(Jessica Roberts Photography)
For years and years, I was all about sticking strictly to the registry when it came to purchasing gifts for a friend's wedding. After all, didn't they make a registry for that reason alone?
My husband (then fiancé) and I set out to craft the perfect registry shortly after we were engaged last fall. It had everything we could ever want on there especially for two people who would be moving into their first house together after tying the knot. What more could we have possibly wanted or needed as a wedding gift?
Our family and friends are incredibly creative people who decided to go off the registry and find us some truly special wedding gifts. The gifts were unique, they were personal, and they're gifts that we'll definitely remember for years to come. We may not always remember who got us a cutting board, but we'll absolutely remember the ones who gifted us with a custom drawing of the church we were married in.
Do I suggest going off the registry when shopping for a wedding gift? Absolutely, especially if you know the bride and groom well enough to pick out something that they'll love. Here are five examples of what you could get as a non-registry wedding gift:
For the Love of Craft Beer
Are the bride and groom fans of craft beer? You can do all sorts of things with that! You could have beer glasses etched or printed with their names and wedding info, or you could have a custom brewery sign created, or if you know how to brew, you can brew them a case or two of their own signature wedding beer.
Custom Piece of Art
Most newlywed couples end up with hundreds of wedding photographs to remember their day by. But what if they had a drawing or painting of the location where they were married? Or a scenic picture from one of a city that they love to visit or where they had their first date? It would be something different to hang up on their wall and help keep their home from becoming inundated with all the wedding pictures.
A Photo Book
Speaking of those hundreds of wedding photographs, give the couple a way to display them all in one place: a photo book. You don't have to worry about designing the book yourself – just purchase a gift card to a photo book company and tuck it into a wedding card to pass along to the newlyweds.
You could go really off the registry and opt for giving the new couple an experience rather than a physical or monetary gift. Are they sports fans? Get them tickets to go see their favorite team play. Museum lovers? Go for an annual pass to their local museum or a city pass that gives them access to multiple museum locations in the city. Thrill seekers? A gift card to go zip lining or white water rafting would be right up their alley.
If you're handy & good at crafting things on your own, you could always go that route. Who doesn't love a reclaimed pallet wood wine rack? We sure love the one that we received and cannot wait to find the perfect place to hang it in our home. Good with calligraphy? You could do something fun with their wedding vows or the words of their first dance song.
The options are endless!