Who Pays For The Honeymoon?

Story Amour
Written by Story Amour · Posted in Honeymoon Last Updated April 1, 2023 · minute read

Weddings can be pricey, can’t they!? There’s the wedding dress, the cake, the venue, the caterers, the photographer the list seems never ending. Maybe you’ve paid for all these yourselves or perhaps you’ve had help from your parents, grandparents or other relatives.

Just when you think it’s all over there’s another expense to contend with and you might find yourself asking, who pays for the honeymoon? Should it be the couple? The groom? Or the wedding guests?

couple hugging on a beach during their honeymoon

Who Pays for the Honeymoon?

Hopefully, you’re a well prepared couple and you’re thinking about this well in advance of your wedding. This is good, it gives you plenty of time to plan.

Luckily you’re reading this so are definitely in the right place. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about who pays for the honeymoon.

Our team of industry experts will give you tips and tricks for deciding who pays, talk about the average costs involved, and provide practical advice on how you can best save for your honeymoon.

So while it’s not quite time to order the Pina Coladas your honeymoon will be here in a flash.

So let’s get into it!

What is a honeymoon?

Well, the wedding’s over, bummer right? But now it’s time to take your first vacation together as a married couple.

It’s your chance to de-stress from all the pressures involved in planning a wedding. Spend time with your loved one and make lasting memories. Sound’s good right?

Well, that’s what a honeymoon is. Some couples may opt for a relaxing vacay where they can get massages and simply put their feet up in Hawaii. Other couples may go for something a little more adventurous like a once in a lifetime trip exploring India.

Each couple has their own personal idea of what a honeymoon is and it’s something you definitely need to think about well in advance.

This will help you navigate the tricky questions of what you can afford, where you want to go, and how long you can honeymoon for.

Who usually foots the bill for a honeymoon?

Traditionally it’s been the groom or the groom’s family that usually pays for the honeymoon.

The reason for this is that it would also traditionally be the bride’s family that paid for the majority of the wedding. This was a way to make things a little fairer. Back in the day, everyone had their roles on what they’d pay for and everyone stuck to them. No questions asked.

But hello it’s 2023 and more modern couples are doing things a little differently.

In reality, there is no correct answer to who pays for the honeymoon. However, from our research, we’ve found that the funds usually come from one of these 5 sources or a combination of them all.


Perhaps you haven’t already been enough of a financial burden to your parents having a wedding and all. Just kidding!

Some parents will be more than happy to help you financially towards the honeymoon as well as the wedding.

Much like we discussed in our article: At what age do parents not pay for a wedding you’ll find that if you’re a little older and financially stable it’s less likely that parents will assist you.

It can be tricky though to talk about money with your parents. What if your dream location for your honeymoon is the Maldives? but they can only afford something more local?

The groom

This has been the way in the past and there’s nothing to say this isn’t the right option for you.

Perhaps the groom had a bonus at work or has been saving for the honeymoon for years without you knowing. Maybe he’s taken note of the subtle hints of your love of Thailand or The Bahamas when you think he’s not listening.

It’s usually a bride who will plan the wedding down to the last detail but maybe a groom feels more inspired by the idea of the honeymoon. If that’s the case and he’s got the funds to pay we say let him!

The couple

This has become the popular choice for couples in recent times. It means they can be less restricted in where they choose to go for their honeymoon. It also means there’s no guilt about spending other people’s money on what is essentially the vacation of a lifetime.

Whether you’ve been saving up for years, taking out a loan, or doing your honeymoon on a shoestring you’re in control.

Honeymoons these days can require just as much planning as the big day itself. Heck, we’ve even heard of some couples having a really simple wedding so that they can prioritize the honeymoon.

Just think about what you could do with that average wedding spend of $30k [7]. The places you could go, the things you could see. We can definitely see the appeal!


It sounds a bit harsh at first, doesn’t it? However, this is becoming an increasingly popular way of paying for your honeymoon.

By crowdsourcing your funds you can reduce the financial burden on just one or two individuals and spread the cost.

We’ll talk about wedding registries later in the article. Basically, instead of guests buying you material objects like a coffee machine or a new vacuum they can contribute towards this once in a lifetime trip.

Top tip: the more guests you invite to your wedding the more contributions you’ll have towards your honeymoon. Sshhh don’t tell anyone!

A wealthy relative

You might be lucky enough that one of your relatives offers to pay for your honeymoon.

Lucky you!

Our only hope is that they tell you this well in advance so that you don’t book somewhere else.

Equally, whilst it might sound great in theory, what if they book you on a cruise that you and your partner have previously discussed as being your worst nightmare? Awks

There is the chance that they’ll make a sizable donation to your honeymoon kitty though. An absolutely ideal situation in our opinion.

Who traditionally plans the honeymoon?

This would usually be the responsibility of the groom. They’d choose a location and then surprise the bride when they got to the airport.

This can still be a great way of doing it and adding a further layer of excitement to the wedding celebrations.

