Hayley: The Honeymoon’s Over


Or is it just getting started?

by Hayley Cotter, Writing Intern

Hayley: The Honeymoons Over | A Practical Wedding

Way back when we first started wedding planning, I was adamant that we’d take a honeymoon immediately after the wedding. I heard of couples who did a “minimoon” or a belated honeymoon, and I knew instinctively that wasn’t for us. I had a suspicion that if we put off the honeymoon until a later date, we’d just never get around to taking one. When your family and your fiancé’s family live twelve hours apart, most of your trips wind up centered on visiting one side or the other, and we had never taken a real vacation, just the two of us. I was determined we were going to kick off married life with a proper grown-up trip.

Unfortunately, a proper grown-up trip involves other grown-up things like “excess vacation time” and “disposable income.” As we delved deeper into wedding planning, it quickly became apparent that an immediate honeymoon was not to be. I told myself that I was okay with this, that planning the trip of a lifetime on top of planning a wedding would have been too stressful, anyway. And that might have been true. I am a chronic over-planner for the most basic of trips, and slapping the label “honeymoon” on the trip is just begging for excessive amounts of research on where to go, what to see, and—most importantly—what to eat. No, I told myself, it is better this way. After the wedding, I’d have the rest of the year to obsessively plan every last waking (and sleeping!) moment of this grand adventure my husband and I would take in 2015.

Flash forward to approximately forty-eight hours after we said “I do,” and I was sitting in my office wondering what the hell happened. I know it’s a cliché, but our wedding weekend was truly the best weekend of our lives so far. On Tuesday morning, however, as we remedied a flat tire and stopped at our usual coffee shop and parted ways to head to our respective offices, suddenly the vows and toasts and hugs and dancing felt like they had happened years ago. My memories of the day already felt like they were fading, like a really great dream that begins to slip away quietly immediately upon waking. I felt grumpy and anxious, not to mention exhausted from a whirlwind wedding weekend capped off by a nightmarish day of travel home.

At first, I was a bit ashamed to be feeling this way. After all, we had taken the week before the wedding off to travel to Ohio and accomplish a litany of last-minute tasks that we couldn’t tackle at home, from dress fittings to procuring a marriage license. We had spent several amazing days surrounded by the people we love most, and everything had gone better than we could have imagined. Now I needed some fancy vacation to top the whole thing off? How greedy could I get?

It didn’t help that my shiny new husband was equally worn out and cranky. I aggravated Nick by refusing to use drier sheets (which I am convinced are a conspiracy invented by the laundry industry). Nick horrified me by farting in my presence for the first time. (Nick would want me to specify that he didn’t exactly fart in my presence. He farted in the next room, within earshot. For the first time ever, three days after our wedding.) Oh, and did I mention we hadn’t done our taxes yet? Nothing sets that sexy, newlywed vibe like an in-depth discussion of business expenses and the benefits of various deductions. It also didn’t help that anyone who heard that we weren’t taking a honeymoon responded with some variation of, “Who cares? You live in the Caribbean! Every day is your honeymoon!” Of course, this is nonsensical. A honeymoon is, by definition, a vacation. No one does laundry, files taxes, or farts on their honeymoon—at least, not on the honeymoon I was picturing in my mind.

I’m not sure what I did expect from those first few days of marriage. I’m not a fairytales and candle-lit dinners type of lady, and I like to think I went into this whole marriage business with my eyes wide open. But this—laundry spats, malodorous husband—was most certainly not what I expected, because our relationship had never been like this before. Or had it? It was hard to remember. In some ways, it felt like the wedding had never happened. We didn’t have many of the external hallmarks of newlyweds that people seemed to expect. We both kept our names. We elected not to buy new wedding rings, instead opting to re-exchange our engagement rings at the altar. We had already lived together for several years, and combined finances long ago. Nothing specific felt different. Maybe we had always been this testy with each other, had always bickered this way, and I was only noticing now that marriage had shed a new light on our relationship.

Or maybe—just maybe—we were both out of our minds with exhaustion, and overwhelmed trying to wrap our heads around this huge change that had taken place. Jumping back into our daily routine, so soon after such a life-altering event, was jarring. It wasn’t terrible, of course. I’m generally very happy with my life (a life, I might add, that I so often lamented missing out on during those last few weeks before the wedding, when crafting and logistical spreadsheets crowded out nearly every other activity we’d normally do). But getting back to business as usual felt a bit rushed after an incredibly emotional couple of days. Neither of us could put a finger on how, exactly, our lives had changed by getting married. Did we feel the same? Did we feel different? We couldn’t decide, and our normal routines didn’t leave a whole lot of time to think about it.

Sometime that Friday, though, Nick texted me that he unexpectedly had the entire weekend off. Did I want to go somewhere, he wanted to know? I didn’t answer, because I was already on my phone booking us a night away. I did not have a week’s vacation time or fancy honeymoon lingerie or thoroughly researched dinner reservations. What I did have, however, was a handsome new husband, approximately twenty-four hours, and a nearby hotel offering a local discount. (That the hotel had barely any Internet or cell phone service was icing on the cake.)

That weekend, we swam (okay, I lay on a raft and Nick shuttled me around the pool), napped, and talked and talked and talked some more—about our families, about the big trip we’d take on our first anniversary, about what we’d name our eventual five children. It was only one night, and it made all the difference in the world. Turns out, we didn’t need the trip of a lifetime. We just needed a few days—hell, one day—to reflect on getting married, to process what had (or hadn’t) changed, and to start looking forward to what might come next. We ate pizza and watched Animal Planet and looked at wedding photos. We were relaxed and silly and focused solely on each other. It was exactly what we needed.

