When Should We Go On Our Honeymoon?

To stay or go right away: that is the honeymoon question. Here are the pros and cons of going on your honeymoon right away or delaying the trip for a while.

By Jane Chertoff

married couple goes on honeymooln
Photo by Oh, Honestly Photography

As the wedding celebrations wind down and you hug the last of your guests’ goodbye, you’re probably more than ready to spend some time alone with your new spouse. Hence why some couples choose to leave for their honeymoon immediately after the last glass of the champagne is poured. Enjoying a relaxing trip together right after the hard work of the wedding is complete is certainly tempting, but it’s not for everyone.

A delayed honeymoon—waiting a few days, weeks, or even months post-wedding—is another popular option. It can give you more time to save up again after endless wedding spending depletes your funds. It can also give you something else to look forward to after the excitement of your nuptials is over.

Here’s are the honeymoon planning tips you need to know to decide when the best time to go on your honeymoon.

Should we leave right after the wedding?

Annie Banks-Mackenzie did it in Father of the Bride—and you can, too! If you want to make a grand exit, going straight to the airport as the wedding ends is certainly a luxe way to start your honeymoon.

The Good

An immediate start to your honeymoon means you can rest and recuperate post-wedding without worrying about reality (your messy apartment, work, etc.). Instead, you start married life enjoying your partner’s company in a beautiful destination (and hopefully with room service for a few days)

That’s exactly why Mitch Glass, founder of the travel blog, Project Untethered, chose to take his honeymoon right after his wedding last year. “I think from a relationship standpoint, the perfect time for a honeymoon is right after the wedding,” he says. “My wife and I were exhausted after weeks of stressful wedding planning, and our honeymoon gave us time to unwind, re-connect, and kick off our marriage with something special.”

If you want to extend the bliss of your wedding celebrations, take off for your honeymoon ASAP.

INLINE GodsWeddingPhotographer 1080x720 Amara&Hon (1) Photo Credit // God's Wedding Photographer

The Bad

On the other hand, leaving for your honeymoon immediately after the reception can be challenging, too. On top of all the last-minute details that take place in the week before the wedding, it’s stressful to even think about packing and planning for the honeymoon, too.

That’s what happened when Analisa Jolley, founder of the honeymoon blog, The Honeymoon Vagabonds, took her honeymoon right after the wedding. “We thought it would help us decompress after the stressful months of planning our wedding. I was dead wrong,” she says. “Not only did this make planning that much more stressful, but since we left the day after the wedding we also didn’t get to open any wedding gifts and some of the gifts we could have used while on our honeymoon like money and gift cards.”

Giving yourselves a week after the wedding to rest up at home and take time to pack and regroup before the fun of the honeymoon starts may be your best bet, she thinks. That way, you won’t have to worry if your partner has their passport and swimsuit packed while you’re in the middle of your vows.

Should we wait a couple of days?

If leaving directly after your big day sounds overwhelming—but you don’t want to postpone your perfect honeymoon for too long—you could opt to wait to leave for your trip until a few days after your wedding.

The Good

Let’s be real—the ceremony and wedding reception can be exhausting. And for some couples, the thought of taking off for a big trip directly after such an exhausting day—even if it is the trip of a lifetime!—just does not sound like much fun.

By waiting a couple of days to leave for your honeymoon, you give yourself (and your partner!) a time to rest and recharge after all the wedding day-busyness. This can give you the energy that you need to feel fully present and engaged in your honeymoon—which is especially important if you’re planning a more active trip (for example, a hiking trip in Hawaii).

INLINE SimpsonPhotography 1080x720 Lindsey&Kyle Photo Credit // Simpson Photography

The Bad

If you choose to postpone your honeymoon for even a few days, you’ll have to contend with reality and the normal grind of your day-to-day life. For example, you may have to go back to work for a few days—or, at the very least, you’ll have to deal with household responsibilities. While you can certainly continue to revel in wedded bliss together with your spouse, the excitement may wear off more quickly once you’re back to your regularly scheduled programming—which means that you may head into your honeymoon less excited and “on a wedding high” than you would if you took off the morning after your wedding night.

Should we few months—or even a year?

There’s no hard and fast rule that says you need to go on your honeymoon right after your wedding—or even soon after your wedding. In fact, many couples choose to postpone their honeymoon for months (or even up to a year!).

The Good

There are a lot of pros to significantly postponing your honeymoon trip—starting with scheduling. Many people take time off for their weddings—which may include a few days before the wedding (for setup and pre-wedding events like the rehearsal dinner) and after (to rest and recharge after all the wedding festivities). Many people don’t have the flexibility or PTO to take off an additional chunk of time for their honeymoon right after their wedding—in which case, it would make sense to postpone.

Another perk of pushing your honeymoon back a few months is that your honeymoon destinations aren’t limited to the time of year you get married. For example, let’s say you’re getting married in July—but your idea of a dream honeymoon is a week skiing the slopes in Colorado. If you didn’t postpone your trip, you wouldn’t be able to make your honeymoon dreams a reality (not much snow in Colorado in July!). But by pushing your honeymoon to December or January, you could have the honeymoon that you want—no compromises necessary.

The final reason you may want to consider waiting a few months (or a year!) for your honeymoon is financial. Weddings are expensive—and many couples don’t have the financial resources to pay for their weddings and a big trip immediately after. Postponing the honeymoon a few months will give you plenty of time to replenish your savings account—which will put you in a position to actually enjoy your honeymoon (instead of worrying about the costs).

The Bad

There’s one major downside to scheduling your honeymoon months (or a year) after your wedding. And that downside is that, by the time the trip rolls around, it may not feel like a honeymoon anymore.

The longer you wait to take your honeymoon, the further removed you are from your wedding day. Months (or a year) into your marriage, you’re not necessarily going to feel like newlyweds; you’re going to feel like a married couple. And as more time passes—and you settle more into your marriage—the more you run the risk of your honeymoon feeling like just a normal vacation.

What else should we consider?

Realistically, the best time to take your honeymoon may come down to a few different factors. Here are a few more to consider.

  • When can you get the best deal? To keep the budget realistic, consider when you can get the best deal on flights and hotels and travel then. If you get married on a Saturday evening, you might get a better deal on a hotel and flight if you wait until Tuesday to leave. Set up Google flight alerts and book well in advance to get the best deals. If you’re traveling to a trendy destination, you may save money by avoiding its busy season and visiting a few months later.
  • How's the weather? You may have chosen September on the East Coast for a gorgeous fall wedding, but it’s now hurricane season in the Caribbean. Waiting a few months for peace of mind may work best in cases like this.
  • How much time can you take off work? You and your partner may have already taken a few days (or a week) off to prepare for the wedding. You may want to delay your trip until you’re both free to set aside a longer amount of time for the honeymoon. You can always take a mini-moon or a weekend road trip together in the meantime.
  • What do the actual travel logistics look like? The honeymoon should be something you look forward to, not another thing to stress over. If you’re having a destination wedding, getting married in a remote location, and it’s going to take three hours to drive to the airport post-reception, it’s fine to go home for a few days and regroup before heading out.
  • What do you actually prefer? Go on your honeymoon when it works best for both of you—not because your mom thinks it’s cute to make a grand exit for the airport post-reception.

As per usual, the best time to take your honeymoon is whenever works best for you as a couple. Take your destination, goals for the trip, and any other logistical details in to account before making your decision.!

Looking for more insights on all things honeymoon? Make sure to check out Zola’s Expert Advice on Honeymoons!

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