Weddings! Everyone suffers temporary insanity while planning theirs, and the reward at the end of that agonizing journey — aside from new dinnerware and hot, god-sanctioned sex — is a week or two of decadent luxury on a vacation known as the “honeymoon.” Trouble is, because it comes after the big day, the honeymoon can feel like an afterthought, or even a comedown. Is it possible we’ve been doing it all wrong?
Newlyweds have tried different approaches to get the most out of this moment in their relationship, including separate honeymoons, or “solomoons,” where each party is free to do whatever they want, without compromise. But let’s say you, um, actually enjoy spending time with your significant other? In that case, you might think about a pre-wedding honeymoon, also known as a “funnymoon.”
Why bump up the travel dates? Let us count the reasons.
A wedding is a party, and it hits you like a monster truck full of all your friends and relatives. No matter how responsibly you rage at the reception, I can tell you this with utmost confidence: You will not want to wake up at 4 a.m. the next day to catch a 12-hour flight to a country where you don’t speak the language. You’ll probably need an entire day of recovery, if not a long weekend of weed, brunch and lazy makeouts. Go hiking in Thailand a couple months prior, when your body is better prepared for it.
Takes the Pressure Off
The expectation of world-shattering intercourse on your wedding night and throughout the honeymoon that follows is… not super realistic. You don’t hit a switch that takes you from “regular boning” to “romance novel hypereroticism.” And that’s fine! You’re probably racking up plenty of spicy fuck sessions during the engagement, no need to pack a whole suitcase with gags and buttplugs and clamps because you feel obligated to push the envelope. A funnymoon sheds most of this traditional baggage, allowing you to simply take pleasure in each other — and a much-needed break from the annoyance of picking out your napkins and table centerpieces.
One Last Chance to Recognize a Mistake
Ian McEwan’s 2007 novel On Chesil Beach tells the story of a young couple whose honeymoon ends in disaster and an annulment of marriage, because they didn’t genuinely know one another. All things being equal, maybe better to have that epiphany in the weeks leading up to “I do.” Imagine it: You arrive in Paris only to find out your partner doesn’t want to visit the Louvre and, in fact, thinks art museums are “boring.” Instead, they want to go to a French McDonald’s so they can order the “Royale with cheese.” Definite grounds for a breakup — and calling off a wedding is way easier/less embarrassing than quickie divorce. If you are already married, you might just be lazy enough to overlook a red flag like this and resign yourself to an unhappy union. Bad!
It Turns the Wedding Into the Climax
Like I said, your wedding is an extreme high. You can strain yourself trying to top it with couples’ tourism, no matter how exotic the destination. (My parents say they went to Hilton Head Island, where it apparently rained the entire week, which I’m sure felt fairly ominous; fortunately, they made it through the next 37 years without a serious hitch.) Doesn’t it make more sense to build up excitement with a getaway — intimate time for you and the love of your life — and then cap it off with a big celebration that, let’s face it, is mostly designed for the benefit of everyone else you’ve ever met? Think of it as surfing into shore on a pleasant, gentle wave, and walking into the middle of a gigantic luau. You’ll always appreciate a spectacle more when it’s a grand finale, and you aren’t distracted by thoughts like, “Oh god, is my passport expired?” Let yourself let go. You deserve it.
You Can Still Have a Regular Honeymoon, Also
What’s better than one romantic holiday? Two! Sandwich your wedding between them! Obviously this point applies most to millionaire celebrities, but if you become ultra-wealthy before you meet The One, it’s worth keeping in mind.
The real answer to the question “Why take a honeymoon before you tie the knot?” is… why not? You probably aren’t holding off on the horny stuff until you get the approval of some religion or state government, so logistically, you’re good to go. Is a cool trip really something you have to “earn” by swapping vows first? No! We’re living in 2019, and who knows if that bed and breakfast will still be there in 2020. Live fast, fuck well, and never apologize for your hedonism. I’ll go grab you a glass of champagne.