When I got was planning my wedding back in 2013-2014, I already knew we weren’t going to have a traditional celebration. We were planning everything from two continents away (planning a Hawaii destination wedding from England) and we didn’t have a huge budget. Then for the post-wedding plans, we decided to take a really non-traditional approach. After the wedding, we had no plans to buy a home or settle down. Instead, we had a crazy idea: What if we go on a honeymoon to Thailand and then just…not come back for a while?
And that’s exactly what we did!
Three days after our wedding we hopped on a one-way flight across the world and ended up living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 10 months while I taught English at an elementary school and David worked online as a writer. All that being said, we did NOT want to do a normal wedding registry. As much as I wanted that heirloom silverware or a fancy blender, we were trying to get rid of our stuff not stockpile more! That’s when we discovered our saving grace: honeymoon registries.
There are a bunch of different honeymoon registry companies, and we ultimately went with Wanderable because they had the cheapest fees. It’s free to sign up and then when you receive gifts, they currently have a 2.5% service fee which you can choose to have your guests pay on top of the gift cost or have it deducted from the total gift amount. As far as I know, Wanderable is still the cheapest option out there.
At first, I was nervous that people would be offended that we were technically asking for cash or that they’d even decide to ignore the honeymoon registry and buy us physical gifts instead. But that did not happen! We got zero grief, even from the older crowd who I thought would be most resistant to this new fangled travel registry nonsense. Everyone (as far as I know) was so cool about it, and we ended up getting some incredible gifts!
Should you do a honeymoon registry?
Yes! It’s such a unique way for guests to be involved in your wedding and your life as newlyweds. They’ll be giving you experiences instead of things, and if you’re a nomadic soul like me, that’s priceless.
Here’s how it works on Wanderable’s site:
- Sign up for a free account and create a personalized list of activities or items you’d like to experience on your honeymoon. For us, that was things like a couple’s coconut oil massage and a honeymooner’s dinner on the beach. For you, it could be a guided tour of Paris or surfing lessons in Australia. Feel free to check out our actual honeymoon registry here for some ideas.
- Name a price for each item (e.g. 2 gifts of $75 each for a Thai cooking class) and write a short description or catchy title to tell your guests about each registry item.
- Add your bank account information so that you can get the gifts deposited directly into your bank account.
- Share the link on your wedding website and invitations. Guests can easily browse your registry and when they see something they’d like to buy, they “purchase” that item by sending you money directly with a credit card, check, cash (brought to the wedding reception), or PayPal. Even though you could technically use the cash for anything, we tried to stay true to our registry and do the activities that people really purchased for us.
- Rock out on your honeymoon and have once in a lifetime experiences, all thanks to your guests’ generosity!
- Once it’s all said and done, you’ll have the most incredible thank you note material because you’ll be able to tell your friends and family how their specific gifts — the experiences that they gave you — made your honeymoon special.
Who Should Do a Honeymoon Registry?
- Couples planning a destination wedding and don’t want physical gifts weighing their bags down on the trip home.
- Couples who won’t be starting married life with a traditional white picket fence and just don’t need new things.
- Couples who wouldn’t be able to afford a honeymoon otherwise.
Really, I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t do a honeymoon registry! You’ll always treasure those first experiences as newlyweds. Treasuring a waffle iron? Maybe not so much.