Couples in the US are reportedly raising cash from their wedding guests for housing and other expenses, according to wedding planning websites like Zola and The Knot, according to a report.
Housing related cash registries have doubled on Zola since 2019. Over 2 million couples have used the service since its inception in 2013, with three-quarters of them requesting cash for their expenses, the Financial Times reported.
After honeymoons, funds for new homes and repairs and renovations are the second most popular ones on The Knot, the website that surveys over 300,000 brides, grooms, guests and wedding planners every year.
“With everything that we’ve experienced when it comes to inflation and the housing market, people are really reflecting on how they want to use their registry,” said Esther Lee, deputy editor at The Knot, in a conversation with the Financial Times.
Home ownership is closely related to marital status. 79% of married couples in the US owned a home together in 2020 as compared to the national average of 66%, according to US census data. Couples can live in dwellings designated as “single family homes” and receive marital deductions, with their legal status change.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled since the beginning of 2021, in an attempt by the Federal Reserve to control inflation. Price appreciation is also making the housing market difficult for new couples to penetrate.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage touched 6.29 % last week, with an average increase of 2.88%, a 14-year high according to Freddie Mac, a federal home loan mortgage company. The median installment on mortgage applications in August came down to $1,839, a surge of 43% from last year, according to the numbers from Mortgage Bankers Association.
Wedding guests are contributing to the homeowners’ dreams, providing a little ease to newly wed couples by contributing $175-$200 on average for those who register on wedding planning websites, according to the FT.
“Guests really want to give to these new home funds and they’re willing to give just a little bit more to help out a couple get that first home,” said Zola spokeswoman Emily Forrest.
A Michigan-based couple raised $10,000 for a mortgage down payment last year through their wedding registry, in a ceremony postponed to 2021, with an intimate wedding gathering in 2020 during the peak pandemic.
Roughly one-third of their guests contributed instead of getting one of the more traditional gifts on the couple’s registry, such as an All-Clad cookware set, according to the couple.
Another couple based out of New York raised $30,000 for their home mortgage this year.