Now that I'm less than a week away from my wedding day, I've started in with the constant "this time next week" references.
All day Saturday I kept saying, "This time next week I'll be getting my hair done for the wedding." "This time next week I'll be taking photos." "This time next week I'll be saying my vows." "This time next week I'll be married!"
As for today, this time next week I will be on my way to sunny St. Martin for my honeymoon!
All of the focus on the wedding can sometimes overshadow the fact that if you take a honeymoon right away, you also have a wonderful vacation to look forward to after your Big Day.
There are different philosophies about how to approach the honeymoon, just as there are for the wedding.
Some people view the honeymoon as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip. You and your future spouse probably don't often have the chance to take a lengthy vacation together, so a honeymoon can be the perfect time for a sight-seeing adventure vacation to Greece, or Spain, or South Africa or elsewhere around the globe.
On the other hand, some couples expect to be too busy planning a wedding also to plan a major trip, and many expect to be so worn out after the Big Day that they just want to relax. For that reason, some couples prefer a restful beach honeymoon. My husband-to-be and I fall in the latter category. We're thrilled about the short, direct flight to St. Martin from New York, and can't wait to spend a week sunbathing, swimming and eating good food.
Celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss says choosing a honeymoon destination is a very personal decision -- one couple's dream trip is another couple's nightmare.
But in "The Wedding Book," she does caution that "you can't even fathom how exhausted you will be after the wedding. There's nothing wrong with planning an active trip, but this isn't the time to try to see four cities in six days. You need time to rest and recharge, and you also need a break from planning."
Speaking of planning, Mindy says it's important to not leave the honeymoon planning until the last minute. Depending on the season and your destination, you should plan to book at least six months in advance.
Once you get closer to the wedding date, you should make sure you have everything ready to go.
Mindy's Honeymoon Planning Tips:
Pack a week or more before the wedding.
Remember to look up weather conditions while you are traveling.
Make sure you fill any necessary prescriptions well before the wedding.
Check that your passport and/or driver's license is not expired.
Leave a trip itinerary with family or a friend so you can be reached in case of emergency.
If you are going out of the country, research the adapters you might need for your electronics.
Mindy's Honeymoon Location Recommendations
The Viceroy Anguilla, West Indies. "Talk about romantic!" she said.
Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos.
My favorite piece of advice about the honeymoon in Mindy's book?
"The honeymoon is one of the only times in your life when the two of you will this free of the constraints of the real world," she writes.
In other words, don't bring your thank-you notes with you. Or your BlackBerry.
CLICK HERE for Day 4, diet and exercise advice and what to eat in the days before the Big Day.
The 30-Day Wedding Countdown
Day 30: What's the proper invitation response etiquette? CLICK HERE to find out.
Day 29: What are Mindy Weiss' top 10 tips for the final month before your wedding?CLICK HERE for more.
Day 26: Great gift ideas for bridesmaids, groomsmen and other attendants, and how much you should spend. CLICK HERE to read.
Day 25: Seating chart strategy. CLICK HERE to read.
Day 24: Little things that make a big difference on your Big Day, from eating lunch to saying thank you. CLICK HERE.
Day 23: Juggling wedding planning with work, without losing your mind. CLICK HERE.
Day 22: Planning your wedding day timeline. CLICK HERE.
Day 19: Unique guest book ideas. CLICK HERE.
Day 18: Gifts for the bride and groom to buy for one another. CLICK HERE.
The 30-Day Wedding Countdown
Day 17: Tips for the photographer. CLICK HERE.
Day 16: Advice on toasts and speeches at your wedding. CLICK HERE.
Day 15: The Big Dance on the Big Day. CLICK HERE.
Day 12: Finding the perfect dress and getting it altered. CLICK HERE.
Day 11: What should be in every bride's emergency kit. CLICK HERE.
Day 10: Mindy's answers to readers' questions. CLICK HERE.
Day 9: The budget and the band. CLICK HERE.
Day 8: Happy Mother's Day to the mother of the bride. CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE to visit Mindy Weiss' website.