Author Topic: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen  (Read 2207 times)

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LemonZen

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I know honeymoon registries are a debated topic, even on here, but they do not seem to be going away any time soon. After all the threads on this lately, it reminded me that I have been wondering for a while what happens when the couple does not end up taking the honeymoon.

Do the couple end up being able to keep all the money or does the travel agency/website take a cut? Are the "experience" gifts like a couples massage at a resort refundable to the couple? What happens if they don't get enough money to go on the trip?

While I am not sure I would participate in one anyway, I have been a little hesitant giving money to something like this when I have known couples to decide not to take the honeymoon after all, despite receiving a fair amount of money on their registry. (no other circumstances, they just never took the trip). I'd hate to be lining a travel agency's pocket with my gift and in that case it seems better to just give cash in any case.

And etiquette-wise, is the couple somewhat obligated to use the money for a honeymoon, (barring unforeseeable circumstances of course, like illness or unemployment, etc.) or is it fair game for them to use it however they want once they receive it? I feel like as with all gifts, once it's given it's theirs to do as they please with it, but it still feels strange, like returning every registry present you receive after having specifically asked for it.

HannahGrace

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 04:58:43 PM »
Most honeymoon registries on sites that just do that sort of thing (I don't want to get into brand names) cut a check to the couple, minus processing fees.  Nothing restricts what the money is used for.  This is one of the reasons why so many people have a problem with them.  I've never heard of one done through a travel agent - those might work differently.

LETitbe

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 09:43:55 PM »
Most honeymoon registries on sites that just do that sort of thing (I don't want to get into brand names) cut a check to the couple, minus processing fees.  Nothing restricts what the money is used for.  This is one of the reasons why so many people have a problem with them.  I've never heard of one done through a travel agent - those might work differently.

This is my understanding of how most honeymoon registries work.

Zizi-K

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 10:44:49 PM »
Most honeymoon registries on sites that just do that sort of thing (I don't want to get into brand names) cut a check to the couple, minus processing fees.  Nothing restricts what the money is used for.  This is one of the reasons why so many people have a problem with them.  I've never heard of one done through a travel agent - those might work differently.

I don't think honeymoon registries are rude per se, but I would just cash every time over using one because why pay a middleman?

lowspark

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 08:49:31 AM »
I've never actually come across a honeymoon registry in my own experience but I did once get invited to a wedding where the website requested contributions to a fund to buy a house. It had a link to a website, I think. I don't really remember because I was totally not interested in contributing. Why? Mainly for the very reason you are suggesting here. I just didn't really think they'd be able to collect enough money from this to actually buy a house but even if they did, I figured some of that money would be lost to a middleman. It just seemed too silly to me.

I think that some couples think it's cute or novel or trendy maybe, to register for a honeymoon or a house in this case. Maybe some of them have been living on their own and feel like they already have all the typical stuff you'd get for wedding presents. Toaster, dishes, towels, etc.

Back in the olden days when you only registered for china, crystal and silverware and maybe named your preferred colors for kitchen & bathroom, you let the guests pick out stuff for you. I think we've gotten to the point in registries where we feel we have to register for every last minute item down to what wooden spoon we want and that has, in turn, led to people not wanting to register at all because they don't need anymore wooden spoons.

Maybe if we went back to registering for the very few items we feel we really need to pick out ourselves, or to registering for nothing, the pull to register for honeymoons & houses would subside?

HannahGrace

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 09:19:07 AM »
Most honeymoon registries on sites that just do that sort of thing (I don't want to get into brand names) cut a check to the couple, minus processing fees.  Nothing restricts what the money is used for.  This is one of the reasons why so many people have a problem with them.  I've never heard of one done through a travel agent - those might work differently.

I don't think honeymoon registries are rude per se, but I would just cash every time over using one because why pay a middleman?

My thought exactly.

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 09:23:42 AM »
I think if a couple chooses to set up a honeymoon fund, or house fund or whatever, with a company, it's up to them to read the fine print about when they get the money and what happens if XYZ. Although I would expect the company hosting the website would get a cut, it's hard to imagine one would have a policy of, "If you don't reach X amount of money, we get to keep it all!" But, like I said, I think that's the couple's responsibility to figure out. If I wanted to give to a gift fund like that, I wouldn't worry about contingencies like that--I'd figure the couple must be fine with losing 5% or something being nonrefundable or whatever, because they chose to set it up. Just like if they register for a gift I think is ugly, or for something that I had and didn't like--shrug, they say they want it, I want to get them something they want, I assume they've looked into it since they actively had to click the button to put it on the registry.

