Alternative Wedding Gifts

Couples can create their own registry that describes the causes they support.

Gift-giving is intended as a means of celebration, so why does shopping often feel like a chore? This act of generosity often gets bogged down by expectations, guess-work and price tags. Thankfully, there is an alternative solution and you don't even have to go searching very far. Changing The Present is a nonprofit website that serves as a resource for socially responsible gifts. Their site allows individuals to search for a meaningful cause of their choice and allows them to make a donation on another's behalf. Shoppers can browse an online catalogue for a gift that is sure to make a real difference in the world, leaving both the giver and the receiver feeling satisfied. Whether a contribution is made towards women's rights, world health or any other cause, it redefines the sense of purpose that comes with gift-giving.

Changing The Present provides an assortment of causes, allowing donators to choose a gift that best compliments the personality or interests of whomever they are donating on the behalf of. Additionally, the site's registry application allows recipients to request selfless gifts. A popular example is the wedding registry, in which over 130 couples have signed up to participate. A couple can compile an online list of causes towards which they wish friends to donate, in place of or in addition to the purchase of more traditional gifts, such as household appliances. Jill Golden, spokesperson of Changing The Present, explains, "If you're lucky enough to find somebody that you love enough to marry and excited enough to start a whole new life together, it can be a really exciting thing to celebrate your love by making the world a better place. It just builds in this whole level of sharing and community and it's a real opportunity to express your passions and your concerns. It can be a kind of powerful thing to do."

Under the tag for each item/cause, the couple may write a brief explanation for their choice. Say the bride-to-be has a passion for an endangered animal, then she can share this personal detail with friends and family who are browsing the registry, inspiring them to support something of true value. Golden says, "Apparently, it's a really interesting process for couples to go through and choose gifts together, because they learn about each other in a way that they may never have had the opportunity to discuss before."

Not only is the process easy, but the customary wedding gift is transformed into something completely productive and far-reaching. "It [also] gets a very positive response from wedding guests," adds Golden. "It's a pretty cool thing to get to go to a wedding and then get to make a contribution to something you and the couple really care about at the same time. So, it's one day of celebrating...that can also have sort of a ripple effect in the world."

Extending the theme of giving, couples can order their wedding favors on the site. For instance, a pair of socks for each guest may be donated to a homeless shelter on behalf of the newlyweds. "[These are] heartwarming little gifts that you can give to everyone to thank them for sharing the day and traveling," says Golden. Creating a wedding registry on Changing The Present is a beautiful option; it is hard to imagine a more fulfilling way to make your debut as a newlywed couple.

Changing The Present


  1. Wonderful finds here! Also, I found something interesting I thought I would share, I wrote about it this month…
    DÉCOR TIPS & QUIPS from AlphabetPIX.com
    Bringing Out Your Inner BOLD!
    Bill Blass said, ìStyle is primarily a matter of instinct.î Decorating takes on a new meaning for each individual. Clever and chic for Janie may be yesterday ís yawn-fest for Carol. Different tastes in dècor mean different furniture, artwork and color palettes. So what is the rule of thumb for making your place zing if itís not a certain style, pattern, or color?
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    Mix it all with gorgeous gilding in silver and gold. Toss in a few well-chosen accents óbold and beautiful. And with the trend of decor becoming more and more personalized, a meaningful piece of photography will make you feel right at home. Black and white as well as the historic look of sepia photography looks gorgeous in any room. Add all these ingredients together, and youíve got yourself a decorating design that not only expresses your individual style but does so as personally and beautifully as you want it to.
    Whatever you want to say while decorating, say it with your own personal sense of style. Put it out there for the world to see and donít look back! Embrace your individuality whether your nature is ìJanie jazzedî or ìCarol calmî. Express yourself! When people enter your home theyíll shoot you a complementary smile, knowing it looks and feels sooooo perfectly like you. And no one can do YOU better.
    by T. Miller
    Décor Tips & Quips from AlphabetPIX
    Create your own personalized name art with Photos That Look Like Letters at http://www.alphabetpix.com !
    To take your individual decorating style to a whole new level of personalization, and discover a new way of looking at the world around you, check out http://www.alphabetpix.com. Imagine photographs of natural alphabets, art photo messages or even personalized photo frames. Youíll love AlphabetPIX.com pictures with alphabet letters! (Intrigued? Check us out... http://www.alphabetpix.com)
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  2. This is a wonderful idea. For our wedding registry we used a site that was slightly different, but includes the same concept. It was called After the Wedding Day (www.aftertheweddingday.com), and it allowed us to register for experiences rather than for material things. In addition, we registered for money to adopt a new pet from an animal shelter, and funds to donate to our favorite rescue organization. Social giving is the way to go and I think both of these sites are perfect for that!