Tim and I are getting married during what is historically the coldest week of the year in Minnesota. When I tell people our wedding date, I usually get one of two reactions. The most popular is, "Really? January?" closely followed by, "Oh, so you must be doing a destination wedding! How great!" While we're excited for a winter wedding in our great snowy hometown state, I have to admit that they have a point about our crazy weather.
Last winter (coincidentally the same week as our wedding is this year) Tim and I took our first vacation together to Costa Rica. We spent one of the best weeks I've ever had doing plenty of relaxing, drinking, adventuring, and strengthening our relationship. We read books in hammocks, attempted whitewater rafting, repelled down 200-foot waterfalls, and ziplined over the rainforest canopy. Oh, and I beat Tim by about 32 games of cribbage (which he's still a little upset about). Our vacation was a unique opportunity for us to connect without the stress of everyday life, work, and responsibilities. Plus, we got the chance to sit on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and I got to score this gem of a photo:
"It's okay, Tim. I promise I won't show this photo to anyone!" Whoops.
Ever since Costa Rica we've been counting down the days to our next big trip. Having a winter wedding comes with a slightly unexpected perk: a break from winter for a warm weather honeymoon! I decided long ago that my honeymoon had only one requirement: I want to lay on the beach, in a comfy chair, while someone brings me a strong fruity drink with an umbrella and one of those little plastic swords spearing a cherry on it. Finances are tight for everyone right now, and Tim and I weren't sure that it would be wise to spend the money required for the honeymoon I envisioned.
Luckily, being the wedding blog hack that I am, I came across a post on Offbeat Bride about planning a honeymoon on a budget. Offbeat Bride has been one of my favorite sites since before we were even engaged (I admit it: I was that girlfriend) because it has tons of ideas for the nontraditional bride. The post was featuring Traveler's Joy, an online honeymoon registry as an alternative to traditional household registries. Genius! I couldn't believe that we hadn't thought of this before.
Choosing to go with a honeymoon registry was a no-brainer for us. While the website looks and feels like an online registry from any store, it has some great perks. It's customizable with features to add our pictures, story, and vacation plans. We can choose any item we want, from cabfare to drinks on the beach to a shade cabana for Tim (quite the upgrade from the rainbow umbrella, I think). We can even add items such as dinner at my favorite Cabo restaurant or and a whale watching tour. For items that would be unreasonable to ask anyone to pay for in full, such as plane tickets, we can break them into multiple items and pick the dollar denomination that we want. It's a win for our guests who choose to participate because the registry is easy to use and feels more like buying a physical gift than giving cash into a generic account.
The registry definitely allows your personality as a couple to shine through!
We're crossing our fingers that our guests will be receptive to our honeymoon registry, but we also recognize that some may want to give physical gifts. Coupled with the fact that we both want to run around a department store like ninjas with the scanner guns, we decided to also register at Crate & Barrel, Target, and Macy's for some more traditional registry items.
Thanks to our honeymoon registry, Tim and I are counting down the days until we will be at the beautiful Villa del Arco in Cabo, Mexico! We'll be spending a week eating chips and guacamole, drinking margaritas by the pitcher (I'm just being realistic, here), and enjoying the warm sun. Another bonus of a winter wedding? A winter anniversary! I think I know what I'll be asking for as a "paper" gift for our one year anniversary: plane tickets to our next great adventure!