Equally though as more and more couples are funding the honeymoon out of their own back pocket they’re planning it together. They’re going to places they’ve always wanted to travel to as a couple.

By doing it in this way there’s no gamble that they’ll both enjoy the destination. Plus they can both contribute financially making it the best method all around.

What’s the current honeymoon trend?

The usual suspects are still popular locations for newlyweds to honeymoon.

We’re talking The Maldives, The Caribbean, Thailand, Africa, and The Seychelles.

However, there’s also a rise in the “mini-moon” where a couple goes for a short stay somewhere a little more local to keep costs down. Perhaps a trip to California or San Francisco.

This then gives them more time to save for their real honeymoon. We think this is a really good option especially if the couple has also paid for the wedding out of their own funds.

How much does a honeymoon usually cost?

In a study of 12,000 couples who got married in 2022, The Knot found that the average honeymoon cost is $5,100 [1]. That’s a lot of cheddar!

There are various factors at play that will determine how much you’ll spend. However, one of the biggest is how long you go on a honeymoon for. One week vs one month will inevitably increase the bill for your hotel, food, and excursions.

At the same time though, say you’re flying to Europe, that’s an expensive plane ticket. You may as well make the most of it and spend a couple of weeks exploring as much as possible.

You’ve also got to consider the level of luxury you opt for. This is your honeymoon for goodness sake if ever there’s a time to splurge this is it.

Tips if you’ve decided to pay for your own honeymoon

If you’ve decided that you’re going to pay for your honeymoon as a couple, good for you. It does seem to be what most couples are doing these days and we think it’s great.

It means you can pick the location of your dreams and spend as much or as little as you want.

Here are some of our tips if that’s what you’ve decided.

Have an open discussion with your partner

In our opinion, the first thing you should do is sit down with your partner and have a discussion about honeymoons.

See where both of your heads are at. Where do you want to go? How much of a priority is a honeymoon to you both?

You can then draw up a list of dream locations or perhaps plan out a tour that you’re both happy with.

couple laughing and hugging during honeymoon

Discuss budgets and finances with your partner

Set a budget

The budget is really important and will help you to establish who will be contributing the most towards your honeymoon.

At the same time getting realistic about your budget should ensure that you don’t get your hopes up too high for something that just isn’t possible.

Assess your income

The next step is to get real. How much money do you each have saved and what can you afford?

Are you happy to borrow money to pay for this trip? Whether that’s a bank loan or from friends or relatives.

Our recommendation is that you look at your finances on a month by month basis. Make a spreadsheet if you have to. But find out what you’re spending. That way you can look to save from your income.

Equally, if one partner earns more than the other, consider the percentage difference between those earnings. So if you earn 20% more than your partner you contribute more to the overall honeymoon fund. That’s fair, right?

Think about how much your wedding cost

As we know weddings can be expensive and we think that should be in the back of your mind when planning your honeymoon.

If you spent $40k on your wedding can you afford a $6k honeymoon? Or would you be better off going for a more scaled back vacation for the time being?

At the same time perhaps you had a very simple backyard wedding with a few guests. Maybe you purposefully did this so that you could backpack around Asia for a month.

Equally, maybe your parents have covered the cost of the wedding in its entirety? We think it’s only right that you should have some personal money saved up to pay for your honeymoon.

Consider your future goals as a couple

You’ll likely be spending a lot of money on your honeymoon. As we’ve already said the average cost is $5,000 so some couples are obviously splashing out.

Whilst it might be boring to think about right now you should think about your future plans. Are you saving for a house or planning on starting a family together?

Even if those plans aren’t in your immediate future you should consider them and think about whether you can be more careful with where you spend your money.

How should you pay for a honeymoon?

Once you have determined the cost of your honeymoon, it is time to decide how to pay for it.

There are several options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Save a little but often

Like saving for anything, consistency is key and the earlier you start the better.

Perhaps you’ve only just confirmed the venue for your wedding and it’s two years out. Great, it’s the perfect time to start putting some money away towards your honeymoon fund.

If you could each put away $100 per month for the next 2 years you’d have $4800 in total.

Just think what a great honeymoon you could have with that kind of dollar!

You should think about making this process automatic with your bank so that you’re not tempted to spend it.

This technique also only works if you’re planning to book your honeymoon after your wedding.

If you’re planning on going on your honeymoon the day after the wedding you might need to start saving even earlier.

Credit cards that give you points or miles

Look out for credit cards that offer air miles and points as rewards for spending. In the planning of a wedding you’ll no doubt be spending lots and your points could soon build up.

Think about those major purchases like the wedding dress or the venue. Put these on the card and sit back and enjoy the rewards.

If you can save any money at all on your flights it can be a great way to make your honeymoon more affordable.

Open a dedicated savings account

This is the best way to not lose track of your honeymoon fund. It also ensures that you won’t be tempted to spend the money elsewhere.

