Paul Ringon and his husband had just one request when they opened their wedding registry in 2019: Delta Air Lines gift cards.
The two are avid travelers and tend to fly abroad at least twice a year. For Ringon, 37, and Wesley DeShaw creating memories through travel is much more appealing than a KitchenAid stand mixer or any other material gift.
“We had already bought a place, we kind of had everything we needed,” the Fort Lauderdale-based realtor said. “Overall we were like, if you’re going to get us something, get us a gift card to the airline we stick with.”
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A recent report from online wedding marketplace The Knot found experiences and virtual gifts like gift cards to Airbnb and Delta were some of the most popular registry gifts in 2021.
Esther Lee, deputy editor of The Knot, said pent-up travel demand among couples who had to postpone their honeymoon due to COVID-19 has helped boost these gifts’ popularity.
“We’re seeing that the travel demand is high and that the desire for these megamoons – these beautiful, lavish honeymoons – is up. And part of that includes requesting airline gift cards,” Lee said. “(Couples) want the funds to be able to get to their destinations.”
The Knot found seven out of every 10 couples in 2021 are registering for cash gifts, up 10% from the previous year. These gifts include gift cards or destination-specific experiences such as a snorkel tour in Hawaii or a private gondola ride in Venice.
About 80% of the gift cards that couples registered for on The Knot’s registry last year are for travel- or home-related retailers. Airbnb accounted for 17% of gift cards on registries while 20.4% were Home Depot gift cards and 7.6% were Delta Air Lines gift cards.
Ringon, who married DeShaw in Italy in 2019, said he and his husband ended up with about $5,000 in Delta gift cards and are still planning out a trip to use the funds.
“I think the best thing about these types of gifts is that you’re allowing people to create an experience,” he said. “I’d rather die with amazing memories than stuff in my closet.”
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