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The planning diaries: how a travel blogger plans her honeymoon

08 May 2019

Blogger and newlywed Ellie Dixon-Smith gives the insider knowledge on planning your honeymoon

Image: Sarah Horton Photography

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Ohhh honeymoon… It's the thing you dream of when you’re knee deep in ‘wedmin’ and can’t wait to escape all the madness for a holiday of your dreams. It may seem like a million miles away when you’re in the midst of the planning stages but once it rolls around, it’s a trip that will never be forgotten. 

For many, your honeymoon is the one time of your life where you can live a little more luxuriously and not have to think about the price at all; whether it’s swimming with dolphins in Mexico, having dinner by candlelight in The Maldives or an epic safari in Kenya, the whole trip is set up to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and so it should be.

No matter how long you’ve been engaged for, planning a wedding is not easy. Whether you’re a DIY bride, have had a wedding planner to arrange the whole thing or have dabbled here and there, the whole process warrants an opulent trip away.

I’ve been writing about travel for a number of years which stems from a love of discovering new places and creating memories with my nearest and dearest – but with going away rather frequently paired with not wanting to spend a fortune every time, I knew that when it came to planning our honeymoon, things might be slightly trickier. 

One of the best decisions we made as a couple was to delay our honeymoon until later in the year after our big day. 

We were wed in Cheshire in April 2019 but are waiting until August to take our well-deserved break. Not only does this mean that we’ll be more financially stable when the time comes around but it also gives us something to look forward to when the wedding blues started to kick in (side note – definitely starting to happen…)

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Image: Sarah Horton Photography

Being a travel blogger means that I keep my eyes open for good deals when it comes to going away but with a honeymoon on the horizon, I was torn whether to go for a full luxury, ‘travel-agent’ planned holiday or a bit of a DIY deal where we moved around and explored more of one country. After much deliberation, we chose somewhere in the middle and booked 10 nights in Italy. 

For me, Italy has everything: incredible weather, delectable food and the relaxed sense of the locals, which is just what you want for a trip away so it was a no brainer to visit my favourite country with my new husband. 

We could have gone to the Maldives, Thailand or Miami but there is something about going back to a country I’ve visited before that puts me at ease, knowing that we will definitely have the time of our lives.

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When I usually travel I tend to stay in three or four-star hotels, opting to save my money for the local delicacies and exploring what’s around me but as we will be celebrating our marriage (the whole four months of it by then) we decided to spend a little bit extra on where we stay.

We were lucky that our wedding guests were incredibly generous with our gifts and most of them gave us donations towards our honeymoon. We have started planning our route – starting in the north and heading south – and it’s amazing to see how far your money can go when you are booking everything yourself. 

If you’re looking to save a few pennies on your honeymoon, I would definitely recommend doing your research and seeing what ideas you can come up with yourself. 

In summary

  • Don't be afraid to do it yourself – there are loads of resources online for you to make informed decisions from
  • Don't feel the pressure to go away straight from the wedding – enjoy your time being husband and wife and have something to look forward to
  • Don't be sucked into marketing from travel agents – the price usually rises if you mention the word honeymoon, so use it wisely
  • Research, research, research – there's nothing more powerful than a bride's brain on a mission
  • Remember you don't need to spend a fortune to have a fantastic time 

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