I couldn’t have planned it better if I had planned it at all.

Hayley Cotter

Hayley is a Boston native who lives in the Caribbean with her husband, Nick. Their engagement spanned the better part of three years, six address changes, and countless flat tires, and they recently tied the knot at a “reverse-destination wedding” in Ohio. When she’s not busy at her grown up job, you can usually find her in a hammock:  napping, reading, and/or pondering married life.

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  • Lauren

    I can identify with your feeling exactly! We had an amazing weekend – surrounded by so much love – and it was so hard transitioning to “life” afterward. We took a “mini-moon” but I think we still needed more time to process everything and just simply be together in our own little bubble before life descended on us again. I wouldn’t have traded those days for anything and I’m so happy for you that you were able to have a day to yourselves! Enjoy the big 1 year anniversary trip!!

  • Katie

    We are deciding this week whether or not we’re going to take a honeymoon, even though we can’t really afford it after paying for the wedding. Going on a honeymoon you can’t really afford is decidedly NOT practical, but good Lord… I cannot imagine just jumping back in. I told my partner that I think that if we can pay off the honeymoon within a month of taking it, then I vote for taking it. Is anyone else running into the same problems? What are your thoughts?

    • Jess1216

      We’re in the same boat, so we decided to take a little mini-moon the first few days after the wedding at a location about 3-hours drive from where we live. There’s a couple of things to do and we’re staying at a cool place, but it’s not somewhere that you’d feel the need to go see everything if you’d rather lay around for the morning (especially since it’s so close to home).

    • STM

      Same! Can we technically afford a honeymoon on top of the wedding? Nope. But we threw it on a credit card with one of those 0% APR for a year deals, and we’ll pay it off later. We’ve been so diligent and careful with the wedding budget and not going into debt for it, it actually felt like fun to throw our hands up and have the honeymoon be this irresponsible, indulgent thing. (Caveat that everyone should carefully manage credit debt, of course!)

    • Fay

      My Mr. could not take a full blown honeymoon at the time of our wedding due to work demands, while I had ample vacation time, plus being able to afford it after we had just paid for our wedding. So our compromise was a mini-moon to a gorgeous B&B about 2 hrs from home. Because we arrived on a Sunday afternoon and stayed thru Tuesday afternoon, we got an amazing deal from the B&B. Most hospitality based services in a tourism focused area do most of their business Friday – Sunday mid-day, so don’t be afraid to ask about discounts offered for Sunday – Thursday stays.

      In fact we were the only guests at the B&B for those three days AND the owner was out of the country on a trip, so we had free run of the place. The owner left us a spare key with her ground’s keeper who lived near by and checked in with us once a day. It was honestly blissful to not have to interact with people unless we left the property after spending the last four days surrounded by family, extended family, friends, and out of town guests.

      We had wonderful morning lie-ins dozing/talking/cuddling before heading to the local cafe for a seriously delicious breakfast. From there we would just drive around and investigate the local artisan stores/barns, wineries, antique stores, eating scrumptious local foods for lunch and dinner, and just enjoying the beautiful countryside. There was next to no one around and the folks working in their studios and stores were wonderful, kind people who were happy to chat to “the newlyweds” since they weren’t rushing around dealing with demanding weekenders’ from the DC metro area.

      It was just what we needed to focus on ourselves and what our new baby family actually meant. We laughed and cried our way thru our wedding picture previews we received from our wedding photographer while we were at the B&B. Had an unexpected visit from the B&B’s resident raccoon on the front porch one night. Sampled wonderful local wines and came home with more wine than we’d ever think we’d buy. Dug thru the largest antique barn/warehouse we’d ever explored and brought home some amazing finds. Visited a glass blowing artisan enclave and to my husband’s joy found a blown glass “ray-gun” that set his geek meter off the charts. We also talked about our new life together and what it meant, our future plans, hopes, fears, even just silly nonsensical things. We made so many memories in those three days away.

      We did take Wednesday off the day after we returned home to do laundry, sort thru the piles of wedding gifts/cards, and to clean up the fallout remaining from dumping wedding supplies at home before leaving for 3 days. But those three days away were just what we needed to be able to feel like we had a break from the craziness that had lead up to our wedding and our work stress. We’re looking forward to planning a “real” honeymoon sometime this year if finances allow for it. If not we’ll possibly look for some great deals at some B&B’s in areas we haven’t visited before and either plan a week or two away or maybe even a month of “long-weekends”.

      Your honeymoon can be whatever you want. It doesn’t have to fit the prescribed notion of “You must go to the ____________ resort on this _____________ island/country/continent in order for it to qualify as a honeymoon.” Make it your own and do what makes you both happy, without breaking the bank.

      • ART

        Sounds just like what we want! We’re doing a Monday-Friday honeymoon in Mendocino, CA, about a 2-hour drive from where we’re having the wedding the previous Saturday. Every time I think about it I get overwhelmed with excitement!

        • Stephanie B.

          Our honeymoon was in Mendocino, in October! It was wonderful!

      • lolauren

        This is exactly what we did, just this week. Today is my first day back to work and I’m so glad I had time to relax, without guilt.

    • E

      We went to Puerto Rico for about 3 days and put nearly all of it on a credit card. We did find cheap-ish airfare and a cheap-ish place to stay on airbnb. I don’t regret it. We needed to get away.

    • snowmentality

      Could you do a staycation? (Like, could you afford the time off work if you didn’t also have to pay for hotel, airfare, etc.?) There are more choices than “big expensive trip we really can’t afford” or “just go back to work on Monday as usual.” As this post points out, it’s really valuable just to take a little time together to process the fact that you just got married — whether you do it by traveling together somewhere far away, or by planning some fun, relaxing things to do together in your own town for a few days.

