Wedding Guide: Celebrate the beginning

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— If weddings are about celebrating your special day with family and friends, then honeymoons are about celebrating the beginning of married life with your new spouse, and no one else.

Just like your wedding day, your honeymoon should be tailored to your specific interests. Most newlyweds seek relaxation and head straight for the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii. Adventure-seekers gravitate toward destinations such as Costa Rica or even an African safari. Still, others stay closer to home, spending a week in popular domestic vacation spots such as Las Vegas, New York City and San Francisco.

Whatever your interests, there are a couple of important details to keep in mind, says Julie Rabbitt, owner of Steamboat Reservations and Travel.

First, expect to spend at least $3,000 on your honeymoon. “For that price, you can get a really nice all-inclusive resort in Mexico or any Sandals location,” she said. Sandals resorts are for couples only, meaning you won’t have to deal with that annoying family of seven crowding your pool or beach space.

Second, think seriously about whether all-inclusive is right for you. Although all-inclusive resorts offer food, alcohol and sleeping accommodations at a set price, they also tend to be larger hotels that cater to families, meaning less intimacy for your special trip.

Third, consider when to take your honeymoon. Most couples go immediately after their wedding, but jobs and cost can be a deterrent. Cost-conscious honeymooners can book an offseason trip (think April, May, September and October) and save significant money while also dealing with fewer fellow tourists.

Rabbitt suggests couples book their honeymoon at least three months in advance. Make sure your passports are taken care of at least two months in advance.

And no matter where your honeymoon may take you, enjoy it. It’s bound to be one of the most memorable vacations of your life.

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