Gifting brings out funny feelings in people. For me, I've started to feel like it's not X or Y that's rude (say, having a honeymoon fund) it's how the actual person behaves about it. Someone could have everything look completely correct and traditional on the surface (say, no registry of any kind, no mention of gifts on any invitation, etc.) and still be a rude gimme pig who, behind the scenes, tells everyone they better cough up the dough, cover their plates, etc., because that honeymoon or gourmet kitchen isn't going to pay for itself! Whereas I can imagine another couple has a honeymoon fund and several "thing" registries, but they're completely gracious about any and all gifts they receive (or no gifts), and the registries are more like lists of things they're happy to buy for themselves no matter what. I feel like I've seen it go both ways personally, especially the former, where everything looks right but then you hear what's below the surface, and their comments really made me feel both exploited and unappreciated.
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 09:44:36 AM »
Yeah, if you think about it, as far as the cut the company takes, maybe it's no different than buying a toaster, for example, and the profit Target makes. I think for me, the difference is that it feels like cash. Giving to a honeymoon fund or house fund or whatever just feels like another form of cash. And if I want to give cash, I'll just write a check. Now, if I give cash, and the couple uses it to buy a trip through a travel agent who charges a fee for their services, then it probably just nets out to the same thing. But I dunno, it just feels different to me.

I totally agree that how the couple behaves is what would make me think of them as gracious or gimme pigs or whatever. But I see that as a totally separate issue.

In other words, I agree that signing up for a honeymoon fund doesn't make them gimme pigs. But to be honest, I wouldn't actually buy a couple something I thought was ugly or didn't like, regardless of whether they registered for it or not. I would either pick something else off the registry or go off the registry or give cash. I just wouldn't feel comfortable buying a gift for someone if it wasn't something I liked. That's just me, though! I just don't like honeymoon registries, so I wouldn't contribute to one. And that is my own personal preference.

White Lotus

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 10:46:04 AM »
When faced with a honeymoon registry, we hemmed and hawed for a while and finally ended up giving them cash in the currency of their destination.  This solved our dillema, because, while we found the registry itself "off", the foreign money also felt like a real gift -- not just an anonymous check -- because we had to put some thought and effort into it.  If they hadn't taken the trip, they'd have had a "trip" fund for when they did, or they could change it back.  Somehow, this felt better to us than signing up on a website.  Part of this was finding it distasteful that the website took a cut, whether they took the trip or not.  I liked it better when people registered their china, crystal and silver patterns and that was it, beyond maybe telling people their planned colors for linens and kitchen.  Easy, and one teaspoon or cordial glass or bread and butter plate is generally affordable, and meaningful, because it was building something they'd use all their lives.

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 10:49:19 AM »

I think that some couples think it's cute or novel or trendy maybe, to register for a honeymoon or a house in this case.


I think some of them feel that if they -do- involve a middleman (the registry), then it's not as crass as if they personally asked you to donate to help them buy a house.

RE: lowspark's comment about the travel agent charging a fee--the honeymoon registry's fee would usually be -on top- of any of that fee.
   So I too would simply say, "Oh, cash for a honeymoon? Might as well, I'll write them a check. I'm not going to deal with the registry!"

LemonZen

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 11:08:23 AM »
When faced with a honeymoon registry, we hemmed and hawed for a while and finally ended up giving them cash in the currency of their destination.  This solved our dillema, because, while we found the registry itself "off", the foreign money also felt like a real gift -- not just an anonymous check -- because we had to put some thought and effort into it.  If they hadn't taken the trip, they'd have had a "trip" fund for when they did, or they could change it back.  Somehow, this felt better to us than signing up on a website.  Part of this was finding it distasteful that the website took a cut, whether they took the trip or not.  I liked it better when people registered their china, crystal and silver patterns and that was it, beyond maybe telling people their planned colors for linens and kitchen.  Easy, and one teaspoon or cordial glass or bread and butter plate is generally affordable, and meaningful, because it was building something they'd use all their lives.

I like this idea a lot for the times you know where they are going :)

I don't really like honeymoon registries in any case, but I have an especially bad taste in my mouth from one couple I knew who registered for a non-descript honeymoon, they gave no details, no possible plans, just give us money toward a trip. Then they ended up not going anywhere at all. I almost feel like a straight up ask for cash would have been better than pretending you are "registering" for something when you're not. At least then I know my money isn't getting a fee taken off it for no reason.

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 04:12:23 PM »
Kind of a general question on this subject--if the couple had a honeymoon fund through a company, and you decided to contribute to it, would you spend more of your money, because you knew the company was going to take a cut? So say normally you would spend $50, and somehow you find out or assume the company is taking a 5% cut of whatever the couple gets, so $2.50 in this case. Would you therefore spend more money, like $55, so that the amount going to the couple is at least $50 still? I guess it's similar to the question of, do you include shipping costs as part of your gift budget.