      • Katie

        We could, because it’s not the time off that’s the issue, it’s the cash. What I took away from Hayley’s post though, and from others have said in the comments, is not just the harshness of returning to work, but also how resuming “normal” life right away feels… laundry, and groceries, and cleaning the house and all that. I think it is probably really really beneficial to get away if you can and be alone in a space where you don’t have any responsibilities except to each other.

        I love what Fay had to say… maybe we’ll look into B&Bs! I mean, I doubt we’ll have ANY money, but that will be less to pay back that anything that requires flights.

        • Lada

          You don’t have to do laundry on your staycarion. More here http://offbeathome.com/2011/05/how-to-staycation

        • Fay

          You can also try Groupon and LivingSocial for great deals on B&B’s. Some of the deals include extra’s like meal vouchers to local restaurants/wineries/etc or special “treats” at the B&B that would normally cost extra. Make sure you read reviews though on TripAdvisor as I have run across bad experiences reviews for some of the B&B’s that offer these type of deals, but so far the Mr. and I have had great luck. We did a Groupon for a B&B in Lancaster, PA last year and it was fantastic. We’re actually going back to the same B&B at the end of the month for a long weekend before I’m swallowed up in a huge project at work for most of the summer.

    • SarahG

      We did the Honeyfund registry for this reason — we’re just going to make of it what we can with whatever gifts we get. (We didn’t do another registry, because we have the basics and we REALLY wanted to go away somewhere). I know some folks think Honeyfund is tacky, but I have always loved it as a guest (I love contributing to someone’s honeymoon!) and I’m hoping most of our guests won’t mind the idea (if they decide to give a gift).

      • ART

        I will shamefully admit that I like it as a guest because I can totally procrastinate and nothing is “sold out” from the registry when I get around to it :P

        • SarahG

          Awesome. I am feeling very validated in my Honeyfund choice! Though I agree with Laura C, the name sucks. I didn’t actually look around for another one and didn’t realize Wanderable existed. Oh well. Still, it’s great to know that others are not anti-honeymoon registry.

      • Laura C

        We’re doing a Wanderable honeymoon registry because while we don’t think the concept of a honeymoon registry is tacky (we love giving to them), we can’t quite deal with the name Honeyfund. And actually we got our first gift via Wanderable the other night and it was HUGE. Like, we debated whether we should contact them to ask if they’d really intended to give that much, but then I asked my mother about it and she said that particular person was making a bunch of money lately and being very generous with it, so…

        Anyway, we also did a stuff registry for people who like to give stuff, and also suggested some charity and advocacy organizations we like to support. But I am so pro-honeymoon registry.

      • Aubry

        We’re doing a honeymoon registry as well! Through Gift Gather, cause that was the only one I could find that was set up the way I like after Wedistry closed down. We also could not afford a honeymoon at all if it wasn’t for this, and don’t need any “stuff” anyway.

        As a guest I also love online registries because you can give to it when you get home from the reception (as I always do…procrastinator over here) and nothing is sold out/the wrong color/forces you to drive to 3 homesence stores the day before because the only item under $200 left cannot be found.

        Because of this though, we are forced to delay the honeymoon until early October (wedding July 26) because we can’t actually pay for anything until the registry cashes out. But I am fortunate to have a close friend giving us their condo at a ski resort (also fun in the summer) for a week directly after the wedding for a mini-moon. Italy is also way to hot in August I hear, and there will hopefully be fewer tourists in October! I am over the moon excited for our actual Honeymoon!

        P.S. people planning vacations before they can pay for them – booking.com is your friend. you can book hotels and not pay for them (or most of them) until you arrive! And inexpensive hotels in Europe fill up 6 months in advance! We already have our hotels booked for October, and are praying we can swing the flights:)

        • Alyssa M

          Hotel industry experience here: payment at check-in is actually standard practice. Booking.com is probably one of the better third-party sites, but ANY time you go through a third party it can cause some headaches. My suggestion, from an insider, is to always call directly to the hotel in question (and make sure you speak with the front desk instead of the reservations call center if at all possible) and get information on their payment policies and attempt to negotiate the best rate BEFORE you make a booking through a third party.

          If the third party site has a better rate, payment policies, or travel insurance (travelocity offers this) then by all means book through them, but checking what you can get direct from the hotel before you reserve is always a good plan.

    • JSwen

      We just decided to downgrade our 2 week honeymoon to 1 week for this reason. We’ll still take all that time off but the second week of ‘mooning is going to consist of taking the dogs to the coast or the high desert for a couple days!

    • lolauren

      We just got married this weekend and we booked 2 nights at a b&b 2 hours away. It was fun and so nice to have a break, but I’m glad we didn’t push to book a bigger trip, especially if you can’t afford it because I was SO TIRED. We had a pretty low-key wedding with 42 guests, no wedding party,etc but all that excitement/stress/joy is exhausting and it was nice to lay around for two days. I was glad we didn’t do a bigger trip (like Paris, Italy) because I would feel awful and guilty taking the time I needed to just sleep. So in sum, I would just take two days off or so and book a trip in a year or so

  • Anon

    I’m sorry, I just can’t get over the fact that you never heard your husband fart before getting married.

    Seriously though, your unexpected weekend sounds lovely. Can’t wait to hear where the first anniversary trip takes you!

    • scw

      haha! not to diminish the piece, which I really enjoyed, but that was my reaction too!

    • Alyssa M

      I thought her reaction to it was kind of adorable. Couldn’t stop giggling at her comments. She’s apparently lucky he’s not the kind to fart in his sleep!

