Why We Waited a Week for Our Honeymoon

posted by Andrea | 06/30/2017
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Today is Dave and my 11-year anniversary — which means I’ve officially been married to him for more than 1/3 of my life!

I’ve shared several other fun anniversary posts in the past, but today, I want to share a bit more about our honeymoon — more specifically why waiting a week to go on our honeymoon was one of the best and smartest decisions we made so early in our marriage!

Why did we wait?

Initially, the ONLY reason we waited a week to go on our honeymoon is because very good friends of our were getting married the weekend after us and Dave was standing up in their wedding. We didn’t want to rush our honeymoon to be back only 5 days later for rehearsal dinner, so we decided we’d just wait a week.

I was a little bummed at first, but as time progressed and as we began planning our honeymoon and preparing to move into our first house together, we both decided that waiting a week for our honeymoon would actually work out really REALLY well!

In fact, I was even excited to have a whole week in between our wedding and honeymoon.

How waiting a week worked for us.

I realize that inserting a full week of down-time between a wedding and a honeymoon wouldn’t work for many people — especially if you have limited vacation days. However, the fact that Dave is a teacher (with the entire summer off) and I had just graduated from college and didn’t need to start my job until September, meant that we literally had the entire summer to do whatever we wanted!

We really had no rush to take a quick honeymoon and then be back in time for work, so taking a “buffer week” in between really didn’t make any difference to us in terms of working time or vacation time.

Why we LOVED waiting a week.

There are honestly SO many reasons why waiting a week for our honeymoon was such a fantastic decision for our situation… I’m sharing our top 5 today!

1. We didn’t have to worry about packing or preparing for our wedding AND our honeymoon at the same time. 

At the time, Dave had been teaching in California… and he didn’t move back to Michigan until 10 days before our wedding. I was also RIGHT in the middle of moving all our things into our new home (that I purchased while Dave was still in CA) as well as painting several rooms, getting new light fixtures, having new carpet installed, etc. etc.

Add all the wedding prep on top of that, and I had a fairly full plate!

Getting everything ready for our new house and the wedding was enough work — I feel like packing and preparing for a honeymoon would have just been one more thing to worry about during an already busy time of life.

By waiting a week for our honeymoon, Dave and I were able to focus on our wedding, and then spend a full week officially moving into our new home before we had to leave again for our honeymoon. It certainly seemed like less work to me this way.

2. We didn’t have to leave our wedding reception early. 

You would not believe how many weddings we’ve been to where the bride and groom leave the reception super early because they need to drive a few hours to the nearest airport in order to catch a red-eye flight to their honeymoon destination.

Dave and I were able to fully enjoy our reception, stay and party all night long, and were officially the last people to walk our the door just minutes before we were required to be gone from our reception venue!

We then drove less than 1 mile to our new home and spent the night there — without the need to pack anything, worry about forgetting anything, worry about checking in, checking out, or paying for a fancy hotel.

It was FABULOUS!

3. We got to sleep in the day after our wedding. 

As I mentioned above, Dave and I decided we didn’t want to go to a fancy or expensive hotel after our wedding. Instead, we just wanted to go “home” to our new house (shocking, I know!)

So many people thought we were weird, but we were both so happy with this decision — especially since we got to sleep in the morning after our wedding and didn’t have to worry about packing up or checking out by 10:00 am.

4. We opened all our gifts right away. 

After sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely breakfast in our own home, Dave and I opened all our gifts the next day after our wedding.

We were able to put everything away immediately, wash the sheets and towels, and even return the few things that needed to be returned (duplicates, wrong colors, etc.)

5. We sent out all our thank you cards AND ordered our pictures! 

I know this might sound crazy, but we honestly sent out all our thank you cards and ordered our wedding photos and photo album in the week between our wedding and honeymoon.

It felt so great to cross these 2 things off our list before we even left for our honeymoon… not to mention we got our photo albums back SO quickly!

