Many soon-to-be married couples are shifting away from the traditional wedding registries—you know, the ones where you receive plates and cups and garbage cans—and instead opting for a honeymoon registry.
Through websites like TheBigDay.com and HoneyLuna.com , couples create a honeymoon registry and ask their wedding guests to give them a gift for their honeymoon. On these sites, couples can register for stays at hotels, gift certificates for restaurants or activities, and even money for airline tickets. This way, instead of receiving a ton of kitchenware that will never get used, couples can have their dream honeymoon without footing the bill.
While this may seem appealing, honeymoon registries are not as perfect as they sound. The following information gives you the basic 411 on honeymoon registries.
There’s a difference between all registries.
Sites like HoneyLuna allow couples to create the honeymoon of their dreams, no matter where it is or what they want to do. Couples can select everything they want or need, and the website will create a registry list of these items for the couple.
Some hotels offer the same registries, but hotel registries only allow you to select items from their own establishments of their select vendors. So if you really wanted to eat sushi while on your honeymoon but the hotel doesn’t have any restaurants offering sushi on their menu, you’re out of luck (unless you want to pay for it yourself).
You have to pay for it first.
Some of the items you want for your honeymoon, such as airfare or certain tours, will need to be reserved in order to ensure you have a ticket. But in order to reserve these items, you need to pay for them upfront. This means that if you have plane tickets for $1200, you have to pay the honeymoon registry $1200 in hopes that your guests will provide you with the money for the tickets to reimburse you. If they don’t, you’re stuck footing the bill.
You don’t get the cash.
Once a couple starts receiving gifts on their honeymoon registry, they must use it for the honeymoon. Couples will not receive cash, even though that’s what their guests actually gave. Instead, they will receive credit to an establishment or a gift card for the excursion, forcing couples to use it at specific places and not allowing them to change their mind.
It might expire.
Some couples don’t take a honeymoon directly after their wedding, and it’s important to realize that there may be an expiration date to redeem the gifts on their registry. Make sure that you check the fine print first before signing up for a registry. The last thing you want is to receive all these gifts and not be able to use them.
There’s a great deal of fees.
In order for these registry websites to make money, some will charge your guests a fee for their gifts. For example, some companies tack on a percentage to the gifts, so if one of your guests wants to give you $100 towards your flight, they will actually be charged more than $100. This may be a big turnoff to your guests, which may result in you not receiving as many gifts as you hoped.
Other websites will charge the couple a set up fee, usually around $200, to create their registry. They then won’t charge their guests a fee when a gift is purchased. And if you want a customized registry, you could end up paying even more.
You may not be getting the best value.
The prices for tours, hotel stays and certain other amenities may have an inflated price through these sites. This means that you could end up booking a flight through a honeymoon site for $1200 that could cost you $299 on Travelocity. Even if the sites tell you it’s a great deal, you should always do your research first to determine a real price for these items before believing a registry site.
So before you opt to use a honeymoon registry, make sure you understand how the site operates. This could save you a giant headache and a giant bill in the end.
Steven Peters is an avid writer. He enjoys writing about the best places for travel and honeymoon getaways. Steven also writes interesting articles for resorts in the Bahamas.