    • Lawyerette510

      I really enjoyed this piece, but I too was shocked about the farting. My FH and I fart within earshot of each other so often. I think though that between living together in a van for the second half of our first year together then living in a 700 sq foot apartment while I had super serious stress-induced IBS took all the bottom-mystery out of our relationship.

      • MirandaVanZ

        Hehe, bottom-mystery

    • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

      Yep, I’m still stuck on that! I’ve gotta know this secret!

    • Jessica

      Seriously, especially because you’ve lived together for several years!!?

    • Aubry

      Me too! I was totally stuck on that. And they’ve lived together?!? C and I use flatulence as punctuation pretty regularly. But that could be because he is secretly 12 and drags me down to his maturity level ;)

    • Dacia E.

      My partner was legit terrified to fart for the first two months of our relationship. He would make excuses to go outside to his car at night so he could finally let it out. He had this idea that I would be so repulsed that I would immediately break up with him, and he said it was an “indescribable relief” to him when I said I honestly didn’t care.

      Now, of course, we’re two years in and farts fly freely in our apartment.

    • elysiarenee

      This stuck out for me too! I realise they aren’t the most pleasant bodily function but yikes- one should be able to fart in their own home as need be. I’m totally with the author on the drier sheet conspiracy though.

  • Kendra D

    When we eloped back in 2010, we had less than a month to move to Germany, so we skipped the whole honeymoon thing at the time. It drove me nuts the number of people who were like, “you’re moving to Europe – that’s a great honeymoon.” Because, you know, moving is the most magical relaxing time ever and throwing in a language barrier just makes it more romantic when you’re trying to find a place to live. Not that we didn’t have an amazing time living there, not that we didn’t go on amazing trips – but it wasn’t a honeymoon. Which is to say, I know that feeling of living somewhere awesome but needing to remind people that every day life doesn’t equal a honeymoon, no matter where you live.

    • http://byov.blogspot.com/ iris

      Ugh. Moving as honeymoon. No thanks.

  • http://www.piercedwonderings.com/ Jen Alex

    Ohmigosh, yes! We didn’t take a honeymoon either because yeah, money & vacation time. *sigh* And I felt that exact same way back at the office Monday morning after the wedding. Irritated & cranky. We were fortunate that his parents’ house is a lovely space (& it’s where we got married) & they offered to vacate the weekend after the wedding so we could relax in a “resort-like environment”. We floated in the pool, had cocktails, drank lots of drinks, enjoyed some time. The next weekend we were able to go camping at the place where my husband had proposed. It wasn’t the grand honeymoons that our friends took after they got married, but it worked for us.

  • Eh

    My husband and I had never been on vacation together until our honeymoon so spending nine days with just him was a learning experience. One of the first things I learned is that my husband can’t read a map or navigate (lol my father is a cartographer and geography teacher).

    I know people who could not afford to take a honeymoon right away, or couldn’t plan two big events at the same time. What I learned from those people is try to take a couple of days to unwind afterwards and enjoy married life. One of my friends got married, took a couple days off, came back to work for a week (planned their honeymoon) and then they went on their honeymoon. Another friend went away for a few days as they could not afford anything more and they took a bigger trip for their first anniversary.

    A couple I know is going to Europe this fall for their “honeymoon” two years after they were married. This couple stretched their wedding festivities out over two weeks, which included a wedding one weekend (where they live and where her family lives, with his immediate family and most of their friends), a few days for their families to spend together, a flight across the country to where his family lives, a holiday weekend with his family, a week of relaxing at his parents’ house and then a reception for his family and friends that couldn’t make it to the wedding. Immediately after those two weeks they went on a “minimoon” to San Francisco. Since their wedding they have been on many vacations, including going to the UK and other trips around North America (most recently a week in NYC). This couple had a very specific vision of a honeymoon (it involves southern Europe for two or three weeks) so none of these trips can be considered their honeymoon (even though most were more expensive than our honeymoon and most of my other friends’ honeymoons). The last time I talked to this couple about their honeymoon the wife seemed concerned that since they didn’t take it right away they were never going to take it. So I am glad that they have booked it.

    • Katie

      Woah. That’s about all I have to say. It sounds like all of those things were honeymoons.

    • Alyssa M

      I’m kind of bitterly jealous of your friends who could travel internationally and not consider that a good enough trip for a honeymoon…

      • Eh

        It made me feel especially awesome about out honeymoon which was “just” to Nova Scotia (which I thought was a pretty awesome trip). According to their vision of a honeymoon ours would not be good enough. The worst part was they couldn’t go on their honeymoon until this year because they didn’t have enough vacation time (they each get at least three or four weeks a year). My husband gets two weeks a year (I get four) and he has to take unpaid days for our honeymoon (because he hadn’t “earn” enough days yet as he just started the job) and even though he was on vacation/leave his work still called him.

        • Mezza

          I can’t speak for your friends, but as a frequent traveler who took multiple trips for work, family, and fun in between wedding and southern-Europe honeymoon, I think your Nova Scotia honeymoon sounds amazing! Always wanted to go; haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

          • Eh

            I highly recommend Nova Scotia! We stayed in Halifax (we rented a house on the ocean) for a week and did day trips from there and then we weren to Cape Breton for two days. It was a relaxing, low-key trip/nice reward after our wedding and family drama.

        • Dawn

          I went to Nova Scotia (and PEI ) as a teenager and it was always my ideal honeymoon location! We didn’t make it due to vacation time issues. Maybe one day we’ll make it for our anniversary!

          • Eh

            We didn’t get to PEI but I want to go there too.

    • m

      So…it sounds like they haven’t titled any of the other vacations “honeymoon” since they wanted super-romantic, super-long, BEST TRIP OF YOUR LIFE!!, south-of-Europe trip, and are having a hard time with expectation meeting reality.

