What's the difference between a honeymoon and a mini-moon, and which one is right for you? We weigh the pros and cons of both to help you decide.
You can personalize just about anything wedding-related these days. From the décor to the entertainment to the food, cookie-cutter weddings are a thing of the past. So why shouldn’t the same be true for honeymoons? More and more couples are opting for “mini-moons” (shorter post-wedding trips taken closer to home) over traditional honeymoons, and there are plenty of reasons to choose one over the other.
If you’re undecided about your post-wedding plans, read on for the pros and cons of both mini-moons and honeymoons.
Pro: You get a nice long break after the stress of planning a wedding.
Planning a wedding—no matter how big or small—sucks a lot of energy out of a couple. Getting to skip town and take a much-needed vacation is a great way to kick off your brand-new marriage and de-stress after the big day.
Pro: You can really bond with your new spouse.
No matter what kind of trip you take—whether it’s backpacking through Europe or lounging by the pool at an all-inclusive resort—your post-wedding trip is an opportunity to spend a big chunk of time with your new spouse and bond over the adventure you’ve embarked on together.
Pro: You get to visit a dream destination.
This is your honeymoon—you have an excuse to go all out! Visit someplace you’ve always dreamt of—Bali, Venice, Sydney—just pick a destination and go. If finances are an issue, you can always postpone your honeymoon and save up some money for a big trip on your one-year anniversary.
Pro: You get the total dream-wedding package.
If you’ve always pictured your wedding day, you may have envisioned the big send-off and a honeymoon, too! If that’s the case, going on a special trip right after your big day will feel super special and fulfilling.
Pro: You can set up a honeymoon registry and ask guests to help you finance your honeymoon.
Many guests are happy to give cash gifts, but feel even better knowing they’ve helped give you the honeymoon of your dreams. Some online wedding registries allow guests to purchase “pieces” of your honeymoon as wedding gifts (like a spa day or a nice dinner) and give you a certificate on your big day.
Con: You’re spending even more money after shelling out big bucks for your wedding.
Sometimes planning a honeymoon can feel overwhelming when you’ve just spent So. Much. Money. on your wedding. Shelling out for nice hotel rooms or rental cars can stretch your budget in a way that does not feel comfortable.
Con: You might get stressed out being away from work for so long (especially if you took time off before your wedding, too).
Depending on the type of job you have, being away for two weeks or more (including time off for your wedding) could create a backlog of work that will deluge you the moment you step back into your office. If you’re consumed with thoughts of the office on your honeymoon, it won’t be a relaxing getaway.
Con: Your first couple of days away might be spent decompressing from the wedding rather than taking in your honeymoon destination.
There’s nothing wrong with spending two days under the covers with your new spouse, but if you’ve planned outings and day trips during your honeymoon, you might find yourself wanting to skip them when you first arrive. If you know you’ll need some time to decompress after the stress of planning your wedding, build that into your honeymoon schedule.
Pro: You’ll spend less money.
Without a doubt, taking a short, close-to-home trip will cost you way less than a tropical getaway. If you’re short on cash but still want some time alone with your boo before going back to reality, a mini-moon might be just the thing for you.
Pro: You can travel somewhere local that you’ve always wanted to visit.
Is there a mountain town you’ve always wanted to see, or a lake where you’ve dreamt of fishing? A mini-moon affords you that chance to take that “we’ll get to it someday” local trip. There are so many gorgeous places to see in the U.S. and you can bond with your new spouse just as well in a beachside rental house as you would on a Caribbean cruise.
Pro: You can get super creative.
If necessity is the mother of invention, a small budget is the mother of a creative vacation! Take a road, go camping, book a gorgeous Airbnb in your own city or visit a special site (like the Grand Canyon or the Empire State Building)—there are plenty of ways to use your cash wisely and still have an amazing mini-moon adventure.
Pro: You can bring your dog and/or your kids.
This could be both a pro and a con depending on what you want from your post-wedding getaway. If you’re the kind of couple who loves sharing new experiences with your babies (including fur babies), going on a close-to-home road trip or staying at a pet-friendly Airbnb could be a real treat. Plus, you save on babysitting/pet-sitting costs.
Pro: You can save up for a bigger trip down the road—when you haven’t just spent thousands of dollars on the biggest party of your life!
Postponing your honeymoon is totally possible, and taking a mini-moon instead right after your wedding is a great way to whet your appetite. Put those cash wedding gifts in a special account and save up for the honeymoon of your dreams—no need to go into debt just to see Spain!
Pro: You have time to accrue more vacation days for a future trip.
If you or your spouse used up a big chunk of your vacation days getting married, it’s a good idea to wait 'til you have a few more stored up before heading way out of town on a honeymoon. Taking a couple of days off after your wedding before going back to work will still give you that post-wedding getaway feeling without creating any problems at work.
Con: You won’t get much time to decompress after your wedding.
You know how we said you might spend the first couple of days of your honeymoon hiding under the covers with your love? Well, if you mini-moon is only a couple of days long, you won’t have those extra days to really enjoy yourself on vacation.
Con: You might be expected to keep in touch more since you’ll be closer to home.
Does your boss email you at night and on the weekend and expect a response? If you’re in Nantucket instead of Ibiza, you might still be expected to reply to “urgent matters.” Ugh.
Con: You might end up visiting a city or town you’ve been to before.
If you take frequent short trips around your state, there’s a chance you’ve been to all the best local vacation spots. This might bother you and it might not, but some couples do look forward to visiting someplace brand new on their honeymoon.
Con: You might feel cheated.
If you’ve always thought you’d go on a honeymoon after getting married, you might feel let down if that dream doesn’t come true. A shorter trip to a nearby locale, while nice, might feel too much like a long-weekend getaway to be a true celebration of your new marriage.