3 Tips for Planning a Honeymoon on a Short Engagement Timeline

I know, I know. You said "yes" to his proposal yesterday and we're already talking about planning a honeymoon. But that's the thing about a short engagement. In order to stay on-track with your six-month wedding planning timeline, basically everything needs to happen all at once. (But in a fun and exciting way. Mostly.)

Seriously though, let's ditch the wedding planning stress for a minute and talk about the ins and outs of booking travel on short notice. Who doesn't want an excuse to mentally transport themselves to Europe, the mountains, or a remote treehouse resort in Thailand? That's a daydream I'll say yes to every time (engaged or not). So let's dig in! 


on a short engagement timeline

1. Book your travel in the off-season.

Where are my budget-conscious brides at? Booking travel in the off-season is a surefire way to save cash whether you're planning your honeymoon or just a regular vacation. Keep in mind that the "off-season" varies from destination to destination—it's summer in Australia when we're wrapping up in winter coats stateside. But a general rule of thumb is that travel will always be cheaper in the fall and spring. In other words: If school is in session, your chances of scoring great airfare and a lowered room rate are much higher. (And the pools at your resort are definitely more likely to be lacking in the kids-doing-cannonballs department. Just saying.) 

2. Be flexible with your dates and destination.

If you've read How to Plan Your Wedding in Six Months or Less then you know that flexibility is key in every aspect of a short engagement. For example: If you're willing to book your wedding on a Friday or a Sunday—or any date and time other than a Saturday night—you'll find that a whole new world of savings and schedule availability has magically opened up before you. And that's all thanks to your (mental and emotional) flexibility.

Without a doubt, it's a mindset that you'll want to carry over into your honeymoon planning too. I had my heart set on staying in an over-water bungalow for our honeymoon—the (super expensive) kind that you see all the travel bloggers enjoying in Bora Bora and the Maldives. It just wasn't a viable option for us, though. We were headed toward shoulder season but not quite there yet, meaning ticket prices and room rates were still high. We also weren't in love with the idea of traveling 24+ hours for a week-long stay, no matter how gorgeous the final destination. Ultimately we ended up booking our honeymoon at The Rosewood Mayakoba situated along Mexico's Riviera Maya. We didn't stay in an over-water bungalow, but we did score a villa nestled on the edge of a lagoon. It was a pretty magical experience to arrive at our room by boat! And the best part: Although our late July wedding date meant that many destinations were still jam-packed with vacationers, Mexico's high season runs from December-March. July and August are considered the start of "rainy season" in the Cancun area, so we scored our villa for a fraction of the cost we would have paid had we booked our travel in prime time. And it paid off. We had the time of our lives and were treated like literal royalty by every single staff member at the resort. Pools weren't crowded, dinner reservations were easy to come by, and the beach was ours for the taking. Also, my husband ate lobster for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner on the first day of our honeymoon—something we never could have done in Bora Bora! (Or, um, anywhere.)

3. Consider booking a local mini-moon right after your wedding with a more extended honeymoon to follow.

Maybe the ticket prices you're finding aren't drastically different enough from regular fares to convince you to give up on jet-setting to your dream honeymoon locale. Maybe you're just not willing to compromise—after all, your honeymoon is the most disconnected, responsibility-free vacation you'll ever take. Your boss doesn't expect you to answer your emails. Your mom understands why you're not responding to her texts. You don't even have to turn your phone on if you don't want to!

If that's where you're at, then consider booking a mini-moon—a two or three night staycation at a local hotel or boutique bed and breakfast—followed by a more extended honeymoon when the time is right. Get massages. Enjoy breakfast in bed. Hit the pool. Relax and unwind for a few days after the wedding, and savor the feeling of having an even bigger adventure to look forward to. Save up those vacation days and put them to use when the time and/or your finances are right. The result? Not one, but two memorable honeymoons.

Bon voyage!

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