Some people think the honeymoon is just another vacation, but it’s a unique special vacation, one most people can’t understand until they take one themselves.
Honeymoons become particularly special because they allow the newlyweds to completely disconnect from their usual lives and spend time one-on-one. Phones aren’t going off with work-related questions. Friends or family members who are watching pets or children figure it out on their own, leaving you two to fully relax and connect after all the stress of a wedding. A honeymoon tends to be special because you and your partner can truly focus on each other and do all the things you’ve wanted to do on this trip.
Of course, going on a honeymoon is one thing. Paying for it is another. That’s why many couples are turning to honeymoon donation websites to help raise money for that unforgettable trip. But not every site will provide you with the services you actually need, and some can’t be counted on to be totally safe and secure.
Here are the top five honeymoon donation websites that every couple should know and how to find the one that best fits your needs.
Hitchd has been one of the leading platforms for honeymoon donation websites because it delivers the best service of anyone else in the business and is always transparent about its fees and pricing structure. It also provides an excellent user experience, providing thousands of stock photos to brighten up your site and writing templates so designing is a breeze. Your wedding registry is usually the first touch point for many guests, so presenting them with a beautifully designed site matters.
The platform was primarily built as a honeymoon registry, but couples can actually add anything they want. Some like to add a few physical gifts, usually luggage or home goods upgrades, from any store they’d like. Couples can also easily create a cash fund through Hitchd, which will allow anyone to contribute a monetary amount that works for them. Since there’s no minimum or maximum, any guest or even just a wellwisher, such as a coworker, can toss in whatever amount fits the budget.
Unlike other platforms, Hitchd charges a one-time fee to couples when they launch their honeymoon registries. At no point will couples be charged fees on any transactions, and they won’t have to pay a monthly fee to house their money. Although we do need to charge a small credit card fee on any of those transactions (that money goes to the credit card companies and Hitchd does not make a profit), no guests will pay a higher amount for your gift than what’s listed on your site. Don’t want to make your guests pay a credit card fee? You can enable other forms of payment, such as debit cards, payment apps and even bitcoins.
Zola has been a popular honeymoon fund website for many modern couples. Their platform connects to popular big-box stores such as Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond, so you can connect multiple wedding registries to one easy-to-find location. If you have a small, but specific list of items at five different places (and none of them carry all of the same items), then you can create those registries and connect them all to Zola.
Zola also allows users to create honeymoon registries where they can ask for gifts such as spa packages and adventure tours. The platform implements a per-transaction fee structure, which means for each gift, an extra fee will be tacked on. Users can choose whether they want guests to pay for this or if they want to take on the added expense themselves.
But Zola does have some major drawbacks. Some users feel treated more like the product than the customer. They see one price online, but with all the transaction and credit card fees tacked on, suddenly that price goes up by quite a bit, leading to some serious sticker shock.
It’s also pretty obvious that Zola’s honeymoon registry features were designed as an afterthought. The platform doesn’t have Hitchd’s massive library of stock photos or its writing templates that make it easier to write introductions and gift descriptions.
PayPal and other payment apps
You may be thinking, “PayPal? Why didn’t I think of that before?”
It’s true that PayPal, Venmo and other payment apps make it easy to send money between people. They’re ubiquitous, so there’s no doubt that most of the people attending your wedding will already be using them and have their apps downloaded to your phone. Why not make it easy for guests to simply send you money as a wedding present by including your account name on your invitations and let your guests do the rest?
Sure, using a payment app does seem like an easy way to ask for money as a wedding present and a good way to make giving a gift as painless as possible for guests, but to be honest: Putting your account name in lieu of a registry on your wedding invitations is like sending your guests a photo of yourself with your hand out, ready to take their money as they walk into your venue.
Pretty striking image right? That’s the vibe you’re giving off if you decide to use a payment app as a wedding registry. As good at sending money as these apps are, they simply weren’t built to be wedding registries. They lack the ability to add gifts to a single registry, and there’s no introduction or thank-you to assure guests that they’ve come to the right place. All they can do is direct guests to where they can send the money.
