If there's one thing all engaged couples wish they could ask for from their wedding guests, it's cash. Toasters and towels sets are lovely, and gift cards are certainly appreciated, but nothing quite has the versatility of money. You and your partner can put it towards buying your first home together or even invest in new furniture if you've already landed your dream job.
In recent years, more couples have been turning to cash wedding registries to help steer guests towards giving money as a gift. But a cash wedding registry is different from a honeymoon registry, which you might be more familiar with, though they do share some similarities.
For those wishing they could convince their wedding guests to give cash a gift, here's everything you need to know about cash wedding registries and how to start one.
What is a cash wedding registry?
A cash wedding registry is a type of registry that simply asks for just one gift: cash. Unlike a honeymoon or traditional wedding registry, cash registries have just one option that guests can contribute to.
Most couples turn to cash registries as an easy, polite way to ask for money as a wedding gift. As you likely know, asking for just cash goes against traditional wedding etiquette. Guests want to contribute to your new life together and help the two of you build a home together. Although money can be used to buy furniture, guests sometimes worry that the money will be spent on everyday expenses such as utilities or personal purchases such as clothing.
Guests want to feel that they're helping you two get a headstart on your new lives together. That's why home goods have been such a popular gift for couples for generations. Friends and family members want to help you and your partner fill your kitchen and linen closets.
But times have changed. Nowadays, many couples live together before getting married. Many want to ensure they're compatible before making such a big legal commitment to each other. It gives them a chance to address some major concerns about sharing a household, such as dividing up chores and navigating finances. Living together forces these conversations to happen, and they can help the couple know for certain that they're ready to marry.
Another benefit of living together before marriage is that it allows couples to build up their homes together. If you and your partner are living together already, then you might have bought a stand mixer, a good vacuum and a set of nice bedsheets for your home.
This leaves guests with a slight problem: What to get you and your partner as a gift?
What are the benefits of a cash registry?
Cash registries provide a friendlier, more thankful way to ask your wedding guests to give you money as a gift because you can direct them towards a single cause. Many couples design their around a specific cause, such as:
- Down payment on a house: Most banks recommend that you put 20% of the total home's value down when you buy a house, but saving up all that money can take a long time, depending on where you live, what the market's like and how much the two of you make. A cash fund for a down payment helps the two of you save that money to buy your first home.
- Furniture fund: Okay, you've got the great house. Now you've got to fill it with furniture, but furniture from IKEA and other inexpensive outlets won't cut it. You want something sturdy, sustainable and high-quality — but nice furniture doesn't come cheap. A furniture fund helps you raise money for quality furniture that will last a long time in your new home.
- Baby fund: Some couples hit the ground running to start a family after they get married. Maybe they've always wanted to be parents or the timing is perfect in their lives. Whatever the reason, these couples plan to start trying for a baby right after “I do,” so the baby fund helps them get a jump start on cribs, high chairs and maybe even a college fund for the little bundle of joy.
- Charity fund: Many couples out there feel as if they already have it all. They might have great jobs that pay well or they could be a little older and have most of those home essentials already. Instead of asking for gifts, some couples choose to collect funds or a charity. Some couples choose a charity with a cause they both support, and others decide on one that honors a family member. If you or your partner has lost a loved one to cancer, for example, then you might raise money to support a worthy cancer charity.
By choosing a concrete way to spend your cash fund, you're reassuring guests that the money they give won't be going to pay the electric bill or for a shopping spree on Amazon. This shows that you're going to be responsible and thoughtful with their gift.
Of course, the biggest benefit of a cash registry is that you really do receive cash to put towards your dream, whether that's buying the perfect home or preparing for a future baby. This gives you the flexibility to spend the money as you need it. You can use your fund to help cover any closing costs or hire a moving couple to get you to your new home.
Cash registries also don't have a minimum or maximum limit that all guests must contribute. Some of your guests may be able to contribute $100. Others who might still be in school or trying to start a family of their own might not be able to contribute more than $50. Cash funds allow guests to give whatever they'd like, whether that's $20 or $200, so no one feels as if they need to give a gift that's out of their budgets.
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How does a cash registry work?
A cash registry functions much like a regular wedding registry, but instead of multiple gifts, there's just one that anyone can contribute.
Once you create your cash fund and start sharing the website with friends and family members, guests can go online and start contributing. At Hitchd, guests can use credit or debit cards to contribute money to your fund. Because Hitchd charges couples a one-time fee, guests do not pay extra beyond whatever they want to give.
The money then goes into an account with Stripe that you and your partner set up when you started with Hitchd. You have access to that account right away, so wherever you get your first contribution, you can transfer the money to your personal bank account. If you're currently trying to buy a home or anxious to start ordering furniture, then being able to access your money will help you keep your credit card payments manageable.
How do I start a cash wedding registry?
To create your own cash wedding registry through Hitchd, here are four simple steps to getting it done:
Step 1: Sign up with Hitchd and create an account.
Step 2: Add an introduction and a photo of you and your partner. If you're having a hard time writing a good intro, you can use a template from Hitchd to get you started.
Step 3: Design your cash fund. When you go to add a gift to your registry, select "cash fund" as a gift. You can then decide what kind of cash fund you'd like to create. If you need help deciding what to write, try out a gift template from Hitchd.
Step 4: Launch your cash fund. Once you set up your account with Stripe and pay your one-time fee, then your cash fund will go live, and you'll be ready to accept gifts from guests.
The whole process can take less than a half house, but we do recommend that you add personal photos and add links, if needed. Couples building a charity fund, for example, should include a list to their chosen charity so guests can check it out for themselves.
Cash wedding registries can be a wonderful wedding tool to help you raise money for those big moments coming up in your life. When guests understand that they're contributing to your future, they'll get excited about your next steps. Be thankful, and guests will feel that gratitude.