It’s the holiday to end all holidays, pumped with romance, couples dressing and idyllic sunsets, and suffice to say the honeymoon comes loaded with expectations.
This writer, fresh off the Maldivian coast, found the best way to enjoy the precious space of time with her new husband was to do away with the pressure of perfection and embrace the adventure.
So here’s my list of what to do, and what not to do on your honeymoon (Note: Advice applicable to all holidays).
There’s a lot of pressure for the honeymoon to be a sultry affair of slinky lingerie, champagne toasts and perfectly plucked eyebrows. But the truth is, if you’ve flown off just after the big day the first ‘to do’ on your agenda will be to climb into the fluffy rose-petal covered king bed and sleep it off. Whether you planned the wedding over six months or 10 years, it’s a huge emotional build up and you need to sleep off the anti-climatic comedown totally guilt free.
DON’T TREAT YOUR HONEYMOON LIKE PARIS FASHION WEEK
The first thing I canned on my honeymoon was any kind of wardrobe organization or outfit planning. I threw weather appropriate clothing into a bag about 10 days before my wedding and only slid open the zippers when we arrived on our tiny island home for the next seven days.
Everything from your ring to your dress and the first dance was a reflection of who you are as a couple so the honeymoon also needs to slot in. Don’t conform to the idealised Pina Coladas-on-the-beach if you hate the heat (and coconut milk). And DO NOT trek around Europe in the winter staying at hostels believing your love can withstand it if you haven’t actually lived out of a backpack together before.
If you’re hikers, hit the hills of LA and hike. If you’re foodies, explore the wine trails of the Hunter Valley or indulge in a cheese tour of France on a push bike. If you love adventure and discovery go on safari and sleep in the tent hotels of Kenya.
Don’t underestimate a sense of luxury and picking a honeymoon-friendly hotel — the details make a difference. Which leads to …
DO TELL EVERYONE YOU JUST GOT MARRIED
Resist the urge to fly under the radar and be coy about how happy and in love you are because the more people who know it’s your honeymoon the more ‘special treatment’ and ooh’s and ahhh’s you get. From the airline to the hotel and restaurants — potential upgrades, more luxurious rooms, and in our case, a stunning meal on the beach for our final night on the island was worth the gushing.
DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN
Spending the day on the Maldivian ocean blending in as a fellow lobster is just not sexy.
DO DOCUMENT IT
During my honeymoon tips research, many an expert said “put away your phone, just enjoy the moment.” OK. Good in theory, unlikely in practice.
We are the generation of sharers, we can’t enjoy it unless we’ve completely captured the real-life beauty, cropped it, filtered it and shared it with the world (or just our close family and friends). And no matter how much he whines at your 374th photo of the sunset, he’ll be the one flicking through them on the flight home.
Phoebe Burgess a freelance writer and TV presenter. She married Sam Burgess, a professional rugby player for England.