Everyone involved in a wedding knows about bridal showers, which is when the bride’s family or the maid of honor hosts a party for the bride’s friends that involves giving traditional wedding presents.
The honeymoon shower has become a new, optional event in the wedding planning cycle. Like a bridal shower, it involves the giving of presents. However, this is for the couple, not just the bride, and it is about everything honeymoon-related.
Some couples find it difficult to finance the once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon of their dreams. The honeymoon shower brings friends and family getting together to help them with gifts or cash to turn the couple’s dream into reality, and the idea is catching on. The honeymoon trip may be the most important travel plans the couple ever makes, so it should create a lifetime of memories. It should be perfect.
A fairly new and increasingly popular solution to how to afford the ideal honeymoon is to throw a honeymoon shower to help the happy couple.
Some couples who have lived together for a substantial amount of time may have all the daily necessities, including perhaps a home, so a bridal shower with negligees and toasters may not be a high priority for them while they are craving an unforgettable honeymoon trip. The honeymoon shower involves travel-related needs or money that can be put toward the trip.
How To Organize a Honeymoon Shower
The rules here are far more lenient and flexible than for a bridal shower. Anyone on either side of the family can host this shower. The happy couple can even host it themselves. The one similarity between the two showers is that whoever hosts, pays. That is non-negotiable. The couple can open a specific honeymoon registry with the store(s) of their choice (perhaps a travel agency or a snorkeling-gear shop), or they can specifically request cash.
How to Host a Honeymoon Shower
A honeymoon shower involves both partners, and it usually includes special food, games, and, of course, presents. These showers can be themed or focused on a specific destination, and the decorations will likely reflect the theme – such as plenty of maritime décor for a cruise and name cards that resemble boarding passes. The food can reflect their destination (tacos for a Mexican trip), and the games can be travel or geography related.
A fun honeymoon shower game is to have a list of romance-related words (such as husband, kiss, wedding, etc.) and another list with the same words in the language of the country to which the couple is traveling. Have the guests match up the words; the winner gets a prize.
The host may wonder who to invite to the honeymoon shower. Anyone can come, but it should be remembered it is rude to invite anyone to a gift-giving event and then not invite them to the wedding. The host should have access to the wedding guest list when creating invitations.
The thank-you note rules are the same as for the bridal shower. The notes should go out as soon as possible, perhaps with pictures of the honeymoon trip. The couple is not entitled to claim that since they sent out thank you notes for the bridal shower, official gratitude for the honeymoon shower is reductant. Thank yous for all presents will be expected.
Decorations for a Honeymoon Shower
The decorations for the honeymoon shower are best when it reflects the itinerary. For a trip to Paris, for example, there can be posters and pictures (any travel agency will have those) of the Eiffel Tower and the French flag.
For a tropical honeymoon shower, the guests should be transported to a tropical paradise. The venue (whether it is a restaurant or someone’s home) should have a tropical feel, with perhaps palm trees, coconuts, or any island décor.
Drinks should be tropical – many islands specialize in rum. Food can be planned around local fruits and other delicacies. For a special treat, hire a mixologist who can provide lessons in cocktail creations.
For an island-themed shower, it’s hard to go wrong with Bob Marley music.
While the main idea for the shower is to help the couple finance their honeymoon, some guests will also want to bring presents – or do both.
Gifts, of course, should relate to the trip and be something the couple can use. Leather toiletry bags will be very much appreciated, as will personalized luggage tags and/or passport holders. For a tropical getaway, also consider a personalized beach bag, scuba gear, and/or beach towels.
When to Hold a Honeymoon Shower
The honeymoon shower should be scheduled before the wedding, but not too close to the bridal shower. It is always a good idea to create some space between wedding events such as the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette parties, etc. It is more than likely that all these events will be attended by the same people spending plenty of money.
From a purely monetary standpoint, holding the events too close together may pose a financial strain on some guests, and the gifts will be less grand. Spacing the events apart gives the guests some financial breathing room.
How to Request Honeymoon Cash in a Polite Way
The honeymoon shower will likely include the couple’s grandparents and parents, who were undoubtedly raised with the axiom that one never, but never, ask for money as a gift. They may resist a honeymoon shower and/or refuse to attend at all. For etiquette aficionados, asking for cash can carry a certain stigma. That is why it needs to be done tactfully.
Guest may not object to a honeymoon shower, per se, but they will think in terms of presents. However, anyone accepting an invitation to a honeymoon shower should understand that cash is the main issue. The guests are gathered to make the honeymoon trip possible, and that includes cash.
Using Honeymoon Registry.
A honeymoon registry is a way to request money as opposed to a traditional registry, which is for traditional presents. If some people remain shocked at the concept of asking for cash, explain the situation on the registry. Outline the trip idea and general itinerary, and why this means so much to you or the couple.
Don’t hesitate to provide details – the more the better. Paint a picture of the type of honeymoon you have always dreamed of, down to the resort, beach, and food. Elaborate on how this would not be possible without the generosity and love of friends and family.
You can accurately break the cash request into specifics. Explain why the memories of celebrating your marriage at a once-in-a-lifetime resort would provide you with forever memories. Give specifics about the resort that you are longing for – the cuisine, the beach parties, the cruises, the entertainment, or a special romantic suite. Perhaps you wish for funds to take local Bali or Hawaii Scuba lessons – explain that. Provide your guests with some insight into why this is important to you. Friends and families are far more likely to understand if they know your reasoning. You are seeking memories, not just signed checks.
If friends and family gift you cash for specific activities – a safari, a cruise, or a ziplining excursion – be sure to “gift” them with plenty of pictures to show your appreciation. Share your adventure and memories with them.
Some of the more popular honeymoon registries are Wanderable and Honeyfund.
In addition to a money registry, be sure to also provide guests with a traditional registry. Some traditional people will simply want to hand you a physical present, even if they like your idea. Provide those with the opportunity to choose the proper houseware or travel items that they wish to give you. Their wishes should be respected, as well.
Be aware that even with a wedding registry, some people who are agreeable to giving cash will want to hand you money rather than arrange for an electronic transfer. Have a nicely decorated box at your wedding reception for envelopes containing money. It’s discreet and will satisfy everyone.
A honeymoon shower is a wonderful and thoughtful idea to make a young couple’s dreams come true. The good news is that those that remain obstinately opposed to the concept can still provide more traditional gifts. Everyone wins.
As the host, however, what do you do when you sense that the added expense of an additional wedding gift-giving event may place too much of a financial burden on too many guests? They may not specifically say so, but they may be resentful at the request.
If that is the case, discuss the situation with the couple. They can still have a honeymoon shower – but it will be called a travel-themed bridal shower. By combining two events into one, you can save guests money while still achieving the goal of providing the happy couple with their ideal honeymoon getaway. The registry can include travel agencies, a specific hotel – all the things that will move them closer to their travel plans without overburdening friends and family. Call it a bridal shower or a honeymoon shower, the results will still be an enormous win for the couple.