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On today’s wedding gift registries, couples are breaking from tradition |

On today’s wedding gift registries, couples are breaking from tradition

The items a couple registers for before their wedding day reveal a lot about the way society has changed.

We’re a lot more tech-savvy and perhaps a bit more practical and adventurous than our parents were, says Brit Morin, Target’s wedding expert and the founder of Weduary (, which allows users to create unique social wedding sites.

“We’re seeing fewer couples registering for formal, traditional dinnerware and china,” Morin says. “We want to entertain and have dinner parties, but we don’t need formal china and crystal to do so.” Couples instead are choosing items that can be used for a dinner party and everyday use.

They’re also looking for gifts that will lead to great experiences, so items such as tents and bikes are high on the list of many registries.

Wedding planner Carmen Hocking agrees that we’ve become more adventurous over the years. Items such as toasters, blenders and can openers are rarely found on lists anymore.

“The engaged couples of this century are very different from the bride-and-groom of the last century,” says Hocking, the owner of A Beautiful Wedding (, based in Lawrence, Kan.

Many are marrying later in life and already have the basics, so they’re looking for touches to make their home special. Today, you’ll find specialty items, including cast-iron griddle pans and espresso machines, in place of towels and pot holders.

“It’s a guilt-free way for couples to get the things they want,” Hocking says.

That might even mean the perfect piece of artwork for the living room or den, she says. Those who own a fixer-upper might also register at places such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, to make the home worthy of that artwork.

Couples of the past rarely included electronics on their registries, a trend both Hocking and Morin say is now going strong.

Susan Bertelsen, group vice president of Macy’s wedding and gift registry,

says staples such as dinnerware and flatware are still popular, but these days, you’ll see rugs and furniture on the list, as well.

Entertaining at home is becoming more popular, Bertelsen says, so stocking the home bar with the right wine and beer glasses is important to many.

For younger couples who are starting a life together, the kitchen is still the main focus, say the pros at Williams-Sonoma. The popular chain just launched a line called Open Kitchen, which focuses on affordable kitchen essentials.

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