June 2016

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

You’ve found the love of your life. You’re planning the wedding of your dreams.  Now it’s time for some relaxation and pampering!  or some, the honeymoon is the ultimate reward for all of the effort put into having the perfect wedding.  or others, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to have their dream travel adventure.

Either way, the honeymoon is often as big of a decision and planning process as the wedding. So, we frequently advise our clients that the same principles we use to guide our clients through the planning of their wedding apply for planning their ideal honeymoon. The goal after all, is to have fun dreaming it up and enjoying the trip itself! For many people, this is the longest and most indulgent vacation they’ll ever have, so let’s make sure it’s as fabulous as possible.

Here are 10 Simple Steps Planning Your Dream Honeymoon:

A world of choices

1.   Make your dream list

Together with your fiancé, brainstorm everywhere you’ve ever heard about or seen pictures of and wanted to go, as well as your ideal environment, activities, romantic moments

Tip: Don’t edit yourself too quickly.  Dig deep into the dream bank and keep everything in play until it’s time to make rational decisions.

2.  Identify your priorities

Ask yourselves: What do you need to be completely excited and satisfied with your honeymoon, what do you want to make it as memorable as possible, and what would be the little bonuses that would put it over the top?

Signs of the world

3.  Determine your budget, decision parameters and other assets

Set your budget for time, money, and other consideration.

  • What can you afford?
  • How will you work together to make the decisions that are best for you?
  • How much time can you take away from work?
  • How much time are you comfortable travelling?
  • Do you have any assets that can help offset challenges, eg airline or hotel points, a friend with a vacation home?
  • Consider setting up a honeymoon registry with Honeyfund to help you out

Can you agree to a timeline for making your decisions?

Tip: If you start planning your trip in the beginning of the wedding planning, you can make a lot of your wedding purchases with a credit card that is tied to airline or hotel points.

4.  Reevaluate and edit

  • When you compare your dream list to your priorities, budget, and other parameters, which of your ideas are the best fit?
  • Eliminate any ideas that don’t fit your top priorities or align with your parameters

Tip: Be brave, sometimes this step means letting go of some of those dreams.  They don’t have to be gone forever, there’s always anniversary vacations and vow renewals to plan!

Hiking

5.  Research and collect information about your top 2-3 most promising locations

  • Narrow your list to your top 2-3 ideas.
  • Start researching, look to the Web and social media, your well-traveled friends, travel magazines, etc. and start compiling recommendations for hotels, restaurants, activities.

6.  Know your limits

You’re probably already over scheduled and, for many people, the destinations being considered for the honeymoon are often exotic and far away.  Perhaps working with a travel agent to make it all come together is the right answer for ensuring that you are able to enjoy the planning as much as the trip.

  • Know how much time and energy you have to devote to making it all come together.
  • What tasks can you and your fiance share? What tasks can you delegate to willing family and friends?

Beach honeymoon

7.  Consider your timing options

Be open to scheduling your honeymoon later in the year.  But, be sure to have it scheduled within 6 months of the wedding date so it doesn’t get pushed aside entirely.

Tip: Not every honeymoon as to take place immediately following the wedding.  Sometimes, your dream location and your dream wedding date don’t line up. 

8. Decide and book

  • Taking all of your priorities and parameters and ideas into account, where are you going to go?
  • Now, move forward with either a travel agent or on your own and book your flights and hotels.

Tip: Time is often your best friend for getting the best price, so waiting until the last-minute is a bug gamble.  Plan to have your flights and hotels booked 3 months before your departure date.

9.  Prepare

  • Do you need immunizations?
  • Is your passport up to date?
  • What do you need to pack?

Relaxing honeymoon

10. Go with the flow

  • Like just about everything else in life, things don’t always go as perfectly as we plan. Make room for the bumps and be open to spontaneity.  Sometimes the best things happen when you see opportunity instead of disaster.

Tip:  It’s impossible to predict how you will connect with a place, how exhausted, how energized or exhausted you will be following the wedding, or who you might meet that knows just the right spot to explore, so make sure you leave room in the beginning and middle of the trip to just relax, re-group and adjust.

Bonus

Bali-Botswana-Provence

Here are just a few fabulous honeymoon ideas from our vault:

The Conrad Rangali, Maldives

Belmond Safaris Botswana

Hanging Gardens Ubud, Bali

Crillon le Brave, Provence, France

Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy

Las Mareas Villas at Pangas Beach Club, Costa Rica

Meadowood, Napa, California

Happy travels!

Bio:  Elizabeth Duncan is the founder and President of Elizabeth Duncan Events, a full service event planning and design company that creates inspired and memorable events for individuals and companies here, there, and everywhere you’d like to go.

Elizabeth Duncan Events is a full service event planning and design company that creates inspired and memorable events for individuals and companies here, there, and everywhere you’d like to go. Our comprehensive and personalized approach to client service, professional expertise, and discerning taste ensures a seamless planning experience and an exceptional event that will exceed your expectations in every way.  From intimate, at-home parties to beautiful and sophisticated weddings to visionary corporate and non-profit events, imagine the possibilities and let us make them a reality.

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Hey all!  Thanks for joining Sara live from Madison Square Park in New York City today!

Thanks to Kohl’s for the $100 Gift Card!

Kohls offered a $100 dollar gift card to the first person to comment with the secret word. Today’s word is : PICNIC.

Great Wedding Gifts Wedding Giveaway:

Today’s winner is Shannon Summers from Carlsbad New Mexico, Shannon is winning two Hotel Collection bathrobes from Macy’s! Congrats Shannon!

Budget Tip:

There is a winning formula for keeping the cost of your wedding to $1000 dollars, that’s right only $1000!!!

  1. Choose a public place, like a park that won’t charge you to hold your ceremony there. Have your guests stand to minimize rentals. (Keep the ceremony short since they’re standing.)
  2. For the reception, travel to a private home. If you don’t know someone, it can be a rented vacation home (Airbnb for example) for your reception. Be sure it has plenty of seating, tables and chairs included to avoid rentals.
  3. Hire a food truck for a fun, affordable, and delicious meal.

Honeyfund Hack

Use our new “Hotel info for guests” feature to share hotel accomodations with your guests. You can also share group discount codes.

Thanks for hanging with us again on#WeddingWednesday! Join Sara next Wednesday, Juen 29  back at Honeymoon Headquarters. Please share with your friends (@honeyfund on Periscope). If you missed it you can watch the replay on YouTube:

Follow Honeyfund on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Everything seen on today’s show will also be on our Honeyfund Pinterest.

Cheers!

Sara

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