Honeymoons. If you've been married, you'll know that depending on what you want to do, these can take almost as much planning as the wedding - you just don't need to juggle a seating plan. Your seating on the plane is the biggest gamble you'll take!
I wanted to share my experience though because although it's been 5 years since we planned ours, it was still an adventure that I wished I'd have had a journal of sorts for. Both for the wonderful memories, and so I could prove to people that if you have a nightmare, you're not alone. Honestly. These perfect stories that married people tell you about how easy it all was and planning their wedding and honeymoon was a breeze....I don't buy it. Or if it was, I envy them. Not everything has to be magazine perfect and it will usually right itself in the end and be the most magical trip you've ever taken.
We knew we didn't want a honeymoon where we simply stayed in one place, but wanted to be closer to home. We also knew we didn't want to involve an agent and wanted a DIY trip, so it needed serious consideration. Finally, we decided on Rome, flying home via Paris for a couple of nights.
AirFrance however, had different plans for us.
Our flights had been booked and paid, our dates were locked in with work, a hotel in Paris had been booked, but AirFrance withdrew our flights from Paris to Leeds. I tried every which way to get around this speed bump but now, we were effectively spending 5 nights in Rome which we would have to cut short to actually get home on a flight locally (out of season so not the easiest), or extend meaning we had a LONG time in Rome. I cried. This also happened when Scott was away on his stag do (bachelor party), so add this to wedding stress, I just broke down.
When Scott did get home, we came up with a plan. We would have to let Paris go. We didn't trust AirFrance anymore so we would tweak our honeymoon and have an Italian adventure. But this is where the juggling came into play. We knew that ideally, we wanted our local airport at home so this was our starting point. After a couple of weeks and many draining conversations later, we thought sod it, we knew we could get home from Venice because we'd been there before however, we wanted to break it up a bit and stop off somewhere in the middle. We chose Florence. At this point, it became a 'for the sake of it' destination. Neither of us knew what to expect but we knew it was somewhere we wouldn't have necessarily chosen had it not been for this fiasco. It was slowly becoming soul destroying.
Now, I'm sure you're sat there thinking, well why didn't you just postpone instead of potentially wasting all this money? It's a fair point, but we desperately wanted to escape after a nightmare few months. Even though nothing was as we planned, we knew we would make the most of it and given that we were going away in March/April, it meant that certain hotels were more affordable so we could upgrade.
But this meant now, things were slowly getting a bit messier and I had print outs and booking numbers shoved into a wallet so I would be able to keep track. We would land in Rome, stay 4 nights, get the train to Florence, stay 4 nights, then get the train to Venice staying 3 nights before heading home. I made notes after the wedding so I knew who had given us money as a wedding gift so we could do something meaningful with it on our honeymoon and let them know afterwards. More paper getting crammed into my little travel wallet. This scrappy little wallet became a huge chaotic mess a few days in, to the point where I actually lost our Venice train tickets and let me tell you, they do not mess around in train stations over there!
There are many things I can look back on and laugh at, but the spanner in our honeymoon still isn't one of them. What I will say however, is that by not going to Paris, we FELL IN LOVE with somewhere we never would have even thought of going. Florence.
Our honeymoon was, and still is, one of the most magical trips I have ever been on and I'm going to go into detail about each location and the excursions we did in another post because I would recommend them all in a heartbeat. But I do regret not having somewhere to write down and organise our honeymoon properly. Somewhere to store all flight, hotel, train, excursions details and references. This isn't a long winded sales pitch, even a journal to write memories down would have been amazing. As a generally organised person, things managed to spiral pretty quickly with our honeymoon planning due to unforeseen circumstances.
As it stands, I am currently making a small scrapbook for us so this will have all the photographic memories in.
I genuinely hope that the Love, Luna Honeymoon Planner can help at least one bride or groom to be.
If you have any questions, please drop me an email or a DM over on Instagram. I'm always happy to chat weddings and travel!