While focusing on planning the details for your wedding is important, my husband and I wanted to put together a post that gives our top 7 tips for planning your honeymoon! Because, real talk, once all the stress of wedding planning is over you will both 1000% need to treat yourselves to a getaway.
1. START DISCUSSING SOONER RATHER THAN LATER
We started discussing our honeymoon within the first two weeks of getting engaged (we had a 6 month engagement). I would recommend getting the conversation going sooner rather than later, that way you have plenty of time to research locations, lodging options, and travel logistics. Keep in mind that you can usually get flights/hotels cheaper if you purchase further out.
2. SET A BUDGET
Our honeymoon was a high priority, so our budget was pretty hefty. Wedding expenses like centerpieces and embossed invitations didn’t matter to us, so we allocated less towards the decor portion of our budget and more towards our honeymoon. We also did a fair amount of DIY for our wedding. For example:
- My sister did my makeup & designed our invitations
- One of my bridesmaids styled my hair
- We bought our flowers at cost and DIY’d the bridesmaids bouquets
Seriously, just pay for what’s important to you and get crafty with the rest. And don’t forget that your wedding is one day, but your honeymoon can be 1-2 weeks (think bang for your buck!).
3. GET ON THE SAME PAGE & BE SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT
Setting expectations for what your honeymoon looks like is going to go a long way in guiding your conversations + planning. For example, what expectation do you both have for activities? I tend to go stir crazy if I sit for too long, so choosing an all-inclusive resort where our days solely consisted of tanning/eating was not an option! Here are some of the things we considered when mapping out our honeymoon:
- Location (do you want to be at the beach or in the mountains? Stateside or overseas? Is there a dream destination you’ve both always wanted to visit?)
- Itinerary (will you be sipping mai tais poolside, exploring every hiking trail available, or a blend of both?)
- Timing (how long do you want to/can you be away?)
4. WAIT A DAY BEFORE HEADING OUT
Ya’ll, this should honestly be listed first on this list of 7 tips for planning your honeymoon because it is so important. Give yourself a breather day after your wedding before you head out for your honeymoon! We got married on a Saturday and left for our honeymoon on a Monday, and it was seriously the best decision. Here are a few reasons why:
- You get to recoup some sleep before you start travelling. Sleeping in at our hotel the day after our wedding was actual bliss. Weddings are amazing but exhausting, guys!
- You can take care of post-wedding details without feeling stressed. The day after our wedding we picked up the top tier of our cake, wedding presents, and the random items that we left at the venue from my parents. I also took the keys to my car with me to our hotel when we left our wedding, so we made a trip back out to our venue to get my car. It was great to be able to manage all these logistics without feeling rushed or frazzled by a tight timeline.
- You can prep for being away. There was no way we were going to pack for our honeymoon before our wedding, so having a day to do laundry, clean the house and weigh our suitcases before heading to the airport was just lovely.
5. LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GET RECOMMENDATIONS
If you want to share where you’ll be honeymooning, leverage social media to get recommendations from family/friends on what to do while you’re there! Facebook’s “looking for recommendations” status is perfect for this. When we posted that we were going to Maui one of my previous coworkers (who I had forgotten was obsessed with Hawaii!) messaged me to tell me about a mountaintop sunrise tour that we could take. We ended up doing that and it’s one of our favorite memories from the trip!
Also, if people loved their trip they’re 100% going to want to talk about it! I’ve shared detailed recommendations to multiple folks who have vacationed in Maui.
6. STAY AT AN ADULT-ONLY RESORT (BUT SERIOUSLY)
I have nothing against kids BUT I’m going to be straight with you and say that the big family resort is not ideal if you’re on your honeymoon. Tate booked our lodging at the one adult-only resort on Maui, Hotel Waliea. It was the best decision. The resort was private, luxurious, and quiet. We didn’t realize how much we appreciated this until we went to the beach shared with several resorts and heard the constant yelling from children and parents. Adult-only resort, ALL. THE. WAY.
