Ahh, the honeymoon. Arguably the best part of the wedding, am I right?!
Your honeymoon will likely be the most important holiday of your life, and I can honestly say that planning it has actually been the most stressful part of the wedding planning process for me. There are so many questions – where to go, when to plan, how much is it going to cost – and it can be a little bit overwhelming.
So many people asked me, “if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”
I only had one answer, but the reality of it was, if I wanted those glorious two weeks in the Maldives, it was going to cost a heck of a lot of money.
Could I really justify it?
We went back and forth in our heads for a long time before realising that actually, anywhere else would just be a compromise, and you should never compromise for your honeymoon!
We had our hearts set on the Maldives, but every time I researched more into it, the more I realised that we just couldn’t afford it.
I decided to book us an appointment at our local Kuoni store in Nottingham, and it was here where we met our wonderful travel advisor Karen.
We told her what we wanted – two weeks in an overwater bungalow – and she basically said, “yeah, that’s going to cost about £10,000”.
I got this awful pang in my chest. Oh. So we really couldn’t go, then.
And then she talked us through some other options. It turns out, with a few little tweaks here and there, it was actually do-able!
Instead of going on the Sunday evening, we’ll fly out on the Wednesday. This means we get a direct flight with British Airways, so not only is it less stress, it’s cheaper. We also decided to go for nine nights instead of the two weeks we’d originally planned. Obviously, this cut the price down by a LOT, and made it much more affordable for us.
We’re staying at Cinnamon Dhonveli, and we’ll be splitting our time between two different rooms – the first four nights will be in a beach bungalow. Our own little hut right on the beach front. The last five nights will be in an overwater bungalow – those super cool buildings on stilts out in the sea that I thought would only ever be a Pinterest dream.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still costing a small fortune, but it’s do-able and that’s all that matters right?
We’ll never get this holiday again; with Rob being self-employed, we’ve only ever been on “city breaks” before, and so we thought, “let’s just do it!”
So that’s it. It’s booked. I’m so excited, and it’s nice to have that gorgeous holiday to look forward to after the wedding, to enjoy those first few days together as a married couple, just us.
Here are some things to consider when planning and booking your honeymoon:
- Where do you want to go? It sounds obvious, but this needs to be the first thing you decide on. Holidays can vary so much, from a relaxing luxury break, to a jam-packed sports holiday, or even a bit of both if you fancy a multi-stop honeymoon. Decide early on where you want to go, so you have more time to save for it.
- When should we go? Not everyone goes straight after the wedding. Some people may go on a mini-moon straight after and save for a bigger, more extravagant honeymoon later on in the year. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular place, then check out what the weather is like during that time of year. The weather in the Maldives is as its peak in November and December, so we’ve booked right on time.
- How long for? This depends on the time you can get off work. With Rob being self-employed, he’s obviously got to take the ten days off unpaid, which is a bit of a blow just before Christmas. For most people, you’ll have holiday from work that you can take. Just be sure you save enough of your holiday time!
- Talk to someone. We thought we’d be able to just look through some brochures and book somewhere online, but if we hadn’t have spoken to Karen, we definitely wouldn’t have gotten such a good deal on our honeymoon. Travel experts often know when the best deals are, and they can often throw in a honeymoon package for you too. Plus, Kuoni gave us a bottle of champagne when we booked – so there are definitely lots of perks!
- The important bits: passports, visas, jabs, ATOL certificates, and insurance. All boring, all VERY IMPORTANT.
- Paying for it. A lot of couples decide to ask their wedding guests for money towards their honeymoon. When you already live together, you probably don’t need 25 toasted sandwich makers and four sets of champagne flutes. So ask your guests for donations towards your honeymoon. If you book with Kuoni, you can set up a Gift List where your guests can go online and pay off a certain amount. I think a lot of people prefer to do this as opposed to putting money in a card, as they know it’s definitely going towards the honeymoon and not being spent in the pub! Don’t rely on this as a way to pay off your honeymoon though. My advice would be to make sure you have enough to pay for it to begin with, and whatever your guests give you is extra.
It’s never too early to start planning your honeymoon – do your research; get on Pinterest, request free brochures, and start saving!