      But I also think that it’s perhaps important to everyone’s sanity not to extrapolate their expectations and assume that they look down on other honeymoons, unless they’ve said so outright (in which case, screw someone who tells you that a 1-week cruise out of Florida isn’t a “real” honeymoon….).This is simply what they want for themselves, and that isn’t necessarily a judgement on other people.

      It vaguely reminds me of how one might have a certain dream for a “real wedding”, but by circumstance needed to have a courthouse/legal/informal wedding and refuse to call that their “real wedding”. It doesn’t always mean that they would view someone else’s courthouse wedding as less valid, less real, or not counting if that’s what that couple wanted for themselves.

      • Eh

        Re: Extrapolating their honeymoon expectations – When we were planning our wedding/honeymoon, they had been married for a year. They had just finished telling us about all of these trips they had gone on and other ones that they were planning. Then they said that they still hadn’t gone on a honeymoon because a honeymoon was, as you said, “BEST TRIP OF YOUR LIFE” and that they were going to the southern Europe. When we told them our plans their comments were more or less “well that’s nice for you guys”. I have known the husband for a long time and he is pretentious so I don’t take it too seriously.

        • Lindsey d.

          Eek! I would fear that simply setting up the honeymoon as BEST TRIP EVER would lead to serious disappointment. We left Monday after our Saturday wedding for a week in Spain with very few plans other than flights, a place to stay and tickets to a soccer game. It was one of the best trips ever, in part because we had no expectations….

          • Mezza

            Hang on, did we talk previously about how we were planning the exact same honeymoon? Barcelona, with no plans besides flights, housing, and hopefully soccer? I hope yours was fabulous! We loved ours.

          • Lindsey d.

            I think we did!!! We had a wonderful time! Amazing food, beautiful sights, great people watching/interacting. Because we (for the first time ever) didn’t have concrete plans, we only left our apartment rental before noon-ish on one day, frankly, as you should on a honeymoon (baw chicka wow wow). We ate our weight in tapas and paella, had “walking around ham” from the Boqueria, went out to the burbs for a minor league soccer game and gaped at the architecture. Amazing! So glad you had a great time too!

          • Mezza

            Awesome! Yeah, we failed a little at the sleeping in/relaxing idea, as we were pretty much up and out by 10am every day except one. We covered most of the city on foot, took a cooking class, went to wineries out in the country, got obsessed with pintxos and cheap wine, and actually made it to a game at Camp Nou! Sounds like we both had ideal trips. Congrats! :)

          • Jules

            I mean, also, while everyone’s honeymoon (here or abroad) hopefully kicks ass, it would be super disappointing thinking I’d ACTUALLY just been on the “best trip ever” since someday I want to be old and retired and spend money out the wazoo and not worry about a damn thing. Gives me something to look forward to…

  • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

    Transitioning back to normal life was SO hard and I’m so glad we planned a little trip to Galveston (about an hour drive) to just go away and lounge quietly. Sometimes you just need 24 hours in a hotel.

    • Fiona

      We weren’t going to do anything because money and work, but We’re going to do the mini-pause before we get back! I’m convinced.

    • Hannah B

      random question as a former Houstonian…did you actually get *in* the water? I did as a kid but the memories of the brown brown brown water give me pause as a much pickier adult. I’m no longer in Texas so I don’t know what the water is like these days, especially post oil spill (if it affected it etc). It’s nice, though, to be close to ANY beach when you live in a state whose heat index/humidity index is so high.

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        I didn’t on this trip because the weather was really gross (the fog was so bad that you could barely SEE The water from the beach) and it wasn’t very warm (it was February) but we made a bunch of day trips to Galveston last summer and yes, we get in the water! It’s definitely not the gross brown water it’s rumored to be.

        • Jules

          Beware the jellyfish. From one Houstonian to another.

          • Alyssa M

            THAT’S what I remember from Galveston as a kid… the water was fine… the creatures inside it were terrifying.

  • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

    We aren’t taking a honeymoon, either. We can’t really afford to after paying for the wedding, which we expected. Since we are moving across the country pretty much immediately following the wedding, I think it will still feel different. I don’t know if that will help us to “feel” married. We’ll be moving in together for the first time and combining finances after the wedding as well. Makes for a big change with multiple transitions happening at once.

    I’m hoping we can take some sort of mini-moon in the next few months (I’ve been dreaming about taking a trip out to the Grand Canyon ever since I found out we were moving out west), but we’ll have to see how everything goes with my job search out there.

    We’ve never been on vacation together either so I’m really hoping we can do that over the next few months. It would be nice to get away.

    • Lawyerette510

      You’re moving to Colorado, right? If so, you’re in luck because there’s so much stuff to see and do within a reasonable drive and tons of low cost camping too! I find it’s much easier to have a weekend away somewhere the weather is good and there’s plenty of camping: CO in summer, CA etc.

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

        So I’ve heard! We may go somewhere instate right after we get out there, just to go away for a bit. Haven’t quite decided yet. :) I’m looking forward to exploring the area for sure.

        • Fay

          Molly, I had dear friends who lived in Durango, CO for three years and I loved visiting them out there before they moved back East. Durango has some awesome natural hotsprings and the drives along the mountain roads are amazing. If you ski/snowboard I would recommend Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort for some great outdoor fun that doesn’t seem to get the same crowds as the more “popular” resorts out west. The food and beer out there are awesome too. Not sure where you’re moving in CO since it’s a huge state, but I would recommend adding Durango to your list of places to visit in-state!

