Fifty years ago, it was common for young people to live at home with their parents until they were married. If they didn’t get married, they sometimes never left home. Couples also tended to get married at a younger age – sometimes just as a way to escape their parents. They also did not generally live together prior to getting married. This meant that when young people got married, they were often establishing a home for the first time and needed all of the accessories that go with doing so, ranging from dinnerware and flatware to irons, toasters and coffee makers.
While times may have changed, many of the customs and traditions surrounding weddings and wedding showers have not. Today, not only are many couples waiting longer to marry, but many couples live together prior to getting married. Even among couples that don’t live together prior to marriage, they often live in their own homes or apartments rather than with their parents. When couples move in together after marriage, they don’t generally need a wide variety of household items and in fact, often have to get rid of many items that they both own.
Ask for Money Towards a Home Down Payment
As a result, the practice of creating a wedding registry for household items is a relatively outdated one. Today, couples are opting to instead ask family and friends for a wide range of support that they are in far greater need of than a toaster or coffee maker. Some of the things that today’s couples are asking for are:
- Contributions for a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon
- Support for covering the expenses of the wedding itself
- Help to pay off student loans or other debt so they can start their marriage debt-free
- Help with a down payment on a home
While at one time it was considered gauche to ask for money, this is another way in which times are changing. In a world where self-storage has become a $32 billion a year industry, the values of young people are changing to from things to experiences. While they may not need a coffee pot, a high-end espresso maker, and a French press, however, even Millennials need a place to live.
Today, rather than registering at stores, couples are using everything from social media to crowdfunding sites as alternatives to traditional wedding registries. In addition, electronic payments and transfers are making it easier than ever before for friends, family, and relatives to support the couple even if they can’t make it to the wedding. Friends and family around the world no longer have to stick a check in the mail that can take weeks to arrive – or hassle with currencies, foreign banks or other issues. Today, they can just send money electronically right from their computer or smart phone.
If you are in the process of planning a wedding, consider ditching the traditional wedding registry and instead just ask for what you really want or need most. Whether its help with a spectacular honeymoon or a home mortgage, don’t feel obligated to stay bound by tradition. If you genuinely need a 250 piece set of flatware, then, by all means, ask for it. Otherwise, feel free to let your friends and family know what you really need most. The likelihood is, they will probably be delighted to save the trip to the store, not to mention the trouble of gift wrapping.