Are traditional wedding registries out? If you’re looking for something more unique for your wedding registry, you’re going to love this post explaining 5 nontraditional wedding registries.
I’ve been having so much fun talking all about wedding registries lately on Wedding Wednesdays. We started with my wedding registry tips and tricks, then chatted all about what stores to register at and lastly, I shared the ultimate wedding registry checklist and free printable with you. While all of that is fine and dandy, there may be some couples out there thinking…this whole wedding registry thing just isn’t for us. Well, I’ve got some good news just for you. There are tons of other options out there. One of these nontraditional wedding registries may be just what you’re looking for.
Many of the nontraditional wedding registries that I outline below are, in one way or another, asking for cash or money gifts. Traditionally this has been against etiquette, but it is much more common and socially acceptable nowadays.
“There was a time when the mavens of manners turned up their noses at the thought of giving money as a gift, but today there are plenty of people who can’t think of a more appropriate present for two people beginning their new, shared life.” – The Knot Source
Maybe you have already been living together for years and your house is stocked with everything you need. Maybe you are a minimalist and just don’t need any more clutter (I feel ya!). Maybe you are adventurers and you’d much rather have a killer honeymoon than a sleek new coffeemaker. There are so many reasons that one of these nontraditional wedding registries may be for you.
This nontraditional wedding registries post contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend anyway! Read my full disclosure here.
5 Nontraditional Wedding Registries
Zola: an all-in-one wedding registry to simplify your life
Zola (and the like) aren’t completely nontraditional in every sense. You still register for products for your home and new life together. They offer bonus gifts, a completion discount (see below), free shipping for orders over $100 and a thank you manager, just like those traditional registry stores (I explain them all here). But Zola takes it a step further. Everything is kept in one place, rather than multiple registries from different stores or websites. You can also not only add any product from any website, but you can throw in experiences (everything from a subscription to Blue Apron to cooking classes) and cash funds. Cash Funds are fun items that you can register for in order to request money to be gifted. For example, you can add a round trip airfare fund or a dinner and a movie fund. This is great way to request money as a gift because I’m sure your guests will love giving the $ to you if they know you will enjoy an experience together as newlyweds. You can seamlessly transfer the cash gifts to your bank account as soon as they are purchased. There is a 2.65% fee for cash funds. Zola claims that they offer the lowest fee in the industry and don’t make a dime off of the fees (they are just for the credit card companies). Couples are able to choose who pays for the fee, the couple or the guest.
Zola’s interface is clean and seems to be easy to use. They describe it as a Pinterest for your wedding registry. You can create a custom wedding registry website with your picture and everything. Take look at some of these examples. Zola also has a mobile app complete with a bar code scanner and helpful functions, like the planner which tells you how many gifts you need for each price point based on the number of guests attending your wedding.
Zola offers group gifting, where guests can contribute a certain amount towards a large item on your list. This only applies to gifts on the Zola registry, not gifts that you register from other stores. If the gift doesn’t get 100% funded, you get whatever amount has been gifted.
One of the most unique things about Zola is that when someone orders a gift online, you can decide to keep the gift and have it shipped now or convert the cost of the gift to Zola credit to buy the gift later or something else. This is great for couples that don’t have anywhere to store their gifts or are in the process of moving. This only applies to gifts on the Zola registry, not gifts that you register from other stores.
Lastly, Zola offers a 10% completion discount for an ENTIRE YEAR after your wedding that is able to be used as many times as you want. That is totally the longest discount window I’ve seen in all my research… and I did a lot to put together my post “Where Should We Register For Our Wedding?” You can also add any items that you want after your wedding and have the discount applied.
Blueprint: an innovative wedding registry
Blueprint is very similar to Zola, but the registry is organized by rooms of your home. This helps the giver know how and where you will use their gift in your home. You can add products from any store or create cash funds (which they keep stored in the “Experiences Room” of your registry). You can ask for contributions to a home fund, charity donations, etc. You’ll receive your cash funds via Paypal. Blueprints fees for the cash registry are 2.65% + $0.45 per transaction, which is passed to the guest at checkout.
As you add products to your registry, you can also make any of the item a group gift. You just set the number of guests to split the gift and the amount per guest will adjust. Once a guest makes a purchase toward the gift for a certain amount, the amount remaining will update automatically. If you don’t quite reach the total amount within two weeks after you wedding, you will receive the cash value that was contributed towards the gift.
You can create a custom registry page with photos of the happy couple. The interface is very nice, showing clean photos in a grid format.
Honeyfund: the #1 online wedding registry
Honeyfund was one of the first crowd sourcing wedding registry websites that popped up, or at least it was the first I ever heard of. It’s one of the more well known nontraditional wedding registries. Honeyfund deals solely with cash funds, not registering for traditional products from stores like Zola and Blueprint. Honeyfund is unique from the other registries I’ve already discussed in that the gift giver can bring the money directly to you at the wedding by check or cash…. aka no fees! If they do want to pay using their credit card, there’s a 2.8% + 0.30 per transaction fee and it’s delivered to your Paypal account. That’s right, Honeyfund never even handles your money.
JustGive (Formally Known As I Do Foundation): connects people with charities and causes
JustGive allows couples to register for donations to charities instead of gifts. You can choose one or more charities for your gift givers to donate to. JustGive processes the online donations and distributes them to your chosen charity. I love this option for the couple that already has everything they need and wants to give back!
You may have heard of I Do Foundation, which used to operate the similar type of registry. It looks like they’ve merged a few months ago and are now operating under the Just Give brand.
Hatch My House: a gift registry to save for a house
Hatch My House is a very unique twist on your wedding registry. It is, essentially, a place for your guests to contribute towards a down payment for a home. Once the couples design their home’s choosing the style, color and setting, the gift givers are able to have some fun by purchasing a certain part of the home (like a window or a dining room table, etc.). The couple sets the price of each item. You can choose from $50, $100 or $300 options, however the giver can choose the amount of the gift when they purchase (although after scoping out some registries, it looks the minimum price is $25). You can upload a photo and write a nice note to your guests. You will receive the cash via PayPal.
The interface, although not very modern looking, is highly interactive. You hover over items on the house to see if it has been purchased yet. If they haven’t been purchased, you see a description of the item (ie: window and a price). You can also add a note when you purchase that will show up on hovering over the object.
The transaction fee is 5.9% percent (including the PayPal fee) and the couple can choose if the couple always pays it, the guests always pay it or if you would like your guests to choose whether to pay it or not. They recommend giving the guests the option of covering the fee and they say that about 90% don’t mind adding the small fee atop their gift.
So, what do you think? Are you still in the camp that thinks it’s inappropriate to ask for cash with one of these nontraditional wedding registries? Is one of these nontraditional wedding registries for you? I’d love to hear from ya!
In case you missed the other wedding registry posts…