Planning a Honeymoon
The hard work of preparing to relax and enjoy your post-nuptial bliss
As much as we love our brides and grooms and as much as they seem to feel the same for us after their special day at our NJ wedding venue, we still somehow never seem to get invited on their honeymoons.
Not that we mind–we love planning great weddings–that’s what we do. But we also know that after all the work and stress leading up to one’s special day, each couple deserves the chance to get away, just the two of them to relax and enjoy the start of their lives as a married couple. Once the wedding floral arrangements, wedding table settings, wedding invitations, wedding gowns, wedding favors, and the endless list of other details are settled and the knot has been tied, it’s your time to finally take a breath and savor your hard-earned reward.
But wait–you have to plan that too! Here are a few suggestions to help make your honeymoon as successful as a wedding with us:
At least six months before your wedding day:
- This is an easy one: Start thinking about where you’d want to go and what type of honeymoon you’d like to have. Discuss it with your partner.
- Do you and your fiancée agree on what type of honeymoon you want? If not, put together a list of the type of things you both want out of the experience and start looking for places that offer a compromise or a mix of the two. Do you want to just lie on the beach while he’s looking for an adventure? Look for an island vacation destination that also offers horseback riding and scuba diving , for example.
- Set your budget. Now that you’ve considered your fantasy honeymoon, determine what is realistic within your budget (especially after all you’ve invested in your wedding). How much of what you want can you afford to do? Look for areas to save costs, whether it’s the time of year, early booking, length of your stay, the quality of the amenities, cashing in frequent flyer miles, or other compromises that can still help you reach your desired honeymoon without going over budget.
- Start your online research, or better yet, speak with a travel agent who’s well versed in the destination you’re headed to; his/her experience will be invaluable for making good choices.
- Start the reservation process: Book you airline and/or cruise ship tickets, hotel, rental cars, etc.
At least four months ahead:
- If you’ll be needing a new or updated passport and/or visa for where you’re headed, be sure to get the process started soon. It’s no fun to have all your plans made and have to cancel it all because there’s been an unforeseen delay and your paperwork hasn’t come through.
- Check into the need for any vaccinations that may be recommended for your destination; some immunizations need to be administered months in advance.
- Going to a country with a language other than your own, and want to at least make an effort to have at least some foreign language phrases at your command? The sooner you start, the better, as the closer you get to your wedding you’ll likely have less time and interest in learning; when you get there, you’ll be glad you studied up.
- Look into any side trips and smaller events that can fill your days while on your honeymoon. The more prepared you are with options and alternatives, the less time you’ll waste trying to figure out what to do next when you’re there; especially unforeseen circumstances affect your plans.
In the month before your wedding:
- Confirm again all the reservations you’ve set for your honeymoon. It’s always best not to assume you’re all set; the extra time double- and triple-checking is well worth avoiding what could be a significant headache the day of.
- Are you headed out of the country? Does your cell phone have international calling? If you’re not sure or if not, check with you service provider about options for calling home or investigate options for a prepaid phone that can be purchased/used at your destination.
- If you’re heading out of the country, exchange American dollars for the native currency. US dollars are accepted in a lot of places, but it’s always a good plan to have at least small bills on hand for all the miscellaneous purchases and tips for drivers, small shops, and the like. Don’t forget travelers’ checks as well.
- Write up your itinerary. It’s useful not only to have for yourself, but to share with your loved should there be a need to contact you. Any little bit of piece of mind for yourself and your family is always reassuring and worth the effort.
These are just a few suggestions, but as with planning any significant trip, the better prepared you are the less stressful your time will be and the less chance that a problem can create tension between the two of you on your honeymoon. From guidebooks to luggage to having a champagne surprise waiting for your betrothed in the hotel room, nailing down the details will go a long way to making the celebration of your wedded bliss on your honeymoon an unforgettable success.