Notes On A Wedding, Part 5 ~ The Perfect Time To Honeymoon

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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.


12 thoughts on “Notes On A Wedding, Part 5 ~ The Perfect Time To Honeymoon

  1. This exactly what Bob and I will be doing: We will go on a relaxing trip within Europe the Monday after the wedding, and then go to a big New York trip (to which our wedding guests can contribute to) sometime in 2014.

  2. I love this post Emma. Is 4 years too long to wait? We had a whirlwind 3 nights away after our wedding, but it was in all honesty a bit stressy – looking back now I know why – it was precisely for the reasons you outline in that we hadn’t had time to switch off yet. We simply haven’t had the luxury of being able to be by ourselves for a few days since then.
    Maybe I should make that happen. And quite soon!

  3. The day after our wedding, (13/12/13) my mother-in-law is hosting a pies and prosseco party for anyone that wants to continue with the celebrations. My husband and I shall attend but the day after will catch the train upto the Lake District for a couple of nights on a own in front of a roaring log fire. Our ‘official’ honeymoon will be sometime in 2014.
    This gives us time to relax after the wedding and also gives us something to look forward to as I have the feeling I’ll be feeling a little low following a whole year of wedding planning x

  4. I totally agree, Emma. We honeymooned a week after our wedding and while, at the time, I desperately needed something to get away from the big comedown after all our friends & family had got back to their normal lives, I too felt a little like it was an out of body experience! I don’t think I enjoyed our honeymoon as much as I could (should?) and think some time between that post-wedding weirdness and the ONE big trip of a lifetime is the best idea. Luckily, we didn’t travel far and will hopefully re-visit Portmeirion again soon x

  5. We’re going on our honeymoon 8 weeks after our wedding. I think it will be great to have something to look forward to after the wedding and we also go mid october which means we’ll be going away just as the weather will be turning bad.

  6. I’m a teacher getting married at the end of the May half term. We will have two nights in a lovely hotel then I’ll be back at school for the rest of the summer term. We are then moving abroad to Asia in the summer holidays so we won’t be able to go on a proper honeymoon until probably Christmas time! I was a bit sad about this at first but now I realise it will give us more time to plan and look forward to the honeymoon (plus we can put any wedding gift money towards paying for it). We’ll then be free of all the wedding planning and moving abroad stresses and worries! Thanks for this post! 🙂 xx

  7. The Fiance and I are contemplating a 3 day break after our wedding ( sort of in the making) for that shut off period, and asking for Virgin vouchers as a wedding gift from our guests so we can jet off whenever we want to wherever we fancy. One of my relatives flew the DAY AFTER her wedding, hungover. Not quite the way I’d do it :/

  8. The boy and I are having our ‘big’ honeymoon a few days after our wedding, but we also are planning to go away a few days before Christmas, and come back once it’s over and done with. Not only will it save the inevitable “where are you spending christmas?” probing questions from the family, it will also be our first christmas spent completely together and on our own. It’s a win win!

  9. I am a little late to the party catching up on this series. But I am in total agreement and disagreement. The morning after we marry we are waking up and driving through the highlands in our little convertible car (read no room for luggage) to the Isle of Skye to relax as man and wife for a whole week in an amazing cottage. I call this = our honeymoon. This modern idea of a once in a lifetime thousands of pound holiday is just that a holiday. Not something we need or will appreciate. I want to relax not sight see. I want to laze about with my new husband not learn about some new culture and country. We will go on an expensive holiday after the wedding but it will just be a summer holiday. A week in Mungo’s Den on the Isle of Skye, that is my honeymoon. I do not wish to demean it to a ‘mini-moon’. I am going to love every minute of it! 🙂

  10. My husband and I did this- 3 day mini moon straight after the wedding (with a couple of days to recover at home afterwards) and then a three month wait until our real honeymoon. Partly out of necessity (I’m a teacher and couldn’t take the time during the school year to get a fortnight away) but also because we wanted to savour our wedding and not bundle it all together. Giving us something else to plan and look forward to also ensured we didn’t feel lost when there wasn’t a wedding to organise!x

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