registry may seem even more legit to grandpa when he realizes his funds are going toward a down payment on your future home. Feather the Nest and Home Fund It let you set up cash contributions dedicated to housing. Your fund can be open-ended or attached to a specified goal, which is trackable on your profile page. Giving to a home fund, quite literally, offers guests the chance to help build a solid foundation for your marriage.
For the couple that has it all, consider dedicating your wedding registry to a charitable cause. Pay your happiness and good fortune forward by establishing a goodwill fund in your name. Think about causes that are important to you as a couple: community development, education, the environment, or even social justice. The Good Beginning, a charity-based website, helps you hone in on impactful organizations. You might even consider making the recipient one of the Teton area nonprofits, like the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole or Teton Valley. Or, aligning with POW (Protect Our Winters), a climate advocate, might be suitable if you’re a couple who skis or snowboards.
If you’re looking to combine all options into one easy registry, sites like Zola let you hybridize your profile with both classic wedding gifts and the cash funds we’ve covered. This allows guests to choose the present that speaks to them and even invites friends and family to go in on large ticket items collectively.
Finally, when communicating your registry to your guests, make it simple by adding a tab to your wedding website (included on your save-the-date cards) that shows the link to your profile and basic instructions. Provide a heartfelt note telling guests why you’ve selected this out-of-the-box idea and how much their support means to you as a couple.
New Home Funding Sites
Sites that Offer all Three