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        You may have noticed that the honeymoon isn’t as traditional as it once was. Many couples are opting to go on their honeymoons later for a variety of reasons. Personally, I think waiting a bit is a fabulous idea. Why not drag out one of the most awesome celebrations in your life?

        Clients ask me quite regularly for a bit of guidance when it comes to planning their honeymoons – so two of my 2011 client couples (Heather & Noah of the Mattress Factory and Maren & Chris of the barn at Fallingwater) have stepped forward to happily lend a bit of advice to all of you curious and possibly confused couples!

        Where did you go on your honeymoon and how long were you there?

        Heather & Noah:
        We visited the sandy Pacific shores of Maui, Hi. It was our first “real” vacation together and it was our honeymoon, so we thought why not go with the somewhat cliché romantic tropical getaway. We were
        able to escape for 10 wonderful days; we left Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day in fact.

        Maren & Chris: Costa Rica for 11 days.

        How long after your wedding did you go?

        Heather & Noah:
        We were married on September 9th and left for Maui about four months later in January.

        Maren & Chris: 3 months.

        Why specifically did you wait as long as you did?

        Heather & Noah: Life is hectic, especially so because Heather is currently pursuing a Master’s degree and we didn’t have an opening in schedules until her Fall Semester was said and done with. This is probably not an uncommon occurrence for a lot of modern couples.

        Maren & Chris: After planning the wedding (especially from long distance) the thought of planning the honeymoon on top of that was daunting. Waiting allowed us more time to research the country and places we wanted to visit in Costa Rica. Waiting also gave us something more to look forward to in the future…another fun adventure after the wedding was all said and done. Finally, we never get to come back home for Thanksgiving so we thought that would be a good time to travel. Chris and I both had Thanksgiving day and the Friday after off of work because of the Holiday, so choosing to go over the Holiday when we were already off of work allowed us to go for longer.

        Would you recommend other couples do the same?

        Heather & Noah: It all depends on your personal preference and situation. If you are a big DIY-bride and you’ve put a lot of effort into the wedding planning, like Heather did, taking the extra time between wedding and honeymoon could be a blessing or a bummer. (see below)

        Maren & Chris:
        Sure! It worked out well for us. Everyone is different though.

        What are the pros to waiting?

        Heather & Noah: On the upside, you aren’t rushing around trying to plan the last-minute details of a big vacation after just finalizing your momentous event. Also, it certainly gives you even more time to plan and save. Another bonus, if you go to a tropical locale in the winter months, you can score some pretty sweet bikinis from the sale rack.

        Maren & Chris: More time to plan. Got to spend time with our families immediately after the wedding and didn’t have to rush off. Something else to look forward to down the road.

        The cons?

        Heather & Noah: The downside, yes your wedding is a wonderful experience that will never be duplicated. It is also one of the most stressful, anticipation-filled, emotionally-exhausting events of your life (sorry, I don’t sugar coat things). With that said, attempting to head in to work the Monday after your Saturday ceremony and reception may require a few energy drinks, tape holding open your eyelids, and a whole lot of gumption.

        Maren & Chris: Coming back to real life after the wedding was tough. Going on your honeymoon right away would definitely give the bride and groom some more time to themselves, which is much needed after all of the craziness of the wedding.

        Do you have any advice to offer engaged couples who are torn between waiting to go on their honeymoon and leaving immediately after their wedding?

        Heather & Noah: If you are really intent on having a dream honeymoon that requires some saving and planning, the best option may be to wait. Depending on where you are traveling, heading out on the off-season might also benefit you savings-wise.

        Maren & Chris: I would say that if you do choose to wait, definitely still take a day or two for yourselves immediately after the wedding. After all the wedding festivities are over, take some time together to let it all sink in. Chris and I went to Cedar Point. It was a ton of fun for us to act like kids for the day and be together, just the two of us.

        Is there any other advice you’d like to share?

        Heather & Noah:
        Like a lot of modern couples, we started living together about 4 years before we got married. Obviously this cohabitation leads to a lack of need in the traditional wedding registry department. Our solution? We opted for an online honeymoon registry (traveler’s joy to be exact) that allows you to break down your dream vacation into monetary increments which friends and family can contribute to. This option really enabled us to make our honeymoon the dream vacation that we truly wanted with help from generous friends and family.

        Maren & Chris: Don’t wait so long that you never go! I couple I know decided to wait, and two years later still haven’t gone on a honeymoon!! Life could get in the way if you wait, so I can see how going immediately would be good too.

        (Photo courtesy of Maren and Chris, on their honeymoon)

        Good tips, all. We had a minimoon because work started right after we got married last year. However, regardless of what you do, it’s important to make time for each other…not just during the honeymoon, but throughout the marriage.

        Awesome advice, Mike! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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