How we worded the invitations for our crowdsourced wedding

March 5 2015 | Guest post by Heather

While the idea of crowdsourced wedding your wedding won't work for everyone, if you're considering it, here's how one couple worded their invitations…

crowdfunded wedding invitation

My partner and I like a bit of tradition and a lot of quirk. We got engaged because we wanted to have a big party to celebrate our love for each other, before all our friends get too old and start having too many babies. We also love each other dearly, of course, but we didn't need to get married to prove that!

We have decided to crowdfund our wedding. It won't pay for everything, but it does help. The crowdfunding from our guests is designed to be in lieu of a gift. We don't need anything material and unnecessary gift-buying makes us feel a bit sick. We also have a lot of friends, and want to be able invite all our close friends despite our financial limitations.

We didn't go overboard with our guestlist; we still want it to be a day with our closest and dearest, but we certainly didn't feel stressed or confined in our guest list-making process. We had no problems when parents rang up to ask if people could be added because: of course they could!

The tricky part was wording everything right on the invitations, to do our best to avoid sounding too stingy or cheap. We also wanted our wedding invitations to reflect the kind of day we were planning — fun but with a sense of reverence for the occasion and a deep respect for love as a mode of being.

crowdfunded wedding invitation wording

I wrote all the usually invitation wording using Offbeat Bride's very useful wording suggestions as a guide. I also wrote a little poem to explain the crowdfunding.

If anyone wants it, they can steal it:

Our quirky gift idea might seem a bit skew,
But you know with us that’s nothing new.

You see, we really don’t need any more stuff.
As far as things go we have more than enough.
So, when it comes to gifts we’re trying something new.
You see, what we really want is a wedding with you.

We aren’t super rich, we have our own kind of wealthy.
We’re rich in love and we think that’s healthy.
But, when it comes to our wedding, we hit a bit of a snag.
You see, an intimate wedding just isn’t our bag.

And while it’s a reality that leaves us bereft,
Love just isn’t a currency most vendors accept.
So we looked at our options and settled on one,
because it didn’t feel right to leave out anyone.

You see while we don’t need a TV or bookshelf,
we really need some help with the wedding itself.
We promise your money won’t go on her dress,
it won’t go on the rings, or our shoes — this we stress.

You see, all of the money we get sent our way,
Goes on the food, entertainment, and booze on the day.
It’s called crowdfunding, and we really feel,
it’s the best gift of all because part of the deal,
Is that we get to share our gift with everyone
Who matters to us most in this world, with the exception of none.

So while we know it’s a little bit strange.
We hope you’ll agree that it’s far from deranged.

Everyone loved the invites, and it's made people really excited about the wedding, which is exactly what we wanted.

At Offbeat Bride, we're keenly aware that wedding crowdfunding is a contentious topic, and won't feel like a fit for many (or even most) readers. Our goal is to share wedding options that have worked for some folks, in the hopes that other folks can benefit from them — even if that benefit is just a sense of clarity about what won't work for them. Here's to variety!

  1. This thing is very common in my city, we just put an envelope image in the invitation, an that's it…i guess is not usual to do that then…

  2. I've never seen or heard of this done before, and I really don't like the idea. Glad it worked out for them, though.

    • It's actually growing in popularity, but I can understand people's hesitations with it. Personally I preferred it to asking for money for a honeymoon because everyone got to enjoy it with you… but I know it's different for everyone. We were a bit anxious about the whole thing, but everyone has been really receptive and great about it who got invited so…. phew!

  3. I can see how this sort of thing would be off putting in my neck of the woods (Hello, Southern Etiquette), however I think the wording was marvelous. After dating/living together for several years I can see how 'stuff' wedding gifts would be pointless and throwing a party full of close friends and family would become priority number one.

    Congrats and thanks for sharing!

    • I'm in a LTR and when we get married the only things we don't have that I would actually like are SUPER traditional things like nice genuine crystal, china, and silver. Of course none of these things comes cheap, so I'm considering doing a donation thing to go to my favorite charities and then people who can't afford expensive pieces of China can happily give $20 to https://www.charitywater.org/ and write a note! It would be kinda awesome to have people donate enough to build a whole well! That'll be vetoed by my partner though, so the most likely thing will be a destination wedding where the gift to us is showing up.

