|Marriage & Wedding Information|
Honeymoon Registries: A Guide to Asking for Your Honeymoon as a Wedding Gift
Is the cost of your wedding putting the honeymoon of your dreams out of reach? Not to worry; if you already have all the kitchenware and bedding you need, and if you have generous friends and family, your problem might be solved by setting up a honeymoon registry.
A honeymoon registry is much like a wedding registry. Just as a wedding registry allows you to create a list of gifts you would prefer to receive at your wedding, a honeymoon registry allows you to create a list of places you would like to go and things you would like to do on your honeymoon. The honeymoon registry enables your wedding guests to purchase portions of your honeymoon. Yes, your guests could just contribute cash toward your honeymoon, but somehow giving a particular portion of the honeymoon-dinner at a fancy restaurant, or a carriage ride, for example-is more meaningful.
Type the phrase "honeymoon registry" into your favorite search engine, and you'll get thousands of results. There are three basic kinds of honeymoon registries:
1. Choosing the honeymoon registry
First, you submit some basic personal information-your names, the date of the wedding, contact information, and so on. Then you create your registry, which is an itemized list of all your honeymoon expenses. Some registries charge a setup fee, usually between $100-$150; others charge nothing to the wedding couple, but charge wedding guests a "service fee" when they buy part of the honeymoon. Most honeymoon registry websites allow you to create your registry right away over the web. Other sites put you in touch (by phone or e-mail) with a representative who helps you create your registry.
What can you list on your registry? If you can buy it, you can list it. Typical registries list transportation, lodging, activities, special amenities, and meals. Expensive items are usually broken down so guests can choose to pay only a portion of the item. For example, a honeymoon registry might list 10 gifts of $100 each toward your $1000 airfare expense.
Some honeymoon registries allow you to personalize your registry with a message to your guests and descriptions of the different parts of your honeymoon, perhaps even allowing you to upload pictures to the registry.
3. Announcing the honeymoon registry
The more tactful approach is to let your guests know about your registry indirectly. Let your parents, close friends, or wedding party members know that you have a honeymoon registry; they can pass the word along to guests. Or create a wedding web page with up-to-date information for guests, and include a link to your registry on that page. You can then list the address of your wedding web page in your invitation without directly bringing up the issue of gifts.
4. Buying gifts from the honeymoon registry
The gift-giver usually receives a certificate that is either sent to the wedding couple or to the giver (to hand on to the couple in person); some registries charge a fee to mail this certificate. Other registries notify the couple of the gift by e-mail. On any registry, you can track how many gifts you have received simply by logging into the registry.
It's important to note that most registries require guests to pay a service charge for the privilege of contributing to your honeymoon. The service charge is a percentage of the cost of the gift; the registries we surveyed had service charges ranging from 3.5% to 15%. So if a guest wants to pay $100 toward your airfare and the honeymoon registry website imposes a 10% service charge, she will end up spending $110.
5. Paying for the honeymoon
Whatever money wedding guests contribute toward the honeymoon is placed in a holding account. The registry sends the couple a check (or electronically deposits the funds into their account) on a predetermined date, usually a week before the wedding. Even though the wedding guests paid for certain parts of the honeymoon, the couple is really free to use the money for anything they want.
6. Thanking guests