You've probably heard of a honeymoon registry before — maybe you've even contributed to one in the past — but if you've never built one before, then you should know that not all platforms offer the same services or charge the same for those services.
Before you sign up with any platform, read our comprehensive guide to picking the perfect honeymoon registry and find out everything you need to know about how to build your own honeymoon registry and what you can expect from the different platforms.
If you're immersed in your wedding to-do list and want to skip directly to our recommended option, view the best honeymoon registry.
What is a honeymoon registry?
A honeymoon registry functions much like a traditional wedding registry, except that all of the gifts on a honeymoon registry help fund the dream vacation. Rather than giving physical gifts, such as toasters and sheets, wedding guests can pay to send the happy couple to a spa or on a walking tour of the city they plan to visit.
In a way, honeymoon registries are sort of like crowdfunding. All of your guests are helping you and your partner pay for your dream honeymoon and give experiences as gifts.
Over the last few years, honeymoon registries have become especially popular among modern couples and eco-minded couples. Modern couples who are already living together often don't need new items for the home. They graduated from school several years ago and feel more established in their finances, so they've already purchased nicer towels, kitchen appliances, and home decor. Instead, they'd rather go somewhere far or unique for their honeymoon and would appreciate help with paying for their trip.
Eco-minded couples prefer honeymoon registries because there is far less waste generated from a honeymoon registry versus a more traditional wedding registry with a store such as Target or Amazon. Between the shipping and packaging, wedding registries generate a lot of waste. Many items that are of better quality are also more expensive, and guests don't always have a large budget for wedding gifts. So couples end up packing their wedding registries with more affordable and poorer quality items, which often break after only a few years of use and need to be replaced. Honeymoon registries require zero shipping or packaging, making them a favorite of the eco-minded couple.
Even wedding guests love honeymoon registries. Not only are they a fun alternative to gift-giving, but with Hitchd especially, guests do not need to create an account themselves in order to give a gift nor do they need to connect their bank account to the platform. They can pay for their gift with a credit card of their choosing.
How do honeymoon registries work?
All honeymoon registries, like Hitchd, work a little differently and have different features, but in general, building one on any honeymoon registry site works similar to Hitchd's platform.
Step 1: Create an account
Just like you would on any other site, you will need to create an account using your email and a password of your own creation. A Hitchd account is free to try so you can test it out before deciding if it's right for you.
Once you decide to commit, you will also need to choose which type of account you'd like. At Hitchd, we charge a one-time fee when you create your account (more on this later), but you don't have to stick with your account type if you change your mind later. You can always upgrade your account later.
With Hitchd, you will also need to connect your bank account to the site. This is how the money you receive will be transferred to you. At Hitchd, we do not have any transaction fees for withdrawals, which means you can access your money right when you need it. Others won't allow you to withdraw funds unless you reach a certain amount, and others will charge you for accessing your funds before the big day.
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Step 2: Write your introduction and add your gifts
You and your partner have full control over what your introduction says and which gifts you add to your honeymoon registry. The introduction should:
- Thank everyone for visiting your honeymoon registry
- Explain where you're going and why
- Assure guests that gifts aren't necessary but welcome.
You can write your own intro, but Hitchd will supply you with templates if you need them.
Once the introduction is written, you and your partner can add as many gifts as you like. At Hitchd, we've found that the average contribution size comes to $130 for registries with six or more gifts compared to $93 with less than six gifts. You can certainly have more than six gifts, but try not to have just four or five.
Hitchd also provides gift templates, so if you don't want to write anything too specific, then you can choose from one of our templates and add a few details of your own.
Step 3: Launch the site
When you're ready, launch the site and share it with friends and family. At Hitchd, we always recommend that couples add the link to their honeymoon fund on their invitations, save-the-date cards, and your wedding website. That way, guests will always know where to look for gifts when the big day approaches, and parents and bridal party members can easily share the link when asked for more information.
What other features do honeymoon registries offer?
Of course, couples turn to honeymoon registries to fund their ideal vacations, but some honeymoon fund platforms like Hitchd offer other services. Like other couples, you and your partner likely have diverse needs. With a honeymoon registry site, you can build exactly what you need and make it easy for wedding guests to give the gifts you want.
Here are a few other services that some honeymoon registries offer.
Honeymoon registry sites can also help couples raise money for other causes other than their honeymoon. Some couples want to raise money for a downpayment on a house while others plan to start a family right away, so they want to start saving for a nursery and baby clothes. A cash fund is an open-ended fund that anyone can contribute any amount of money to at their leisure.
When using a Hitchd registry, couples can select “cash fund” during Step 2 of the honeymoon registry building process described above. In the description, you can write out exactly how the fund will be spent and what guests can expect from you in the near future.
It may seem weird to list physical gifts, such as nice coffee makers or small furniture, on a honeymoon registry, but many couples list a few physical items for those guests who prefer to give a physical gift, instead of just cash.
When using Hitchd, you can choose “item” from the types of gifts and then create a description for the item. Be sure to describe why you want this gift and what it means to you. If you want to include a link to your preferred store, go ahead and do it.
Unlike a traditional registry, guests won't actually purchase the gift and send it to you. Instead, they'll send you the money, and you can make the purchase on your own. This allows you to look for better deals or use your own credit card points and benefits to bring down the cost.
Traditional registry integration
Some honeymoon registry sites will connect to your existing wedding registry through a store. If you're planning a hybrid approach — a smaller wedding registry through a store coupled with a honeymoon registry — then this might be helpful to you. Having your registry information all in one place can make for a good user experience, and it will keep everything in one place.
Not every platform, including Hitchd, offers this, but because so many users really want to save for a honeymoon rather than home goods, then this feature may not be necessary for you and your partner.
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What should I look for when choosing a honeymoon registry?
Now that you understand how honeymoon registries work and what features you can expect on the different platforms, it's time to look at three specific factors you need to address before choosing a honeymoon registry. Each platform functions a little differently.
Here are the factors you need to know more about before making a decision.
Each honeymoon registry platform has some type of fee structure. This is how they make money and pay for hosting. As with anything in life, never assume that the cheapest-looking option is the best.
Most platforms have one of three types of fee structures:
- One-time fees
- No fees
A fee-per-transaction structure will charge either your guest when they contribute to a gift or you when you pull funds from your account. The fees usually vary between 2.4% and 8%, plus a small credit card fee (usually about 30 cents). There may be other costs, such as a fee for taking ads off your website or for accessing your money before your wedding day.
One-time transaction fees, the structure that Hitchd uses, charges you and your partner just once when you create your account. None of your guests will pay a fee, and you won't be charged for withdrawing any money. When you're trying hard to budget, paying a one-time fee ensures that transaction fees won't be eating into the gift contributions you receive.
Although not really honeymoon registry sites, PayPal has become a popular option for couples because it does not cost anything to use. However, PayPal cannot create a website for you, and guests not on PayPal already will have to hand over their bank account number to give you a gift — something not everyone will feel comfortable doing. In general, supplying wedding guests with your PayPal account is pretty tacky and not recommended.
Ease of use
There's nothing worse than dealing with a clunky website that is confusing to navigate and looks as if it were designed in 2002. Guests coming to your honeymoon registry should be able to quickly verify that they have the correct site and then click between gifts to decide which one they'd like to fund.
Before you choose a platform, check out some of the registries on the site and see how easy it is to find a couple, choose a gift and check out. You don't need to buy the gift, of course, but if you have a hard time going through the site, then imagine how your relatives — especially those who are less than tech-savvy — will feel trying to contribute.
You should also be looking at how easy it will be to design one of the honeymoon registry sites on your own. A good site should walk you through each step. A site with too many extra pages can be confusing for guests and time-consuming for you.
It's not enough to have a honeymoon registry that is easy to navigate — it also has to look good. Some honeymoon registries allow ads, which can make them look cluttered, while others do not offer any stock photography or color customizations. With these sites, all of the registries look the same and offer no personalization.
A good honeymoon registry platform will have a tasteful design that fits any couple's style and allow couples to use stock photography as well as their own uploaded photos. You and your partner can pick and choose which photos best represent who you are as a couple and design the perfect site that captures your uniqueness.
When you know what to look for when picking the perfect honeymoon registry, it's much easier to make a choice based on your needs. For many couples, Hitchd offers a great platform that is user-friendly and never springs up unexpected fees on its couples. Our site gives couples to design the exact registry that fits their needs and makes it easy to withdraw your funds right when you need them.
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