6 Alternative Gift Ideas from Wedding and Event Planning Schools

In the past, wedding presents have helped newlywed couples to get the necessary items they need to build their life and home. If they didn’t have towels or dishes, you could get them some. However, many people already live together before getting married nowadays. Buying them a blender usually means they’ll be receiving a duplicate. It might be a really nice one that they weren’t willing to shell out the dollars for, but it still isn’t something they need.

So we’ve compiled a list of gift ideas that you can suggest to your clients to mix up their registry so they aren’t filling their homes with things they don’t really want. Keep reading to discover all 6 of these alternative gift ideas from wedding and event planning schools.

1. Adoption Fund

You’ve heard of asking for money for a honeymoon or a down payment on a house. But have you ever considered asking guests to contribute to an adoption fund? If a couple knows they want to adopt a child into their family, why not ask for help along that journey? Adoption can be a long and expensive process. Any money contributed can make a difference. Some people think that asking for money is tacky. However, weddings are filled with loved ones. They might already know about your client’s plans and be thrilled to help.

Some people might be uncomfortable with the idea of giving money. So it’s nice to create a small registry to go along with an adoption fund. Ensure that the wedding invitation or follow-up communications mention your client’s registry and donation funds. This way, you’ll avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable or pressured to contribute.

2. Experiences


While some people prefer physical money, others prefer to receive experiences. We’re not going to pretend that asking each guest has to gift individual vacation packages as wedding gifts is a real option. But gift certificates or vouchers that can cover parts of an experience is viable! You may have clients who know they want adventure but don’t know where to start. Here’s a list of some cool experiences that are perfect for newlyweds!

  • Cooking class
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Go-carting
  • Laser tag
  • Concert of their favorite band
  • Spa and massage experience
  • Stay at a fancy hotel or B&B in town
  • Rock climbing

Ensure that your clients carefully consider each experience. If the bride is pregnant, for example, it’s not a good idea for time-sensitive skydiving certificates to appear on the list. Furthermore, some couples might think go-carting sounds childish and boring. While others might think a spa day seems pretentious. So creating a registry with the activities that the couple is truly going to enjoy is a perfect idea for couples who seem to have it all.

3. Art

Art can be an extremely expensive purchase. So a couple who has lived together for a few years might have everything else that they need but no decorative art. They may find it hard to justify spending all that money on a single painting or sculpture even if they love it! Again, this should be more of a contribution gift because of both the price tag and how personal art preferences are. It would be a really risky move to put “art” on a registry (especially since Aunt Sue has the WORST taste).

But if they love the idea of having a gorgeous piece of art for their new home over monogrammed towel sets, why not suggest it for their wish list?

4. Monthly Subscription Boxes

subscription box wedding gift

Subscription boxes have absolutely blown up in the past few years! People love the idea of getting a gift in the mail once a month (even if it’s a gift they paid for). There’s a subscription for everyone—from makeup to dog toys! The bride and groom’s preferences should be taken into account. Something unisex such as Scentbird for perfumes and colognes or a snack box can be enjoyed by both halves of the happy couple.

Subscriptions can last for months or years depending on how much you want to spend. Some of these boxes will include items that you might not want to have on a registry (imagine listing a lingerie subscription service for the whole family to see!). But it really is about personal taste. So if your clients are intrigued, have them research the types of boxes they would love to receive each month!

5. A Really Specific Item

Are your clients collecting eclectic style furnishings for their new home? Suggest having all guests bring their own interpretation of a specific type of item for their gifts. For example, have each individual bring a plant for the garden. The eclecticism comes from how each guest curates the gift. Your clients will end up with anything from large potted ferns to small flowering cacti! The couple might not love every unusual item. But it’s a really unique and interesting gift if your clients know where they plan on using these gifts. It could be books of any genre to fill a library or teacups to make fun and unusual sets.

This idea can apply on a smaller scale as well. Guests can bring main gifts that are accompanied by a secondary item at the request of your clients. Invitations or the registry can ask guests to please accompany each gift with an ornament. This is great if your couple wants something small and also knows that guests will want to spend more than $10 on a gift.

6. Baby clothes, diapers, etc.

baby gifts as wedding gifts

Many couples already have children before they are married or may be pregnant during their wedding. Baby items are a very expensive necessity. The idea of combining a wedding with gifts from a baby shower might appeal to your client.

For baby gifts, they should all be listed on a registry. Your clients may not want 4 strollers before they even have 1 child! However, some couple may shy away from incorporating the baby too much into their wedding celebration. After all, they have the rest of their lives to celebrate their kid! But for the couples who are interested, they will be thrilled you suggested it!

Tread lightly when it comes to suggesting gifts registry ideas to your clients. You wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. Certainly, don’t pressure them into going for a less traditional list (if they want 5 blenders, then let them enjoy it). However, lots of couples are clueless when it comes to what they want and need, so having some ideas for them might relieve a lot of stress. So don’t be afraid to make suggestions, but listen very carefully to their feedback, too.

Do you have any alternative gifts that we left off the list? Let us know in a comment below!

Interested in what else wedding and event planning schools can teach you? Check out QC’s Event and Wedding Planning Course!

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