LIVING

The Later-Moon: Many couples put off post-wedding trip until they can do it right

05/05/2015 09:13 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - "Where are you going on your honeymoon?"

It's one of the most common questions asked of a couple engaged to marry.

Another appropriate question these days: "WHEN are you taking your honeymoon?"

For a variety of reasons, many couples now put off their post-wedding trip. Weddings are expensive, so shelling out more for a vacation right away may be too much. Some couples want more time to map out a trip that lives up to the honeymoon hype. Or there might be work demands, school or other obligations that get in the way.

Heather Hurley of Arlington, Virginia, and her husband, Jason, bought their first home shortly before their June 2014 wedding. They didn't have the time or energy to think about a honeymoon then.

"Since we weren't in any rush and we didn't have any honeymoon deadline, we said, 'Let's wait a year and combine our delayed honeymoon and sort of a first-anniversary trip into something really special,'" she said. They're now ready, and are heading to Iceland for a week in June.

"A lot of people are used to the tradition: You're engaged, you get married, and then you go on your honeymoon and that's it," Hurley said. "We felt like we were in a whirlwind starting with the home-buying process and then a couple months later getting married. That was a lot of planning and timing and energy, and we wanted to recover from that and really rest up and appreciate the honeymoon trip, instead of feeling like it's the slog at the end of a marathon."

Compared to previous generations, many of today's couples are marrying older, and they're often paying for the wedding, rather than having their parents do it.

"Things like living together already, having a home, having two incomes but not that much savings for the wedding of your dreams — I think those factors go into why people would postpone their honeymoon," says Sara Margulis, founder of Honeyfund.com, a wedding-gift registry company that helps couples raise money from friends and relatives for their honeymoon.

"Two jobs, having to co-ordinate the time off, where people are in their careers when they get married — a lot of times it's harder to take the time off that you would want to take," she said.

Tiffany and Bryan Marchand of Montgomery, Alabama, were married in March 2014. Bryan had recently started a new job and didn't have vacation time. They waited until last February to go to Disneyworld and Universal Studios in Florida.

"Taking a delayed honeymoon was a blessing in disguise," said Tiffany, since it gave her more time to plan both the wedding and the trip.

Kelly Hills says that after she married Nick Evans in April 2014, staying home together was more exciting than taking a trip together. The couple met on Twitter and had a trans-continental courtship: Nick lived in Australia and Kelly was in the U.S.

"Just being in the same time zone was so novel," recalled Hills.

They're heading to Barbados in May for their delayed honeymoon.

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