So, I did this marriage thing a little bit out of order. First came the baby, then an engagement, then a house, and then marriage. Since we were parents and homeowners almost two years before getting married, my husband and I knew we didn’t want to just do a traditional wedding registry. Frankly, we pretty much had everything we needed already. What we really needed was a vacation, so for us it was a no-brainer to do a honeymoon registry.
What is a honeymoon registry?
It’s a fund that your wedding guests can donate money to that you can put towards your honeymoon.
They started popping up on the market a little over a decade ago and they are becoming more common. Some of your friends and relatives may be a bit more old school and will opt to give you a physical gift, cash or a check but honeymoon registries are gaining favor for a reason.
They’re easy and they’re convenient for those who are Internet savvy. And who doesn’t like cold hard (virtual) cash?
Which registry should you choose?
That’s a bit more of a complicated question. Which one you choose depends on what you need. There are so many great honeymoon registries, but these are the heavy hitters along with why you should choose them and the really important info-how much they charge in fees.
What makes them special? Honeyfund claims to be the #1 online wedding gift registry. They were founded in 2006, so that also makes them one of the first.
What do they charge? A Honeyfund account is free, but they do offer a Honeyfund Elite account that includes your choice of design templates, cover photos, photo slideshow and registry items, password protection and no ads for $39.99. Honeyfund also takes a small fee per transaction via WePay and PayPal. There rates are the lowest of the honeymoon registry companies at 2.8% + $0.30 via WePay or PayPal. The gift giver pays no fees.
What makes them special? Founded in 2004, Traveler’s Joy seems to be the oldest honeymoon registry option. They are also the official honeymoon registry partner of wedding website The Knot.
What do they charge? A 7% service fee is required to process each transaction. You can choose who pays the service fee. Gifts provided to you via cash or check are free. For gifts given using a credit card, 2.95% is deducted from the gift amount. The gift giver is also charged 2.95% + $0.99 on checkout. You also have the option to pass these fees on to your guests.
What makes them special? Honeymoon Wishes calls itself the world’s only full service honeymoon registry. So it’s basically a one-stop shop where you can make your wedding website, send email announcements and more in addition to your registry.
What do they charge? Their fee setup is very similar to Traveler’s Joy. You may choose to have the service & handling fee added or deducted from each gift amount. Adding it to the transaction means that the purchaser will be charged a 7% service & handling fee at check-out. Anyone using a credit card is charged the 2.65% fee.
What makes them special? Their homepage says they are “A Free & Customizable Honeymoon Registry”, and they refer to themselves as so I take it customization and visual aesthetics are where they see themselves as different.
What do they charge? If you use Wanderable’s Experience Providers, there is no service fee. If guests donate to Wanderable’s Cash Fund, there is a 2.5% service fee. All guests will have 2.5% credit card fee at checkout. You have the option to absorb this fee for your guests.
What makes them special? They didn’t even try to differentiate themselves. “Free honeymoon registry” was the most info I found about their service on their website.
What do they charge? Honeymoon Pixie charges a 7% service fee that is added to the gift giver’s bill at checkout.
How I made my choice
I went with Traveler’s Joy for the laziest reason ever. I used The Knot to build my wedding website and Traveler’s Joy was their honeymoon registry partner. Boom. There it is.
I almost went with Honeyfund because their fees are less and they have a more aesthetically pleasing website, but since I had already built my wedding website, I opted for ease of use.
But for you, future married person, you may have some other criteria to consider. Fees are important, but you may also need to ask yourself a few other questions like:
- How easy is their site to use for guests?
- What features do they offer?
- Have they partnered with any hotels or airlines?
- What wedding website builders do they integrate with?
- Can you use the honeymoon registry site to build your wedding website?
- What is the process to withdraw or receive funds?
My experience with Traveler’s Joy was very pleasant and painless. The interface was very easy to use and I didn’t have any trouble transferring our gifts to my bank account. However, if I did it all over again, I would go with Honeyfund. Their fees are so much less, and they are the market leader. In retrospect, paying 7% for fees seems like a lot and extra money should have trumped my laziness.
I was, however, really happy with Traveler’s Joy. The design of the registry is pretty decent and they have a Google Map of where you’re going that I thought was a nice touch. A few guests also mentioned they liked knowing we were going to Puerto Rico and what we were using the money for. You can also choose specific experiences that people can fund like a “champagne brunch” or “car rental.” Guests can also opt to just give any amount that’s not tied to a particular experience.
Be aware, certain honeymoon registries hold your money for you. Traveler’s Joy states that it can take 1-3 days for funds to appear in your account after you transfer them. If you feel weird about a company holding your money in escrow or have concerns about it taking a few days to get your cash, you may want to go with Honeyfund. They are the one company that deposits money directly into your WePay or PayPal account.
I waited until the day before my honeymoon to transfer my money over to my back account and was like, “oh crap” once I found out it could take days. Luckily, it took only about a day and I had the money available for the trip.
I also made one major mistake when making my registries. I made a Macy’s registry for people who wanted to buy traditional gifts. Well, turns out, people went all in on the Macy’s registry and bought all of the gifts. Because of this, we missed our goal on our honeymoon registry. The physical gifts were nice, but at the end of the day, we would have just preferred the cash.
All in all, doing a honeymoon registry was a great decision and I’d highly recommend it, especially for newlyweds who love to travel. Which one you choose will likely be based on your specific needs, but I honestly don’t think you can go wrong.
Have you used a honeymoon registry? What was your experience? Please share!
Shari Neal is a Jill-of-all-trades who despite getting a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, decided to teach herself how to code and spent the next 7 years as a web developer. During that time, she did freelance graphic design work and launched an online t-shirt shop, Bon Bon Vie. It took the birth of her daughter to bring her back to her first love of writing. She currently blogs about motherhood and entrepreneurship at Mom Mom Vie. Shari currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband Jonathan and 2-year-old Maya.