Sunday, 23 February 2014

Honeymoon Planning

Yes I'm planning the honeymoon before I plan the wedding.  The thought of planning a wedding still absolutely terrifies me.  I'm hoping someone will come to me one day and say "your wedding has been organised" and I won't have to deal with it.  I think the reason why I'm so scared is because I know I could easily become bridezilla and go crazy and I really don't want to piss people off or stress myself out.  For the time being the only thing I can do to prevent Kayzilla is not to think about it.  Let's see how long it lasts.

Anyway we were talking about our honeymoon.  Originally I suggested Europe as Tom's never been and I have but not for long.  Tom didn't want a long/stressful/rushing around honeymoon and just wanted to relax somewhere.  So we were tossing up between Bora Bora and the Maldives (which, in itself, was doing my head in) as we wanted to stay in those over-water bungalow things.  Honestly after a bit of research I still couldn't split the 2.  Then my mind started wandering back to Europe and I just need to convince Tom that it's a good idea.

My rough idea:

  • London
  • Paris
  • Nice?
  • Venice
  • Cinque Terre
  • Florence or Rome - any opinions?
  • Santorini - or another Greek island?
  • Barcelona? to visit and stay with my cousin who lives there
  • Dubai/Abu Dhabi to visit and stay with my other cousin who lives there
  • Maybe also Kuala Lumpur on the way from Sydney to London to stay in the over-water bungalows they have?
Any thoughts anyone??


  1. Nice is a must apparently! My friend can't stop raving about it and he's travelled everywhere.

    1. I've also heard great things about it so I thought I should check it out!

  2. We went on a trip with Mr. M's family a couple of years ago to Turkey, it was bloody amazing. There's so much to see and do, and if you're after the Greek Island experience you can include that so easily.

    1. Tom's been to Turkey before and isn't interested in going back unfortunately. Thanks for the advice though!

  3. Haha you are exactly the same as me. I was totally focused on the Honeymoon!!! We really wanted to have to do as little planning as possible for our wedding which is why we got married in Fiji, the resort did pretty much everything! That way we also got our island holiday before we went on our big trip, a month in Europe. (Although I know there are lots of reasons why destination weddings don't work for everyone) I absolutely loved London (more than I thought I would!) and Paris of course. I spent a month in France a few years ago and to be honest I almost loved the south (Nice etc) more than Paris, the people were so friendly, there were beautiful towns and views everywhere and lots of great food & wine. Also what you decide to do might be influenced on what time of year you're planning to go. Winter is beautiful and a bit less busy but seriously cold!!! Have fun planning xx (PS sorry for the essay!)

    1. We've opted to stay in Sydney for our wedding, just logistically both families are here and it makes the most sense for us.

      We're planning to go around May/June so just before summer peak season in Europe :)

  4. I'm a bit meh with Nice. I would choose all your other European destinations over this.
    Yes to Barcelona LOVE - also love love love San Sebastian in Spain also. Went to both on my honeymoon.
    Also went to Venice and Cinque Terra on honeymoon also and recommend both.

    Adore Santorini, my fave Greek Island.

    Posted on VF but Def FLorence over Rome.

    How much time do you have? Thats quite a lot on your list. I'd say you need at least 5 weeks to do everything on your list properly.

    1. Thanks Indi. So Florence over Rome because it's smaller and less touristy?

      Cinque Terre overnight because I assume there isn't much to do there, am I wrong? How did you get to and from Cinque Terre? Did you use the Italian Eurail (can't remember what it's called) to travel across Italy?

      We're looking at about 6 weeks all up :)

    2. Noooo you cannot go to cinque terra for a night. Why would you go all that way anyway for 1 night? We stayed for 4 and that was perfect. It's quiet but great to chill out. Do the walk between the towns, go to the beach and eat lots of awesome Italian food. Yeah we used the train we went from Venice to cinque terra.

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  7. Sorry for the multiple posts... my iPhone wouldn't let me edit so I combined them on my laptop and deleted all but this post.

    Congrats on the engagement! Don't stress about planning the wedding! You can do it, just take it one step at a time and make sure to get Tom's input. In fact, you might consider giving him the task of setting up the DJ/musicians for the night. Overall, remember that you are planning the biggest party you'll ever attend on your behalf, so it should be what you want (and not what anyone else wants)!

    How long will you be on your honeymoon? I think that might dictate how many places you can feasibly go to and still enjoy yourself. I've been to Europe several times and 4 days minimum (7-9 days is better) per city will give you just enough time to relax a little and see some sights. That said, here are my thoughts...

