With a bewildering number of wedding registry sites making it possible to register for anything, figuring out what you really want – and if it's appropriate to ask for it – can be an overwhelming experience.
We've consulted with wedding industry experts ranging from wedding planners and etiquette experts to a professional bridesmaid (yes, it's a thing) to find out which gifts made an impression on them. While some sound insane – a lifetime supply of avocados, anyone? – most of them are so smart, you'll wish you thought of them yourself.
Though it may seem like everyone's shacking up before the big day, 24% of couples aren't, according to Kristen Maxwell Cooper, Executive Editor of . If they're design conscious, why not give your newlywed friends the gift of a unique space? Maxwell Cooper recommends a design package from Decorist: After a one-on-one consultation with the couple, the decorator creates a room design and layout recommendation – shopping list included – so that the couple can create the space of their dreams. (Psst: and offer similar services, too!)
Schlepping to work just got simpler. According to Jennifer Spector, 's Newlywed-at-Large, couples are increasingly registering for experiences that they can share long after the honeymoon – like the not-so-sexy commute. Zola's package includes an unlimited number of 45 minute rides for two.
Yup, you actually can ask your guests to help you fund a down payment on your first pad. "Some wedding guests have expressed the sentiment that the bride and groom would have been better off using the money they spent on the wedding to make a down payment," destination wedding planner explains. Registry services like and make it possible.
It's probably not at the top of your list, but it certainly is one of the most practical. "One of my clients purchased a hot tub with funds from their registry, then built the deck that surrounds it with their wedding gift cards from Home Depot," Malone explains. Now that's a clever couple.
Looking for a set of hot wheels? Jen Glantz, a professional bridesmaid at a service which assists brides both before and the day-of the wedding, suggests you put a "new car fund" on your registry, where guests can contribute however much they'd like. "Even if you receive a thousand dollars, it's still a nice sum of money you can put in a savings account for your future purchase," Glantz says. Overall, Glantz finds that couples are listing bigger ticket items – like cars, HD TVs, and sofas – by dividing them into small, separate chunks of funds, so that guests can crowd fund them.
Hear us out on this one: These speakers are perfect for a peaceful night in, or for entertaining guests with a killer playlist. Spector herself registered for them! And since several of our wedding experts told us that these speakers are one of the most-coveted registry items, it's safe to say they'll be popping up on a friend's wish list soon.
"We've been seeing more and more couples register for art – using a consultant to help them begin to curate a collection," says Marina Birch, principal designer of . "While this may sound unaffordable, there are a lot of ways to approach this, like asking an art history student to help put some thought into your first few pieces (street art counts!) for a very small fee."
You have to eat, and more than one of our experts said couples are springing for subscriptions to and to get easy-to-prepare meals delivered to their doorsteps. Maxwell Cooper suggests vino lovers register for Glassful or Club W.
"The weirdest thing I've seen is a couple register for decorations they needed for their actual wedding, like a guest book and a cake topper," Glantz says. Emily Post may not approve, but if you're paying for your own wedding, and need it, why not register for it? "Couples are looking to get the kind of gifts they want and need the most," Glantz emphasizes.