Unique Wedding Registry Ideas: What Newlyweds Really Want

When you are just starting your life together, all the new expenses add up quickly. Take advantage of a wedding registry! I’ve put together a list of unique wedding registry ideas for anyone as unconventional as me.

Unique Wedding Registry Ideas: What Newlyweds Really Want
A few of my favorite unique wedding registry gifts!

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As a recent newlywed, I found most wedding registry suggestions to be boring or unnecessary, so I’ve put together a list of unique wedding registry ideas for anyone as unconventional as me.

Many of these wedding registry items would also double as fantastic Christmas or birthday gifts, too, so take note!

Just like when you made outrageous Christmas requests as a kid, creating a wedding registry is your moment to ask for what you really want.

Ultimately, your wedding registry should reflect your individual interests and styles as a couple.

If you don’t really like hosting parties, don’t sign up for cake stands and tiered trays. If you believe your pet is a part of your union, go ahead and throw some pet supplies on your wedding registry.

When you are just starting your life together, everything can seem a bit overwhelming, and all the new expenses add up quickly. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of a wedding registry!

Take it from a new couple: cut costs wherever you can because weddings often end up costing a fortune, but they don’t have to.

Check out my DIY micro wedding post here if you’re still in the planning stages and need some money-saving ideas.

Choosing a Registry Site

There are so many stores and sites to create a wedding registry. Picking just one or even two is a difficult task.

We went with Amazon and Zola because we value things less and experiences more. We also went with Zola because it was a one-stop shop to building our entire wedding website.

However, we felt many items on Zola were overpriced or just didn’t fit our needs, so we also created an Amazon registry and linked it to our Zola site.

Here are the main questions to ask when narrowing down your wedding registry:

1. Do you prefer to register your items in-store or online?

2. Can you combine multiple registries from different brands?

3. Do you want your registry to be versatile and include both experiences and tangible items?

4. Does the registry offer any discount or other special promotion after the wedding?

5. Does the registry allow items to be purchased as a group gift?

6. Does the registry or store offer items you actually like that are fairly easy to ship?

7. What are the return and refund policies if you decide you don’t want an item?

Wedding Registry Realities

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for cash and gift cards, especially if you are saving up for a big item like an adjustable mattress or new furniture. People should understand if you’d rather skip the small stuff and put money toward large purchases.

However, no matter how small or large your wedding, there will always be someone who says, “but every couple needs one of these…” They will proceed to gift wrap something you Did. Not. Ask. For.

If that happens to you, take a DEEP breath. Say thank you anyway. Remind yourself that people only want the best for you and their gifts are a love offering. Also, you can still politely ask for the receipt, if applicable.

Truly, whatever you add to your wedding registry is your business and your right! You’re allowed to be as creative, or as practical, as you want.

We chose a little of both.

As 30-year-olds, we’d been on our own for over a decade. We had the bare necessities.

We still asked for some basic items because having something brand new versus a hand-me-down sometimes feels really nice. Like, for instance, matching towels in the kitchen or bathroom. Or a plate set that isn’t Corelle brand.

Not that there is anything wrong with Corelle. I just felt like it was time for big girl dinnerware, you know?

Thus, I included some starter items below that I highly recommend in addition to some more unconventional, unique wedding registry ideas, too.

Wedding Registry Items for…Travel & Outdoor Enthusiasts

America the Beautiful National Parks Pass

When we realized a national parks pass would practically pay for itself during our honeymoon road trip to Utah’s Mighty Five national parks, there was no question we needed it!

Considering most parks charge $10-$25 per car per day, while an $80 national parks pass is good for a full year to any park or federal land, it’s absolutely worthwhile for adventurous newlyweds.

Add it to your wedding registry if you and your spouse plan on doing as much exploring as possible in your first year together.

Silicone wedding rings

Many travel junkies leave their wedding rings at home to avoid losing or damaging them on adventures. Andrew and I bought silicone wedding bands for this reason, but also because we aren’t big on jewelry.

Silicone bands are a fun, inexpensive item to add to your wedding registry. Guests who like giving several gifts instead of one big one will enjoy adding these men’s and women’s silicone wedding band packs to their cart, knowing they will get use.

Scratch-off Map

To go along with your national parks pass, you can scratch off all the national parks you visit together with this checklist.

Or, display this scratch off world map on your wall to double as art and a bucket list challenge in one!

Fuel Gift Card

Even if you don’t technically use it toward a road trip, who doesn’t like a free tank fill-up?

AirBnB Gift Certificates

Really, any accommodations gift certificate would be a helpful contribution toward your honeymoon fund.

If you prefer hotels, add a certificate from Booking.com or Hotels.com to your wedding registry, instead. You get the gist!

Pickleball Paddle Set

OK, so it doesn’t have to be pickleball. Maybe you like other yard games like badminton or corn hole. Maybe you want a new outdoor basketball so you can play a little one-on-one at the park.

Maybe you’d like some hiking poles or water bladders for your next backpacking adventure.

