Tips for Planning the Perfect Honeymoon

A fantastic guest post from the marvelous Aimee Lyons from DIYDarlin:

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a bride (or groom) to be. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Wedding planning can be one of the most beloved and special times of your life, even if it does get a little hectic at times.

Even with all the excitement of planning your upcoming wedding, there’s another event you’ll also want to consider: your honeymoon. After your big wedding day, you’ll undoubtedly want a chance to relax and unwind as a couple. The last thing you want is to experience any unexpected stress while honeymooning with your new spouse.

Luckily, there are several time-tested tips for planning the ultimate, stress-free honeymoon:

Plan in Advance

I know you’ve already got a lot on your plate while planning your wedding. That’s completely understandable. However, it’s still important to put some thought into your honeymoon.

Pre-planning will help make your trip stress-free. Be sure to actually schedule some time for making honeymoon plans. Start planning as soon as possible and set realistic deadlines to keep yourself on track.

Talk to your spouse about what’s important to each of you. Do you want an island getaway or a cabin in the mountains? Do you want to fly to the other side of the world or is something closer to home more your style?

If you’re planning a destination wedding, you might want to have your honeymoon in the same location. Either way, your honeymoon is one of the first major decisions you’ll make together as a newlywed couple so it’s important to discuss it together.

Don’t Break the Bank

Once you have an idea of what you want in a honeymoon, it’s time to start budgeting. What can you afford? Do you have any loved ones who are gifting you money towards your honeymoon? If not, are there any unnecessary “extras” you could cut from your wedding budget to help afford the honeymoon?

You can plan a beautiful honeymoon on a budget. For instance, you could DIY some of your decor to help save money towards your getaway. If you have credit card points or frequent flier miles, you could put those towards the cost of flights and hotels. You might also check budget travel sites for great deals.

Take Care of Your Pets

If you have pets, make sure they are properly taken care of before you leave. For instance, you might ask a friend or relative to watch your dog or cat. If you can’t find anyone, you could always go with a reputable dog boarding facility.

Hire a Travel Agent

If planning a wedding and honeymoon simultaneously is just causing you entirely too much stress, it might be worth it to leave the planning to the experts. Even if you can’t afford a wedding planner, you could still hire a travel agent to assist you with the details of your honeymoon.

Speak with your agent about flying with an airline that offers a program to help offset your carbon footprint. Flying contributes to approximately 2% of the world’s emissions so your transportation options matter when it comes to global warming. The Smithsonian reports that the cost of offsetting is usually less than $25, meaning you can stay green and within your budget!

Plan for Emergencies

One last tip for planning a stress-free honeymoon: be sure to plan for emergencies, just in case. Have a backup plan in the event that something unexpected might happen. Print off a copy of your honeymoon itinerary and give it to a trusted loved one in case of emergency. If you need additional resources, this free planning checklist may help.

Your wedding and honeymoon are a very special time. You’ll be bonding with your new spouse, creating memories together as a couple that will last the rest of your lives. By following the advice listed above, you can craft a honeymoon that suits your personalities, has all of the relaxation, and none of the stress. That way, when looking back on your honeymoon photos in the years to come, you’ll be sure to remember what was really important during this time in your lives: all of the beauty, the laughter, and the love.

 

She Of The Woods

Sylvia and Dan

Sylvia (whose name means “She of the Woods”) and Dan got married on some wooded property overlooking Lake Champlain in the New North End of Burlington, just behind the former Catholic Archdiocese.

I had no idea about the network of trails running along the bluff, but apparently it’s a popular mountain-biking spot.

This is where they’d gone on their first date, and where he proposed, so it seemed highly appropriate for them to be getting married there.

It was a scorchingly hot day in the mid-90s, but sweet and cool in the trees.  I felt like I was performing a ceremony for Titania and Oberon.

This is why performing weddings in Vermont is so much fun.  There’s always lovely people and always gorgeous places to support them in their love.

Love Art Lab

Performance artist and sex guru Annie Sprinkle has taken loving the planet to a whole new level with her series of Green Weddings.  In each one, rambunctious, passionate participants marry a different aspect of the planet, such as redwood trees in California or the sea in Venice, Italy.

Talk about taking love of the planet to a whole new level!  Brava to Annie and her merry band of Sprinkleistas.

Now that I know what Annie has been up to, I’m feeling like the planet stands a much better chance – as do we.

FCKH8!

Listen up, People!  Because I am such a generous and giving soul, I am finally (albeit a little reluctantly) joining the fight to overturn Prop 8 in California.

Don’t get me wrong.  Of course I want this hideous little piece of hate crime to go down in a fiery ball of shame and utter annihilation.

My only struggle is that overturning the gay marriage ban will cut down on my Left Coast clientele – and you folks are important!

However, given my Other Life as a climate activist, it seems a Just And Righteous Thing to help gay people get married in their own home state, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by all that Flying-To-Vermont-To-Get-Hitched-By-Me.

I mean, you might still do it anyway, since Vermont is so chock full of Awesome, but at least you’ll have options.  And isn’t that what we want in our consumer-driven culture? Limitless options?  Oh, whoops.  Wrong issue.  Wrong rant.

Ok.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming (and don’t forget to buy the t-shirt):

Carbon Freeeeee!

