Over five years and two kids into this marriage gig, and my dishes are broken, I have a luxurious queen size comforter but a king size bed, and the recipe book holder that I thought I needed not only never really got used, but was an impractical use of space. My biggest regret is not asking for unique wedding registry gifts that would be practical both with and without kids and that would have fostered a closer relationship between us. Not fine china or more crock pots.
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I picked out what I thought was the perfect set of dishes. It could be “dressed up” or used daily. It was black. Each plate and bowl was square. And they were a great mix of modern and traditional, with a spark of my own personality.
Then my husband placed one in the toaster oven. Cracked.
Then my first daughter came along and always wanted to help unload bowls from the dishwasher. Dropped.
Then we moved. Not worth bringing a broken, incomplete set.
I really started wishing I would have been more thoughtful about what we asked for on our registry. Because while we still have the piece of art I asked for… and yeah, I still love it… it’s just not a practical wedding gift by any means.
Unique wedding registry gifts & practical wish list items
Luggage – Especially before kids, traveling was something we did and enjoyed. And of course, most people go on a honeymoon. It’s just a really thoughtful gift to be able to get some quality luggage like Eagle Creek durable bags that can last a life-time. (Because the reality is, even if it’s demise is an airplane conveyor belt, the airline will reimburse its value).
And we still travel with our kids and still love it… so we could obviously still use some awesome suitcases.
Two-Person sleeping bag – Whether a couple is an adventurous camping type or a sit-at-home and watch Netflix type, you simply can’t go wrong with the indoor or outdoor camping that can be done in a duo sleep sack. It’s a practical, yet strangely romantic gift.
And we still don’t have one. And kids love sleeping bags of all sizes. hint, hint.
Board Games – So we actually did register for board games, card games, and lawn games. And even though we racked up bocci ball, quelf, rummicube, and skip-bo, I would love even more awesome additions to our game stash. Not only are games great relationship-building gifts, they also are a fun gift to inspire game nights with close friends.
Tools – They’re expensive. And whether the newlyweds are going to be homeowners or renting a place, tools are a necessity in the real world. So some basic tools for home, car, and yard are perfect.
A Great Camera – While it may seem like an exorbitant gift to ask for, getting a great DSLR camera might just be the most important wedding gift you get. Not only is it going to capture your life’s memories, but most couples have kids within the first 5 years of life and children are already expensive enough.
All white Corelle Dishes – Ok, I admit. Not all too exciting or unique. But let’s revisit the point about having kids. No one wants to keep buying dishes. And somehow white Corelle Dishes has made dishes that are really hard to chip or break. And if you get all white, it doesn’t matter if the shapes match, because everything else matches. So it’s unique because it’s a forward-thinking gift that really should last a lifetime.
A grill & patio set – One of the great seasons of life for so many is the opportunity to host people over at your house and what better way?! Even if it’s just for the two of them, it’s a gift that keep on giving and can be used year after year.
Date night basket – Life is busy in every season of life, but being newly married and being able to go out at the drop of a hat is so special. Join in with some others to pitch in some money to buy a collection of restaurant gift cards for emergency date night funds or so they can play date-night-roulette.
Cooking or Dancing Classes – Two things that are bound to create memories and bring the couple together. Both are life skills, fun, and encourage time well spent with one another.
Picnic/cooler backpack – Whether for hikes, days at the beach, road trips, or even family walks once they have kids, it’s just a handy thing to have. At the very least, packed lunches can go in it. Really, it’s a simple, but unique gift that’s practical. (You can even fill it with fun items too!)
Season tickets or passes to a local sports team, performing arts center, or museum – While by no means did anyone pay for our season football tickets those first two years of marriage, they are times we thoroughly enjoyed together. We would look forward to each weekend because it was time chatting during the car drive, excitement while at the games, and an overall great time making memories. Regardless of the couple’s interests there are tickets that could be unique wedding registry gifts to places for any event or occasion.
What wedding gifts do you regret or wish you would have asked for?
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!