8 trendy (and unexpected) ways newlyweds are spending their registry gift money

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Couples aren't just asking for a KitchenAid mixer or matching towel sets when putting together their wedding registries. Increasingly, they're requesting money to pay for everything from their student loans to their dream vacations.

"One very memorable couple registered for a lifetime supply of avocados," Jennifer Spector, director of brand at Zola, an online wedding registry, wedding planner and retailer, tells CNBC Make It. "We've also seen couples start a bouncy house fund and a $10,000 ice cream fund."

For an idea of how far newlyweds are going these days with their wedding gift requests, here are eight of the most unique, creative and resourceful ways couples are changing up the registry process.

1. Honeymoon funds

In 2011, the average honeymoon cost $4,466, according to wedding website The Knot. But, by 2017, the average honeymoon cost had risen to $5,432.

As the price to travel post-wedding continues to climb, couples have taken to asking for wedding gifts in the form of honeymoon contributions rather than traditional presents.

Using an online gifting platform, such as Honeyfund or Zola, newlyweds can set up a cash fund dedicated to their vacation.

When using these cash fund platforms, it's important to note that there is typically a processing fee — usually between 2% and 3% — that's paid by either the giver or receiver depending on how the account is set up.

2. Streaming service gift cards

It may seem strange to congratulate someone on their marriage by buying them a Netflix subscription, but the heart wants what it wants — and some partners love their TV time together.

Many streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Showtime, offer gifting options in the form of gift cards, which can either be bought online or in-store, and can be added to new or existing accounts.

3. IVF treatment

Couples who set up wedding registries via a cash fund gifting platform can create a cash fund for literally anything. Spector has seen a growing number couples ask for contributions to cover their IVF.

IVF is a procedure that's often costly, but is sometimes necessary for those who struggle with infertility and want to start a family. This fertility treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on where you live.

In the U.S., infertility is a common struggle for many Americans. In fact, for every 100 couples, 12 to 13 say they've experienced trouble getting pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While this may seem like an unconventional way to congratulate someone on their marriage, it may just be the most meaningful way to help a newly married pair to one day have a family.

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4. Workout classes

It's common for the bride and groom to set fitness goals prior to saying "I do." But it can be pricey to pay for fitness packages (on top of financing a wedding), and so couples will sometimes use their registry as a way of asking for help funding their fitness goals.

"I registered for boxing classes with my husband-to-be, and they were a great stress reliever leading up to the wedding. Plus, our guests loved the idea of us having a friendly match before the big day," Spector says.

A whopping 96% of couples say coordinating a wedding is stressful, which means anyone knee-deep in the planning process could likely use a sweat session (or two) before their wedding arrives.

When registering, the bride and groom will typically request gift cards to their favorite fitness studios or set up a cash fund a few months prior to their wedding date.

5. Nontraditional essentials

Wedding-registry trends no longer come with a strict set of rules, meaning couples don't have to register for a fancy china or silverware if they don't want to.

"We encourage couples to register for whatever they want, even if it's not the 'traditional' pots and pans and sheets and towels," Spector says. "I always recommend that couples add gifts for right now, five years from now and 20 years from now."

For those who love to travel, that might mean "stocking up on tents, backpacks and Airbnb gift cards," Spector says. "We also just added some Star Wars items to our collection," Spector says.

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6. Experiences

Newlyweds are also big on asking for experiences, rather than physical presents, Spector explains.

One of Zola's most popular registry items is a gift card is to Winc Wine Club, a wine subscription, which allows couples to enjoy an at-home wine tasting together each month.

For those who love to travel or want to partake in outdoor activities, such as skydiving or skiing, they can check out Vebo, a gifting platform that's specifically geared toward experiences. Once signed up, users can register for various activities by region.

7. Home down payments

When putting together a wedding registry, it's also becoming more common for couples to start a cash fund for a down payment on a home. Given how high housing prices are, this is a smart option for those who still need to save before they can begin shopping around for their first home.

These housing down payment funds work the same as any other cash fund offered by registry gifting sites and often charge a processing fee of 2% to 3%.

8. Changing your surname

Changing your last name post-wedding is a process. If you plan on doing so, there are a number of hoops to jump through once you've gotten your marriage license.

Not only do you have to get a new social security card, change your driver's license, and head to the bank to have your name switched over in their system, but you also have to ask your employer to alter how your name is listed in their payroll system and the list goes on.

If you don't want to go through all of the steps on your own, there are services available that will help you to change your name for a fee — and you can add them to your registry.

HitchSwitch, for example, is a company that offers various levels of support when going through the name-changing process — and gift cards for their services are offered on Zola or via the HitchSwitch site.

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