For couples eyeing honeymoon destinations in places they've never previously explored—whether in the Caribbean, Europe, South Africa, or somewhere else far-flung—deciding whether or not to take your post-nuptial trip immediately following your wedding can feel daunting. On one hand, there's something so romantic about jetting off mere hours or days after you've said "I do." On the other hand, there are plenty of uncertainties and very good reasons why it may be worth holding off for a few weeks, a few months, or even longer.
"When destinations are more foreign to Americans—places like Thailand and Bali, or locations in the Southern Hemisphere—the first question couples ask me is when's the best time to travel," says honeymoon travel specialist Laura Hanaford, CEO of The Trip Trotter Inc., a Tzell Travel Group Affiliate. "As most weddings are held between June and October, that's a very legitimate question, because our summer is winter in Australia and it's also the rainy season in Southeast Asia."
Hanaford, who estimates that she's booked close to 100 honeymoons in the past five years alone, says that most couples still decide to take their trip immediately or shortly after their wedding. With that said, she adds that she's seen plenty of couples who are willing to sacrifice timing for better weather in a bucket-list destination, more consecutive vacation days, and even price.
"Depending on your wedding date, cost can also be a good reason to postpone your honeymoon as high wedding season corresponds with high travel season in Europe," says Hanaford. "For couples who want the full luxury European honeymoon experience, but might not quite have the budget, traveling during the shoulder season or the low season is an attractive option—but that might also mean postponing their travel dates," says Hanaford.
If four to six months sounds like a long time to wait, how about years? "I'm working with more and more couples who are taking delayed honeymoons up to one to two years after their wedding because they paid for the wedding themselves and didn't have the means at the time to take the trip of their dreams immediately," says Hanaford. "But that doesn't mean they're not going to do it. They've just waited until they've been able to build their savings back up."
Whatever the reason, if you're considering postponing your honeymoon, Hanaford recommends booking a mini-moon. "That way you really get the best of both worlds," she says. "Last year I had a couple who was getting married in March but wanted to go to Europe to hit several festivals, including Oktoberfest. I planned a four-day mini-moon for them to the Caribbean right after their wedding and then they waited six months for their big Euro trip. They loved it!"