10 Creative Crowdfunded Wedding Gift Ideas

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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:

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.

1. Honeymoon

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.

3. Furniture

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.

5. Appliances

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.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Jim

    This is an extremely tacky article, and in poor taste. If you are mature and responsible enough to get married, you should have already taken into account how to pay for your honeymoon, or how to pay for your home. A wedding is not a fundraiser, it should be an event where people close to you help celebrate. Be happy to receive a new toaster or blender! Plan what you can afford. Any responsible money manager will tell you not to go into debt for your wedding!

    • Nick

      Hello Jim, you seem like a fiscally responsible person. That said, I hope you have an opportunity to read my post and entertain another point of view.

      • Jim

        Hi Nick,

        If you read the reason for the article in the first paragraph ”

        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”, this doesn’t sound like your situation. I don’t think the article helps the target group start out responsibly. Thanks, Reggie for being a little more realistic.
        Thanks to both of you for responding, and have a great week!

    • speaksthetruth

      I agree with Jim, it’s tacky. I am not going to your wedding to fund your honeymoon. If you can’t deal with a Macy’s toaster then goodbye to you. I hate going to weddings in the first place. It means you need to get a new dress, hairdo and etc. Cost too much.

  • Nick

    This is a GREAT artcile! However, there is always someone who is opinionated to the point they see things only from their own point of view. This article actually solves a significant problem, not for the couple that are getting married, rather for the people that want to do something nice that has meaning for the couple. My wife to be (6/14/14) and I are both in our 50’s. We both had been married in excess of 25 years previously.
    We need and want nothing from our guests with exception of their participation and enjoyment of our special day!

    That being said, we did NOT register anywhere and when asked by those thoughtful enough to inquire about our being registered, we replied all we asked was for them to join us. For many, that seemed to be inadequate on their part and they would ask if we needed this or that. In retrospect, we easily could have communicated that while we do not need nor want anything other than for them to participate, they could contribute towards an event that would provide for further opportunities to enjoy our life together such as a date night fund or our honeymoon.
    While we need neither and expect nothing, it has been my experience in life that family and friends like to feel that they are contributing to the happy couples’ future in a meaningful way.

    You are right in one thing Jim, a wedding is not a fundraiser, it should be an event where people close to you help celebrate (AND) they choose how they would like to do so!

    • grandmaguest

      I was in the same boat as you Nick in that I was older and had been married before. I solved the problem of those who really felt like they had to give us something, by requesting that they make a donation to “their” favorite charity, be it an animal shelter, cancer fund, emergency shelter, food pantry, church, or what ever….it was entirely up to them. They could even “donate” their time in our name. To drive home the point that by combing our two homes with all the “stuff” we had (and had to get rid of), I told them that any other “gifts” while deeply appreciated would be donated to shelters or other appropriate foundations as we simply had no more room in our combined home. It made us all feel good and hopefully helped those who needed help much more than we did.

  • speaksthetruth

    I went to my sister’s in law wedding and my husband and I bought a toaster. She asked if we can pay for our meal instead— yes, you read correctly, she wanted us to pay for our meal–TACKY. We paid it, but we were both like never again. $200 dollar meal for 2 at a wedding should be covered by the wedding party.