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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Low-Budget Honeymooning 7.21.12


Usually, I lump honeymooning in with regular travel posts because, after all, they are just travel. Almost 6 years ago I got married and tried out a brand new trend that worked spectacularly for us. Now this trend is becoming the new norm as more and more couples live together first or merge two households to form one when they become husband and wife (or wife and wife or husband and husband). Most people find they don’t need or want new dishes or blenders or towel sets, so they are stumped as to what to register for. We also had this problem, but I had heard a rumor of sites that let you register for your honeymoon a while before I got engaged and thought “Brilliant!” and immediately started searching for such a thing.

Delicious pub food and lager? Gifted!
As you may or may not remember me mentioning, we took two weeks for our honeymoon and traveled to London and Paris. We had a fabulous time, but those places are not cheap. Another thing that isn’t cheap: WEDDINGS! Yes, we are probably in the minority of couples who paid for their own celebration, but I had never expected our relatives to have to pay for anything. First of all, they already had to pay for their own weddings and second, we are adults with real jobs and real money. Though it’s not a lot of money, we figured out how to do our wedding on a budget and still have one of the best days that people still talk about.


Our wedding happened on the Saturday before Halloween and we asked everyone to dress up. And dress up they did! It was a blast. Yes, you may think it is crazy to not want to have a traditional wedding, but I am so not a tradionalist and neither are either of our families. We also chucked the idea of having a ring bearer, flower girl, doing it in a church, tossing the bouquet or that weird garter tugging thing that ends up with a guy’s head up your skirt. We dreamed up the funnest party we could think of, wrote all our vows – including the rest of the ceremony – told our wedding party to wear whatever they felt comfortable in, ordered a delicious cake covered in spider webs and topped with Frankenstein’s monster and his bride, had a buffet of appetizers, walked down the aisle to I Believe in a Thing Called Love and danced with our guests to Thriller and the Time Warp.

Trip to Paris? Also gifted!
Now, after spending all our free money on our wedding, we knew that we wouldn’t have much money left over for a trip, so we set to work creating our perfect itinerary for London and Paris and then add them to a registry. Here’s how it works: Choose your trip and all the components. Upload each thing to your registry along with prices and how many you need – just like a regular registry! If you want to add airfare or hotel nights to your wish list, break it down into $50 increments, or whatever you think is a reasonable price for people to pay for a gift. If your airfare will cost $600, register for 12 $50 airfare gifts. If your family and friends are bigger spenders, make it 6 $100 gifts. You can add anything you want, from a new camera to capture your memories to meals.


Your guests will have fun seeing what you have planned and get excited to be a part of your honeymoon, without being a part of your honeymoon. They “purchase” from your list and then the cash is deposited into your account for you to add those components as you have enough money to do so. If you are depending solely on guest contributions, then you may end up with only partial money for some stuff and have to kick in some of your own money or be a little creative. When we returned from our trip, I sent thank you notes to our guests with a web address to our photos and saying we really enjoyed the X that they contributed to. It was personable and fun.


Our trip to Disneyland Paris? Gifted as well!
So, where can you start your own honeymoon registry? I am partial to TheBigDay, which is the site we used, but you can also check out Travelers Joy, Honey Fund or Honeymoon Wishes. You can even see samples of registries (and if you can’t, search open registries with a generic name like Smith to see real ones).

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Are you like me? Would you ever use a honeymoon registry?
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