The big day is quickly approaching, and it’s time to create the registry so you can send out invitations to guests. As you sit down to make it happen, reality sinks in when you realize the wedding is costing way more than you anticipated. And you still haven’t even considered the expenses associated with life after your wedding day.
It’s no secret that weddings have the potential to take a big chunk out of your wallet, leaving you with limited funds afterward. Fortunately, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has you covered in the video below with a list of ideas for crowdfunded wedding gifts that can alleviate some of the financial burdens once the big day has passed. Take a look, then read on for more suggestions.
Plenty of sites exist these days to allow you to tactfully solicit cash gifts to crowdfund honeymoons, down payments and other expensive items on your wishlist. Among them:
- Wedding Republic
But is this something you should do? Some of your guests will undoubtedly find it tacky. “There really is no nice way to ask for gifts — cash or otherwise,” etiquette expert Sherri Athay told CNN.
But there are ways to make crowdfunding less like a plea for funds and more like an invitation for people to share in your dreams. For starters, refrain from asking guests for “cash,” and use “monetary contribution” instead. It’s a bit more tasteful. Also, you never want to pass on any transaction fees charged by these sites to donors.
Ultimately, if you treat donors as if they are contributing to a great cause, they won’t feel pressured to open up their wallets. And if a guest insists on taking the traditional route, welcome that gift with open arms.
Setting up the registry
Here are some guidelines if you decide to take this on:
- Include a photograph or video accompanied by a heartfelt message with your wedding invitation or save-the-date to emphasize the significance of your cause. Provide updates on your progress and also the end result.
- Read the fine print. Crowdfunding sites often have fees, so make sure they’re affordable. And you’ll want to be aware of any terms and conditions before you make your choice. Fundly provides a comprehensive guide on how to evaluate crowdfunding platforms.
- Select a platform that is user-friendly. That last thing you want to do is frustrate your guests during the gift-giving process.
- Make sure your guests have the option of viewing a more traditional gift registry, with varying price points. The crowdfunding concept is fairly new, so some may not be open to the idea.
Now, let’s look at some specific ideas for using crowdfunding for your gift registry.
What’s more exciting than the wedding? The honeymoon! But the cost of the trip may force you to make cuts to your wedding plans or seek cheaper alternatives. Unless, of course, you decide to crowdfund your romantic getaway so you aren’t stuck footing the entire bill.
To simplify the process, register with a hotel chain, such as Starwood or Marriott, and specify your wishes. Another alternative is to create a honeymoon registry at Honeyfund.
2. Down payment
Planning to purchase a home together in the near future? Chances are that if you’re applying for a mortgage, you’ll need a down payment to go along with it. Instead of requesting gifts that will sit around and collect dust, let friends and family pitch in toward making your dreams of homeownership a reality.
Websites such as Down Payment Dreams and Hatch My House allow you to set up the registry.
Once you’re moved in, the place will need to be furnished. And the cost of dining, bedroom and living room furniture can add up very quickly, especially if you’re starting for scratch. So, take some time away from wedding planning and other everyday tasks to create a wish list at a furniture store, such as Rooms to Go or a local boutique.
4. Home improvement
Did you purchase a fixer-upper, or just want to spruce the new place up? Visit your nearest home improvement store to register for the tools you’ll need to make it happen. And if you plan to solicit assistance for projects, specify the services on Knack. There’s nothing better than spending time in a home with a visually appealing interior and wowing your guests with a well-manicured lawn.
It may be wise to add new appliances to your wish list if your home doesn’t come with them. A refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer will cost well over $1,000.
6. Housewarming fund
Once the big day has passed and you’re all settled in, why not have a housewarming to show appreciation to your friends and family for their generosity? This fund can be used to cover refreshments and entertainment for your guests.
7. College fund
Planning on starting a family? The cost of college is a major expense that you must consider. The good news is that friends and family can pitch in for your future child’s education by contributing to a fund you create using UPromise or GradSave.
8. Continuing education fund
You can also request money for your very own college fund, especially if you’ve taken a vow with your new spouse to stay out of debt. Continuing education is also a great way to strengthen your skill set and advance your career as the two of you start a new life together.
9. Date night fund
Once the honeymoon is over, why not keep the spark going with date nights? Fine dining, sporting events and live entertainment can be pricey, but this fund will give you an opportunity to escape from the same routine within the four walls of your humble abode.
10. Slush fund
If none of these ideas tickle your fancy, simply inform your guests that monetary gifts are still very much appreciated and will be put to good use. It’s wise to use the funds to eliminate some of that outstanding debt or boost your emergency fund.
Bottom line: By crowdfunding, you have the opportunity to receive gifts that prevent or alleviate future financial burdens.
Do you have any other unique ideas? What do you think of crowdfunding for wedding registries? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.