From Matt Haughey:
My cousin Tony and his girlfriend got married this past weekend and as a young couple in Southern California, they've been saving for years for their first house. On the occasion of their marriage, they didn't want to fill a non-existent house with blenders and trinkets but didn't want to flatly refuse gifts since weddings tend to be a place where people like to help out new couples by giving them gifts, but I think they felt weird asking for money towards a new home purchase.
So they came up with a pretty cool idea. He's an artist and she's a writer, and together they collected a bunch of paintings, ceramics, photos, and drawings and put them up for silent auction for several hours before and after the ceremony. Everything I liked had bids into the hundreds of dollars and all told, I bet they raised a couple grand in the process of letting family buy some pretty cool works of art.
I hope my other artist friends and family do this in the future, because I thought it was a pretty cool idea.