Here's Why You Should Include a House Fund on Your Wedding Registry

From down payments to room renos, register for cash with The Knot to help make your dream home a reality.
Laptop showing image of house and money
Photo: Getty,Design: Tiana Crispino
emily rumsey the knot editor
Emily Rumsey
emily rumsey the knot editor
Emily Rumsey
Assistant Commerce Updates Editor
  • Emily helps maintain and update e-commerce content for The Knot
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Emily worked as a website editor and manager for The Paleo Diet®
  • Emily holds two bachelor's degrees in Journalism and International Affairs with a Chinese minor
Updated Dec 11, 2023

Marriage is often accompanied by many exciting—albeit expensive—life milestones. There's the wedding, followed by your dream honeymoon and then planning for future investments like adopting a pet, leasing a car or buying a home. Sound daunting? Well, it can be. Luckily, The Knot Cash Funds can help. A wedding registry house fund, for example, lets guests donate money towards a down payment or renovations as a gift instead of purchasing a physical item like kitchen appliances, linens or decor. While you can still register for these traditional gifts, if they're not a necessity for you as a couple—perhaps you've already accrued the essentials or you value shared experiences—a cash fund is a great registry option that'll help you accomplish your goals as newlyweds. (And no, it's no longer taboo to ask for monetary gifts.) We collaborated with Zillow Home Loans to learn why couples should add a house fund to their wedding registry—and we'll walk you through exactly how to do so.

In this article:

The Rise of Wedding Registry House Funds

A wedding is one day, but a marriage is a lifetime—hence why we, as registry experts, recommend a wish list personalized to you. If you and your partner's priority as newlyweds is buying, renovating or furnishing a home, a house fund should be on your wedding registry. A cash fund of any type is an online money pool that allows guests to contribute any amount they'd like as a wedding gift instead of buying a physical item. Regardless of what the cash fund is named—like a "new home fund"—the money will go to your bank account to use as you see fit.

You're not alone in wanting a home-fund wedding registry. The Knot and Zillow Home Loans found that 55% more couples are adding a "home fund" to their wedding registry than in 2018. This change brings the total to 20% of all couples registered on The Knot in 2023 asked their guests to help them with their future home, making it the second most popular wedding registry cash fund idea (the first being a honeymoon fund). Similarly, Amanda Pendleton, Personal Finance Expert for Zillow Home Loans reveals, "Between 2018 and 2022, first-time buyers were at least twice as likely to report putting gift funds toward their down payment. And most recently in 2023, 43% reported gift funds from friends and family as the source of at least part of their down payment funds."

This upward trend makes a lot of sense when you look at the current housing market. "The value of the typical home in the U.S. right now is about $350,000. That means a couple would need to come up with $70,000 if they plan on putting 20% down," says Pendleton. "In a pricier market, like Los Angeles, where the typical home costs about $917,000, you're looking at over $180,000 for a 20% down payment." Ouch. Moreover, she reports, "Home prices and mortgage rates are not expected to fall dramatically in the near future, and instead, may continue to rise."

Don't panic yet, this is where it pays to add a home fund to your wedding registry. "Aspiring home buyers will need to be creative and persistent to achieve homeownership under these conditions. Diligently saving on your own simply takes too long and may ultimately never be enough for a down payment depending on your income and where you're home shopping. Creating a down payment registry allows friends and family to contribute and get a couple closer to their home goals," says Pendelton. (Read: You shouldn't expect wedding gifts to completely cover a home's down payment, but they'll certainly help.) She also recommends meeting with a loan officer to determine how much you need to save for a down payment on a home. "Your loan officer is your best friend! Oftentimes, putting less than 20% down is doable, and your loan officer can talk you through your options. Keep in mind though, that the less money you put down, the higher your monthly mortgage payment will be."

All in all, it's possible to buy a house and pay for a wedding at the same time. We'll help you set one up below!

How to Make a Wedding Registry House Fund

Creating a house fund is easier than binging Selling Sunset thanks to The Knot Registry. Start by making your registry profile on The Knot. Once your account is ready, you'll be able to add gifts from The Knot Registry Store and any other online retailers. On The Knot Registry Store, you'll find a variety of gift options, from home products to gift cards and even experiences. It's also where you'll have the option to add as many cash funds as you'd like. Just click "Cash Funds" in the top navigation menu to browse our pre-curated list of ideas—including a new home fund, a home appliances fund and even an interior design consultation fund. If you have something more specific in mind, click the "Add a Custom Fund" button to create your very own. Whichever you choose, you'll be able to personalize the fund with a name, note, photo and dollar amount.

Once your registry is saved, guests will be able to shop your wish list. Even if you register for physical items like a cooking set and towels, plus a few gift cards and a cash fund, guests will see everything in one place. As such, the checkout process for guests gifting cash is the same as if they were buying a physical item. As soon as they donate, you'll get an email confirmation and the money will be automatically transferred to your bank account within five business days. Simple, right?

Wedding Registry House Fund Wording Ideas

Guests like to feel like their wedding gift, whether it's a toaster oven or cash, will make a positive impact on the couple's lives. As such, your wedding registry wording is very important. Each cash fund should have a brief description of how you'll use the money. If finding the right thing to say doesn't always come easily though, that's okay. To help you craft a message that's short, sweet and authentic, we've compiled a few house fund registry wording examples below. Copy your favorite to add to your registry so that guests know exactly how their gift will be used.

  • As we embark on married life, we are so touched by the generosity shown by our loved ones. In place of traditional gifts, we've opted for a house fund registry to help us pay for a future home. If you're able, we are so grateful for your contribution to this dream of ours.
  • Celebrating our big day with you is the only gift we need. However, for those who are interested, we've set up a cash fund to help pay for a down payment on a home after the wedding and we'd be grateful for any contributions, big or small.
  • As much as we'd love linens and china, buying a home is at the top of our wish list. We've dedicated our registry to collecting donations to help us buy the home of our dreams. While your presence at our wedding is gift enough, should you wish to buy us something, we'd greatly appreciate a contribution towards our goal.
  • We've been living in the same apartment for years, so it's time to upgrade! We greatly appreciate your generosity in helping fund a down payment on our dream home.
  • As most are aware, we've been slowly fixing up our dream home since we purchased it. Instead of traditional gifts, we've registered for cash funds to help pay for renovations and design upgrades to truly make this house a home. We are so grateful for your contribution to our newlywed nest.
  • Your presence at our wedding is all we could ask for. However, for the friends and family who have inquired, we've set up a registry to fund a down payment on our first home after the wedding. We thank you in advance for any contribution you can make to our next life milestone.
  • We feel very lucky to have everything we need to stock a house. As such, we've created a cash fund dedicated to helping us pay for that forever home we've always dreamed of owning. Anything you can do to help us make this a reality, we greatly appreciate.
  • We bought a home! We're so excited to celebrate this milestone with our friends and family, but we can't have a housewarming party without furniture. If you would like to give us a wedding gift, we're asking for contributions to our house fund so we can decorate our new space.
  • We are so lucky that we already have all the support we need to begin our life together! However, for those who have inquired, we've set up a cash fund to help pay for a new home. We can't wait to settle into this next chapter with you by our sides.
  • Our greatest gift is your presence on our special day! However, if you insist on more, we have set up a down payment fund on our registry. We hope to buy a house during our first year of marriage and are truly grateful for any contributions towards our future home."
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