It’s been a few weeks since our regular contributor Emma Woodhouse aka The Wedding Reporter wrote a piece for her ‘Notes On A Wedding‘ series, but she’s back today, all fresh and rested from a recent holiday, with thoughts and musings over when the best time to take your honeymoon actually is. As usual, we very much welcome your thoughts and comments. Over to you Emma…
If I could pick any other job in the world aside from being a Wedding Reporter, I would definitely (and without a moment’s hesitation) choose to become a professional holidaymaker. By this, I do not mean reviewing resorts or travel writing, but just living a life of long hot days and sunset cocktails on the beach.
This whim came to me on a recent holiday (and is why this is not strictly a note about weddings). About six weeks ago I decided to impulse buy a holiday deal to revisit the place we had spent the first week of our honeymoon. It coincided neatly with my husband’s birthday, so that was pretty much all the excuse I needed…
Image courtesy of Emma Woodhouse, The Wedding Reporter
More or less the second that my toes curled their way around soft warm sand I felt my inner monologue turn off and for ten days I indulged in unadulterated peace and restfulness. But what was weird was that I didn’t remember feeling that way on our last visit, right after our wedding.
In fact, it soon became apparent that I didn’t remember much about our time on the island for our honeymoon. My orientation was muddled, my memories hazy and, most telling of all, I couldn’t even remember what books I had been reading. (This is a big deal given that my favourite thing about holidays is having unlimited time for guilt-free reading.
It dawned on me that in that first week of marriage, I had been so exhausted and maybe a little shell-shocked after the extravaganza of our wedding that I could probably have been dropped anywhere in the world and been equally as grateful to shut down. The energy and build-up to the big day, it would seem, had left me too knackered to compute.
That’s not to say we didn’t have a blissful time on honeymoon or that my husband and I didn’t continue to live in that happy little newlywed bubble of magic. It was the perfect tonic and the kind of serene start to marriage that I would wish for anyone.
However, this return trip felt in a way almost like a do-over, or at least a second honeymoon. It was the first time we had been away as just a couple without any other friends or family for two years. As we dined under the stars one night, completely lost in our own stupid jokes and conversation, it felt like perhaps this was the first time we’d really spent time alone, outside the constraints of reality, in a long time.
I’ve always been an advocate of going straight on honeymoon after your wedding, in order to savour the magic of the day and help to readjust to the monumental shift that has just occurred in your lives. It’s the perfect time for having those epic conversations that last for hours and cover everything from your deeply rooted psychological issues to how many children you would like to have. It always makes me balk a little when I hear that people are going straight back to real life on Monday.
But then, on the other hand, I now realise that there is some benefit to having a bit of distance between your wedding and honeymoon, like Franky did when she went to Thailand six months after her big day. If you give yourself a little bit of time, the chances are you won’t be so utterly annihilated from your wedding that you might just be able to savour each moment of your honeymoon and appreciate it more deeply. You won’t stare dumbly at the check-in desk when greeted with your married name, waiting for your mother-in-law to appear. You won’t sleep for almost three solid days to catch up on the last six months.
So, in the spirit of my fantasy profession of holidaymaking, I suggest a honeymoon and a half. I suggest you get away immediately after your wedding because you deserve it and you will need that break.
But I also suggest saving the big one – the once in a lifetime trip, the business class travel – until a little further down the line. Not only will you make the most of it, it’ll give you something to look forward to once the brouhaha of your nuptials has died away and life is beginning to look normal again.
And obviously, I could never ever recommend saying ‘Yes’ on all subsequent holidays when fellow holidayteers ask whether you’re on your honeymoon. That just makes you a crazy person…
Emma Woodhouse is the founder and writer behind The Wedding Reporter, an innovative service for couples tieing the knot to have their wedding day recorded as a literary legacy.