How to Honeymoon – Part The First

Disclaimer – I actually have no idea “how to honeymoon”, I just liked the sound of the title. But Mr K and I seemed to enjoy ourselves. Maybe we’re honeymooning naturals. Who knows?


The day after we got married, we spent 12 long hours saying goodbye to people.
Guests had come from Lebanon, New York, Vancouver, L.A., Ireland, Brussels and Paris for our shindig and we were extraordinarily grateful. We simply couldn’t ride off into the sunset without thanking them properly. And so two days into the world of married, all goodbyed out, Ant and I got the overnight ferry to France (don’t try to have newly marital relations in a miniscule bunk bed, ok? It doesn’t end well) and spent five days eating croissants and baguettes and holding hands and being giddy and thinking no-one was ever more in love than this. (Oh come on. You’ve all thought it too).

Mr K, just hitched and looking thoughtful, on the deck, leaving the UK and heading for France.

We asked for money at our wedding so that we could go on the kind of holiday we’d never get to go on again. And part 2 of this post will be a description of that dream honeymoon. But those few days that we took straight after getting married, on the French coast…that to me will always be my honeymoon. Because the fancy swanky trip that we went on to Malaysia…it was incredible and the hugest adventure we’ve ever been on…but it was a holiday. It was 9 months after the wedding. It was an amazing trip, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I would go back again in a nanosecond. But we weren’t giddy. We didn’t have that holy-crap-we-just-got-married mentality. And there is nothing that can beat that.

The mentality of which I speak.

In France we did nothing for five whole days. Is there anything more glorious than doing nothing? It was so…uncomplicated. We wandered round the old city walls of St Malo, re-enacting its pirating past (er, that was just me), eating A LOT (brides to be, can I be the first to tell you how unspeakably marvellous it is not to have klaxons blaring in your ear about BACK FAT and DOUBLE CHIN POTENTIAL! every time something sweet passes your lips, as they do in the weeks preceding one’s wedding?) We slept, we laughed, we talked about the day itself, I got his stories, he got mine. I spoke bad French. He spoke fluent French. We went to markets, we ate cheese, we drank coffee, we sat on boats, we slept. We slept some more.

The markets were worth every single sodding carrot stick I ate over the preceding two months.

Lobster. No, I am not naked under this bib. I assure you I am wearing a halterneck. It wasn’t THAT kind of French trip.
So the point of this post is to say…honeymoons, real honeymoons, those few days straight after the wedding, don’t have to be huge jet-set Lanvin-sunnies-and-a-big-floppy-hat affairs. It is indescribable how perfect your honeymoon will be wherever you go and whatever you do, even if you have two like we did (I have a hatred of the word “mini-moon” but ALRIGHT that’s technically what we did). France called to me as the perfect place to wind down and fall in love all over again. France was right.

This time is about the two of you and nothing else. You’re about to embark on a hell of an adventure together. These few days are just the beginning. Whether that’s in a cottage in the rain in Wales, or camping, or staying in a yurt (erm…third honeymoon, anyone?), it’s recapturing what’s been hijacked from you over the last few months. Taking a moment on the big day is important, sure, but that hardly compares to hours and hours stretching before you with no lists, no worries, your only task to be in love.

And eat each other’s croissants.

This picture annoys Mr K because it has an “uneven horizon”. Pfft.

Categories: Life Experience, Marriage, Travel, Written By Anna
16 interesting thoughts on this

16 Comments

  1. Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    awesome pictures… genuine and beautiful..

    glad to have stopped by :)

  2. Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Amen to this. I find that peoples' approaches to honeymoons are often quite similar to approaches to weddings – in that there's this expectation of having to do certain things (must be on a beach, must be luxurious, must be as far away as possible, must spend lots of money, must be THE BEST HOLIDAY EVER…), which, despite writing about honeymoons, I don't agree with. But you're really hit the nail on the head here – the most important thing is having the time to yourselves to soak up and process what's just happened, to be able to keep turning to each other and say "we're married!", and to just completely relish being together.
    And as a complete and utter Francophile, five days in France sounds like the perfect way to do this.
    I also may have to go and investigate croissant possibilities now…

    xx

  3. Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Great post

    One of the first things people asked when we were engaged was where are you going on honeymoon? Now I know that for some people this one of the most important things of the wedding but for us it never was. We probably could have spent thousands of pounds going to some beautiful island but we just didnt have the money and we were very lucky to be able to stay in my husbands parents house in the south of france.
    I am so glad we did as it was perfect, it was 10 days of pure relaxation and the enjoyment of each others company after the massive build up of the wedding. France was amazing and so much so we are just about to go to paris for a long weekend to celebrate our 1 year anniversary
    (love the naked lobster picture!)
    ;-)

  4. Esme
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Awww, this is perfect. We're having a 4 day 'mini-moon' (I LOVE that phrase, but not quite as much as I love my boy's reaction when I say it: 'That is NOT a word!') and then the honeymoon 6 weeks later simply because we cannot afford it straight after the wedding. Now I'm looking forward to those 4 days even more. Thanks Anna.

    xxx

    P.S. I have that maxi-dress from Monsoon. It's a good 'un, no?

  5. Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Love the pictures – newly married bliss! You really can't beat it. We had a mini-moon in Masham in North Yorkshire, 3 days of pubs, brewery tours and The Forbidden Corner (you all need to go here – seriously, it's a theme park more or less based on how it would feel to be Sarah in The Labyrinth).

