I’m not going to lie, I always had a fantasy of getting into a classic Cadillac at the end of my wedding, bunching my wedding dress up high in order to climb inside, and then waving goodbye to my friends and family as my husband and I drove off to start our honeymoon immediately. There would obviously be a kitschy “Just Married!” sign affixed to the bumper, probably some balloons, and definitely lots of sparklers or glitter. We’d drive straight to the airport, and we’d probably be given champagne by all of the TSA agents as we boarded our plane to some tropical island. I’d find some way to magically get rid of my gown and change into sophisticated yet comfy airplane clothes and our honeymoon would officially begin.
In actuality, my husband and I drove back to our Boston apartment the day after our New York wedding. We ate leftovers from our reception on the floor of our living room, while sorting through gifts. The following day was Monday, and so we went back to work. Womp womp.
Our wedding took place last September, and we didn’t go on our honeymoon (a trip to Iceland) until this March – a full six months after saying our I dos. As I type this, my not-fully-unpacked luggage sits nearby, and photos from our trip are scattered across my desktop. Looking back on our decision, I wouldn’t have done it any differently.
The choice to go on our honeymoon six months after our wedding was originally made because of logistics. My husband and I both work in education, and obviously, September is the dreaded yet inevitable back-to-school month. It wasn’t practical to take a week of vacation right at the start of the school year, but because both of us work at independent schools in the Boston area, our academic calendars included a two-week March break. It became more and more obvious that March would be the ideal time to go.
Logistics aside, the timing still couldn’t have been better for a few reasons. Everyone tells you that your wedding day will be over in the blink of an eye, but it’s hard to believe how fast it actually goes until you experience it. The day before we drove to New York for our rehearsal dinner, I remember packing in our bedroom trying to tell myself not to rush anything, and to try to appreciate every moment of the weekend. It honestly feels like only thirty seconds went by before we were driving home again, hauling our decorations and gifts inside. I can only imagine how much more of a blur it would have been if we had tacked an exciting honeymoon onto that hectic weekend.
Taking time before embarking on another whirlwind experience allowed us to come down from the high of the wedding together, and at our own pace. We ate leftovers for the next few nights, reminisced about our favorite parts of the day, and looked through photos. It was somewhat depressing to go back to work that Monday, but having our honeymoon to look forward to allowed us to feel like the wedding celebration wasn’t entirely over yet.
Like anything else, that wedding day high eventually fades. Life goes back to normal. For a while, it’s weird to not have RSVPs to track, or not have spreadsheets to update. I realized I had so much extra time once I wasn’t hot-gluing every five seconds, or making phone calls to follow up with vendors. For some people, that might be refreshing, but it made me somewhat sad. I genuinely loved the wedding-planning process. I loved making favors, color-coding our table seating chart, and talking about details with my best friends and sisters-in-law. I missed having those projects, so the fact that we still had our honeymoon ahead of us was amazing. I took that planning-related energy and poured it into mapping out road trips, finding the best restaurants in Reykjavik, or researching how to chase the Northern Lights. In a way, it felt like a continuation of the summer months of wedding planning.
On a financial note, I am so glad that we didn’t embark on a trip right away. As any current or past bride knows, getting married is expensive! Additionally, a lot of the cost creeps up right at the end of the process, and even on the day of. We had transportation costs, hair and makeup costs, hotel rooms, gifts for our bridal party, and of course, tips for all of our vendors. It was a relief to have a cushion of time in between the wedding day blow to our wallets and the astronomical prices of wine and beer in Iceland.
While everyone is different, and everyone’s schedule is different, if you’re debating between the old “get in the car and jet off to your honeymoon” plan or waiting a little while, I’d strongly suggest waiting. The best part (other than the finances and logistics) is that you have an excuse to celebrate your marriage all over again. And that’s certainly worth waiting for.
Image via Pexels