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Everything to know about honeymoon registry fees

Ollie Rozdarz, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Ollie Hitchd
Apr 1, 202110 min read

If you're newly engaged and thinking about starting a honeymoon registry for you and your partner, your first question, when looking at all the different honeymoon registry sites, is what's the difference? Most honeymoon registry sites, like Honeyfund and Hitchd, offer similar services, which help you create the perfect honeymoon registry to go along with your special day.

So what's the catch?

The truth is that between these sites, the biggest difference is the fee structure, that is when you need to pay the site for letting you use its functions and features.

In general, you have fee-per-transaction honeymoon registry sites and you have one-time-fee honeymoon registry sites. In recent years, some couples have been using PayPal, which does not have any fees at all.

All of these sites function just a little bit differently, and they will have different fee structures that will kick in depending on your needs and actions. Some charge you if you withdraw your funds before your wedding, and others charge just one fee upfront before you launch your site.

Anyone thinking about creating a honeymoon fund needs to read through and assess these fees before choosing a platform. If you're trying to reduce your honeymoon registry fees and keep your costs down, then you need to think about your guest list and how many gifts you expect to receive, among other factors, before settling on one service.

You don't want to start a honeymoon registry only to find out that you're paying way too much in fees along the way. Those fees can eat into your honeymoon registry budget. Here's what you need to know about honeymoon registry fees and what you can do to reduce them and still go on the honeymoon of your dreams.

How honeymoon registry fees work

Honeymoon registry sites are businesses, just like retail stores and service-based businesses such as house cleaning or lawn care. In this case, these sites provide couples with a platform to host their honeymoon registry and provide them with a number of tools to build one that looks good and serves the couple's needs.

For those services, honeymoon registry sites need to collect fees and payments in one form or another. Most honeymoon registry sites either collect a fee for every transaction or one fee upfront.

Without these fees, couples would have to host their own honeymoon registry sites and design web pages themselves. Unless you have great coding skills or a lot of time to learn to code well, this would likely take you a long time, and since most couples don't have that kind of time, it's far easier to pay for a honeymoon registry site to host and provide you with a few great-looking templates to build your ideal honeymoon registry.

If you're looking to reduce your honeymoon registry fees, then you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • How many people am I inviting to the wedding?
    Of those people, how many are part of a couple? Having 100 guests might seem like a lot of gifts, but most couples give just one gift, so you don't need 100 gifts on your honeymoon registry.
  • Are there acquaintances or coworkers that might give a gift?
    It's more common these days for acquaintances such as intramural sports team friends and coworkers to go in on a gift for a friend. You might not be especially close, but since a wedding is such a special occasion, many people like to chip in and get their friend something nice.
  • How many gifts will I have on my registry?
    At Hitchd, our research has found that registries with six or more gifts receive a higher average contribution than those with fewer than six gifts
  • Do I care so much about how the site looks so long as it works?
    Almost all honeymoon registry sites allow for some customization, but some do run ads on their pages, which means your guests will have to scroll through a wall of ads to get to your page. You can get those ads taken off your registry — but it'll cost you.
  • When do I need to access this money?
    Some honeymoon registry sites charge fees to allow couples to access their funds before the wedding — which is usually when you need it most. If you can wait, then this might be less of a concern.
  • Will guests be charging gifts using a credit card?
    It's pretty common for most wedding guests to charge gifts to their credit cards, especially for an online service. Some honeymoon registries charge couples a fee for guests using credit cards.
  • Do you want cash or a direct deposit?
    Some honeymoon registry sites won't charge you any fees if you set up a cash transaction using the site's preferred partner.
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Before you sign up with any honeymoon registry, sit down with your partner and talk through this list. It will give you a better idea of which site will fit your needs best so you don't end up paying a ton of fees for services you're not using.

Honeyfund: Fees per transaction

Honeyfund is one of many honeymoon registry sites that operates on a fee-per-transaction basis. Others include Zola, TheKnot, Wanderable, and Blue Registry, but for now, we'll just talk about Honeyfund.

At the time of this writing, this honeymoon registry site charges a 2.4% transaction fee on any credit card purchase made through its site along with an additional 30 cent fee. That means for a $500 gift, you'd pay $12.30 in fees, which is usually taken out of the gift total. Cash obviously isn't a great option with Honeyfund, and while guests could use a debit card, that would mean exposing their card number online, which has a direct link to a bank account rather than just a line of credit.

Fees will differ depending on the honeymoon registry site. Most charge between 2.4% and 2.9%, though there are some that charge as much as 5%. Some sites, like Honeyfund, have an additional cash fee, which is usually about 30 cents per transaction.

Honeyfund does not charge users when they withdraw their money, but some fee-per-transaction sites do. Be aware of this and make sure you read the fine print.

Pros of fee-pre-transaction honeymoon registries

The nice thing about Honeyfund is that the 2.4% fee is relatively low, compared to other sites. For a $100 gift contribution, you'd pay $2.40 in transaction fees pls the 30-cent cash fee. All things considered, that's not a huge fee.

Fee-per-transaction honeymoon registries can be great for couples that are having very small weddings and don't expect a lot of contributions, at least a lot of big contributions. This will keep fees down, so you take home more of the gift money that you're given.

Honeyfund and other fee-per-transaction sites also offer a range of tools to build your honeymoon registry, so you can ask for experiences and well as home goods. Honeyfund also has an RSVP function, which allows guests to RSVP to your wedding online rather than sending in a card. You can also email your invitations to guests, though this should not be used as a substitute for a paper invitation.

Cons of fee-pre-transaction honeymoon registries

The problem with Honeyfund and other fee-per-transaction honeymoon registries are that those fees can add up quickly. Before you know it, you've paid a massive amount in fees that's eaten into your budget for your honeymoon.

