In the old(er) days the bride and groom exited their wedding in style with a shower of uncooked rice that symbolised taking their first steps into the next part of their journey through life together. They would exit the wedding reception, jump in a car with “Just Married” decorated tin cans attached (I shudder at this decorational element!) and head to the airport to go to their honeymoon, or check into a hotel. Nowadays, the exit can be more grandiose (cue the confetti, the rose petals, even the shower of sparklers) but the destination is always the same: a swanky hotel for the first night of martial bliss. But what happens afterwards? Where should you go and what should you do? Should you go straight on your honeymoon or do you go back to work?
I’ve complied a few timeframes for you for when you should go on your honeymoon, if you are thinking about doing so (and you should, because it can be the most wonderful time of your life). The timeframe of when you should go and how long you should go for really depends on you, your financial situation, your leave approvals and how far you want to go, but this might help you make up your mind about it.
The Day Afterwards
This is something my husband and I planned to do for our honeymoon, and I say planned because it didn’t go to plan at all. We are normally so organised when it comes to planning holidays that are details are mapped out in a special book that my husband puts together (he is a Graphic Designer after all!) but in the weeks leading up to the wedding we simply had absolutely no time to put these pieces of the puzzle together. Everything was booked, but we were so busy with last minute planning, coordination, working and family feuds that we didn’t look at our information in the slightest. We planned to wake up leisurely our first morning as husband and wife before collecting all the last minute items from the wedding, and get them to our friends and family who were going to take them for us (opening presents, getting decorations from the venues, returning microphones and suits etc.) before getting to Sydney for our flight.
In reality it was a fools plan. We had spent almost a full year planning this wedding – what made us thing we could coordinate all the unpacking of it in half a day and expect time to get to the airport? We missed our flight and had to stay two extra days in a hotel in Sydney. To be honest, it ended up being a good thing because we were able to take a breath after all the stress and running around, get access to shows and movies we wanted to have for the honeymoon but weren’t able to organise beforehand, and the idea of doing all that in one day, getting on an all night flight with little sleep and being forced to stay awake for another full day after that? We would have killed each other before the ink had dried on our wedding certificate!
My advice for your all if you plan on going away the day after your wedding is to give someone else the job of picking up all of the pieces. Get your friends and family to pick the items up directly from the wedding venue and make sure you know when your flight is! Take the time to piece all the information together first!
A Few Days After The Wedding
This is probably the best time to go for your honeymoon. It means you can wake up and have a lazy couple of days as husband and wife, you can visit your friends and family and thank them for coming to your wedding (many weddings I have been to had a brunch the day after the wedding, but you can stretch this into a few days to help those hungover guests who celebrated a little too hard!) and can come home and pack properly and be super organised for your honeymoon. It takes the stress out of doing everything too fast and on too much of a crunch, and gives you that extra breathing room you will no doubt need!
It’s also a good idea if you are getting married in your hometown and have a child or a pet that requires attention and organisation for when you are away. You don’t want to dump them quickly to make your flight!
I would suggest that in planning this kind of honeymoon is to know what you are doing – don’t plan a million visits with a million different family members or pack everything into those few days. Keep the time that is now available to you to organise yourself and anything else you need to coordinate for your honeymoon.
A Week Or Two After The Wedding
Maybe you don’t have time off from work to let you go on a honeymoon straight away after the wedding, or there are a few things that you need to finish up on, and this is completely fine! While you get yourself organised and finish up what you need to do you have more time to see your guests and your family members, can de-stress after the wedding and have a breather. If your wedding involves having guests travel extensively to get there, you will find that they might have decided to take a trip themselves, so as long as you don’t mind if they are “honeymooning” like you, you will have more of a chance to see them, because you won’t get a lot of chance to do so at your wedding.
A special idea for waiting a longer length of time between your wedding and your honeymoon would be to keep the love and martial bliss going. Plan for yourselves to have a romantic dinner, a trip to the spa, or a special date night every day that you two are waiting until you go to your honeymoon. It will just make your wedding love prolonged and a lot more fun!
A Month Or Longer
My my you do like to keep things interesting! Maybe you don’t have the moola saved up, or you are absolutely flat out and couldn’t score a date closer to the wedding, but whatever the reason it is all completely fine! If you have to wait longer than a month to go on your honeymoon than focus on each aspect of your marriage like the important element it is. Give it the respect and time it deserves, and then start dreaming of your honeymoon like you would any other holiday. Just make sure to give you and your partner a special treat along the way to make sure your are still in romance mode, but to be honest, you will still so wrapped up in each other that the time will move quickly and you will be honeymooning it in style in no time!
The Whole Time Is A Honeymoon!
Having a destination wedding? Then the whole fabulous affair is your honeymoon! While you are holidaying and spending some wonderful time with your closest family and friends, you also happen to be romancing it up in style with your partner and having a wonderful holiday. Even as your close loved ones enjoy the time that is your wedding extravaganza, make sure you get to sneak off for a short amount of time to get your alone bliss – even if its for a few days at the end while your guests make their own way home. Your guests will LOVE your honeymoon pictures, because they will be in them too!
No matter the place, the timing, or the whereabouts of your honeymoon, the main thing is that you are spending it with the person that you love. Take the time to breathe it all in and enjoy being married and know that all the stress and planning leading up to your big day has led you here. My definite recommendation is to wait a day or two to get yourself in order before you take off on your jet setting adventure, but no matter how you do it, as long as you are happy, it doesn’t make a difference in the world!
Where did you go for your honeymoon? Did you have any disasters like my husband and I did? (Please tell me we aren’t the only ones!) How long did you wait? Let me know in the comments section below – I would love to hear your tales! And PS. All of the photos used in this post were photos from my actual honeymoon – just in case you couldn’t tell!