It’s tempting to make a grand exit from your wedding, go directly to the airport, and hop on a plane with your new spouse. But is that always practical? Some couples enjoy the thrill of skipping from one special occasion to the next. Other couples want a period to relax and catch up with their loved ones (and their jobs). The nice thing is, there’s no incorrect way to plan your honeymoon.
The length of your honeymoon plays a large part in planning. If you just want a “honey weekend,” for example, you don’t have to schedule it as painstakingly as you would a month-long volunteering honeymoon in a foreign country. (A month-long honeymoon isn’t that far-fetched, either; some linguists believe the word “honeymoon” comes from the old European tradition of giving newlyweds enough mead, or honey-wine, to last them an entire month of married life.) While most couples’ schedules allow for a quick weekend getaway shortly after the wedding, a longer-duration honeymoon requires some downtime between planning two such extensive special events. Many couples need additional time between the wedding and the honeymoon to catch up with their social and professional lives, as well.
Immediately After the Wedding
While you’re still flushed with just-married excitement, leaving directly for your honeymoon gives you a way to prolong the glowing feelings. Rather than coming down from cloud nine to deal with the nitty-gritty of putting away wedding decorations and catching up on work duties, it’s a magical feeling to be able to escape to paradise with your newlywed spouse.
When leaving immediately after the wedding, make sure you have everything taken care of in your absence. Assign duties to responsible friends or family members: returning rented formal wear, tipping the vendors, making sure the cleaning deposit on the venue is returned, and so forth. You may also want to have a friend take your wedding gown, bouquet, and other valuables back to your home.
One disadvantage to leaving immediately after the wedding is that it can foster an artificial feeling of bliss and set you up for an emotional crash when you finally return to normal, everyday life. Prevent this by taking care of as many logistical details as you can before you leave, so you return to life at its least-stressful. Scheduling special dinners and date nights can also extend the newlywed bliss for a smooth transition into normal married life.
A Few Days After the Wedding
Waiting a few days after your nuptials provides a good compromise between leaving immediately and waiting so long the special glow fades. A cushion of a few days after your wedding gives you time to pack your bags and take care of concluding details before you leave for your next round of excitement. It also gives you time to catch up on sleep. Considering that most newlyweds aren’t known for going to bed early on their wedding nights (or the nights before, because of pre-wedding jitters), embarking on a vacation well-rested is the best way to enjoy it.
Most importantly, staying in town for a few days after your wedding gives you time to spend with friends and loved ones who traveled to witness your occasion. Enjoy a next-day brunch or after party with your guests. Considering that they came all the way to be with you, spending quality time with them is a beautiful present to give.
Months After the Wedding
In some situations, important friends and family members can’t make it to the actual wedding. This happens frequently in the case of destination weddings, ailing grandparents, and invitees with small children. If it’s important to you to include these loved ones anyway, you’ll need to plan trips to visit them. Depending on how far away they live (and in how many different locations), spending quality time with them all can take weeks or even months.
Waiting for vacation time to accrue and scheduling trips around life events is a process that can take years. If you intend to visit loved ones who couldn’t attend the wedding, one time-saving solution is to combine the trips with multiple, smaller honeymoons. Be sure to schedule private time for just the two of you on each journey, booking hotel rooms away from your friends and family here and there. That way, you can appreciate the newness of being married in multiple locations and on multiple occasions, which just extends the fun!
Another reason to postpone a honeymoon for months is to let the good weather catch up with you. It doesn’t make sense to race to paradise only to find out you’ve arrived in time for the monsoon season. Be careful when postponing a honeymoon too much, however; the longer you wait, the more special you have to make it. That way, even though you’re no longer in the magical first week (or month) of marriage, you can still bask in the freshness of married life together.
A Sweet Honeymoon at Any Time
Did you know that the word “honeymoon” translates into many languages nearly exactly? For example, in France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, it is called the “moon of honey.” In Welsh, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Greek, and Arabic, honeymoons are known as “honey months” as well. Why is this important? While the many cultures and countries of the world don’t agree on every topic, this one is universal: all of humanity wants you to have a sweet honeymoon.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.