Today’s wedding vendor interview is with Shelley and Andrew of Buy Our Honeymoon, an indie wedding registry based in London, England! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
We’re the UK’s top independent honeymoon registry specialists. We’ve helped thousands of couples from all over the world create unique, personal and meaningful wedding registries of honeymoon experiences, activities and contributions towards travel and accommodation. You get the valuable help towards your honeymoon expenses, while your guests get to choose a gift that’s meaningful and special.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into the business?
We’re a husband-and-wife team, and we launched Buy Our Honeymoon in 2007. The idea, however, first began life back when we were planning our own wedding. We didn’t like the idea of re-stocking a home already bursting at the seams, so we instead compiled a list of adventures for our epic honeymoon road trip across the USA. We were delighted that our list captured the imaginations of our guests. People actively liked getting us fun and exciting experiences rather than a set of dull old spoons that might just languish in a cupboard. It seemed obvious that if it worked so well for us, it could work for other couples too. When some friends-of-friends got married a year or so later, we set everything up to work for them, and then developed it from there to launch as a real business. To our surprise, it took off really quickly!
What’s your favorite part of the job?
We both feel incredibly lucky to have such autonomy in our work. We’ve built our service with love and care, staying true to the principles and ideas that we began with. And because we’ve built the site ourselves, and run the service ourselves, if someone suggests a good idea we have the power to make to happen immediately. That’s a wonderful feeling.
If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?
We’re very lucky, in a way, to have been the very first customers for our own service. It means we have first-hand experience of the circumstances that lead couples to consider a honeymoon registry, the practicalities of putting one together, and the transformation of our own honeymoon that it provided.
We’ve been married for more than a decade now, but the memories of our honeymoon stay with us — unlike everything in our kitchen!
The personal joy of thinking of those who had given each gift made everything we did extra-special. We really did have the trip of a lifetime, thanks to our family and friends.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?
Make sure you have a market for what you are selling, do the research and see if there is a proper demand. Start small and give yourself time to iron out any kinks. Especially with an online business, you can revisit decisions and adjust priorities constantly.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
We’re a family of four now, plus a cat, so a lot of life revolves around the kids. We wouldn’t have it any other way! The great thing about the Internet is that you can take good care of business anywhere there’s wifi, so we try to make time to get away as much as we can — whether it’s a weekend in our little pink VW camper van, or a return visit to the theme parks of the US!
Any great stories from working with a client?
Running our service makes us very jealous of the wonderful honeymoons our couples have! We want to go to South America and have tango lessons, climb Table Mountain in Cape Town, sail the Blue Grotto in Capri, visit Studio Ghibli in Tokyo and drink Mai Tais in Hawaii — all of it! Some of our very favorite gifts that couples have listed are some of the most unusual, of course. A permit to drive through Death Valley, dehydrated food for a walking trek through Iceland, lodging on a scientific expedition to Antarctica!
What makes you different from others in your field?
Our service is for couples who are actively seeking an alternative to a traditional department store registry. Couples whose biggest wish is instead to achieve the honeymoon of their dreams — whatever that may be — with the love and support of their friends and family. As a business, we pioneered the zero-commission model for honeymoon gift lists in the UK, allowing our couples to be completely independent of us in terms of the financial transactions for their gifts. And our service is uniquely flexible. You can mix one-off gifts and open contributions on the same list, divide your list up into any number of custom sections and display your gift items in any order you like. We offer support for a wide variety of currencies, both for displaying your gift items and for collecting your funds — and you can even provide your registry in more than one language.
Our service is about making honeymoon contributions as real, as polite, and as memorable as physical gifts. We were the first company to introduce the concept of detailed, customizable design themes for wedding registries, allowing our couples to truly reflect themselves and their hopes for their big day and beyond. Many of our couples really get creative with their list — to tell the story of their honeymoon: where they’re headed, why it’s important to them, what they most hope to remember from the experience. There are no limits to what you can include!
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
Honestly, anything that’s an authentic representation of who you are as a couple gets the thumbs-up from us. Whether it’s formal, laid back, or super-kitsch, as long as it’s a genuine reflection of you, that’s all that matters.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?
Your registry is one of the first experiences your guests will have of your wedding. It’s an opportunity to set the tone. The more your registry shows who you are, the more your guests are likely to enjoy using it, and to appreciate why you haven’t taken the more traditional path. You can make your list as simple or as detailed as you want, but a little personality goes a long way!
Great, thanks guys! For more information about Buy Our Honeymoon, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.
Do yo have any questions or comments for Shelley or Andrew? Add them to the comments below!