Four Steps to a Free Honeymoon

Photo by sihhan

People may try to convince you that a gravy bowl holder is a must-have. But do you really use gravy enough to necessitate a bowl, let alone its holder? More and more couples are deciding to live together before marriage, which means that they most likely already have all the household basics they would otherwise request on a registry. How often do people use their wedding china anyway? When you were young, I’m sure your parents used the “good china” an average of 2.3 times per year. So, why not go to China instead of getting china?

A honeymoon registry lets wedding guests give experiences, such as a night at a luxury hotel or a day trip to the wine country. Naysayers may ask, “isn’t that the same as giving you money as a wedding present?” Only if you think an experience is worth less than a set of bowls. The friends and family who bought us items on our honeymoon registry were actively invested in our experience. Instead of the honeymoon being an afterthought, it was sort of a shared experience.

To me, a unique (and free) honeymoon is worth more than pristine china. You too can ask your wedding guests for the perfect honeymoon instead of colanders and cutting boards. Here’s how:

1. Pick the Right Honeymoon Registry for You

We wanted to make sure the honeymoon registry website was a painless experience, particularly because we knew some of our relatives and older family friends would be skeptical of the concept. We had to find a website with no service fees and a secure payment processing system (e.g., PayPal). We picked Traveler’s Joy because it had all of the above, plus partnerships with respectable websites like and There are plenty of other choices though–check out this chart to evaluate your options.

2. Make Sure People Know It’s a Top Priority

If you have a regular wedding website at, for example, move the honeymoon registry to the top of your registry links page. Your guests will assume that the items are ordered by preference.

3. Do Your Research

If you want to go to Sandals or on some other all-inclusive vacation, a honeymoon registry may not be your first priority. For everyone else, creating your honeymoon itinerary and registry website is the most critical step. You want people to know exactly where you want to stay, what you want to eat, and what day trips you want to take. Most honeymoon registry websites let you include links and descriptions of the hotels, which leads me to…

4. Be Specific

It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare, but including a brief description (perhaps directly lifted from Frommers or another travel guide) of the hotel and restaurant could go a long way. Never underestimate how powerful it can be to actually see a photo of the beautiful view from your villa-to-be or the delicious paella dinner you’ll feast on there. The best results come when your wedding guests can really envision their gifts.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to the best all-inclusive honeymoon: a free one!

Do you have any money-saving tips from your honeymoon? Share them in the comments.