Episode 10: The Honeymoon
Episode 10 of The Bouquet Toss is all about the tradition of the honeymoon! Learn where this tradition came from some fun facts about honeymoons to consider incorporating into your plans. Subscribe to The Bouquet Toss Podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app!
Listen to Episode #10: The Honeymoon
The focus of this episode and article is one that we’d venture to say that many couples look forward to more than the wedding itself… and that is the honeymoon!
The thought of going on a romantic getaway with your new spouse while tuning out the rest of the world sounds like pure bliss. But have you ever wondered how this tradition came about?
The history of the honeymoon is actually a bit dark, so tune in to find out where it came from, as well as plenty of tips and tricks for planning the honeymoon of your dream on the budget of your reality!
Where did the honeymoon tradition come from?
The concept of the “honeymoon” dates back as far as the fifth century. In a number of cultures, the passage of time was measured the only way possible: via moon cycles. At weddings, couples were gifted a “moon’s worth” (or, roughly enough to last a month) of mead for them to drink together.
Mead, which is an alcoholic honey wine, was believed to be an aphrodisiac in those times. The couple was expected to essentially indulge in heavy wine drinking for 30 days– the idea being that getting drunk would help to establish sexual intimacy. Of course, the ultimate goal was for the couples to successfully conceive their first child during this time.
As a result, many historians believe the term “honeymoon” was coined from this concept: it’s a moon’s worth of honey wine.
In the mid-18th century, Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary defined “honeymoon” as “the first month after marriage when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure.” There was also an implication that the couples’ affections would wane with the moon.
Honeymoons Dark History
Though today we think of honeymoons with much joy and excitement, the history of this tradition is actually a bit gloomier if you look at the origins more critically.
According to wedding historian Susan Waggoner, the honeymoon dates as far back as the days when marriage by capture was the norm. After stealing his bride from her family, the groom would sweep her away to a secret location where she couldn’t be located or rescued. Typically, the groom would keep his bride hidden away until her family gave up their search or she became pregnant, which would render her return a bit controversial.
After marriage-by-capture fell out of practice, the honeymoon “abduction” was replaced with a symbolic ritual. The groom would take the bride away with her family’s agreement and consent– with a handsome fee exchanged once the deed was done. According to Waggoner, it later became customary for the groom to pay the father a bride price beforehand and to have a public ceremony before completing the ‘abduction.'”
The Modern Honeymoon
These days, the honeymoon is something that is filled with great joy and excitement, which means it has greatly evolved from the dark roots of its origin. Now, couples look forward to their romantic getaway with their new spouse– sometimes even more so than the wedding day itself!
Honeymoon Facts + Figures
Check out these honeymoon facts shared by Honeymoon Goals.
99% of couples who plan a “traditional” wedding will take a honeymoon.
The most popular US honeymoon destinations are Hawaii, Florida, California, and Nevada.
75% of American couples honeymooned in the US or Canada in the last 5 years.
Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Italy, St. Lucia, and France are all very popular choices for overseas honeymoons.
10% of newlyweds go on a cruise to celebrate their honeymoon.
The average honeymoon is 7 days.
The average cost of a honeymoon is around $4,466.
“Luxury honeymoons” represent around 15% of trips, and cost on average $9,950.
Remember what we say about averages– take them with a grain of salt!
US Couples spend 3x as much on their honeymoon than a typical vacation.
12 Billion dollars per year is spent on the honeymoon industry.
62% of couples pay for their own honeymoon.
The Maldives! With multiple, hours-long flights and swanky overwater bungalows– this destination takes the cake as the most luxe honeymoon experience for couples.
Popular Honeymoon Trends for Modern Couples
YOLO honeymoons. Travel agents report that many couples are adopting the “you only live once” mantra and are splurging on insta-worthy trips of a lifetime. They are opting for longer, more exotic, and more expensive trips than ever before– in many cases, forgoing the bigger wedding in order to do so! Popular luxe destinations include Bora Bora, the Maldives, and Tahiti.
Road trips, campervans, and glamping. Instead of lying on a pool chair for a few days, some couples are renting cars or RVs to get out on the open road. Not only is it a safer way to travel during pandemic times, but it also allows them to visit multiple destinations along the way.
Volunteer honeymoons. Some couples choose to spend their honeymoon serving others in what’s been coined as “Voluntourism.” Sharing good fortune and time with those who might be less fortunate by volunteering or doing charity work for a non-profit organization is a noble way to spend a honeymoon! New spouses can share a life-changing experience by volunteering with organizations in countries such as Nepal, Thailand, or Borneo.
