Honeymoon Registries: Are they Worth It?
By Erin Sforza
Your honeymoon should be the experience of a lifetime. Whether it is a romantic escape, a thrilling adventure, or a laid back drift into paradise it should always be one thing: unforgettable. These days since many couples have been living together and previously set up their homes, honeymoon registries have become a popular way to splurge on the trip of every couple’s dreams, or to help with the cost for couples trying to figure out how to enjoy their time together without feeling deprived or putting themselves into debt. You can also have them be an additional option to your traditional registry. Honeymoon Registries are all about choices and it can be a little daunting when considering all the options that are available to you, so here’s a little guidance to help get you started.
What Site to Use: This is perhaps the most personal and most important part of the
process. You can choose a site like HoneyFund.com, which is a fee-free site, or a site like TravelersJoy.com which charges 7.5% of each gift you receive to pay for the site features and the availability of their customer service. There are others that let you choose who gets charged a fee, allowing you to pass the charge on to guests which I must admit is not my favorite option. Most sites offer the ability to create custom web pages, track gifts that are purchased (making those thank you notes that much easier), and offer emailed and/or printed registry cards to distribute to your guests. Before you decide, make sure you sign up for a couple of sites and play with all of the tools available so you are certain the site is easy for you to use, you are okay with whatever fee schedule may be in place, and that it fits the feel of your wedding and your personalities.
Booking: There are two options; you can either choose to book with a registry site that requires you to plan your entire trip through a certain supplier or travel agency (i.e. Sandals or Marriott), or you can chose to book your trip with your chosen travel agent (or on your own) and use a site that will allow you to create a custom registry.
Gift Listings: You can choose to make every aspect of your trip available as a gift from airfare to spa services, or you can list only the ultra luxe frills that you and your hunnie-to-be would never have booked otherwise, like a helicopter tour of Maui, or a private yacht for a sunset sail in Key West. If you do decide to list the big ticket items like airfare, many sites allow you to break it up into more manageable gifts. For instance, $1,200 worth of airfare could be broken into 12 gifts of $100.
Setting Up: The last major decision you need to make is whether you want to customize a pre-made template available on your site, or create one entirely from scratch if this is an option for you. Caution: now is not the time to get overly ambitious! You want this registry to simply your life, not add something else to your seemingly endless wedding “to-do” list. If you have the time and are incredibly excited at the thought of tailoring every aspect of your registry to fit the theme of your wedding and your style as a couple then by all means create away! If you would rather find a lovely template, fill it in and cross something else off of that list, that’s perfectly fine too.
Honeymoon registries can be a great help, especially when the economy doesn’t quite cooperate. They are very easy for your guests to contribute to, especially those guests who are across the country or around the world. They can send a gift that won’t require shipping and the concern that it will get to you on time or in one piece. These registries are also a fantastic way to give yourself an unforgettable honeymoon without beginning your new life together in debt, which is how a surprising number of couples start out.
There are drawbacks, not many, but they do exist. There will be people who feel that this kind of registry is the same as asking for money which they may find rude or distasteful. You can always have a second traditional registry for those guests to pick from, or you can make sure that they understand that they will have the ability to provide you with the gift of a lasting memory of celebrating your first days as a couple. Some registries charge fees that are pretty high, sometimes to both you and your guests, or require a set-up fee that can be as high as $150 just to create an account. Make sure that you understand exactly how the fees work if you choose one of these websites, and that you are comfortable with those charges. Your bridal party and female members of your family may also be disappointed or confused as to how to throw you a shower with only virtual gifts available. Again, this is where the alternate registry comes into play, or you can suggest that they theme the shower to your chosen destination incorporating it into the food, décor, drinks, and party games. It may be a refreshing change to the traditional bridal shower. Think of all the crazy things you could fill the squares of your shower bingo card with, or the French words your guests could have to decipher to win themed gifts!
Hopefully this gives you a much clearer picture of how a Honeymoon Registry can help you make the most of your first adventure together as husband and wife! I’ve included a listing of a few sites you can check out to get you started:
About our guest blogger
Erin Sforza is an Independent Travel Consultant affiliated with MouseEarVacations.com® and CruisingCo.com® and lives on Long Island with her husband and daughter. Contact her by email at ErinS@CruisingCo.com or at www.facebook.com/ErinS.MEV to turn your vacation dreams into lifelong memories!