We already established that a Honeyfund fee would be $2.70 total on a $100 gift. That might not sound so bad, but what if you're expecting about 60 guests? That's about 30 gifts and 30 transactions of about $100. Now you've paid $81 in fees. A 60-person wedding is fairly small. If you're planning 100 people, which is also pretty modest, with 50 gifts, that's $135 in fees. And that's assuming every person coming to your wedding is part of a couple and no coworkers or acquaintances want to give a gift.

Honeyfund will also place ads on your registry and charge you to take them off. Couples will also be pushed to sign up with WePay and may have to upgrade their accounts to use PayPal. The site also charges fees for withdrawing funds to international accounts.

Hitchd: One-time fees

Hitchd runs on what we call a one-time fee, which is just like it sounds. The couple pays a one-time fee when they create their site, and then they never have to worry about fees again.

At Hitchd, we charge $66 for our micro plan, which allows for up to 30 transactions, and $199 for our unlimited plan, which does not have a limit on the number of transactions that can be processed.

Pros of one-time-fee honeymoon registries

One-time fee honeymoon registries can be big savers for couples planning large weddings. As we've shown in the previous example, couples with just 100 guests incur about $133 in transaction fees, which is technically lower than that $199 one-time fee, but it doesn't account for any single friends or family members that might give a gift or people not invited to the wedding who would like to contribute.

With Hitchd's one-time fee, there's no withdrawal fee or added fee for credit card transactions, so you won't have to worry about when you can access your money or which service you need to use in order to do so.

What most couples appreciate about a one-time fee is that there are no surprises for your budget. As you're paying for your honeymoon and possibly even your wedding, you don't want to be blindsided by fees that will reduce your gift money and might leave you in a lurch when it comes time to pay your credit card bill. With a one-time fee, you know exactly how much you're paying and when.

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Cons of one-time-fee honeymoon registries

Because Hitchd doesn't partner with any vendor like Bed, Bath and Beyond, you cannot integrate your physical wedding registry into your honeymoon registry as you might do with Honeyfund. You can still create goods as gifts on Hitchd (when adding a gift, we give users a choice between experience, cash fund, or goods gift) and label it “new coffee maker” or “luggage,” but anyone buying that goodwill instead gives you the money to buy it yourself. That means you can shop around and maybe get a better deal.

Some couples also fear they won't receive as many gifts to make that one-time fee worth it over individual transaction fees, but with Hitchd, you get a lot more for your fee. Your honeymoon registry will be ad-free, and you won't be forced to use a service like WePay.

PayPal: No fees

In an effort to escape honeymoon registry site fees altogether, some couples are turning to PayPal and directing friends and family members to send any cash gifts to their accounts. Instead of listing a registry on their invitations, they're including just their PayPal accounts.

PayPal, of course, is not actually a honeymoon registry site, and neither is Venmo, Zelle, or any other money transaction service. But that hasn't stopped couples from using their services.

Pros of no-fee honeymoon registries

Of course, no-fee honeymoon registries offer a major benefit of just that: no fees for the couple. Anytime someone sends you money, you don't have to pay any sort of fee. When you're ready, you can simply withdraw the amount and send it to your bank account, which means you can easily pay off credit cards and send the money anywhere else you need it.

PayPal and other transaction sites have become more popular as couples focus on the one gift that they need above all: cash. So many couples are living together before getting married, and they've already purchased their stand mixers and down comforters. Now they want to put a downpayment on a home, and what they need, plain and simple, is cash.

Listing a PayPal account and not setting up a physical or honeymoon registry elsewhere sends a clear message to guests about what it is you want.

Cons of no-fee honeymoon registries

It's often said that you get what you pay for, and that's certainly the case with a PayPal honeymoon registry. Because the site is not actually built to be a honeymoon registry, you cannot actually build one. All you can do is direct friends and family members to send any monetary gifts to your account.

While wedding etiquette has certainly changed over the years, much of it has not, and politeness never goes out of style. Directly asking for money and no other wedding gift is tacky. Wedding guests want to feel like they have options when giving gifts and that they're thanked no matter what they give. Some guests feel strongly against giving cash because they want the couple to think of them when they use a physical gift, such as a toaster or a vacuum.

Using only PayPal and no other registry also does not tell guests what you'll be using the funds for. Your wedding guests want to help pay for home goods or a honeymoon, but if you're just asking for cash without stating what you're going to do with it, guests might think they're paying for your takeout or a new video game. That's just not the point of a wedding, and it makes guests feel like you're taking advantage of them.

Because PayPal is not a wedding or honeymoon registry, you don't get any of the helpful tools to build a registry and personalize it. That means you cannot ask guests to contribute so you can hike up a volcano on your honeymoon or spend an afternoon on the ski slopes. All of that personalization disappears with a PayPal account, and that's what really encourages guests, some of who might not even like giving a gift, to contribute to a honeymoon registry.

Wedding guests want to feel appreciated for whatever gift they give, and they want the option to choose what they give. Asking for money is bound to upset some guests, and they might spread the word to your parents and other family members. You don't want to start a family feud, so instead, forget the no-fee option and make all of your guests feel welcome.

Whether you're paying for all of your wedding and honeymoon or not, there's no doubt that you're keeping a careful eye on your budget. The last thing you want to do is overcalculate just how much money you've received from your honeymoon registry, so before you choose one, sit down with your partner and talk through the pros and cons of each type of honeymoon registry.

Think you're ready to start saving for your honeymoon through Hitchd? Get started here and learn more about our one-time fees.

Create your dream registry with some of the lowest fees online! Get started

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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.