On Honeymoon Registries

If you’re just morally opposed to honeymoon registries, then you might as well stop reading right now.  Because I used one, loved it, and now that it’s all said and done, I’ve got a few tips for future couples hoping to make the most of a honeymoon registry.

Like a lot of other couples, Mr. Whale and I moved in together more than a year before the wedding.  This means that we already have a lot of stuff that you would normally put on a registry.  And even though there actually is some stuff we don’t have, our apartment is ridiculously tiny, and we barely have don’t have room for all of the stuff we currently own.  (Our oven is some weird miniature size that’s so small we can’t even fit a cookie sheet inside of it…)

Because of our lack of need for stuff and lack of space to put anything extra, a honeymoon registry was perfect for us.  Now, there are two (or at least two) ways to do a honeymoon registry.  You can have people actually buy you specific things, meaning when they buy you a massage, you are actually signed up right then and there to get a massage.  I have no idea how this kind of registry works.  I think you would need to do it through a travel agent or something.  What we did was basically a cash registry, where we tell people what we’re planning to spend the money on.  (I’m pretty sure this is the more common way to do things.)

After doing some research, I decided that Wanderable would be the best site for us.  It’s absolutely free to set up a site, and the designs are all super attractive and professional looking.


Screenshot of one of their sample registries

You write a title and a brief description for each gift and then set the price and quantity desired.  Here’s a clip from our registry:


You can’t see the price or quantity because someone bought it! (omg I can’t wait for cheeeeeese)  But that part works like a normal registry.  You can also break down items into smaller monetary chunks.  I mean, who is going to buy you an entire plane ticket?


Another great feature of Wanderable is that the fees for credit card payments are lower than most other sites.  If a guest chooses to pay for their gift with a credit card, you are charged a 2.5% fee.  This means that if they buy you a $100 gift, you will receive $97.50.  This is the lowest fee I’ve seen.  And, I like that it is charged to the bride and groom instead of the guest.  (I recently gave a “cash” gift via my credit card, and was charged the 3% fee.  It kind of irked me.  I think it’s nicer to the guests if the couple pays the fee.)

And now, a few post-wedding tips on how to make the most of your honeymoon registry:

Be Specific

I quickly discovered that even though the registry is technically a cash registry, people still want to give you something that sounds awesome.  The fondue dinner was the first thing to go.  It was quickly followed by other very specific activities, like “Gondola ride to the top of a mountain”.  If you want people to use your registry, make it sound like they’re getting you something really awesome.  Pay attention to your titles and descriptions.

Have a Variety of Activities

You don’t have to completely plan out your honeymoon, but you’ll want to make sure there are a lot of attractive gift options.  For instance, you don’t need to choose all of your dinner locations, but instead of asking for eight “Romantic Dinner for 2”, ask for “Candlelit Dinner with Mountain Views” and “Lakeside Dining” and “Adventurous Dinner of Local Delicacies”.  If you think hard enough, you can come up with stuff.  This makes people feel like they’re buying you something special, and also leads me to the next tip.

Know Who Purchased What

When you’re on the honeymoon, don’t forget to think of the person who got you the gift.  Technically, we haven’t gotten this far yet, but I’m going to take a list of the honeymoon gifts with us so that I can know who purchased each gift when we enjoy it.  I want to be able to tell the person that I thought of them while we were enjoying their gift.

Have a Variety of Price Options

I tried to have a lot of different price levels.  I mostly stuck to gifts at $25, $50, $75, and $100.  A honeymoon registry makes it incredibly easy to offer gift options at a variety of prices.  Don’t forget to take advantage of that.

Be Prepared to Field Questions about What the Heck Your Registry is

My father-in-law was super concerned that if the things on our registry weren’t purchased, we wouldn’t be going on a honeymoon.  I had to tell him multiple times that most things were actually already purchased (like flights and hotels) and that technically if you bought a gift, we just receive the cash.  It took him a while to understand.  Other people were similarly confused, and it was definitely awkward at times to explain that we were actually just getting money and not working through a travel agency or something.  Just be prepared to explain how the registry works, because some people (especially older guests) haven’t heard of them and don’t understand.

And that’s it!  Creating the registry was super easy, and I’m so glad we went that route.  Did I miss any tips?


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