Hey! Hey! Check out the previous eleven wedding planning posts here. We wouldn’t want you to be left out…
Last week I talked about how to save money when it comes to your wedding music. This week I want to take a little field trip (minus the sticky-fingered children and juice boxes), and talk about your wedding registry and honeymoon. The reason I group these together will become apparent in just a moment…
I know most people don’t factor these two things into wedding planning, after all they have virtually nothing to do with the actual ceremony and reception. However, we were able to put a sort of money saving spin on these things, so I felt it worthy of note… especially since this whole series is about having a fabulous wedding — for less!
When it came time to do our registries, Josh and I realized that we just didn’t need a whole lot of stuff. Because we both lived in on-campus apartments while at school, not to mention my brief stint living on my own in Amish Pennsylvania (only half kidding here), we already had a lot of the essentials: kitchenware, towels, furniture, et al. Of course, we registered for a few fun things that we probably wouldn’t buy for ourselves (at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond), but otherwise we were pretty much set.
When we had some friends and family point out that our registry was looking a little barren, we decided to go with registry alternatives. Combining this and the fact that we needed cash for our honeymoon, we decided to explore travel registries.
In case you’re not familiar with these, I’ll explain: you sign up for a free account (in our case, we used TravelersJoy.com). From there, you create a profile, explaining what your honeymoon plans are. Then you can make an itinerary and itemize your activities into a list so that people may pay for a specific activity that you’ve planned.
For example, we went to New Orleans for a week, so we listed some of the restaurants that we planned on going to and some of the things we wanted to see and do, including carriage rides, jazz clubs, and even a few museums, and then estimated (or just listed) the cost of each. From this list, our friends and family could pick whatever that they wanted to give us (“admission for two to Haunted New Orleans Ghost Tours” or “a one night’s stay in a French Quarter inn” or whatever), and we would receive an e-mail with a notification of our gift. From here, we could deposit the monetary gift into our bank account and apply it to this activity.
(cue gratuitous insertion of honeymoon pics)
So yeah, basically you’re asking for cash… and I can see why some critics view this as “tacky.” I get it. We had some family and friends who weren’t set on the idea at first, but once they actually visited the website and saw it for themselves, I think their qualms dissolved. Especially since we took the time to explain the meaning of each item and link it up to its respective website, giving our friends and family a clearer idea of what we were going to be doing.
In fact, we even had some folks say that they loved being able to pick a specific activity because it had a personal significance for them or it was something that they had always wanted to do (never underestimate the value of vicarious living). And I am being 100% honest when I say that we applied all of this money to the honeymoon (and then some, cause NOLA is expensive, y’all!).
Now, there is a catch: TraverlersJoy.com (and all of the other honeymoon registries) take a small cut of your monetary gift (for us, it was 7.5%). But we went with it anyway, because we thought it sure beats the hell out of asking for cash (undeniably tacky).
Ok, so why did we go with TravelersJoy over some of the other honeymoon registries? (Because you know I didn’t just go with the first thing I saw in the Google search results, God forbid). After comparing registries, we really fancied the low percentage that TraverlersJoy took. Not to mention, their website was super straightforward and easily navigable, a major concern for us, since some of the folks that would be giving us gifts were… oh, let’s call them… technologically challenged. TravelersJoy had an easy-to-use site, and they seemed to have the biggest pros list at the end of our research, so we picked them.
That was over four years ago; now there are even more options in the honeymoon registry department. Here are just a few that I found to help you get you started:
So if you’re planning on going this route, read the fine print. Compare the cut they take (it’s gonna be something — they can’t do it for free). I would even Google search the company, see if it’s Better Business Bureau-approved, all of that stuff… Anything to give you peace of mind that it is a legit business that’s not going to swindle you or your friends and family.
Your turn: Anyone else there use any unconventional registry options? Any honeymoon or travel registries to recommend? Or are you still shaking your head at the “tacky-ness” of it all? :)