If you’re reading this as a newly-engaged individual, congratulations!
If not, no judgments here – kudos to you for getting ahead of the game (or for simply expanding your outlook)!
In any case, for those of you who have activated wedding planning mode, selected your wedding party line-up, and are beginning to question why you didn’t just elope (don’t worry, I promise it’s all worth it in the end), you’ve probably started to think about what you want to register for.
Or, possibly more accurately, registering wasn’t even on your radar until Crate and Barrel started bombarding you with ads about why your marriage is destined to fail unless you register for the gold-plated decorative napkin rings for holiday hosting (Okay, so that’s a gross exaggeration, but you get the idea.)
But many engaged couples – especially those who have lived together for awhile and have accumulated a lot of stuff – are seeking something more than Calphalon pots and a Keurig machine as they start their new lives together.
Please don’t misunderstand me; there’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things for your home. In fact, traditional registries can really give you a leg up as a newly-married couple, particularly if you can’t afford the quality stuff you really want and don’t want to end up eating off of Styrofoam plates for the rest of your life (or at least for the foreseeable future).
But for those of us who are happily fulfilled in the homeware department and are after something a bit more, say, meaningful, a honeymoon registry presents a highly attractive option.
However, just because you need to take a $20,000 honeymoon to Bora Bora doesn’t mean you can just start up a honeymoon registry and expect it to be fulfilled, all expenses paid. I mean, I suppose you could, but chances are you’ll end up pretty severely disappointed.
Now that’s not to say you can’t pull off the honeymoon of your dreams with some financial support from family and friends to make it happen.
After all, it worked for me, so it stands to reason that it can work for you too, right?
Let’s look at how you can translate your lofty travel desires into a viable honeymoon registry.
This one should be rather obvious, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t very well set up a honeymoon registry.
Start by thinking about what type of getaway you and your partner are after. Are you looking to lounge by the beach and relax? Or are you more of an adventure seeking lot? Perhaps you’d like a little bit of both!
My husband and I ended up choosing a honeymoon to Greece because it was the perfect marriage between the relaxed island life I was after and the culture and exploration he sought.
Once you’ve established the pace and activity level you’re both on board with, start looking into places that offer what you want.
I’ll elaborate more on selecting the right honeymoon destination in a future post, but this should provide a good starting point.
Admittedly, this part was a bit overwhelming for me, but it became easier once I was able to determine what it was I was actually looking for.
I ended up selecting Traveler’s Joy and was very happy with my decision.
Here are some of the perks I found registering with Traveler’s Joy:
Some other popular honeymoon website options include:
If you’re stuck on which registry is best for you, The Knot has broken down some of the most popular options to aid you in your decision-making process.
Once you’ve selected your platform of choice, it’s time to figure out exactly what you will register for.
Obviously, this will largely depend on where it is you’re going, but as I see it, there are essentially three main categories to focus on:
Transportation can include anything from international flights to taxi fare. If you’re flying, I would definitely suggest registering for airfare, as this will likely be one of the biggest expenses of your trip.
However, there are plenty of other transportation factors to consider as well, such as how you will be moving around once you arrive at your destination.
For instance, will you be renting a car or using public transportation? How will you handle airport transfers? These are all items that you can include on your registry.
Hotel accommodations are another major expense of your trip. Be sure to look into rates before you put this on your registry, as they will vary based on the season and the number of stars your hotel has.
Another thing I would definitely suggest is to break up your larger registry items (such as airfare or hotels) into several more affordable parts for your guests.
For instance, if your flight costs $1,000, why not split that up into 10 equal parts of $100/each? You may even consider breaking it down further, such as 20 parts at $50/each. By doing this, you won’t run the risk of overwhelming your guests with hefty price tags. While there’s no magic number that will work for everyone, I would suggest not exceeding about $200 per portion.
Excursions are another thing to consider registering for. Personally, this was my favorite part of the honeymoon planning process, as it forced me to think about the activities I was most interested in doing.
Some fun suggestions for excursions are day cruises, guided tours, and wine tastings.
Here are some fun excursions and activities I registered for:
Keep in mind, all of the items I included on my registry were ones that I created from scratch based on research. That means I decided on the activities, drafted up the descriptions, and found corresponding images to go with them. It was definitely time-consuming, but it most certainly was a labor of love!
However, if you don’t have the time (or the patience) to build your own items this way, some sites actually allow you to select items from a preexisting list of categories.
This one is really important. You will definitely want to do your homework on the cost of items you are registering for, particularly if you are traveling internationally and will be dealing with foreign currency.
Since I was honeymooning in Greece, I ended up giving myself a crash course in Euros.
I won’t lie, though – it’s easy to get a little carried away in your research. I myself am guilty of this. In fact, I spent upwards of about six months researching and perfecting my registry.
Granted, I am a textbook Type A personality and by no means is this considered typical (especially considering that some people’s entire engagement period is less than six months).
That being said, I do suggest devoting as much time as you can to understanding:
- Where you’re going
- What you want to do when you’re there
- How you’ll get around
- Where you may want to eat, etc.
The more I knew about each place, the easier it was for me to put together the registry items I would need to make it happen.
There really is no rulebook for how/where to share your registry, but the more ways you can get it out there, the more likely you are to receive the gifts you want.
While sharing your registry can take on a variety of forms, probably the most common way is to include a link to it on your shower invitations, similar to sharing a traditional bridal registry.
Thanks to my fabulous Maid of Honor, I was fortunate enough to have a full-on honeymoon shower, Greek travel theme and all!
But even if you’re not having a shower, there are still plenty of other ways to share your registry.
In fact, I ended up sharing mine on Facebook after my shower, and was pleasantly surprised to receive gifts from friends who lived too far to attend the shower.
Another great way to share your registry is by placing a link to it on your wedding website. My husband and I actually ended up receiving a total surprise gift from one of his clients that way, simply because he did a search to see if we had a wedding website!
Don’t be surprised if you receive some pushback after sharing your registry. It’s important to keep in mind that while starting a honeymoon registry is super exciting for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean all of your friends and relatives will be equally gung-ho about it.
That’s not to say that they don’t want to see you happy – quite the contrary!
There are a number of possibilities as to why they may seem less than enthusiastic initially:
- They may feel that they are supposed to give you something more traditional
- They may already have a gift planned for you
- They might be confused by how a honeymoon registry works
It is best to prepare for all scenarios, remain open-minded to any pushback, and simultaneously stick to what you really want.
I had a family member suggest setting up a small traditional registry in addition to my honeymoon one; that may be an option for you to consider, although I didn’t end up going that route.
If you decide to go “all in” with the honeymoon route as I did, you should expect that some guests may still want to give you more traditional gifts.
At the end of the day, your loved ones will really just want what is best for you, whether that means a Cuisinart mixer or an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora.
Whatever you choose, I wish you safe and happy travels both on your honeymoon and throughout your marriage!