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Like I mentioned above, I fully understand why it wouldn’t be possible for everyone to wait a full week between the wedding and reception — but even waiting 1 or 2 days would offer enough time and “breathing room” to enjoy the wedding/reception before switching gears to pack and prepare for the honeymoon.

Looking back, I can see how this decision suited Dave and my personalities so well (neither one of us like feeling “frantic” or “rushed”) — and it literally helped to start our marriage off on a happy note.

So I guess we owe a big thanks to our friends for getting married a few days after us and “forcing” us to wait a week for our honeymoon!

I’d love to know if any of you waited to go on your honeymoon.

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49 comments

  1. Rachel

    07/10/2017

    Happy anniversary! We did not leave immediately on our honeymoon either. I thought it would be special to spend our first night as a couple in our new (to me) home, but I didn’t want to tell anyone that is what we were doing. I didn’t trust our crew to not come banging on the door early in the morning LOL. My family was all from out of town. Two different siblings asked if after the reception, they could come by and do a little fishing in the pond. (remember they didn’t know we were going to be there). I told my husband, it looked like my family was all going to come to the house….might as well invite his family too. And have the leftover food from the rehearsal dinner. Folks thought we were crazy to have both sides there on our wedding night. But I’m so glad we did. It was great memories and a time for the two families to hang out – they probably never will again until our funerals. We were able to open all of the wedding gifts and cards (although I did not get notes written like you did) They did eventually leave LOL And I can still give them a hard time about crashing our wedding night.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    OK, that IS a pretty crazy story! I don’t think I know anyone who invited all their family over on their wedding night 🙂

    Your reception must have been early then? Our receipt didn’t get over until after midnight and it was almost 1:00 by the time we got back to our house! We didn’t have to worry about family wanting to come over then 🙂

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  2. Jill W

    07/04/2017

    Hi Andrea,

    My husband and I are getting ready to celebrate our 10 year anniversary on July 14. It’s funny that I am reading this because I just had this conversation with a friend about how I would have waited a week if possible to go on our honeymoon. We were married on a Saturday and left for our honeymoon on Monday afternoon. The Sunday between was AMAZING. I teach also and would have loved to have had a few more days before leaving but my husband’s family owes a restaurant so time off work was definitely an issue with him. Nonetheless, it was so nice to be able to enjoy our reception until the very end, sleep in on Sunday and then pack our last minute items before leaving for the airport. Great post~

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  3. Julie S-H

    07/04/2017

    Happy Anniversary! We just had our 22 year anniversary 😉

    We did everything backwards, but it worked great! We lived together, then did the honeymoon, then got married. When we got engaged one of our parents gave us airline miles for free airline tickets which we had to use before a certain date (before the miles expired!), so we had to hurry up with that. We made that our honeymoon and went to Brazil to see an eclipse of the sun (1994). While there we got a wedding band, which I call our honeymoon ring. Then we had a ring made in San Francisco for the engagement (a friend of mine had an uncle jeweler who made rings for Cartier!). So we did it all backwards but it was lots of fun! I got silver short bridesmaids dresses when I.Magnin & Co. was closing (fancy San Francisco store) for $10.00 each! We did stay in Monterey, CA a few nights after we got married also for a little Honeymoonette!

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  4. Tina

    07/04/2017

    Wow, I wasn’t this busy the week after we married. Once, I was still working until we left for the honeymoon. But my main reason was that I had to organize temporary passports and to re-organize the visas for Russia, Mongolia and China, as our passports got lost in the mail the week before! (we did the Transiberian Express Train Journey as a honeymoon) The main reason though why we waited, was because I changed my last name to my husband’s name and with formalities and reservations it was easier, when everything was under the new name.
    My husband received the wedding album with our pictures two years ago for his 40th birthday – only seven years after the wedding…. 😉 Tina

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  5. Mary in Maryland

    07/01/2017

    We married at 57 and 60, after sixteen years together. And many fine vacations and trips. I was actually surprised that almost everyone who came through the receiving line asked where we were going on our honeymoon. We were both election judges three days after the wedding. We joke about which of our trips we should relabel as the honeymoon.