    I love London and have friends there, it's such a fun city with so much to do (history, art, outdoors, shopping, museums)! You might eliminate it due to the cost and time it takes to get from there to Paris. I didn't really care for the people of Paris due to a few unfortunate experiences, but the architecture and museums are a must see!! Nice was ok, a pretty vacation spot for the wealthy, but I prefer the beaches in Spain better. You could eliminate Nice for a longer stay someplace else. I loved Barcelona, the city is very young and energetic (lots of night life) and the architecture is so unique (go to Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia). You can take a short train ride north to Blanes and the beaches are less crowded than in Barcelona. I adore the Cinque Terra!! The beaches are tiny and very rocky, but the laid back vibe of the towns, the locals, and the scenery are top notch. Very relaxing and low key. I'd skip Venice, it's neat to see once (maybe as a day trip because you can do everything of interest in one very long day) but not worth taking time away from your other locations (Venice is a bit of a trip and so you'll lose quite a bit of time). This is the point where I suggest taking as many night trains between locations as possible, and paying the money for a private sleeper car. I am all about multi-tasking and this is the best way to not lose days and days to cross country travel. Florence or Rome.... I love both cities equally for the people, food, architecture, art, and overall vibe. I would make your selection based on what you'd like to see more... Florence is closer to Tuscany (could be a good day or overnight trip to wine country), has more museums, can accommodate a day trip to Pisa, and is more laid back. Rome has more historic ruins, the Vatican (the Sistine Chapel), is a day trip away from Naples/Pompeii, and is more energetic.

    I have not been to Santorini, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Kuala Lumpur.

    My husband has been to Greece and Crete, loved both, but says the ferry ride from Athens to the islands is approximately an 8 hour overnight ferry ride. The trip from Rome to Athens is a full day via train, so there might be a considerable amount of time lost to travel if you head to Santorini.

    Best of luck!!

    1. Such a great idea delegating certain tasks to Tom hahah. He is defs in charge of music given he plays in a band!! We're trying desperately to get his band to play (fingers crossed).

      Honeymoon we're thinking 6 weeks. Give ourselves enough time to see things but not a ridiculously long period where we will be sick of each other. We'd be flying into London and then onto Paris so London is in there for sure. I've heard so many people say the same thing about Paris but honestly when I went I didn't have any bad experiences (touch wood).

      How long would you give for Cinque Terre? Where would you do a Venice day trip FROM? Doesn't seem like there are other major cities that close. Agree Venice can be done in a day or so but Tom's never been and I think he wants to see it.

      LOVE your tip re overnight trains. Which cities did you catch overnight trains between?

      Thanks for your feedback on Florence/Rome. I guess I should do a bit more research into what each has to offer before I make a decision.

      I read there is a speed ferry from Athens to Santorini in 5 hrs. Then was going to fly from Santorini to Barcelona so we don't have to sit on the ferry again :D

      THANKYOU so much for your comprehensive advice!!!

    2. 6 weeks should be plenty for your European itinerary!

      We bought a EuRail pass and used that for all of our train travel. We took overnight trains from Paris to Barcelona, Barcelona to Cinque Terra, and Cinque Terra to Venice. We took regional/local/speed trains between Madrid/Barcelona, Nice/Cinque Terra, Florence/Pisa, Rome/Naples, and Cinque Terra/Milan.

      If you use Florence as your central location, you can do a day trip to Venice, Pisa, and Rome. Granted these would be ~12 hour days (4 of which would be round trip on a train), so you want to get a train with the most direct route to avoid unnecessary time spent stopping at all the little stations along the way.

      We only stayed in the Cinque Terra for 2 nights/3 days, but I could have stayed a week! We will stay a week, next time we go!

    3. Ok I think I need to extend Cinque Terre from overnight to a few nights. That's amazing that the train network is so extensive that you can catch it between all those cities, will defs do a lot of research into Eurail.

  8. You could always hire a wedding planner? They make things a lot easier and you could opt just for assistance rather than the full package. There's also lots and lots of books to help you. I have a few really good ones.

    I'm having one bridesmaid (his sister) as I have no close female friends and the guys aren't interested, so that should decrease the bridezilla factor. :P That are we're focusing on the music and dress more than another at the moment, with debates over guest lists.

    Hope you're not afraid of flying in small planes - those huts out in the sea, that's the only way to get there. But I have heard they're amazing! Though the price tag matches the luxury of it all. Personally I think I'd go there, so you could chill out and just be together instead of being in the city.

    I'd vote for London, Paris and Venice/Rome! A tour of Europe! What are you after? A exploring/tourist trip in in the city, or a quite relaxing tropical paradise?

    1. Nope i'm good with planes, all types. Tom's a bit of a nervous flyer but he's gotten so much better in the last few years.

      I personally want a semi-relaxed, semi-exploring trip. Some time in the major cities, some time in a more relaxed environment.

