Last month, a friend and I were discussing appropriate wedding registry requests when she brought up something called Hatch My House. The premise is simple: instead of buying a set of salad tongs or a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you give the couple money via PayPal which they then use to buy or remodel a home.
In my friend’s case, the couple in question already owned two homes between them and intended to use the funds to buy a bigger “Family Dream Home.” They also set aside a pseudo-registry where people could send money for the cost of new furnishings for the home. But all the money was simply transmitted into their PayPal account.
I find the idea of requesting that guests send cash to buy a home a bit tacky. Especially if some of the guests in attendance don’t own homes themselves, and this couple already owns two. This variation from normal protocol strikes me as a bridge too far.
On a related note, Joanna Goddard at Cup of Jo recently brought up the topic of Honeymoon registries, where you donate money to send the couple on a nice honeymoon. She and her husband had one, and she wanted to know if her readers thought that such registries were a do or a don’t.
Strangely, I don’t find the concept of a honeymoon registry upsetting at all. I think it’s a nice alternative for people who don’t want or need piles of kitchen appliances that they’ll never use. Especially the way Jo did it where guests paid for certain things like a dinner at a particular restaurant or a Vespa ride through Rome.
I can’t put my finger on why I think sending money for a honeymoon and sending money for a home are two different things. One seems creative and fun and the other seems to be taking advantage of people’s generosity. I suppose it has to do with the fact that a honeymoon has no long term value beyond the memories it creates, while asking someone to buy your home for you is like asking them to make an investment in your long term financial security.
Our generation is certainly writing its own wedding traditions, and I think we’re all trying to decide which ones are acceptable and which are not. Last month, I received an invite that specified that in place of gifts the couple asked guests just to give cash. No specified purpose listed, just a request for greenbacks.
Other friends, usually older ones, have asked for donations to charity in lieu of gifts. And I’ve heard that some couples are also asking guests to donate to 529 accounts so they can save for their future children’s college education.
Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I’d love to hear your opinions. Is skipping the normal wedding registry okay? And if you do decide to choose a different path, does the appropriateness of the request for money change based on what they intend to use it for?