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

            Thanks for the recommendation! We’ll be living just outside of Denver. Durango looks beautiful, but is a bit of a trek! Definitely putting it on the list of places to visit though! Thanks :)

          • emmers

            I just visited a friend in Denver, and we went to Glenwood Hot Springs for a night– a nice 2 hour or so drive from Denver. Hotels aren’t super expensive, depending on what you’re looking for, and it costs about $20/person to swim in the hot springs all day (basically it’s like a big warm swimming pool– it was great when it was a little cold). It was super relaxing!

          • emmers

            Also, the drive is beautiful, because you go through some aspen filled mountains to get there (you pass Vail!).

          • KerryMarie

            Love Glenwood Springs! We stayed at the very old, historically significant Hotel Colorado (which was awesome!) and also took a walk up to see Doc Holliday’s grave.

          • Fay

            Yes, I remember my friends saying that the Denver area was about an 8 hr drive from Durango. (Being East Coasters, it’s crazy to think that out west even after driving 8 hours you’d still be in the same state. Here you drive 8 hrs and your either up in MA/NH area or SC/GA area.) Look into small local flights to the airport in Durango if driving would be too much. I would fly into Phoenix on a “regular” plane and then take a small commuter plane to the Durango airport. Not sure if the cost is do-able in-state, but it might open up more of the lower part of the state to you and make exploring neighboring states easier as Durango is 45 mins to the state border.

        • Vanessa

          Are you moving out here this summer? All of the mountain towns are GORGEOUS in the summer and a lot cheaper than during ski season. My favorite is Steamboat but Breck and Vail are great too. Or go to Palisade and ride bikes around to all of the wineries and peach stands. Or you could have a really fun weekend in Boulder or Fort Collins if you want to be in a bigger town. I second the recommendation for Durango but I think it’s worth a longer visit so you can go to Mesa Verde and Pagosa Springs and the Sand Dunes too. I hope you enjoy it here – Colorado is the best!

          • Gina

            I second Steamboat– there are a ton of ranches and B&Bs outside the town that make lovely weekends away and are really affordable! Summer is the BEST time in Colorado, by far. We go backpacking almost every weekend–there is so much to explore. Welcome to CO, Molly!

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

            Yeah, we’re moving out at the very end of the month, just after the wedding. Eep! I’ll have to look into the mountain towns for sure. Sounds awesome!

            We’re so excited about it. I’m 110% sure that we are going to love it! We’re pretty outdoorsy so we’re looking forward to that.

          • Alyssa M

            Definitely suggesting you save the Grand Canyon for October-April after you move out here. You’ll need a coat, but the prices and crowds are MUCH better. There’s SO MUCH in the four corners to see and do, you’re not running out of outdoorsy weekend trips any time soon.

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

            Oh yes. Sooo excited!

        • Emily

          I have to put a plug in for the Front Range small towns of Lyons or Estes Park; you could camp, stay the night in a nice place, or just do a day trip from Denver, there’s tons of stuff to do in both towns, and after the floods both towns need the visitation!

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

            Our realtor did recommend we look into Estes Park! I had forgotten that. I’ll keep that one in mind. Lyons too! Thanks :)

          • Jess

            Estes Park is amazing. I grew up going there every summer. So much going on all the time, and it’s so easy to get onto trails. We always stayed at the Y, but they may be booked up this summer already.

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

            Excellent!! I’ll look into it and if they’re booked up, maybe we can just do a day trip. Sounds fun!

        • Jenni

          Haven’t seen Snowmass mentioned yet–it’s far from Denver but it’s SO PRETTY and next to Aspen so you can take a quick flight there (although those flights are often turbulent). I imagine it’s more expensive in winter, but in summer things are less costly and the mountains are beautiful.

  • macrain

    I couldn’t help but chuckle over the farting thing! I recently had a hilarious conversation with my friends about the farting habits of our significant others- it’s totally a barometer for how “comfortable” things have become (and also possibly ignites a fear that romance is dead). I myself can’t pinpoint exactly when this became a normal thing in my relationship, but I don’t give it much thought nowadays!
    Beautiful post, Hayley.

    • Sabrina

      Was the comfort scale from “always hide in another room to fart” to “annouce the fart and high-five” , cuz my husband and I are totaly on the high-five side of the scale. FARTS ARE FUNNY!

      • macrain

        Haha, farts ARE funny. And for the record, every single person admitted that their SO’s farted in their presence. One friend said that she wished her husband followed up his farting with a polite, “excuse me.” :)

  • http://batman-news.com jbryant6

    This is so completely not the point of the post, but if you want a compromise to your dryer sheet dilemma you could use dryer balls. They are wool balls that basically accomplish what dryer sheets do without all the chemicals and cost. I made my own last year; it was super easy, cost about $10, and they should last between 3 and 5 years. As for the farting, I can’t help you with that. My husband has been farting in front of me since our early dating days, so I know that will probably never go away!

    • ART

      haha! I keep wanting to try dryer balls, but I’ve been fabric softener/dryer sheet-free for about 8 years without getting around to it and don’t notice a difference anymore. I don’t even remember what it is that dryer sheets were supposed to do.

      • Dawn

        I don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softener either, and I line dry my clothes anyway. But my husband and likes to use dryer sheets for his clothes. Our compromise is that we keep our clothes separate.

    • JSwen

      Yep, they are basically nubby rubber dog toys (my dogs seem to think so, at least).

  • Jules

    Ahhhhh yes, overplanning! Yesterday I booked one plane ticket to Eau Claire and two nights in a hotel for a business trip. I only had 2 options for the flight and 3 options for the hotel. AND IT TOOK AN HOUR.

