Wine bottles

One bride-to-be wonders if an all-wine registry is appropriate. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / June 12, 2011)

One of the first conversations my fiancé and I had after the spastic, electric dust settled from our engagement was about our registry. I am a slob, wannabe chef and part magpie, so getting presents to help me organize, cook and fulfill my need to see sparkly stuff seemed awesome. It didn’t occur to me at first that we wouldn’t register -- until Rob (my fiancé) suggested something radical.

No gifts. Just wine.

We’re moving into a new home and hope to build a wine cellar in the stone basement. Getting 150 bottles of wine from 150 guests would certainly kick start our collection, but I wondered if it was tacky to ask for booze to stockpile in the basement. Emily Post would definitely throw the “Gauche” card on a wino fall-out shelter.

As I mulled this unusual non-registry, I started to do some research. Registries originally existed so family and friends could help fill a young couple’s first home with essentials. Since it was uncommon (or forbidden) for unmarried folk to shack up, they needed an outpouring of home goods to offset the cost of furnishing and filling an entire home.

The 21st century couple doesn’t really fit that mold anymore. Sinners that we are, my fiancé and I have lived together for five years, and in that time we’ve accumulated enough to fill our apartment, two storage units, and the attic in my future mother-in-laws house. Some of it isn’t top-of-the-line anymore, but do we really need more stuff?

I turned to my best friend The Internet, and found alternatives to typical registries. Travelers Joy lets couples disclose their dream honeymoon, and the money they’d need to make it happen. If you want to head to Africa for a safari, you could outline the costs associated with travel, dining, safari-ing, day trips, etc. Guests can log in, choose which leg of your adventure they’d like to cover and pay with a credit card.

Another option is MyRegistry. Instead of being confined to one store, couples have the entire world wide web at their registry mercy. Add the tab to your browser and anytime you come across anything you want, drag the site to the myregistry tab et voila -- it’s up for grabs.

We’re still deciding which registry route to take. There are plenty of non-traditional options --it will just come down to what we really want, and what we think our guests will feel comfortable providing. It’d be really nice to have a glass of wine from our cellar while we suss this all out, though.