Whatever the sport or interest, people would be happy to support your fitness goals knowing they are contributing to your quality of life as a married couple.

Camping Gear

· Coleman classic camping stove – just don’t forget to buy propane!

· Tent – if you have a truck, consider Napier for a tent that fits inside the bed of your truck. We love ours! Stays dry and clean even when it rains since it's off the ground.

· Folding table – something that both saves space and provides storage is ideal, like this one.

· Camping chairs – check out this 2-pack of the most comfy camping chairs ever!

· Head lamps – because your phones won’t always be there for you. Here’s 2 for $14 on Amazon.

· 2-person sleeping bag – this is a good mid-range option that will work for most seasons.

· Water-resistant picnic pad – you won’t feel guilty dirtying up this Scuddles outdoor blanket.

· Cooler – this 5-day Coleman ice chest rolls on wheels so you can save your strength.

If You Both Need More Reasons to Relax or Have a Date Night

Planning a wedding is stressful no matter how much time you have or how organized you are. When it’s all said and done, most couples are happy to finally chill out and spend time together.

You might even need a good date night before you say, “I do.” Check out this post for some creative and cheap date night ideas that won’t blow your wedding budget.

These items are great for couples who need a night off to relax!

Massage Gun – $40 off coupon on Amazon now!

Maybe you aren’t quite comfortable visiting a spa in-person just yet.

A massage gun is a great way to serve each other and relieve the aches and pains that stress can cause.

Newlywed stress is a whole different ball game, after all.

Couples Devotional or Journal

There are definitely some days we skip entirely due to the above mentioned busyness. But when we do make the time to read this Mr. and Mrs. devotional to each other, it makes me feel so much lighter.

However, if you’d prefer something more interactive, try journaling. Promptly Journals’ book for couples has prompts to follow and takes about 10 minutes to write and talk through.

Robot Vacuum

…Because it saves you time, which buys you a chance to relax. Or, at least it allows you to do something besides vacuuming.

My parents and brother bought us a refurbished iRobot Roomba from Amazon and it’s a huge time saver.

Since most decent robot vacuums are a couple hundred dollars, this is one good reason to choose a wedding registry that allows your guests to pitch in on a gift together.

However, you can also find a few robot vacuum options at Costco, too. Just keep in mind that since they don’t offer wedding registries, you’d have to ask for a Costco membership and gift card instead.

Bath Caddy

The ultimate “have your bath and all the other best things in life with you there, too” wedding gift.

If you have a handy husband like I do, you could technically have him build you one of these extendable trays. But why not save the time and ask for this one on your Amazon wedding registry?

Remember, even if you don’t get it from a wedding guest, it could still qualify for a post-nuptials discount!

Event Tickets or Gift Certificates

Did you know that online sites like Groupon and GoldStar provide gift certificates?

Maybe you always wanted to learn how to throw pottery, see a certain Broadway show, or try out a local food festival.

Since deals change daily for these sites, you might not be able to add a specific experience to your registry. But you can always ask for a certificate so you can score cheap tickets to a fun event later!

For Homebodies

The pandemic made homebodies out of all of us, to some degree. If you expect to do more cuddling than socializing during your first year together, allow your wedding registry to reflect it!

Board Games

Two-person games like Monopoly Bid, Fox in the Forest, Ticket to Ride, and Tiny Towns make for a fun night-in. But feel free to ask for big party games so you can invite all your friends over to play, too!

Like I always say, healthy competition is good for a new marriage. 😉

House Plants

Disclaimer: they don’t have to be REAL plants. Know thyself.

If you have a black thumb, there’s no shame in asking for beautiful silk foliage to bring some greenery to your indoor scenery.

But if you’re up for the challenge of becoming plant parents, try your hand at a mini herb garden. You can also add some cute planters (like these) or macrame plant hangers (like mine, below) to your wedding registry.

Cozy Hygge Blankets

Hygge has been a popular concept and design trend for the past few years. The Danish term refers to quiet comfort, including plush material and soft, natural hues.

To hygge-ish your wedding registry, add a cozy faux fur blanket or two. Probably two, to avoid an argument, because you’ll likely each want your own!

For Tech Lovers

Admittedly, I am not a tech-savvy person. My husband and brother are into tech gadgets, though, so they approve these techy investments!

Home Security System – SimpliSafe

There are multiple home security systems out there at an affordable price. After plenty of research, though, and having installed it once already for my rental property, I give my stamp of approval to SimpliSafe.

You can choose whether you want the affordable monthly monitoring or if you will self-monitor with the app. You can customize what features you want for your SimpliSafe package (doorbell with camera, safe lock, security cameras, door sensors, etc.).

Portable Projector

Host your own backyard movie night with friends once you’re settled with Vamvo’s projector! This highly-rated device is 10% off on Amazon right now, too, so you can save your wedding guests a few bucks.

Water-saving & Filtrating Shower Head

I mean, an LED shower head just sounds like a good idea. But one that saves water and filters out all the stuff that’s harmful to your skin and hair sounds even better.

