Nicky Rauch and her beau, J. Danger Wolf, got engaged last winter, the
stylish couple began planning a contemporary wedding with a classic
Wisconsin twist, including a traditional fish fry and an old-fashioned
cocktail bar at the historic Pritzlaff Building in the Third Ward.
But when they
began to consider their wedding registry, the couple elected to take a
more nontraditional approach. They registered at www.DepositAGift.com
— a crowdfunding website that allows their wedding guests to donate
cash gifts to help fund the couple’s Australian honeymoon.
Sites such as
www.DepositAGift.com and www.honeyfund.com, which gained notoriety
following its appearance on the ABC hit show "Shark Tank,"
and registries at resorts like Sandals are quickly gaining popularity
among the betrothed.
gifting flatware and hobby equipment, guests can contribute to a wide
array of wedding gifts, including wining and dining, adventure
excursions, travel and accommodations and entertainment. At the top of
Rauch’s list? Kayaking, beer tasting and dinner at the Sydney Opera
registries absolve the risk of receiving those two toasters and allow
guests to participate in a memory-making experience for the couple.
While it may
seem strange to some, it shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise.
According to Pew Research, the share of 30- to 44-year-olds
cohabitating as a couple has more than doubled since the mid-1990s.
Many partners either live together or are homeowners well before they
walk down the aisle.
"We are in
our 30s — we’ve accumulated enough — so we don’t need any more
‘stuff,’" explains Rauch, who heard about the idea through a
friend. "Weddings and honeymoons are outrageously expensive. So,
I just thought it was an awesome idea."
In the past,
couples dutifully registered at boutiques and department stores for
various household necessities, such as linens, tableware and kitchen
gadgets. Today, couples like the soon-to-be-Wolfs are increasingly
turning to alternative registry services, incorporating their
personalities and lifestyle into the ceremony along the way.
couples choose honeymoon funds, others are using crowdfunding for
everything from saving money for a mortgage (www.househatch.com), to
household utilities (cable) and charitable fundraising.
brides can choose to incorporate charitable donations in lieu of
traditional registry gifts through WGIRLS, an organization for young
professional women aimed at volunteering, fundraising and promoting
awareness for the city’s critical nonprofit organizations. The
organization assists couples who wish to use their wedding day to give
back to the community.
couples already have a house full of things and don’t really need to
register for new items," says Rachel Hughes, president of WGIRLS.
"Instead, couples can create a registry based on an organization’s
wish list of items they need to operate."
couples can set up "tip" or "kiss" jars throughout
the wedding venue to raise money for charitable organizations or ask
guests to put together welcome bags or gift baskets of toiletry items
for homeless and women’s shelters instead of bringing the bride and
still hold fast to traditional registry methods — Rauch says she
will still scan in a few household items at a department store so as
not to offend her more conventional guests — but expanding registry
options is quickly becoming a new wedding tradition.