When it comes to weddings, everyone always talks about the honeymoon you’re going to take after the ceremony. But, with all the stress involved in the planning process, wouldn’t it make sense to take a break before walking down the aisle? Enter “earlymoons.”
That’s what Pippa Middleton and new husband James Matthews reportedly did before their over-the-top celebration in May by jetting off to St. Barts. And DJ and founder of HBFIT, Hannah Bronfman, also snuck away a week before getting hitched last month to SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain with her now hubby Brendan Fallis. "I thought it was important to really just be with each other before the wedding weekend started," Bronfman told Condé Nast Traveler.
And it’s not only the rich and famous planning restful pre-wedding getaways. Amy Shey Jacobs, a wedding planner with Chandelier Events New York has seen a recent uptick in these early escapes. “I often find with my couples that the wedding date becomes a deadline for perfecting everything in your life, not just your food, flowers and guest lists. Many couples choose to buy a house and move at the same time they're planning a wedding," says Jacobs. "So, I often plan a mini vacation for them before the wedding to unplug and reconnect.”
That’s exactly why How To Be Married author Jo Piazza, 36, opted to jet off to Chile in August with her fiancée before their September nuptials. “We knew the wedding was going to be amazing,” she told us. “But, we also knew it was going to be high stress—family, friends from every walk of life, and so many tiny details—we wanted to get away and reset before we took that on.”
They chose Chile so they could work off the stress with hikes in the Atacama and ski at the Portillo resort. The South American country came with an added pre-wedding bonus. “It was the ultimate wedding dance lesson,” she added.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Lugo, 37, actually took two earlymoons before her January nuptials. “My now husband and I have an annual tradition of spending the Christmas holiday in Rincón, Puerto Rico and we had wedding in Ireland on New Year’s Eve,” she told Traveler. “It was great because we were able to celebrate the excitement of the wedding with family before the big day and then got to explore a new destination together a few days later all before the madness of the actual wedding.”
Though it was great to get some non-wedding adventure in before the big day, Lugo admitted there were some minor hiccups. “The worst part was having to do some last-minute arrangements from out of the country,” she revealed.
Whatever it is, I think it is important to take yourself out of the pre-wedding madness and remember why you are marrying this person in the first place.
Bronfman and Fallis also had some unexpected obstacles to overcome. "We didn't expect the wellness retreat to be so serious and it was a bit demanding," said Bronfman. "So, even though we planned to spend time together, we had a full schedule of mindfulness and beauty treatments." It even took a little finagling to get some booze to celebrate. "Our friends that couldn’t make the wedding wanted to send us a bottle of champagne, but there was a note on our account stating we weren’t 'supposed' to drink," added Fallis. "Needless to say, Canadians have a way with words and the cold bottle arrived at our hotel room on our final night. I still would recommend it to anyone getting married.”
Piazza agreed that having a getaway before the big day is important for couples, but it doesn’t have to be fancy like Middleton's. “You don't even need to spend much money,” she said. “Just get out of town and go camping or book a hotel in the city you live. Whatever it is, I think it is important to take yourself out of the pre-wedding madness and remember why you are marrying this person in the first place.”
But, before you add yet another item to your to-do list, Jacobs had a few essential tips for planning your earlymoon. “Go away before the invites go out,” she said. “Many of the big decisions and stressful moments happen at the two month out mark, when the invites go out. So, if you really want to get away, take a pause on planning before this time. You’ll be recharged and ready to tackle the big decisions when you return.”
If totally disconnecting is going to make you more anxious though, then make sure everything is on the Cloud before you leave. “The point is to take time away from the wedding, but sometimes things need to be tended to,” added Jacobs. “Just have everything in a Dropbox or Google Drive, so you don't worry about missing a wedding deadline.”
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