Picture it: you’ve just spent the better part of a year (or longer) planning your wedding. From the venue and guest list to the food and flowers, it’s finally the day-of. You’d think you would be done with all the wedding planning once the wedding is over, right? Wrong.
Even on the day of your wedding there are things to do. There’s tipping the photographers & videographers, paying the final bill if everything wasn’t prepaid, and getting your wedding wardrobe, presents, and any other miscellaneous items out of the venue and back home. After all that, you’re still waiting on your photos and wedding video, writing thank you notes, and trying to find a place to store your wedding dress and decorations.
Now imagine doing all of that after a two week vacation to a paradise location of your choosing. Why not instead, tackle the post-wedding to-do list after a little post-wedding hiatus—because let’s be real you still need a break after all is said and done with the big day. Read on for four reasons why taking a mini-moon after your wedding is better than going on your honeymoon right away.
The wedding chaos isn’t over just because the wedding is over
There is still a number of items to accomplish on that wedding to-do list. Why not check everything off the list so you have nothing to come back to post-honeymoon. Like the dreaded thank-you notes. Get them over with while the day is fresh in your mind—your guests will notice and odds are you’ll be able to write more personal notes since you are likely to remember the day better. Odds are you’ll get your photos and video within a month also. Pick through your favorites to send to family and friends and post on social media. You’ll be thankful you got a look so you’re not spending your honeymoon wondering how they turned out.
Spreading out the wedding and honeymoon is more cost effective
Unless you’re doing a destination wedding where the honeymoon immediately follows the wedding in the same location, odds are you are flying out post-wedding. And if your wedding is during wedding season, you’re flying out during peak season to most honeymoon destinations. Why not spread out the cost of a wedding and honeymoon by spreading out the two events. If your wedding is on a Saturday, you don’t have to fly out on the weekend when it’s most expensive. Instead you can strategically plan a mid-week flight when traveling is cheaper. We traveled for our honeymoon in December during off season just before the holiday rush and it was cheaper and less crowded.
Wedding + traveling = double the stress and no time to plan the honeymoon
Needless to say your wedding day, wedding week, even the month leading up is going to be stressful. Traveling long distances can be stressful too. Don’t take on more stress. Spreading out your wedding and honeymoon gives you time in between to rest, relax and process. We took about five weeks in between our wedding and honeymoon and I’m glad we did because with the wedding on our minds we barely planned our honeymoon. After the wedding we really sat down and without the looming wedding day on the horizon we’re able to plan our honeymoon.
Makes coming back to work easier
You probably took a few days if not a whole week off of work for your wedding, which means you’ll have a million emails to answer when you get back. So why not spread out your PTO and make getting back to work after each event a little easier on you as well. Selfishly, I also enjoy taking shorter but more frequent vacations to keep my mental health and work-life balance in check.
So what is a minimoon and how should you go about planning one? Read on.
A mini-moon is a mini post-wedding celebration. Shorter than a honeymoon but just as impactful. Here’s how to plan the perfect mini-moon:
Step 1: Don’t go too far (and consider some place you have been before)
Choose a place that is driving distance away from where you’re having the wedding so you can jump in your car or rental with a weekend bag and go after the wedding. The closer the better—no one wants to drive 4+ hours after partying all night. We chose Texas Hill Country, a quiet peaceful area with lots of hikes and wineries to keep us entertained and only three hours from Dallas. Having already visited the area before we knew there was lots we’d enjoy doing but a lot of things we’d still like to explore. We chose two wineries we had already been to and one new one to visit to ensure we’d have a good time but would still get a taste of something new.
Step 2: Let everyone know you’re leaving after the wedding.
If you think your family will be the type that’ll want to spend more time with you after the wedding, make sure to tell them and all your guests that you’re leaving after the wedding to decompress so there are no surprises.
Step 3: Pack light and don’t stress!
The best thing about a minimoon is if you hate it, it’s like a dry run of your honeymoon so you’ll get another chance! Don’t worry if it’s not super romantic or the best trip of your life. This is time for you and your husband or wife to process the wedding, relax and reconnect.
Optional step 4: Turn off your phone and bring the dogs
Opt for disposable cameras or a Polaroid so you can capture the moments but stay disconnected. The one thing I regret was keeping my phone on me. I spent the weekend fielding texts from friends and family telling me how much fun they had, thanks for inviting them, etc. there will be time to answer those texts later. No one will be upset if you are a newlywed and take an extra moment to get back to them. And finally, bring your furry best friends! The biggest pro of our mini-moon was being able to spend it with our fur babies who couldn’t be at our wedding as our venue was not dog friendly.
As soon as we got back from our first weekend away as a married couple, we tackled the post-wedding to-do list. We wrote and sent out thank you notes, we organized all the wedding stuff into boxes to place in storage, and we chose our favorite photos to send to family/use for our photo album. Even though we weren’t quite done with all the post-wedding work, we got the big-ticket items dealt with and when we got on our flight to England a month later, it was with much less stress (and no hangover).
Stay tuned for a post (or two) on our honeymoon adventures in the UK!
Until next time,
For the first time…Leah Ost