It’s not a secret to anyone who knows me- I really hated most everything about the wedding planning process. I’m not entirely sure why it is, but I was never one of those girls who dreamed of her big day, and I never had visions of myself in a puffy, princess-like dress. Instead, weddings to me represent(ed) a massive waste of money that could be better used for finding the cure to cancer or fighting world hunger.
Sorry, I really don’t mean to be a hater; I love being a guest at weddings and I’ve been known to get teary eyed at wedding ceremonies. Also, though the planning a wedding thing was a chore, that has nothing to do with my respect for the institution of marriage. Which is obviously sacred. And I have the best husband and in-laws. (Just had to get that out of the way before we proceed).
You know what I LOVE though? Honeymoons. I love everything about them. The concept and idea of them. What they’ve become in the modern world. And how they’re absolutely, hands down the best part of getting married.
A quick history lesson on honeymoons
The word can be traced back to the 5th century, when couples drank mead (honey) during their first month of marriage (weird, right?). In more recent history, with electricity and those kinds of modern amenities, honeymoons were a time when a couple would go on their first big trip together, and presumably, move in together upon their return home. But of course, things are much different today. Most of us are living together before we get married. Buying houses, cars, dogs and even making babies, all before we get married. Most of us have traveled together with our partner before tying the knot (and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you rethink your upcoming marriage and go on a trip- there’s no better way to get to know your partner. That’s a rant for another day, though.)
News flash: Weddings aren’t about you. But honeymoons are.
Throughout the dreaded wedding planning process, people would tell me- it’s your wedding! It’s all about you! Hmm. No it’s not. If it were about me we would have eloped a long time ago. Weddings are about parents, about grandparents, and about showing your friends a good time. About looking really pretty. They’re incredibly special, I do realize that now that I’m older and wiser, but they’re something we do for our community around us, not ourselves.
What’s great about honeymoons is that it’s really, truly, actually just about the two of you. Except for if you’re into buddymoons, which is one trend that I refuse to get behind. On your honeymoon, the two of you get to forget about the outside world and be you. Whatever that means to you- adventuring, hiking and camping, eating your way through your destination of choice or relaxing and being pampered. It’s a chance for the two of you to reconnect after a whirlwind of a wedding planning process, and to re-solidify your relationship. You know, reign it back in, gather and collect yourselves and set the tone for the rest of your relationship together.
It’s the one time in your life when tradition dictates you splurge on travel
When else is your over-demanding boss going to be supportive of you finally using your vacation days and fully disconnecting from all things work related? When else are you going to be able to elegantly ask for your family and friends to pitch into helping you pay for your dream trip (yes, it’s totally a thing). Take advantage of the fact that, for this one time, society’s winds are on your side and go go go.
It’s probably the only part of getting married that you’ll remember
Anyone who has had a wedding will tell you that the day flies by and that you basically black out during it. No, not because you have too much wine, though that can certainly add to it. You black out because your wedding day is this crazy high of emotions and being center stage and being surrounded by literally everyone of importance in your life. Your honeymoon? You’ll actually remember it, and you’ll be telling stories about your amazing/ crazy/ awesome experiences for years to come.
So yes, I know, you’re dying to know what I did for my honeymoon.
Well, like all good honeymoons, and true to our relationship, it was un-orthodox. Shai (husband) got a sweet research assistantship job starting a few days after our wedding (he was in grad school at the time) in Tel Aviv. We considered going on a honeymoon first and delaying the start of his job, but ultimately we decided to just turn the entire summer into a honeymoon. Sure, we were both working during the day (myself through the wonders of the internet, and Shai saving marine life off the coast of Israel- what a guy). But we splurged on a really awesome airbnb, and we made sure to do fun and amazing stuff every night and weekend. It was grand, memorable and awesome- everything a honeymoon should be.