“I don’t want anyone deciding on my china patterns or picking out my sheets. I’ll buy my own sheets,” says Sonya Davie of the idea of signing with a bridal registry. “A lot of times people don’t even follow the listings, and you end up with stuff you don’t want, don’t need, or don’t even like,” says the 37-year-old CEO of Diva International, an inspirational company with a line of motivational T-shirts in Brooklyn, New York.
Davie had never heard of honeymoon bridal registries but instantly liked the idea. It’s the latest trend in wedding planning and one that has become more appropriate for couples. “Today’s newlywed has had four to six years on average to establish a household,” says Scott Ellingboe, president, CEO, and founder of www.thehoneymoon.com, an online serv-ice established in 1999 that helps couples create customized honeymoon registries. It was an idea sparked by Ellington’s friend who was getting married for the second time and was lamenting about the bridal registry process. “I just wish people would help me pay for my honeymoon instead of all this stuff,” his friend said.
Instead of receiving five toasters or three blenders, a couple might enjoy a dinner for two at the foot of Mount Vesuvius or a serenading gondola ride in Venice, Italy. At The Honeymoon Website, guests can log on to the couple’s free Web page, choose a gift, and then proceed to checkout where they will be asked to pay by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. There is no sales tax, but there is a service charge, which on a purchase of $50, for example, would average $7.12. The percentage of the service charge declines with the increase of the gift amount.
For the couple the service is free. They can, however, purchase their honeymoon on the Website and then proceed to develop their free Web page. If they have already made honeymoon arrangements, then they would only need to add the details of their trip to their Web page.
Couples receive a check five days before the honeymoon, but the account will remain open for 30 additional days, at which time a final check will be cut. Note that many providers charge a registration fee of up to $150 for couples as well as a service charge for guests.