How to Afford Your Dream Honeymoon
| Photographs By MangoStar_Studio
Planning a wedding is often more exciting than it is stressful. Planning your dream honeymoon, however, can be the icing on the cake. Your honeymoon is a special time between just you and your new spouse to celebrate your new marriage and spend high-quality time together.
You don’t need to worry about invitations, uncomfortable clothes, chair covers, or centerpieces. It’s just the two of you exploring a romantic setting and enjoying each other’s company.
Weddings can carry a mountain of pressure due to the cost, and honeymoons are often a secondary concern. The average 7-night 6-day honeymoon costs $5,000. Depending on how much your wedding costs, you may not have that type of money left over to put toward a fabulous honeymoon.
Don’t want to give up on your dream honeymoon just yet? You can have your cake and eat it too by planning a fabulous wedding followed by a wonderful honeymoon. Here’s how.
Forego Wedding Gifts
Wedding gifts can be nice and meaningful, but they are also not necessary. If you’re having a traditional wedding and will be inviting quite a few guests, you can ask guests to donate to your honeymoon fund instead of bringing a gift to your wedding.
Some people provide monetary gifts at weddings anyway, but imagine if all your guests did this. It would certainly relieve the burden of having to pay out of pocket for flights, resorts, food, experiences, etc., for your trip.
Shortly after you send out invitations, people will begin to ask about your wedding-gift registry. Be sure to tell them where you are hoping to go for your honeymoon and how important it is for you. Then, ask them to donate to your honeymoon fund instead as their gift. You can do this by sending everyone a PayPal donation link, or guests can just donate at the wedding.
As an added bonus, you’ll have much less to carry home after the wedding when you use this option.
Cut the Cost of Your Wedding
Another option you can consider is cutting some wedding expenses in order to free up enough money to pay for a nicer honeymoon.
There are so many expenses you can cut when it comes to your wedding, and I recommend sitting down with your partner to discuss your values and preferences for the big day. Do you need a lot of flowers? Does a sit-down dinner or buffet really matter? Is a designer wedding dress necessary? What about a wedding planner? Could you have your wedding at an all-inclusive venue to save?
Decide what’s important and choose to spend on that. Then, cut corners on everything else and do it tastefully. One of my friends who went to my wedding told me that it looked like a $20,000 extravaganza. She was shocked when I told her it was under $10,000.
We saved thousands just by moving our wedding to a Sunday and not having an open bar. Just making those two small changes can free up that $5,000 you need to go on your dream honeymoon.
The point is, most people don’t know the difference when it comes to certain details, but you do want to spend your money effectively to create a high-quality experience. However, at the end of the day, it’s all about what you and your partner truly want, since it’s your special day.
Have rewards credit cards? You may be able to cash in your points and cash back to fund your honeymoon trip. This is what my husband and I did, and we were very intentional about it. We each signed up for two specific rewards credit cards shortly after getting engaged and setting a wedding date.
One was an airlines card and the other was a hotel and resorts credit card. Each had a sign-on bonus, which meant we had to spend a certain amount of money within two to three months of having the card in order to earn the bonus points.
We mainly used the cards for wedding expenses and everyday spending. Then, we paid the bill off in full each month. Pretty soon, we had each earned the reward point bonus and used it to book a week-long honeymoon to an all-inclusive Jamaican resort. All in all the flights, resort stay, and taxes and fees ran around just $400.
Since we chose an all-inclusive resort, that meant our stay, food, beverages (even alcohol), and other resort amenities including some non-motorized water sports were included.
It was a great trip and super affordable thanks to the credit card rewards. As a caution, I don’t think everyone should go for this strategy. If you don’t have good credit, you won’t be able to take advantage of rewards credit cards. Or, if you already have credit card debt or struggle to control your spending, you may not want to consider this option.
You don’t want to get into credit card debt using this strategy because it defeats the purpose, so spend only what you can afford to pay back when the bill arrives.
Finally, you can afford your dream honeymoon by simply postponing it. Sure, it’s nice to jet away on a honeymoon right after you get married, but you don’t have to.
Many couples are opting for what’s called a later-moon these days — that’s when you postpone your honeymoon for a few months or even a year. As a result, you can have enough time to save for the trip and take it on your one-year anniversary.
It may not be fun to wait, but it’s smart if you want to go somewhere exotic and want to make sure you can afford it. Just make sure you are actively planning and setting aside money to go so you don’t miss out on the chance to honeymoon altogether.
You can rent an Airbnb for lodging to cut down on costs, skip major airlines, or even travel during the offseason if you have flexibility.
Don’t let finances cause you to give up on having a great honeymoon. Start planning early and use some of these strategies to make your dream honeymoon a reality.
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