It’s an age-old tradition. After all the fuss and planning of a wedding, the couple who is “just married,” needs a getaway. They call it a honeymoon.
And according to local wedding planners and travel specialists, they’re not going out of style anytime soon.
According to www.mentalfloss.com, the etymology of the word comes from the Old English “hony moone.” Hony, a reference to honey, refers to the “indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a newly wed couple,” and how sweet the new marriage is. Moone, meanwhile, refers to the fleeting amount of time that sweetness would last. While honeymoon has a positive connotation today, it was first used as a term to warn newlyweds about waning love.
For couples who like exotic locations, current popular destinations include French Polynesia, Italy and Ireland. For couples who are wanting a “tried and true” place, they’ll pick Maui, O’ahu,Cancun, Jamaica, and Caribbean cruises. And Cabo, Costa Rica, St. Lucia and Puerto Vallarta.
Paula Demmer, a honeymoon and destination wedding specialist with Travel Leaders, said those couple who want an exotic place want to “escape.”
“These couples are going to places that are on their bucket lists,” Demmer said. “And at many of these places, the exchange rate (U.S. dollars to other currency) is good.”
Knowing “hidden places” is one of her strengths, and she can guide couples to the right place after talking with them.
“There are different personalities of travel,” she said. “Travel is not a one-size-fits-all thing. I diagnose what your vision is and then match you to that.”
Honeymoons are still part of the entire getting married thing. But there are various ways to work one in.
“Some couples will go somewhere close by, like a luxury hotel, for a few days, and save the honeymoon for later,” she said. “That allows them to save some money after the expense of a wedding. And for many, it’s the off season and prices are better.”
There are agents who specialize in local honeymoon planning, she said. Port Gamble, Alderbrook Resort and local casinos with hotels are popular.
Most couples who take a honeymoon immediately won’t leave until Monday or Tuesday after a weekend wedding.
But she says, don’t put off your honeymoon for more than two years.
“Then you get caught up in kids and buying a house and you never take one,” Demmer said.
And honeymoons are as different as brides and grooms are, she said. That’s why she gets to know her couples and their budgets.
“Prices can range depending on where you’re going and how long you’re staying,” she said. “It’s important to work within the couples’ budget but still send them somewhere with lasting memories.”
Using a travel service is important because travel agents have inside connections which can get you better flights and rooms, and the agents will be there to help if and when something goes wrong.
“I can’t control the weather,” she said. “But if you are somewhere when a hurricane hits, at least I’m just a call away and may be able to help out.”
Through a travel agency, couples will also get placed in locations that are known and won’t be surprised with poor quality. She is careful to place same-sex couples where they will feel welcome.
“I’m the professional and you’re getting expert help so that everything will go right. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing and you don’t want it to go bad.”
Demmer has planned and executed travel for up to 45 people for a destination wedding. And while she’s no fan of a Go Fund Me account to pay for a honeymoon, she has options.
“We offer a honeymoon registry where guest can go in and pick what they want to give, like part of the cost of a snorkeling adventure., just like you can buy a place setting of china on the registry at Macy’s,” Demmer said. “We even have a marketing postcard that says ’Skip the Toaster.’”
Another thing that seems to be popular is the “familymoon.”
“Sometimes the immediate family goes along,” she said. “In those cases, I make sure to book them at a place where the bride and groom can still find their space when they need to get away from everybody.”
Demmer can be reached at 253-759-6203, or www.travelcenter4u.com.
This story originally appeared in the 2017 Wedding Guide.
Leslie Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.