It happens a few times, on Mondays, during prime wedding season: "Hawaii" pops up on my cell phone. It's a panicked newlywed calling. She's snuck out of her hotel suite to make this call, her brand-new husband napping, or showering, or zoning out in front of the big screen. "It's the first day of our honeymoon, and we're in this amazing place with zip-lining and snorkeling, and stand-up paddle boarding, and all either of us want to do is lie down," she explains. "I'm freaking out because we don't feel like doing anything. I'm freaking out that there's something seriously wrong with me, with us."
"Could it be that you're both just totally exhausted from your wedding and the build-up to the wedding?" I ask. "Totally. It was amazing, but pretty intense," she replies. "So, that's all you think it is? We're just really tired? There's no bigger problem?"
Nope. Nothing that a couple of really good sleeps can't fix. If you're hopping a plane immediately after your wedding, please, please, please keep this in mind: you're going to be exhausted.
Your amazing wedding — and it was amazing, we know — took a physical and emotional toll on both of you. And while you're happy it's done and happy to be just the two of you in a secluded place, you're both just pooped. It's an undeniable fact. Nobody starts their immediately-post-wedding honeymoon refreshed and ready to go. It's wise to be aware of this now — before your wedding and honeymoon — so you won't be blind-sided by your exhaustion (or think there's something wrong when you can't lift your heads off your fluffy hotel pillows). Take a moment right now to figure out how you can build in some serious recovery time those first few days.
Our advice for the first day of your honeymoon? Keep it simple:
1. Unpack. Get settled.
2. Have dinner. With champagne, absolutely.
3. Have sex. Important.
4. Go to sleep. Early.
If on day one you make accommodations for your aching feet and over-stimulated systems, by day two, the zip-lining will authentically appeal to you, and your honeymoon will start to look — and feel — like the amazing honeymoon you've fantasized about and planned all along.
Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor and author. She counsels newlyweds, too. Visit Emotionally Engaged for information.