05/06/2015 12:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 05, 2016

Wedding Gifts Worth Buying Off-Registry

When it comes to wedding gifts, some couples are strict "registrationists." Going off-registry is simply not allowed.

Sometimes, however, it's a good idea to break the rules. While it's important to respect the wishes of the bride and groom and give them what they've asked for, there might be a perfect gift out there that they didn't even know they wanted. Giving a surprise present can be a meaningful way to show your friends and family how much you care about them, how well you know them and how much you support their union.

The key to giving wedding gifts off the registry is making sure they're AWESOME. Also, it's probably a good idea to keep the size of the gift in mind. While an impossible dinner reservation will always be welcome, no matter the size of the apartment, a giant margarita maker may not.

Here are 11 wedding gifts worth buying off-registry.

  • 1 For The Beer Lovers: A Home Brewing Kit
    Etsy/The Urban Brewery
    They might not have asked for a home-brewing kit, but you know they want one. Making their own beer at home will be an activity they can do together once all the wedding planning stress is behind them. If you're lucky, you'll reap the benefits too.
    Brewery In A Box Gallon Home Brewing Kit, $120 on Etsy
  • 2 For The Home Cooks: Personalized Cutting Board
    Even though your culinary-savvy friends may not think they need a new cutting board, chances are they do. They use boards pretty much any time they cook, and they might not know how important it is to replace them. Make it special and get them a personalized one they'll definitely love and use more than any other gift.
    Engraved Cutting Board, $28 and up on Etsy
  • 3 For The Nature Enthusiasts: A Terrarium Kit
    Your pals love to get outside, but sometimes they have to actually do something indoors, as much as they hate to admit it. Bring the garden to them with a terrarium they can build themselves.
    Terrarium Kit with Chartreuse Moss, $24 on Etsy
  • 4 For The Travel Addicts: A Serious Water Bottle
    If your friends are serious travelers, they've probably already set up some sort of honeymoon fund as part of their registry. They might not think to indulge in a water bottle with a good filter system. Wherever they're traveling, they'll use it all the time.
    Aqua Vessel Insulated Filtration Water Bottle, $23.50 from EcoVessel
  • 5 For The Food Lovers Who Need A Little Help: A Cooking Class
    Your friends love to eat, but once they get all the kitchen appliances they've asked for, they're definitely not going to know what to do. Help 'em out with a cooking class. Find classes on sites like CourseHorse.
  • 6 For The Food Lovers Who Live To Dine Out: A Restaurant Gift Certificate
    Who doesn't want an excuse to eat out? Find a restaurant that has some meaning to your friends. Maybe it's the cuisine they'll eat on their honeymoon, or maybe it's the spot of their first date. Most restaurants offer gift certificates over the phone or on their website.
  • 7 For The Sentimental: A Keepsake For Their Wedding Invitation
    While everyone is giving frames and focusing on the wedding photo album, give your friends an easy way to memorialize their wedding invitation. You'll be giving them something unique, decorative and meaningful.
    Personalized Melted Wine Bottle, $25 on Etsy
  • 8 For The Art Lovers: A Museum Membership
    The art-loving engaged couple don't need an excuse to get to the museum every once in a while, but they'll welcome the extra nudge. Get them a membership to a local museum and they'll thank you when they're not only seeing more art, but engaging with the community.
  • 9 For The Wine Drinkers: A Wine Of The Month Club
    Who wouldn't want to get monthly shipments of wine? With a wine of the month club, your friends will have the perfect excuse to study up, keep track of what they like and dislike, and ultimately become more informed wine drinkers.
    Gold Medal Wine Club starts at $37
  • 10 For The Curious Cooks: A Glass Pot
    This may be one of the coolest items one can have in the kitchen. If you think your friends will enjoy watching their food cook (and who wouldn't?) go forth.
    Glass Pot, $200 at the Moma Store
  • 11 For Anyone: Help Out During The Wedding
    Wedding vendors add up fast. Whatever you're skills may be, offer them while your friends are wedding planning. Maybe you're crafty and can help put together ceremony programs or place cards. Maybe you're a great photographer and can take family photos or set up a fun photo booth. Maybe you love to bake and can make party-favor cookies. Your friends will be eternally grateful, and you'll get to be an even bigger part of their day.