Your wedding day seems like it will be an unforgettable event, and for the most part, it is! Just be prepared for the day to go by in somewhat of a whirlwind of: photo ops, guest meet and greets, and dancing. The honeymoon, however, is the time where you shed all of the expectations and welcome married life in a state of complete relaxation and fun!
If the two of you are like most couples, you’re probably spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to fund that momentous day. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2018 was $33,931 (excluding honeymoon expenses). So basically, most couples are spending about as much on their wedding as they would if they bought a brand new car in cash…up front!
That being said, when you are budgeting expenses for that day, don't forget to budget for the honeymoon. For most couples, the tab for the honeymoon falls on their personal bank accounts—even if mom and dad pick up the wedding tab. If you and your future spouse are paying for your own dream honeymoon, then you should both start saving and planning as soon as the engagement ring lands on the finger.
You may have heard about honeymoon registry accounts that allow guests to give monetary gifts that go toward the cost of the couple's upcoming getaway. While many couples embrace this opportunity, don’t expect all guests to be on board. Some would rather give a tangible gift, and per registry etiquette, honeymoon registry information should be spread by “word of mouth.”
In addition, some couples display a “honeymoon fund” jar or box at their ceremony/reception. This fund can also give you a way to keep your guests entertained at your reception. Try having your guests donate a dollar to get you and your partner to kiss or have them donate any amount to get a dance with you!
While most couples honeymoon immediately after their honeymoon, you also may choose to wait a month or two…especially if waiting coincides with off-peak rates for travel. When booking on a budget, your dollars will go much farther if you choose less popular months for your dream vacation. Peak seasons vary by destination, so do your research. Remember that peak travel periods vary across the globe. For example, couples planning summer weddings can score cheaper deals if they honeymoon in Vietnam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even Belize. Choosing an all-inclusive resort also may save you money—especially if you plan on hanging out at the resort for the majority of your stay.
Honeymoons don’t have to equate to airfare or out-of-country excursions. Local hot spots may offer cheap honeymoon getaways, so research local wineries or bed and breakfasts. You may even want to rent an RV and take to the road for a cross-country adventure.
If you plan to travel outside of the country for your honeymoon, plan accordingly. Touch base with your doctor to make sure you don’t need any immunizations before your trip. Also, if you don’t already have a passport…get one! While countries that are U.S. territories (like the U.S. Virgin Islands) don’t require passports, you will need a photo ID. But always check the travel requirements in advance.
No matter where you choose to spend your post-wedding days, plan a honeymoon that allows you plenty of time for rest, relaxation, and lots of blissful romance. Whether you choose a tropical paradise or a local bed and breakfast, the perfect honeymoon is one that lets the stress of the wedding melt away and marks the real beginning of happily ever after.