Don't need a new toaster oven? Skip the home goods and set up a honeymoon fund instead.

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One of the best parts of a wedding (besides declaring your love and committing to each other in front of friends and family) can be the gifts you get afterwards. Maybe that state-of-the-art espresso machine is just what you wanted for your new home, but more couples are skipping the housewares and asking their guests for money instead—a process that has become increasingly normalized.

Bloomberg recently reported that wedding websites Zola and The Knot saw a significant increase in the number of couples registering for cash gifts over the pandemic. The article reported that 80 percent of the couples on Zola received money, while The Knot saw a 30 percent increase in people creating and giving cash gifts—with a honeymoon fund being the most popular ask.

"Increasingly, couples are opting not to register for physical items," says Rachel Silver, CEO of wedding inspiration and planning platform, Love Stories TV. Silver says the reason might be because people are getting married later in life and living together before marriage, so they have less of a need for home items. "Now that travel and experiences are opening up again, this is where couples want their guests to focus," says Silver. Here's why a honeymoon fund can be the perfect addition to your registry.

passports with money and hearts
Credit: Getty Images

A honeymoon fund can be a more subtle way of asking your guests for cash.

If you're hesitant about asking your guests for cash, setting up a honeymoon fund might be a more subtle way to go about it. "Honeymoon funds are a great way to get cash for your wedding without asking for cash," says Silver. A honeymoon fund doesn't just have to cover travel costs, either; add experiences that you and your spouse would like to indulge in on your honeymoon (such as a massage or romantic dinner) and have people contribute to that. Most online registry websites allow you to add individual experiences like these to your registry for your guests to contribute.

"I always tell couples to break their cash funds up into several smaller funds, so for a honeymoon fund, that might be things like excursions and activities, meals out, hotel stays, and airfare," suggests Melissa Trentadue, manager of community at Zola. "This makes the funds much more personal and makes your guests feel included in your plans, and we see that guests are most likely to contribute to cash funds when they're for things that are super specific," Trentadue explains.

Check to see if the website you're using has any processing fees on the contributions—some sites such as Hitchd and Zola give guests the option to absorb the fee, so the couple can get the full amount.

A honeymoon fund can be a more budget-friendly option for guests—and you don't have to worry about keeping track of gifts at the venue.

Setting up a honeymoon fund allows your guests to contribute any amount they want, which can make your registry more budget-friendly for all your guests—especially for any last minute gift-givers.

"Retail items on a registry vary in price, and lower-priced items are generally purchased first," says Leslie Lorelle Sharp, co-founder of Black Bride Box, a subscription service featuring Black-owned bridal products. "Most honeymoon funds have options for guests to contribute any amount," adds Sharp.

A honeymoon fund allows your guests to contribute as much as they want to, without needing to stress about how much to give, ordering a gift off the registry that is out of budget, or wrapping a present to bring to your wedding.

And speaking of wrapped gifts, having an online fund that guests can give to means you won't have to run around after your wedding trying to keep track of all of them. Instead, have people in your wedding party spread the word and direct guests to the registry instead of bringing envelopes to the venue; you don't want to lose any checks in all the wedding fun.

You can add a honeymoon fund in addition to household items you want.

Now, having a honeymoon fund doesn't mean you can't register for other items too. You can do both, and have the honeymoon fund (along with the mini cash funds of activities on your honeymoon) to give your guests a variety of options they can give to.

"Not every guest may feel comfortable gifting cash, and this way you make sure that you end up getting household items you actually do want and need," says Trentadue. "A honeymoon fund isn't a better choice than registering for household items, but a different choice," she adds.

If you and your spouse decide you don't really need many household items, then consider adding a honeymoon fund; the experience of it (with none of the financial burden) will likely be something you treasure far longer than a set of towels. You could also include other cash funds, such as one for your future home or any classes or hobbies that you and your spouse are passionate about.