The wedding guest list has been compiled, and the Save the Dates have been sent. Your wedding website is up and running, and you have come up with the perfect Instagram tag for your big event. Now all that is left is it buy the perfect dress, pick out your flowers, find a photographer, caterer, venue, food, cake . . . and the honeymoon.
With all there is to do to plan a perfect wedding, it is no wonder that many brides and grooms do not take time to prepare the ideal honeymoon. After all, a bride’s to-do list is so long that the honeymoon often gets put on the back burner. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are six things you need to know to plan the perfect honeymoon.
Make the destination decision together
Choosing the honeymoon destination is not the “groom’s job,” just as choosing the wedding venue is not just the “bride’s job.” We decided on our honeymoon destination together. For some couples, this may not be easy. In fact, this may be one of the first difficult decisions you will have to make together as a couple. He wanted to choose Hawaii, I wanted a location we both had never traveled to before.
Try not to be stubborn or hard headed. Even if you have always dreamt of a Disney World honeymoon that does not mean your future spouse has had those same dreams. Perhaps you are an avid skier, and you would like to do nothing better than swoosh down a mountain to celebrate your new life together. This is an excellent idea if your spouse is a skier too. Otherwise, you may have to turn to plan B. A great honeymoon is a lesson in compromise.
Consider choosing an all-inclusive resort
What color shoes will the bridesmaids wear? What gift are you giving your best man? What color ribbon will you use in your bouquet? What will your something borrowed be? There are so many decisions to make when planning a wedding that sometimes a bride may feel decision fatigue. For me, I was so focused on the details, I wanted to completely relax on my honeymoon. All-inclusive vacation locations give you a break from focusing on so many details. You don’t have to think about how much money you will need for each meal. In fact, you don’t have to research restaurants, beaches, or transportation. Honeymooners at all-inclusive resorts just literally have to show up, and the rest of your time can be spent blissfully relaxing . . . or whatever you and your partner choose to do with your time. On our honeymoon, the best part was waking up, and the most difficult decision was whether we wanted to lounge around in our semi-private pool, the beach, or the large pools with swim up bar.
Set a budget and stick to it
While your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, going on a trip isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t go into debt to celebrate your love together. Your honeymoon will not be nearly as enjoyable if you sit on the beach thinking about the pain of opening your credit card statement when you return to reality.
Consider registering for a honeymoon
This is what we did. Perhaps you have been living on your own for quite a while, and you already have pots and pans, a coffee maker, and a set of dishes. We could’t see using eight place settings of China or crystal candlesticks, so we decided to register for our honeymoon? Instead of purchasing a picture frame, your guests can put their money toward paying for a portion of your honeymoon expenses. It is not uncommon for young people to spend more money on experiences rather than things. Your guests who have similar philosophies will be happy to put your money toward airplane tickets rather than a heart-shaped candy dish. We were quite amazed with the number of people who were on board with this idea and ended up with our honeymoon being paid for.
Pick a trip that is right for you as a couple
Don’t feel pressured to choose a honeymoon destination that will create the best photo opportunities. Yes, everyone loves photos of pristine beaches and turquoise water, but if you and your partner enjoy history more than hanging out on a beach, perhaps you would rather honeymoon in Boston rather than Barbados. If you are science geeks, go to NASA instead of Nassau. Follow your own hearts. Don’t worry if you get quizzical looks when answering “the honeymoon question.”
For us, our decision landed us at a Beaches resort in Jamaica. Neither of us had been to Jamaica, and we both wanted a relaxing trip in a tropical setting with food and cocktails included, and all of our cares just drifted away as we arrived in Ocho Rios.
Take advantage of your youth and freedom
If you can afford it, take advantage of your youth and freedom to travel to destinations that you have always wanted to visit. Children are blessings, but it is easier to go to Australia without kids. Jobs, your parents’ health, finances, and your own health can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans. Anyone who has watched the first five minutes of the movie “Up” will understand. Go now! The new car can wait. Who cares if you rent for another six months than buying a house immediately? Live the life you want now.