WEDDING WEDNESDAY: WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL HONEYMOON?

I hope you won’t mind that we’ve yet to discuss flowers, paper goods, and so many other fun wedding details and that today I’m getting way ahead of myself and talking about our honeymoon. We just have so much time to plan all the details (our wedding isn’t until September 2017) so I don’t want to share all my thoughts on planning right this second and then have nothing to talk about a year from now (plus I’m sure I’ll have learned a lot between now and then!). And I don’t really intend to talk about weddings every single week but when I post about something else, I get comments asking what happened to Wedding Wednesdays! So if you’re willing to put up with things being a little out of order (following my stream of consciousness as opposed to our exact wedding planning timeline), I’m willing to keep sharing!

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{Halcyon House, Australia}

With so many of our friends getting married this year, Will and I have been hearing about all our friends’ upcoming adventures and daydreaming about what our own honeymoon will entail. We love to travel but he doesn’t get much time off work so having two weeks to travel together is going to be the ultimate luxury. And we want to use it wisely!

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{Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc, France}

I’m not sure what that means exactly. Part of me wants to get on a plane and go as far from home as we possibly can, to go somewhere that would be impossible to do justice in a shorter time frame. Another part of me could happily spend fourteen days wandering around Italy and revisiting our favorite spots on the Amalfi Coast. I think ultimately we’ll decide to go someplace we’ve never been, but there is something reassuring about going somewhere you already know you’ll love.

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{Giraffe Manor in Kenya}

So where have we never been that would make for a great honeymoon? There are so many places I don’t know where to start. Africa, Australia, South America? We both get pretty antsy after a couple days of sitting on the beach so somewhere that combines adventure, good food, and kind people (three things we loved about Italy) would be ideal. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this. Where did you / will you honeymoon? What did you look for in a honeymoon trip? How far in advance did you start planning? Did it turn out as you’d hoped? I can’t wait to read your insights!

*all hotels from my hotel bucket list

 

40 thoughts on “WEDDING WEDNESDAY: WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL HONEYMOON?

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  1. We went to Thailand for two weeks. We picked that location because we wanted a place that neither of us had ever been and a place that combined beaches and culture. We ended up going to Koh Samui which is an island in the gulf of Thailand for 6 days and then went to Bangkok for another 5 days. It was a wonderful trip which definitely combined all of the things we both like.
    In terms of a timeline for planning, we decided on the location about 4 months prior to getting married and finalized everything about two months prior to our wedding.
    Happy planning!!

  2. Obviously I’m so late commenting on this but I am reading old Wedding Wednesday posts and wanted to weigh in on this one!

    My husband and I honeymooned in Australia and it was the best decision! We spent a week in the Sydney area and a week in Cairns exploring the Great Barrier Reef. It was the perfect mix of relax on the beach and excitement. Australia as a whole has such a great variety of activities to choose from and you can easily cater our trip to the perfect vibe for you! We did the blue mountains, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef (most amazing thing I’ve ever done!), spent a few days exploring the different hot spots in Sydney, hit all of the famous beaches and picked a few wildlife experiences so we could pet kangaroos and hold koalas and all that fun stuff!

    BONUS: Dallas is one of the only places you can fly direct to Australia from the US so you’re in the right place for easy travel! We flew Qantas and it was an awesome experience despite the 16 hour flight 🙂

  3. I’m half Australian and probably a little biased but Australia would be a great place to go because it’s far away and different but safe with an English speaking population. The beaches in Australia are stunning- Whitehaven in the Whitsundays is considered the most beautiful beach in the world. Sydney is an amazing city, probably my favorite in the whole world (and, for perspective, I’ve been to Hong Kong, New York, Rio, San Francisco, London, etc.). The time difference seems terrible but if you’re able to fly business class and sleep on the plane it’s really not that bad. That said, South Africa also sounds amazing!

  4. If you liked Italy, I recommend Spain! I haven’t been to Italy, but Stephen has, and we both went to Spain in November for a pre-wedding honeymoon and he says it definitely gives Italy a run for its money! We did Madrid & Barcelona & Seville and loved it. Barcelona was our favorite, every single meal was amazing. If you’re looking for a mix of relaxation & culture, I think pairing Barcelona with the island paradise of Mallorca would be amazing!