      • what a totally amazing idea. Definitely worth discussing with your partner, even if they might not agree… you never know!

  4. This basically sounds like the Manitoba social mashed into the actual wedding and it sounds great!

  5. You know your own crowd best, so you know how they'll react to it. I'd just say to be careful, since some might feel like they were being charged for admission. And not everyone always brings a gift anyway!

    • Yeah exactly, we wanted to make sure that people didn't feel put out by the concept, because I guess they are getting charged for admission. It's why we didn't set an amount, we knew that gave people a bit more freedom and of course, people do have the option of not paying at all, they just wouldn't deposit money in the account. With our family and friends that doesn't seem very likely , though.

      • It sounds like you know them and their tastes, then. It's wonderful to have such an inter-connected community!

  6. I also found people's way of dealing with the idea was really interesting. A lot of people thought it was a bit odd the first time they heard about it, but about 15 minutes later in the middle of a totally different conversation, they'd say: "hey that crowdfunding idea is really good," sometimes it just took time for people to think about it. People really seem to like the idea that they get to share our wedding gifts with us.

    It might also be worth mentioning that our wedding is a music festival. We're hiring acts and quite a few of our friends are professional musicians too, that's how they're contributing. So, the day is kind of designed like a gift for our friends and family… for all their support. I'm not going to lie, I'm super excited about it.

  7. I absolutely understand how this can feel weird from an etiquette perspective. But the thing that bugs me is that, if we're actually following etiquette, we're already doing registries wrong. The only truly "classy" thing to do is not mention gifts at all and definitely don't include registry information with your invitation. If someone wants to get you a gift, they will, but they're not obligated to and it's rude to make it seem like they are.

    That said, we're registering for "cash." We don't need knife sets or dishes or anything and if someone is going to spend $20, $50 $100 on a gift, we'd rather they not waste it on something we don't need. We DO, however, need help with the wedding and we shared that in what I think is a very tasteful way.

    In fact, we're only including the word "registry" on the wedsite. On the "registry" page it says:

    "We aren't registering in the traditional sense. We have our home and most of the items that we need and really are just hoping that you can come party with us. REALLY! However, if you still would like to give us a gift, the greatest need right now is just wedding-related expenses. Just make sure you come and have a great time, no gift required."

    We included a link to donate via Paypal as well as a few photos of wedding items and approximations of what they might cost so people feel like there's something tangible related to their donation. They ranges from $2.50 for a single chair to $500 for "Irish Shenanigans" (we're going to Ireland for our Honeymoon). It's kind of a pseudo registry.

    There are honeymoon registries and the like, but the Paypal thing was the simplest (and cheapest!) for us.

  8. I think this is pretty awful. There are a thousand and one ways to have a gorgeous, meaningful day on a very small budget, as seen extremely often on this very website. There are also ways to ask your friends and family to contribute, such as asking them to BYOB, or a pot-luck reception, or getting them to do the music, entertainment, or whatever you need.

    • While this idea is not for me, I wouldn't say it's awful. Each of us knows our friends and family and regional/cultural norms the best. Just because it's not my cup of tea, doesn't mean that it's a bad idea. It's far more likely that somewhere out there is a bride that is looking for information just like this. The important thing is that she's happy and so are her guests.

    • I don't see why this is any worse than asking people to contribute in those other ways. It just depends on the circumstances. Some of my dearest friends live in places where it would be inconvenient for me to contribute in the practical ways I'd be good at (e.g. potluck), but I would love to celebrate with them and to contribute to them having a great day. I'd be happy to make a financial contribution in lieu of a gift. The important thing is knowing your guests, whether they will be able to contribute in this way, and how they will feel about it. It's not for everyone, but that doesn't make it awful.

  9. If this works for your crowd, great. If I received this, though, I would be pretty annoyed (though no less annoyed by a registry that just said "give us cash" or "help us pay for the honeymoon.") I enjoy picking out or making a special gift for friends or family. I never enjoy giving money to somebody. Then it just feels like a financial transaction rather than a gift of love. But that's just me. I would probably give the cash and go, and not say anything about how I felt, but I would be resentful. I think you hold the wedding you can afford.

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