You’ve made it to the big day, tied the knot, and now it’s time to unwind from all the stress and excitement. For many couples, organising a dream honeymoon is almost as important as planning the big day. But while our grandparents or parents might have spent a weekend at the sea side at most, our generation aspires to travel to far-flung places with hopes of enjoying the best holiday of our lives.
And just like the wedding itself, a modern day honeymoon often comes at a hig price. The average cost of a honeymoon is now a whopping £4,545, according to wedding site Hitched – so how on earth do you make it work if you’re not flush for cash?
Three couples who afforded their dream honeymoon explain how they did it.
The Couple Who Cut Back On Socialising To Save
Danny, a 31-year-old marketing manager and Alex, a 28-year-old project manager, got married in June and went on a two-week honeymoon to Sri Lanka this March – nine months later. Their wedding, which took place in York, cost them “an absolute fortune” and the couple wanted to avoid getting into any more debt before enjoying their honeymoon, which they paid for themselves.
″We put aside something every month and made sure we were sensible with our social lives – for example inviting friends round for dinner rather than meeting for dinner and not going too hardcore on nights out,” says Danny.
The couple spent £1,200 on flights and £3,000 on spending money and accommodation. They travelled around the county, went on a safari, and did a spot of whale watching.
While they splurged more than they would on a typical holiday, staying in some fancy hotels, Danny said avoiding pricey travel agents and booking things themselves helped keep costs down. You can even research an itinerary with an agent and use it as a basis to book it yourself, he says. “We’re quite well-travelled so we made a list of exactly what we wanted to get out of the holiday.”
And delaying their honeymoon had a dual purpose. It also gave the couple a positive focus beyond their big day. “Your wedding is such a fun day – more fun than you imagine before, having all the people you love there. And it always seemed odd to me that you have your wedding and then go away for a two weeks and then it’s done. [The honeymoon] was such a treat and something to look forward to massively.”
The Couple Getting A Helping Hand From Friends And Family
Abi Kay, a 31-year-old journalist and her partner, Alex, a 33-year-old working in property, are getting married next March and have just completed on their first house, so money is tight.
They’re one of a growing number of couples deciding to ask their guests who want to treat them to contribute cash towards their honeymoon, rather than a present on the day.
The couple are paying for the vast majority of their wedding themselves [“with some limited help”] and are “trying to do things on a shoestring”, Abi tells HuffPost UK.
“A honeymoon is just one of those things where it’s nice to have but we don’t have the money to do it,” she says. “We thought why not ask people to give a contribution towards the honeymoon rather than giving gifts? Realistically that’s the only way we’ll be able to do it,” she says.
Their dream honeymoon would be to hire a Mustang and drive around America, or to holiday somewhere in Asia, Abi tells HuffPost. As well as being a financial solution, it’s also a sentimental idea for the couple – who like the idea of enjoying drinks, for example, on their honeymoon paid for by guests. “We’re not putting pressure on people to do it, but there will be a box for people to add contributions if they like.”
The Couple Who Took Out A Honeymoon Loan
Katie Smith-Wong, 36, a deputy content manager, and her husband, 33-year-old programme manager Chris, married in October 2016 and went away to New York for six days the following year. “March was the earliest time we could go that was affordable,” Katie tells HuffPost UK.
They spent £3,000 on the hotel and flights and a further £1,500 spending money and took out a loan to cover costs.
“Because we weren’t sure how much we’d get from our wedding fund, as well as any contributions from guests, we ended up taking out a loan to secure our honeymoon arrangements ahead of time so that we could look forward to the wedding and have something to look forward to afterwards,” says Katie.
“Honeymoons are a special time, the first time you go away as a married couple. We wanted to be able to enjoy it and relax and have a good time.”