Weddings are back in 2022 with as many as 2.6 million weddings anticipated to take place. As couples plan for their big days, many may be considering using a crowdfunding platform, like GoFundMe, to help cover expenses and keep from going over budgets.
Is using a crowdfunding platform a good or bad idea when it comes to financing a wedding? Let’s take a look at whether this type of platform is a fit for weddings and financing alternatives if you need extra money for your wedding day.
Should You Use GoFundMe To Finance a Wedding?
GoFundMe is a fundraising platform available for individuals and charities. Individuals may fundraise for a wide variety of life events ranging from emergencies to education and yes, even weddings. Newlywed fundraisers are available through GoFundMe.
However, most of these fundraisers are not designed to pay for extraneous aspects of a wedding like booking an exclusive hotel or hiring a pop singer to provide music during the reception. Scroll through some of the newlywed fundraisers currently active on GoFundMe and you’ll find that these funds are being raised for a purpose. Some examples include raising donations for a stolen wedding dress, fundraisers that help couples cover medical expenses occurring at the same time they plan to get married and Ukrainian couples using donations from their newlywed GoFundMe to assist the #standwithukraine fundraiser.
While couples can fundraise to help pay for certain aspects of their big day, Marie Kubin, CEO of Rent My Wedding, said a better option is using vendor Wish List platforms.
Wish Lists, Kubin said, work just like wedding registries at retail stores, except they’re used to purchase wedding day items. Couples can create a Wish List with each wedding vendor. Then, guests can select an item on the Wish List and make a payment directly to the vendor.
If you are concerned that asking guests to make donations via GoFundMe may not appear tasteful, Kubin said a Wish List is the perfect solution.
“Most guests like to gift something tangible and many guests also feel more comfortable paying a vendor directly rather than sending cash to a general platform,” Kubin said. “Wish Lists are an easy and tasteful way to use crowdfunding for wedding expenses. Guests feel good about giving gifts that the couple really needs, and it’s fun for guests to see that gifted item on the wedding day.”
Alternatives for Financing a Wedding
Aside from crowdfunding platforms, where should couples go if they need extra money to pay for their wedding? Here are a few financing alternatives to consider instead.
Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com, said couples with decent cash reserves may consider using credit cards as a financial alternative.
“Paying with credit cards offers some insurance in case a vendor doesn’t come through or you have to change something close to the wedding,” Ramhold said.
If you earn rewards with every purchase, Ramhold said buying large items or services on your credit card will set you up for a nice round of cash back or other rewards later on. However, be careful if you don’t have significant cash reserves to put your wedding expenses on credit cards.
“Work with what you have, and don’t open another credit card just to cover the cost of something you want because you have no other way to pay for it,” Ramhold said.
Accept Help From Family or Friends
Reach out to close family and friends to see if they would be willing to chip in financially. Even if they aren’t comfortable paying in cash, Ramhold said they might want to help you pay in other ways. Ramhold uses the example that someone may want to cover the rehearsal dinner or invitations for the big day.
“Accepting help where it’s offered can be a good way to have the wedding you’ve dreamed of without putting yourself in debt,” Ramhold said.
Before taking anything from family or friends, Ramhold recommends being clear about the parameters of assistance. Is it a gift or are they considering it a personal loan? If it’s the latter, will they be charging interest and if so what’s the interest rate? Do not assume that just because someone offers to help that they mean it the same way you’re taking it. Get clarification well in advance before accepting help or asking for help.
Tie the Knot at a Courthouse
If you don’t have a significant cash reserve for your wedding day, skip getting into debt to pay for a lavish wedding ceremony and consider tying the knot at a courthouse or eloping instead.
Afterwards, newlyweds can always plan and save for their dream wedding celebration once they have the funds to do it!
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