Recently, I got a friend’s wedding invitation in the mail—a handmade card with personalized artwork, painstaking calligraphy and a link to an online honeymoon registry. Genius. While the cards were impressively labour-intensive, honeymoon registries are easy to make and, not to mention, a great idea. A lot of couples getting married already have all the appliances they need. Having friends pay for a honeymoon could be the best gift they could ever hope for. More than a gift it’s an experience, and one they might never be able afford on their own.
So, here’s how it works:
Try a Honeymoon Calculator
First thing’s first, calculate your honeymoon costs. There’s a great honeymoon calculator on Honeyfund.com, where you’re asked simple questions like how far you’re going, how long you’ll be gone and possible honeymoon activities you want to try. The program estimates the cost of your ideal honeymoon, giving you a good idea of just how much you’re asking friends and family to chip in. It can help you figure out if you should adjust your expectations, or just invite more people.
Choose A Destination
You start by creating a profile and decide where you want to go, whether it is a Euro adventure, a tropical resort, a long weekend, a cruise, an exotic escape, an African safari or a winter trek. I thought you’d have to pick one of several expensive packages, but it doesn’t work that way. You do you own research, finding the best-priced flights and accommodations to plan your own vacation and then attach price tags to your profile. And you don’t have to feel guilty asking for too much from one person. You can break big items into manageable chunks, for example, 10 flight gifts at $50 each.
Choose Fun Activities
Find out what kind of activities are offered at your destination and then set them up as gifts. You can ask you friends and family for dinners out, a round of drinks, sightseeing tours, golf trips, massages for two, or paragliding. If you want a little spending cash, just designate a gift “shopping.” You can even be gifted the carbon offset of your trip to make sure you’re travelling green.
Pay (or Don’t)
There’s a ton of honeymoon registries out there but be very careful. A lot of the ones that advertise themselves as “free” actually have hidden fees. Most have a $100 registration fee with an 8 – 10% service charge on top.
Here are a couple I looked at:
· Honeymoon Pixie charges a 7% fee that either you or your guest must pay. That can get pretty pricey if you’re planning an expensive honeymoon.
· The Honeymoon.com offers a lot of help in the planning stages with their travel partners, but they charge almost an 8% service charge to your guests.
· eHoneymoon is clean, looks great and only charges 3% of whatever you bring in.
Honeyfund was the cheapest option I found, and it looks the best. Most of the fees are paid by travel partner advertisements that don’t interfere with your personal registry. The website was developed by a husband and wife team, who created the Honeyfund for their own wedding. Necessity is the mother of invention.
If you don’t want to buy a honeymoon, you can use online registries for other things like a down payment on a house or, if you already have one, home improvement costs. Just specialize it to your own situation, whatever that might be! And if you still want to register in-store, you can get a discount on whatever your guests don’t purchase for up to a year after. So, when you get back from your honeymoon, use any leftover money to fill your new home with gifts to yourself.