  9. You've already got some pretty good advice regarding your honeymoon, so from a fellow bride-to-be to another, I just want to say.... wedding planning is not as overwhelming as you think :) Start off with a list of the big things that you need, arranged according to priority (how crucial they are to you, and more importantly time contraints - don't forget that really good vendors get booked out early). For me, it was:

    1. Venue & Catering (prior to that you have to have a rough idea of the number of guests though)
    2. Photographer
    3. Band/DJ
    4, Hair/Makeup
    5. Flowers
    6. Cake

    Once you have all your vendors booked, you'll find it easier to manage the other things that don't have such strict booking deadlines like:

    7. Invites
    8. Bonbonniere (if you want)
    9. Misc deco

    I already have a dress and shoes, but if I didn't, I guess I would advise you to start shopping around as early as possible just to be on the safe side. There's nothing worse than leaving it to the last minute and not being able to find dress that you like (which is what ALWAYS happens). I was very lucky in that I knew exactly what I wanted, and I found The One the first time I stepped in a bridal shop. But this process is obviously different with different people, so I'd rather be safe than sorry!

    Kay, I'm very much like you in that I love planning and organising things. I'm also a perfectionist. But I have been totally chill about planning this wedding, I'm actually quite surprised myself. I started out collating my ideas/concept for the wedding on a word document so I have a rough framework of our wedding style (traditional/modern/beach/barn/you get the idea). I then worked off the list above and researched each category, keeping in mind our style and sticking to it. You have it better than I do because it's really overwhelming when you have to plan a wedding in a country that you have completely NO idea about, and you don't even speak the language of! But from the beginning of the wedding planning process, I always thought, I'm going to work off my list one by one and do what I can. I'm not going to stress out too much about it because at the end of the day, it's the people coming together for us that matter. I don't think anyone is going to remember how the room looked at the start of the night. Plus after 5 beers it won't matter anyway :p So, that's how I've kept myself sane and relaxed in this process. Hope you enjoy your planning your wedding as much as I am enjoying planning it at the moment! :)

    1. Oh I can imagine how tough it would be planning a wedding in a foreign country in a foreign language!! I am going to start with this list and just work through it methodically like you said (so simple, why didn't I think of this before??)

      Planning to start dress shopping after I get the venue sorted, I think the venue is the part that's scaring me the most. Just need to get that out of the way and then start worrying about everything else.

      I totally agree with your approach and that's definitely the right attitude to have. I have to keep reminding myself so that I get a little perspective and don't go crazy with this.

      Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to be coming back to you a million times!!

    2. Well, in the beginning it can get quite overwhelming but really when you put everything into perspective, it's all about working through it methodically :) When it gets too much, just take some time off it. No biggie :)

      You're absolutely right, the venue was the most stressful part for us, but you know what? Once you get it all sorted, everything will fall into place, trust me. What you can do is go through photography blogs. That way you kill 2 birds with one stone - you can research both venues and photographers (and other ideas too might I add - like dresses, table numbers, invites, etc). Blogs are also a good place to start. Stylemepretty, oncewed, etc. One word of warning though, looking through these blogs can confuse you. A lot. So it's good to have a central idea of how you want your wedding to be and work your inspiration around it.

      You can email me anytime!! :)

    3. Thankyou so much. Have been looking at blogs for inspiration but agree it's overwhelming if you have no idea what you want. Will email you soon, been busy with job hunting/wedding planning :)


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  11. That's a lot of ground to cover, I guess it depends on whether you want a super relaxing honeymoon or not.

    But don't listen to me, I ended up ditching my wedding for getting married in the middle of my honeymoon!
    So jealous, really want to start planning another big trip, I just want to go so many places.

    1. I don't want a SUPER relaxed honeymoon. I want part sight seeing part relaxed.

      That's amazing, where did you go for your honeymoon?

  12. I love Europe so would definitely consider it for a honeymoon, especially since you say Tom hasn't been, but argh where do I begin! So many places to speak of! My main tip would be to maybe split it 3 weeks of full on sightseeing tourist type trip, then 2 weeks of relaxation at the end to make it feel like a honeymoon. Greek Islands/Croatia/Italy could definitely be great for this. As cliched as it is, Greek Islands is really relaxing and you can definitely still see things during the day leisurely while still feeling like you're on your honeymoon!

    1. I'm planning to inject bits of relaxation throughout the 5-6 week honeymoon. I personally can't sit still and relax and do nothing for 2 weeks straight. What do you think of Florence vs Rome?

  13. I think you've got a perfect balance injecting relaxation bits into the 5-6 weeks cause we get tired pretty quickly in our travels and usually need a recharge day after every three days. Don't spend just one night anywhere cause so much time is wasted in travelling to a place, most ppl forget that. The smaller towns in Europe especially take quite a bit of navigating to get to, for e.g. when we went to Positano it was a half a day event to get to the hotel from our flight and three changes of public transport to get to, so it's not as relaxing to get to. With water bungalows, I don't think you'd be looking at KL. It's more likely you'd find it in Langkawi or Pangkor island and those you'd have to fly into and isn't that close to KL in Malaysia. It'd be nice to have this planned for a end of the trip kind of relaxation, get some good massages in after the travels and long haul flights. and to help you prepare for the post-wedding and honeymoon life back in Sydney.

    1. Oooh I will look into Langkawi/Pangkor. So glad you're reading and keeping me on my toes!!


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