Some say the wedding is the most beautiful day in one’s life and honeymoon – the most memorable vacation, and not without a reason, as which other trip is this special? How to make it even more memorable and plan it in the best possible way? As we had a destination wedding and also spend our honeymoon in Seychelles, I have prepared a practical guide for couples planning their honeymoon, based on our experience!
1.Leave Enough Resources to Plan Your Honeymoon
You’d be surprised how many couples nearly ignore honeymoon planning til everything is ready for the wedding! Often times it means there is not enough time and money to have the honeymoon of their dreams. Honeymoon should be a separate line in your wedding budget! And look at it this way – if you invite a few people less, would it allow you to have a better honeymoon? Just a few people less at your wedding can leave you with enough money for great and not just good honeymoon! Many couples ask guests to give money for honeymoon as a wedding gift, sometimes relatives take care of planning the honeymoon as well. To make the “honeymoon money” topic less awkward, you can plan separate positions in your gift list, and each guest can select an appropriate line, fitting their budget, for example “travel insurance 50 euros”, “romantic dinner 70 euros”, “1 night at the hotel 100 euros” and so on. Be sure to monitor the list, so that no guest is left with a sum too large! Once you are there, don’t forget to make cute photographs with signs thanking the person who gave you the present, such as “thanks auntie Christina for this tasty meal!” or “uncle Rick, thank you for this couples spa treatment!”.
2.When to Start Planning Your Honeymoon
The earlier, the better. You can use early bird offers and if you start reading up early, you will know what is a good price range and plan a much more impressive trip rather than just relying on good luck and last minute offers. As soon as you know your wedding date, start planning the honeymoon! Just keep in mind that one or both of you may want to change your surname, so you will have to make a decision about surnames for bookings requiring both of your names. Usually you can get airplane tickets as early as 11 months before flight. Don’t be afraid to ask your relatives for help, if you are not very travel-savvy! If you can’t make up your mind about destination, look for a specialized agent, as there are quite a few providing such services.
3.Documents and Safety
Are you planning to take your honeymoon right after the wedding? Again, remember about the surnames – and if you choose to change your passport, you might need to wait a couple days for it to be ready. If you have booked tickets with maiden surname, most airlines would agree to change it, but not all, and it is a hassle, so better book them right away as they are supposed to be. If you require a visa or electronic travel authorization for visiting the country, consider that it will require some time to get it as well, and, perhaps, choosing a country you can go to without a visa or get one on arrival might make things easier. Don’t forget to get good travel insurance! Honeymoon is no exception, you can get sick, lose luggage and things can go wrong, so better have good coverage and not just the minimum!
4.The Best Time to Plan Honeymoon
Some couples want to take their honeymoon right after the wedding, others want to wait a bit and save some money after the big day. Wedding is a very impressive, emotional and also tiring event, so while it sounds very romantic – heading out the very same or next day to the airport, you most likely would be very, very tired. So allow yourself a few days breathing time, and enjoy wedding and honeymoon as two separate events!
If you postpone your honeymoon a few weeks or months, you can really have two wonderful wedding-related events, and have plenty of time to change your passport, get needed visas and pack. Just don’t put it off for too long, as then life happens and at best, you get a regular vacation, at worst, you don’t even do that. If you plan your honeymoon within first six months after wedding, you can get nice extras from the hotel, more details to follow!
5.What Special Bonuses You Can Get on a Honeymoon
Don’t forget to inform your hotel that you are coming on a honeymoon! Often they will take great care to surprise you with little things – flowers, fruit, special coupons, presents or even free upgrades! You can mention honeymoon in the “special requests” section, or contact hotel separately by email or on social media. Don’t be shy to tell everyone – at the hotel, every reception desk, waiter or at check in! Who knows, maybe this flight is overbooked and you will get that free upgrade? Some hotels will ask you to provide a copy of your wedding certificate, and it is common practice, so don’t be surprised. Don’t forget to mention wedding anniversaries too! That’s how we got a nice cake and sparkling wine on our trip to Palau!
6.Honeymoon Ideas – What are the Best Destinations to go to?
Honeymoon is the time you need to balance both of your interests carefully, be that trip to the beach doing nothing or active vacation. It is also a chance to step outside of your usual comfort zone and try something new. If you usually take group tours, book an individual trip or a cruise! If you usually stay very active, perhaps, this time around stay in one location and enjoy doing nothing? Some couples head out to expeditions lasting several weeks, climbing mountains and visiting exotic places. Others stay closer to home, but there is always plenty of places to choose from!
Below a few ideas for an incredible honeymoon:
- Islands: Maldives, Seychelles, French Polynesia, Caribbean (Cuba, Curacao and others)
- The big road trip: USA West coast, Norway, Scotland, Australia
- Romantic city breaks: Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Barcelona
- Different cultures: India, South Korea, China, Brasil
- Cruises: Caribbean, Alaska, Asia, Antarctica
7.Unusual Ideas and Latest Honeymoon Trends
To make the honeymoon special, relatives and friends can participate in planning the trip, for example, providing the newlyweds with a envelope with quotes from famous movies and asking them to take pictures or videos showing the quotes. In Asia it is very common for newlyweds to wear matching clothing, and it can be done very fashionably, not just with “wife” and “husband” T-shirts.
One of the latest trends is planning two honeymoons – either visiting one destination right after the other or taking two smaller honeymoons with a short break in between. Some plan a smaller trip right after wedding and a bigger one after a few months. Others are planned as a present from wife to husband and vice versa.
Have you considered booking a photographer for your honeymoon? Some couples bring one with, others use services on location, and this way you can get pictures usable for your wedding album as well!
Finally, you can combine wedding and honeymoon, if you choose a destination wedding! Check the list of countries in the Hague convention and see which countries recognize marriages from member states, and, perhaps, your wedding at the top of the mountain will be recognized in your country as well! I am a big believer of rather than having huge wedding at home, opting for a small one but abroad, and not to have to worry about decorations or food, as everything will be handled by the hotel and all of your close family can enjoy themselves! That’s what we did with our wedding in Seychelles!