As more and more couples finance their weddings independently, we are seeing an increasing trend in couples choosing different ways to plan their honeymoons than ever before. Honeymoons used to be these long, lavish vacations where the couple left the night of their wedding to rush to the airport to catch their plane, allowing their guests to continue to party on without them. Now, couples may choose to put their trip off for a few months, a year, or maybe even longer. Either way, honeymoons are about spending time with your new spouse, just the two of you, to soak in all the newlywed feels. That said, I wanted to share my own personal honeymoon experience with you all, as I feel that my husband and I had a “non-traditional” trip planned for our mini moon. If you’re thinking that maybe your own trip itinerary doesn’t fit the mold, we are here to tell you, every honeymoon is equally amazing, regardless of when you take it.
While planning our wedding, my husband and I decided that it was best for us and our budget, to do a smaller scale trip directly following our wedding and to plan a larger trip the following year. I still wanted to make it as special and romantic as possible. I did a lot of research and we decided on a mini trip to Charleston, South Carolina. We had always loved the south and wanted to go somewhere warm, that still could give us an island vacation type feel. I searched all of the websites, such as Trip Advisor, The Knot, etc. but I ultimately decided on a deal from Expedia which included hotel and airfare together. They were amazing, especially since we were scheduled to go the week after a major hurricane had hit the area. Luckily, we ended up being able to still go on the trip, but the options that were available to us if we had any weather issues were very relieving. We were married on Sunday and left for Charleston early that Tuesday.
We picked The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, which had just the right amount of island resort feel, complete with a short ride into the city of Charleston, where there were endless things to do. The resort had an on site restaurant (which served breakfast, lunch and dinner), a spa, several pools and a beach bar. It also had a gym, access to the beach, helicopter rides and an amazing view. We loved that we had everything readily available, because for the first day, we were so exhausted from the week prior that we just stayed on site. The first day we were there, we arrived early in the morning, had a drink and put down our bags. We laid down and fell asleep for 6 hours, above the covers, out cold. The post wedding crash is real, so I highly recommend not planning anything too crazy for your first night of your trip, unless you have had a few days (at least) in between the wedding and your trip. Below are photos I took from our resort.
Once we got past the post wedding exhaustion, we were able to enjoy our spa appointments, which I had set up in advance for the following morning. One thing that I would truly recommend you splurge on is couples massage; you may not even realize how much you need it until you have had it. (You can thank me later). Pro tip: Always try to book your spa appointments in advance, so that you can secure your preferred time. Availability is minimal at some resorts if you try to book during your stay, versus if you book in advance. Following the spa, we had a nice lunch at the resort restaurant and got ready to see Charleston.
One thing that I would suggest to all couples, is that if you are going somewhere within the United States, you should look into comparing prices of renting a car, versus spending all of your money on Uber. If you are somewhere where you think you can handle exploring on your own, I 100% say that you splurge on the rental, so that you aren’t at the mercy of transportation that isn’t readily available to you. While shuttle buses from hotels to town are great, if you are the type of couple that want to stay out past the 8pm curfew, renting a car allows you to enjoy your trip on your own terms, and that is just what we did. We even opted for the higher end car so that we could ride around in style for the few days we were there.
We had heard from multiple friends about the food in Charleston, and let me tell you – a bride post wedding is a bride that wants nothing more than to EAT. We got a list of restaurants about 2 pages long from our friends, and while we couldn’t get to them all, we spent our mornings researching what our favorite option would be. We made it a goal to try to eat dinner out every night at a place in Charleston, while breakfast was spent either at the resort or a quick bite at an inexpensive breakfast spot. This way, we weren't spending our entire budget on food, and had budget left for excursions. In Charleston, there are endless amounts of things to try, such as taking a horse and buggy ride around Old Town, walking around near the Pineapple Fountain, or even going to visit places further inland, like the Angel Oak – which is the oldest and largest in the state. We even decided to take a tour of a plantation, which allowed us to really soak in a bit of history while on our trip.
Towards the end of our trip, we spent a lot of time by the pool relaxing and enjoying the beach bar. It is SO important to just take some relaxation time with each other before going back to your regular routines.
Some things that I would recommend while planning your trip are:
All in all, it truly is important to remember what a honeymoon is supposed to be about. Your trip is meant to be about relaxing after the stress of planning your wedding and having some together time to soak in the fact that you are now married, no matter where you go. You could do a quick weekend getaway at a place somewhere near your home, a trip out of state or a getaway to another country. It also doesn’t matter when you plan it for, whether that be directly after your wedding, a few months, or even a year later. It is still going to happen and it will be amazing.
With love, your Lead Planner Brielle