When a couple begins registering for wedding gifts at home stores all across town, they might be given a scanner to merely tag what they want their guests to buy them.
However, the couple that already has salad spinners, mixers, cheese graters and other household items that would normally fill up a wedding registry might consider a different kind of registry instead.
Honeymoon registries are not a new idea.
Many brides and grooms set up registries as a way to receive help with their dream trip, their first travels as husband and wife.
At the same time, this form of wedding registry is clearly not like the others.
You can’t scan “hot air balloon ride over Rome” or “car rental around South America” at a set store.
Instead, couples can set up honeymoon registries online for all of the honeymoon memories that they want from their guests.
It sounds simple enough, but there are a number of factors to consider when registering for a honeymoon.
Here are a few things to consider...
Know Your Honeymoon Registry Fees
Figuring out the costs and fees of many honeymoon registries can be just as difficult as deciding where to go on your honeymoon.
Before you register with a website, you need to know exactly what you are getting into and what you are getting your guests into in terms of fees.
Most popular honeymoon registries charge some sort of service fee to users, whether it is a price taken off the gift or a fee added to each gift.
You should ask each registry site what these fees cover.
You need to know what services you will get in return
While researching honeymoon registries for my own wedding, I found that these fees could greatly vary from site to site.
The service fees are also a bit of buried treasure on these websites.
You will need to dig around the FAQ pages of websites like the Big Day, The Honeymoon and Traveler’s Joy to find out what percentage of fees are added to honeymoon items.
Some are higher than others or vary depending on the value of the gift.
You don’t want your guests to feel cheated or gouged from your honeymoon registry due to their unreasonable fees.
Along the same lines, it is also important to consider how guests can pay.
Some appreciate being able to charge a gift by credit card, as they would with a regular wedding gift.
Others might want the option to just send money from their bank accounts.
Couples should make certain that payment could be made through a wealth of options for the comfort of their guests.
Decide if You Need Professional Travel Help to Create a Honeymoon Registry
As I plan my own honeymoon, I am quickly realizing why many couples implore the services of a travel agent for their honeymoon.
Depending on where you want to go, travel plans can be infinitely more complicated than you might think.
If you are planning a wedding and a major trip at the same time, you are going to need to delegate.
Some honeymoon registry sites even feature travel agent assistance as part of their registry services.
These travel experts can help you plan your trip and decide just how to go about registering for these packages and plans.
Couples can even use the services of a travel agent to come up with activities and events for their honeymoon to add to their registry online.
You need to think about your trip a great deal before you add items to a registry that perhaps hundreds will be investing in for your wedding.
Personalize Your Wish List and Be Specific
A wedding guest should still feel as though they are picking out a specific gift for you, even if you just register for a honeymoon.
Rather than just assigning cash quantities to general items like a plane ticket or luggage, you should be more specific so that the guest can feel more like they are picking out a set gift.
Some honeymoon registries make it possible to package your own gift to give to the happy couple.
You should give your guests the option to package together a portion of your trip, whether it is a specific hotel that you want to stay at or a restaurant you want to try at your destination.
A honeymoon registry is also a good time to tell your wedding guests all about your trip.
You need to get down to the specifics so that your guests will know what exactly they are contributing to in the end.
The registry service that you select should have a feature where you can provide details of your trip for those that view your honeymoon site.
The more detailed and personal you get, the more likely your guests will feel like they are a part of your trip.
Knowing the specifics of a honeymoon adds a personal touch, rather than merely just throwing $20 to a non-specified luggage set.
Understand How You Collect Those Gifts
The fees for honeymoon registry websites can be a bit hard to find.
Information on how you receive your honeymoon contributions can also be buried in the company's website.
Some sites like the Big Day and Traveler’s Joy make it possible to request payment at anytime for the gifts that you have received.
Other sites like The Honeymoon issue checks just days before the honeymoon.
This doesn’t always work for couples, especially with most travel plans requiring deposits months in advance.
To avoid a debt situation in the months building up to the wedding, couples should pay attention to how they get paid for these honeymoon gifts.
If you want to stagger the expenses of a honeymoon, it is best to seek out the registries that let you collect your honeymoon funds at any point in time.
Place Importance on Your Freedom to Book
One of the main reasons couples go with formal honeymoon registries is to maintain that freedom to book your travel with anyone.
If word spreads that you want guests to pay for your honeymoon plane ticket, you could have them gift miles for a certain airline.
However this places a limit on where the couple can book their plane ticket.
Travel is fraught with unknowns and variables.
You never know if your dates and plans may change or if you decide one hotel is not right for you.
A honeymoon registry should give you the freedom to book where you want and when you want.
Unless you know exactly what tour package you want or flight route, it is always best to keep flexible in your travel plans and registries.
Maintain and Customize Thank You Notes
Many honeymoon registries make the organization process a breeze.
They either tell you through email when a guest has purchased some item or they might just track your guests for you on the backend of the website.
Regardless, before you select a registry, make certain that it keeps your gifts and guests organized.
You would hate to forget that Uncle Larry bought you that wine tour in Tuscany when it comes time for thank you notes.
A special way to personalize those thank you notes once you return home from the honeymoon is to send a corresponding photograph of the activities, experiences, accommodations or travel gear given to you by the guest.
Again, you are connecting your guests with the experience, rather than just making it seem like they gave out money for a dream trip.
Photographs of you using or partaking in those gifts will provide a touching moment for your guests.
Your kitchen has all of the garlic presses and waffle irons to last a lifetime.
Your home is fully outfitted with towels, sheets and pillows.
The couple that has it already can be a conundrum when it comes time to fill up a wedding registry.
After the chaos of the wedding, the honeymoon is always welcome for the newlyweds.
However, if you can’t afford to take the honeymoon of your dreams, you might as well ask your guests to send you.
Honeymoon registries aren’t as simple as just writing a check.
You need to know what you are getting into, what experience your guests will have and most importantly how you will make that dream honeymoon a reality.
Have you registered for a honeymoon? Share your tips for registering for that dream trip with us below!