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Honeymoon Registry: Making Travel Dreams Come True

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

A honeymoon registry is a new twist on a traditional idea. In times past, when a newly married couple set up their household, the standard gift registry made perfect sense. Today however, people often live on their own before marriage, so they've already acquired most of the bits and pieces needed to run an efficient home.

What the couple may lack instead, are the funds to experience a memorable honeymoon. That's one reason this variation on the bridal registry has developed.

Rather than the typical list containing household items, such as picture frames, blenders and bath towels, the registry contains individual components of couples' dream honeymoon.

Friends and family have the opportunity to assist the couple in paying for the major expenses of airfare and accommodations. They can also purchase romantic gifts, such as a sunset dinner on the beach or a champagne breakfast in bed.

The items on honeymoon registry list can include activities and excursions. Examples might be a resort scuba diving course, tickets to a show, a golf outing, scenic bus tour or the chance to swim with dolphins. These "extras" create lifelong cherished memories, long after that toaster wears out and the towels get threadbare.

Although this new type of registry has been gaining in popularity, not all services are equal. Which honeymoon registry is right for you?

Registry fees and services span a wide range. You'll need to do some advance research to decipher which service or arrangement fits your needs in terms of pricing and travel goals.

One option is to work directly with your local travel agent. Once the trip plans are completed, the travel agent can put you in touch with a honeymoon registry service to finalize activities and then set up the registry.

Another alternative is to work directly with a company that specializes in this service. One example is www.afterido.com. They have a registration fee of $100 to be paid by you. This covers the announcement cards and registry list. In addition, family and friends pay a service fee of 12%. This fee is added on to gift prices to pay for such items as e-mail certificates and database maintenance.

In business since 1995, www.honeyluna.com is another company offering online honeymoon registry. Their online registry samples show you in detail how a typical plan works. All their honeymoon registries are customized to your interests and tastes. The registry setup fee is $100 if they arrange your travel, $150 if they don't. Check their question and answers page to learn more.

The approach at www.theworldoutdoors.com is a different. They're not a honeymoon registry service, but a tour company offering the option, in addition to their regular services. With their plan, you first select a tour and pay a deposit. Then, friends and family contribute to the general honeymoon fund. Thirty days prior to the beginning of the trip the company provides a list of everyone who contributed to your honeymoon and the amounts.

If the gift amount doesn't cover the full cost of the trip, you'll be responsible for making up the difference prior to your trip's departure. Or, if there's an overpayment, you will receive a check for the difference.

Artisans of Leisure, the New York-based luxury tour operator specializing in private, customized tours in Asia, Australia, Europe and India, began offering their honeymoon registry in August of 2004.

These are a few illustrations of how a honeymoon registry can be handled. When considering a registry, here are some factors to keep in mind.

How long has the company been offering honeymoon registry? The company's experience or lack of it can reflect on the success.

Is an itemized registry list provided or do family and friends simply contribute cash? Your loved ones will want to feel they are purchasing something significant as a wedding gift. If they have a list describing the purchase, it can make the gift giving experience more enjoyable.

How will your friends and family make their purchases? Will the company accept credit cards? Does the company have a toll free phone number for those without Internet access or in case of questions?

How will they distribute the registry list to your friends and family? The process needs to be as accessible as possible.

A registry service should put your registry list on the Internet, where out-of-town friends and family can easily see it. Will those who purchase receive anything to show for their money? They should receive a gift certificate and a receipt.

For many couples a honeymoon registry can mean the difference between just dreaming about a wonderful honeymoon and actually living it.


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