  5. Vacation time is a meaningful problem for us, too, so we’re planning to take a “minimoon” for three days after our wedding (I’m pulling for Post Ranch Inn), and then a bigger honeymoon in the winter. For our bigger trip, we’ll actually be leaving from Orlando after running the Disney World marathon, but we’re thinking either Australia or Thailand! We wanted to pick somewhere very far away– who knows when we’ll have the time to take an adventure like this again!

  6. We actually took 2 honeymoons! We got married in February so we wanted to go somewhere warm and also somewhere relaxing because I didn’t want to have to plan a big trip on top of the final wedding details! So we went to Cancun and it was wonderful and the loveliest, slowest week ever. It felt like we were there a month in the best way possible. Then a few months later in the summer we went on a 2 week trip throughout Switzerland and ended with a few days in Paris. It was magical. We have been to Paris many times and even started our relationship there and got engaged there 5 years later so that was romantic after our 2 weeks in Switzerland which was new to us. We loved Switzerland and still talk about retiring there. haha. It was absolutely stunning and just a dream and we plan to go back asap. We loved Thun, Bern, Geneva and Lucerne. Next trip to Switzerland, we hope to include the Lugano lakes & Northern Italy. Worth looking into if you’ve never been!

  7. We are only going for a week (so jealous y’all get two!) and we are going to Belize. Since neither of us have ever scuba dived, we thought it would be special to get the certification together and then get to scuba dive at such an amazing place as our first real dive. We also wanted a mix of relaxing/beach/all-inclusive and adventure/exploring.

    Have fun planning!

  8. My more adventurous husband (also Will) convinced me to do 2 weeks in Thailand! We got married in October, but I’m a teacher so we are going on our honeymoon after the school year ends. We will fly into Bangkok, then onto Chiang Mai and then end at Railay Beach in Krabi. It’s a good mix of adventure and beach. I could spend all of the 2 weeks at the beach, but my husband needs some adventure. Hopefully this will be the perfect balance for us! Good luck to you and your Will!

  9. If you to South Africa, consider Phinda Private Game Reserve for your safari instead of Kruger. It’s the most magical place I’ve ever been and very luxe. It’s in eastern South Africa and close enough to the India Ocean to take a day trip there. It’s run by the andBeyond Safari group; their Instagram will take your breath away.

  10. A few of my friends went to Thailand this year and absolutely loved it! It looked like they did a little bit of hanging out on the beach, exploring, eating great food, and it looked beautiful!!

  11. So fun! We took two weeks in Thailand two years ago and it was the trip of a lifetime! We used layovers to see Istanbul on the way in and London on the way out. We looked at it as a City, Culture, Beach trip – we stayed in Bangkok for a few days, went to Chiang Mai (to go to an elephant conservation farm that we talk about every day to this day), took a cooking class and saw markets and met the kindest people, and then flew to Koh Samui and Koh Tao for the beach/relaxing part of our trip. USD goes pretty far there too so we stayed in some pretty nice places! We also waited a week in between to leave for our big trip after our wedding so things would calm down and we were prepared for the adventure. Good luck in your planning!!

  12. My fiancé and I have talked about taking our honeymoon in Cuba since it is opened up for travel now! I think it would be such a unique and interesting place to visit!

  13. My fiancée and I are heading to Sri Lanka on our honeymoon in November! We’re in exactly the same boat as you regarding spending too much time on the beach and we have heard that Sri Lanka has the perfect combination of luxurious resorts and exciting adventure (including an elephant orphanage that is #1 on my to-do list).

    The one thing that we have kept in mind when planning our honeymoon is that we want to do things that we can’t do with the kids that will hopefully come along in a few years, so adventure it is!

    *Also I’ve seen a few people suggesting Australia and as an Australian I recommend talking to one of us before locking everything in – Aus is SO much bigger than people expect and it can take a long time to get between places, that being said, there’s nothing better than this country!

    Can’t wait to hear what you plan! x

    1. So Fun! My husband and I also did Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. It was the most amazing place and we want to go back in a few years.

