I think I understand the concept about giving something for later. I just don't agree with it. For a couple of reasons:
1. If someone isn't hosting big events right now because they are in an apartment or smaller dwelling, it is unkind to expect them to store a bunch of stuff they don't have room for because you think that they will need it "some day".
2. If someone isn't hosting events because they are younger and will "grow into" that responsibility, the odds are pretty high that by that time they'll be established in their jobs, etc and will be able to buy their own stuff to their own tastes.
Look, I get it at a high level. I got lots of things for my wedding that I don't use every day. (Like all the platters). I registered for most of them. Because I knew what I needed. I was 28 years old, DH was 31, we'd been living on our own for 10 and 13 years respectively, living together for 4 years , owned a home for over 2 years. I knew exactly what it took to host family Christmas. I'd done it. It's a bit insulting to insinuate that I don't know what I'm going to need or that I just don't know any better. Most brides aren't naive 18 year olds any more. In Canada, the average first-time bride is at least 29 years old.
I knew what I needed. I knew what I didn't need. And, if I didn't need it, I wasn't going to store it for 10 years on the off chance that the one I already had broke. In 10 years, I'll buy another one.
Finally, I don't mean any of the above to mean that you have to buy from the registry. But, I think that some posters, like TurtleDove, are getting a bad rap here for suggesting that the couple may actually know better than the giver what the couple wants and needs. Sure, you may hit a home run. And you may not. One of the best gifts I got was a set of beer glasses, chip & dip set, and serving tray that all had the logo of my favourite football team. I love it and I did not register for it (mostly because I never saw anything like it anywhere I was registering). But the people that bought that knew me and my DH well enough to know that I am absolutely wild about that team, that we are season ticket holders and that we do not miss games ever barring some extremely high-priority event conflict. If they just knew me well enough to know "lmyrs likes football" they may have bought the same set for another sports team. And, it would have been donated somewhere pretty much immediately. And the whole thing could have been avoided if the giver just contacted someone who knew me better and asked what would be appropriate.
That's what I was getting at way earlier in this thread. That it's fine to go off registry. But, if you don't know the couple well enough to know that they're going to love it, you really should find someone who does know them well enough. Or you're just guessing and that's not really "putting a lot of love and care into choosing a gift for the couple". That's deciding what you think they like and buying it. I don't think you can say that you've put a whole bunch of thought into a gift for someone if you haven't even bothered to find out their wants, needs and interests.
And, finally, I'm also not a huge fan of the idea that anyone (not just brides & grooms, but birthdays, etc) can just return a gift to the store if they don't like it. That is absolutely true, but now, you've not only gone and gotten them something that they don't need, but they have to go and do work to return or exchange it at a store that hopefully is somewhat convenient to them. It kind of devalues the gift if the recipient has to do a bunch of work to receive it. (I don't know how to say that without coming off like a brat, but I hope that people understand what I'm getting at there.)