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Tidbits of advice from a bride/Part III: The honeymoon

October 26, 2011

Giving advice on the honeymoon is a tricky thing. It’s such a personal choice and there are so many different factors that come into play–how much time you can get off from work, the amount of money you’re able to spend, where you like to vacation, the time of year. Maybe that’s my first piece of advice: Consider the above factors. But I also know that you can gain a lot from other people’s experiences which is why I’ve decided to share.

For our honeymoon we spent six days in Barbados at a little boutique hotel on the beach. We got married on Saturday and left early Monday morning. We paid for our honeymoon ourselves but we were able to save enough money during our engagement that we didn’t have to use our credit card {such a HUGE blessing}. We made sure our passports were updated ahead of time. We researched the weather patterns for that time of year {we traveled during peak hurricane season but chose Barbados because it’s far enough south that it rarely gets hit}. We researched and discussed activities. We asked around for advice. We looked up reviews online.

So, we planned well and did our research.

We also called our hotel ahead of time, told them we were traveling on our honeymoon, and requested a complimentary upgrade if available. Second tidbit of advice: Don’t be afraid to ask for upgrades. Most hotels cater to honeymooning couples. And we ended up getting a really lovely ocean view room with a balcony!

But here’s the thing. As with anything related to your wedding, you are going to have huge expectations for your honeymoon. If you’re lucky enough, all of your expectations will be met or even exceeded. But if you’re like me, and a number of other people I know, you will experience some let down and disappointment. In all honesty, I was bored by Wednesday and ready to go home. I had a really difficult time relaxing–after six months of planning, planning, planning I didn’t know what to do with myself without having a To Do list. Or a computer. I thought all I would want to do was sit on a beach and relax but it turns out I was ready to GO and DO. I didn’t want to just lay around–plus, it was SUPER hot and humid so lying around ended up causing profuse sweating {not very romantic or sexy}.

And speaking of romantic, I had this notion {as do the majority of you most likely} that this would be THE MOST ROMANTIC VACATION OF MY LIFE. That’s a lot of pressure, you guys. A LOT. We had romantic moments for sure. And silly moments too. And we enjoyed being there together. But do I think it was the most romantic week of my life or our relationship? Nope, not one bit. I was too tired! And kind of out of it. I hadn’t had any alone time for three weeks so my batteries were running on low. I needed time to process all that had happened especially since it had all happened so quickly. And I’m pretty sure my body was still pumped full of adrenaline which is probably why mid-week I was bored.

So, my honeymoon was nice. But it wasn’t GREAT. Just as I had to process the disappointments about the wedding, I also had to process the disappointments about the honeymoon. I had to come to terms with all the things I would have done differently. {For example, I probably would have waited a week, or at least a few days, to leave. I needed time to be at home and decompress before traveling. And I kinda wish we had gone to Europe instead.}

But you know what? It’s all a part of our story. Years from now we’ll still joke about me wanting to leave Barbados. And we’ll laugh about how stressful it was when I attempted to drive on the left side of the road. And we’ll remember all the fun people we met and the amazing food we ate {cause those are really the things you remember anyway}. And years from now I’ll look back on it with such gratefulness that we were able to travel for six days after our wedding. And I’ll remember how necessary it was to just get away together–even if I did end up being a little disappointed. The point is–we got married! We have the rest of our lives to celebrate that important fact.

So tell me, did you feel that way at all? What was your honeymoon like? And to my engaged readers, are you planning a honeymoon? I want details, people! 🙂


Photo credit is all mine. I took that shot!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2011 4:53 pm

    We went on a cruise for our honeymoon, and what was great was that we had a gazillion options including not doing anything at all. It was pretty impossible to get bored, but it was entirely possible to go the entire cruise and only talk to each other.

    I usually succumb to the pressure that “I should be doing something, I should take advantage of whatever is going on,” but we agreed early on that we would take THIS vacation to be alone together and only do what we both wanted to do, not what we felt pressured to do. Like take cooking classes or bus tours on our excursions. This was so freeing and it was the most relaxed I’ve been on a vacation.

    I’d recommend a cruise for your next vacation. Or maybe your next next next vacation, because they can be pretty pricey. ALL THE FOOD YOU CAN EAT, and it’s already paid for because it’s part of your fare. That was one of our favorite parts, because we’re such foodies.

    [I recommend Holland America, it was awesome, but we were definitely the youngest couple there. It didn’t bother us because we kept to ourselves, but I think they cater to older clientele so if you want socialization to be part of your cruise experience I would recommend a different line. BUT, they were awesome.]

  2. October 26, 2011 5:38 pm

    Thank you for your honesty! I feel society has put such a heavy weight on honeymoons. They have to be exotic, extremely romantic, relaxing and dripping with champagne. And at the end, we’re supposed to gush about it. I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip, but were able to admit you were let down by some of it. I hope that every couple is afforded a second, and third honeymoon!!
    I loved my honeymoon but certainly had some things I would have done differently. (We left Sunday morning and we jammed our schedule with back-to-back activities.) There were plenty of tired, non-romantic parts, and I have to admit, I wasn’t really expecting them. Glad to hear it’s normal.

  3. Alicia permalink
    October 26, 2011 7:16 pm

    I love this advice, it is all so true! Especially the expectation that this will be the most magical, romantic trip of all time! My hubs and I waited about a month to take our honeymoon and I can honestly say that was the best choice we made. We were recovered from wedding madness, had time to settle into our actual lives as a married couple, and had ample time to spend with guests that traveled to be with us. Traveling is stressful and while the vacation is meant to be relaxing, sometimes it can be ruined if couples rush off too soon after the stress that we call a wedding. We met couples that literally left the next morning and they said the first few days were a complete waste for them because they were so tired!

  4. October 26, 2011 11:27 pm

    Um amazing shot I must say. We went to Bali for our honeymoon, which was the longest travel day(s) of my life. It was worth it though…pure bliss when we arrived I felt like I was floating in a dream. We spent more than maybe we should have…but it was totally worth it. Especially for our honeymoon. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


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