Wedding culture has certainly evolved over the last few decades. More recently, couples have been hoping to turn to their guests when they need help paying for the honeymoon.
How does this work? Can you really just ask all of your guests to pitch in and pay for your honeymoon? Here’s what you need to know.
Why paying for a honeymoon can be difficult for modern couples
Planning a wedding and honeymoon used to be much different than it is today. The celebrations were usually a bit smaller and less extravagant because the couple needed to save money in order to spend it on household goods, now that they would be living together. That’s the reason why traditional wedding registries, with sheets, towels, pots and pans, became so popular. They were necessities.
For today’s modern couples, however, paying for the honeymoon can be a heavy lift. Here’s why.
More couples pay for wedding and honeymoon
Nowadays, it’s far more common for engaged couples to pay for both their wedding and their honeymoon. In the past, parents often stepped in to pay for the nuptials, but that’s changed now.
A lot of it comes down to the couple. You and your partner might be a bit older, think later 20s instead of early 20s, and you’re both slightly more established in your careers. You’ve worked now for a few years and might have even been promoted once. You two might also be living together, and now that you’ve combined your households, you’ve replaced many of those hand-me-down pots and pans and other household goods that you used in your first apartment or during uni. Whether you know it or not, you and your partner are probably in a far better position financially to pay for your own wedding than previous generations of your families.
Paying for your own wedding also gives you complete control over all decisions. Want a small 50-person gathering? That’s up to you. Want to leave your mother’s second cousin once-removed off the guest list? It’s your call. When you write the check, you keep all the control.
Wedding expenses add up fast
As freeing as it can be to keep control over how and when your wedding takes place, it’s no secret that the ceremonies and receptions themselves can be very expensive. While you can set strict budgets, do a little DIY work and choose less expensive options, there’s no doubt that paying for a wedding will set you back at least $10,000 if you’re planning any sort of hours-long event.
Can you ask guests to pay for your honeymoon?
In short, no. You cannot ask your wedding guests to pay for your honeymoon. It would be tacky to do so, and your friends and relatives might not give a gift at all or consider not coming.
Here are a few other reasons why you can’t ask guests to pay for your honeymoon.
Honeymoons are fun but not essential
There’s no written law that says all couples must take a honeymoon following their wedding. At the end of the day, a honeymoon is a luxury, not an essential. Lots of couples don’t take them or wait a year to save up for one and then splurge.
A honeymoon is less about the amount of money spent and more about the feeling that you two bring to it. It’s about spending one-on-one time together to bond as a couple and take a break after all the wedding planning.
If a big honeymoon is out of the question, then you might consider a staycation or even a mini-moon.
Guests shouldn’t feel obligated to give a gift
The most important thing you can prioritize during your wedding planning process is making your guests feel welcome and appreciated. A wedding is meant to celebrate the joining of two families. It should be a time when you and your partner acknowledge the people in your life who supported you as both individuals and as a couple.
All guests should know that their decision to give a wedding gift is completely optional. They should feel like they have to pay a cover charge to get into your wedding or that you’ll be eyeing whether or not they have a present when they walk in the door.
How do you ask for money as a present to pay for your honeymoon?
So where does this leave you and your partner? You can’t ask guests to pay for your honeymoon, and you can’t expect them to give a wedding present. But most of them probably will anyway, right?
It’s true. Although many guests know that gifts are optional, they still want to give a gift because they love you both and want to support your new life together.
Now the question becomes: How do you ask for money as a gift so you can pay for your dream honeymoon? To answer this, there are several options you can consider.
Create a small wedding registry
Some couples build a small traditional registry at a big-box store that has far fewer items on it than the number of guests invited to the wedding. In theory, guests will buy many of those gifts quickly, leaving the registry empty. With no other option, the other guests will simply write you a check.
While this is an option, it won’t always result in cash as a gift. Guests might decide to buy you a gift card instead, which is nice but won’t help you pay for your honeymoon. Or they might pick out a gift that you don’t want at all.
Ask parents and bridal party members to spread the word
When guests have questions about what to give a couple as a gift, they usually go to either the parents, if they’re relatives, or members of the bridal party, if they’re your friends. These people usually know best, so it’s not surprising that couples rely on their parents and bridal party members to casually spread the word about wanting cash as a present.
But this method only works if guests actually reach out to your parents or best man. If they don’t, then this won’t work at all.
Create a honeymoon fund
The best way to ask for money and get help paying for your dream honeymoon is to set up a honeymoon fund. Also called a honeymoon registry, these wedding registries ask honeymoon-related expenses instead of home goods. They live online, so any guest with an internet connection can access them.
With a honeymoon fund, there’s no reliance on other people or trying to force people to give you cash. It’s very clear what you’re asking for and what guests will be giving when they contribute. It’s the best way to ask for money as a present that is both polite and thoughtful.
