When planning your honeymoon, it is VERY important to discuss expectations and assumptions with your fiancée and your travel agent to avoid disappointment.
Although honeymoons are probably the biggest and at this point in their new lives together, most important, trip a couple has planned together, it is very surprising how little they have talked about their desires, assumptions and expectations for their honeymoon. This is probably the most critical piece in honeymoon planning!
Communicate about what you hope and desire for your honeymoon. Do not assume that he will want to see all the museums on your list. Do not assume that she will be ok spending hours along while you are out scuba diving (she can’t swim and is afraid of sharks…)
One of HoneyLuna's first ever honeymoon clients came to meet with me in our offices and had told me they wanted to honeymoon in Tahiti . So I filled the conference room with Tahiti brochures and sample itineraries. Their eyes were as big as saucers and they held hands as they looked at the beautiful pictures of this romantic paradise.
We began getting down to the details of planning the trip: specific dates of travel, islands to visit, hotels, etc.. Suddenly the groom says “Now there is golf in Tahiti, right?” I explained that there was a golf course on the island of Tahiti, but not on any of the outer islands. “So there is no golf on Bora Bora? No golf on Moorea?” No and No. (There is now also golf on Moorea but that wasn't an option back then) He became a little unglued so I suggested planning their last few nights on the island of Tahiti so that he could golf there before flying home. This did nothing to appease him and he kept asking “What about Rangiroa? Huahine? Is there golf there?” No.
Finally his previously beaming bride turns to him with a very red face and demands “Well just how much golf were you planning on playing on our honeymoon anyway? Aren’t you going to spend any time with me?” I stepped out of the conference room to give them some privacy while they talked about this very obvious difference in their “ideals” and after a few minutes they come storming out, pausing only long enough to say… “We’ll get back to you”.
Needless to say, they did not end up on a honeymoon in Tahiti. Fortunately for this couple, they were able to discuss, in advance (but obviously after their meeting with me), their honeymoon desires and expectations. Ultimately they did plan and have the honeymoon of their dreams. But the argument in our offices was an eye opener – they had different ideals of their honeymoon. After they left I emailed them a questionnaire and instructed them to fill it out together. This questionnaire asks questions of both the bride and groom about their expectations ranging from budget, activity level, romance, etc.. and should be completed individually and then discussed together.
Most couples find that at first glance, there are seemingly major differences in assumptions and expectations, but after discussing each item on the questionnaire, most couples come to a very important understanding of each other and are able to design a honeymoon based on compromise and mutual respect – rather than forging ahead in blissful ignorance.
The Tahiti/golf couple ended up honeymoon on Maui. Initially it seemed as if the bride had “given” in to his demand to go where there was golf. However, after talking with both of them extensively in the ensuing planning process, she shared with me that she learned that he had always dreamed of golfing on some of the luxurious and tropical high end golf courses in the South Pacific. He did not intend to golf their entire honeymoon – but since they were planning on immediately starting a family (and then severely restricting future golf vacations) he wanted to make sure he could fulfill his golfing dreams while they were in the South Pacific.
After learning that she envisioned a “much together” honeymoon with lots of down time on the beach and romantic hikes to waterfalls, he understood why she was so upset at the thought of “all that golf”.
Ultimately they both got what they wanted – she had massages and spa treatments while he golfed and they had plenty of time together for the beach and waterfalls. They are still happily married with three children. He still plays golf. She still has massages.
P.S. We really did have a honeymoon couple going to Spain for their honeymoon and the groom thought it would be fun to "run with the bulls" on their honeymoon. We agreed with the bride... probably NOT a good idea!