      Our favourite place was staying at the Ceylon Tea Trails 🙂

  14. Mackenzie, you all absolutely must go to South Africa! It truly has everything you want on your list. Incredible adventure and nature, Safari, DELICIOUS food, relaxing beaches, vineyards, beautiful buildings and cool boutique shops, and the people are so friendly and accepting of Americans. I spent a semester abroad in Cape Town last year for study abroad and I truly cannot recommend it highly enough, there is SO much to do! Not to mention, the dollar is doing really well against the rand right now so it definitely wouldn’t break the bank and you could take a luxury vacation at a relatively affordable price. I would highly recommend splitting your time between Cape Town and Kruger National Park (for safari). And just for inspiration, check out Miss Moss’ Cape Town guide. It will sell you on the city for sure! Her blog in and of itself is beautiful but her Cape Town guide is exceptional. My parents came to visit and they were absolutely blown away. I think you and Will would be, too!

  15. i highly recommend South Africa, particularly Cape Town, as a great destination that combines great food, beaches, vineyards, and TONS of things to do and explore. Definitely qualifies as somewhere far away enough to justify a 2 week stay and the scenery is BEYOND gorgeous there. There’s plenty to do within driving distance of Cape Town, but you can also fly to Krueger National Park on the other side of the country — it’s one of the best game reserves on the planet. Plus, English is the official language. Well, technically, they have 10 official languages 🙂 but English is the most commonly spoken. One last perk is that September is early summer in the southern hemisphere, so you should be encountering warm temperatures and sunshine! I can’t say enough good things about South Africa <3

  16. Oooo fun topic!! We keep going back and forth. I think we’re planning on doing 5 nights somewhere domestic immediately after the wedding (bouncing between Palm Springs/San Deigo, Napa/Sonoma, and Sedona) and then doing a bigger trip for our first anniversary. For our big trip there are so many possiblities! My big thing is it has to be somewhere neither of has been. We’ve talked about Italy, Bora Bora/Tahiti, Spain, Maldives…the list goes on! My dream trip is safari in Kenya, Botswana, and/or Tanzania and then hop over to the Maldives or Seychelles. But a girl can dream…

  17. seeing as we both can’t sit still, my husband & i opted for an adventurous honeymoon in new zealand. we were very much over wedding planning a few months before our big day and opted to wait another year to take our trip. this gave us ample time to plan & save. we experienced the best of everything: wine tasting (we rented bikes for 2 days of touring the marlborough vineyards), hiking, museums, penguins, extreme sports, and delicious food. for added adventure, we opted to rent a car to drive between the different towns we stayed in. it was a nice way to explore the country.

    after our wedding, we did retreat to nantucket for a few days to relax/eat all the something natural sandwiches/drink triple 8 blueberry lemonades. highly recommend the mini-moon if you plan on waiting to take a bigger trip!

  18. My husband and I also get very antsy after a few days at the beach. We thought about going to Bora Bora for two weeks for our honeymoon, but we knew we’d be bored after a few days, so we decided to leave that trip for when we are older. We decided to spend two weeks in Australia. We spent 5 days in Melbourne, including a 2 day drive down the Great Ocean Rd, and a 1 day trip to the Yarra Valley wine region. Then we flew to the Whitsunday Islands for 4 days for our “beach time” (highly recommend the Leeward Pavilion at the qualia resort). Then we flew to Sydney for 4 days. It was a good mix of city, beach and outdoors for us. Food is good (especially the breakfasts), wine is delicious, and the people are friendly!

    I’ve also been to South Africa (non-honeymoon). That would also make for a nice two week trip. It has a good mix of city (Cape Town), safari (Kruger Reserve), and wine (Stellenbosch). If you fly to the Seychelles, then then you can get some beach as well.

    For me, I liked South Africa better than Australia, but both were amazing vacations.

    Happy planning!