Equally, if you find one with a good interest rate you can even make a little bit of money in the process.

You can both pay into this with automatic payments as well as contribute any bonuses you get at work.

Start a honeymoon registry

This is becoming an increasingly popular way that couples are going about paying for their honeymoon. Or should we say their guests are paying for their honeymoon?

A honeymoon registry is essentially a way of crowdsourcing funds to pay for your trip.

Think about it, if you invite 200 guests and they each gift you $25 you’d be at the average honeymoon price of $5000.

It obviously means that you forgo the traditional wedding registry. However, most modern couples typically already live together anyway and have everything they need.

You could also put activities on your registry like bungee jumping, skydiving, or jet skiing. All things that you can enjoy on your honeymoon. The registry would give your guests the opportunity to pick the activities they want to contribute towards.

If you are going down this route you should investigate any costs involved in setting it up. You should also check whether or not the registry platform is taking a percentage of any of the contributions.

Timing your honeymoon

When you’re planning how you’re going to pay for your honeymoon you should also think about when you’re going. We’re not talking about the time of the year although that could impact your costs.

No. We mean how long after the wedding. Whilst it’s tradition to go the day after that doesn’t have to be the way. You could go the week after or even a year later there really are no rules.

You’ll have already outlaid a lot of money on the wedding itself. No one will blame you for putting off the honeymoon for a while.

Doing this will give you more time to save up so that you can have the honeymoon of your dreams.

Ways to use a registry to pay for your honeymoon

Maybe you’re one of those couples who prefer to have experiences rather than material objects.

If that is the case then using your wedding registry to fund your honeymoon could prove to be the best of both worlds.

If you decide that a wedding registry is the best way to go, we wrote a whole article on the etiquette involved that you should pass on to your guests (read more here). That way they can be sure to not fall foul of any faux pas when contributing.

You can choose to use this honeymoon fund as you wish. Perhaps you pay for all of your honeymoon with it. Or maybe it plays an important role in boosting your own contribution.

Here are some of our tips for using a wedding registry to pay for your honeymoon.

Create a personalized website

By creating a personalized website you can tell the story of you as a couple. Explain how you first met (if it’s a clean story…) and explain the desire you both have to visit your honeymoon location.

This will inspire your guests and help them to better understand why you’re straying away from a traditional request for gifts.

Include visual elements like photos from your pre-wedding

Make your website interesting by using your professional photos from your engagement session. Or upload those cute selfies from your latest adventure.

This will inspire your guests as they see what a happy couple you are and how much you deserve this honeymoon. They’ll also get to see that these are the types of things you love to do and are all about experiences over materiality.

You could even set up a new Instagram account. Update it throughout your honeymoon so that the people who have contributed can see where you spent the money.

Have multiple contribution levels

Not all your guests will have the same budgets and this is something you should accommodate.

By offering various contribution levels to your overall fun you can make everyone feel involved. Perhaps something like $20, $50, and $100. Whatever you are comfortable with asking for.

The Knot [2] found that the average spend on a wedding gift was worth $160. So if your guests are this generous with their contributions you’ll be jetting off to The Maldives in no time at all!

Add a small traditional registry

To keep the older generation happy you could also consider adding a small registry.

You never know you might get lucky and they buy one of your items and contribute to your honeymoon. Win Win!

It’s the same with birthdays and Christmas isn’t it? There are always those people who prefer to buy a physical thing instead of giving you cash. Even though you’ve asked for cash. Happens to us every year.

Combining your honeymoon with your destination wedding

Something that we’ve seen when shooting destination weddings all around the world is that couples combine the two.

They head out to their destination a few days before the wedding to get acquainted. They then stay in that location for a couple of weeks after the “I do’s” have been said.

This is a great way to cut the costs of air travel as well.

Let’s say you’re traveling to Lake Como in Italy to have your destination wedding. Well, you’ve already flown all that way. It’d be rude not to see the rest of Italy and more of Europe wouldn’t it?

Worth A Read: What is a Destination Wedding?

couple laughing next to the sea

Combine your Honeymoon with a destination wedding


A honeymoon is a luxury for you and your partner. Even after writing this article, we have no conclusive answer for who should pay.

That being said, we hope that we’ve raised some interesting points to help you decide.

Whether you pay yourself, ask your guests via the wedding registry or someone simply pays for you we’re confident you’ll now make the correct call.

It’s one of those questions that is going to come down to your personal preference as a couple.

Are you happy with someone else paying? Or are you going to feel guilty? Or pressured to go where they think you should?

Ultimately it’s something that you and your partner need to decide as it’s you two that will be honeymooning. It’s your chance to relax or have once in a lifetime experiences so you should enjoy it the best way you know how.

Ahhh we’re so jealous that you’re thinking about your honeymoon. Enjoy it!


[1] – https://www.theknot.com/content/average-cost-of-honeymoon

[2] – https://www.theknot.com/content/how-much-to-spend-on-wedding-gifts

[3] – https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost