After the first year of the pandemic put many nuptials on ice, Americans began to revenge marriage as summer arrived. Even now, couples are still rushing to get married – but with extra care given the latest wave of infection.
If it were any other time, this matrimonial flood would force family and friends to scramble to buy gifts, a prospect made worse this year due to limited supply from retailers and skyrocketing prices.
But there is a silver lining to this altar race that can make it a bit easier for you: all honeymooners seem to want the money.
About 80% of couples on the marriage registry and Zola planning website receive money, according to the company.
Meanwhile, around 30% more cash giveaways were created and delivered through the online platform The Knot between January and July, compared to the same period two years ago, the company said. Honeymoon funds are the most popular request, but couples tired of viruses are also asking for money to pay for romantic dinners, massages, and even fertility treatments.
“The pandemic has caused society at large to rethink its priorities,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, vice president of The Knot. A mentality focused on experiences rather than material things “resonates with more and more people.”
COVID-19 has helped accelerate the adoption of cash gifts, which were already growing in popularity as people felt more comfortable asking for cash. After all, Millennials and Gen Z have come of age in the GoFundMe era and therefore are less likely than their elders to view crowdfunding as inappropriate.
There’s also the fact that Americans are getting married older, which often means couples already have enough household items that typically fill out a marriage registry.
Plus, Americans in their 20s and 30s are struggling with growing student loans as salaries do not keep pace with soaring tuition fees for higher education. Finding ways to reduce some of this debt is extremely important for couples hoping to secure a mortgage on favorable terms.
“As we see couples thinking about their financial goals and their future together, they see money as a more attractive and pragmatic option,” said Maxwell Cooper. “They might not need wedding china. They don’t need new leaves. But they have student loan debt.
Some are using cash gifts to pay for the wedding itself, a trend that was taking shape before anyone heard of the novel coronavirus. In 2019, Jenn and Jillian DeSimone from New York City essentially outsourced their nuptials. Friends and family helped offset the cost of items ranging from a wedding dress to ice cream served for dessert. The couple also created a student loan fund.
The contributions helped pave the way for their first years of marriage. The couple received a total of $ 10,000 in cash donations, about half of which went to student loans, helping Jenn pay off all of her debt. Now they own a house and are expecting a baby.
“We didn’t need anything for our house or for ourselves, so money was the best gift we could get,” Jillian said. “We were so moved by all the support. Much more meaningful than a set of dishes.
As partners retreated during the pandemic, demands for payment for goods and services related to the lockdown proved popular, with couples creating funds for meal delivery kits and home improvement projects. Lowe’s Home Improvement gift cards were among the most requested items on this front, according to the Joy Wedding website.
The newlyweds saw “the importance of making their homes a functional space to work, live and relax,” said Katie Brownstein, director of communications and marketing for Joy.
Overall, wedding guests are receptive to cash registers because gift givers want to make sure their gifts are put to good use, said Elaine Swann, etiquette consultant. This, as any couple married for decades can attest, is not always the case with silver tea sets or margarita machines. However, asking for and giving money involves a delicate social dance.
For starters, couples should consider making the request through an online platform such as a wedding website, Swann said, rather than “tarnishing the image of the physical invitation with a request for money. “. It is also essential to provide an electronic means of submitting the contribution, as securing checks during a receipt can quickly turn into a nightmare.
She also suggests describing a specific amount and purpose for the gift, and sharing why it matters. Swann remembers attending a wedding where the groom was headed to a doctoral program. In this case, a request for his education fund “was well received”.
Emily Forrest, communications director at Zola, echoed Swann’s sentiment. “We’ve found that guests are also more likely to contribute cash funds when a very specific goal is designated,” Forrest said. “So it’s a smart decision all around. “
The average size of cash gifts hovers around $ 150, according to Joy, although the amount decreases when it comes to a destination wedding. No matter the amount, Swann added, “not only will your gift be appreciated, it will be used.”