After the stress of planning and executing the perfect wedding, your honeymoon is when you get to really relax. Your honeymoon is a time for the two of you to celebrate your love and your wedding, privately. However, like everything else, honeymoons take some serious planning. You will need to discuss location, ideal costs, how soon you will want to leave after your wedding, and if you even want a honeymoon or if you would like to allocate honeymoon funds to something else! We want to help keep the planning as simple as possible for you, which is why we created this list of things you’ll need to think of while you plan the ultimate romantic getaway!
When to Start Planning
Ideally, you’ll want to start planning 8-12 months before you’d like to go. That way there’s time to get everything done. And trust us, there is a lot to get done. You’ll want to start with a short list of locations and types of honeymoon vacations the two of you might want to go on. If you want to honeymoon in another country, passports might need to be renewed–which is a process that can take a lot of time! There are also other things that you may need to take into consideration while planning your honeymoon–depending on your situation– like moving, a pregnancy, or buying a house after the wedding. Another reason to start planning early is to make sure you have the booking complete before you dive deep into planning the actual wedding. That way there’s little to worry about after the wedding aside from boarding the plane!
Where to Go
Location is the most important part of planning your honeymoon. What’s your style? Is there a place that you both would love to go? Picking a location is SO exciting because your honeymoon is the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to go somewhere WILD that you have always dreamed of visiting! Are you adventure seekers? Then you may opt for a long desert hike through Mongolia or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro together. Are you looking to relax on the beach and sip Mai Thais? Consider an all inclusive romantic beach resort! For our city slickers, you may want to hit Tokyo, London, or Sydney! City honeymoons have a lot to offer with many experiences unique to your desired location! Regardless of what type of honeymoon you’re thinking of, don’t be afraid to dream BIG! This is a once in a lifetime experience, after all!
Decide on a Budget
Planning a successful honeymoon comes with deciding on a budget and sticking to it. You’re going to want to start with a low and a high end for your budget. Each end of the spectrum must include: transportation, hotel/resort costs, experiences you might want to plan for, food, shopping, and other vacation details. You will also need to be sure to save a little extra for hidden or surprise expenses like souvenirs, shopping, power adapters, or lost items!
You’ll also want to pad your budget for any additional experiences you may decide you would like to partake in. For example, if you’re traveling to London, you may decide last-minute to go to a musical. So, make sure your budget includes some wiggle room for things like that as well. If all of this math isn’t you or your spouse’s strong suit, try using something like You Need A Budget. Because at the end of the day, your budget is one of the most important aspects of planning your honeymoon! You don’t want to break the bank!
When to Start Booking & When to Leave
Between the two of you, you’ll have to arrange time off with work and that may be limited to two-three weeks. It’s important to not feel pressured to immediately go on your honeymoon following the wedding. Maybe you want to return to work for a little while and settle into your new life or move into your new home! It can be nice to get into a rhythm as a married couple before taking a big vacation.
When you leave depends on your specific circumstances. You can go as soon as the day after your wedding, or you can wait a year to get settled. Take into consideration what will make you feel the most comfortable before you choose a date. If you need time to decompress after the wedding, plan a honeymoon for later. If you know you’ll still be riding the wedding high for weeks after your ceremony and want to go as soon as possible, plan to leave the next day if you and your partner’s work schedule will allow it!
However, even if you don’t plan to leave right away, you’ll still want to make sure your trip is booked well in advance. We recommend booking flights, hotels, and other large expenses as soon as you’ve decided on a location and date! The sooner you start booking, the less you’ll have to worry about later!
Pack Like a Pro
Are you hitting multiple locations during your honeymoon? If so, consider packing light! You probably won’t need a unique outfit EVERY day, especially if you’re going to be in several different cities or countries. Also, remember to plan for the worst case scenario! In case your luggage gets lost or delayed, be sure to pack three days worth of clothing and essentials into your carry-on bag. That way, it won’t ruin your honeymoon if it takes a while for your luggage to catch up with you as you hop from location to location. Lastly, don’t forget to make sure you have those outfits that you love but never get to wear with you. You’ll more than likely be going to some fancy dinners while on your honeymoon, so it will be the perfect opportunity to whip out all the stops!
Invest in Experiences
The Venetian Orient Express in Europe, climbing a mountain, or even surfing in Hawaii are all amazing experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life. Choosing experiences like this, that you may have never experienced before is the perfect way to make your honeymoon the trip of a lifetime! This trip is about the both of you making memories with each other and spending quality time celebrating your love. To choose memorable experiences for your honeymoon, take some time to chat with each other about things you each have on your respective bucket lists. Try making a list of foods you’ve always wanted to try or sights that you’ve always wanted to see. Even if your dream honeymoon is just lounging around at a resort, be sure to invest in that experience so that you’ll have those memories to look back on together.
How Long To Be Away
There is no right or wrong answer! Ideally, your honeymoon will be as long as you want, but studies show the perfect vacation length is 8-9 days. Though you’ll probably want to get home to start your life together sooner rather than later, there’s also no harm in extending your trip for a little while longer (if your job will let you)! Don’t underestimate the power of the honeymoon bubble–enjoy this special alone time while you both celebrate your new life together!
What to Do When You Get Back
You’re probably going to come back to a house full of gifts; some you might want to return but all of which you’ll need to send Thank You notes for. If you haven’t picked out cards already, you’ll want to choose cards that match the theme of your wedding! Make sure to be sincere and grateful while composing your Thank You cards. Even if it’s a gift you didn’t keep! As for returns, the sooner you tackle them, the better.
A few other things that you may want to consider after returning from your honeymoon are opening joint bank accounts, changing your last name (if you choose to), and writing those vendor reviews! Your wedding vendors put in so much work to help make your wedding day a success. Reviews only take a few minutes to write! Reviews help your wedding vendors secure new clients in the future. Be sure to write them a positive review if you enjoyed working with them. We promise, they’ll appreciate it!
Lastly, don’t forget to take a look at your wedding photos when you get them back from your photographers! This will give you the opportunity not only to reminisce, but also to print out photos for yourself and family members to have framed. It will also allow you to compile a physical wedding album to look back on over the years! We personally love using Artifact Uprising and Mixbook for creative, fully custom, and completely digitally made photo albums!
When planning your honeymoon it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to plan a trip you’ll both love. This trip should be a relaxing, dream vacation full of adventure and warmth! Your wedding may have been a big celebration with all your family and friends to jumpstart your new life together. But your honeymoon is a stress-free reminder of why you got married in the first place! Your first trip together as newlyweds should reflect the life you want to build. And the married couple you want to be! So, have fun and make some memories!
If you need more tips for planning your wedding, we’ve got so much valuable information over on our blog! If you’re still in the throes of planning decor, food, and other aesthetic elements of your big day, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok for inspiration!