      1. i agree with SO MUCH OF THIS!!! my husband and i got married in october 2014 and honeymooned for 2 weeks over christmas and nye. we went to fiji and australia – including brisbane, sydney, and the great barrier reef. IT WAS AMAZING. i travel a lot – a LOT – and will never forget this trip. i have recommended it to countless people who have taken my itinerary and used it and also had the time of their life. happy to share my official itinerary from my travel agent as well as my recommendations for great shops, restaurants, activities, and more – email me! more than happy to share.

        i also dont blog anymore but i did blog about our honeymoon when we came back! http://queenofla.blogspot.com/2015_01_01_archive.html

  19. I have stayed at Hotel Du Cap and it is hands down the most luxurious place to stay. The floors in the bathroom are heated and every room has these stunning crystal chandeliers. Service is immaculate! Highly recommend this as your honeymoon destination.

    Cheers!
    Anne

  20. Full discloser I am not married or engaged but I think that Hawaii or Thailand would be amazing places to honeymoon. It seems like both have beautiful beaches but also plenty of things to do and explore.

  21. Love your Wedding Wednesday posts! My husband and I went to New Zealand for our honeymoon 6 months after our wedding. So that gave me plenty of time to plan it, but I do wish I had worked with a travel agent to smooth out some details. There is so much to do, and since it is a small country it is easy to get around to the different areas. There are so many great day trips, and sites to see. And so much adventure! We went white water rafting, bungee jumping, sky diving, wine tasting, hiked a glacier, and had a couple spa days. There is also a lot of unique wildlife there. All that being said, I went to South Africa in college and it is amazing there! Capetown is gorgeous, so much to do, and from there you can go to a park or reserve for safari. I highly recommend somewhere new for your honeymoon.

  22. Go out of order all you want! I did Wedding Wednesday up until our wedding last year and for a while afterwards. I shared more about our wedding after the fact so all my guests wouldn’t know everything!

    My husband and I went to Mexico for our honeymoon. He had never been and I had only been to Cancun as a 7th grader. We went for 14 days and had a blast! With our budget, we could do 14 days in Mexico or a week in Europe. So, we decided to go to Riveria Maya to have a longer honeymoon and go to Europe this year for my 30th!

    We hung out on the beach, ate awesome food, and explored so much! We did a lot of excursions and really enjoyed it!

    You can check it out here: http://www.deltachic.com/blog/2015/8/30/honeymoon-resort-el-dorado-royale-casitas

    For more of our wedding: http://www.deltachic.com/wedding/
    For more honeymoon style pics: http://www.deltachic.com/travel/

    Loved our honeymoon! We are going to our second choice, St. Lucia, for our anniversary trip in 5 weeks! (But, who is counting 🙂 )

    Good luck planning- it is so much fun!

    Emily
    http://www.deltachic.com

  23. We charted a 55 foot sailboat in the Caribbean for two weeks and it was the best decision I’ve ever made (besides marrying my husband!). Friends of ours had just gotten married too, so we did a couples honeymoon with them. At first I thought it would be weird, but it ended up being awesome. Renting a private sailboat for just us would have been a major splurge and I would have been worried about spending money on activities the whole time. Splitting it gave us more financial freedom and I think we all ended up enjoying the trip more because of that. We went in February and the weather was gorgeous. Warm, sunny, a perfect escape from frigid DC!

    We researched a couple companies and ended up going with a independent Captain who owned the boat. He brought along a cook, who we later found out was actually his mistress! She was super talented and we had outstanding food on the boat every day. She really liked us because we all spoke English and most of the people they take on the boat only speak French. And also because we knew how to play Uno, haha. They didn’t have a set agenda, but let us look at the map and point to where we wanted to go every day. We had flown into Martinique and sailed from there, going down the Caribbean to St Lucia, St Vincent, and most of the Grenadines.

    Although we slept on the boat , we got off every day at a different island and did activities or ate a restaurant. Each island was different from the next, so we got such a great mix of experiences. Some were sizable (like St. Lucia) and some were as tiny as my living room and uninhabited. Having a local Captain was a huge benefit, he knew all the cool/secret things to do. We went snorkeling, toured a volcano, took drives around islands in the back of pick up trucks with a local tour guide, zip lining, walked a long suspended walkway over the most incredible jungle garden, held sea turtles at a sanctuary, perfected backflips off the boat, ate lobster on the beach, made friends on different boats, took a mud bath in the middle of the jungle, swam in crystal clear water with sea turtles all around us, and sat on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
    At the end of the trip we spent three days in Martinique in an Air B-n-B, which was an awesome choice.

