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:
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?
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!
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?
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.
- Do you need immunizations?
- Is your passport up to date?
- What do you need to pack?
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.
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
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.