Because if someone is thinking, "The website gets a cut, so I need to spend MORE money now to give them the gift I want," I can see how that would make a honeymoon fund seem extra irritating. Especially since, I presume the website would let them see the precise dollar amount everyone gave. Personally I would still give just $50, full stop, and assume that they didn't mind that they were actually only getting $47.50 from me in the end.

 :P I had to use a calculator to check all this. Maybe my poor math skills are a bigger motivator than etiquette here!

In other words, I agree that signing up for a honeymoon fund doesn't make them gimme pigs. But to be honest, I wouldn't actually buy a couple something I thought was ugly or didn't like, regardless of whether they registered for it or not. I would either pick something else off the registry or go off the registry or give cash. I just wouldn't feel comfortable buying a gift for someone if it wasn't something I liked. That's just me, though! I just don't like honeymoon registries, so I wouldn't contribute to one. And that is my own personal preference.

I was thinking like, they register for pillow shams. And I don't even understand pillow shams. But they're in my price range, and I'm not morally opposed to pillow shams, and for me it's tons easier to purchase something from a registry online and have it shipped directly to the couple at whatever address they gave, than to physically go out shopping. So, that's not something I personally would like or use, but the couple wants it (registered for it), so why not.

Not sure I could bring myself to purchase PAISLEY pillow shams, though. Might be too much for me. ;)
~Lynn2000

LETitbe

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 09:07:35 PM »
Yeah, if you think about it, as far as the cut the company takes, maybe it's no different than buying a toaster, for example, and the profit Target makes. I think for me, the difference is that it feels like cash. Giving to a honeymoon fund or house fund or whatever just feels like another form of cash. And if I want to give cash, I'll just write a check. Now, if I give cash, and the couple uses it to buy a trip through a travel agent who charges a fee for their services, then it probably just nets out to the same thing. But I dunno, it just feels different to me.

I totally agree that how the couple behaves is what would make me think of them as gracious or gimme pigs or whatever. But I see that as a totally separate issue.

In other words, I agree that signing up for a honeymoon fund doesn't make them gimme pigs. But to be honest, I wouldn't actually buy a couple something I thought was ugly or didn't like, regardless of whether they registered for it or not. I would either pick something else off the registry or go off the registry or give cash. I just wouldn't feel comfortable buying a gift for someone if it wasn't something I liked. That's just me, though! I just don't like honeymoon registries, so I wouldn't contribute to one. And that is my own personal preference.

I'm actually like this to a point, as well. Yes, I shop off registry based on my budget, but I also tend to pick things I feel are useful or worth the money they cost. I think that's pretty natural and human.
Honestly, that's the biggest problem I have with honeymoon registries. It's like "give us cash, or give us cash", which I feel kind of rude to people who don't like giving cash. We all interject our personal preference into gifts a bit. (To be fair, this might also be colored by the fact that many people who have HM registries- in forums, at least- say they don't want tangible gifts, and getting them those is insensitive or not thoughtful...I think that's pretty much BS).

Sharnita

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2014, 11:43:31 AM »
Frankly, if there was an unforeseen circumstance like unemployment or illness I'd rather they use my money to deal with that than to go on a honeymoon.

shhh its me

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Re: S/O Honeymoon Fund dilemma- When the Honeymoon doesn't happen
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 11:55:22 AM »
I've never actually come across a honeymoon registry in my own experience but I did once get invited to a wedding where the website requested contributions to a fund to buy a house. It had a link to a website, I think. I don't really remember because I was totally not interested in contributing. Why? Mainly for the very reason you are suggesting here. I just didn't really think they'd be able to collect enough money from this to actually buy a house but even if they did, I figured some of that money would be lost to a middleman. It just seemed too silly to me.

I think that some couples think it's cute or novel or trendy maybe, to register for a honeymoon or a house in this case. Maybe some of them have been living on their own and feel like they already have all the typical stuff you'd get for wedding presents. Toaster, dishes, towels, etc.

Back in the olden days when you only registered for china, crystal and silverware and maybe named your preferred colors for kitchen & bathroom, you let the guests pick out stuff for you. I think we've gotten to the point in registries where we feel we have to register for every last minute item down to what wooden spoon we want and that has, in turn, led to people not wanting to register at all because they don't need anymore wooden spoons.

Maybe if we went back to registering for the very few items we feel we really need to pick out ourselves, or to registering for nothing, the pull to register for honeymoons & houses would subside?

I don't mind the "buy a house" ones in theory(well besides the fact I'm not thrilled with cash/cash equivalences ONLY registries) I wouldn't expect many people to actually get enough to buy a house but a down payment maybe and very likely a very good portion of a down payment.   I only have fringe experience with them but if there are fees the fees are minimal  (like $25-100) Calling a saving account a "home buying registry" just makes it easier to use the funds as a down payment in the eyes of mortgage lenders and makes the couple more likely to get their mortgage though the institution which set it up.