Catalina Jean Photography

Tips and Advice

Alternatives to Traditional Gift Registries

Wedding gift registries are a huge industry – your wedding guests want to be generous to you as you start your married life together! But what to do if you’re a couple who doesn’t wish to partake in the traditional registry? Perhaps you’ve been living together for a while and already have all of your kitchen supplies. Maybe you’re both minimalists or environmentally conscious, and would rather not collect a bunch of things. Maybe you would like to register for gifts, but not at the traditional merchandisers. If you hire a professional local wedding planner, like Your Perfect Bridesmaid or Alston Mayger Events, they will be able to help guide you on this, as well as, other personalized details. In the meantime, here are some ideas for wedding gift registry alternatives.


Why not have your guests put their gift money towards a vacation for you two instead of a blender? Sites like Honeyfund and Wanderable allow wedding guests to donate to a fund for your honeymoon. Bon voyage!

Charitable Donations 

In lieu of a physical gift, you can ask your guests to donate to a charity that you both find meaningful. Portland has TONS of local charities and nonprofits that would benefit from donations. Or, for out of town guests, you can choose a national organization like the ACLU. Select more than one so your guests have options. Check out The Good Beginning, a charity registry site that allows you to track your guests’ donations so you can thank them properly.

Stuff More ‘Your Style’  

If you do want to give your guests the option to buy you an actual gift, but don’t want to register at a commercial store, why not register for things that you actually want? Zola and Simple Registry are websites that let you do that!

Experiences & Date Nights 

Also on sites like the ones listed above, you can request experiences instead of material gifts – such as a couples massage, dance lessons, cooking classes, a winery tour, and more. Ask for things that will enhance your marriage after the wedding!

Gift Cards 

If you’d rather receive cash or store credit, register for gift cards to your favorite stores (or retailers you know you’ll need in the future, such as a home goods or hardware store), on Card Avenue.

Photo by the talented Catalina Jean Photography

This Tips & Advice piece was submitted by Dana Barbar, a trusted local wedding professional and talented writer. 

The Art of Weddings Portland strongly recommends you hire a professional wedding planner that is experienced and connected to the top vendors in the community.  You can find the full list of our favorite Portland planners, venues, and vendors in our vendor guide! Follow us on Instagram at @artofweddingspdx too!

You should also keep your eye on The Venue Crawl event. Wedding planning has never been so much fun! Follow on Instagram at @portlandvenuecrawl and check it out.