Wedding Planning: Setting Up a Honeymoon Registry

I did a lot of online research before deciding to set up a honeymoon registry.

I read so many reviews and comments and articles about how a honeymoon registry is just a mildly less tacky way of outright asking for money. That it makes an assumption (as do all registries) that people will buy you gifts for your wedding, which they certainly have no obligation to do.

Despite giving into many wedding traditions, I have been a holdout on many things, and we are doing a lot of things in a  nontraditional way. I don’t know how most people feel about that, but I know that regardless of what everyone else thinks, our day is going to be a reflection of us.

And I am so excited for that. I am so excited and nervous. Some days it is all I can think about and other times I will go a week trying not to think about it at all because it’s easy to become distracted and overwhelmed.

I can’t wait to celebrate our marriage and the beginning of our life together, and I am really looking forward to sharing all of the craziness and memories of the day with our friends and family. It makes me feel so grateful and loved to think our closest and best lot in life are going to be there for what I know is going to be the biggest moment in my life.

But it’s been really hard for me to want any of those lovely people to do anything but plan on attending and celebrating. I am trying to plan everything myself with significant input from the fiance, support from my mom and best friend, and helpful suggestions and insights from others.

Planning is what I do. It’s the nature of my job. I find great satisfaction handling everything behind the scenes and watching others enjoy the outcome. For whatever reason I thrive on the stress and the crazy and the incredible relief when everything wraps up cleanly in the end.

I’m not looking forward to being the center of attention on our wedding day. I am kind of dreading it. I would love to be another guest witnessing the wonderful event, not the one standing up in front of everyone. I don’t know if there’s a way to be a less noticeable bride, but that’s what I’m going for. As long as everyone is having a good time and I have moments throughout the day to slip away with my husband (eeeek!) to just have a moment to ourselves, I will be supremely happy.

I don’t want others stressed or running around or worrying about things or making sure things go well. Because that person is usually me, and I know that you miss everything when you’re trying to ensure everything is doing what it’s supposed to do.

I don’t want others spending time or money they don’t have trying to fulfill obligations that don’t really exist. I have been to many weddings and showers and bachelorette parties, and while I was always happy picking out the perfect gift for the occasion, it was because I wanted to. Not because I felt I had to. I sincerely hope that is the same experience among those attending our wedding.

The thing is, I have had people ask where we are registering. I have had people ask what we need around our home. I also have had people ask where we’re going on our honeymoon. I have had people express excitement at the crazy adventure of our marriage and first trip together as a married couple. And I don’t think any of those requests were driven by tradition or obligation. I think we have a lot of amazing people in our lives who truly care.

And I think it’s all because they know us. In a lot of ways, and by today’s standards, I think we live pretty simply. My one friend threatens me every time we meet for drinks and she sees the old grape (i.e. my 11-year-old Saturn SL) sitting in the parking lot. The fiance will Google or YouTube any task in the world and figure out how to do it before calling a repairman and paying someone else money to do what he knows he can do. It’s not that we don’t do anything or splurge occasionally, because we do, and I definitely do (the fiance wins in the saving money category).

However, most of my splurging is related to travel. Going on trips together and experiencing new people, places and things together. Growing and learning together. The fiance doesn’t quite share my level of enthusiasm, but he does enjoy our adventures. He has proposed and continues to propose adventures for us in the future.

And I think our family and friends know that. I think they know we’re every bit as excited (ok, I might be a bit too excited) about our honeymoon and initial adventures together as we are about all of the hullabaloo leading to our ceremony and celebration of our marriage.

With that in mind (and I know it’s a lengthy, wordy post to get to this point–I can only assure you it was much more complicated and wordy in my head as I worked through all of this over the past several months), we decided to create a honeymoon registry.  So if our loved ones are so inclined to want to gift us on our big day, they have the option of selecting a component or adventure within our honeymoon as an option.

Based on the recommendation of a friend whose sister used the same site for their wedding, we built our honeymoon registry at www.wanderable.com. The best part, for me, was spending hours writing up the individual adventures we may have while we’re on the road. I’m not terribly entertaining, but I tried to at least be personable and to share as much as we can anticipate about the different stops on our trip.

The initial feedback from our very close family and friends has been positive with the most heartwarming responses tending toward the “it’s so you!” and “these memories will last a lifetime” variety. And I think it is, and I think they will. And I really hope the idea is well received by other guests too. It’s just an option, not an obligation, and I hope that’s very clear.

I am open to criticism as well. I plan to write about the idea after our wedding too; in an attempt to throw my two cents in with the gobs of other opinions I read when considering if this was a good idea. To possibly impact the next up and coming bride who is wondering what the heck to do.

By then I should be safely back behind the scenes where I belong. Married, happy and looking forward to a lifetime of adventures with my husband.

What do you think about a honeymoon registry? Tacky or personal? Have you ever set one up or given a gift using one?

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