Is it okay to use GoFundMe to pay for a wedding?
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Weddings are back in 2022 with no less than 2.6 million weddings expected. As couples plan their big days, many may be considering using a crowdfunding platform, like GoFundMe, to help cover expenses and avoid going over budget.
Is using a crowdfunding platform a good or a bad idea to finance a wedding? Let’s see if this type of platform is suitable for weddings and financing alternatives if you need extra money for your wedding day.
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Should you use GoFundMe to fund a wedding?
GoFundMe is a fundraising platform available for individuals and charities. Individuals can 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 aren’t designed to pay for extraneous aspects of a wedding, such as 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 raised for a purpose. Some examples include collecting donations for a stolen wedding dress, fundraisers that help couples cover medical expenses that arise while they are planning to get married, and Ukrainian couples using their newlywed GoFundMe’s donations. to help #standwithukraine fundraising.
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 to use vendor wishlist platforms.
Wish lists, Kubin said, work just like wedding lists in retail stores, except they’re used to purchase items on the wedding day. Couples can create a wish list with each wedding vendor. Then, guests can select an item from the wishlist and make payment directly to the seller.
If you’re worried that asking guests to donate via GoFundMe doesn’t seem tasteful, Kubin said a wishlist is the perfect solution.
“Most customers like to offer something tangible, and many customers also feel more comfortable paying a provider directly rather than sending money to a general platform,” Kubin said. “Wish lists are a simple and elegant 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 this gifted object on the wedding day.
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Alternatives to financing a wedding
Besides crowdfunding platforms, where should couples go if they need extra cash to pay for their wedding? Here are some financing alternatives to consider instead.
Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com, said couples with decent cash reserves might consider using credit cards as a financial alternative.
“Paying with credit cards provides some insurance in case a salesperson doesn’t show up or you need to change something as the wedding approaches,” Ramhold said.
If you earn rewards with every purchase, Ramhold said buying large items or services on your credit card will earn you nice cash back or other rewards later. Be careful, however, if you do not have significant cash reserves to put your wedding expenses in 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
Contact your close family and friends to see if they would be willing to contribute financially. Even if they’re not comfortable paying cash, Ramhold said they might want to help you pay another way. Ramhold uses the example that someone may want to cover the rehearsal dinner or the invitations for the big day.
“Accepting help where it’s offered can be a great way to have the marriage you’ve been dreaming of without going into debt,” Ramhold said.
Before taking anything from family or friends, Ramhold recommends being clear about the parameters of the support. Is it a gift or are they considering it as a personal loan? If the latter, will they charge interest and if so, what is the interest rate? Don’t assume that just because someone offers to help doesn’t mean they mean it the same way you take it. Get clarification well in advance before accepting help or asking for help.
Tie the knot in a courthouse
If you don’t have a significant cash reserve for your wedding day, avoid going into debt to pay for a lavish wedding ceremony and consider getting married in a courthouse or elopement instead.
Then newlyweds can always plan and save for their dream wedding celebration once they have the funds to do so!
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