The landscape of the more traditional honeymoon has been changing over recent years, with newlyweds looking for an adapted version of a classic getaway to begin their next chapter of life together.
It may involve a ceremony and honeymoon in one (weddingmoon); bringing the kids along (familymoon); embarking on an epic, extended experience (adventuremoon) or even opting to invite friends along for the ride (buddymoon).
The pandemic has played havoc with so many plans for celebrations although it has strengthened many a couple’s resolve to make them even more memorable and perfect once they happen.
As travel rules continue to evolve, I am here to ensure those plans go off without a hitch.
When it comes to organising itineraries, logistics, regulations, form requirements, insurance and full financial protection, my experience and knowledge are invaluable.
So, here is a small selection of some of my current favourite destinations for 2022/23 honeymooners...
Extended trips that allow couples to tie the knot and enjoy a honeymoon in one. Not only does it combine the cost and help save money, but it also means a holiday for your nearest and dearest.
A weddingmoon doesn’t necessarily mean one destination - many opt for a trip that sees them jetting to a gorgeous island to wed, before jetting to a second to relax for a little longer.
My top picks would be the haven for romance that is Seychelles, with its achingly beautiful scenery, over 100 islands and ultra-exclusive resorts, or Mauritius, with its sparkling crystal-clear turquoise waters, gorgeous white sandy beaches and warm weather.
I have worked with the fabulous Beachcomber resorts for a long time and they host magical ceremonies in some of the most stunning beachfront locations.
For an LGBT wedding blessing with the wow factor, Mauritius or Thailand provide some extraordinary places for a gay wedding abroad. A wedding blessing appears exactly the same as a legal wedding – you just need to do the official paperwork in the UK before you travel.
In Mauritius, Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa, overlooking Tamarin Bay, is great for a small ceremony or walking down the grand staircase from the Manor House at Sugar Beach Resort is an unforgettable entrance.
Its national park status means you can’t have a wedding blessing on the beach at Rayavadee in Krabi, Thailand, but you can say your vows in the amazing limestone cave, with the white sand and glistening waters as your backdrop, whilst Rocky’s boutique hideaway set over three small beaches in Koh Samui is petite, chic and perfect for a luxury wedding.
For those not wanting to lie on a beach all day, adventure-mooning may be the way. From guided hikes to local wildlife-watching, there are brilliant honeymoon options for couples who like to get out and about.
Those seeking adventure should consider South Africa.
Ask most people to define an African holiday and they will immediately think safari, and with good reason.
A safari provides the essence of this fascinating country, but it is far from being the only attraction. From the glorious natural beauty of the Garden Route and the spectacular Winelands, to whale watching and diving with sharks, South Africa oozes adventure.
A growing number of couples seem to think it may be nice to share their special adventure with the kids too. With today’s generation choosing to get married later in life, after starting a family, being surrounded by loved ones is becoming a top priority.
I suggest either Sri Lanka or Thailand, both popular family destinations with my clients.
Thailand is home to the wonderful experience of Elephant Hills. Combining the idea of an African safari with the Thai tropical rainforest, the whole family can experience luxury camping in the jungle alongside the beautiful four-legged residents.
Sri Lanka is one of my favourite places. Home to endless beaches, fascinating culture, and beautiful people whose greatest value is family.
If “the more the merrier” comes to mind when planning your honeymoon, you may be inclined to become buddymooners - opting to invite friends along for the ride.
Favoured by younger couples and those choosing to get married abroad, guests often make a wedding their main holiday and book additional days on either side, making the most of their annual leave and travel budgets.
Ibiza has moved from its clubbing roots to the most exclusive, sophisticated luxury destination and if your party prefers tranquil beaches, spectacular sunsets, yoga, meditation, fine dining and a more rustic retreat then something like the divine luxury boutique retreat, Cas Gasi, will tick your boxes.
If your group prefers a bit more funk or rock 'n' roll then Tenerife’s quality Hard Rock Hotel is a chart-topper.
The Covid era has given further rise to couples looking at a shorter, post-wedding break - somewhere a little closer to home - before embarking on an extended adventure at a later date. Not only does this provide a chance to save funds, but also ensures a wedding at home and at least one dream trip abroad.
Why have one honeymoon when you could have two?
The choices are endless for minimoons. The Greek island of Mykonos has up to 300 days of sunshine a year and a legendary reputation of luxurious hotels alongside crystal clear waters.
While Italian cities like Venice and Florence are only a short, two-hour flight away and provide the quiet, romantic charm a honeymoon deserves. How about Castello di Casole, a five-star marriage of resort and residences, which oozes both style and romance?
That massively important getaway before the arrival of a new family addition. Centred totally around rest and relaxation, with a focus on cuisine to curb any cravings, it’s important to know the safest time to travel during your pregnancy, as well as the health and safety requirements for the country you’re visiting.
When timed well during your pregnancy, Montenegro could be the perfect choice. A hotspot for health tourism, nestled between the waters of the Adriatic Sea and Montenegrin mountains, covered with white rocks and lit by the Mediterranean sun, Montenegro is a European oasis where you can rest to the soft sound of the waves.
And finally, to the more traditional post-wedding romantic escape from reality and those sigh-worthy paradise destinations.
The Indian Ocean is synonymous with romance and the Maldives still tops the list for perfect intimacy and indulgence.
The magnificent, modern, all-inclusive OBLU SELECT Sangeli has been a firm favourite, and I am super excited about their new resort at Lobigili opening in February 2022.
The Lux Grand Baie and Residences in Mauritius is another eagerly anticipated new hotel on my 2022 radar along with several stunning resorts in exquisite St Lucia, home to the majestic Piton Mountains and some of the Caribbean’s most picturesque beaches.
For a special luxury retreat for those who don't want the long flight, look no further than One & Only’s brand-new Greek addition, Kéa Island in the Cyclades, opening early in 2022.
Whatever trend is for you, I’ll fly you to the moon and back with a perfect tailor-made and fully protected itinerary enabling you to travel with confidence.
I also offer an exclusive Gift List Service which allows friends and relatives to contribute as they wish for the happy couple. Get in touch for more information.