Hold a silent auction at your wedding

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Putting rings on

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.

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Comments on Hold a silent auction at your wedding

  1. That is an AWESOME idea! It is always difficult to ask for help with finances when starting out….my up and coming wedding is a thrifty one and it has been a nightmare to think of polite- yet not presumptuous ways of asking for help.
    Now, I run a sex boutique, but I’m not sure quite how well dildos and burlesque handcuffs might sell at my wedding!!!!!!!

  2. What a great idea! Even though we choose non-traditional wedding registry items, we still are getting tons of kitchen crap.
    Wish I saw of this idea earlier.

  3. What a great idea! I’m an artist myself and have tons of random artwork stashed around the house, so I could definitely do this! Awesome!

  4. Fantastic idea – much better than the typical (and tacky) “dollar dance.” You could easily do this with musician bride/groom as well by auctioning off a custom-composed song or recording!

  5. I think it’s a bad idea. You’re basically inviting guests to a party and putting them on the spot to buy stuff from you. It’s like a fancy Tupperware party.

    When I first started reading the post I thought they were going to donate the money to a charity or something- not keep it.

    Gifts are supposed to be unsolicited. Hawking your wares to your guests doesn’t really meet that standard.

    Seems more like an art show than a wedding.

    If one really wants cash gifts, just use word of mouth. Don’t sell stuff to your guests!

  6. I think it’s a great idea but can see it really rubbing people the wrong way. This would be great at a J&J if someone was having one

  7. Yet again, it seems that even Offbeat Brides can’t have a civil discussion about registries, gifts, money, etc without someone decreeing an idea as “tacky.”

    As always, I trust that each couple will know best whether nontraditional ideas like this will go over well with their guests. I just share ideas that other nontraditional couples have tried. Whether you want to use them is up to you.

    Not everyone likes red wedding dresses. Not everyone likes feather fascinators. Not everyone likes non-traditional registry ideas. That’s fine, but honestly, I’m really sick of the “tacky” debate. Certain ideas may not be right for you and that’s cool. There’s no need to derail the conversation to slam an idea that someone else used to great effect.

    I’m closing comments on this one, because I’m not interested hosting a website where women snark at other people’s weddings.

  8. I agree with CMW.

    This would be a great idea for a Stag&Doe or a Manitoban Social where the goal is to make money for the happy couple…. but at a wedding… I am a little weary.

    While the friends of the couple might think it is cool, great-auntie Gwen and Grandma (and mom and dad for that matter) might see it differently.

  9. In response to those whom think it is a bad idea – yes, i can see your points, but don’t you think that ANY regular gift list/registry is presumptious and solicited? yet many guests prefer this as they know the couple will get what they want and can silently select something within their budget. Is it not just the same for a silent auction…but you get something back?

  10. Quite possibly the tackiest thing i have ever heard! That is so rude, greedy, and uncomfortable! There is no justification for making your relatives feel obligated to buy something in that type of setting. Suck it up like the rest of us-be broke-but have some class!

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