Thursday, July 8, 2010

Going off the Registry

Its wedding season. And wedding season means wedding gifts. And for women, bridal shower and bachelorette party gifts. Most of the time, it is best to just go with the couple's registry; but there's certain times when its ok to go off the registry:

(a) When its a close friend
(b) When you know the couple and their taste
(c) If the couple has been living together for a while, and pretty much have all the kitchen ware and gadgets already.

I've gone "off registry" for a few weddings over the past few years, and here's what I've gotten them instead:

When my friends Ry and El got married, I got them a gift card to Sushi Rock. Why Sushi Rock? Because they love sushi, and it was where we went on our first double date. (Unofficial Off-Registry Rule: make sure you pick something meaningful; perhaps something that triggers a shared memory. Gift certificates are completely acceptable in these situations)

My dear friend Aneesha got married in June to her loooong term boyfriend. Aneesha and I met when we were both working in Chi-town, and bonded over our love of shoes. For her wedding, I got her a gift certificate to Zappos!

When our architect-friends got married, I got the bride an architectural bowl from Banyan Tree for her wedding shower. (Off-Registry Recommendation: take a look at the bride and groom's registry to see what they are registered for, and use those as a basis for your off-registry gifts)

Other great Off-Registry gift ideas include:
Gourmet cooking classes (at the Viking School, Sur La Table, or with Michael Symon if you can manage to get a reservation) for the foodie-couple;
Couples massage at their honeymoon destination (if you know where it is) for the stressed-out couple;
A cleaning service like Eco Maids (if, like me, the bride or groom hate cleaning);
Tickets to a sporting event for sports-fan couples;
Bacon of the Month Club (need I say more), or any ...of The Month Club, but only where its relevant to couple

Hope these suggestions help you boldly go Off-Registry where appropriate. And remember, ALWAYS get a gift receipt!!


Lia said...

I am getting married in October and I have been praying that not too many people go off my registry! I created my wish list on, and have a lot of items from a number of different stores for my friends and family to choose from. BUT, I must say....that I luuuuuuuurve your idea of getting your friends a gift certificate to where you guys had your first double date!! That's really really cute :)

CLEshopaholic said...


I completely understand! When N and I got married, I was in the same boat! Therefore the very specific rules on when it's ok to go off registry : ) the last thing you want is someone who "thinks" they know you buy something you would never pick for yourself. I know it's supposed to be the thought that counts, but what's the point of giving someone something that they will never use?! Congratulations on your wedding!!!! I hope your day is everything that you want it to be!!!

Ben said...

Hi, came across your blog and couldn't agree more with your comments on registries, the rules are changing as wedding couples change. And in fact after facing the prospect of registering for a third toaster for our own wedding, my wife and I created, which is a gift registry for restaurant gift certificates (currently Chicago only but expanding soon). Love your support for gift certificates as a wedding gift and definitely think there's nothing more personal than getting your friends a date night as newlyweds. Cheers!

Ben Reid