The Honeymoon Jar Controversy

There’s been quite a bit of controversy over on the planning and etiquette boards about “honeymoon jars” and whether displaying one at the wedding on the gift table is clever or just plain tacky.

One commenter says “I think that is a disgusting thing to do.  It is really rude and would probably offend a lot of your guests and have them commenting behind your back.”

What do you think?

> Tips on how to honeymoon on a budget

> Join the conversation about honeymoon jars

> Need advice from an expert on weddings or etiquette? Ask Carley!

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  • Joci
    08/27/12 at 05:23

    This just seems like a cute, less awkward alternative to the dollar dance, no? I like it.

  • Rosie
    07/12/13 at 03:51

    That was my thought…I am considering this Jar idea since we won’t be doing the dollar dance. I would also not plan to walk around and ask for donations…lol Those that want to add to the jar great those that don’t that is fine too. I would never hound my guest to give me anything.

  • Natasha
    08/27/12 at 05:31

    Depends…. are we asking for gifts as well? If so, then I would leave it out. If all you’re asking for is help towards your honeymoon then I would have it :)

  • Samantha Roberts
    08/27/12 at 05:35

    I don’t think a Bride & Groom should put something like this out. Wouldn’t it make guests feel uncomfortable, as if it was expected for everyone to throw in a few dollars? Being a guest a wedding is expensive enough. I mean there are flights, hotels, local transportation costs, gifts, and don’t forget most guests tip bartenders as well. I think it is very expensive for most guests to attend your wedding already and you shouldn’t ask them to spend any more money on your big day!

  • Rachel Hubbell
    08/27/12 at 05:49

    I don’t hate it, if you have a destination wedding, then clearly, no; you’re already on vacation. If you’re a young couple who paid and put together your wedding yourself, I say go for it! Every part helps, it can be change or just a 1$ or however much your guests want to put in. I hate $ dances, it also doesn’t raise that much money considering it only lasts 15 minutes, so a jar that’s out all night gives everyone a chance and the ability to put in however much they would like to :)
    If your wedding is paid for and honeymoon is covered then it’s just unnecessary.

    Think about who your friends and guests are, if they’re all a bit laidback and givers, then go for it. If you have a bit more formal/traditional guests then it’s probably going to be looked down on.

  • Lyndsey
    08/27/12 at 05:58

    We had one at our wedding in lieu of a tip jar for bartenders. Our wedding was at a private residence and therefore we could not charge people for drinks because we didn’t have a liquor license. Also, we didn’t do any sort of dollar dance. We made $200 and did use it on our honeymoon for dinner:)

  • Amanda
    08/27/12 at 06:49

    Its totally tacky…as is the dollar dance. It puts pressure on people who are feeling a hit from the economy. AND even worse you might not know
    Some of your guests. There is a high chance of theft with this.

    My fiancé and I want $ for our honeymoon, but instead of Doing something like this I put a photo of a Disney gift card on our wedding website saying “what a great gift! We can use this on our honeymoon”.

    It’s not a slap in the face like a personal tip jar. It’s just a tip to people who don’t know what
    To bring.

    Also, I wouldn’t bring more than drink $ to a wedding

  • Stone
    08/27/12 at 07:21

    Great to have around the house for the engaged couple to personally add throughout the year of their engagement, but skip it at the reception.

  • Lizard
    08/27/12 at 07:57

    Gross, tacky…no no no

  • sara
    08/27/12 at 08:12

    agree with stone. great idea for the couple to keep in their home and contribute to personally, but not appropriate for the wedding reception.

  • Bex
    08/27/12 at 09:34

    I like how Amanda approached this. We have been going back and forth so many times on what to do – we are expected to pay for almost all of our own wedding (no other help from family). So a honeymoon is not even feasable. The other thing is we have had our house for 2 years now, we don’t need more “stuff”. But I am hestating to do something like that. We were going to do a dollar dance but I don’t know.

  • Latoya S
    08/28/12 at 01:16

    not everyone needs a traditional bridal registry. my fiance & I are combining 2 households & do not need another blender, coffee maker or crock pot. we like the idea of a honeymoon registry. you still have to pay for everything up front. i love the idea for couples in our situation.

  • Charlie
    08/28/12 at 02:41

    Maybe I’m old fashion but I feel like the idea behind gifts at a wedding is to help a new couple furnish their home or get a headstart on their new life together. The idea of subsidizing someone’s flight to Hawaii doesn’t seem to fit. Then again, the electronic gift registry was invented by Target…

  • Bethy Eloise
    08/28/12 at 09:25

    I like these, but I never want to offend anyone and think I have found a great alternative.
    There are loads of websites such as ‘’ where you can start an account for you guests to pay into where the amounts are anonymous.
    Also a lot of travel agents do vouchers, the only problem with this is you can end up with them from different agents then you can’t use them all for one trip.
    The best solution I have found is to put a little poem or note in your invites saying rather than gifts you would like a donation towards your honeymoon and include the website or travel agent you are using.
    Also if everyone does this you can send a happy smiley photo from your honeymoon out with your thank you cards when you get home and they will all feel they have made you both happy by giving you a nice time.

  • Ella
    02/12/13 at 06:31

    Hi Bethy Eloise:
    I hear where you are coming from but I have always heard that making any mention to gifts, money and/or a registry on the invitation is also tacky and presumptive. I think you’re on the right track, but I’d do this on the wedding website and in the registry itself. My fiance and I have a universal registry on, and we have a number of gift cards in there (home depot, bed and breadfast, cheesecake factory, spa day.) It’s also possible with universal registry to include “American Express Travel” or “Liberty Travel,” etsy dollars, a specific location’s hotel or restaurant etc. That’s the way I’d play it if I was the couple seeking the honeymoon jar or dollar dance alternative.


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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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