Skip the registry and try these ideas instead

We’ve all been there. Your colleague or cousin is getting married and as happy as you are to be invited, you’re dreading the inevitable cost of attending and what to get as a wedding gift.

Sure, you could give money, as is custom with some cultures. But in others, gifts are the norm. If this is the case, gift registries can be handy but unless you jump on it quickly, you’ll be left choosing between the various $7 cooking utensils or the $400 Kitchen Aid mixer. Neither option is ideal.

Many weddings these days are non-traditional so your gifts can follow suit. This is especially true for couples who have been living together for awhile and already have much of what they need to build a home. So skip the registries and try these ideas instead.

Give them an experience
What does the couple like to do? Are they wine enthusiasts? Give them a gift certificate to their favourite winery or buy them a picnic basket and book them on a winery tour. Are they adventurists? Then send them white-water rafting or pay for them to go sky-diving. As long as it gives the couple quality time together doing something they love, the possibilities are endless!

Register them for a class
Nothing says romance like cooking a gourmet meal together. Sign them up for a class and let the lovebirds learn new skills that will pay dividends for many dinners to come. Win-win!

Stock the bar
Who doesn’t need another bottle of wine? Let the newlyweds start their lives together on a celebratory note with a wine rack full of their favourite vintages, or stock their cocktail bar with all the ingredients they need to mix a few favourite drinks. Top it off with the latest mixology book. If you’re lucky, they’ll invite you over later to test out their newest concoctions!

Buy something that’s one-of-a-kind
Visit your local gallery or art’s market, or check out the latest on Etsy for a unique piece of art, furniture or home decor item that suits the couple’s tastes. It will show you’ve put some thought into the gift and it will be something no one else has. Best of all, no one will know how much you paid.

These are just a few ideas, but still be mindful of how much you spend. You don't need to break the bank, but the old adage of covering the cost of your meal generally holds true. And if any of these gifts cost more than you want to spend, then pool your resources with a few other guests and give it as a group gift. After all, it really is the thought that counts.