After all the hard work and emotions that go into planning a wedding, you’ve really earned that glass of champagne at the reception -- and a fabulous dose of R&R when it’s all over! Whether you’re hitting the beach in Bali, hiking the hills of New Zealand, or preparing for a pasta feast in Tuscany, it’s finally time to unwind with your spouse and let the reality sink in: You’re married! Like all things “wedding,” your honeymoon comes with its share of etiquette questions -- but that shouldn’t stand in the way of this well-deserved getaway. We’ve got the answers to five big questions that will help you vacation the right way.
When should we go on our honeymoon?
Traditionally, the newlyweds would depart on their honeymoon right away -- often changing into “getaway” outfits and heading to the airport straight from the reception, suitcases in tow. But today’s couples have wised up to the fact that having a wedding is exhausting, and are often delaying their departures. You might want to book a Monday morning flight after a Saturday wedding to give yourselves some time to pack, or may go the delayed gratification route and schedule your departure for a few weeks (or months) after you say “I do.” After all, it’s another exciting thing to look forward to once your wedding has come and gone! Another benefit to waiting to head on your honeymoon? Accruing more vacation days! If you give yourselves a little time, you’ll be able to earn some more days off from work, meaning you might just be able to squeeze two weeks out of your calendar.
Who plans it?
The honeymoon used to be planned by the groom and kept a secret from the bride until she arrived. But who wants to deal with the stress of packing for a mystery trip, only to arrive and realize there’s an outfit or two you really wish you’d brought? We’re all for doing the planning together. Tag team on the research, booking, and budgeting to make sure your itinerary includes a little something for everyone. Hoping to keep that surprise alive? You could each lay claim to one day of your trip, planning an excursion, meal, or full spa experience for your partner without their knowledge.
I used most of my vacation time for our wedding. What should I do?
This is where a mini-moon comes in! Even if you’ve got to wait for your big trip, save one vacation day to take a long weekend trip shortly after your wedding to really unwind from all the excitement. If you can, go straight from your wedding to somewhere totally relaxing for a night or two. Sleep in, get massages, and scroll through your hashtag on Instagram to relive all those fun memories.
I have a food allergy or dietary restrictions. Will that be a problem?
What you’ll eat on your honeymoon is something you’ll want to research in advance, especially if there are certain foods you can’t or don’t eat. If you’re staying at a resort, contact the concierge to discuss your dietary restrictions and ways they can accommodate it. Most properties will be able to easily work with your needs, as well as recommend menu items you will totally love that fit within your diet. For a honeymoon in a major city, read restaurants’ menus and reviews, and even try searching for something like “gluten free in Paris” or wherever you’re going to find other travelers’ (and locals’) suggestions. And of course, learn how to explain your restrictions in the local language, even if that means having it written down so you can hand the explanation to your server.
We can’t afford an extravagant trip. Can we still go?
Of course! There are so many affordable ways to still totally relax and enjoy your honeymoon. All-inclusive resorts and cruises are a great place to start, since there are many fewer expenses beyond what you pay when you book -- meaning you’ll know roughly how much the trip will cost before you get there. There are also many international cities that are perfect for a low-cost getaway, especially with Airbnb offering affordable places to stay outside of pricey hotels. Renting an apartment also means you’ll be able to hit the grocery store and cook for yourselves if you feel like it, saving you from racking up too many restaurant bills. We are also huge supporters of honeymoon funds. If you’re comfortable with it, set up part of your registry to encourage guests to skip the gift in favor of contributing to your trip, which will help ease the costs on your end.