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  6. babs

    07/01/2017

    Happy Anniversary to both of you!! You have been blessed with a super, caring husband, as he has been blessed with a very special wife!! I feel sad tho’ for the ones that have mentioned they haven’t even been on a honeymoon for YEARS!!! There is something very special about a honeymoon; my husband and I left for ours the next morning after the wedding and it always is very special to me and means so much!! I pray that someday soon you ladies that haven’t been on one yet, that it will happen soon, you never know when your beloved will be taken from this Earth and you wished you would of had that special time together!

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  7. Shomu

    07/01/2017

    We did put a “buffer week” between our marriage n honeymoon. Especially to fizz out all the great Indian wedding chaos. And then we settled into our new apartment (rented ofcors) which helped us settle little things in place for the new home (instead of coming back into reality types post vacation otherwise) and then thirdly n luckily the week later was Xmas n New year combined. Though our honeymoon costed a few money more it made it look grand ofcors. N then with all hopes n love bloomed at the peak for honeymoon cum 1st vacation we set off to Bali afresh. A gorgeous mesmerising place to be for a newly wedded couple.

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  8. JoDi

    06/30/2017

    Happy 11th anniversary!

    I definitely think it’s better to wait at least a day before leaving on the honeymoon. I can’t recall anyone I know who left for their honeymoon right after their wedding. (I always thought that the bride and groom being whisked away to their honeymoon right after the reception was a thing from a past era or the movies!) All of our family and friends have waited at least a day before leaving but often a week or more. Most have spent the first night in a hotel nearby or at the wedding venue if it had accommodations, and a lot of times everyone staying from out of town has breakfast or brunch together the next day with the bride and groom. Everything seems a lot more relaxed that way.

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  9. JJ

    06/30/2017

    Happy Anniversary! Those are excellent reasons for you to do that! I like how you make the most of your situations and do what’s best for you! We did go on ours right away, because I was moving from MI to NY. That’s great you got your thank you cards out so soon!

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  10. Debbie

    06/30/2017

    We waited 2 days after our wedding to go on our honeymoon, much for the same reasons as others have said. We had many out of town guests at our wedding, so we had a special brunch with them on Sunday morning before many of them left. We also had to drive 3 hours back to where we lived in Austin (our wedding was in Houston) so it made sense to leave some extra time after the wedding before leaving for the honeymoon. Definitely a good idea so we had a little down time in between everything.

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  11. Jamie

    06/30/2017

    We waited a couple weeks to go on our honeymoon but unlike you, I wish we hadn’t waited. We were married on December 6th and didn’t go until Dec 26th. I did enjoy being able to go back to our new apartment and just have a couple days of getting things set up and moved in. We spent a week in Disney for our honeymoon. Stupid us thought Christmas would be a slower time to go. I was also teaching at the time and it was my first year at a new school. The school always had a BIG Christmas program that was mandatory so I felt like I couldn’t miss it. My principal told me I was free to miss it but I felt like I needed to be there for my students. Plus I didn’t have to use any PTO because that was already our Christmas break. Disney was CRAZY busy the week after Christmas. The week after our wedding would have been a much nicer and slower time at Disney. The park was so packed that they weren’t allowing people in at 3 different times during our stay. One night when we tried to exit the park, it was so packed we could not make it out. An employee ended up taking us out the back alley behind Main Street. Totally changes the feeling of Disney seeing it that way. lol

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    I forgot to say Happy Anniversary! Today is our anniversary of our first date 16 years ago. 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    OH MY WORD! So… Dave and I hate theme parks and would never want to do Disney — but I do know TONS of people who’ve done Disney for their honeymoon (sort of sweet in my opinion).