    I also boycott dryer sheets.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip next year. I totally get that “visiting family thing” since we’ve got a total of 4 divorced parents spread from Paris to Rio de Janeiro and 3 siblings spread from California to DC. :[

  • jashshea

    Yah! So glad you got away. I know it’s a fiscal or logistical impossibility for many couples, but taking our honeymoon directly after the wedding was so important for us. I can recall many moments during the wedding weekend where we were relatively alone, but we were rarely JUST US. And we needed time to be ourselves. OTOH, I love over-planning vacations, so there’s that.

    I relented on dryer sheets. It seems like they help with static? And I use them after the fact to clean my copious hair droppings from the (white) tiled bathroom floor.

    • Jess

      I have decided that dryer sheets are useful for solely that purpose. So since I have to use them anyway now, I may as well get rid of the hair!

  • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

    Honeymoons are like weddings – you don’t always get the one you dreamed of, but you get YOURS. We weren’t able to afford going to Paris for our honeymoon (and I was worried I would be too tired) so we had a fabulous honeymoon in San Francisco instead and went to Paris for our anniversary. Our honeymoon was still amazing! I wish people didn’t feel the pressure to have The Trip of a Lifetime for their honeymoon. At one point our plan was just to go to Austin (3 hour drive) for a weekend afterward and I’m sure that would have been similarly wonderful. The best part of your honyemoon is that you are married (!!!), not where you go or how massively epic/romantic/expensive it is.

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

      “The best part of your honyemoon is that you are married (!!!), not where you go or how massively epic/romantic/expensive it is.”

      TRUE STORY.

  • Sharon M.

    You could have written this about me and my husband. It’s a little over a month now that we’ve been married, after living together for years, and we still haven’t decided where we want to go for our honeymoon.

  • Stephanie B.

    We went on our honeymoon 3 weeks after the wedding, largely because my husband has ADHD, and planning/packing for just a regular vacation, with no other ENORMOUS life-changing events close to it, is horribly stressful and takes the better part of a month. So there was no way that we could plan the wedding, get married, and then turn around the following day (or even a few days later) and get on a plane. Someone would have died.

    We did take the Monday following the wedding off to just chill and be together — well, I say “we” took Monday off, but I lost my job almost exactly 2 months before the wedding, so I already had that day “off.” And it was delightful to have that day together (we, uh, went to the grocery store, because we hadn’t been in about 2 weeks, and the pets were running out of food and we hadn’t eaten a green vegetable in a while), but it was VERY weird the next day to have my husband get up to his alarm like always and head off to work. There’s no gentle way to make that transition.

  • Fiona

    ” Nick horrified me by farting in my presence for the first time. (Nick would want me to specify that he didn’t exactly fart in my presence. He farted in the next room, within earshot. For the first time ever, three days after our wedding.)”
    I’m still laughing about this. So T and I aren’t married yet, but I have something of a chronic illness, and one of the symptoms is gas and a whole lot of difficulty actually……well…..passing it. When T and I first met, my issues were mild and he never knew because I could deal with it on my own time. It took until last summer for it to be bad enough that I couldn’t ignore it in is presence. We were in Haiti (for my first time) visiting his mother and trying to sleep in 90 degree heat, and I looked like I was 3-4 months pregnant because I was so bloated. I ran outside to crouch in the backyard to try and get some relief, appropriately panicking everyone in the tiny house. T ran out after me and petted me and rocked my hips for no less than an hour while I tried to fart. There’s no going back from that…

    • MagNCheese

      I have never read anything so hysterical and beautiful at the same time. Thank you!

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      See when I read about farting in the post, I was like wait are people not farting around their partners?? We’ve been doing it for two years. No holding back. Of course, in the very beginning I tried to schedule my gas but a girl can only do so much.

      • Megan

        Me too! So funny. Thank goodness we got that out of the way years ago…I don’t even know if we’d have ended up engaged if we held it in that long! It does help that FH barely has a sense of smell. But…unfortunately for him, I do :)

        • Sharon M.

          yeah, we progressed past that part years ago and now we don’t even bother closing the bathroom door.

        • Aubry

          could have gone how South Park says: no farting = spontaneous combustion. best not to take any chances with this stuff.

      • Rebekah

        Not only have we not held back, but it’s such an aspect that my MOH talked about it in her speech. I knew I could count on APW to make me feel less abnormal :)

    • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

      I’ve also got a chronic illness, and being really gassy is one of my symptoms. However, I didn’t have so much trouble keeping it in. It was kind of a relief (no pun intended), though. With previous boyfriends, I had NEVER felt comfortable enough to fart in their presence (although they had no such qualms), and suddenly, less than 2 months into this relationship, I was farting up a storm on a regular basis. I hate having a chronic illness, but I’m grateful that it prevented me from spending years of my life trying not to fart in my own home.

    • Bee

      I’m really sorry about your distress…but I think that’s awesome and super sweet of your man.

      • Fiona

        When I told my family, they laughed at me for an hour, and then proclaimed that he’s alright!

  • Gina

    Wow, this all over the place. Thank you for articulating my feelings so perfectly.

    We decided not to take a honeymoon because we didn’t have the funds/vacation time. When we got back from the wedding, my husband went out of town for work for 3 weeks straight. We eventually booked a “honeymoon weekend” in the mountains a month later just to recharge and reflect, and it was the best thing we could have done. Now, a year out, we delayed the big honeymoon trip to Alaska again so we can buy a house, and I’m strangely okay with never taking a trip that we label as a “honeymoon”–so long as we can keep taking trips to new places and reconnecting when life as usual burns us out.

  • Sara

    Did you know that you can use balled up aluminum foil in lieu of dryer sheets? Takes most of the static right out and they’re reusable. I haven’t bought dryer sheets in years.

