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Honeymoon Registries: the pros & cons

Updated: Apr 30, 2021


The colorful Italian villas perched cliff side along the beach in Positano, Italy along the Amalfi Coast.
Positano, Italy is a dream destination for honeymooners. ©Alonzo Wright

Honeymoon registries are an exciting alternative for travel savvy couples who have often already set up their households. Who wouldn't want a beachfront massage instead of a set of overly-priced serving utensils? Destination wedding couples in particular seem to have found a happy compromise with this fresh take on the traditional registry. Look at it this way, you’re not going to ask Aunt Doris to lug a top of the line convection oven to your beach wedding in the Maldives. And it's safe to say that most destination wedding couples often continue on their honeymoon before they come home. So, it really does make sense. But, like everything else on the planet, this alternative registry has a slew of critics. In order to combat the controversy, you have to first understand what it is and where it came from.


Why people don't like the idea of a honeymoon registry


By the time it’s all said and done, destination weddings can have your guests shelling out more than twice as much as a traditional wedding. Critics question if it’s fair to ask your guests to spend their hard earned money to pay for your honeymoon, especially if they’re already splurging to be there on your special day. It's also kind of fruitless for them. They don't get to wrap anything or have the satisfaction of coming over and seeing that beautiful Mikasa crystal platter they gave you to commemorate your special day.


How to point out the positives of a honeymoon registry


So, how do you make sure your guests don’t feel like they’re springing for some fancy-schmancy vacation that maybe they can barely afford to take? It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. What does your honeymoon really mean to you? First off, it’s an adventure unlike any other because it’s the start of your new life together. Your honeymoon can be downright life changing, and at the very least will be the one trip you never forget. Second, it’s an investment in memories that will last a lifetime. On your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, are you going to remember the quesadilla maker you got from Grandpa Joe or a sunset wine tasting he sent you on in that cozy little place overlooking the Mediterranean?


what are the downsides of honeymoon registries


Kayaking to waterfalls, exploring ancient ruins, private sailing excursions, cooking classes with world-renown chefs...there is no limit to the amazing life-enriching experiences you can have during your honeymoon. But there's, a caveat: make sure you have time to do all the fun things you listed. The last thing you want to happen is to overbook your honeymoon, leaving your loved ones at home wondering what you did with the money they spent on your surf lessons. There may be days where you are exhausted (you just got married for crying out loud, it's a lot of work), you might be catching a cold or you may not feel well, the weather may suck. Factor in the unexpected as well as down time so you're not racing to the finish line to experience everything purchased from your registry. There's nothing worse than needing a vacation from your vacation.


Then, there are the fees. Be sure to do your research ahead of time to see how the platform makes money from your guests. There are typically small fees associated, like 2.5% of the gift amount for credit card processing. But when you really think about it, by the time a guest gets done paying for taxes, gift wrapping, shipping and handling, it's likely much higher than that. Some of our favorite honeymoon registries are Honeyfund, Wanderable and Zola.


How to say thank you when you have a honeymoon registry


You still have to write thank-you cards even if the gift wasn't a tangible, physical item. Go one step further and print a photo of you and your new spouse with your cheeks flapping in the wind from the skydiving package you were just gifted. Sending people photos of you actually enjoying the excursions they paid for will go a long way because they still get to see your eyes light up because of their thoughtfulness. In so many cases, these are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and the best thing you can do to say thank you is to prove it through the excitement on your faces. At the very least, post your photos on social media and tag them to say thanks.


What to do if no one purchases items on your honeymoon registry


You do absolutely nothing. You have to be understanding of your guests' financial commitments and accept that their presence will be gift enough. That's all that really matters in the end. Be sensitive and sincere, and take your time to find things that will make your honeymoon truly unforgettable. It’s important to let your guests know that you are choosing to focus on the memories more so than the merchandise. Other than your spouse, the memories you make are the only wedding gifts that really will last a lifetime. The rest is up to them.


Have you thought about how you're going to transport your wedding gown on the plane yet?



 

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