    That said, I have a friend who works with Disney and he says that the week between Christmas and New Years is actually their busiest week of the WHOLE year! You should definitely go back again for an anniversary get-away (actually go around December 6)!

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    Lea Reply:

    I think we were there that same week! If it was the same time we were there, there were three bowl games in Orlando that week so that was part of the reason for the huge crowds. It’s usually Not that busy – they’ve only closed the parks to new entrants a handful of times in history. Christmas to New Years is definitely the busiest time though.

    Definitely try it again at a slower time of year before you say ‘never again’.

    Lea

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  12. Heather

    06/30/2017

    Us! We waited for practical reasons initially too (hubby was looking for a job, plus we couldn’t decide where to go and we’d not long moved back from the other side of the world). But it worked really well for us. For many of the reasons you mentioned (although I’ve never been to a wedding where the bride and groom left early – is that an American thing?) but especially the relaxed next day where we had a lie in, opened our cards and spent time with just our close family (we stayed two nights at our wedding reception venue). We took a mini moon a few weekend later, then a week away and finally a big African safari trip six months later – and we class them all as honeymoons!

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    Heather, it’s more of an old-fashioned thing that an American thing, as far as leaving the reception early. People didn’t used to be intimate, if you know what I mean, until after the wedding, so they were understandably not wanting to hang around all evening. Recessions didn’t used to be as fauna and elaborate as they are now. A simple buffet dinner, punch and cake, and hours of conversation and reminiscing with the old relatives was what happened at wedding receptions back in the good old days! Getting off alone together was what couple wanted to do!
    Another point is that many new couples lived with extended family, so a honeymoon was the only chance they would have for years to be alone together enjoying the benefits of marriage.That’s why the honeymoon trip.
    And last, etiquette in the old days said that guest could not leave until the couple had left! The mother of the bride ended up being the one to clean, pack, organize, etc. and be the last one out.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    This is great — thanks for sharing Jenny!
    I actually didn’t think of any of these reasons for why the couple would leave early — Dave and I definitely didn’t want to leave early as we wanted to stay and be with all our out-of-town friends and relatives who would be going home the next day. We would have felt like we were “missing out” if we had left early!
    Also, I’m sure my mom is glad we didn’t stick her with picking everything up 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — sounds like you got lots of honeymoons!! Good for you!

    And in case you didn’t see it, Jenny responded to your question about the bride and groom leaving the wedding early (she has the whole history of it — lots of good info!)

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  13. Debbie

    06/30/2017

    Happy 11th Anniversary!!! I can see why waiting a week for your honeymoon was the best option for you. We left the very next morning after our reception, but we were also one of the few left at the reception to leave and we even helped clean up. It was such a fun reception. My matron of honor, family, and close friends took all our gifts to our apartment. Our apartment was already set up with everything we need since I was living there for a few days already. All that was needed was for my husband to move in with his clothes after we got back from our honeymoon. We wouldn’t have been able to go back to work for a week then leave the following weekend for the honeymoon. I don’t think I’d enjoy that at all. I was so excited to go and vacation even after all the excitement from the wedding. The only thing I regret was not being able to stay at the hotel one more night before catching our flight. The hotel lodging was gifted to us and it’s the fanciest hotel in town. I would have paid one night to extend it., but it would cut our honeymoon trip by 1 day. We checked in late and checked out super early that we didn’t soak in the experience of staying in that fancy room. We were also super tired once we arrived in Riviera Maya, MX, but it didn’t really matter much because the all-inclusive resort was amazing and we napped at the beach/pool. So fun to look back at that. I’d do it all again, probably exactly the same except stay one more night at Davenport Hotel and ask for 1 more day of vacation from work.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debbie — and yes, you should definitely go back to that fancy hotel some time for an anniversary getaway!

