A decade ago, no one would get married without a registry. Or six. Nowadays, though, with more couples living together or in their own households before getting married, there’s more likely a problem with having too much stuff than not enough.
Today’s newlyweds are more likely living in a smaller space than couples of yore, and they also just don’t need many of the common registry items, such as sprawling sets of fine china or silver. Eco-friendly couples may also opt to go sans registry to keep more items out of landfills. Whatever the reasons, registries aren’t required anymore.
For the couple forgoing gifts of any kind, enlist the help of the parents and bridal party to spread the word that no gifts are required. Make sure to include that wording on all of your wedding stationery and communications, and plan for when people show up with gifts anyway. That means you still have to order some thank-you cards.
An alternative is to ask your guests to donate to a charity. You can ask your guests to choose a charity they support, or you can pick a handful that are dear to your hearts. Don’t settle for a single charity; there may be something about that charity that’s off-putting to at least one of your guests. Let them choose where their donation goes.
Another option is to have guests put money into a honeymoon fund. There are several websites out there that will set this up for you. You can also pay for the honeymoon yourselves, but ask guests to buy you experiences while on your trip, such as a wildlife excursion or a dinner at a restaurant.
Some newlyweds would just prefer cold, hard cash. It can be for a new home or maybe they plan to start a family right away. The couple should give some explanation so that guests can feel warm fuzzies when they contribute, but there’s nothing wrong nowadays with just asking for money. Just like with honeymoon registries, there are websites that can walk you through setting up a cash registry.