Pre-marital cohabitation is up substantially since the 2010s. It’s more common to find young adults living with a boyfriend or girlfriend than with a spouse at this point. The average length of time that couples live together before tying the knot is 3.5 years – but it typically falls within a range of two to five years for most couples. What does this tell you? That couples are building lives and homes together long before they think about marriage and create a wedding registry. I’m actually in that group, and lived with my now-husband for nearly five years before getting married. So by the time we did say, “I do,” we said, “I don’t” to a lot of questions of, “Do you guys need a coffee maker as a gift? How about bath mats?” We’d had a home together for quite some time at that point and really couldn’t afford to wait for our wedding to stock up on the essentials.
Perhaps you find yourself in the same position. Meanwhile, your family is pressuring you to put the “classics” on there like monogrammed towels and fine china. And you’re thinking, “Monogrammed towels are not really us, and with the way our friends get loose at a dinner party, we wouldn’t dare break out any fine china.” A lot of the things we’re given as wedding gifts sit in cabinets and collect dust for our entire lives. My husband and I had the luxury of waiting a long time to get married and within that time, we gained a realistic view of what would make for truly valuable wedding gifts. We know what life looks like now, and what we A) probably won’t treat ourselves to B) can’t afford and C) would really enjoy having. Here are things you’ll wish you put on your wedding registry.
A down payment fund
Research has shown that more and more millennials plan on renting forever – not because they don’t want to buy a home of their own, but because, based on their income and cost of living projections, they think they will never be able to get a down payment together. Never. That’s kind of tragic, since owning a home together is the next step for a couple as far as putting down roots, creating a future, and even possibly having a family. Forget the long-stem wine glasses and hand-made placemats. On your registry, have a place where family and friends can contribute to your home down payment. It’s a wonderful way for them to be a part of your life forever. When you have your house, you can know the bricks are lined with the contributions of your loved ones.