Trade a long honeymoon for something short and sweet

Aug 3, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Gone are the days of two (or more) week honeymoons and lounging on the beach for extended post-wedding vacations. Today's newlyweds are trading the tried and true for shorter "mini-moons," which are three and four day jaunts to celebrate their new status as a married couple. In a recent survey by, nearly one in three adults planning to marry in the next 12 months who already have honeymoon plans said they're taking a several-day honeymoon or mini-moon right after the wedding instead of a trip one week or longer.

Couple on short honeymoon in Bahamas

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 "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.

Mini-moon how-to

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.

1Travel time

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.

2Something 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.

3Slow down

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.

Mini-moon inspiration

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.

1Urban escape

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.

2Cozy cabin

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.

3Sand 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.

4Vegas, baby

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!

Tell us

What is your dream honeymoon (or second honeymoon) destination?

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