Increasingly, rather than register for home items or luxury items, engaged couples are using a “honeymoon registry”  or “honeyfund.” This can come in two different forms. The first form is simply a monetary fund using an online engine that wedding guests and loved ones can contribute to with the safe belief that the money is going to be used for the couple to travel. The second is more of a traditional registry, where wedding guests and loved ones can pick specific items – such as a night for a room or a massage at a resort spa – and pay for them for the couple to use. While honeymoon registries have become popular, there is a bit of a controversy surrounding them. Are they tacky, or are they a great way to avoid much of the wedding consumer machine? The answer, like most answers, likely lies somewhere in the middle of those two beliefs. Today, we’ll take a look at both sides of thought and also some other elements to consider.

Be Warned: Some People Find the Honeyfund Tasteless

For reasons that may seem obvious, we’re going to come out right away and say that we’re pro-honeyfund. And if you love to travel more than you love “stuff” then we’d be delighted if we were on the invite list to your wedding and you had a honeyfund that we could contribute to. But that doesn’t mean that our opinion is final – or for that matter that anybody’s opinion is final. Be aware that many people out there, possibly inclusive of some of your wedding guests, find honeyfunds or essentially any other kind of “cash donation” type of gift “tacky” or tasteless. They believe it’s simply a money grab by the couple. You may be saying, “But isn’t a registry in general a money and ‘stuff’ grab?” Perhaps. There is a long tradition to the history of wedding gifts, and not all of it is about the couple grabbing for things. Should you care about whether or not some of your guests think that a honeyfund is tacky? We obviously think that you shouldn’t care about what anybody thinks but you. However, if it’s going to create stress for you that people may be judging your honeymoon fund, you may want to skip it and just put travel related items like suitcases on your registry.

Also, Do Understand the Consumer Trap of Honeymoon Registries

Always keep in mind that almost nothing in life comes for free. Honeymoon registries work the same way. The company that is running the registry or money collection site has expenses – and more importantly likely needs to make a profit. So a percentage of the total amount that is collected, either as cash gifts or as purchased experiences, goes back to the honeyfund company itself. How much can vary from ten to thirty percent, but in our research the average was fifteen percent. Yes, you could bypass this by simply requesting monetary gifts at your wedding to put towards travel, but many people find that even more distasteful than a honeymoon registry. Just be aware that you’re certainly contributing to a bit of a consumer trap when you use an online engine and your guest’s gift of $100 is really a gift of $85, unbeknownst to them.

That Said, Go Travel and Use Your Honeyfund to Do It!

We’re pretty strong advocates that despite the fact that not all eco-travel is truly eco-friendly, travel is essential to our collective mental health, our understanding of the world, our compassion and our joy. It’s certainly much more fulfilling than more “stuff.” So is a honeyfund tacky? Only if you think that tacky is letting go of society’s addictive consumerism and embracing the world – literally. The truth of the matter is, individuals who think that a honeymoon fund or registry is tacky are not going to contribute to yours anyway. They are going to go and buy you a boxed gift. And then you can choose what you want to do with that gift. Remember, just because somebody gave it to you, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep it. You can think a material gift is just as tacky as they think that a honeyfund is, and you can donate or sell it.

Some Useful Resources for You!

We’ve actually written a number of articles on wedding registries since they tend to truly feed the consumer machine in ways that we are fundamentally opposed to (though we are not opposed to wedding gifts)! We thought that you might find these two pieces in particular useful.

  • Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Gift Registries: Yes, some of these will be considered tacky by some people as well. But all of them avoid the “stuff rush” and don’t feed into the idea that a wedding requires you to buy new towels and place settings (unless you need and want these). We think that some of the ideas on this list may surprise you.
  • Etiquette Tips for Skipping the Registry: This situation can work in reverse, too. Perhaps you’re fundamentally opposed to buying something off of a registry and want to do something more environmentally friendly and consumer conscious. Here are some tips for accomplishing that while not offending the engaged couple.

We’re not opposed to gifts – we just want you to give and receive them with knowledge and awareness of the options available to you!

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Photo Credit: Oscar de Lama via Flickr