Honeymoon registries. They’re a divisive topic. Just search for honeymoon registries online and you’ll come up with pages and pages of links to articles with strong opinions on the topic. Some bemoan their existence and their clear offense to traditional wedding etiquette. Others hold them up as the best option for couples who are already living their adult lives with matching silverware and towels and who likely live in tiny urban apartments that can’t accommodate an entire china cabinet full of dishes and platters that get used once a year.
SHOULD YOU DO A HONEYMOON REGISTRY?
So, should you do a honeymoon registry? If guests wish to give you a gift to celebrate your marriage, should they have the option of adding to a weeklong trip to paradise rather than giving you a monogrammed cheese board? (Full disclosure: I’m all about all things monogrammed and have totally given these as gifts.)
There are a few things to consider when thinking about registering for a honeymoon registry and I’ll go over those before letting you in on what we decided.
- Are you actually going on a honeymoon within a reasonable amount of time following the wedding? The optics aren’t great if you create a honeymoon fund…and then don’t go on a honeymoon. So, make sure you actually have one planned within 6 months or so of the wedding.
- Do you need the traditional registry items? Since most people in this day and age don’t get married until their late twenties at the earliest, they aren’t sitting around waiting to get married in order to outfit their adult lives (and if they are in that waiting game, that’s a post for another day). So, chances are, you may not need everything from new sheets and new everyday plates in order to make a home. This is definitely a good reason to opt for a honeymoon registry over a fully stocked traditional registry.
- Do you have room for gifts? Sure, you would be super grateful for upgrades on your kitchen and bath items, but do you have room for all of the random things you would have to add to fill up a registry? That ice cream maker seems like a good idea at the moment, but if you live in a 600 square foot apartment, there’s probably not room for it.
- Lastly, are you doing a destination wedding? If most of your guests are traveling from far away, their presence at your wedding is enough of a gift, and when you bypass the “let’s outfit our first marital home” gift registry, I think it takes a bit of the traditional pressure off of them to feel obligated to buy you a present.
What did we decide? Since we’re having a small wedding, we almost went without doing a registry at all, but enough people told us that you should always have that we decided to pull together a small one and, yes, we did include a honeymoon registry. Yes, we’d absolutely like to upgrade a few of the basics in our kitchen, but we do live in a small apartment and don’t realistically need all of the silver and serving platters that often are included in a traditional registry. So, considering we are doing a honeymoon (to Cartagena, Colombia – more on that later!) immediately following the wedding, a honeymoon registry seemed like a wonderful option.
LET’S COMPARE THE OPTIONS
If you decide to do a honeymoon registry, you’ll quickly realize there are lots of options out there. I did a lot of research on the fees and the ways you can utilize the gifts received on each and we eventually decided to go with Zola. However, here’s a round-up of all the websites you’ll often see used.
- Zola: While we didn’t opt to do both gift and honeymoon through Zola (we did gifts through Crate and Barrel), I liked that Zola had the lowest fee for cash gifts – only a 2.5% processing fee that the gift giver can choose to pay or you’ll pay when you withdraw the money. Speaking of, it’s also a super easy process to pull out the money through a direct deposit.
- Honeyfund: You can’t argue with a cute name, and Honeyfund has one. Their platform is set up a bit like a crowd funding platform, which I’m not crazy about. They charge a 2.8% fee + $0.30 processing per gift and it’s charged directly to the gift giver – something else that I didn’t particularly like. It’s like, “Hey, thanks for the gift, now get charged a fee for giving it!” I’d rather take that hit myself, or at least give the gift giver the option.
- Traveler’s Joy: If you like fees, then head right over to Traveler’s Joy! Prefer not to squander the gift on fees? Definitely skip this one to avoid the 2.95% fee (plus $0.90 transaction fee) that hits both the gift giver and the recipient on credit card gifts.
- Wanderable: With an easy to use app and the option for an eye-catching and personalized design, Wanderable was created for the avid traveler. The website makes it easy to request specific amounts for specific activities throughout your trip (something that appeals to some gift givers!), however, fees of up to 5% aren’t exactly inviting.
Have y’all used or given gifts through honeymoon registry websites? I’d love to hear about your experience, which websites you went through, and what your thoughts were on the pros and cons!
Photos from our trip to Costa Rica in March 2017.