Register for a House!
The classic American Dream is love, marriage, house and family. Practical parents of engaged couples sometimes lament, “Why don’t you just go elope? Save the money and put it towards a house.” Thanks to the advent of online gift-giving and fundraiser, you can do both!
Hatch My House is an online gift and wedding registry geared toward home ownership. The registrants can sign up, design their dream house and receive gifts from family and friends towards a down payment, home improvements projects, or even furnishings. Intended to be interactive, family and friends can visit the house page, see the designs, and purchase something for the home (i.e. a window for $75 or a door for $125).
Similarly, Feather The Nest allows registrants to solicit gifts towards a down payment on a new house or a home improvement project such as a nursery, deck/patio, or kitchen remodel. Registrants can upload photos, videos and floor plans of what they want.
Down Payment Dreams is another site that allows registrants to save for a house, a car or even retirement.
The Honeyfund started as a honeymoon registry but has branched into home building for soon-to-be-married couples allowing friends and family to choose from contributing toward a down payment on a home to furniture upgrades, landscaping and more.
The thought is most gifts take up space that young couples and families do not have, and many gifts rarely get used. These registries offer the registrants a chance to achieve their dream home and their loved ones the opportunity to help build it.
But not everyone is so enthusiastic. The founder of Down Payment Dreams, Teresa Krebs, said that a handful of users have reported a lukewarm response from friends and family members, some of whom felt that asking for money (regardless of the reason) is tacky.
Not the route for you? There are other ways to save money on the wedding that can be used for the house. In surveys of wedding planners and recently married couples, most agree that couples should keep the following items simple for the wedding and avoid splurging:
Favors - this is considered by most the least important part of the wedding. Carefully consider your budget and what makes sense.
Programs for the ceremony - these unfortunately get left in the church or dropped as litter. As everyone typically knows what is going on during a wedding, a fancy program isn’t critical.
Invitations - Print at home packages can save couples a bundle.
A huge guest list - Large weddings can get extremely expensive. Most costs are variable based on the head count.
Flowers - Sweet simple bouquets can leave just as good of an impression.
The wedding cake - Many guests don’t even eat the cake when it is offered. A dessert buffet with a small cake to “cut” can be considerably more economical.
The dress - The cost of a wedding gown is hugely variable. Some companies now offer to rent the dress for the budget conscious bride.
Where NOT to skimp? Most bride and grooms agree that the most important items include:
The music - A great band or DJ who can get the guests in a good mood and dancing is worth their weight in gold.
Food and drink - It doesn’t have to be surf and turf and top shelf liquor, but fresh, high quality, and well-prepared offerings are crucial.
Photographer and videographer - Get a true professional to record the special day. Those memories will last a lifetime, and the photos and videos can never be recreated.
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The Scott Loper Team
Scott & Lisa Loper