As you and your partner plan your wedding, you're probably finding that there's so much to know about putting a wedding together that you never realised. If you've never done it before or previously had a small wedding, then you might be learning a lot about catering, local venues and all the little details that make your big day so special.
At the same time, you might be wondering more about using a honeymoon fund instead of a traditional wedding registry. If you've had friends get married in the past, then you probably contributed to their funds. Now that it's your turn, you'd like to learn more about how this service can help you plan a lovely honeymoon.
The more you know about how honeymoon funds work, the better prepared you'll be to choose the right honeymoon fund service that checks every box. Here's how honeymoon funds work and what every couple needs to know before choosing a service.
What is a honeymoon fund?
Let's start with the basics: What exactly is a honeymoon fund?
A honeymoon fund functions like a traditional wedding registry, but instead of asking for home goods, you ask guests to contribute to your honeymoon. It's a relatively new service that's grown in popularity as more couples pay for their own weddings and find themselves struggling to afford a honeymoon at the same time.
Unlike traditional wedding registries, which are confined to the products the store carries, a honeymoon fund can have virtually anything added to the registry. At Hitchd, some of our most popular gifts include:
- Spa packages
- Tours and sightseeing
- Adventure excursions such as snorkeling and kayaking
- A round of drinks.
Guests looking on your honeymoon fund can choose one or more of these gifts to give, but instead of booking the spa appointment or sightseeing tour, they simply send you the money, which you can then use to do the booking yourself.
How do honeymoon funds work?
Most honeymoon funds work in similar ways, though there are some key differences. For the most part, there are three easy steps to using a honeymoon fund.
- Step 1: Sign up with a service using your name and email address. Some services insist you add your credit card information right away, but Hitchd provides a different way of doing things.
- Step 2: Design your honeymoon fund registry. This is the fun part that allows you to add whatever gifts you'd like. Through Hitchd, you can use introduction and gift templates to help you write a nice introduction to your honeymoon fund and add gifts.
- Step 3: Choose a plan and set up payment. All honeymoon funds are a little different here, but some will charge a one-time fee for services while others will charge a fee per transaction
- Step 4: Share the site on wedding invitations, save-the-dates, social media and any other place you like.
- Step 5: Access your funds as guests begin contributing to your honeymoon fund. With Hitchd, you have access to your account right away, but some services hold your funds until after the big day and charge a fee if you try to get them sooner.
For guests, the process they need to follow to use it is simple:
- Step 1: Guests choose which gift or gifts they'd like to give.
- Step 2: Guests enter in their credit card or other payment information in order to complete the transaction. At Hitchd, guests can contribute either a portion of the gift amount or the max amount, which is great for big-ticket items such as accommodations or airfare.
- Step 3: The couple is notified about the gift. Depending on the honeymoon fund service, there are some additional actions the couple can take. Hitchd users can send a thank-you email right away or access the funds to book the hotel or tour. Some services, however, will not let you access your funds until after your wedding without paying a fee.
As you can see, honeymoon funds operate much like a traditional wedding registry, but they give couples more control over what they ask for as gifts. With Hitchd, couples can ask for a mix of experience and physical gifts, and they can even set up cash funds to raise money for specific causes, such as a down payment on a house or a nursery for couples who are ready to start a family.
How do payments and fees work with honeymoon funds?
The biggest difference between a traditional wedding registry and a honeymoon fund is that registries are often free to use because the store makes money when gifts are purchased. With honeymoon funds, that gift money goes to the couple, so all honeymoon funds need to charge some kind of fee in order to make a profit.
Fee structures vary depending on the platform used, but most platforms use one of these two methods:
- Per-transaction fee
- One-time fee
A per-transaction fee occurs every time a guest purchases a gift. Some services charge the fee to the guests, while others take the fee out of the gift funds so the couple actually pays it. The amount of the fee varies depending on the service, but most services charge between 3% and 7% per transaction.
A one-time fee is exactly as it sounds — the couple pays it before launching the honeymoon fund site. Guests won't be charged an additional fee when they give a gift, and you won't have to pay a fee to access your funds. Hitchd uses a one-time fee structure and helps couples set up their accounts through Stripe. They then connect their Stripe account to their bank accounts so they can use their gift money right away.
Some honeymoon funds charge other fees. Almost all services will charge a credit card fee, but it's usually nominal (at Hitchd, that money goes straight to the credit card company and we don't make a profit from it). Other services will charge you if you try to take out your funds before the big day, which can be a major problem when it comes to balancing wedding expenses.
Don't be fooled by honeymoon fund services that claim to be free. Some sites won't charge you for their basic plan — but as they say, you get what you pay for. These services often flood their free sites with ads, making it difficult for guests to see what's actually on your list. For an ad-free site, you have to pay for the upgrade.
The honeymoon fund service should make it abundantly clear from the start what you will be paying and when you will be paying it. Before signing on, make sure you read the fine print.
When you know how honeymoon funds work, you'll be in a better position to chose the service that fits your needs. With Hitchd, you'll have access to thousands of free stock photos, templates and design suggestions that will help make your registry look beautiful and unique. All contributions go straight to your Stripe account, which you can access at any time.
Looking for the #1 way to fund your honeymoon? Hitchd.com has you covered.
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.