Wedding registries used to be about fancy china and serving platters, but these days a click of the mouse means couples can register for pretty much anything they want! One of the most popular new additions to wedding registries in the past decade is the honeymoon registry. This lets couples (like you!) ask wedding guests to help fund their dream honeymoon. While it was once considered taboo to ask for cash as a wedding gift, the creation of the honeymoon registry has made it way more acceptable. But how does it all work, and what are the best sites offering honeymoon registries? This guide focuses on 4 of our favorites, below:
Zola has quickly become a go-to wedding registry option for couples looking for a wide range of gifts. We love that Zola offers such a curated, extensive list of products across so many different categories, and that you aren’t locked into one specific brand. Zola’s “Funds” section of their registry includes honeymoon and cash fund options, which allows guests (or a group of guests) to purchase a cash fund contribution to a part of your honeymoon (like your roundtrip airfare) or other tangible items you’re hoping to purchase with their help. Guests will process their payment through Zola, and you will then receive a direct-deposit to your bank account. Keep in mind there’s a 2.65% credit card processing fee that you or your guests will pay (more on that in our “Tips” section, below).
Honeyfund was expressly created for raising money, similar to a traditional crowdfunding site, except it’s just for weddings. In addition to honeymoons, you can add options for guests to contribute to things like a down payment on a house or a new kitchen or bathroom renovation. Honeyfund, unlike Zola, allows guests to give the bride and groom the gift offline which avoids processing fees. However, guests can also process the transaction through Honeyfund using WePay (2.8% + $0.30) or PayPal (2.8% + $0.30/transaction).
Wanderable is everything we like about Zola, with the exclusivity of a registry site just for your honeymoon. Once you begin the process, you actually start by selecting your destination. This also serves as a great tool if you are just beginning the honeymoon planning process and have no idea what destination to choose. Once you choose a location, you can choose one of Wanderable’s collections or just begin adding from the list of experiences. The site does an awesome job of actually curating real, attainable experiences that are exclusive to each location, rather than just a general adventure. Through their Experience Provider Network they also have a collection of merchants that are highly rated on Yelp or TripAdvisor. If you choose to book your activity with their suggested merchant, you won’t need to pay any fees. If guests choose the credit card option (and you opt to withdraw the funds as cash) the processing fee is 2.5%, and the money will be sent as a mailed check or direct deposit to your bank account.
Check out our favorite out-of-the-box honeymoon destinations here!
If you’re looking for a more direct way to get those funds to your honeymoon experiences, try Honeymoon Wishes, which has a direct partnership with 800 hotels and cruise lines. They are the only honeymoon registry tool with the option to have your gifts sent directly to the travel vendor (like a hotel), which takes the hassle out of the process like other registry websites. This option provides the tangible product that guests often look for in a wedding registry without feeling like they’re just sending you cash. Even though you can still opt to use this site if your selected hotel is not a partner, we think the real benefit here are the actual hotel partnerships and the ability to choose experiences that are specific to that property. Honeymoon Wishes charges a 7% service fee (which we admit is pretty hefty), and there is also a 2.65% credit card processing fee for guests. Even thought you’re paying more than with other honeymoon registries, you’re getting a true service (similar to a travel agent) rather than just a transaction fee. You can also take advantage of their free wedding planning tools to get even more for your money.
If you want everything planned out for you before you arrive, Wanderable or Honeymoon Wishes may be a good option because they offer specific experiences. If you’re looking for something in between or want to plan everything on your own, you’re better off opting for a site like Zola or Honeyfund, which has more generalized experiences and flexible options. You can also choose to use the money sent through those sites for something else, if a honeymoon gets postponed or plans change (which does happen!).
Additional Things to Consider:
- It’s important to set a realistic budget for your honeymoon that YOU can afford. In other words? Don’t rely on guests to pay for 100% of your honeymoon. Have a backup plan if guests don’t contribute as much as you’d hoped.
- Our opinion? Do not ask guests to absorb any service fees for you. Having them pay 2, 3, or 7% above what they want to gift you (depending on the service you use) is asking a bit too much. Instead, opt to have the fee deducted from the gift amount you receive instead. It sucks but it’s better than asking them to do it.
- Always read the fine print on any website that accepts money on your behalf. These are your wedding gifts, and you want to make sure you’re not being scammed or overly charged for things you’re not aware of.
- Some guests may be hesitant to give money towards a honeymoon because it doesn’t feel personal. It’s a great idea to include details about your dream honeymoon on your registry site, wedding website, or on your wedding thank you cards so guests really feel like they are part of their gift.
Looking for something more traditional? Read our review of the best online wedding registries here!