Avoid these 9 honeymoon fund mistakes
Your big day will most likely be one of the most special and unforgettable moments of your life. From organizing the guest list to the bridal dance, there might seem like there's an infinite list of tasks to complete, and it's easy to make small mistakes along the way. After all, this is all an entirely new experience.
We've listed out the top nine tacky honeymoon registry mistakes couples make and provided some easy solutions for how you can fix, or avoid, them.
1. Your honeymoon fund doesn't feel personal
We've all been there. You've just been invited to a wedding and have clicked on a link to yet another generic online bridal registry, forced to pick an item that you have no idea the couple will actually like or ever use. Not only that, but there's little to no information to indicate why the couple wants the item, or what they'll do with it once they have it. It all feels highly transactional. The opposite feeling you want to convey to your closest friends and family who will share in your big day.
The key to avoiding this transactional trap as a newly engaged couple is to take every effort to make your entire honeymoon registry experience as personal as you can. Why? Not only are you more likely to receive more contributions (more on that below), but your guests will love it.
While fully funding your honeymoon may seem like the ultimate goal for your registry, we think there's more to it than that. Your honeymoon fund is an excellent chance to tell your own unique story, and your gifts are the perfect way to showcase and reinforce it. Sure, you may have a wedding website that informs guests a little about yourselves and the upcoming day, but that only shows guests a small piece of your past. Your friends and family want a glimpse into what life will be like once you've tied the knot, and your honeymoon is the perfect way to set the stage for an incredible life together.
Our suggestion is to make your registry as personalized as possible by adding a clear and descriptive welcome message, profile photo, and cover photo (if possible). No matter which honeymoon registry you choose for your wedding, the spotlight should always be shining brightly on you and your partner. After all, it's all about you!
While focusing on adding a personal touch your registry may appear like a small and insignificant task, we've found that guests are more likely to contribute to registries that have been highly personalized, over those that are left blank or have little to no detail.
To summarise, treat your registry as you would your Facebook or Instagram profile, only made for a couple who's highlighting their upcoming trip of a lifetime.
2. You only have one gift in your registry
Guests, much like everyone else, all have different tastes, expenses, and most importantly, budgets. When contributing money towards a wedding present, some guests like to purchase the whole item (i.e., cooking classes or a unique experience) rather than a small part of a more significant gift (i.e., flights or accommodation).
Often if there's only one gift, or cash fund, to contribute towards, guests feel obliged, or even forced, to donate their hard earned money towards something they may not feel strongly about, and it might not be to everyone's liking. The last thing you want is to offend one of your closest friends or family on what will be one of the most important days of your life.
A significant point to remember is to add as many gifts as possible, ranging from little to large. In our experience at Hitchd, small gifts mostly always get funded first, leaving more significant contributions to be made closer to the wedding. Some guests even come back to a registry after the wedding to contribute even more towards remaining gits.
3. You don't have a mix of gift types
One thing we see time over are couples who mix in a few traditional gifts (think, vacuum cleaners, toasters, and blenders), with their experience gifts, to make sure every kind of guest remains happy. Let's face it, the thought of buying someone an experience, or contributing money towards a week in Bali, might still be a stretch for guests who have a more traditional outlook, and that's Okay!
We all have that one relative who insists on buying us that second set of cutlery we've always dreamed of - even after all of our hints to persuade otherwise.
We've found that couples who create at least one or two traditional gifts in their registry tend to feel reassured they've covered all the bases. Even though we don't think it's necessary for all couples, you'll know your guests the best and can gauge if this will be the right option for you.
Importantly, try not to run out of gifts for your guests to contribute. There's no worse feeling as a guest than turning up on the big day empty-handed, and this same rule applies for your online wedding registry. As a guide for pricing your gifts, try to think of the rough amount you usually tend to contribute at weddings you've attended in the past. A common way to figure out how many gifts to add is to think of a similarly sized wedding you've visited in the past, estimate what the couple might have spent per head on their big day, then multiply that amount by the number of guests and make enough gifts to cater to that amount.
It may seem like a daunting experience, but once you come up with a range of unique gifts and experiences, it's easy to fall back to create essential items, such as; Airbnb's, flights, and other travel related gifts.
Alternatively, we just launched our new Gift Assistant at Hitchd, which will create you a registry full of beautiful, bespoke, gifts, based on the information you tell us is important to you, within the blink of an eye.
4. Your 'recommended' gift amount is too high
Many guests who decide to contribute towards your honeymoon fund are looking for as much guidance as possible. When you sign up to Hitchd, you'll be asked to set a recommended contribution amount, which is the first amount a guest will see when they view a gift (defaulted to $100). The recommended amount can be a good indication of what the couple suggests to contribute per item, while still ensuring guests remain in full control of how much they are allowed to give.
We recommend not to set your recommended amount to be more than $100, which was the average gift amount given per guest in 2018. Anything higher than this runs the risk of being seen as rude, pretentious, or tacky.
What is special about having a recommended amount for your gifts is that it's a tasteful way to provide help to your guests, while they remain blissfully unaware that it's a pre-configured amount by you.
Not all registries have this setting, so it's wise to hunt out a honeymoon fund website that does if you want your registry to be more user-friendly.
