The Cohabitating Couple

Built the nest before tying the knot? Then you probably already have most of the goods on a traditional registry. Rather than settling for monogrammed towel sets or appliances you’ll only use once a year (heart-shaped waffle iron, anyone?), go for some of these less-conventional items instead.

FURNISH

Natalie Carpenter, owner of Boston’s Lekker Home, says many couples register for furniture they’ve been eyeing. "Friends and family can go in on a big-ticket item together, or buy gift certificates toward its purchase," she says. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is how to fit the couch through your front door.

Lekker Home Furnishings, 1317 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-6464, lekkerhome.com.

TRAVEL

Your far-flung honeymoon doesn’t have to leave you broke—especially if your guests help you pay for it. Annie dellaPenna, president of Touraine Travel in Boston, creates a list of fantastic getaways such as nights at the resort of your choosing, spa packages, and gourmet dinners, with options at all price ranges. Wedding guests can put money toward specific activities, or make a general contribution to the pot.

Touraine Travel, 41 Winter St., Boston, 617-426-4418, tourainetravel.com.

UPGRADE

The majority of couples that register at Bliss Home are already living together, says owner Panamai Manadee. They’ve been using plates left over from college that are ready to retire, or they have everyday dishes but want something more formal. "The registry is a good opportunity to get decorative and functional items they might not invest in themselves."

Bliss Home, 121 Newbury St., Boston, 617-421-5544, blisshome.com.

GO LUXURY

If the daily essentials are covered, couples should focus on their "wants" and not their "needs," says Mary Flynn at Bloomingdale’s in Chestnut Hill. "This may be the one time in your life where you’ll be able to accrue luxury items such as Waterford and Baccarat crystal," she adds. In other words, go for the bling.

Bloomingdale’s, 225 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-630-6000, bloomingdales.com.

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