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While fancy china and barware still top the lists of many registries, nowadays, more and more couples are adding non-tangibles to their wish lists — think cash gifts for a down payment on their first home or a romantic dinner in Italy, where they'll be honeymooning. Not to mention they're also registering for these experiences, plus traditional gifts from all over the web, all in one single place. To get the lowdown on how to navigate these modern registry options, we turned to co-founder of one of our favorites, Lizzy Ellingson of Blueprint Registry. Wedding guests and relatives of the bride and groom, take note!
1. Shop by Room
Want to help the newlyweds furnish their living room or stock up on some sweet cookware for the kitchen? Modern registries like Blueprint, Zola and NewlyWish make shopping by room a total breeze. "Instead of scrolling through a long list of items in search of the perfect present or jumping from site to site, you can pinpoint which gifts you want and where it will fit in the new couple's home easily and seamlessly," says Ellingson.
2. Contribute to a Group Gift
Lots of couples live together prior to the big day, and thus have all the small things covered, yet are still in need of some pricier items. Modern registries will flag these with a group gift label, allowing you to contribute a pre-specified amount toward it or whatever number you personally choose. As Ellingson points out, "Guests can now go in on these gifts with theirs friends effortlessly without having to deal with the hassle of having multiple people pay them back." Isn't that a relief?
3. Find Out Why They Want the Gift
Some registries, such as Blueprint, actually let brides and grooms flag their fave gifts. "This personalizes your shopping experience by enabling you to see which gifts your best friend or granddaughter really want so you can get excited about the prospect of them opening the gift from you," notes Ellingson. Others, like the aforementioned Zola and NewlyWish, give couples the option of explaining to their guests why they desire a particular item and what exactly it will be used for. As a wedding guest, we think both features are incredibly beneficial!
4. Give an Experience
Not every couple is jumping at the chance to register for expensive linens or home goods, hence the growing popularity of experience gifts, like a cooking class, skydiving or a couples massage, found on modern registries. The possibilities are literally endless, Ellingson explains. "Give the gift of an awesome experience that you know the couple will be thinking of you when they enjoy it." For one, it cuts down on excess registry waste in addition to encouraging the bride and groom to get out there and try new things that will strengthen their bond together.
5. Send Money Online
No need to roll up to the wedding with a check in tow anymore. Registries like Honeyfund, Down Payment Dreams and more, simply the cash gifting process by permitting guests to send money via the Internet. It's easier for both giver and receiver, not to mention it allows you to get a good idea of what your cash gift will be used for.