Wellness vacations. “Treat yo’self” has become the anthem of millennials. Wellness vacations are a growing trend in general, so of course that includes honeymoons as well! Couples can enjoy all types of pampering experiences, from luxurious spas to nutrition centers, to outdoor and nature centers to get more in touch with their health and wellbeing together.
Buddymoons. A recent study revealed one in five newlywed couples go on honeymoons with friends or their families, with 12% bringing their parents on the trip, too!
Cost-saving honeymoon alternatives:
Mini-moons and Micro-moons. Couples might choose to have a smaller honeymoon or travel somewhere local for a weekend if they are looking to save money.
Later-moons. If your schedule is packed or money is extra tight, you could opt to delay your honeymoon to a later time. (However, we say, if at all possible, take a getaway for yourself ASAP.)
Skip it completely. Some couples might opt to forgo the honeymoon entirely. They may decide to put those funds toward a down payment on a house or another big purchase.
Two honeymoons. Since a wedding can be so expensive, many couples are choosing to go on a short, inexpensive mini-moon right after their wedding. Then, they’ll also plan a longer trip later in the year or on their one year anniversary.
Destination wedding with Extended Honeymoon. Many couples choose to package their weddings and honeymoons into one by having destination weddings. Then, they get extra time away and often get a great deal in doing so.
Go in the offseason. Instead of going to a tropical island during peak season, try the off-season to save money. Alternatively, you could go somewhere cold and snowy for alternative honeymoon vibes.
Start a Honeyfund! If you want to take the trip of your dreams and want some help affording the bill, start a Honeyfund! Honeyfund allows your guests to contribute cash gifts towards your dream honeymoon or any other savings goal like a downpayment on a house.
Planning a honeymoon that suits you!
Just like with all trends and traditions we talk about, the important thing is what matters most to you and your partner. Tailor the tradition to suit you!
The first thing you can do is get clear on what you’re comfortable spending on your honeymoon trip. It can be tough to afford both a wedding and a honeymoon at the same time. You and your partner will need to prioritize what matters most to you.
Some couples are opting to elope or have intimate microweddings in order to have the epic honeymoon of their dreams.
Some couples also take advantage of setting up a honeymoon registry like Honeyfund in lieu of a traditional gift registry. This allows them to get some financial contributions towards their honeymoon costs. This could be the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too!
Remember, the most important thing is to plan a wedding and honeymoon that feels authentic to you within your means.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- The Surprising History behind Honeymoons via The NY Post
- Moon Cycles Explained via History Extra
- The Gloomy History Behind Honeymoons via BRIDES
- Budgetsavvyhoneymoon.com eBook
As with everything we discuss here on The Bouquet Toss, it doesn’t *really* matter what we think, it’s about choosing what works for YOU and tossing the rest!
We want to know what YOU think about honeymoons and what your plans are for yours! Join us in our private community where we’re discussing this, or visit our Instagram page to comment on the post about this episode!
About The Bouquet Toss Podcast
The Bouquet Toss is a wedding planning podcast that empowers couples to plan a meaningful, authentic, and affordable wedding celebration! On the show, we will have candid conversations all about weddings and why we do them the way we do so that couples can plan their weddings based on their own values, and not on the expectations of others.
In our Budget-Savvy Wedding Planning Community, we see the same questions asked over and over again. So many couples seem to be seeking permission to plan their weddings on their own terms, and we’re here to say go for it! We believe you should have your day, your way and our goal is to help empower you to plan a wedding celebration that actually feels authentic to you.
In case you missed it, check out our other episodes:
- Episode 1: The Bouquet Toss
- Episode 2: The White Dress
- Episode 3: The Bridal Party
- Episode 4: The Diamond Engagement Ring
- Episode 5: The Wedding Dances
- Episode 6: The Wedding Cake
- Episode 7: Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue
- Episode 8: The Wedding Veil
- Episode 9: The Unity Candle
- Episode 10: The Honeymoon
- Episode 11: The Speeches
- Episode 12: Giving the Bride Away
- Episode 13: The Send Off
- Episode 15: Wedding Loans
- Episode 16: Wedding Lighting Trends
- Episode 17: Sustainable Weddings
- Episode 18: Livestreaming Your Wedding
- Episode 19: Wedding Beauty Trends
- Episode 20: The Rise of Elopements
- Episode 21: The Wedding Rental Revolution
- Episode 22: Pressed Flower Details
- Episode 23: Epic Wedding Photography
- Episode 24: Alternative Wedding Style
- Episode 25: Wedding Dessert Trends
- Episode 26: Personalized Wedding Vows