Work, Weather and Wedding Planning Postpone Honeymoons

PHOTO: Jennifer Capella-Brown and Kevin Brown on their honeymoon in Hawaii in February of 2012, four months after their wedding.

The latest trend in honeymoons is delaying them, sometimes for quite awhile.

It could be that Kate Middleton and Prince William started a trend, or at least made delaying a honeymoon socially acceptable. The royal couple didn't take their Seychelles honeymoon until 11 days after their April 29, 2011 wedding, surprising many with the announcement to delay.

But delaying honeymooners and those who cater to them say work, finances and, especially, wedding planning seem to be primary reasons more couples are choosing to postpone that all-important vacation.

"We've definitely noticed many of our guests taking a delayed honeymoon," said Brad Packer, director of public relations at the Four Seasons Bora Bora and Hawaii's Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, who estimated 75 percent of the resorts' guests are on a honeymoon.

Wedding Planning Takes a Toll

Jennifer Capella-Brown and Kevin Brown, of Long Island, N.Y., were married in October 2011 but waited until February 2012 to take their Hawaiian honeymoon.

"Waiting to go on the honeymoon allowed us to plan one thing at a time and also gave us something else to look forward to," said Capella-Brown. "When planning the wedding, that was our main focus, with the honeymoon being secondary."

This sentiment is common among couples who choose to postpone said Amanda Black, editor at The Knot.

"It's becoming more accepted to delay the honeymoon," she said. "Weddings are becoming more lavish affairs requiring more time and planning. They're taking the time to de-stress after the big day and then get started on planning the big trip."

Scott and Catherine Mandel of Chicago waited a year and a half before heading off to their honeymoon in Thailand. Part of the reason, Scott Mandel said, was the couple had chosen a destination wedding in the Bahamas and planning the two events back-to-back wasn't possible.

"We wanted to plan the trip of a lifetime that we could really take the time to plan and enjoy," he said.

When the couple finally did take their honeymoon, they met several couples who had also delayed.

Both couples took a few days after the wedding before returning to work. Mandel said he was "happy to get back to work, to get back into the flow."

But Capella-Brown said, "Heading back to work on Tuesday was definitely a bit strange. People knew our plans and we were able to take that Monday off, but it still seemed as if we shouldn't be back at work so soon after our big day."

If the time elapsed between ceremony and vacation put a damper on the anticipation, it didn't last long.

"Before leaving, we did discuss how it felt more like 'just a vacation' than a honeymoon," she said. "But once we landed in Maui, that feeling quickly disappeared. This vacation was definitely different than any other we've taken. We splurged more than usual and staying at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua definitely gave us that honeymoon feel."

Mandel said he and his wife made no bones about the fact that they were on their honeymoon, even it was a year-and-a-half later. The result? Free champagne, a bed full of rose petals and lots of other perks from the hotel.

"We went out of our way to make sure everyone knew we were on our honeymoon," he said. "You should expect the same treatment. Who said a honeymoon has to be right after the wedding?"

Black, the Knot editor, said this strategy was a good one. "You should get the deluxe treatment no matter when you go," she said.

Work and Weather Also a Factor

Capella-Brown said her job was also a factor in the delay.

"I had no choice," she said. "As a teacher, I couldn't take a week off in the fall. We could have gone a bit sooner over the December break but wanted to spend our first married Christmas with our family in New York. We could have waited until spring to get married and honeymoon then, too, but why wait?"

The couple took two nights after the wedding to go to upstate New York for a "mini moon."

Black said the mini-moon-now, honeymoon-later approach is perfect for those who have to get right back to work. She said brides take an average of 3.2 days off to plan the wedding, and an additional eight -- the average number of days taken for a honeymoon -- may just not be possible, especially in a weak economy when people are worried about job security.

Of course, there's always the weather to consider.

Packer said one of the major factors playing into the decision to delay among his guests was that honeymooners want to take their tropical vacations while the weather in their hometowns is less than postcard-worthy.

"We're lucky to be a year-round destination here," he said. "So a February honeymoon for guests from New York, Dallas, San Francisco or London can be pretty appealing, even if it means pushing this trip back."

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