Gift Registry and Bridal Showers

Modern Takes on Traditional Wedding Gifts and Parties

A department store registry and an afternoon tea might be the traditional choices for gifts and showers, but they probably won't live up to your modern tastes. Fortunately, the advent of online shopping, unconventional households and full freedom of expression has brought on a host of new ideas for the gift registry and some exciting alternatives to the humble bridal shower.

Think Outside the Gift Box

A selection of kitchen ware and a scanner gun is no longer your only option for a versatile and accessible gift registry. There are some clever updates that will tailor a gift registry to your personality and make it easy for guests to fulfill your wishes:

  • Opt for Online. The all-in-one online registry will streamline the whole gift-giving process, making it much easier for you to choose and your guests to purchase. You can find anything in the world and throw it onto your registry, so your guests won't have to search far and wide (or resort to their personal choice of alternatives). Another great online resource is the honeymoon fund, where you can itemize your honeymoon adventure, and your guests can purchase an activity for you. There are all sorts of these sites out there, and a simple search should lead you to the right one for you.
  • More Experience, Less Stuff. Gift cards for your favorite restaurants, lessons for a favorite hobby, coupons for local hotspots and festival or concert tickets are all excellent options for wedding gifts. You'll be avoiding a load of unnecessary household stuff, and while it's uncouth to ask for cash, your guests will be happy to fund an experience.
  • Charitable is Chic. Many couples already have all they need for a happy life together, so it makes good sense to share the wealth. Set up an online donation on a charity's website, or ask your guests to donate to one of their favorite charitable organizations in lieu of gifts. Of course, some guests will insist on bringing you a gift as well, so be sure to register for a handful of gifts (you could always donate them yourself later, if you truly won't use them).
  • Tools for Your Future. Tableware and bed sheets have a place in every home, but first you need to create the space. It's not uncommon to undertake a major renovation with your first home, and unless carpentry is a hobby of yours, some tools will be needed. From simple, practical gear to more technical machines for complex projects, you might like to include a few tools to help you build your abode, and keep it standing for years to come.

New Ideas for Bridal Showers

Once upon a time, it was in bad taste for the bride to participate in her shower planning, but a modern bridal shower can drop some of the outdated etiquette. Speak up about what you want and give your party planners a bit of direction so your party will be more suited to your tastes and needs.

  • An evening shower or cocktail party is a perfectly acceptable shower choice for a fun-loving girl, or you can take it down a notch with a laid-back brunch shower. Let your party planners know what works best with your schedule, and what sort of party strikes your fancy.
  • Branch-out with a theme. Let the hostess know what sort of gift you need most, and maybe they can organize something around that for you. For instance, if your kitchen is already overflowing but your wine cellar could use a boost, perhaps a bottle party would be the best fit.
  • Instead of the traditional girls-only affair, have your friends throw a collective shower for you and your groom. There's no reason why your future husband along with his family and friends should be left out of the fun! Plus, if you're not the frilly pink type of gal, this sort of inclusive shower will ensure a more neutral palate and theme.

Gifts and parties are fun parts of any wedding, but the old mainstays are rarely tailored to a contemporary bride-to-be. Regardless of how far you stray from tradition, there are bound to be some people who don't share your modern views, so clarity and communication will be important. Make sure your invites are informative, and be prepared to discuss your untraditional registry choices with more traditional guests. If you can respectfully explain your position, chances are good they'll see things your way.