I'm gonna be outright and say that we plan to register. We both cook, and cooking is a huge part of our relationship. Plus, most of our pots have gotten warped, some of our appliances are showing wear, and most of our bakeware, flatware and dishware is hand-me-downs because we are in our early twenties. (I am. Mark's old.) When we do register, it will probably be through the I Do foundation - http://www.idofoundation.org/ - which means that by registering at certain stores, up to 10% of the profits will be given to the charity of your choice. Cooking.com gives 10% - and I like their website, because they have reviews, plus a broad spectrum, and often have flat rate or free shipping - plus, hopefully, we can force guests to ship the gifts directly to us, instead of bringing them to the wedding by going through an online-only store.
Thus, this is a good option for people like us that hope to purchase a house around the same time they get married, and are currently getting by with what they have. As selfish as this sounds, I'm also not particularly compelled to have a charity registry because my entire life is a charity (I work in women's interests non-profits, such as domestic violence organizations), and also because we will probably choose to donate some percentage of any financial gifts we receive to charity.
For the people that don't need stuff, you can also register directly to give to a charity.
Charity registries are tough, because you have to pick a charity that people won't mind giving to. I would love to ask people to give to Planned Parenthood, but I know I can't ask my guests to give to a charity they might be morally opposed to. There are a few other options though, for those looking for a direct charity registry or alternative registry:
- The Goat Project
- Kiva.org (blogged about here)
- The Alternative Gift Registry (as discussed by Mrs. Tulip.)
You can also ask people for favors - you could register for a friend to come over and weed your yard. You could even ask people to volunteer for a charity as their wedding gift to you. Or you can ask people to come help set up the centerpieces or do your makeup or play ceremony music or SPEND THE RECEPTION FIGHTING YOUR MOTHER FOR HER VIDEO CAMERA.
What are some other alternative registries out there?