So much time, energy and money go in to planning your wedding day. It is, after all, the day you’ve dreamed of your whole life! It’s the day you walk down the aisle, say I do and kiss, sealing the communion of your new life together. And then what? You head off into the sunset on your dream honeymoon.
But is it your dream honeymoon? How much do you really know about your honeymoon? What are your expectations? Did you spend as much time gathering critical information for your honeymoon as you did for planning your wedding?
Making sure your honeymoon is your ideal vacation is not just about reading a destination. Planning your honeymoon takes time, thought, communication and work—from both the bride and groom. We all dream of that exotic locale or tropical paradise, but if your expectations aren’t met, that tropical paradise can become a tropical nightmare and a ruined honeymoon. (Thus, not the ideal start to your married life!)
Be sure to talk about your honeymoon ideals before you book your getaway! HoneyLuna recommends you review the following questionnaire. The bride and the groom should complete this separately and then discuss it together. Be sure to share this with your travel agent, too!
1. What is your ideal honeymoon setting? (i.e. tropical, big city, Europe, mountains)
2. How much time can you spend on your honeymoon (including travel time)?
3. What is your ideal honeymoon “activity level”? (i.e. lie on the beach and do nothing; some beach plus some activity; all golf; museums and shopping; all adventure)
4. Is nightlife important?
5. Is shopping important?
6. Do you want to visit someplace that’s new to both of you?
7. If you want to travel outside the U.S., do you prefer an English-speaking country?
8. How much do you have allocated to spend on your honeymoon? (Be realistic here!)
9. Do you want to use a honeymoon registry service that allows friends and family to “buy pieces of your honeymoon” as wedding gifts?
10. Do you like the idea of an all-inclusive resort, which typically includes accommodations, meals, alcohol and lots of activities?
11. Do you want a couples’ only resort?
12. Would you like to stay at one resort or move from place to place?
13. Do you want a large, medium-sized or small property?
14. Would you like a luxurious resort with lots of amenities like spas and room service, or perhaps something quaint and charming but not so luxurious? (Remember to keep your budget in mind.)
15. How much time will you spend in your room?
16. Do you have “separate activities” that you want to do on your honeymoon? (i.e. groom wants to golf; bride wants a spa day)
17. How important is a patio or balcony? Do you need a view?
18. Is weather an important factor to consider? (i.e. You don’t want to worry about hurricanes or perhaps rainy season doesn’t matter to you.)
19. When do you want to leave on your honeymoon? (i.e. immediately after the wedding, a few days later or delayed a few weeks or months?)
20. And because this is so important, think about it again: How much do you have allocated to spend on your honeymoon? (i.e. $2,000, $5,000, $10,000—what’s right for you and be realistic!)
Nancy Williams is the founder and CEO of HoneyLuna, The Honeymoon Registry Service. She has helped thousands of newlyweds plan their honeymoons over the past 10 years.