These Are the Gifts You Won't See on Wedding Registries in 2020

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Obviously, the best part about getting married is choosing to spend forever with the love of your life. And the second best part is celebrating your union with family and friends (or by yourselves during an elopement!). But the third best thing? Let's be honest — for many, it's the gifts.

Wedding registries have long been part of the marriage tradition, with guests of the nuptials helping the newlyweds start their lives together. This usually means home goods, from kitchenware to bedding — these kinds of wedding gifts are high on many a couples' priority list.

But all that said, there are certain traditional wedding gifts that are fading fast from registries. Read on for the three things you might no longer see on a contemporary couple's wedding registry.

1. Fine China

Ask your parents — how often do they take out their fine china that was gifted to them by Great Aunt Sally for their wedding? The answer is maybe once in a blue moon for a special holiday, but more likely never. Many of today's couples are opting to have their guests contribute towards expensive experiential gifts, say a honeymoon fund or even a charity, rather than expensive material goods that'll gather dust.

"After the royal wedding in 2018, we saw charity registries really takeoff, and that trend is not slowing down," Jennifer Spector, Director of Brand at Zola, tells Hunker. "Couples are registering for donations to causes they really care about, like disaster relief and human rights. They're also registering to give back to their local community with companies like Repeat Roses, who break down, donate, and compost wedding flowers.

2. Starter Furniture

"While new categories like honeymoons, cash funds, and other experiences are on the rise, registrants have also been utilizing their registry to upgrade what they currently own and refresh rooms within the home, especially with more couples living together before marriage," Jessica Joyce, a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson, tells Hunker.

Forget old-school recliners or heavy media consoles, which couples from days of yore might've used to fill their first home together. Today's couples are more likely to focus on home improvement, whether that's a full renovation (think: flooring, hardware for cabinets, or peel-and-stick wallpaper), or simply upgrading already purchased items, like build-it-yourself bed frames or bookcases.

3. Boring Kitchenware

Despite non-traditional items like charity donations and home improvement paraphernalia becoming more and more present on registries, there's still room for the classics. "You might be surprised to hear that couples actually do still register for things like bedding and dishes," says Spector. "In fact, the majority of Zola couples register for a mix of traditional home upgrades, gift cards, and cash funds."

But Spector notes that these products will come with a twist, especially for couples who already share a home together and likely have purchased all the basics. "One of the trends I'm loving is couples registering for home items in unexpected colors," she says. "We recently launched a bright purple Le Creuset that's such a fun way to spice up your kitchen."

4. "Dumb" Home Appliances

Image Credit: Stephen Paul for Hunker

It's a new digital world we're living in — one that's guided, for better or for worse, by artificial intelligence. These days, it's all about the smart home, so rather than adding items like a traditional refrigerator or a vacuum to the registry, you're much more likely to find them replaced with models that are synced to apps.

"Couples are registering for a different type of camera in 2020 – one that monitors your front door so you can see when packages are delivered or if you have any visitors," Wayfair Registry states in its Y2K vs. Today report.

Don't be surprised to see requests for smart-home items like Amazon Alexa-enabled lightbulbs, doorbell devices with cameras, and even robots that can throw treats to your dog.


Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.

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