Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Honeyfund - tacky or genius?

Yesterday, I was introduced to a honeymoon registry (also called a honeyfund). I think they've been around for a few years, but I've never come across one before. With so many couples getting married later in life - or who have lived together for several years already - it's hard to put together a traditional registry because they simply don't need certain things. Sure, they could upgrade their current sheets, but why bother when they could put together a honeyfund? With a honeyfund, wedding guests can contribute to the couple's honeymoon by purchasing things like an excursion if they're taking a cruise or a wine-tasting in the area they're visiting.

I tend to err on the side of old-fashioned, but I thought this was a really cool idea. But after talking to some others and doing some research online, I'm having second thoughts. Let me explain why.

Many of the websites that offer to manage a honeyfund actually charge a fee for withdrawing the money. So when the married couple goes to collect their check, it's probably going to be short about 7 percent of what their guests contributed. Some would argue that's less than sales tax, but I'd rather write a check and know they're receiving the entire amount as opposed to using the site and them having to pay a fee.

Next, the sites themselves are deceiving. For example, let's say the happy couple had purchased a cruise and was hoping their guests would help enhance their travel experience. They could list things like excursions, breakfast in bed, spa services onboard, beer tasting and the list goes on and on. I think this is pretty amazing. I would love to give the gift of an experience as opposed to utensils. However, most sites simply cut one big check. So you aren't really buying "beer tasting" you're just contributing another $50 to the honeymoon and the couple can spend it however they wish. You could argue it's their money so why shouldn't they spend it on whatever they want. To which I'd argue, if I wanted to give cash, I would give cash. My intent was to purchase a beer-tasting experience.

Truthfully, that's why I've decided against honeyfunds in general. You aren't really getting what you pay for. I'm sure some sites are the exception - so it would be wise to check out the one the couple registered with - but for the most part, this seems like standard operation. And of course, most couples are probably very honest and actually use the money where it was intended, but they aren't required to do so.

I did read up on some comments from others and another big complaint is that it's rude to ask for cash. Etiquette frowns on that for sure, but I don't really see it as all that different from a regular registry. Now, if the couple wanted me to pay for their entire trip I think it would rub me the wrong way. But to say, hey if you want to give us a gift we'd love some enhancements to the honeymoon we've already booked. I don't have a problem with that at all.

What are your thoughts? Is a honeyfund completely tacky or is it an acceptable registry addition? Does it matter if the registry also includes a traditional big box retailer? What if it included a way to give a charitable donation in the couple's name as well?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!



  1. I can see how you would think a honeyfund could be considered tacky. I guess it all depends on how it is presented on the website and to the guests. It could be "Hey! Help us celebrate our marriage with a dream vacation!" or "Hey! Give us money!"

    My husband and I actually asked for donations to our honeymoon fund instead of gifts because of our financial situation at the time. We had saved up enough money to have our dream wedding and honeymoon when BAM! We lost our car in a flash flood. We had to buy a new car while still paying off the one we lost. So there went our wedding savings. And then we both lost our jobs. And there went our honeymoon savings. So we asked our guests to help us have a honeymoon. Yes, we could have pushed back our wedding until our finances were better. But our wedding date was 11/11/11 and I wasn't willing to give that up.

  2. Yeah, have I ever told you that you have terrible luck? Oy vey, I would've been devastated! And, after much FB debating, I think what it comes down to is how the guests perceive it. So if someone thinks it's tacky, they won't bother with it. And if they think it's a cool gift, they'll chip in. The only thing I don't like is that websites charge a service fee for them to collect the gift. I'd rather give cash if that's the case, but that doesn't seem like as much fun. Speaking of which, I need to send a gift...