The fact that both recent royal wedding brides and grooms – Will and Kate, and Zara and Mike – chose to skip, or at least not take immediately, their honeymoons seems to signal a change in the honeymoon agenda. Zara and Mike are not going away for another three months because they are too busy, and Will and Kate probably because they wanted time away from the limelight to allow them to slip off quietly just eleven days later.
For the rest of us normal people, it seems something of a crying shame to skip the honeymoon, or even postpone this time together, for which the wedding ceremony so effortlessly sets the stage.
Traditionally the honeymoon is a cocooning, a holiday away from everyone else. Although way back when it simply described the period of time following the wedding when things are at their sweetest. The term ‘honeymoon’ is believed to have been around since as early as 1546.
In Europe it was traditional to supply a newly married couple with mead for a month, promoting both happiness and fertility, and it was from this practice that the word ‘honeymoon’ is derived from the French ‘lune de miel’ (moon of honey).
That the honeymoon evolved into a holiday together came about in Great Britain during the early 19th century and was apparently borrowed from the Indian elite, where upper class couples would take a ‘bridal tour’, usually accompanied by friends or family, something the more modern practice thankfully does not include.
Today the emphasis, probably due to intense marketing agendas, is all about the destination, rather than the reason for a honeymoon, and celebs compete for the perfect honeymoon retreat taking time out for the event if not once, then twice (as Kate Moss did recently).
The change of emphasis, probably largely due to the fact that most couples live together before getting married, plus the trend for ‘dream’ destinations, has led to the introduction of the honeymoon registry (usually a website), where guests can contribute monetary gifts towards the honeymoon and where the bride and groom to be give details of their plans.
Happy Wedding Planning!