Breaking with tradition
What was once a wedding ritual like throwing the bouquet and cutting the cake, taking a week-long honeymoon right after the wedding is no longer an expected tradition. "Budget and time constraints make it harder for newlyweds to take a week or longer honeymoon after their wedding," said Martin Slagter, Vice President of HomeAway, Inc., which owns BedandBreakfast.com. "The survey confirmed that most newlyweds will take a several day mini-moon rather than not taking a honeymoon at all."
Busy couples don't want to forgo a honeymoon altogether, though. According to the survey, of those planning to marry in the next 12 months, only six percent say they won't take a honeymoon, so opting for a shorter trip means they still get to celebrate – without having to feel stressed out about taking too much time off or spending too much money.
Why mini matters
You've just spent a year (or more) planning and executing the biggest day of your life. As exciting as getting married is, the stress of getting everyone you know and love all in one place and coordinating everything from food and drink to music and décor can take its toll. Once it's all over you may be too tired to even think about planning a honeymoon, especially one that lasts a week or more. But rather than give up on going away, a shorter stay can seem that much more doable and easier to handle after months of planning, arranging and otherwise being kept up at night by visions of seating charts.
If you've decided to ditch the long stay in favor of a mini-moon, there are a few things to think about before you book.
If you're only going somewhere for three to five days, you don't want to spend more time in a car, airport or on a plane than you do at your destination.
Something for everyone
Because a mini-moon is so short, deciding on a destination that works for both of you is extremely important. Going somewhere for longer means more opportunity to squeeze in activities you both enjoy, but a mini-moon requires coming to a compromise so you're both happy.
The whole point of a mini-moon is to relax after the wedding and spend time together without having to think or talk about caterers, DJs, videographers or florists. So try not to choose something that will have you on the go for four days straight. Slow down and reconnect.
There are countless options for couples wanting to get away without committing to a longer holiday. We've put together a few ideas to inspire your post-wedding trip.
Book an upscale hotel right in your own city (or the closest one to you) and spend a few loved-up days checking out the sights, going to galleries, eating at swanky restaurants and enjoying the fact you didn't have to go far to spend some quality post-wedding time together.
If you and your new hubby are nature lovers, why not rent a cabin for a rustic yet romantic mini-moon? You can sip wine by the fire, hit the trails for some hikes and forget about the world for awhile in your cozy cabin cocoon.
Sand and surf
If you're a coastal couple, consider renting a beach house or villa to spend your mini-moon swimming, sunning and taking long walks along the shoreline. If you do feel like going a bit further, the Bahamas is easily accessible from many major airports in the United States with frequent, often affordable flights. Many hotels and resorts in the Bahamas offer three and four night packages making this hot spot a great mini-moon option.
Las Vegas is another locale that offers shorter-stay packages, and with so much to see and do, you won't risk getting bored. Even if you don't gamble, take in the sights, enjoy a show and eat at some of the world's best restaurants (it's now de rigueur for top chefs to open tasty spaces on the strip).
Bon voyage and congratulations!
What is your dream honeymoon (or second honeymoon) destination?
Share with us in the comments section below!
More about honeymoons
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Turn your honeymoon keepsakes into memorable crafts
Your honeymoon planning checklist