7. DON’T PLAN EVERY DETAIL
I’m a planner to the core, but we didn’t go into our honeymoon with a set itinerary and ended up having THE BEST time! Tate planned a couple of details like our lodging, rental car, and Luau before we got there, but we left our schedule pretty open outside of that.
The first day at our resort we treated ourselves to a bougie breakfast at our resort. Our waitress was a Maui native and when we told her how loosely scheduled our trip was she went out of her way to print out pages of recommendations from our hotel concierge (complete with handwritten notes, I’m not kidding!). We ended up doing 85% of what she suggested, and our trip was 10x better than it would have been if we’d planned it all out ourselves.
All that to say, make sure to pencil in lots of spontaneity. I promise you won’t regret it!
Curious what the results of using these 7 tips for planning your honeymoon could be? Here’s a quick recap of where we stayed + what we did while in Maui. Also, it’s a major bonus for all of you who are wanting to honeymoon in Maui and want some recs!
Lodging: Hotel Wailea, Relais & Château
- We stayed at the Hotel Wailea and LOVED it. Our tour guides told us that it’s the only “adult only” resort on the island.
- The staff were incredible and truly went above and beyond. From complimentary valet to the most helpful concierges, we were blown away by the service we received. The hotel has an incredible pool, views of the ocean, stunning landscaping and a shuttle service down to the beach (where they have a staff member there to greet you with bottled water, towels and beach chairs).
Island Choice: Maui
- We spoke to a lot of friends that have visited all of the islands and we consistently heard that Maui was their favorite, so rather than island-hopping we decided to just consolidate all of our time onto one island. We were so happy with that decision!
- Road to Hana– if you love adventure and don’t get carsick, this is a MUST. You’re essentially driving on these beautiful winding roads through jungle and mountains, while overlooking the ocean. The Jurassic Park movies were filmed on Kauai and Maui, so that should give you an idea of the terrain you’ll be seeing. There are tons of great stops on the road to Hana — my favorite was a black sand beach. There are endless beaches, waterfalls and unique local places to eat on this route. This was honestly my favorite part of the trip.
- Haleakala Sunrise– okay WOW. We were picked up from our hotel at 2a which was rough but so worth it! If you do go, be sure to bring a thermal and windbreaker because WOWZA it was cold and windy at the top of the mountain. Here’s a link to the company we took our tour though.
- Jet Skiing on the ocean– SO FUN. Here’s the company we went through
- Couple’s Massage– you can actually go through the resort and have the massage in your hotel suite. 10/10 recommend.
- Farmer’s Market– ask the locals about when/where it’s happening! We got most of our souvenirs there, and a breakfast burrito that was so dirty my husband is STILLl talking about on a monthly basis.
- Luau– we attended one and it was a great time! Food was definitely so-so, but the open bar + live performance more than made up for it!
- MonkeyPod is a restaurant .5 miles from Hotel Waliea and it was just delicious. If you like mixed drinks you’ve gotta get their Mai Tai (they claim to have the best one on the island and I won’t argue with it!) and the fish and chips they served were the best I’ve ever had. Actually, eat all the fish that you can because it tastes 1000% better than anything we have in the midwest.
- Hawaiian shaved ice is a must (also, splurge and get the ice cream). DELICOUS.
- Kihea Cafe had amazing breakfast food. Can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
- Mama’s Fish House in Paia (on the road to Hana) was incredible. Little pricey but so worth it.
- Maui Brewing Company was an unplanned dinner option that we’re so happy we went with! Amazing craft beer, pizza and ocean views.
In summary, Maui was the perfect blend of relaxing and active (I go stir crazy if I sit by a pool for more than an afternoon). We were there for six days and felt like it was the perfect amount of time to see most of the island and experience everything we wanted to.
And there you have it, 7 tips for planning your honeymoon. I hope it’s absolute bliss for you and your spouse!