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.
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.
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.
Day 30: What's the proper invitation response etiquette? CLICK HERE to find out.