    And LOTS of eating. Oh my! I ate so much. I agree, being unleashed from the chains of guilt-ridden celery makes everything taste like manna from heaven.

    We are off for Dream Honeymoon in 5 weeks (as with you Anna, tripofalifetimenevercouldhaveaffordeditotherwise situation) and bursting with excitement, but I just know the magic will be a different kind.

    Px

    PS Mmmmm ….lobster….

  6. Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Allow me to comment from my sick bed (At home! No more hospital! Yippee!!)…I demand that every couple go and eat cheese and drink hot chocolate from bowls for a few days. You always love someone more when you have Camembert in your mouth when you look at them.

    Doesn't matter where you honeymoon, it's how you do it. Each other and a lot of hours stretching before you is the most luxurious feeling in the world. Be that in a spa or in a tent.

    @Esme…this is still, 2 years later, the dress of my dreams. If it were a person it would be my BFF. It hides all sins and goes with anything!

  7. Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Looks wonderful!

    I am so glad we chose to go on honeymoon straight after the wedding, something we were both set on from the beginning, and somewhere we had always wanted to go but couldnt justify the cost otherwise.

    We spent a week in Sri Lanka doing a tour around the country seeing lots of sights {since we arent really beach people usually} then went to the Maldives for a week of relaxation and doing nothing!

    I would also recommend you go when there is a weird volcanic eruption so that your maldives stay gets extended for another 5 nights, it was such a hardship not being able to get home from a tiny island in the middle of the ocean! When would that ever happen again! {We were lucky that our tour operator paid for it too!}

    Anna, hope you are getting better, rest, rest & more rest!

  8. Jessie
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Yay to being home Anna K!

    We too are 'mini-mooning'!! OOh, I like that as a verb, so potentially rude! A week in Cornwall with free accommodation where I am hoping that we do very little other than eat and lounge around in each others company!

    Then there are plans afoot for the tripofalifetimedon'teventhinkofthecostofthishotel MEGA-MOON later on. And I can't wait, for either of them. Having been engaged for 2 years I am ALL for stretching these things out!!

    xx

  9. Becca
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I have no idea where we're spending our honeymoon and I really don't care (providing I am not at work obviously). We've been to Cuba and all kinds of delicious islands and they don't inspire me as honeymoon locations (despite blagging the honeymoon suite in Cuba by telling them we were on an anniversary trip which doesn't translate well as when we checked in they told us to 'enjoy your wedding' (not engaged but I was clearly hoping) and the look on his face was a picture (no I have not secretly booked a wedding honeybunch)).

    Anna I am glad you are back.

    Ps the dog story-my Mum told that to my MIL when they first met. Three days after MIL's dog died. It's the story that keeps on giving. Mum was obviously mortified.

  10. Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    We had our honeymoon in Cornwall in a yurt. I wish we could do have that honeymoon every year.

  11. Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

    Not the honeymoon, that's fantastic, and you look fab and wicked happy.

    I'm talking about the lobster. What is that sauce? Who has bastardised the pinnacle of deliciousness?
    Lobster should be served on its own streamed/boiled with maybe some clarified butter if you desire. And whole not halved. I know the French think they know it all when it comes to food, but it literally makes me weep when I see what they do to my tasty red friend.
    Unless of course it's warm water lobster then that's okay. Warm water lobster is the work of the devil.

  12. Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    We haven't sailed over to france on a ferry for far too long! (well actually we did just before christmas but that was for a booze cruise day trip with both our sets of parents – fun) The reason being we have spent the past 2 and a half years restoring our campervan which has taken all our free time and made holiday planning tricky. I am feeling very antsy to drive him onto a P&O; vessel and head for the french coast and this post has most definitely not helped! x

  13. Anonymous
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for my rant that is going to take place but I really need to get this off my chest..

    My partner and I have been looking forward to our honeymoon since we booked it a year ago! It's not the most important thing in our wedding but we are longing to be together, ALONE!

    We booked the most beautiful cottage by the seaside in a rather exotic location that took a lot of research and my time to find. After showing my future brother in law the link to our amazing homeymoon spot – to share our exitement (he is also the bestman you see), him and his fiance booked in earlier this year and got married in the garden of our cottage and stayed there for 2 weeks. They had plenty of opportunities to talk to us about it before they went but then didn't. I should have known something was odd when they suddenly decided to elope to the same country as our honeymoon location and avoided my questions about where they were staying.

    Suffice to say I was slightly horrified upon their return. They don't think what they have done is wrong. Has anyone ever heard of this behavior?

  14. Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Yay for France! I love that so many 'after-wedding breaks' (NOT mini-moons!) were taken in France.

    Our time in Paris was the most precious we've ever spent together. We planned it as a short break to sightsee and eat and then an epic round-Europe-3-week-trip would be our 'honeymoon'.

    Life intervened and we didn't get to take that epic trip, but I don't care. We had our honeymoon-our time for 'us'-there in Paris and I wouldn't change a thing.

    x

  15. Katie
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    This post is making me want a mini moon. But hey I'll settle for travelling around Sri Lanka.

    Anonymous,you clearly have fantastic taste in holidays. I'd take your brother in law's elopement to your cottage as a compliment, and try and be happy for them. Perhaps they do not have your talent in finding beautiful spots.

    You can now compare holiday notes, and gloat how you picked the destination for their wedding.

    xx

  16. Posted July 27, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Oh yes the holy crap we just got married thing… yup doesn't matter where you are as long as you have that! :) We went to the isle of wight – and I think if we'd gone elsewhere (with amazing views etc) we wouldn't have taken any of it in!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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