The wedding is just the beginning.
There’s plenty of excitement planning the honeymoon as well, from choosing a travel adventure to deciding on what to bring along on the journey.
And for many, planning this great “escape” is just as important as planning the actual wedding.
Regardless of where you decide to go, there are some things you should know to make it the kind of experience you want it to be.
First, you must decide on a budget.
If money is not an issue, bon-voyage!
However, if you’re like most engaged couples, you’re already paying more than you anticipated. Establish a budget and use it as a guide.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want an all-inclusive, one-price-does-it-all, leave-the-wallet-at-home type of trip, or a more do-it-yourself package with car rental, lodging, food, and activities on an a la carte basis. Cruises technically fall under the all-inclusive category, as do resorts.
Of course, honeymoon budgeting takes on a new meaning if you decide to do a “destination wedding”. These are becoming very popular as more and more couples decide to forego the traditional wedding costs in addition to the honeymoon expense. There are especially popular with second marriages. It’s easier to get married in some countries than others, so be sure to check with a reliable source, like a country’s consulate or the U.S. Department of State, before making any arrangements.
Now you need to book and pay for this trip.
Many honeymoon suppliers offer special rates for early booking, which may or may not include airfare. Packages that include airfare can offer significant savings because retailers buy airline seats in at a discount, then package hotel, and sometimes car rentals as well.
You may also want to consider using a honeymoon gift registry to help with expenses. Check with your local travel agent to see if they offer this kind of service or you can investigate more on the internet. A good place to start is at www.TheHoneymoon.com. Honeymoon registries allow guests, friends and family to contribute toward specific elements of your honeymoon, like shore excursions, parasailing, spa services, and tours.
To figure out all you’ll need, make yourself an info sheet similar to this Wedding Night & Honeymoon Worksheet:
Features of room/suite:
Date of pickup:
Your Honeymoon Budget
Before You Go…
Sundries (suntan lotion):
Extra pair of sun/glasses:
Child care/pet care:
Camera & film:
Transportation To Your Honeymoon
Airfare for two:
Transportation to/from airport:
Snacks/meals on the road:
Travel Package: Yes / No
Expenses while at destination
Lodging (rate x nights):
Transfers form airport:
Breakfast for ____ days:
Lunch for ____ days:
Dinner for ____ nights:
Snack for ____ days:
Tips for ____ days:
Entertainment (such as shows, tours, local sights, museums, etc..):
Mementos from trip:
Transportation while at destination
Rail express (Europe):
After The Honeymoon Checklist
* Write thank-you notes for your gifts. Every gift-giver should receive a handwritten note within a month of the wedding.
* Preserve your wedding dress. Have your wedding gown, veil and headpiece professionally dry-cleaned. Inquire about various storage methods.
* Deposit wedding gift checks, bonds, stock certificates. Pay outstanding wedding bills.
* Develop film, choose photographs & review the videos. Develop any film taken at the wedding and on the honeymoon. Review photographer’s proofs; review wedding video to determine edited length and special editing techniques. Choose photos for wedding album and order wedding prints for yourselves, relatives and friends. Put other photos in albums.
* Get together with family and friends. Invite attendants, friends and family members to your home to view the honeymoon photos and video.
* Discuss a home budget and financial goals.
* Evaluate your insurance needs. Consult your agent on health, car and life insurance, which may have to be adjusted to reflect married status. Have wedding gifts appraised and insured.
Tips For Thank-You Notes
* Keep careful records of each gift. As they arrive, write down the sender, address, and a brief description.
* Name the gift in your note: “Thank you for the beautiful candle holders.”
* Describe how you’ll use the gift. “Richard, and I love how elegant the make our table look!”
* Add a personal thought or two about your wedding and/or your relationship with the giver: “It meant a lot to us to have such dear friends share in our wedding day.”