CarbonFree Blog

Here at Vermont Wedding Officiant, it’s all about The Love.  And there’s no better way of showing the Most Important Love for the Most Important Beloved of all – our sweet, slightly feverish little blue ball called Home – than by doing our utmost to reduce our carbon emissions.

Thanks to the good folks at Carbonfund, we are now able to make this blog CarbonFree®!

It’s a deeply challenging task to live a sustainable, low-impact lifestyle – particularly in the developed world.  There is almost no action we can take which doesn’t have some planetary consequence – and therefore no action we can take for which we can’t assume a measure of responsibility.

It’s up to all of us to help each other craft planet-healing lives – a complex and never-ending process to be sure.   Mostly, we know that we cannot do it alone.  So, blessings and hosannahs to Carbonfund for making this piece of the task just a little bit easier.

The Clarity Project

For pretty much everyone getting married, rings are a beautiful, significant, and enduring part of the ritual – as well as something you’ll literally carry with you every day for the rest of your relationship, if not your life.

However, as many folks know, the actual materials which comprise this symbol of love and commitment – the metal and the stones – often come from less than savory sources.  And if you’re a person of conscience, knowing that you’re sporting a product of ecological devastation, slave labor, and munitions exchange on your finger probably tarnishes the luster more than just a little bit.

Enter The Clarity Project.  Their goals:

Create beautiful, timeless jewelry to match the top jewelers, improve the quality of life for miners and their communities, and build a new type of sustainable business that can make our first two goals possible.

The Clarity Project works to source fair trade gems and minerals, and then channels all profits back into the mining communities.  As they say on their website:

By fully leveraging diamonds, gems, and precious metals – which have little intrinsic value – with innovative and effective non-profits building schools and restoring land in mining communities, we realized we could redefine the underlying value of a diamond. There was a possibility to create a ring that couples would feel proud to buy and wear, featuring a diamond that would provide ongoing support for those miners who have been marginalized for so long.

This is a wonderful example of anything is possible, and, I think, utterly reflective of the healing and transformational power of love.  It was love and compassion for the world – and for people living halfway around the world – which led to the creation of The Clarity Project, and their commitment to taking responsibility for every aspect of their lives.

Not to mention the fact that their jewelry is GORGEOUS!

So check ’em out!

Tips To Green Up Your Wedding

1.    Hold the wedding outside and/or during the day for natural lighting.
2.    Use locally grown flowers or potted plants for decorations and bouquets.
3.    Have the ceremony and the reception in the same place so people don’t have to do a lot of extra driving.
4.    Use beeswax candles (conventional candles are made with petroleum products).
5.    Use recycled or antique rings since gold and diamond mining are very environmentally and socially destructive.
6.    Wear vintage/rented/hemp clothes.
7.    Use a local clothing designer.
8.    Have the bridesmaids pick their own dresses in the color palate of your choice.  Women of different body types will look better than if they’re wearing the same dress, and they’re more likely to wear the dress again.
9.    Serve seasonal, organic, and locally grown food and wine at the reception.
10.    Compost all left-over food or donate to a food bank.
11.    Use hand-made paper invitations, seating cards, and place mats.  You can even add wild flower or herb seeds to the paper pulp mixture.  Then guests can plant them and they’ll sprout into flowers or herbs.
12.    Use the internet. Paper is nice for invitations and personal thank you cards after the wedding, but Save The Date, RSVP, and shower invitations can all be done electronically, saving paper.
13.    Use fun salvaged items for thank-you cards such as old postcards, gift cards, and scraps of wrapping paper from the shower and wedding
14.    Do a non-traditional wedding registry of money, time, skills, or information.  For example:
a.    Donations to your favorite eco-charity
b.    A copy of a favorite family recipe.
c.    Cooking
d.    Childcare
e.    Music lessons
f.    Gardening
g.    Massage
h.    Add funds towards a honeymoon or new home purchase

Tips For Including Nature In Your Ceremony

1.    Hold your ceremony outside, and acknowledge the beauty of the setting.
2.    Use poems or readings from celebrated nature writers such Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, or Wendell Berry
3.    As the guests enter, have attendants ritually wash their hands in bowls filled with water and flower petals as they welcome your guests to the ceremony.  Make sure there are attendants to dry peoples’ hands as well!  It sets a lovely, ceremonial tone, and allows you to have more friends actively participate in the ceremony.
4.    Invoke the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water by either mentioning them directly, such as by saying: We honor the four element or include the four elements on your altar by using flowers, candles, water, and incense.
5.    In the ceremony, mention the cycles of nature as a way of acknowledging the many cycles your relationship will go through during your years together.
6.    As you make your vows to each other, and to your relationship, also vow to honor and care for nature, and to use the growth and learning which comes from your marriage to help you be better stewards or healers of the planet.
7.    Offer flowers or plants (locally grown) to your family and friends as a way of honoring their support for your relationship.
8.    Depending on where you hold your ceremony, you might be able to plant a tree to honor your marriage or to honor friends or family who can’t be there with you.
9.    Include in your vows a specific promise to reduce your carbon footprint (sure, it’s not romantic, but it’s really, really important).
10.     Remember and acknowledge how large the universe truly is, and how fortunate you are to have found each other   in the vast infinity of space and time.