Monday, May 10, 2010

H-moon Recap: Are honeymoon registries worth it?

I'm going to start my recaps with stories from our honeymoon.  Mostly because I won't have professional pics or video back for at least a month or so probably.  And I do have pics and video from our honeymoon.  And as I said, there is no chronological order or organization as to how the recaps will come.  :) 

Anyway, way back here I shared about our honeymoon registry which we set up through Honeyfund.  I absolutely loved the idea and friends of ours who used the site during their wedding two years ago said they got at least $1700 by offering this option to guests.  So we were totally on board.

We also set up three other registries:

Bed Bath & Beyond with about 10 items (expensive pots, a sheet set, a mini trash can and a bunch of serving ware and platters for entertaining)
Target with about 25 items that included towels, pots, crock pot, a deep fryer, miscellaneous kitchen items, a sheet set, etc.
Macy's with about 20 or 25 items that included mostly bedding and expensive bath towels and a knife set.

For the most part, we got almost everything on the three store registries.  Not every single item, but at least everything we wanted or needed.  The stuff we didn't get as gifts from the store registries we actually didn't really need anyway so we were kind of glad.  Besides, as you'll see in a minute, we got gift certificates to these stores as well so we could have bought those other items if we wanted.

But when it came to the honeymoon registry, well for whatever reason, that didn't seem to work quite as well as I expected.  The funny thing is, most people just ended up giving us cash or checks for gifts.  Even a lot of the people who gave us honeyfund gifts printed out the gift certificate and placed it with cash in a card.

The day after our wedding, we had a family get together at our home with lunch and just hanging out with our family.  They all took off about 3 pm or so and that left me and Mr Fix It with about 4 or 5 hours to clean up the house, finish packing our suitcases, shower and get the house in order to leave for the airport.  Our flight left at 11 pm the day after the wedding.  We had to run to the bank to take out some cash for the trip but decided that we'd open up our card box and go through all of the cards to see what cash and checks we may have received.  Besides, I didn't want to leave any cash or checks laying around our house for 2 1/2 weeks! 

So as I began to open the cards and make a list of monetary gifts, I began to seriously get teary eyed.  I don't know if it was exhaustion but it truly felt like complete gratitude and appreciation.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of money we received from family and friends.  Even those amazing 11th hour guests I blogged about that I found on Facebook and invited to the wedding just days before gave us ridiculously generous gifts!

I won't share specific numbers, but I can tell you that we received plenty of money to probably pay for our honeymoon in it's entirety (granted we did use air miles and about $800 worth of hotel credits through credit cards to pay for some of our travel expenses). 

Overall, the breakdown of our monetary gifts was this:

11% of the total amount we received was gift cards to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond
24% of the total amount we received was through the Honeyfund web site (cash, checks and online payments)
65% of the total amount we received was cash or checks

So in the end, out of about 95 party members (this means that out of the 245 people we invited there were about 95 total groups made up of couples/families/singles that showed up and/or gave us a gift), only about 12 of them actually used the Honeyfund site to give us a gift.  The rest were either registry gifts, cash/check or gift certificates.

As much as I loved the idea, I don't think honeymoon registries have taken off quite just yet.  Still, those who did use them to provide a gift left us great messages and truly felt like they were contributing to something fun that they had hand selected for whatever reason.

So are you planning on using a honeymoon registry?  What are your thoughts?  And please, don't use this post or question as a forum to share how you think they are tacky or rude...I don't really care about that because obviously the people who gave us over $1,000 in gifts through the site did not feel that way.

Update:  I should mention that I got 2 honeyfund gifts and at least half of our store registry items at my bridal shower a few months before the wedding!  Also, we got most of our gifts on the actual day of (or even day after) the wedding.  I guess a lot of people wait until the last minute :)


Gaynor said...

We didnt use a honeymoon one as we decided we would rather get some proper home stuff since we only have a LOT of ikea stuff etc!

Our guests were beyond generous too and we almost got everything from our John Lewis gift list and the things we didnt get we were able to buy with vouchers we got for the shop too.

On top of that we got loads of other vouchers and other cash / cheques too that we can decide how to use some other time. We also got some lovely gifts too, many from people who didnt even come to the wedding but just knew our parents etc.

As far as the honeymoon lists go, maybe some people just preferred giving you an actual present or the gift cards so you can buy things? I know my aunt really wanted to get us something we could keep and remember her by so she got us the stupidly expensive cutlery we can use for years.

Sorry for such a long comment!

p.s I still haven't started proper recaps yet either; first im working through posting about all the stuff I ran out of time for before the wedding!