5. You leave it too long to thank guests
Thanking wedding guests for attending your wedding has been standard practice for most weddings for as long as we can remember. However, formally thanking friends and family for their generous present or cash contribution has been increasing in popularity with the rise of honeymoon registries. At Hitchd, we allow couples to individually thank guests by sending a personalized thank you message and a photo of their gift or from their trip. We even keep the couple notified of contributions, letting them know exactly who to thank for when the time comes.
When is the perfect time to say Thank you? We think it's best to thank guests within three months or less. At Hitchd, we find most couples tend to thank their guests approximately one month after they return from their trip. Why thank guests within three months? The longer you leave it, the more eloquently they should be written.
There are a few exceptions to the rule, and it all depends on your honeymoon:
- If your honeymoon is right after the wedding, you can get away with sending them 2-3 months after you return
- If your honeymoon is belated, sending them within one month of the marriage is ideal. Do it while it's still fresh in guests minds.
How long is too long? We think one year is a long wait, but realistically, it's never too late. As a general rule, the later it is, the more personal the thank you card should aim to be. No matter when you send it, It'll still make your guests day to receive a warm, heartfelt, thank you card to remind them of your special day.
Remember to keep it short and sweet and try your hardest to bring them back to the feeling you shared at your wedding. Was there a funny moment? Or something that didn't quite go to plan that you can share a laugh?
See our latest advicve on all your thank you cards questions for more tips on thanking guests.
6. It's hard for guests to visualize your trip
For guests to feel truly engaged and excited about contributing money towards your honeymoon, they need to become engrossed in your story. You might be thinking, "why does it matter? It's our trip, not theirs". Our findings at Hitchd show that the average contribution per guest is approximately 20% more for registries where couples have provided more details about their trip. It might just mean you'll be able to take the extra few nights at a jaw-dropping hotel, or the special dinner you wouldn't usually book yourselves, making your honeymoon as unique as possible without the financial burden.
With a steady stream of cash contributions arriving in your bank account before the big day, it can relieve some of the financial pressure many couples go through leading up to the wedding. More importantly than receiving a higher amount of contributions, being more descriptive in your gifts will make it much more apparent to guests why each gift is meaningful to you and your partner.
The more details you provide in the beginning, the higher your chances for creating a more engaging experience that is tailored to your destination and honeymoon. Hitchd has partnered with Unsplash to provide couples with a suite of over 1 million, free, high-definition images to choose from, which means the more detail you have at hand, the easier it will be to find the perfect imagery.
7. Your registry is too hard to use
We know how daunting it can feel to not only organize the perfect wedding but find to the ideal registry for your big day. While there are various registries to choose from, something that shouldn't be compromised is an excellent experience for your guests. In the age of smartphones and online shopping, peoples attention span is low, and expectations are high.
Our data shows there's an 85% chance that a guest will be making their contribution using their mobile device, which is slowly increasing every month. The experience for your online honeymoon fund should be as straightforward and intuitive as the other websites they use.
Your registry is an extension of you and your wedding. Presenting a beautiful honeymoon registry will set the tone for the rest of the events leading up to your big day. A smooth online checkout process will provide guests with a more enjoyable experience, leading to the willingness to contribute more money towards gifts. It's the same experience you would expect from any quality online store or boutique.
Things like; having the ability to pay with a credit card, ease of use on a mobile device, and creating gifts that are well thought out, descriptive, and personal.
If you want your honeymoon registry to be as beautiful as websites such as; Squarespace, or Airbnb, and to have a checkout experience as seamless and Amazon, explore a sample registry from Hitchd - and see why it's the best honeymoon registry option for 2019.
8. Your honeymoon fund link is on your invitation
Another big etiquette no-no is to include your honeymoon fund website link directly on your mailed wedding invitation. When a guest peels open the envelope and become filled with excitement, you don't want to ruin the moment by making it feel like you're already asking something pursuing them for gifts.
It's only natural to want your guests to flood to your registry and feel impressed by the fun and activities you've got planned for your honeymoon. However, it's poor ettiquette if guests feel forced to make a decision straight away.
A simple alternative is to place a link to your honeymoon registry direcly on your wedding website. Most wedding websites will contain a page called 'Registry', which is a great place to write a paragraph or two about your honeymoon and place the link. You don't want to be too discreet since this is most likely one of the main reason your guests are visiting your wedding website. The trick is to do it tastefully, so it doesn't feel forced.
9. Your guests get stung by feesomes to payments, we all want the best bang for our buck. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for." When dealing with money, especially receiving money from loved ones, the last thing you want to provide is an unsafe, or unreliable, website. Not only that, you don't want your guests to have a clunky experience that's marred by hidden fees or charges.
Many registries who claim to have the lowest pricing often have hidden fees or forced upgrades. If you don't want your guests being upsold, or deceived, it's best to stick with one of the more reputable registries.
Chances are your guests are going to pay for your gift with a debit or credit card, which generally carries a small payment provider fee (which can't be avoided), plus a service fee from the registry itself. Some of the better registries (such as Hitchd) will even let you choose who handles the fee. From an etiquette point of view, you don't want to add more to the amount a guest is already contributing, and we recommend absorbing the full fee.
If absorbing the fee isn't the right fit for you, try splitting it equally with the guest. This compromise will add a small fee on top of the guests' contribution, and deduct a small amount from the total the couple will receive.
Looking for the #1 way to fund your honeymoon?
Hitchd is a new type of honeymoon registry that helps fund your adventure of a lifetime. Think of us as your very own wishing well, Kickstarter, and travel planner, all rolled into one beautiful experience.