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“Nontraditional registries are growing in popularity,” Ms. Fitzgerald said. “Brides and grooms can create a wedding blog on our site, upload photos and describe what they are looking for in a home or even post photos of a home they have already identified. The wedding guests and anyone else can donate funds directly to the site, and the money is held in an FDIC-insured account until they are ready to withdraw it.”

1-800-Registry is licensed to provide real estate services, including a 1 percent rebate for registrants who purchase a home with one of the company’s builder partners in California, Nevada or Texas. The company will be offering these services in the D.C. area in the future, but no specific date has been set.

Each wedding registry sets different rules for participation, so brides and grooms should be careful to read the fine print and know what fees are involved and how they will access the gift funds. In most cases, the gift funds are available immediately and can be used for other purposes than a home down payment.

A nontraditional registry can be created for commitment ceremonies, graduations, baby showers and more. It’s up to the recipients to decide how to use their gift money.