Presents of Mind

When giving trumps getting.

Christmas Series

Can we truly have too many copper pots? Yes. How about candlesticks? Affirmative again. What about medical vaccines, educated kids, or trees? Couples have started turning to new charitable registries, where brides and grooms can swap out traditional requests for donations to causes they support. You don’t need to scrap your entire wish list—no one blames you for coveting that Frette duvet—but adding a benevolent option is an easy way to give back.

I Do Foundation
The pioneer of charitable registries works with more than 40 organizations, including the Children’s Defense Fund and Habitat for Humanity, that support causes like education, community development, healthcare, and social justice. I Do also lets couples choose off-list beneficiaries as long as they meet the site’s basic criteria. All donations are tax-deductible, and the company keeps track of who gifted where so you can still send out thank-yous. 877-290-8487,

Just Give
Not as user-friendly as I Do, but worthy nonetheless, Just Give has access to a huge assortment of charities, from international ones like the Red Cross and Africare to local groups like the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Greater Boston Food Bank. 866-587-8448,

Go carbon-neutral by asking guests to offset their travel miles in lieu of giving gifts. Or you could balance out your bridal party’s trips instead of giving favors ($10 will cancel out your best friend’s LA-to-Boston trek). TerraPass’s carbon calculator can estimate your wedding guests’ travel-related emissions and suggest ways to counteract them all at once. 877-210-9581,

Wedding Channel
The grande dame of registry sites recently added a charitable section in partnership with the I Do Foundation. It also offers an option on its traditional registries: For each gift purchased, Wedding Channel makes a donation to charities like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. 877-335-5252,