    The people we met were incredible and so nice. Again, having a local Captain was a huge benefit to us, and he hooked us up with some of his friends on some islands so they could give us tours or something. People were so friendly and lovely. Most of the places we went weren’t terribly touristy, which was really appealing to me.

    We always plan travel for the last minute, but did this planning about a month out, which is unheard of for us. We had wanted something flexible that didn’t involve a ton of planning, and we got exactly that.

    Africa would be an amazing honeymoon. Not to be snobby, but I’ve been to Australia and thought it was overrated.

  24. We did two weeks in Italy and Paris and finished up briefly in Dublin. It was PERFECT, AMAZING, and everything went off without a hitch. It went so well that we are actually repeating it right now – except doing three weeks this time. Highly recommend Europe – we had so much fun!!

  25. We went to Bali for 2 weeks and stayed in three parts of the island. We were looking for something mostly relaxing but with options for adventure and got exactly what we wanted–went scuba diving the first week, visited Ubud (the “Love” part of “Eat, Pray, Love”) for a few days, and then spent several days in the south of the island, lounging by the pool and eating. I recommend taking your honeymoon soon (or right) after your wedding. There’s nothing like spending those first few weeks together to enjoy your new life together without distractions. Several of our friends went to Thailand and loved it!

  26. Planning our honeymoon was one of my favorite parts of wedding prep! We mulled over going to many of the same places you mentioned but ended up going to Thailand and Cambodia! We stayed in the most amazing boutique hotel in Cambodia and spent two days touring the ancient temples including Angkor Wat, which is a once in a lifetime experience. We then flew to Bangkok where we spent a day before heading to the southern beaches in Phuket. There was a ton to do including water sports, tours, elephant sanctuaries, historic temples and hidden beaches. The food was amazing, the people were so kind and it was the perfect mix of adventure, culture and relaxation.

  27. I would definitely recommend going somewhere neither of you has been before. There’s something so fun about experiencing a place together for the first time as a married couple 🙂

  28. Highly recommend Greece. We just went to Santorini but if you have 2 weeks, I’d also recommend doing Crete (less touristy) or another small island. We stayed here in Santorini (http://www.dreamsluxurysuites.com/) and had our own infinity pool and hot tub. They serve you breakfast on your patio every morning, and the weather is incredible in September (when we went). I don’t think I saw a cloud the entire week were there. You always have to take a sunset sail. That was the highlight for us.

  29. I am nowhere near planning my honeymoon (single AF over here), but I went to Santorini this past summer and I’ve already decided that’s where I want to go for my honeymoon! It’s the most gorgeous place I have ever been. I’m like you, I can’t just hang out on the beach for a week, I need to explore and have some excitement. Greece is perfect for that!
    Another dream honeymoon would be Bali, although I’ve never been there, the pictures look amazing!

    – Kelsey

  30. Haven’t been on our honeymoon yet, but South Africa or Argentina! I’ve been to South Africa and it has a beautiful wine country, and you can go on a safari and see the Big 5! Argentina also has a wine country to explore, and Buenos Aires is a great city (it’s come highly recommended to me by many friends)!

  31. I was going to say a tropical vacation, all the way 🙂 BUT, I think a trip to Australia or Africa sounds amazing. A friend of mine did Bali and Thailand for her honeymoon, and she had an incredible time!

  32. Hi! I’ve never commented before but you’ve touched on my favorite topic of all time. Grand Adventure travel. My Husband and I had both started relatively new jobs at the time we got married and as such couldn’t take the time off following the time we took to get married. We waited till our first anniversary to go on our first big trip, and it’s become a yearly occurrence now! We flew into Luxembourg, rented a car and drove all over the French Countryside, coast, and of course spent a few days in Paris. We had certain spots we wanted to stop but the greatest luxury was stopping into random Chateaus in the south of France, trying wine and enjoying each other. We have quite a bucketlist of places we really want to see, up next is Ireland. Happy travel planning, I know just what joy it brings!!!