Wedding gift ideas for people who didn’t f***ing register!

Posted by
This Leather Luggage Tag from Etsy seller Exsect would make a great gift for a destination wedding!

My boss is a highly successful real estate agent, and she is getting married. I've only been working with her for a couple months, but we get along great. And I am so thrilled that she is getting married after a nasty divorce a few years back.

Since this is the second marriage for each of them, they are not registering, and to top it off, it's a destination wedding! I want to get her something to celebrate the occasion, but nothing over the top if that makes sense.

I'd love any advice or tips on this touchy subject! -Tori

Hey! I'm a person getting married for the second time, who didn't have a registry (until we were forced to cave due to various requests). Perhaps I can be of assistance. Here are my wedding gift ideas for “what to get the people who don't want to tell you to get them, but you pretty much feel like you need and want to get them something anyway”…


The most useful “we don't know what to get you gifts” we received at our engagement party was straight-up booze. We like to have people over for parties, so even if it was stuff we don't necessarily drink, it was nice to stock the bar. If you feel like you want to throw in a little extra something, gift them booze-y accessories to go with your drink of choice…

Himalayan salt tequila glasses to go with your bottle of tequila.
Himalayan salt tequila glasses to go with your bottle of tequila.
Have Etsy seller HAMMERHEADdesigns make a personalized copper bottle tag to go with their favorite bottle of booze.
Holy crap, why didn't someone gift ME this  awesome $20 set of aerating wine glasses!
Holy crap, why didn't someone gift ME this awesome $20 set of aerating wine glasses!

Hosting helpers

Do your friends host a lot of parties, or like to cook? Then things that make hosting a breeze are always welcome…

This soapstone platter can be heated or chilled to keep your dishes at the perfect temperature for serving.
This soapstone platter can be heated or chilled to keep your dishes at the perfect temperature for serving.
Ice molds for to with your bottle of whiskey.
Ice molds for fun party ice.
The Satellite Bowl can be folded up for easy storage.
The Satellite Bowl can be folded up for easy storage.
Large Personalized Platter from Etsy seller Susabellas

Practical gifts

amazon gift certificate

I'm telling you, there's nothing better than an Amazon gift certificate for my family. We order all kinds of home goods from there, from cat food to detergent. That's always a welcome gift.

Or a gift certificate to Nordstrom, where she can shop for clothing to rock during their honeymoon. There's an entire, wonderful destination vacation section!

Gifts that donate to charity

Set of Love pins that go towards the ACLU.

Know what causes or things they're passionate about? Have they mentioned their interest in politics? Maybe donate to a cause they support. Or maybe they're always gushing about their adopted pet? Can you sneakily find out what rescue they used, and donate to them? Or, you could spearhead a large office-wide charity gift for them? Or keep it small, and find a gift that also gives the proceeds to charity.

Just send flowers

Go classic, old-school, “thinking of you” and just send them flowers! Maybe a little “something blue” to make it wedding specific?

What did you get for the couple who didn't register? Anything I'm missing here?

Meet your new BFF wedding vendor

Trending with our readers

Comments on Wedding gift ideas for people who didn’t f***ing register!

  1. Yes to gift cards! Also if you get them a material item, include a gift receipt. That way if they don’t need it, or already have an item, they can return it for something they do need.

  2. We didn’t register (asked folks to donate to charity, which many did) but some folks still took it on themselves to give gifts. Several people gave us “date nights” – gift cards for a movie theater or restaurant, or board games you can play with just two people.

    Also my cousin gave us really nice sunglasses, which we forgot to take on our honeymoon but will come in super handy for all of our planned summer adventures.

    • We’re a 40-something couple who just *seriously* downsized to move cross-country into a much smaller home. We still have too much stuff, and goodness knows we have everything we need or want. We are THRILLED that our closest friends and family are coming out here to see our new home but we know it’s an investment for them- it’s a destination wedding for nearly everyone except us! Since saying “please no gifts” is apparently a faux-pas, we pointedly did TWO DIFFERENT charity registries on our wedding website, and added the slightly cheesy but totally honest “your presence is our present!” line. I REALLY don’t want people to spend more money on gifts we have no room for in our home, so I hope I’ve made the point. I guess the upshot of it is this: If someone doesn’t register, they may very well truly not want any gifts! If you must give something, make sure it takes up no space: cash, gift card, tickets, but definitely NOT kitchen gadgets! : )

  3. My husband and I didn’t register because we desperately, desperately hoped for money–to pay the bill from the wedding! If a couple doesn’t ask for registery items, consider the fact that they might need other things they can’t ask for, like a mortgage payment. 🙂 Money is a-ok and appreciated!

  4. We didn’t register either. Many of my husbands Italian relatives gave us envelopes as per tradition. Many of our friends gifted us gift cards for date nights. Which was awesome because when the wedding shine wears off we had date nights in a can ready and waiting.

    We were also gifted a lot of booze. Which was kind of awkward since my husband is an addict in recovery and sober. A lot of his old college buddies gifted us really really good bottles of wine and top shelf liqueur. It was very thoughtful and probably very expensive but we ended up re-gifting all most all of it. We did keep the good beer (for me) and the mid level wine to have on hand for hostess gifts & dinner parties. While I am not sober I didn’t really think it was appropriate (of very fun) to crack open a 200$ bottle of campaign by myself. All I am saying is know the giftee. If they partied hard in college but you hadn’t really drank with them since err on the side of caution.

  5. Its not much of a tradition to register to a particular store in New Zealand, but most people will by you house hold items. But with most people having moved out of home and gone to university in their 20’s everyone already has enough home wear. So the usual go to is money towards the honeymoon or something else like that.

  6. We gifted some nice loose nepalese tea to an uncle, would have been coffee too, but couldn’t find any at the time as they met in nepal.

    And a recent wedding as they were going on a barge honeymoon, enamel cups, spoons, nice tea bags and instant coffee and nice biscuits (we did also donate to their kitchen fund)

    Friends who didn’t buy off our list got us a dragon kite/art which will go on the wall at some point, a piece of art by a favourite artist, a really nice glass teapot.

  7. I’m hoping not to register for similar reasons. I HATE getting stuff, and all of the packaging that comes with it. Environmental issues are really important to me. We know it’ll be expensive for many people to travel to our wedding, so the fact that they’re spending money to celebrate with us is truly gift enough. We may register using Offbeat Bride favorite just to give ideas (honeymoon registry, wine, day-of help, charitable donation) to people who insist on giving a gift. But honestly, a heartfelt card with the person’s perspective on us, our friendship, etc. would be the best gift. The verbal version of a card, the toasts, were my favorite part of the engagement party!

Comments are closed.