Move over, something blue: there’s a new wedding gift in town. Its name? Home down payment.
Hear us out: A home is often one of the most important and meaningful purchases someone can make in their lifetime. But the first home that a couple buys together? That’s huge. Any contribution towards this goal could be one of the most valuable gifts a newlywed couple could hope to receive.
Wedding registries stem from 1924 when newlyweds would create a list to inform guests of preference in china, crystal and silver patterns. Today, the wedding registry has evolved to include everything from new blenders, to experienced-based gifts for the honeymoon, to charity and business donations.
It makes sense that today’s couples, especially the Millennial crowd , aren’t as in need of things-- space is limited and moving is on the rise. Plus, according to Bankrate , more couples are living together before marriage and waiting longer to tie the knot ( 27 for women and 29 for men, on average ). That means it's likely they already own a lot of things.
The Best Alternative Registries
Feather the Nest
Feather the Nest is exclusively geared towards gifts that fund “the nest,” whether it’s a home improvement or house downpayment. If you’re only asking for real-estate-related gifts, this is the perfect place to start.
Deposit a Gift
Deposit a Gift started as a cash gift registry to “help people across the globe communicate that they would prefer cash gifts for all of life’s Big Events.”
Honeyfund is the most popular crowdfunding site for alternative registries, including weddings, honeymoons and home down payments.
From the creators of Honeyfund, Plumfund lets you raise money for anything (not just weddings or honeymoons) for free.
Upon Our Star
Upon Our Star describes themselves as a wedding gift registry for wishes, not stuff. “Each wedding gift is limited only by the imagination.”
Asking For Cash: Bad Etiquette?
Some traditionalists see a home down payment registry as breaking an unspoken rule: You should never ask your guests for cash.
If you’re feeling a bit icky about asking for money, there are a few ways to gracefully let your guests know you prefer cash over things. Here are a few polite, but effective techniques to help you break the news without making your guests squirm:
- Set up a small registry. Put together a modest registry for guests who may be uncomfortable going the less traditional route.
- Let your closest friends and/or family know. If guests aren’t sure what to get you, they’ll likely ask your friends or family first. This can be a great buffer and save you any awkwardness--it’s so much easier and tasteful to have a friend say, “They have a small registry _____, but I also know that they’re saving up for a house.”
- Put it in the appropriate place. Your registry information should not be on the wedding invitation. Keep it on your wedding’s website or shower invitations instead.