Relationships

I Had A Low-Key Honeymoon And I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

By Andrea Mew··  8 min read
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You’re in wedding mode and probably wearing many different hats. If you’re leading the charge on booking vendors, working with a wedding planner to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and juggling the schedules of all of your guests, you might start to feel like there’s no me-time in this process at all, and the last thing your frazzled mind can focus on is planning a dream getaway.

This is it, this is your time to plan that romantic honeymoon to Mykonos, the Amalfi Coast, Tahiti, or Paris, right? But a big honeymoon might not be in the cards if you’re balancing the wedding stress amid a busy work or family schedule, trying to be mindful of your finances, or running into unexpected roadblocks when you’re scoping out travel.

But that’s not what marriage is all about. You should seek to feel uplifted and positive about your wedding, whether it’s in the planning process, the execution of it, or the well-deserved trip you and your new husband take after. 

The best news I can give you is that having a humbler honeymoon is nothing to be ashamed of and might end up being a smart decision for you and your fiancé to consider. Mini-moons are becoming much more common, particularly after lockdowns and travel restrictions changed the way many brides had to go about their wedding planning. My husband and I chose to take a raincheck on the laborious honeymoon for now, and let me tell you – we regret nothing!

Your Mini-Moon Could Save You Boatloads of Cash

With inflation rates at record highs, interest rates projected to rise, and the overall cost of living going up, it’s completely rational and thoughtful to shift your priorities more toward the big day rather than travel. This was especially true in my case as a young bride (tied the knot at 23) who has years ahead of me for epic vacations with my husband.

It’s no secret that weddings are costly. Even if you choose to have a smaller wedding or elope, the average cost of weddings in 2020-2021 ranged from $19,000-$28,000. For some, that figure alone could easily be a down payment on their first home! 

The big day has gotten so expensive, especially as wedding vendors have had to delicately balance unforeseeable changes to their industry. As a result, some have raised their costs. Your venue may be lacking banquet staff, or your florist may be limiting her work hours to take care of her children who are at home instead of in classrooms during daytime hours. In any case, weddings are not getting any cheaper.

Perhaps one of your goals when planning out your life’s vision with your fiancé is that you want to be a financially smart couple, keeping one another in check to make sure your family unit is not strapped for cash. 

A low-key honeymoon could help you invest that money into your big day or maybe even something else entirely.

A big honeymoon is a significant financial decision. A low-key honeymoon could help you invest that money into your big day or maybe even something else entirely, like a joint-savings account, aggressive stock portfolios, cryptocurrency, or maybe even a down payment on a home.

You also don’t have to nix the idea of a romantic vacation entirely and could instead save up for a bigger honeymoon down the line. Depending on how long you wait, that could even be a babymoon or a family-moon. Maybe you invested that money so well that you can afford all three! Having a low-key honeymoon while waiting for a bigger trip also gives you something to look forward to…you basically get an extension of your wedding excitement!

Another priority to consider is that taking a mini-moon closer to home could allow for a more luxurious stay at an elegant property rather than signing your soul away for two weeks at a resort that might not be relaxing or could even just be mediocre. 

I’m glad my husband and I took a low-key honeymoon because I was still able to enjoy my time with him without inducing any financial stress moments after we said “I do!”

We Didn’t Let High Expectations Get in the Way

When we took our shorter getaway, there was no lack of post-wedding bliss. In fact, we were still feeling so high on love and excitement from each other and our wedding guests who shared in the special day that we didn’t even feel the need to set high expectations for how the ideal honeymoon experience would play out.

There were endless moments of unanticipated fun, like showing up to unassuming, local breweries or hole-in-the-wall cigar lounges and spending hours deep in natural conversation. 

We took it so easy that we didn’t even book our bigger excursions until we got to our destination! Safe to say, we would not have chatted with the locals who recommended the most breathtaking experience of a combination horseback riding and wine tasting date if we had planned out every detail ahead of time. 

We ditched the “been there, done that” landmarks for local attractions and quality time.

We also got a bit of unexpected clout from locals when we would get into small talk and explain that we were newlyweds – they all got a big kick out of us choosing that location for our honeymoon.

Any destination can be a dreamy destination. When you mini-moon to a closer spot, you also are giving a bit of love to some towns that might otherwise be overlooked. So major bonus: you’re stimulating the local economy of a getaway which will likely be a lot quieter than the highly sought-after tourist spots!

It can feel empowering to take your honeymoon on a different route. You don’t need to go through the motions that everyone else does! Mini-moons might suit a more low-key woman who loves quality time with her husband anywhere, whether that’s relaxing on the beach, enjoying fine dining, visiting wineries, or hiking in the wilderness. Most of those things can take place anywhere in the world, so long as you don’t mind letting go of your high expectations and ditching the “been there, done that” landmarks.

I Felt More Centered and Able To Savor That Newlywed Bliss

I’m not a control freak, I promise. And you may not be either! In any case, if you’re any bit similar to me, you likely feel comfortable having more control than not over your planning. So when I was confronted with the harsh reality that I couldn’t plan any travel abroad, I didn’t quite know how to manage my emotions. 

Watching other brides have to cancel flights, be put into surprise quarantines, and adhere to new rules and regulations that changed at the blink of an eye began to weigh on me. 

I didn’t think that I would be able to manage how disillusioned I would become over the whole process. Safe to say that it wouldn’t go over well if I had dedicated myself to a trip just to watch it get lost in red tape. 

By having a low-key honeymoon, my husband and I felt we were actually in command of the trip! 

Yet paradoxically, by having a low-key honeymoon, my husband and I felt we were actually in command of the trip! 

We kept it local, but it was just far enough. For us, it was a difference of only 150 miles but that was still multiple counties away. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to drive our own car around from destination to destination and could even bring extra belongings with us if need be. Not only that, but we didn’t risk losing our luggage or need to lug around big bags with us wherever we went.

After we had spent so much time fretting over other peoples’ experiences at our wedding, it was finally our time to let go and relax. And relax we did, without sacrificing any feeling of firm control over our whereabouts or developing plans.

Closing Thoughts

Taking a mini-moon in lieu of, or before, a big honeymoon doesn’t make the trip after your wedding any less adventurous or thrilling. The expectations that you set for yourself are entirely your own and don’t need to be based on how your best friend did it, how your mother did it, how your favorite actress did it, or anyone for that matter! 

When you go the route of the mini-moon, you give yourself extra time to learn about your spouse’s travel styles, plan a vision for a smart financial future, and can feel a better sense of control after what will certainly be one of the most impactful, beautiful days of your life.

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