As a general rule of thumb, I try not to make a habit of sticking my nose in other people’s business—especially when it comes to their love lives. But sometimes powerful experiences encourage you to break your own rules. And so I come to you (you being anyone who is currently engaged) with an unsolicited suggestion: take your honeymoon before the wedding.
It might sound a little strange, but it’s exactly what my fiancé and I did earlier this summer. Not intentionally, at first. But once we began piecing together our overseas trip, we realized we were inadvertently orchestrating a honeymoon—and the way we approached the vacation quickly pivoted. I loathe this word, but we were more mindful about treating it as an opportunity to grow closer before our wedding. And to the surprise of my inner skeptic, it worked.
When given the green light to write about this, I scoured posts and picked brains to find out if other betrotheds had partaken in similar breaks from tradition. My findings: I don’t think most people are calling them pre-wedding honeymoons (that’s the writer in me feverishly attempting to ‘coin’ something), but in 2017 there was a brief flurry of articles declaring the ‘earlymoon’ a rising trend (admittedly less clunky than ‘pre-wedding honeymoon’). Pippa Middleton going to St. Barts with her now-husband before their nuptials seems to have had a hand in that, but as many internet trends do, the ‘earlymoon’ craze fizzled out. That’s not to say couples aren’t taking them, just that the concept remains niche in the landscape of wedding events.
“It’s not something I’ve seen a lot of personally because for a lot of people, by that time in the planning process, it can start to feel like your bank account is running on fumes,” Over the Moon founder Alexandra Macon says. Fair point. If money weren’t an issue, we’d all be going on honeymoons before and after the wedding, but budgets loom and PTO is limited. Such is life.
I’m a freelance journalist, which should give you a decent hint at which tax bracket I fall into, but it does mean my schedule is flexible. I was already going to be in Europe for a work trip to check out a new river cruise in the south of France, so I drained my Delta SkyMiles account to get my fiancé over there with me without dipping into our wedding budget. Once the ship made its final docking in Lyon, we’d be off: to Paris, Santorini, Kefalonia, and then Athens.