Giving the perfect wedding gift all depends on the couple

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 1, 2017

 After an appearance on “Shark Tank,” Honeyfund became a hit with engaged couples looking for more of an “experience” than traditional gifts.

After an appearance on “Shark Tank,” Honeyfund became a hit with engaged couples looking for more of an “experience” than traditional gifts.

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METRO DETROIT — Once the vows have been said and the rice has been thrown, the excitement of a wedding day still isn’t over for the new bride and groom.

Opening gifts is a fun and useful way for newlyweds to start their new life together. But are all gifts created equal? Many couples say some presents have more presence in their daily lives than others.

Francesca Gonzalez, of Bloomfield Hills, said her favorite wedding gift was probably the homemade quilt she received from her neighbor. But the most useful?

“(I got) a really great Crock-Pot that was too expensive for me to justify purchasing on my own. That’s the most used,” Gonzalez said. “The most practical gift was probably my glass storage containers. If you ask my husband, he’d say the rice cooker and cast-iron skillet.”

Gonzalez and her husband can’t agree which gift wins out as the best, but they can agree which ones weren’t favorites.

“Napkin rings, placemats that (hamper) our style, a deep fryer — the kind to make your own fries, not a turkey — things we didn’t register for. And a baby name book,” she said.

Dana Rashid, of Detroit, boasts about a Dustbuster she and her husband received for their nuptials.

“We use it so much, and I thought we wouldn’t (get it), even though my husband wanted to register for it,” she said.

Sarah Davis, wife to C & G Sports Editor Christian Davis, said they opted to go the nontraditional route and register for their honeymoon instead, and she called it the “best decision ever.”

In fact, honeymoon registries are quickly growing in popularity, according to CEO and co-founder Sara Margulis.

After an appearance on the ABC hit show “Shark Tank,” Margulis and her husband were able to grow their 10-year-old business into a registry revolution, thanks to an investment from celebrity business mogul and “shark” Kevin O’Leary in 2014.

“We doubled our all-time giving volume in just the last two years. Part of that was the exposure from ‘Shark Tank’ and part is because of the trend,” said Margulis. “It’s just growing so quickly now. Couples value experiences and creating lifelong memories together, and they don’t always have the budget for a wedding and a dream honeymoon.”

The idea behind a honeymoon registry, she explained, is that couples can list all the activities they plan to do on their big trip, and guests can choose what they’d like to fund or can just donate to the adventure in general.

“We encourage couples to get very detailed, because it’s more fun for the guests,” Margulis said. “It can include everything from hotel nights to airfare and excursions. So they can say later, ‘I funded your romantic dinner overlooking the ocean,’ or, ‘I funded your swimming with the dolphins.’”

To add to the excitement, she suggests that couples take photos of all the fun they’re having so they can print them later and send an image from that particular experience to the wedding guest who made it possible.

Because some people are sticklers for tradition and think the honeymoon registry might be “tacky,” Margulis said it’s a good idea to link a Honeyfund page to a traditional retail registry for those who would rather give a tangible gift.

“Guests are constantly telling us how they love giving an experience as a gift,” she said. “It got to the point where we developed the Honeyfund gift card so you can give that gift to couples who aren’t registered with us.”