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Sure, the wedding registry may list items like a sterling silver ice bucket and a glass vase handblown in only one town in France on only one day each year, but that stuff is B-O-R-I-N-G boring. It's time to go where no normal wedding guest has gone before?into the realm of off-registry gifts. Do you have the guts to leave the registry behind? To make it a little easier, we've rounded up ten of our favorite creative presents across a wide range of price points.
1) His-and-her New York-made bicycles. ($400 and up from Worksman Cycles.) Based in Queens, Worksman can hand-build everything from road bikes to heavy-duty cruisers to tandem trikes. Nearly every facet of each bike can be customized. You just have the lovely couple check off what they want and tell Worksman you're paying the bill. Imagine how awesome the bikes will look parked at the gifts table (not to mention how lackluster they'll make other wedding presents seem in comparison). Bonus: Worksman can even make matching Pennyfarthing high-wheel bikes!
2) A night in the Tiffany Suite. ($8,500 at the St. Regis Hotel.) For high four figures, you better get more than one night at a hotel, right? Well, the suite can also include a visit to the private salon at Tiffany, jewelry purchases not included. The suite only debuted last year and, where you'd usually find a minibar, there's instead a cocktail cart of Tiffany silver and crystal. If the lucky couple doesn't make good use of it for their honeymoon, there's always staycationing.
3) A champagne star. ($20 from Le Creuset.) It's an unwritten rule that any wedding registry must contain at least one Le Creuset entry. But why buy an au gratin dish when, for $20, you can instead present the happy couple with something like a ninja star crossed with a propeller, crossed with the promise of a future of champagne by sunset? Maybe pair it with this for good measure.
4) Something blue. ($9,295 from Oscar de la Renta on Moda Operandi.) What's nearly $10,000 and technically won't exist until autumn? This. Put it on your AMEX Centurion card and get ready to smirk at the eventual arrival of a gushing "Thank You" card from the bride.
5) Some hotel sexytime. ($100, $500, $1,000 or $2,000 on Jetsetter.com.) Not everybody will be into Tiffany blue, so better go for a gift credit towards a variety of hotel types on Jetsetter.
6) A latex catsuit. ($554 from Atsuko Kudo.) Look, at some point in a marriage a latex catsuit will enter the picture. May as well get it over with now. Naturally, e-gift certificates are available for those who many prefer vinyl nun outfits or Lady Gaga's full red Atsuko Kudo ensemble.
7) A private sail. ($100 and up via SideTour.) Send the couple out into the New York harbor without the pressure of a dinner cruise and without having to make small talk with others. SideTour offers this experience captained by a sailing instructor, so they're free to tweet "I'm on a boat" and then make with the making out. Not water people? SideTour has a range of other experiences, like a clam bake with a Food Network star or dinner with Diddy's personal chef. We'd recommend going for a gift certificate.
8) Dream Ice Cream Machine. ($1,200 at Sur la Table.) This is a carryover from last year's list as it's still awesome, we still want it someday, and we like to imagine that the married couple would bring over all the "extras" when a batch is just too big for two.
9) A private, after-hours tour of MoMA. ($75 per person via The Museum of Modern Art.) A cute idea, nicely romantic with a culture angle, and price-appropriate for a couple you only know moderately well.
10) A seaplane flight to the Hamptons. ($525 via StndAir.) Save the newlyweds from the Jitney with a one-way (or round-trip) jaunt to the Hamptons in The Standard's candy apple red seaplane. It departs from the East River and, as a special for summer 2012, passengers also get a pair of Standard-approved Warby Parker sunglasses. Pack light with seersucker and marinière stripes. Or just charter the whole plane to fly wherever (and tag along).
· All Weddings Week 2012 coverage [Racked NY]