Going Off-Registry: Your Guide to Giving Unexpected Wedding Gifts

Going Off-Registry: Your Guide to Giving Unexpected Wedding Gifts

Taryn Williford
Aug 30, 2016

Shopping off-registry is sometimes a result of preference—you want to give the newlyweds something a little more personal and reflective of your wishes for their future than a roasting pan. But sometimes it's a decision made of desperation: When every item's been fulfilled, or your friends' registries are way out of your "I already spent a mint on a bridesmaids dress and airfare"-budget, turn to one of these always-appreciated options.

Something for the Honeymoon

The best gifts have some element of instant gratification. Give them something they'll use right away after the wedding.

A Kindle, a nice Camera or other helpful tech.

Technology has turned the travel experience on its head. They'll never think to ask for it, but your couple might appreciate something high-tech to use on their trip. A Kindle Paperwhite ($119.99), Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones ($280) or Mophie Juice Pack backup battery case ($99.95) will get as much use on the plane as on the beach. And if your couple have become iPhone photographers in the past several years, they might love a dedicated digital camera or even a GoPro Hero ($199.99) to capture their adventure.

A destination splurge.

Many couples are opting to register for honeymoon experiences, but if yours didn't, that doesn't mean a vacation splurge is off the menu entirely. If you find out where they're staying, you can have champagne and fruit sent up for them, or just put a little cash onto a tab at the spa. Or buy in advance to have excursion tickets or vouchers ready for them before they leave.

Something to Enjoy Together at Home

The goal with this category of gift: You want to give something that encourages an activity—inspiring some newlywed quality time.

A really nice bottle of wine, champagne or spirits.

Your go-to host gift could be a go-to wedding gift, too. Consider the bumped-up budget of a wedding gift permission to get something really special, like a personalized, engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label ($229).


A great cookbook could inspire hundreds of at-home date nights. But instead of grabbing a title or two off the shelf, consider a chic set like the color-coordinated Cook's Books Sets from Juniper Books ($250) which includes all the cooking classics in a display-worthy package.

A board game.

In honor of marrying their forever "Player 2," give the couple a fun board game that they can play together. We rounded up our favorites—from Carcassonne to Scrabble—right here.

Something to Experience as a Couple

If you're shopping off-registry because the registry is fulfilled from top to bottom, one thing is for sure: Your couple has more than enough "stuff." Opt for an experience instead.

Classes to learn something new.

Time to put on your listening hat and get creative. Is there something you know the couple has always wanted to learn? Pay up front for something like improv classes, a ballroom dance lesson or cooking classes to sharpen their kitchen techniques.

A museum membership or season passes to something.

If they're not museum people, check out if something like season tickets to the local farm team are within your budget.

A personalized brick at their alma mater or hometown.

Alright so this isn't an "experience" by itself, but your gift will likely inspire a road trip in the near future that will let the couple re-live their newly dating glory days.

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