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Like many altar-bound couples, Tamara Travis and Ivor Bok of North Hollywood, who are tying the knot next month at a bed-and-breakfast in Malibu, are availing themselves of that quasi-respectable method of trolling for loot: the wedding registry. But flatware, bath towels and demitasse are nowhere to be seen on this couple's wish list. Available for viewing at http://www.thehoneymoon.com , Travis and Bok's registry offers well-wishers the opportunity to pony up for entries such as "500 miles of airfare," "scuba diving excursion to meet the underwater creatures of the Caribbean Sea," "a water taxi trip to Rodney Bay" and even "fruity mind-altering drinks to enjoy poolside."
Welcome to the world of online honeymoon registries, where couples outline their dream trip and wedding guests ante up. According to Neal Kraemer, who co-founded http://www. > thehoneymoon.com in 1999, "Just in the last two or three years, business has exploded. We're probably up 300% this year over last."
Unsurprisingly, "California is our biggest market," Kraemer adds. "Some areas of the country, a little in the Northeast, people are more traditional or provincial. Maybe Californians enjoy their travel more. Californians are always ahead of the curve." Other players in the honeymoon registry biz include http://www. > honeyluna.com, http://www.thebigday.com and http://www.givefun.com . In addition, Starwood, a hotel and leisure company, introduced a honeymoon registry program this spring hosted by http://www.weddingchannel.com , in which couples receive Honey Money good at more than 750 Starwood properties worldwide.
Those who find the whole concept of honeymoon registries a bit, shall we say, unseemly, are reminded to be big and put the couple first. "We're hoping to convert, for the sake of the bride, some of the people giving gifts she definitely doesn't want to a great experiential gift," says Jennifer Hyman, manager of Leisure Strategy for Starwood. Or to put it another way: white elephant or white sands?