No trip is more special to a newly married couple than the honeymoon. No matter where you go or what you do, you’ll always treasure that blissful trip. The stress of the wedding is over. You’ve just made this important commitment to each other. It’s time to relax and enjoy just being with each other.
But how do you pay for a honeymoon, especially if you’re trying to pay for a wedding at the same time?
If you’re in need of a solution, here’s how you can raise money for your honeymoon and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Raising money for a honeymoon: What not to do
Before we get into how to save and pay for your honeymoon, let’s first get what not to do as you navigate the wedding planning. You probably know that asking for money outright as a wedding gift will probably offend friends and family, but there are other workarounds that won’t get you very far either.
Here’s more on what not to do.
Create a small traditional wedding registry
The thinking goes that if you create a small wedding registry with a big-box store, then it will be picked over quickly, and the remaining wedding guests will just opt to give you cash instead. But that’s not always the case.
Some family and friends might decide to give you gift cards to the store instead. Or they might pick out something you don’t want at all.
Include your PayPal account on the wedding invitation
Because so may of your friends and family are used to sending money to each other via PayPal or Venmo, it probably seems reasonable to include your PayPal account on your wedding invitations so guests can just send you cash gifts directly.
But some of your wedding guests will see this option as just as rude as asking for money outright. The last thing you want to do is offend your guests, so it’s best to leave PayPal off your invitation.
Rely on your parents and bridal party to spread the word
You could ask your parents and the bridal party to spread the word to friends and family about your request for cash gifts, but this assumes that guests will be asking these people about wedding gifts. If they don’t, it won’t help very much.
Start a GoFundMe campaign
Some couples have started GoFundMe campaigns to raise money for the honeymoon, but platforms like GoFundMe tend to be used more commonly by people who need serious help, not by those trying to pay for a luxury honeymoon. It will seem insensitive to family and friends when they see your plea for cash gifts next to the family asking for help after their house burned down or flooded.
Why it’s so important to follow wedding gift etiquette
Wedding gift etiquette matters whether you’re giving the gift or receiving it. With any wedding, you never want to make friends and family feel that they need to purchase a gift in order to attend. Your wedding shouldn’t be about the gifts. It should always be about the beautiful beginning that you and your partner have set for yourselves. Everything else will follow.
Here’s why it’s vital to follow wedding gift etiquette.
Honors the guests
Your wedding is as much about your union as it is recognising the friends and family who brought you two together. You learned how to be a good partner by being a good friend, and your family instilled in you their values and life lessons. A wedding is the perfect opportunity to thank them for always being there for you.
The easiest way to do that is to make sure it’s understood that gifts are optional, but beyond that, you should also show hospitality in other ways, such as offering vegetarian options at dinner or choosing a venue that’s accessible for elderly guests and anyone in a wheelchair or with trouble walking. These little efforts add up to make guests feel seen and respected.
Keeps you centered on what really counts
In the end, you don’t need a DJ to have a wedding. You don’t need flowers, expensive shoes or a five-course meal. All you really need is each other and your loved ones to share in your joy.
Wedding planning can quickly overwhelm even the savviest of couples, and you can easily get hung up on the details and the gifts. But if you keep your relationship at the center of your decisions, then you won’t have to worry about making guests feel alienated or offended.
How to raise money for your honeymoon
Now that you understand why you cannot ask for money as a wedding gift, it’s time to look at how you can actually raise money for your honeymoon, even if you’re paying for your wedding simultaneously. It’s wholly possible to pay for both and still have a lovely event and a relaxing honeymoon.
Here’s how to raise money for your honeymoon.
Budget, budget, budget
When all is said and done, paying for a wedding and honeymoon really comes down to your budget, how much you earn and how much you spend.
With wedding planning, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. You start out with your big costs, like your venue and caterer, but then you find yourself with tons of little minor costs, such as $100 extra for table cloths or $10 extra per person for an additional appetizer to be served. Now those costs have ballooned, and the amount you thought you were paying is now way over the budget you set.
It’s not unusual for costs to run astray, so here’s how to keep a tight grip on those purse strings.
Identify a target budget
Your first step should always be to identify what your budget actually is for both your wedding and honeymoon. So get out a calculator and add up what you two can expect to earn by the time your big day arrives and what personal expenses, such as rent, you’ll have to factor in. Then look at your savings account and determine how much, if any, you’d like to contribute towards your wedding and honeymoon.
You should also be thinking about where you want to get married and how many guests you plan to invite, as these factors can dramatically affect your budget. Getting married in a big city will almost certainly be more expensive than one in the suburbs (though not always), and having a smaller guest list can cut costs.
As you plan for this, do some light research on the cost of venues and caterers in your area. This will give you an idea of what you might be spending so you can be realistic about your budget.
Once you and your partner have done the math and research, you should arrive at a number for both your wedding and honeymoon.
Choose your priorities
Now that you have a total budget, it’s time to choose which aspects of your eventyou want to prioritise. Maybe having a beautiful venue is important to you or a killer live band. Whatever those priorities may be, allocate the majority of your budget to those costs.
With your other costs, look for ways to cut down expenses. If decor matters less, consider DIY-ing your own centerpieces or scavenging clearance sales for materials. If a dress matters less to you, consider thrifting or choosing a non-traditional gown that can be worn again.
Consider a long engagement
Some couples choose to have a long engagement because they’re too busy to plan their wedding and honeymoon. For others, it’s a matter of money. They need time to raise the funds, so it’s better to take their time and earn the money over time.
A long engagement can give you the time you need to meet your budget goals. Your wedding day may feel like a long way off, but it’ll be worth it when it all looks just as you want and you have the funds to take your dream honeymoon.
Aim for the big picture over small details
Every wedding has a few compromises. As you’re planning, keep the big picture in mind: You’re celebrating the start of your life together with your partner. That’s what matters. That’s what’s important.
No one will remember even the next day how your centerpieces looked or whether you had a live band or DJ. They’ll remember that tear-jerking moment when you said “I do” and all the fun they had on the dance floor.
Create a honeymoon fund
Budgeting for your wedding and honeymoon can only get you so far. And even if you’re as modest as possible with your wedding, you might still struggle to pay for plane tickets and other honeymoon-related costs. But you don’t need to give up. Instead, you can create a honeymoon fund.
A honeymoon fund works just like a traditional wedding registry that you’d see at a big-box store, but instead of listing blenders, sheets and towels on your wedding registry, you’d ask for spa packages, adventure tours and romantic dinners. Now guests can pay for you two to have a relaxing massage on your honeymoon or take a tour of the Palace of Versailles or the Empire State Building.
Once the guest chooses a gift and pays for it, the money will eventually get to you so you and your partner can handle the booking. If you’re using Hitchd to build your perfect honeymoon fund, then your gift money will be sent straight to you after the gift has been purchase, no waiting around or limitations on withdrawals.
How a honeymoon fund helps you raise money
Having a honeymoon fund means that gift money will slowly trickle in as you’re planning your honeymoon.
Most couples on Hitchd post their honeymoon registry about six months before the big day. Our data has found that most contributions come in around the time of the wedding shower and the wedding itself. As the money comes in, you’ll be able to book plane tickets, accommodations and activities and use the gift money to pay for it all.
Now as your booking, your money will be routinely replenished as more gifts come in on your honeymoon fund so you won’t have to worry about overspending on your credit card or paying for a plane ticket you really can’t afford.
Easy steps to create a honeymoon registry
Creating a honeymoon registry through Hitchd just takes four easy steps. We recommend doing it together with your partner so the two of you can start planning your honeymoon. Once you’ve added all your gifts, you’ll have a really good idea about which flight you’ll take and which hotel you’ll be staying in for the duration of your trip.
Step 1: cReate an account
All you need is your name, your partner’s name, email address and a password. Then you’re free to get started.
Step 2: Write an introduction
Your introduction should identify the two of you as the happy couple and provide a date, time and location of the wedding. It should also welcome guests and thank them for coming to your wedding. Remind them that gifts are optional, but very much appreciated.
Step 3: Add gifts
Our data has found that a honeymoon fund with six or more gifts will get a higher amount per contribution than one with fewer gifts. Your gifts can include:
- Plane tickets to your destination
- Hotel accommodations
- Spa packages
- Dinners and other meals
- Adventure tours
- Car, bike or other rentals
- Taxi or public transit passes
With Hitchd, you can also create a cash fund for your honeymoon registry, which allows anyone to contribute any amount they’d like. It’s similar to an online money pool, and you can use the money to cover any honeymoon expense.
Step 4: Finalse and launch the site
Once your site is set, simply pay the one-time fee with Hitchd, choose the payment methods you’d like and launch the site. Now anyone can contribute to your honeymoon fund.
Best tips for a killer honeymoon fund
The most successful honeymoon funds through Hitchd have plenty of personality and heart. Here’s how to make your stand out to your guests.
Personalise the text
With each gift you add, share why this particular experience will be meaningful or fun for you and your partner. When guests know how excited you are for this particular experience, they’ll feel good about giving it to you.
Add multiple payment options
Hitchd allows for more than just credit card payments. You can also allow guests to pay with debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, cheque and even bitcoins. Some of these payment options have associated fees (credit cards usually charge a small amount, for example), so giving guests options allows them to dodge some of these fees if they so chose.
Send email thank-yous
You know you’ll need to send thank-yous after your wedding, but with Hitchd, you can send thank-you emails right away. This lets guests know you’re grateful right away, and you can tell them more about the experience they gifted you when you mail them a physical thank-you card after your wedding.
Raising money for your honeymoon while also budgeting for your honeymoon is no easy task. But with a honeymoon fund to show off, guests will feel excited to send you off on your dream vacation, and you and your partner can enjoy this special time together.
Ready to sign up with Hitchd? Get started here.