    [Reply]

  14. Kelley

    06/30/2017

    We waited a week to go on our Honeymoon as well! Like you, we were able to open our gifts and send out thank you cards before we even left…what a relief to get that done! I took a couple of days off before the wedding, so it was great to get back to work and get loose ends tied up before we left (this was before you could check your email by phone lol).

    [Reply]

  15. Juliette | For the Sake of Good Taste

    06/30/2017

    Absolutely love this idea! Will definitely be stealing it if it’s a doable option when the time comes.

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  16. Tracey

    06/30/2017

    Brilliant! I will encourage my kids to do the same someday if they can. We left the next day. I was teaching and off for the summer, but my husband would have had to work that week before leaving for our honeymoon, and I would have kept on painting, etc, in our new old house. Still, it might have been great!

    Happy Anniversary!!

    [Reply]

    Tracey Reply:

    PS – Just curious, where was your honeymoon?

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    Yes, I wondered that, too. It looks beautiful, and so does the happy couple!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Puerto Vallarta — it was fantastic! So far, it’s the only vacation we’ve ever taken with just the 2 of us (not with other friends or extended family). We are so glad we splurged a little for the all-inclusive resort, and we hope to do it again once our kids are a bit older!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Tracy 🙂
    Our honeymoon was at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was fantastic!

    [Reply]

  17. Shan

    06/30/2017

    Andrea, Congratulations to you and Dave!!

    [Reply]

  18. JoAnn C.

    06/30/2017

    Happy Anniversary!!

    [Reply]

  19. Alicia

    06/30/2017

    We waited…and are still waiting 10 years later! Lol! We never had a honeymoon.

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    Ha ~ it’s been 30 years and I’m still waiting also……

    [Reply]

  20. Colleen

    06/30/2017

    We waited a day, this allowed us to stay at the reception ’til the end. We stayed in a room at the reception site, then we were able to have brunch with our out-of-town guests the next day before driving to the airport & starting our honeymoon. This actually cut into our honeymoon a day (we’ve never been able to take more than a week off at a time), but the extra time with our out-of-town relatives was priceless. It was also a far more relaxed departure, which after the bustle of the wedding was very nice!

    [Reply]

  21. Olivia

    06/30/2017

    We waited almost a year! I got a job offer upon graduating college that required me to move 3 hours away at the end of May. We were (unofficially) planning to get married at the end of the summer in a low-key wedding, but decided on a whim to go ahead and get married before moving. We planned our wedding in two weeks – I already had my dress, my sister & his brother were our only attendants, ceremony & reception were at the church where he grew up and worked, etc. The wedding was on Saturday, and my new job started bright & early Monday morning! Given that we were “broke college kids” at the time, the expenses of a wedding and a move, plus a brand new job, meant that we had to wait a little while. It worked for us though!

    [Reply]

  22. Kristen

    06/30/2017

    We waited 2 1/2 months. My FIL was in a car accident the week before the wedding and in the hospital for most of that time. We postponed the honeymoon out of necessity, but now I tell my friends to wait. In addition to the reasons you listed, it also gave us time to save a little more money. There are always a few unexpected expenses with weddings, even if yours is low-key, that it was nice to pad the honeymoon account a little more.

    [Reply]

  23. Francie

    06/30/2017

    Happy anniversary. Its also my 11th year anniversary on July 3rd. Congrats! http://www.supersimpleways.com

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Francie! Happy anniversary to you too!

    [Reply]

  24. Jenn S.

    06/30/2017

    We enjoyed a weekend (so short, I know – but a three day weekend, though!) away about three months after our July 2014 wedding. Although we had vacation time, our jobs are demanding; it was just difficult to take the time.

    I’m hoping we make time for a bigger, “proper,” vacation soon! 😀

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, get planning that bigger vacation!! It will be so nice and you’ll definitely want to do it before you have kids (if that’s in your plans).

    [Reply]

  25. Karen Sunstein

    06/30/2017

    Happy anniversary! !!

