My husband and I had what we would consider a phenomenal honeymoon. Here are just a few (of the many!) steps we took to make it unique (and some amazing things that just happened to work out well for our benefit):
We shortened our wedding planning time and lengthened our honeymoon. Drew and I like to tell people that our honeymoon was longer than our engagement. And it was! Having been the closest of friends for three years before we began dating, our relationship moved quite quickly when things turned romantic. We both just knew. Originally, we had planned for a four-month engagement, but we soon decided to move our wedding date forward two months and increase our honeymoon. In the end, we were blessed to have about three months worth of time that we were able to spend as a “honeymoon” after our wedding. During that time, we spent basically 24/7 together growing as a young married couple (we had not lived together before we were married). We talk about our honeymoon having three phases:
PHASE 1: Our first destination was a very special one to my husband. He had spent the 6 months before we got engaged out at a secluded cabin on a lake in Idaho writing a book. The couple who owned that cabin was generous enough to let us use that cabin for our first week of marriage. Getting to be together in a place where Drew had poured out so much of himself and his creative energy (and where he had wooed me from afar in some VERY creative ways) was very special. The rest of this phase was spent touring the beautiful northwest US and Southwestern Canada. We used friends’ cabins or stayed in bed-n-breakfasts (MUCH more romantic than your average hotel). We toured the beauty of God’s earth together by checking out national parks, going hiking etc… a perfect accompaniment to discovering our new marriage together.
PHASE 2: The majority of this segment was spent on a cruise that we took from Santiago, Chile around the tip of South America (we got to see Ushuaia, the most southern inhabited city in the world) and up to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Two things that made this phase especially unique. First, our first overnight in Santiago was at an orphanage where my husband’s sister and her husband were looking at adopting some children from. While there, we were able to meet the children they were thinking about adopting… the experience was enriching beyond words. And, it helped us keep the right perspective when we moved on to the opulence of the cruise (a new experience for us both!) Secondly, when we were in port stops and in Buenos Aires at the end, we made sure to seek out the activities that the locals got involved in—that way we got a more authentic experience in the countries we were visiting. For example, we wanted to see the tango. But instead of going to a show like most tourists did, we asked out hotel concierge where the locals went to learn. We ended up in the basement of a building where we learned the basic steps along with many other local couples. It was great!
PHASE 3: This stage took us to Beaver, PA. This is where my husband’s parents lived. We had lived near my parents the two months before the wedding, but I hadn’t gotten much of a chance to spend time with Drew’s parents. So, we spent our last month living with them and volunteering at the local Salvation Army. Because we had been so blessed with the time for a long honeymoon, we wanted to be able to give something back as well. We both believe strongly that servanthood is an essential part of any relationship, and it was very important for us to start our young marriage by serving together. And what a blessing it was for us to be able to do that! We worked with several older gentlemen who had given most of their retirement to serving with the Salvation Army. What an inspiration they were! And, we got to watch groups of young people come in and give of their time (we were there between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays). It is always a joy to watch young people serve. Also, this time was very special as I got to develop a relationship with the most important people in my life now, Drew’s parents.
So, those were some of the things that made our honeymoon uniquely special. While that period was one of the most blessed periods in my life, I can honestly say that each day with my wonderful husband is even better than the day before. The theme for our wedding stands true even today—we are amazed by “What the Lord Has Done.”
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