    I think a hotel with minimal internet and cell phone service sounds wonderful. Sometimes its fantastic to just disconnect and unwind. The being shuttled around on a raft isn’t half bad either :)

    • Meg

      Also dryer sheets make towels less absorbent over time and I imagine the foil trick wouldn’t do that

  • Hannah B

    My parents were 23 when they got married and I was at the wedding, so they were way too broke to go on a honeymoon with or without their 2 month old. Things didn’t line up until their 10th anniversary, when my grandparents flew in to watch us and my dad took my mom to Paris for 10 days. So, don’t despair! Anything can happen.

  • Jess

    We had a delayed honeymoon and although it was NOT my first choice (even the destination wasn’t my first choice), I don’t regret it at all. In fact, it was kind of awesome, eight months after our wedding, to be showered with love again from total strangers who congratulated us on being newlyweds (make sure you tell any hotel or restaurant you go to that you just got married – totally awesome). And since we already had a lot of stuff, we asked for honeymoon donations as
    wedding gifts which made planning something cool a possibility (can you say hot air balloon ride?).

    However, we still took time off just after the wedding (actually, in Spain, you’re legally entitled to 15 vacation days after your wedding, on top of your regular vacation days – yay Spain!). We used the first couple days to spend extra time with people who had flown out to see us, and the rest we holed ourselves up in a hotel we’d stayed at before. It had a fireplace and a big bed and the owner, who knew we were repeat customers, sent us on a complimentary winery tour. The hotel was only about an hour from our house. Even if it’s not something big, try to “get away” somehow…even if it’s just drinking all your leftover champagne.

    • Sharon M.

      Spain’s vacation policy sounds LOVELY.

    • C_Gold

      Logistical question: how do you go about asking for honeymoon donations? Is this something I can ask my maid of honor (my sister) to spread the word on? What’s the polite thing to do? Because yeah, we don’t need more stuff. But we’d love vacation cash. :)

      • ypi

        I think there are a few ways- but one common way is to register for it. You can either use a ‘honeyfund’ website, or a catch all registry (we love Thankful Registry) which lets you register for anything across the internet- charities, wine, housewares, and honeymoon contributions.

      • Jess

        Yes, there are definitely registries like Honeyfund and Traveler’s Joy, but we didn’t do that for logistical reasons (at the time of the wedding we still didn’t know when/where the honeymoon would be) and basically just told people (maybe on our website? I don’t remember) when they asked about a registry/gifts that we wanted the experience, not the stuff. Then we made sure to tell everyone where we were going, what we planned to do and let them know afterwards how we spent the money and how much we enjoyed it. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the gifts.

  • Jenni

    I cried when we found out we wouldn’t be able to take a honeymoon right after the wedding due to the fiance’s work. I got over that, and we agreed to do it about two months after the wedding. But we haven’t made any plans yet, and I worry about not being able to take the honeymoon for years (like some of his coworkers). His schedule can change quickly and he has no say in it; how can we even buy plane tickets? Sigh.

    • Sharon M.

      so take a honeymoon somewhere you can drive?

      • Audrey

        Seconded! Also, many hotels (although usually the bigger ones) have full refunds up to 24 or 48 hours before. I don’t know how quickly his schedule changes, but as long as you have even a little advance notice you can cancel a hotel. Just make sure to check the policy!

  • ypi

    This post is so well written, and articulates my feelings about the honeymoon exactly. Right down to the part where our families are on opposite coasts, with his being a 4 hour drive and mine being a 6 hour flight. And the farting? Amazing.

    We haven’t had a vacation together period- let alone a long weekend, that hasn’t been dedicated to a family visit in ages. And that in and of itself isn’t the issue- his family is lovely, and we have so much to be grateful for in our little Brooklyn lives. I’d be ridiculous to complain. But, I do want a proper get away. And luckily (re: grateful), we do get a honeymoon, followed by a visit to my family overseas- so it’s like a combo honeymoon/extended family party. And we can’t wait. What makes me nervous I think is that it won’t be for 3 weeks post-wedding, and I have no idea how to handle transitioning from BIG LIFE EVENT and weeklong trip home with his and my families, to day-to-day, stinky subway, office grumbles, stifling August heat. I worry that it will throw me into a depression- that the hugeness will feel less exciting and more exhausting. And I so badly want to protect my post-wedding experience. It’s so nice to read this post, and the comments, with feelings that echo my own. Thanks, Hayley and APW!

  • Jana

    Due to finances, we also won’t be able to take a honeymoon until our one-year anniversary (I’ve started calling it our one-year-anniversary-moon), but we got a small cottage in Vermont to spend a few days at shortly after our wedding. Bonfires and beer? Yes siree. :)

  • joanna b.n.

    Am I emotional today, or was that not a tearjerker!? Awwwwwwws. So glad you got your much deserved minimoon! Hope the bigger/future one is all you dream and more!

  • Kelsey

    Aw Hayley, you made me tear up. Glad you two got what you needed (and pizza and hotel pools, obvi). Beautifully written as well.

  • Ambaa

    The honeymoon is the biggest regret I have of our wedding. I wanted one right away, to really seal in the feelings. But it just could not happen. So I planned it for my husband’s spring break but we couldn’t afford the trip to Scotland we had envisioned. We went to a bed and breakfast an hour away, but it was way too stuffy for my taste. plus I was in the middle of fertility treatments which messed with the sex. I hated it.

  • http://theartofhintz.blogspot.com/ Jenniferjuniper

    aw I’m so glad that weekend happened – it sounds much like our actual honeymoon was, we laid around our rented apartment and relaxed and explored a new city together. we had very little activities planned, we could have planned them if we wanted to – we didn’t – we just hung out together and it was wonderful.