Engagement-moons. These special getaways are similar to honeymoons, but couples instead celebrate the promise to spend the rest of their lives together. They’re often more modest in terms of cost, travel and time. But with the right planning, your engagement-moon can be just as unforgettable. (More on this later.)
Couples nowadays love the idea of engagement-moons for many reasons, but two stand out. First, it’s an exciting milestone when you’re taking time to say, “I do.” If the wedding date, for example, is a year away and the honeymoon even further there’s something to look forward to sooner. Second, engagement-moons act as a deep breath before the wedding planning begins. It’s no mystery that it can be a stressful time, even for more modest affairs, making sure the big day is perfect. Booking the venue. Finalizing a guest list. Shuffling a seating chart. Finding the perfect music. Writing vows. The wedding planning to-do list goes on. A quick getaway can be an effective way to ease your mind, body and soul before getting to work.
To that end, unsurprisingly, the one and only rule about an engagement-moon is no wedding planning. The aforementioned to-do list should be cast to the wayside for the time being, allowing you and yours to focus on one another. It’s more important to reminisce about the past and look to the future. How did you first meet? What was your first date? When did you know you were in love? Where do you see yourselves in a decade? What does life look like in 30 years?
How do I plan an engagement-moon?
The key to planning—and budgeting—is keeping things simple. It’s not uncommon to feel like you can’t afford an engagement-moon with the wedding and honeymoon around the corner. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be an extravagant getaway to an exotic location. You should save those types of ideas for the honeymoon and instead consider a weekend getaway to a nearby resort or road trip to a secluded, beautiful destination in a neighboring state.
In addition to some due diligence of your own on the good ol’ information highway, talking to friends, family and even travel agents is a great way to come up with the perfect point B to your point A. The good news is many point Bs, specifically resorts and hotels, are catching up to the engagement-moon trend and offering special, short-term packages for couples that are recently engaged. Be on the lookout for these engagement-moon packages while you plan.
Engagement-moon destinations: where should you go?
There are plenty of engagement-moon destinations no matter where you call home. Consider your must-haves, budget and how much time you want to spend away while reviewing some of the engagement-moon inspiration below.
Wine Country – Some of the most popular engagement-moon destinations include Washington, Oregon and California for their world class wine countries. Itineraries are often flexible based on your budget for lodging, tours, tastings and more.
Mountain Retreat – Fresh air, peace and quiet, unmatched scenery and adventure. It’s no wonder many couples escape to the mountains for their engagement-moons. Just a bit of research will reveal various lodging options from world-class resorts to secluded cabins.
Countryside – Similar to a mountain retreat, the countryside offers respite from the daily grind with the perfect combination of scenery and seclusion. How much of each depends on the region and lodging you’re considering.
Local Hotels & Resorts – If you prefer sitting in the lap of luxury instead of a car or an airplane for hours, hotels and resorts in and around your hometown are ideal. Instead of travel costs, the budget can go toward room service, candlelit dinners, massages and more. With the right amount of pampering, a staycation like this can still end up being an unforgettable getaway.
Across the Border – Canada and Mexico can feel like a magical getaway without draining budgets, especially for couples who live in the northern and southern regions of the U.S. Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa are worthy considerations. You can also take a look at Rosarito, San Felipe and Puerto Peñasco.
Needless to say, there are 1,000s of other destinations for engagement-moons like Hawaii, the Bahamas and beyond. As you plan, remember to keep it simple, consider your budget and how much time you want to spend away. Most of all, make sure it offers you both the chance to celebrate the promise to spend the rest of your lives together.