Some people will tell you it is unacceptable for a couple to ask for honeymoon funding in lieu of concrete, physical wedding gifts. Fuck these people and fuck everything for which they stand.
I'm getting married about a year and a half from now; with maybe an exception or two, my fiancée and I weren't planning on asking for any registry-style gifts. Because we've lived together for years, there's basically nothing we need around the house—but we really, really want to travel somewhere special we haven't been before. It wasn't until I explained this idea to a few friends and relatives and saw it met with tepid discomfort that I realized, holy crap, there are still human beings—in 2015, the year when Back to the Future told us we'd have hoverboards!—who look down on the Honeyfund.
These people must be stopped.
This is not a situation where a fair-minded person speaks up, "Well, I can see their argument, because—" NO. YOU STOP RIGHT THERE. The views of these cracked, warped human beings hold no merit, and we must not countenance even the merest bit of compassion for them. Banish from your thoughts any semblance of sympathy for their viewpoint, or pity for them in being seized of it. Hold it in the same outmoded, laughable regard as you do the idea that marriage equality somehow ruins the sanctity of marriage, or that evolution isn't real, or that Jews eat Christian babies, because it both holds the same level of worth and is dredged from the same rotten, fetid pond-bottom as those ideas. These people are, in fact, wrong, and they are bad, and they should feel wrong and bad.
This entire discussion—which is, again, a battle between the righteous forces of the inherent goodness in humanity and people—tends to split along generational lines. Older generations are resistant to the idea that couples should feel free to ask for honeymoon funding simply because that's not how it's done. Yes, it's true that such practices are not steeped in generations of tradition, but if you extend that logic far enough, unacceptable practices would also include horseless carriages and indoor plumbing.
It also becomes both more explicable and less defensible when you realize the subtext behind the argument, one so well-hidden that many of the poor, sad wretches who hold this view don't even realize they're propping it up: the comically absurd, typically religiously conservative value of it being a sin for a couple to live together before marriage. I would go so far as to say that anyone who ultimately argues against the Honeyfund is, in so doing, indirectly enforcing the bonds of prudish, oppressive forcible religiosity from which America (and humanity as a whole) is still desperately struggling to escape.
Think about it. Couples who've lived together for multiple years prior to marriage are already going to own all or most of the things they want or need. By the time my fiancée and I get married, we will have lived together for four years; what appliances do we still need that we don't already have? The fuck do we need an ice cream maker for? Who the hell is anyone to tell us or any other couple that a fondue set* we'll use exactly once before packing it away in a dank closet is a more worthy gift than helping to pay for a small portion of a memory in which we'll always take comfort? What kind of smug, regressive arrogance is that? At what point will we as a society fully acknowledge that 18th century cultural and social norms (which, I should add, also involved owning other human beings and stoning women for adultery) were a complete load of horseshit?
And look, it's totally fair for a couple to choose not to live together (for religious or any other reasons) or to simply ask for stuff for their wedding, if that's what they really want! Those choices hold no less value than that of a couple who live together for a decade before marriage and then ask for a Honeyfund, so long as said choices are freely made. Everyone should be in favor of every couple doing what's right for them; moral imperatives, in any direction, have no place in that discussion. That, in fact, is the entire point: if you plan to give the couple a gift (gifts should obviously never be expected), no matter what form in which the couple would like their weddings gifts, that's the form in which you should shut right the hell up and give it to them. Alternatively, if you feel honor-bound to get them a gift, and you choose to judge them for the form in which they'd prefer those gifts, you're welcome to just decline your wedding invite altogether. If you're enough of a dingus to assign value judgments to the form the happy couple chooses for their wedding gifts, I promise they won't miss you.
I do have some level of understanding (if not actual sympathy) for members of older generations who have difficulty understanding new concepts and the rapidly changing nature of American society. That sounds backhanded, but I mean it sincerely. One day we'll be that group, Millennials, and as we struggle with the XT-270 Integrated Personal Hologram Generator our grandkids got us for Halloweenmas** while our progeny try not to scream in frustration when we ask questions like "how do I make it text," I want you to remember this moment. Old people opposed to the idea of the Honeyfund are wrong, and they need to sit the hell down right now, but they are, at least, understandably wrong.
The group which has no excuse, and which should be afforded no sympathy, are members of our own generation (roughly speaking, anyone currently 20-40) opposed to the practice of the Honeyfund. And sure, if someone is enough of a smarmy idiot to have fallen for the Wedding Industrial Complex's racket regarding the One True Wedding, it makes sense that they'd feel this way. It doesn't make them right, and it doesn't make them less of an idiot, but it's always good to have an explanation for dumbshittery. These are often the same elitist douchebuckets who think its somehow "tacky" (those with a less limited vocabulary would probably use the word "uncouth") to get a dress from David's Bridal, or to have an engagement ring stone other than a diamond, or to make their own creative centerpieces out of things scavenged from Goodwill, or to buy flowers in bulk rather than submitting to the epic gouging of commercial florists.*** They are, in short, smug, vapid pricks and prickettes, too hopped-up on the importance of the Grand Tradition to see that applying that veneration identically across the board makes no logical sense. These are not people to be emulated, nor are they even to pitied; these are people to be scorned, in this and all possible situations.
Bottom line: if you have issues with the Honeyfund as opposed to the generally-accepted practice of giving physical gifts, you are wrong in every way it is possible for a person to be wrong, and also fuck you.
* Mea culpa: we bought one of my best friends and his wife a fondue set for their wedding, at which I was a groomsman (and he's set to be one of mine). I'm sorry, James, but in fairness, you did put it on your registry.
** In 2034, Christmas stages an armed incursion into sovereign Halloween territory, sowing chaos and destruction in its wake. Popular costumes that year (and every following year) will include Sexy Santa, Sexy Rudolph, Sexy Fir Tree, Sexy Sleigh, and Sexy Racist Uncle Who Won't Shut Up After One Too Many Eggnogs.
*** Just for the record: we're doing all of these things, and to anyone who thinks they are somehow lesser, I cordially invite you to do the universe a favor and remove the stick from your ass, then beat yourself with it.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby.