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Honeymoon

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The stretch of Canggu Beach in Bali was falling asleep as the warm air of monsoon dissipated. But at a villa where the neighborhood ends, the day was just about to start for two people.

It was the first evening of forever for Michael and I.

While our guests were just getting comfortable to finally take off their shoes for another hour of dancing, my new husband was already wrapping up his grooves. He winked at me. It was his signal to me to get ready to sneak out.

We wove through the crowd of dear family and friends while giving tight hugs and quick kisses to those we bumped into along the way.

 

If this photo could talk, it'll say "Let's sneak out!" And so we actually did...

 

We were sneaking out of our own wedding we planned for eight months. We were leaving a fun party where my favorite 90s music was playing.

Because we were more excited about spending the night together finally!

And then there we were, in our room not very far from the 100+ guests who all flew to the island just to be with us. And we had no plans of seeing any of them again the next day.

You might think it was pretty rude.

Well, I suppose we could have done it better.

We could have announced to everyone that we will be signing off from the party to finally have sex. But that would have been so awkward.

Or we could have stayed until everyone else was gone. But that meant waiting for them until check-out time the next day. Many of our guests stayed at the same villa where we were going to spend our first day as a husband and wife. We didn’t want to wait that long.

We literally didn’t come out of our room the next day until everyone was gone. Being very social people, we knew we would be tempted to chat away with anyone we’d see, and even say “yes” to an activity they might be thinking about. But we were on a mission. To just focus on each other.

Frankly, we were not worried about what our guests were going to think. Our guests knew us very well and they knew how excited we had been about finally spending a night together. And because we had made sure that everyone was sorted out logistically, we felt we had done our part in hosting.

Four years after that night, Michael and I still think that we made a good decision to have our honeymoon right away.

 

Photo by David Nunez on Unsplash

 

And here are the three benefits of having your honeymoon after your wedding day.

 

1.  You get to establish foundations for your marriage right away.

The first days of marriage is very crucial in establishing strong foundations for the years to come. It’s the time when you consummate your marriage through sex.

So if we’ll call those first days of marriage as the “honeymoon”, then it makes sense to get on with it right after the wedding day. And it’s also important to dedicate a number of days for it that’s satisfying for both you and your new husband.  

For many couples, the idea of a honeymoon is a big exotic trip. And because of the financial demands of such a trip, it’s usually scheduled much later after the wedding day.

Trips such as that are good for marriages. They add to the excitement in the relationship. It also allows couples to learn about each other in a different context, and and builds fond memories.

But I would call that trip something else. “Our first newlywed trip” or something.

The honeymoon that we are talking about, the crucial immediate first days after the wedding day, should not be put on hold. A honeymoon can then be in the same city where you already live, in the same city as your wedding venue, or even in your marital home. On this blog post I share why a long and complicated travel journey may not always be the best option after the wedding day.

 

2.  You communicate with each other that the marriage takes priority.

Cindy, not her real name, shared with me how devastated she felt the few days following her wedding day.

She and her then-fiancé-now-husband waited until marriage to have sex. Her whole engagement period, she was just looking forward to being intimate with her groom after the wedding day.

Their wedding day was attended by guests flying in from overseas. They had not seen many of these people in a long time. So her groom thought it was a good idea to spend the next few days after the wedding with them.

They did not communicate well about this plan beforehand. Cindy felt her groom was prioritising their family and friends. Meanwhile, Cindy’s groom thought her attitude during the entire week with their dear family and friends was very unwelcoming and ungrateful.

The couple have sorted out this disagreement and has learned that communication is key. Also, they’ve learned that everything else just takes second priority after marriage. And sometimes, they will have to make tough decisions that other people wouldn’t really like or understand.

When I asked Cindy if she would have felt better had they communicated about the plan of spending their immediate post-wedding week with family and friends, her answer was interesting. She shared that had she and her partner talk about their expectations around the day after their wedding, her husband would have supported her preference. Because, as it turned out, he also wanted to spend his time with just Cindy and no one else right after the wedding day!

 

3.  You can really focus on each other with undivided attention.

It takes a while for our brain to switch off from the previous task that we were focused on. So when you go back to work straight after the wedding, when you finally have your honeymoon, your brain will take a while to switch back to a honeymoon mode.

See, you’ll just be focused on the wedding and your fiancé the days before the wedding. You can take advantage of that mental focus for the following days to just serve your new spouse.

Here are the other plus points of the week following your wedding day: People are usually conscious about not disturbing newlyweds the immediate days after their wedding. And with the popularity of marriage leaves, most companies would entitle you to it the same period as your wedding day. So why not take advantage of the privileges of the post-wedding week?

Here’s a caveat though: You can only really have an undisturbed honeymoon right after the wedding if you plan your post-wedding logistics well.

Who will pack-up all your personal items at the ceremony and the reception? Who will send off your guests on your behalf? Who will settle the balances with the vendors after the party’s over?

It’s possible to have a plan for these things so you can be 100% focused on your spouse! Here’s a blog post where I identify the post-wedding things you need to plan ahead, and ways to delegate them.

 

Photo by Mahkeo from Unsplash.

 

Others might suggest, “Marriage is hard stuff. So it’s better to get back to the “real life” right away so we don’t get wrapped up in a bubble of the honeymoon phase.” It’s true, marriage is hard stuff. And all couples will inevitably have to go through various trying phases in marriage.

There is a verse in the old testament that talks about taking a year off after the wedding day. Deuteronomy 24:5 says, “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” Christians are no longer bound by this in the new covenant, but there is indeed wisdom in this principle. And if we dig the wisdom here, then we can apply it to our the first few days or weeks of marriage - when the honeymoon takes place. This blog post talks more about it.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts about this blog post! Would love to hear from you.

 

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things-to-consider-when-planning-honeymoon

You know that you’ll get there. You see it as a reward after this long period of non-stop wedding preparations. You’ll say “bye” to your weddings guests, sneak into your hotel suite, and grab your bags for a trip of a lifetime.

Your honeymoon will be sweet and memorable. Sex will be HOT.

Is it that simple?

Hmm, maybe not.

Can you just wing your honeymoon?

That’s risky.

Can you just have a travel agent plan everything and you’re good to go?

Not advisable.

Do you really need to plan your honeymoon?

I suggest so. And there’s a wise pacing for how you can plan it.

“But we have a million things to plan for the wedding? And then we’ll have to move into a new house which we need to plan for too? Can we just postpone the honeymoon?”

I can hear you cry.

On this blog post, I share what I’ve learned from other married couples and from my own experience. Hope this will help you prepare for the first few days of your life forever.

 

The honeymoon is your first few days together as a married couple. It's a good idea to start strong by being intentional about it.

 

What is the importance of a honeymoon?

After getting married in the eyes of God, and legally (because the Bible honours earthly authorities too), you and your fiancé are then ready to consummate your marriage through sex.

The honeymoon, while a more modern concept, is what you can consider as the period where you and your new spouse lavish each other with your bodies for the purpose of consummation. And that part is biblical. Read Songs of Solomon.

It’s a precious time between you and your new spouse to build the foundations of what will be your life forever - both spiritual and physical.

While you can’t anticipate every single issue that may arise in the area of your intimate life, you can do your best to prepare for it.

Like how we are preparing for marriage. Or for parenthood. We can’t be 100% ready for any of these new life roles. But we can definitely reduce the amount of unnecessary ignorance about these important matters.  

Having said that, your honeymoon needs some thinking.

 

What should you consider when planning for your honeymoon?

The commercial notion of a honeymoon is a grand vacation to an exotic place. Let’s go back to the goal of the days after the wedding day. It’s to consummate your marriage through sex, isn’t it?

I won’t be diving into the details of your first night as newlyweds because I don’t want to arouse anything before it’s time. I’ll reserve that for my exclusive emailers for brides who are just a few days away from their wedding day. But in a general sense, here are the key things you need to consider when you start planning your honeymoon.

 

Photo by Mahkeo on Unsplash

 

1.  You’ll most likely be tired after the wedding day.

After the long period of wedding preparation, and finally welcoming your guests on the big day, you will just feel like you’re done.

Most couples don’t get enough sleep the night before their wedding day. And very few actually get to eat the feast they prepare for their guests. Then there is usually a lot of “goodbyes” that need to be done the next day as you send off your guests. This part also becomes tricky because one of you would usually just want to finally hang-out, cuddle and what-not with the new spouse, while the other will be in major post-wedding operation mode.