    [Reply]

  26. Melissa

    06/30/2017

    We got married in mid September but I work for school districts and could not just take a week off. We waited until Christmas break to go on our honeymoon, so 3 whole months later. We loved it! We enjoyed just the wedding and moving into our new apartment first. We knew we wanted to go to Disney World but didn’t plan a thing until after the wedding. It was so fun to have our honeymoon to look forward to without any wedding stress. I always recommend waiting now. And even though I work for schools, I really wanted a Fall wedding and I was not going to sacrifice that. So it was weird going back to work just a few days later but I wouldn’t change anything.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — good for you! I really wanted a Fall wedding too (Michigan is GORGEOUS in the fall) but opted for the more practical June wedding to accommodate Dave’s school schedule. I’m glad we did what we did — but I still think about how lovely a fall wedding would have been 🙂

    [Reply]

  27. Amber Woods

    06/30/2017

    Andrea,

    I 100% agree! We got married the first weekend in July of 2012 and didn’t go on our honeymoon until October. It was wonderful. Like you, we got to get settled in our new place that week. We did other things like get my name changed, order my new social security card and stock our home with groceries and work on getting everything set the way we wanted in our new apartment.

    It was a great decision for us to delay our honeymoon.

    [Reply]

  28. Ashley

    06/30/2017

    We went home after our reception, too! We both loved the idea of spending that special first night in the place we would be sharing together rather than some arbitrary hotel room we’d likely never see again. I can’t remember how long it was before we left for our honeymoon, but we had to drive 4 hours to the airport. We had enough time that we were able to spend the night at a halfway point (we would have spent that night in a hotel anyway) and enjoy some things in that city first. Then on to the city we flew out of. I know we got some downtime they’re as well, though I can’t recall if it was before or after our actual honeymoon. I remember the people at the resort commenting that we looked so rested and relaxed upon our arrival! I think that was the beast part: we never felt rushed to get anywhere and got to truly enjoy it all. Plus that time at home was so special!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we LOVED our week at home too! And we definitely felt calm, relaxed, and rested even before we left for our honeymoon!

    [Reply]

  29. Kellie Denton

    06/30/2017

    Ahh this is an amazing idea! We did wait two days between our wedding and flying off to our honeymoon and I remember even eight years ago our friends thought that sounded a bit crazy. But the more I read your post, the better a week in between sounded! My husband and I were still in shock when we landed at the resort – we were still processing the wedding and tired from all the planning and festivities. We still had a fabulous time but I do understand how a week in between would be super nice. Happy belated Anniversary Andrea!

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  30. Amber

    06/30/2017

    We waited six months to go on our honeymoon. We got married last May, and didn’t go on our honeymoon until Thanksgiving. We did that for several reasons: we had more time to Dave up for our honeymoon, we had more time to plan our honeymoon as we spent all of our time planning the wedding, because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we didn’t have to take as much time off work, we didn’t want to go somewhere tropical when it was already summer here. Waiting was hard, but it was really the best decision. We had time to relax and come down from the “high” of the wedding, and still had something to look forward to down the road. It was also so nice to go somewhere warm while it was cold back home! We had a blast, and I think it worked great for us to wait. Thanks for sharing your honeymoon story!

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  31. Anna Veltema

    06/30/2017

    Our wedding was on a Saturday and we didn’t leave for our honeymoon until Monday morning and I’ve never regretted that choice! We did stay overnight in a hotel but then went back to our apartment on Sunday after sleeping in and getting a hot breakfast at the hotel and we had both our sets of parents over to eat leftover cake and appetizers for lunch. We opened all our cards and gifts with them. The best part was being able to get all the thank you notes written on the plane to Cancun and putting them in the mail the day after we got back! Everyone told us how impressed they were to have the thank yous within a week of our wedding!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yeah, the thank-you notes were a HUGE relief to finish before we left for vacation!

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