More and more couples are paying for their wedding plans in non-traditional ways. They fund their weddings, receptions, and honeymoons through online crowdfunding.
Weddings continue to be expensive events, especially destination weddings. Receptions are more costly than they used to be. And, honeymoons take couples to more exotic locations.
Marrying couples tend to be older than historically. As reported in the Pew Research Center report on marriage data, “The Census Bureau reported in November 2013 that the median age at first marriage for men was 29.0 in 2013, up from 28.6 in 2012. In 2013, the median age at first marriage for women was 26.6 and has remained about the same over the same period.
Among other things, the numbers show a generation that approaches marriage after living together or on their own for some time. An educated class that comes to marriage having established their households.
And, that means they already have the traditional wedding gifts of china and crystal, small appliances, and bed and bath linens.
So, if guests will be giving cash, online fundraising is a means that targets their gifts.
Time reported, “The price of weddings has jumped to a new all-time high, reaching an average $31,213 in 2014.” Of course, the costs vary in different locations; for example, the same study found the cheapest average in Utah at $15,000 and the highest in Manhattan at a whopping $76,328.
So, it just makes sense to seek help with your budget. Online fundraising lets you appeal to friends and family to help. But, you are smart to quote a goal for the campaign. By setting a target of, say, $5,000, you are more likely to realize part of that goal than if you put the whole cost on the line.
Others smartly pursue funding for specific events. Perhaps they want a spa treatment at the honeymoon resort, snorkeling fees for the nearby ocean, or the chance to parasail for a price.
Maybe the couple wants to increase their down payment funds for their first house. They might want specific furniture. Or, maybe they would just like gift cards.
The bride or groom may come into the marriage owing for dentist card services; crowdfunding can help clear bills like this.
Targets including these let guests make contributions for something specific and visible. They feel they have presented a gift. It’s little different from providing a bridal registry at a department store.
Sell the Idea
Couples who seek to raise funds on the Internet are entering on a marketing campaign. It should have a timeline and incremental measures. That is, the message you post should provide an end-date for the fundraising.
You also need to thank people for their donations along the way, so they know it has been received and appreciated. And, they need to see it has made a difference in your target.
Most important, you have to sell the idea. You need to provide advance notice to those who can help. You need to announce the campaign is coming and what the start date will be. You can do this in your wedding announcement and in direct email to those on the invite list. This is especially helpful to those who want to attend but cannot through issues of distance, age, or health.
Check the Fees
Not all online crowdfunding platforms are the same. You must carefully check the direct and indirect fee structure. Some charge for each transaction, for credit card contributions, and more. Be careful that you get what you pay for.