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Your Honeymoon

Photo: Zambezi Queen

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It’s the hero and heroine’s wedding night. They retreat into their softly lit bedroom, and close the door on the world. Falling longingly into each other’s arms, they make passionate love until the morning light...

Well, that’s what happens in romance fiction and the movies … but what about the real world? No matter what your relationship has been before, your first night as a married couple is a special occasion. But you are also at the end of a long and tiring day, which in turn has been the culmination of months of hard work and planning, so be kind to yourselves. Don’t set your expectations too high. You have the rest of your lives, not to mention your honeymoon, to be romantic. For tonight, let yourselves unwind and take it easy. Be gentle with each other, nurture one another, and take whatever course is right for you both.

When you’re planning your wedding and honeymoon, consider a couple of wedding night accommodation ideas that might make your lives a little less stressful. Book your wedding night accommodation at a hotel close to the reception venue. You certainly won’t want to travel far, especially if your reception is an evening function.

Try to balance your wedding budget so that you can afford accommodation that offers extra luxury and romantic ambiance. If possible, arrange for an early check-in at your hotel. It may be an ideal place for you to change and store some of your things. Even if you can’t access your room as early as you’d like, you will still be able to leave your luggage in the safekeeping of the hotel’s concierge.

If you are holding your reception at a venue that also offers accommodation, ask whether a complimentary honeymoon suite is part of the package. It very often is. However, ask to see the suite to ensure that it is up to your expectations before making a final decision. Bear in mind that this will also put you within easy reach of some of your less restrained friends who may be planning to play some ribald jokes on you. So if you are at all concerned, keep your location an absolute secret!

If you’re leaving on your honeymoon the day after your wedding, arrange your departure for later in the day if possible. You need to allow yourselves some loving time alone when you wake up, rather than racing off for another long and tiring day.

Your honeymoon marks the official start of your lives together. It is also your chance to let the stress of months of wedding preparations melt away. The exhausting rush of couturiers, caterers and champagne is over, and the idyllic days and nights of your honeymoon stretch languorously before you.

When you start planning your wedding, set aside some time to discuss your honeymoon. Is your idea of holiday heaven an island hideaway, a country retreat, an idyllic cruise or a ski lodge with a roaring open fire? Does sightseeing in exotic overseas locations appeal, or are you night birds who thrive on discos, casinos and bright city lights? How about a month spent lazing on a beach, or would you prefer getting away to a romantic European city? If you both agree on your ultimate holiday destination, that’s wonderful. If not, work out a compromise and choose a location where you will both be able to enjoy yourselves.

Once you have a destination in mind, find out whether there are factors to consider that might affect the time of year you book. To ensure they enjoy the best their destination has to offer, many couples decide on a honeymoon date before they set their wedding date. Obviously your budget as well as the amount of time you can escape from work will have an impact on where and for how long you can honeymoon. However, make the most of this opportunity and try to indulge yourselves as much as possible. Budget stretching strategies include taking advantage of special travel offers, off-season accommodation options, and the considerable savings available with early bird airfares.

Package holidays are a popular choice for honeymooners. They usually represent great value and cover travel, accommodation, airport transfers, and some or all of your meals. However, before booking be sure to check the fine print so that you know exactly what is included in your package. Look for a package that offers plenty of bonuses such as breakfasts and free tours.

If you are traveling overseas, ensure that you have had the necessary vaccinations and that your travel documents are in order. If you don’t have a passport, apply for one at least two months before your wedding. It takes several weeks to process a passport, and even longer to obtain some visas. If you are traveling straight after the ceremony, your passport will have to be in your maiden name.

Of course, you don’t have to travel overseas to find your slice of heaven. South Africa boasts an array of great honeymoon destinations that includes country getaways, private game reserves, and glorious beaches to name just a few. Another popular honeymoon destination for South Africans is Mozambique and Mauritius. Both of these destinations has white sandy beaches and warm blue turquoise waters. The perfect getaway for the deserving honeymooner.

Whatever destination you eventually choose, your honeymoon rewards you with precious time alone together. Enjoy every last minute of it.

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