Obviously, this is tacky and mean-spirited. No guest should feel forced to give money or anything else as a wedding present. The reason why guests like to give gifts at weddings is because a wedding is often a sentimental moment for them. They’ve watched you grow up, celebrated your other personal and professional successes and witnessed your ups and downs. Now you’re taking a big step, and they want to show you that they support you with a gift.
Honeyfund is another online wedding registry that primarily focuses on helping couples raise money for their honeymoons, Some users create a cash fund on the site where anyone can contribute any monetary amount that they feel good about, and there’s no minimum or maximum. Some couples have even used these funds to raise money for a downpayment on a house or as a way to raise money for a charity in lieu of gifts. Users can also create individualized gifts if they don’t want to have just one fund.
What many couples love about Honeyfund is that their platform is technically free to use, and the gift money goes directly to your bank account. That means there are some free options, though not all of them will be available. But those perks do come with costs. While the account may be free, your honeymoon registry site will have ads on it, which make it look cluttered and sometimes difficult to determine what’s actually on the site. You also have fewer design options and access to templates and images. If you want to use those services, you’ll have to pay for them. You might think that guests won’t care too much about what your site looks like, but if they feel you didn’t put in much effort, then they won’t put in too much effort.
It may sound preferable that Honeyfund doesn’t charge a transaction fee and sends money straight to your bank account, but think about that for a minute. That’s another platform that has your bank account information, and really, how secure are they? It was bad enough when Zola was hacked and users lost the gift money in their accounts. Imagine losing your rent money in a hacking attack.
You’ve probably heard the phrase that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that applies to honeymoon registry sites. Sometimes it’s better to pay for a quality service and have peace of mind than to risk it on a service that is only so free.
GoFundMe has become popular with the crowd who would like to use cash payment apps as honeymoon platforms, but want more personality. With GoFundMe, users can create a nice introduction and provide updates as money is raised and tickets are booked.
The platform does a nice job of helping couples show guests in real-time how their money is being spent, and that matters to guests. Many are skeptical of honeymoon funds because they can’t be certain that their money will actually go towards the trip and not bills or other casual expenses. By posting regular updates as monetary milestones are met, guests can feel good knowing their money went directly towards a honeymoon expense, and couples can thank them in their updates, giving givers individualized attention.
But like PayPal and Venmo, GoFundMe wasn’t built to be a honeymoon fund platform. Its main goal is to help people in need raise money after an unforeseen accident or disaster. Some have asked for money after a house fire while some communities have put them together on behalf of people who’ve become unexpectedly ill or lost a spouse. In any case, all of these people are going through extremely challenging times in their lives. Does needing money for a honeymoon really count as an extremely challenging time?
It’s very reasonable to want to go on a honeymoon and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking one, but your guests may find it off-putting that you’re using GoFundMe along with other people in need to raise money for what is really a luxury.
One last tip
Some honeymoon donation websites have made some headlines recently for the wrong reasons. In May 2022, hackers were able to gain access to thousands of user accounts of a major wedding registry website. They right away emptied many of the accounts of any gift money that had already been sent, and they used credit card information on file to order gift cards and have them sent to the hackers’ email accounts. This caused users a lot of stress and anxiety as they tried to secure their accounts and ensure their money was recovered.
When choosing a honeymoon registry site, remember that online safety means everything. Of course, you should have a unique password, but you should also look for a platform that uses two-step authentication, which is considered to be one of the best ways to secure an account online. Unlike other platforms, Hitchd doesn’t hang on to your money. All users create accounts with Stripe, the online payment platform, so they feel confident knowing their money is secure and easily accessible whenever they want it.
While there are many honeymoon registry platforms out there, only Hitchd provides you with everything you need to build a creative, personal and thoughtful honeymoon registry. Our one-time fee guarantees you access to thousands of stock photos and introduction and gift templates to help you get started, and we keep track of every gift given so you don’t have to. Our partnership with Stripe ensures your money will be heavily guarded, and you can access it any time.
Ready to get started with Hitchd? Sign up here.