Hannah said...

Hey Thanks for the advice! We're only 3 weeks out but we set up a Honeyfund back when we got engaged (along with BB&B and an alternative registry for fair trade stuff). We knew the BB&B would be popular but we wanted people to know how awesome of a honeymoon we were going on so if they did feel like supporting that, we'd really appreciate it. We used the free trial so we're not worried if it becomes a fantastic flop... but I'm glad to know that there are others out there who are seeing the same thing!

Heather Lopez said...

I really really wanted to use a honeymoon registry but my parents didnt think it was a great idea so we ended up not doing it. Like you said most people just gave us cash or checks anyway. We also went through our cards before we left on our honeymoon and was able to bring that money with us.

Heather said...

We registered with honeyfund as well. We really liked the idea of getting help with honeymoon expenses as we are paying for most of the wedding ourselves and are trying to do it debt-free. We also opened up a single other store registry (at Target) for our more traditionaly-minded guests. My bridesmaid is doing a great job of pushing people toward the honeyfund, so I hope it works!

PartyPlannerGal said...

Great tips! I don't think we'll go the honeymoon registry route - most of our parents and older family members are not computer-savvy, and most of our friends will want to get us real gifts and/or donate to some of the charities on our registry. Congrats to you for having so many generous and thoughtful people in your life - it truly is a reflection on the two of you!

All you need is love... said...

I agree, I think the older crowd enjoys giving actual traditional Wedding presents. And there is also the fact that even though the majority of ppl are now computer savvy... my parents and most ppl older than them are not. My mom doesnt even know how to copy and paste! and my grandparents dont have a computer!
But I do think the honeymoon registry is a great route, esp if you have most of the home goods that you would be asking for on a registry. Me, not having hardly anything that doesnt look like it came from a garage sale, cant wait to register at the stores!

Hannah said...

Just a few hours after I commented we received our first "pledge!" SOOOO I guess it was worth the free version ;)

Sarah Ann said...

Gosh you're brave. I could never post about how much people gave me! But it's just too personal for me. That said, I think you're right about the honeymoon fund gift sites not taking off just yet. I know that for us, as much as I would love to get gift cards and money, our families are pretty old fashioned and will more than likely just give us gifts- and I doubt they'll even look to our registry's!

SG said...

Thanks for the comment and suggestion, fortunately my train isn't very long/big so I actually only need two hooks and my mom was there when she was pinning it up to mark the spots and explained how to do it to her. I think it should be okay, with all the people there I'm sure someone will be able to figure it out. :)

As for the registering for a honeymoon, we didn't need to do that since we are lucky enough to have my brother pay for everything. I think it's a good idea and growing to be more acceptable nowadays but I can see how some people might feel weird about it and prefer to just give cash.

Morgan said...

This is really good info! We also have a honeymoon registry, that I programed onto our wedding website with PayPal scripts, and so far we've only had one item purchased off of it (our snorkel trip) at about 5 weeks from our wedding day. However, we also have only had 2 gifts purchased from our more traditional (bedding, pots, etc) registry on Amazon so far. I wonder if it's our guest's lack of computer knowledge, or maybe they will all just wait until the last minute to make their purchases, or maybe just give cash. I can only hope we'll be as lucky as you guys to be able to pay for our honeymoon with gifts from loved ones!

redwhitebride said...

we are not registered anywhere else but honeymoon. we created our own system and it's been fun! it's 5 days away and about 65% of our guests already "bought" something on our honeymoon registry. they sort of competing LOL... fun things went so fast.

Chocolate Lover said...

Thats interesting to see how people chose to give you guys gifts. We aren't registering or doing a honeymoon fund. Everyone gives money at weddings so we are lucky that way, as this is our preference too.

Think Thin Thoughts said...

I'm thinking about a honeymoon registry because I dont htink we need a lot of things in the home...
besides, I don't know if we can afford a honeymoon otherwise...
glad to see your review of honeyfund and how it went for your wedding though! :)

Mrs T said...

Our honeymoon registry worked really well. Although it was half online and half cash in cards.

It was still a fun idea though. And I know the people that actually bought things from it got a kick out of seeing photos of us doing the things they paid for.

Nishant said...

I agree, I think the older crowd enjoys giving actual traditional Wedding presents

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ruthy ann said...

we used honefund and it was our ONLY registry since we knew we were going to be traveling for the next six months or so and didn't have a place to store anything. So it worked great for us since it was our only option!

All Inclusive Honeymoon Packages said...

Our honeymoon registry worked really well. Although it was half online and half cash in cards

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