Newlywed couple sitting at the beach.

Giving honeymoon advice is like trying to convince someone that if they eat cake the right way it will taste better. Honeymoons are great! Whoever invented honeymoons, hats off to you. After all, what better way to mark the beginning of a beautiful marriage than to go explore and relax in a foreign or favorite destination?

When my husband, then fiancé, Wes and I began talking about our honeymoon the creative ideas were flowing. We were convinced that we would be flying halfway across the world and then hop on a private sailboat to take us to a secluded island where we would be greeted with champagne and fresh cut fruit. Then we woke up. Realistically, it wasn’t happening. We couldn’t afford the bill or the time off from work. Instead, we took a mini-moon after our wedding day.

For us, it was the best decision and now I am a big advocate of this non-traditional idea. There are some couples out there who are in the perfect position to run off on their honeymoon right after the wedding – and if that’s you then you should, and enjoy every second! (I say this with a twinge of honeymoon jealousy.) If you are on the fence, take a look at some of my reasons behind opting for a mini-moon and then you and your soon-to-be-spouse can make the best choice for you both. Don’t forget, you can always do a little mini-moon action while planning and saving up for your dream honeymoon in the future.

Honeymoon camping

Signs that the mini-moon is perfect for you:

You two are just moving into a new home together.

You two will have plenty to do after the wedding. Getting your first home ready together can be a very exciting and fun time but is also a lot of work; almost as demanding as wedding planning. Take time after the big day to settle in and make home feel like, well, home.

You are planning a trip to visit family soon after the wedding.

My husband grew up in Maine, so rather than having everyone come out to Colorado to attend the wedding we planned a wedding reception near his home to celebrate with his friends and family. Don’t try to cram too much into a short period of time. If you know that you will be making a family trip shortly after the wedding maybe push the honeymoon back so that you can fully enjoy each trip without worrying about taking time off of work or paying for expensive airfare all at once.

You are short on funds.

We will never spend more on a party than we did on our wedding. I do wish money grew on trees, but it doesn’t. Wes and I found that by waiting a couple months and building up our honeymoon fund we were able to enjoy more activities than we would have otherwise. Save up and when you do go on your honeymoon you won’t be strapped for cash.

Couple enjoying a mini-moon picnic on a lake dock.

You are planning a wedding in eight months or less.

If you have a short engagement, planning a honeymoon can just add to the number of things that you need to check off your list. Passport? Check. Reservations? Check. Transportation? Check. Short engagements are a testament to survival of the fittest. Don’t add more to your plate. You can plan big picture honeymoon details before the wedding, especially if you plan on creating a honeymoon registry, but wait until after the wedding to book tickets, make reservations and set up excursions. Mexico isn’t going anywhere; it will still be there when you decide to visit.

You know that you will want a break from the cold this winter.

Nearly 50% of weddings in the US occur between the months of June and September. That means that one in every two brides reading this article will be getting married during the summer months. I love summer and I also love winter - but tempt me with a trip to a tropical beach in the dead of January? Yes, please! That’s just about the time I will be missing my golden summer tan and wishing I could take a break from the NorthFace gear and wool socks.

A couple relaxing on a yacht during their honeymoon.

Either way, the honeymoon is an experience that you will never forget. Don’t feel like you have to go right after your wedding and don’t feel like you have to wait. It’s a decision that you should make with your fiancé. When the time comes, soak it all in and bask in the joy of being married to your soul mate. Cheers!

Honeymoon or mini-moon? Where are you and your sweetie running off to after the wedding?

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