When nothing registers …
eagle county correspondent
Ken Hoeve had everything he needed when he married his wife, Brandy McLaughlin, in 2003.
So instead of opting for china and silverware the two wanted wedding guests to donate to the Eagle Valley Humane Society.
When we got married we had enough,” said Hoeve, owner of three dogs, several cats and a few horses. “We had everything you typically ask for in a gift registry.”
Hoeve and McLaughlin join a growing number of couples registering with out-of-the-ordinary stores and organizations.
“I think some people didn’t get it at first,” Hoeve said. “When they realized it was a donation they thought it was a good idea. Definitely a few people got a kick out of it and made donations.”
Hoeve and McLaughlin’s registry wasn’t the first for the Humane Society.
“We’ve had people in lieu of gifts send money to the Humane Society,” said Director Char Quinn. “It’s pretty popular not just with us but with a lot of nonprofits.”
Just a few couples have asked wedding patrons to donate to the Colorado Sierra Club, Director Susan LeFever said. It’s a viable alternative to conventional wedding gifts, she said.
“For older people who have already set up a household ” it’s a nice way to get friends involved without getting a bunch of stuff they don’t need,” LeFever said, adding that the hope is more people will begin to ask for donations to the club as an alternative to traditional wedding gifts.
Nonprofits aren’t the only unusual places for registries. Sean Glackin, owner of Mountain Quest in Edwards, has outfitted couples for climbing, camping, kayaking and other gear.
“It’s an easier way for a couple to get to the outdoors,” Glackin said. “It’s stuff that they’re using together when they’re in the outdoors having fun.”
Glackin estimates three to six couples tying the knot register at his store each year.
Some travel agents have also seen a spike in the number of duos registering for trips.
Hot-spot honeymoon destinations like Hawaii and Tahiti can be paid for by guests. Couples can then split the difference if a portion of the cost goes unpaid by guests.
“It’s happening more often. Weddings are definitely changing these days,” Gail Brandt of Talbot Travel in Avon said.
Hoeve felt his unusual wedding registry would benefit the animals at the shelter, as well as his future luck.
“We’re not worried about people sending us stuff, we’re concerned with dogs and cats having a good life,” he said. “Karma is a funny thing ” you have to do as many things as you can for others, not just humans. We wanted to get other people motivated to donate.”
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