What is a honeymoon registry?
A honeymoon fund functions just like a traditional wedding registry that you’d find at a big-box store. The only change is that all of the gifts listed are related to your honeymoon and many of them are experience-based, not physical products that can be found in a store.
When guests log onto your honeymoon registry, they can browse all the gifts you’ve set up. You might have a spa package or dinner for two at a romantic restaurant and other honeymoon-related gifts such as accommodations and airfare. A guest then chooses the gift and pays for it, but instead of booking the hotel or city tour for you, they just give you the money so you can do it yourself.
Most couples connect their honeymoon registries to their wedding website to make it easier for guests to access it. Then they include the wedding website on their invitations so guests know where to find it when they’re ready to buy you a gift.
Asking for experiences, not money
Honeymoon registries might look as if they’re asking for money from guests, but that’s not really what’s happening. It’s not that they’re just giving you cash to spend on whatever you want. They’re treating you to a honeymoon experience that you’ll be able to tell them about once you get home.
Or better yet, thank them right away. With Hitchd, you can send email thank-yous immediately after receiving the funds. This isn’t a replacement for a physical thank-you card mailed after the wedding, but it’s a nice way to acknowledge your guest right away and thank them for their gifts.
Simultaneously plan and save for the honeymoon
Because the gift money goes directly to you, it’s available to you and your partner right away so you can go ahead and start booking flights, hotels and other honeymoon adventures. If you’ve already started this, then the money can be used to pay down your credit card so you don’t wind up past your limit and facing problems with your bank account.
But if you haven’t already started planning your honeymoon, then building a registry for it can help you and your partner focus on where you want to go and what you want to prioritize on your trip. Finding time to plan can be difficult between work and other obligations, but if you have to create a honeymoon registry anyway, then you knock out two chores at once.
Option for cash fund
What’s nice about a honeymoon fund is that it allows for the addition of a cash fund.
A cash fund is like a money pool. Anyone can contribute to it, and there’s no minimum or maximum amount. Some guests won’t find a gift on your registry that fits their exact budget, so they prefer to give to a cash fund. Others, think coworkers and other friendly acquaintances not invited to your wedding, might want to give you a small contribution and wish you well. Cash funds are easy to add with Hitchd, and they’re a great addition to a honeymoon fund.
How do I build a honeymoon registry?
Building a honeymoon registry can be a very fun process for you and your partner. As mentioned, you two can start planning all the cool things you want to do and imagine what it’ll be like at your amazing hotel.
Here’s how to build a honeymoon registry through Hitchd.
Step 1: Create an account
The first step to building a honeymoon fund is to create your account.
This is the easy part. Just add your first and last name, an email address and a password. And voila, you’re ready to get started on your registry.
Step 2: Write an introduction
The introduction to your honeymoon registry right at the top should cover two things: a welcome to all guests and a thankful message. It should also have a link to your wedding website so guests will feel confident that they have the right honeymoon fund.
Not sure what to write? Hitchd provides writing templates for introductions, so you can use the template as is or rework it to fit your own style. Either way, it’ll help you write faster and sound professional.
Step 3: Add gifts
Now comes the fun part, adding all of those gifts!
Each gift should correspond to one honeymoon expense, such as dinner, tours and other excursions. Ths is the time where you and your partner can nail down some of the activities you’d like to do and share that excitement with your guests. When they read the gift description, they’ll be pumped to send you on that zip lining or snorkeling adventure. To guests, it’ll feel less like just giving you money and more like they’re contributing to a lifelong memory for you.
As with introductions, Hitchd also provides templates for the most popular gifts on our site. You can keep the template as is on your honeymoon registry or rework it to make it your own.
How many gifts should I add?
Most experts recommend at least twice as many gifts as guests, so everyone has options.
What if I don’t have enough lower-priced gifts?
Hitchd makes it easy to break up expensive gifts into smaller price points. For example, a $300 spa day can be broken up into six $50 gifts. Now you’ve created six gifts for six guests with just one item on your honeymoon registry.
Step 4: Choose payment options
Once you have your gifts, add the payment methods that guests can use. Credit card and debt card options are always popular, but for those who don’t want to connect a bank account, you can also add cheque and even bitcoin.
Step 5: Finalize and launch your honeymoon registry
When all the gifts are added and payment methods are chosen, it’s time to pay Hitchd’s one-time fee and launch the honeymoon fund. Now your guests can start checking out your honeymoon registry and deciding which gifts they’d like to give.
A honeymoon fund provides a mindful way to ask for cash as a wedding present without making guests feel as if they’re forced to give a gift. It’s a fun way to help you set up a honeymoon at a time when you’re probably wondering how you’ll get it all done before your big day. A thoughtful honeymoon fund makes guests feel welcome and gets you exactly what you want as a gift.
Ready to get started with Hitchd? Here’s how to do it.