The stretch of Canggu Beach in Bali was falling asleep as the warm air of monsoon dissipated. But at a villa where the neighborhood ends, the day was just about to start for two people.
It was the first evening of forever for Michael and I.
While our guests were just getting comfortable to finally take off their shoes for another hour of dancing, my new husband was already wrapping up his grooves. He winked at me. It was his signal to me to get ready to sneak out.
We wove through the crowd of dear family and friends while giving tight hugs and quick kisses to those we bumped into along the way.
If this photo could talk, it'll say "Let's sneak out!" And so we actually did...
We were sneaking out of our own wedding we planned for eight months. We were leaving a fun party where my favorite 90s music was playing.
Because we were more excited about spending the night together finally!
And then there we were, in our room not very far from the 100+ guests who all flew to the island just to be with us. And we had no plans of seeing any of them again the next day.
You might think it was pretty rude.
Well, I suppose we could have done it better.
We could have announced to everyone that we will be signing off from the party to finally have sex. But that would have been so awkward.
Or we could have stayed until everyone else was gone. But that meant waiting for them until check-out time the next day. Many of our guests stayed at the same villa where we were going to spend our first day as a husband and wife. We didn’t want to wait that long.
We literally didn’t come out of our room the next day until everyone was gone.
Being very social people, we knew we would be tempted to chat away with anyone we’d see, and even say “yes” to an activity they might be thinking about.
But we were on a mission. To just focus on each other.
Frankly, we were not worried about what our guests were going to think. Our guests knew us very well and they knew how excited we had been about finally spending a night together. And because we had made sure that everyone was sorted out logistically, we felt we had done our part in hosting.
Four years after that night, Michael and I still think that we made a good decision to have our honeymoon right away.
Photo by David Nunez on Unsplash
And here are the three benefits of having your honeymoon after your wedding day.
1. You get to establish foundations for your marriage right away.
The first days of marriage is very crucial in establishing strong foundations for the years to come. It’s the time when you consummate your marriage through sex.
So if we’ll call those first days of marriage as the “honeymoon”, then it makes sense to get on with it right after the wedding day. And it’s also important to dedicate a number of days for it that’s satisfying for both you and your new husband.
For many couples, the idea of a honeymoon is a big exotic trip. And because of the financial demands of such a trip, it’s usually scheduled much later after the wedding day.
Trips such as that are good for marriages. They add to the excitement in the relationship. It also allows couples to learn about each other in a different context, and and builds fond memories.
But I would call that trip something else. “Our first newlywed trip” or something.
The honeymoon that we are talking about, the crucial immediate first days after the wedding day, should not be put on hold. A honeymoon can then be in the same city where you already live, in the same city as your wedding venue, or even in your marital home. On this blog post I share why a long and complicated travel journey may not always be the best option after the wedding day.
2. You communicate with each other that the marriage takes priority.
Cindy, not her real name, shared with me how devastated she felt the few days following her wedding day.
She and her then-fiancé-now-husband waited until marriage to have sex. Her whole engagement period, she was just looking forward to being intimate with her groom after the wedding day.
Their wedding day was attended by guests flying in from overseas. They had not seen many of these people in a long time. So her groom thought it was a good idea to spend the next few days after the wedding with them.
They did not communicate well about this plan beforehand. Cindy felt her groom was prioritising their family and friends. Meanwhile, Cindy’s groom thought her attitude during the entire week with their dear family and friends was very unwelcoming and ungrateful.
The couple have sorted out this disagreement and has learned that communication is key. Also, they’ve learned that everything else just takes second priority after marriage. And sometimes, they will have to make tough decisions that other people wouldn’t really like or understand.
When I asked Cindy if she would have felt better had they communicated about the plan of spending their immediate post-wedding week with family and friends, her answer was interesting. She shared that had she and her partner talk about their expectations around the day after their wedding, her husband would have supported her preference. Because, as it turned out, he also wanted to spend his time with just Cindy and no one else right after the wedding day!
3. You can really focus on each other with undivided attention.
It takes a while for our brain to switch off from the previous task that we were focused on. So when you go back to work straight after the wedding, when you finally have your honeymoon, your brain will take a while to switch back to a honeymoon mode.
See, you’ll just be focused on the wedding and your fiancé the days before the wedding. You can take advantage of that mental focus for the following days to just serve your new spouse.
Here are the other plus points of the week following your wedding day: People are usually conscious about not disturbing newlyweds the immediate days after their wedding. And with the popularity of marriage leaves, most companies would entitle you to it the same period as your wedding day. So why not take advantage of the privileges of the post-wedding week?
Here’s a caveat though: You can only really have an undisturbed honeymoon right after the wedding if you plan your post-wedding logistics well.
Who will pack-up all your personal items at the ceremony and the reception?
Who will send off your guests on your behalf? Who will settle the balances with the vendors after the party’s over?
It’s possible to have a plan for these things so you can be 100% focused on your spouse! Here’s a blog post where I identify the post-wedding things you need to plan ahead, and ways to delegate them.
Others might suggest, “Marriage is hard stuff. So it’s better to get back to the “real life” right away so we don’t get wrapped up in a bubble of the honeymoon phase.” It’s true, marriage is hard stuff. And all couples will inevitably have to go through various trying phases in marriage.
There is a verse in the old testament that talks about taking a year off after the wedding day. Deuteronomy 24:5 says, “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” Christians are no longer bound by this in the new covenant, but there is indeed wisdom in this principle. And if we dig the wisdom here, then we can apply it to our the first few days or weeks of marriage - when the honeymoon takes place. This blog post talks more about it.
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