One component of planning a wedding that can be both fun and exciting is putting together your wedding registry. Registering for gifts allows you to think about your future as a married couple — both in terms of your home life and your financial life. Sticking to a “traditional” wedding registry in these modern times can sometimes end with unpacked kitchenware taking up space in your cabinets. So get creative!

Below, check out some ways to use your registry as a springboard to fund your future together.

Register for Items to Help You Live Frugally

When Jillian Johnsrud got engaged 15 years ago, she and her then-fiancé were facing $55,000 in debt.“We decided to stock up on things that would help us save money in the long run,” says Johnsrud, who blogs about her financial independence at Montana Money Adventures. The couple registered for a complete set of camping gear, which they used for their honeymoon — and beyond. “Over the next 10 years, we used that gear to camp all over the U.S. and more than 20 European countries,” says Johnsrud. They also registered for a pressure cooker, grill, fondue set and other kitchen items that encouraged them to host dinner parties rather than eat out at restaurants. “Our friends and family loved to see their gifts being enjoyed for years,” she says.

Start a Homebuilding Registry

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always tacky to ask guests for cash gifts to put toward a down payment on your first house. Or, if homeownership isn’t a goal in your immediate future, consider using your registry for a renovation or makeover of your current home. If you have a wedding website, dedicate your cash-fund page to photos of your “before” home with a budgeted list and itemized goals. You can also create a visual model of your current (or future) space on a site like It allows you to add specific furniture and items where needed and guests get to see — literally — how they’re helping you build a home together.

Give Your Retirement Account Some Love

Even if you have an existing individual retirement account (IRA), some young couples may not have enough extra savings to put toward retirement, especially not after thousands of dollars in wedding expenses. “Simply ask for cash and let guests know that it’s for your retirement fund,” says financial adviser and coach Michelle Waymire. “You can contribute up to $5,500 per year to your account, or 100 percent of your income if it’s lower than that figure.”

Register for Stocks or a Mutual Fund

Some banks now allow couples to register for savings accounts, stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles. If yours doesn’t, you can still create a “wish list” on a stock gifting site, which allows gifting stocks for any special occasion.

Register for Gift Cards

Creating a registry on gift card sites an be a money-saving option, particularly for couples who don’t have the time or energy to do a full inventory of their items to create a registry. That way, you can pick out gift cards to your favorite retailers, and people can buy them for you. Some cards don’t expire, so you can use them as needed. For instance, you could evaluate your new kitchenware after receiving all of your gifts and fill in any necessary blanks using your gift cards.

Register for Airfare Miles

Bad news if you’re planning a honeymoon abroad: According to the Los Angeles Times, airfare is projected to rise 3.5 percent worldwide this year. The good news is some airlines have dedicated wedding gift registries, and others allow contributions to existing air mile accounts. Guests who travel for work often have miles to spare, but for those who don’t, there may be a tax of roughly 7.5 percent on the total miles purchased, according to page three of the Federal Excise Taxes Guide from the National Business Aviation Association.

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