he honeymoon is officially the start of your marriage - whether it be a mini-moon, due to work commitments or a tight budget, or a mega moon of three weeks to get fully into married life - here are some tips to ensure your ‘mooning’ is indeed sweet, authentic and natural, with plenty of space for the birds and bees!
There are three basic maxims: plan ahead, relax and have fun! But after months of hyper-planning and schedules, that may be more easily said than done so here’s a bit more breakdown for you.
START SAVING EARLY
From your engagement even! Start setting aside a bit of money for your honeymoon and decide on a budget. Do you want to spend more on the honeymoon than the wedding or vice versa? Only you can decide as a couple. But ensure you keep the honeymoon fund for a honeymoon - and don’t dip into it if you hit an emergency in the wedding. Start looking for deals and do let on that it will be your honeymoon; that way you are more likely to get discounts, extras, possibly even an upgrade or two!
CHOOSE A LOCALE THAT SUITS BOTH YOUR TASTES - AND BUDGET
Check for off-season destinations, cheaper locales on the same latitude and longitude, stay close to home, book early, do your own cooking....there are many ways to get a grand, memorable honeymoon on a budget. But that shouldn’t be the main priority. The main thing is to find a place where you are both going to find things you enjoy and can experience together.
DELAY YOUR HONEYMOON
You can delay your honeymoon -either by a week, allowing time to recuperate from the wedding, open your bridal registry gifts, relax a bit, and pack for your honeymoon without the stress of wedding business. Or you can delay it for a few months if you want a specific location but it is too pricey in the summer or booked up. You could take a mini-moon - still a honeymoon - a break of just a couple of days but increasingly popular with busy professionals who can’t book extended time off. The key thing is that you are able to disconnect from the world, switch off your phones, social media and revel in the new experiences and intimacy of newlyweds. It doesn’t matter if you book an air BnB in Eureka; what matters is the fun and exclusive memories you make there when nobody knows where you are.
ORGANIZE HOUSE-SITTING AND PET-SITTING
You may be gone for a while and it is easy to forget who or what you are leaving behind! Make sure it is arranged on time.
TAKE LOTS OF MUSIC ALONG WITH YOU!
Pack that iPod dock and as much music as you can. You will have switched off from social media but should be spending a lot of private time with your beloved. Music is major bonding material - and none more so than when on honeymoon.
BOOK A ROAD TRIP
Either a California road trip, taking in the culinary and cultural delights, rolling green hills of San Francisco, the headiness and glitz of Los Angeles and the luxury and diversity of San Diego...or maybe just visiting the more remote towns in Central and Northern California, the wonders of Big Sur or Yosemite National Park. It is a way of being free, holding to the ‘only rule is no rules!’ honeymoon maxim and exploring together. Or you could do a coast-to-coast path and make an adventure wandering from Seattle through the Lakes to New England via Chicago or Washington. Again, there’s so much scope for fun, new cultural experiences and creating little surprises for your other half. Are they a Steelers fan? Could you book a ticket to a home game without them knowing for when you visit? Does she love musicals? How about a Broadway show while you are passing through New York?
BOOK THE LESS POPULAR ROOMS, SPEND MORE ON YOUR EXPERIENCES
By all means, choose the most luxurious or coolest hotel but maybe choose the rooms least preferred - above the bar or the gardens or without the scenic view. Let’s face it, you are probably not going to be focusing on the silent and visual aesthetics when alone with your sweetheart in the bedroom! You could use the considerable savings to lavish on some better experiences outside. It’s worth checking out.
REMEMBER - IT’S YOUR HONEYMOON, YOUR TIME, YOUR MARRIAGE
So start it as you mean to continue! Make it yours. Even if you do want an all-inclusive, classic honeymoon experience, you still set the boundaries and decide how you experience things together and these are the fundamentals of honeymooning.
WEAVE THE HONEYMOON INTO YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
It is important, when you return, to involve your honeymoon experience into your daily life together. Whether that means taking a cooking class in South Indian cookery so you can create the amazing Goan breakfasts or taking up kayaking as a joint hobby having kayaked on white water in North California or buying a piece of original art while in Costa Rica and hanging it in our front room. This is how you keep your magical honeymoon moments alive in the everyday and the mundane.