Begin Free Online Ordination

Newlyweds Do With the CashEven as the traditional registry continues to thrive, cash and cash cards are increasingly popular options for the modern wedding gift. Couples are less shy about requesting money, and some guests welcome the opportunity to bypass the chore of selecting the perfect token. That said, the question begs to be asked: What are couples doing with the money? Do they earmark it for a future home? Do they invest? Alternatively, does it become a slush fund for emergency car batteries and the occasional fancy date night? A new study explores what the recently married are choosing to do with their wedding windfalls.

Starting the Journey With a Journey

Tender is a website that facilitates cash gifts for couples getting married. The site conducted research that revealed that over half of the couples in the study spent their gift cash on a honeymoon. Jeff Beil, Tendr's founder, sees the logic of the choice. "Ask anyone about their honeymoon, no one forgets it," Beil said. While Tendr and other sites, such as Deposit a Gift, act as a sort of general fund, other sites allow guests to donate to specific requests of registered brides and grooms. Honeyfund has collected in excess of $286 million over the last 10 years for couples with their hearts set on a fantasy getaway. Specific requests include:

  • Airplane and other transportation tickets
  • Hotel and resort accommodations
  • Recreational equipment or packages, such as hiking gear or scuba lessons

While some people object to what they view as crass opportunism, or at least a denial of the pleasure of selecting a personal gift, other people embrace the cash trend. Beil believes in the practicality of letting people do what they wish with the funds. He said, "Everybody has different needs, and everybody has different dreams."

Clearing the Path of Debt

Some couples believe the best wedding present they can receive is a clean slate. The study showed that paying down debt was the next most popular way, at 34 percent, to spend the loot. The number of couples who saved or invested the cash was a modest 7 percent. Home improvements and paying the wedding reception bills also made the list. Robert Semrad is a senior partner at Debtstoppers, a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy. Semrad believes the best gift couples can give themselves is a solid financial foundation. In his line of work, Semrad often witnesses the negative consequences financial stress can take on a couple, especially two people just starting out. There are couples who have debt they accrued prior to getting married, and there are couples who go into debt after racking up expenses from a big wedding. All too often, says Semrad, ""That debt never goes away." He recommends, instead, the gift of a stress-free beginning, unencumbered by the weight of financial burden.

Shifting Priorities

One of the primary reasons for the popularity of cash is that more and more couples already own a houseful of goods. By the time many couples get married, they have been living together long enough to have amassed whatever appliances and appointments people used to buy to start people out on their domestic road together. Monetary presents offer a way to build on the life they have begun, perhaps with a down payment on a bigger place, or new carpeting for the place they are in. Supporters of the cash gift feel as though they are contributing in a meaningful way, as their gift is being spent in the manner that has the most value for the wedded couple. According to the data, modern brides and grooms feel as though they get the most meaning and value from a week to ten days strolling barefoot and hand in hand on a length of beautiful sandy beach.

Category: Marriage

Add Your Comment

To post a comment you must log in first.
You may alternatively login with your credentials, below.