Congratulations! You found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you've gotten engaged, and now the real fun begins — planning your wedding! While you might be filled with excitement choosing everything from your bouquet to your something blue, you might also be a little stressed out. Cue — your honeymoon! Traditionally, a honeymoon is intended to be a relaxing time for you to bond with your new spouse, but do you have to jet off on your honeymoon right after your wedding? After the whirlwind experience of planning and actually having a wedding, you might not be eager to pack a bag and hit the road.
There are so many aspects of weddings that are rooted in tradition, but part of what can be fun about making your wedding truly unique is choosing which traditions to follow and which traditions to buck. I spoke with Justina Michaels, owner and lead planner of Fitting Fêtes, a New York-based wedding planning and event design company, about the idea of taking a honeymoon at a later date. She says, "Plenty of couples choose to wait to go on an official honeymoon these days." You might think that postponing your honeymoon could be a bad sign, but Michaels says, "There are many reasons why waiting is actually a sign of a healthy relationship and makes a lot more sense than choosing to take one immediately after a wedding."
The most likely reason you might choose to postpone your trip is due to money, honey. Michaels says, "Weddings are expensive and often there are little remaining funds to go on a proper vacation. Most people dream of going somewhere exotic or far away for a honeymoon and take it as an opportunity to discover a place they may never visit again. It's difficult to do that if money is tight." So instead of settling for a honeymoon that you aren't really psyched about, waiting for the right time and the right budget could make a lot of sense.
Another common reason you might decide to postpone your honeymoon is because of your work schedule. While most weddings take place over a weekend, chances are you'll have to take at least a few days off work to fully enjoy your big day. Michaels says, "I see a lot of couples take the week of their wedding off so taking additional time off from a job may not be an option for one or both spouses. It's absolutely OK to wait until both of you have ample time to leave work without causing additional stress on either of your jobs." This makes complete sense, since honeymoons are meant to be fun and relaxing, and not add more stress to your life!
Even if you have an ample honeymoon budget and plenty of vacation days to enjoy, you might want to stick around to spend time with the guests who have traveled to your wedding. Michaels says, "Many couples choose to stay in town to visit with friends and family they don't often see. A wedding is an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and it's nice to use time after a wedding to do so." Not only does staying in town after your wedding give you time to catch up with visiting loved ones, it also gives you a time to catch your breath. Michaels agrees and says, "There is also just the pure exhaustion of the wedding day itself that often warrants a brief staycation in town before jumping on a plane or a train in order to fully enjoy your true vacation!"
If your dream honeymoon is indeed an exotic destination, deciding to wait until you have the funds, time off of work, or time to plan the trip properly could be a wise and eventually rewarding decision. If you take that route, you might consider spending a night or two in a hotel in your home city to make your post-wedding days feel special, while marking your actual honeymoon on the calendar for later.
If you do decide to honeymoon later, you won't be alone! Michaels says, "About 50 percent of my couples do not choose to go on a honeymoon directly after their wedding. Couples are making choices that accommodate their multifaceted lives and not necessarily sticking to tradition." So while you might decide to follow most wedding traditions like a first dance, a bridal party, and the bouquet toss, the honeymoon tradition might be one you can disregard. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that the most important thing about your honeymoon is the person next to you. And again — congratulations!