A wedding is an exciting time for new couples. You are about to build a life together, experience growing a family, vacations, and new careers. Your entire life is ahead of you, but the wedding preparations and the wedding itself are exciting experiences of their own.

One of the common parts of a wedding experience is the gifts and the gift registry. For many young couples, the trips to department and furniture stores with price guns can be fun bonding experiences, and the gifts they receive are offer surprises and help furnish their new home together. Not every couple is at that same point in life though. Some people when they get married already have baking dishes and blenders, and the run of the mill wedding gifts will just leave them with duplicates. Instead of renting a storage unit or stocking up on re-gifts for the rest of your life, these couples have a new option.

When getting married and setting down roots, you may not be sure about many things you want or don’t want for a new home, but one thing almost every new couple can agree on is that they want a home for things to go into. Consider, rather, turning the grab-bag of incoming gifts into something better for you. Getting married is already expensive, and buying a home is even more expensive after, and the down payment may be insurmountable to many couples, especially if you lack established credit and credit history.

The gift of cold hard cash is no longer the gift that says “I didn’t know what to get you and at least it’s not another crock pot”, it’s now what many couples are asking for. The Federal Housing Authority (FDA) has released a new initiative called the Bridal Registry Program. This new FHA program allows engaged couples to set up a type of bridal registry savings account in order to collect money for a down payment rather than coffee makers. Relatives and friends are able to access the account via deposits as their form of gift for the new couple. These funds can be deposited directly by the donors, or it can be given in cash or check for the couple to deposit themselves.

This money, when the new couple is ready to purchase a home, is made available in the form of a lender supervised account. However, the only documentation needed is proof of your savings account, you don’t need any other gift letters. The couple isn’t required to use this money for a down payment on a home either when it comes down to it. The FHA recognizes that plans and situations change, and in that event, the money can still be withdrawn and repurposed, the couple doesn’t even have to be married in order to withdraw the money.

Even though this initiative is designed specifically for bridal registries and engaged couples, it isn’t limited to them. The FHA also allows for this form of cash investment to be used for other occasions where substantial gifts are given. Perhaps a 30th birthday, a graduation, or some sort of religious initiation service. At any of these or any event you can imagine, you can rather than set up a gift registry, set up a registry to be applied towards the purchase of a home. The initiative isn’t limited to couples either, or even anyone looking to marry, anyone can set up one of these donation registry accounts for any occasion.

Like any registry, it is important to let your family and friends know about your intentions. Some of the responses may be lukewarm, some still consider giving just money to be less meaningful, and others may find asking for money to be ‘tacky’. Even though this isn’t a foreign concept, websites have done this in the past, the new FHA initiative adds more credence to setting up a down payment registry. This registry, like any other, is a suggestion for those who wish to give a gift. It’s a way of saying what is most helpful to you, but doesn’t restrict others from giving you other types of gifts if they so choose.

Don’t be sheepish about asking though, you may find yourself hesitant on pitching any kind of registry, but most people who have been through getting married themselves will understand. Make sure to spread the word on it through whatever medium seems best. Usually an announcement or two via social media and a note sent out with invitations is sufficient to make sure everyone is aware. The goal is to let everyone know that the registry is available, and that it’s what you prefer, not to peddle for money calling everyone one by one like a telemarketer. Make sure to show sincere gratitude, perhaps mentioning it at the reception. Plan on sending thank-you notes afterwards, and enjoy the house of your dreams.

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