The concept of a cash registry sparks lively debate among wedding planners and engaged couples. This trend is attractive to many people, but traditionalists tend to scoff at the idea. Whether a couple is thinking about starting a fund for a specific purpose, such as a honeymoon, or asking for money across the board, there are several factors to consider.
The Drawbacks of Cash Registries
On the surface, asking for money in lieu of gifts may seem like a great idea that everyone can agree on. However, many traditionalists consider a cash registry a tacky way to treat generous guests who want to make the couple's day unique and special.
Less Personal for Gift-Givers
For many people, giving the perfect gift is the way they show love to those they cherish. Being asked to just donate money instead of taking the time to choose something meaningful detracts from the experience. They may feel cheated out of an opportunity to express how they feel about the couple through a thoughtful present.
Less Helpful for Young Couples
When couples start their lives together, they bring their own expectations of what the experience will be. One of the best benefits of choosing specific items for a wedding registry together is that it leads to illuminating conversations about these preconceived notions. Even something as simple as conflicting impressions of how many sets of towels they will need can spark discussions about how to arrange closets, how often to do laundry, and who is responsible for making sure towels are clean and ready for use.
Itemized registries are also beneficial for couples who do not own a lot of household items already. Planning a list of things they will need for their shared home, particularly if others can purchase and ship the items directly to them, can relieve a lot of unnecessary stress.
The Benefits of Cash Registries
Cash registries are often more appealing to couples who don't need or want a lot of stuff. Extra money is always a good fit, and once guests get past the initial surprise of simply being asked to donate cash instead of shopping for a gift, they may find that they prefer it.
More Practical for Established Households
Itemized registries were traditionally intended to provide young couples with everything they need for their adult lives. Many couples marry later in life, though, and already have most of the practical items that are typically listed on registries. These couples may struggle to find things they are lacking, which can take some of the novelty or joy out of the planning. Extra funds for their next big expense, however, can be a godsend.
Less Frivolous Waste
Most people, especially in Western cultures, have more than they need. In fact, they have so much that organizing, purging, and decluttering have become booming industries. Instead of registering for things they will shove in the closet only to donate them to charity later, couples may prefer the option of pooling funds that they can either save or spend on something they truly desire:
- Put a down payment on a house
- Start a travel account
- Pay off student loans or set up an education fund for children
- Launch a new business
More Convenient for Guests
While some guests may love buying gifts, a cash registry provides immense relief for others. It takes the stress off choosing the right present and allows them to focus on the celebration. Even more convenient are the registries to which they can donate directly online.
Cash registries are becoming increasingly popular, especially as the average age for couples getting married increases. While some may not like the idea, it provides a welcome alternative to those who want a simpler option.