I don’t suggest here though that you shouldn’t consummate your wedding right away! My husband and I snuck out of our wedding before it was over because we just wanted to finally see each other naked! And we think it was a great decision.

Adding long and elaborate activities like travelling and touring into the formula might just exhaust you even more. That’s what I mean.

 

2.  You’d want to be in your most comfortable and rested state on your honeymoon.

And again, I don’t suggest putting off your honeymoon just because you need to take a full week to regain your strength.

Your honeymoon is when you’ll get to unwind from all the hustle and bustle of the wedding. And the best part is you’ll get to do it with your new spouse!

You’d want to have a lot of warm-up time before having sex anyway if you are doing it for the first time. The first night or the first day might really just be about exploring each other’s body while it enters into a relaxed mode.

On the note of travel again: unmet expectations on accommodations you’ve never tried before might also be a source of stress. A four-star hotel in another city may not necessarily be the four-star standard you’re accustomed to in your own city. I’ve heard of horror stories of what couples thought was white-bedding-fluffy-pillows-and-a-bed-we-both-can-jump-on hotel rooms that turned out to be very uninviting for sex.

 

3.  You’d want medical assistance that you trust to be accessible.

This is no exaggeration here- the intensity of physical tension from your honeymoon can bring about some physical discomfort. Some of which might need medical attention.

For women having sex for the first time, honeymoon cystitis, a bladder infection, is common.

In some cases, it’s the exhaustion after the wedding activities that can put pressure on the immune system.

You can already imagine the stress of getting medical help from a place that you’re not familiar with.

 

Photo by Una Kao on Unsplash.

 

4.  If you think the honeymoon is as important as the wedding, then you need to prepare a budget for it.

For many busy couples, the honeymoon ends up being just an afterthought. Because there was not much thought and preparation committed to it, neither is a budget.

So many couples put off the honeymoon after a few months, sometimes even a year.

If what is being put off is the big trip, then call it as “the first trip as a married couple”. But I wouldn’t say you’d want to delay the honeymoon itself. Again, we’re talking about the consummation of marriage here. It’s the first few days of your life forever where you explore each other’s body with which you commit to serving each other intimately.

There is indeed something very special about travelling as newlyweds. You get to experience sights and sounds with someone you will reminisce on the memories with when you’re old and grey. This can wait if the budget doesn’t allow for it yet. You’d want to start on a good financial note as you start your marriage. But re-think about holding off the real deal of the honeymoon.

With that being said, having your honeymoon in your newlywed home right after your wedding is a great option. If you prefer not having to clean up the house during your first days as newlyweds, then a hotel stay is another idea.

If you haven't done your wedding budgeting yet, you can sign up here for my Wiser Weddings Budget Worksheet.

 

5.  There will be pressure around you to pull off an extravagant honeymoon trip. Think hard if this is really what you need as a honeymoon option.

I’ve already mentioned about the commercialisation of honeymoons. Even your friends and family have probably asked you “So, where do you want to go for your honeymoon?” As if it always needs to involve travelling far.

With all the factors I’ve mentioned above, you will need to pray and discuss with your fiancé what your ideas are about what a honeymoon is supposed to be. Then consult your marriage preparation coaches or pastors about your thoughts.

 

6.  The journey to your honeymoon is mostly a spiritual preparation.

The preparation that couples need for the honeymoon is largely spiritual.

Once you understand the purpose of the honeymoon then it’ll be easier to focus on what’s essential.

And the honeymoon preparations become less of logistical planning and more of faith building.

I strongly suggest for you to go through a marriage preparation course. I talk about that here.

It’s very essential to pray for your heart, mind and body to be ready to serve your fiancé.

And if you or your fiancé need any spiritual healing from past sexual relations, it’s good to pray for it now. I recommend pastoral counselling so you can be guided through the process of prayer. I’ll talk more about this on another blog post.

 

Those are my thoughts!

If you’re currently planning to get married, what are the obstacles you face in preparing for your honeymoon? Please share in the comments section below. And please don’t forget to follow @theasianmrsblanding on Instagram!

 

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