I don’t know about you, but I’m dreaming of being in a tropical location right now . . . sandy beach, sparkling aquamarine sea, and the scent of salt water and tropical-scented sunscreen . . . I want to go to there.
Now picture your dream honeymoon. Where do you see yourself and your significant other? What sorts of activities will you be enjoying on your first trip as husband and wife? Will you be adventurous and sporty or relaxed and pampered?
Whatever your destination, you might be thinking about registering for your honeymoon. It can be a great option, especially if you are a couple who don’t really need (or want) a lot of the traditional wedding gifts like china and kitchen appliances. Here are a few tips and hints that will help you navigate the process. I’ll share from my personal experience, so you have the inside scoop!
The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a honeymoon registry service to help keep things organized. I highly recommend Honeyfund. Their fees are pretty low, and any gifts you receive via check or cash are fee-free (as of the time of this posting–be sure to check out all the specifics before you sign up for any registry service!)
What I love about Honeyfund is the way you can break down your trip into smaller chunks so friends and family can choose specific activities they would like to sponsor. It’s interactive, and your guests will imagine how much fun you’re going to have at that candlelit dinner in Paris which makes them feel more connected to the gift giving process. This is the key to making your honeymoon registry fun for your guests.
Speaking of describing your trip . . . you’ll want to provide lots and lots of small, bite-size activity “chunks” for your guests to choose from. For example, which would you rather sponsor:
- A day excursion to the rain forest in Costa Rica with a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of gallo pinto, cheese, and fried plaintains followed by a guided tour of the nature preserve
- $100 towards airfare
See how much fun it can be to imagine that excursion? Your guests will love options like that. The items on our registry that were snapped up first were all the fun excursions and items that guests could picture us enjoying.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Excursions, active adventures, and any activities involving animals are winners
- Specific dinners that you are looking forward to (Do some research and pick out your exact restaurants and the meals you will eat there. Not only is it more exciting for your guests, but you’ll have more time to anticipate your culinary adventures, making your trip more fun!)
- Get creative! Imagine your perfect day and fill in all the little details that make it great. Have a day at the beach with a private surfing lesson, umbrella drinks, and beach chair rentals. Plan a day exploring the city with museum passes, a walking tour, and a symphony concert. Pick out an adventurous excursion like zip-lining or sky-diving, and guess which of your family and friends will sponsor that activity first.
- Have a wild card gift. Whoever sponsors that gift gets to give you an adventure of their choosing.
- Do something charitable. People love to sponsor activities that have a philanthropic goal such as saving sea turtles or helping to build an orphanage. Added bonus: you’ll make amazing memories that will last a lifetime.
- Don’t forget travel books and language lessons!
Thank your guests right away when they give their gifts. Write a heartfelt thank you card describing how much you will enjoy the activity they have sponsored. Oh, and quick tip: it’s never ok to include registry information in your wedding invitation. Instead, share that on your wedding website, if you have one, or via word of mouth. You can enlist your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and a few family members to help in disseminating the details.
My last tip is something my husband and I, unfortunately, did not think to do on our trip, and we sooooo wish we had. That is to take photos of the two of you enjoying each of the gifts you’ve been given and then share the photos with the gift giver. It makes for such a special reminder of how much you enjoyed their gift.
One thing to keep in mind is that someone in your circle of friends or family might not love the honeymoon registry idea. This is new territory, and some folks might find this newfangled idea a little unusual.
A great option to keep everyone happy is to have a small selection of more traditional items on a standard registry at one of the usual big box stores. There are probably a few items you need for your home, and providing a variety of choices will allow your guests to choose a more traditional gift for you if they wish. This isn’t guaranteed to make everyone happy, but at least you’ll know you did everything you could to please the masses.
If anyone asks, share honestly about why you chose to do a honeymoon registry (We don’t value material possessions as much as experiences! We’re going to do some charity work on our trip, and we wouldn’t be able to afford to get to Africa otherwise! We have all the “things” we need! We live in a small space! We’ve always dreamed of a backpacking adventure in Europe, and we want to do this while we’re still young!) and they just might come around.
Our experience with the honeymoon registry was overwhelmingly positive, and so many of our guests raved about how much they loved the idea. We also had a small traditional registry, and that was also popular. We had the trip of a lifetime in Costa Rica, and every time we think of that trip we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts we received that made it possible. We also love the other gifts we received for our home, and we feel surrounded by love everyday.
If you have any honeymoon registry stories to share, do tell!
Oh, and when you do escape to that sunny beach or snowy peak, send a little mental snapshot of that vacation bliss this-a-way!