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Some wedding guests will jump at the chance to contribute to your first trip as husband and wife, while others may view a vacation as a luxury they shouldn’t be asked to pay for (even if they’d spend the same amount buying you a blender). So to persuade more traditional invitees, we recommend a honeymoon registry service that lets friends and loved ones earmark their money for a cool activity, from snorkeling in the Caribbean to dining in Thailand.
The following websites charge low transaction and processing fees (meaning guests spend fewer dollars on cash gifts and you get more in your pocket), facilitate group gifting, and either provide curated activity options or allow couples complete control to customize.
Just remember, the same etiquette rules still apply, whether you are asking for surfing lessons in Costa Rica or china for Thanksgiving dinner. Post registry information and links on your wedding website—never your save-the-dates or invitations—and send thank-you notes. Better yet, send gift givers a postcard from your exotic locale or a picture of the two of you having the time of your life partaking in the pastime they helped to make happen.
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Honeyfund, an online registry devoted entirely to honeymoons, helps couples estimate the total cost of their potential adventure, by considering the destination, time of year, preferred hotel type, length of trip, and desired daytime activities; then, couples can turn these costs into a travel wish list for a truly unique registry.
Fees: Cash gifts are sent to couples online via PayPal, which charges a 2.8 percent +$0.30 transaction fee to the gift giver (so a $100 gift, for example, would cost $103.10), while Honeyfund doesn’t require an additional charge because it only remits payments to couples by cash or check via mail.
Good to Know: If you’re looking for a combination registry service that offers china, for example, and cash gifts, then you can link to your Honeyfund from a more traditional online registry site to cover all of your needs.
Group Gifting: The total price of a typically costlier item is broken down into equally priced “quantities” that guests can then add to their virtual cart by selecting the number—whether 1, 3, or all—from the dropdown to purchase.
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Couples registered on Zola create a honeymoon “cash fund” in which they estimate the cost of trip activities, such as a five-course dinner at a local restaurant, snorkeling excursion, or round-trip airfare. Guests can then purchase the activity in full or partially until the listing is fully funded.
Fees: A 2.7 percent fee (the lowest charge in the online registry business) is added onto cash fund gifts to cover the processing fee charged by credit card companies. (Note: guests won’t find this percentage tacked on to purchases of traditional merchandise; they’ll simply be charged sales tax.) However, if you aren’t comfortable passing that added cost to invitees, you can opt to cover it, meaning that cashing out on a $100 gift would actually yield $97.30, whereas if gift givers covered the charge, they’d pay $102.70 for a $100 cash present.
Good to Know: While Zola does house an online “experience room” to allow couples to register for activities, like a tapas cooking class, the site, rather than the registrants, curates the options and all of them happen stateside, making it an obsolete service for destination honeymooners.
Group Gifting: Any item in your registry, including ones listed in your cash fund, can be marked for “group gifting,” allowing multiple friends to contribute to the same gift in whatever amount suits their budget.
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Because SimpleRegistry offers cash-fund registries exclusively, SimpleRegistry registrants will already be accustomed to assigning costs, titles, and descriptions for activities and products, a method they can then apply to honeymoon-specific gift requests.
Fees: A 5 percent fee is added to every transaction to cover the processing fee charged by credit card companies and then some. At checkout, guests pay this transaction fee. However, if you aren’t comfortable passing that added cost to invitees, you can opt to cover it, meaning that cashing out on $100 would actually yield $95, whereas if gift givers covered the charge, they’d pay $105 for a $100 cash present.
Good to Know: Sales tax is never computed because buyers only pay for the assigned price of the item, rather than the item itself. Later, couples completely cash out and use the money to actually purchase the gifts, whether china or airfare, themselves.
Group Gifting: Couples can edit the number of guests able to contribute toward a cash-funded gift, and the price tag will automatically change to show the price per guest of the group gift (all contributions equal the same amount, but one guest can purchase multiple quantities).
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With Blueprint, couples add an “experiences room” to their registry that functions as a cash service, which they can then specifically designate as a “honeymoon fund.” Every gift in this category is customizable, meaning couples input the title, price, and description of each item they’d like to receive that guests then purchase in full or partially until the listing is funded.
Fees: A 2.99 percent + $0.30 fee is added onto cash fund gifts to cover the processing fee charged by credit card companies and then some. At checkout, guests pay this transaction fee, which they wouldn’t find when buying traditional merchandise (they would simply be charged sales tax). Therefore, a $100 gift that you receive, would cost the gift giver $103.29.
Good to Know: Couples cannot opt to cover the processing fee of cash fund gifts. Only invitees can foot that charge.
Group Gifting: Couples can edit the number of guests able to contribute toward a cash-funded gift, and the price tag will automatically change to show the price per guest of the group gift. (All contributions equal the same amount, but one guest can purchase multiple quantities.) If the total amount is not reached within seven days after the wedding, the couple will receive a credit toward that gift (or any other product on Blueprint). Within 14 days of the wedding date, they’ll receive a check for the amount funded, whether that’s as small as a quarter of the gift’s total cost, or a payment equal to the complete price tag.
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Wanderable’s platform functions both as an online registry service and a travel agent. It creates complete itineraries for popular foreign destinations and breaks them apart into cost-appropriate gifts that you can then add to your honeymoon registry, saving you time without compromising gift quality. It exclusively covers honeymoon registries.
Fees: A fee up to 5 percent is added to every cash gift, unless money is paid to the couples by cash or check via mail, and the recipient and gift giver typically share the charge. Click here for more detailed information about applied charges.
Good to Know: Created for the avid traveler, Wanderable’s “thank-you note service” is no surprise: It involves postcard letters of gratitude that it tracks on your behalf via its iPhone app.
Group Gifting: The total cost of an item is broken down into equally priced quantities that guests can then add to their virtual cart by selecting the number—whether 1, 3, or all—from the dropdown to purchase.
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Founded in in 2010, NewlyWish is the oldest online registry service on our list. Couples benefit from browsing and adding hundreds of items that NewlyWish curates from their recommended boutiques, while also being able to add products from online and brick-and-mortar retailers of their choosing, as well as creating their own listings for cash gift requests.
Fees: A 4.9 percent fee is added to every honeymoon and cash-fund gift to cover the processing fee charged by credit card companies and then some. Only couples can cover this added percentage, meaning a $100 gift reduces to $95.10 once in their pockets. However, if they choose to convert the cash they’ve received for credit in the NewlyWish boutique, the fee is waived.
Good to Know: NewlyWish curates domestic and international experiences that registrants can add to their personal wish list (while also avoiding the processing fee), and couples can also create their own listings.
Group Gifting: Any item costing over $150 is eligible for group gifting, and all cash and honeymoon funds are automatically labeled as a group-gifting item.