10 Exceptional Experience Gifts to Add to Your Wedding Registry
Forego the fancy china and register for a few unforgettable experience gifts that will help you bond as a newlywed couple
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“You're probably going to be gifted some shiny new pots and pans, so you should know how to use them. My husband and I registered for two seats in a Thai cooking class, and now we are summer roll professionals,” says Jennifer Spector, director of brand at wedding planning and registry website Zola.com. Plus, a cooking class could be the perfect post-wedding date night idea. Some suggestions include: a Private Sushi Lesson for two in L.A. and a class at San Francisco Cooking School.
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Monthly Wine Club
Allow us to paraphrase a famous saying: the couple that sips wine together stays together. “I can't imagine anything better than a wine tasting delivered directly to my door. Winc Monthly Wine Club is one of our most popular gifts; it's a totally curated experience based on your taste preferences. Winc is an especially great gift for couples who are frequent entertainers, if they are willing to share the wealth,” adds Spector.
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“Surfing lessons can be a great idea for a couple who enjoy vacationing by the ocean or are looking for an adventurous sport to do together,” says Anne Chertoff, a trend expert at WeddingWire. “It’s an activity that isn’t something they may opt to do on their own, but with a little encouragement in the form of a gift certificate they will be catching waves in no time.”
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Nowadays museums and cultural centers are reinventing themselves by adding fun after-hour events, workshops, and classes to their calendars. Museum memberships are a great addition to any wedding registry. They typically last a full calendar year and include a number of perks such as museum store discounts and free access to special events, explains Kylie Carlson of the International Academy of Weddings and Events.
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For the adventurous couple who’s not afraid to try out new things, a gift certificate for flying lessons is just the ticket. “[It] may be an unexpected gift idea, but super fun for a couple looking to soar to new heights together. Once in the air, they can take over the controls to maintain altitude, try their hands at some turns, and enjoy some breathtaking views. Flying lessons can be a fun one-time adventure or the start of a new hobby the newlyweds can enjoy for years to come,” says Chertoff. Of course, before you purchase anything, just make sure neither of the newlyweds is afraid of heights.
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“Wedding planning is stressful, we all know that, and working out with your partner is a perfect way to combat that stress. It's even better when you get to go to a workout class you love and you don't have to pay for it all yourself,” says Spector. When she was wedding planning, Spector took up boxing classes, which, she says, helped her with the pre-wedding jitters.
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Hot-Air Balloon Ride
Have you always wanted to try it, but for some reason haven’t? Include it in your registry! “A hot-air balloon ride can be quite the romantic date, as it truly complements the magic of the big day. You can toast to wedded bliss as you float among the clouds,” suggests Chertoff.
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Meal Kit Delivery Service
Let’s face it, no couple wants to return to reality after their wedding. “We recommend making the transition back as easy as possible, and meal kit deliveries can be a huge weight off a couple’s shoulders,” says Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services. “Recipes are usually included with these services, which are convenient as well as diet-friendly. Bonus points if you order in time for returning from your honeymoon. Trust us, you’ll be grateful for to put off that dreaded reunion with the grocery store.”
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Airline and Hotel Gift Cards
For Spector, travel gift cards are tied with wine for the best wedding gift ever. “My husband and I registered for Airbnb, as well as for a honeymoon cash fund, and we were able to take an incredible honeymoon to Japan that we'll never forget. We stayed in a very stylish apartment in Kyoto thanks to our generous wedding guests,” she explains. Some ocean and river cruise companies also offer gift certificates that you can register for.
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And More Wine
“Wine experiences are popular registry items—think tastings, tours, and classes where couples are welcomed onsite to blend their own wine,” says Heather Jones of California-based Wente Vineyards. And clearly, there’s no shortage of great wineries in the West. “Often times, couples can take part in a more immersive experience where they’re served popular wine and food pairings made in-house, or even blind tastings to test their palate. Taking home a bottle of self-blended wine is also an amazing souvenir you’ll cherish.”