Is It OK To Ask For A Honeymoon Fund Instead Of Wedding Gifts? Here's What Experts Say
Weddings are expensive. I know, I know — hot take! But seriously, once you’ve spent all your money on your special day, there may not be enough for the best wedding tradition of them all: The honeymoon. And after all the stress and drama that goes into putting together a wedding, you really need a vacation. This is why some folks are opting to skip the standard gift registry in lieu of cash for their honeymoon. The question is: Is it OK to ask for a honeymoon fund, or is that considered poor wedding etiquette?
Since I hope to be married one day and go on a fabulous honeymoon, this sounds like fantastic idea — so I reached out to the experts. I wanted to get their take on whether it really is appropriate to ask wedding guests to chip in for your honeymoon, instead of springing for some flatware or other home goods that, let's be honest, you probably already have or don't really need. While there are definitely some caveats to be aware of, the experts were basically unanimous in their answer that, yes, it's totally fine to go the honeymoon fund route. Here’s what else they had to say on the subject, including the best way to go about it.
Yes, you can opt for a honeymoon fund in lieu of gifts.
When it comes to choosing a honeymoon fund over a typical gift registry, Chris Armstrong, the founder of the relationship coaching company Maze of Love, put it very simply. “[Start by asking yourself,] ‘Who are we doing this for?’ If the answer is the bride and groom, there is no reason why it would not be OK to ask for honeymoon funds in lieu of gifts,” he explains to Elite Daily, and this is a sentiment shared by other experts, too. Erica Gordon, millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren't You Glad You Read This?, tells Elite Daily that a honeymoon fund is actually more aligned with a modern approach to weddings. “Times have changed, and modern weddings no longer carry the stigma that asking for cash is poor 'wedding etiquette,’” she tells Elite Daily
As Andrea Amour, founder and dating coach at UpDate Coaching, tells Elite Daily, it reflects our modern relationships as well. "Honeymoon funding makes perfect sense in today's society,” she adds. “By the time most people get married, they're already living with their partner and have a full household of what people traditionally get as wedding gifts — kitchenware, bed linens, towels, etc. That, plus the fact that most people are living in smaller homes or condos, means that soon-to-be-newlyweds don't need another set of those things in their homes. Giving people something they can actually use — an awesome honeymoon experience — makes sense today.”
Gordon adds that your guest may even prefer giving money instead of a gift. “Contributing to your honeymoon fund makes guests feel like they're contributing to something meaningful, and guests can even personalize their cash contribution with a little note explaining what they hope you'll use their monetary [gift] for, whether that be a luxurious couples' massage or an exciting excursion,” she explains. “This allows your guests to give you the gift of experiences, which many people think of as the best type of gift.”
However, there is one scenario where asking for a honeymoon fund is not appropriate, and that’s if your ceremony is a destination wedding, and the guests have already paid for their own travel arrangements. In fact, Gordon says in that case, “You should not be asking for gifts. Some guests will still bring gifts, but you want to avoid letting your guests feel pressure to give a big cash gift when they've already spent a fair amount to attend your wedding.”
Here’s how to do it.
If you’ve decided to skip the gift registry and go the honeymoon funding route, Gordon suggests using one of the registry services available online. “You can sign up for a cash registry using a service such as The Knot's 'Newlywed Fund', where you are registering for very specific 'dollar amounts' and then specifying exactly what each monetary gift will be going toward, such as a snorkeling adventure or an ocean view dinner,” she explains.
However, if you prefer the cash directly, Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, tells Elite Daily to give your guests plenty of options so they can chose what is most convenient for them. “Give them as [many] money options as possible," she says. "PayPal, Venmo, check, or cash. If you want, you can label [sic: different about] by activity. This way, guests feel more comfortable and excited to give you a champagne toast ($30) and breakfast for two ($60), instead of just giving you $90. List out all activities, spa treatments, meals, and contributions to each hotel room night. You can also ask for airline miles to cover your flight,” she says.
You can also make it optional and relatively anonymous by giving them an opportunity to donate at the reception. “If your wedding has an open bar, you can also have a big tip jar at the bar that is labeled ‘honeymoon fund,’” suggests Gordon.
Be prepared that not everyone will be on board with your choice.
Regardless of which way you opt to request a honeymoon fund, Armstrong warns that some guests will still choose to give you a gift instead. “Unfortunately, there are people who make the gift buying and gift giving experience all about themselves. Now, what the bride and groom must understand is that … some guests may still bring gifts in lieu of money,” he says. “Some people don't like giving money for the same reason they don't like giving gift certificates. They think it's impersonal. Some people don't have a lot of money to spend on a gift (or cash) and this will stress them out. It's easier to buy a nice gift on clearance and feel good about it then to give that same amount as cash and feel cheap.” So, don’t be surprised if you end up a with few physical gifts as well.
When all is said and done, your wedding is about sharing the love and commitment you have to your partner with all the people who are nearest and dearest to you. Presents aren’t exactly a top priority. That said, if you want an amazing honeymoon but aren’t sure you can afford it after spending all your cash on a ceremony, at least now you know that you have the option of skipping the silverware and vacuum cleaners for a much needed, romantic, postnuptial getaway.