For DIYers

Many couples would love to do house projects themselves. Problem is, one needs the right tools in order to tackle those DIY projects. And if you didn’t already know, those things ain’t cheap.

Tools and Landscaping Equipment

Usually, bridal showers only celebrate the bride.

Asking for tool sets or at least Home Depot gift cards for your man to purchase appropriate tools is a great way to incorporate his needs into your wedding registry. It’s also a good way to ensure future projects get done :D

Some starter tools to consider:

· Shop Vac (we use this cordless one more than a regular vacuum, honestly)

· Hammer

· Drill set

· Tape measure

· Miter saw (more of a group gift, but this Ryobi pack includes a miter saw and 5 other tools for only $348, which is a really good deal)

· Lawn mower

Remember, if you start with one brand, it’s best to stick with it. Most batteries are only compatible for the specific brands who make them.

We’ve found that Ryobi, Home Depot’s store brand, is fairly inexpensive but solid quality. In comparison to renting tools or even buying top brands, we’ve saved a lot of cash and have zero complaints about Ryobi’s results.

If You Spend Mucho Time in the Kitchen

I still had to include this section. Even though these aren’t super unique wedding registry ideas like the others I’ve mentioned, they come highly recommended by personal experience.

A Mixer That Isn’t a Mortgage Payment

Yes, you can ask for that super expensive KitchenAid stand mixer. What baker doesn’t want something that sleek and beautiful on their countertop?

For a person who only bakes a few times a year, though, this cute 3.5 quart mixer by Dash for under $100 is more than enough. There are several colors available as well.

Charcuterie Boards

Pandemic or not, people love to graze! If you are a hostess, you won’t be able to resist the aesthetic ability a charcuterie board brings to your party spread.

Guests will love purchasing one from your wedding registry then ogling at your culinary masterpiece when you invite them over sometime.

Whether you like a rustic acacia wood board, a round tray, or something modern with cheese knives included in a hidden slot, there are plenty of options to fit your style.

Veggie Spiralizer

While definitely the cheapest item in this category, I can swear to you it’s one of my favorite wedding registry gifts.

Zoodle lovers (zucchini noodles) can make paleo pasta in minutes. My husband actually now prefers it over regular pasta!

Espresso Machine

I’ll be honest and say I don’t actually own this one. I have a slightly cheaper version and it does an adequate job. But if I was back on the market for another espresso machine, this is probably the one I would choose.

Why? Well, it’s still affordable, it’s a traditional setup instead of disposable pods, and the ratings are high for both the crema and milk frothing abilities.

Misen Nonstick Pans – 8, 10, & 12 inch set

OK, I know these pans fall into the basic necessities category. But even if you already have some pans, this PFOA-free, oven-safe set of nonstick skillets is what every newlywed needs.

I’ve been using my Misen nonstick pans religiously for the past 6 months of married life. They remain in amazing, non-sticky condition! While I still prefer to use some oil or butter, it usually isn’t necessary to cook foods like eggs, fish, or stir fry.

I honestly don’t use any other pans to cook besides the few coveted Salad Master pots my mom gifted me for my first home.

If you’ve been shopping for pans, you know how darn expensive they can be. This 3-skillet set from Misen is only $140 on sale right now ($165 regular price).

Cordless Electric Kettle

This one could technically fit under the tech-lover category.

Basically, if you despise loose cords hanging all over your countertops and hate waiting for water to boil even more, you'll want this cordless electric kettle to make tea or French press coffee in a jiff.

Other Unique Wedding Registry Gifts We Love

A Monthly Meal Subscription (i.e. Hello Fresh or Sun Basket)

After your whirlwind wedding day and a honeymoon that undoubtedly will fly by, it can be tough getting into the swing of things with your new roommate.

A meal subscription will help you transition to a regular routine. Plus, it's a great way to add recipes to your cooking repertoire.

These Star Wars Inspired Pillowcases

I will never regret asking for these. Even though hardly anyone sees our bedroom but us, and the dog, seeing these pillow covers on our bed always makes me smile!

Mr. and Mrs. Ring Dish

Because you need to store your wedding rings somewhere when you're making use of those silicone rings instead...

A Clever “Lights and Darks” Laundry Hamper

All Natural Cleaning Supplies (like Mrs. Meyers or Seventh Generation)

Final Thoughts

As a general rule of thumb, ask for items you likely won’t buy for yourself, within reason. At this point in your adult life, you most likely can handle the basics already.

So why not ask for fun, actually useful, unique wedding gifts?

Erase all thoughts like “what if people think this is an odd thing to buy…” because if your wedding guests love you, they’ll get you what you asked for.

Above all, have a blast building your wedding registry together. Don’t stress it! Worst case scenario, if you decide you don’t like something after all, return or exchange it for something you both really want.

Whether you’re in the beginning stages or working through all the wedding hullabaloo as you read this, I’d love to be your sounding board!

Connect with me on IG: @missaniss._