On your wedding day, you reach an all time high. Twelve months of planning comes to a climax and you are flooded with feelings of excitement, nerves, love, appreciation, and anticipation, as if every moment of your life has been leading up to this one. It is a rush of emotion that’s overwhelming in the best possible way.
Before you know it, you are walking through a tunnel of sparklers and hopping in a SUV to drive away with the love of your life. It’s not until then that you begin to process all that’s happened—the fact you have just thrown the biggest party of your life, 200 people from all over the country have come to celebrate you, that you are now a wife.
Weddings are arguably one of the best and most physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally exhausting experiences of your life. You are operating on such a high that it’s not until the next day you realize how tired you are.
Transitioning from your wedding to honeymoon is harder than you think. If you are like most brides, you can’t remember what life was like pre-engagement. You have no more emails to send, vendors to call, decisions to make or appointments to attend. For the first time in months, your mind and body can rest without another list of to-dos creeping in. It’s both wonderful and jolting because you have forgotten how to relax.
Honeymoons are such a sweet surprise. There is so much planning and build up to the wedding day itself that you almost forget you are about to take the trip of a lifetime. But if your not careful, that “on the go” attitude might sneak into paradise with you. So for all the brides in the early stages of wedding planning daydreaming about where to vacation with their future spouse, consider these tips from a newlywed on the other side of “I do”:
1. Give Yourself a Buffer Day
Although it’s tempting to book a 5am flight the morning after your wedding, consider taking a buffer day before you leave town. You don’t realize it now, but you’ll want the sleep. Even if your reception ends at 10pm and your hotel is in close proximity to the airport, you’re looking at about three hours of sleep by the time it’s all said and done (if you get any sleep at all – we aren’t naive). Right now, you may be thinking, “So what? How hard can it be? I used to pull all-nighters every week in college.” While that may be true, you’d be surprised how quickly twelve months of wedding planning can creep up on you. Not to mention, your wedding day is one of the most emotionally exhausting days of your life. Start your marriage off on the right foot by getting a good night’s sleep. Besides sleeping in, eating a big brunch, binge watching Netflix and eating wedding cake in bed doesn’t sound like a bad day.
2. Stay in the Same Time Zone
Like I said, weddings are exhausting. Traveling across multiple time zones is also exhausting. Put those two things together and you’re looking at facing the consequences of sleep deprivation. Take this next piece of advice with a grain of salt—it’s only something to consider. Some people have been dreaming of their honeymoon destination for decades, but if you are flexible about where to travel, consider staying in the same or nearby time-zone. Jet lag has a record of turning richly deserved and anticipated trips into a walking nightmare. Instead of fun-filled, productive days and relaxing, rejuvenating nights, you’re hit with:
- Sleepless nights
- Exhaustion during the day
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Difficulty concentrating and functioning
Talk about a great start to marriage. Jet lag has a negative effect on our bodies because it throws off our circadian rhythm, or the body’s internal clock. The best way to prevent jet lag is to avoid crossing multiple time zones. But if you can’t resist traveling to the other side of the world with your new spouse, at least know that traveling east confuses your circadian rhythms more than flying west.
3. Establish Rest and Relaxation Time
Some couples envision their honeymoon being one great action packed adventure. In some ways, it should. In fact, you should definitely plan a handful of activities and excursions! But don’t forget to build in relaxation time too. Honeymoons are all about resting and spending time with your spouse and unplugging from the day to day. Give your body and mind space to breathe by keeping your schedule flexible. The last thing you want is to feel pressure to “do and see” everything. Allow yourself to take a step back and go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to sleep in, take naps and lay by the pool for multiple days in a row. When you get home
4. Opt to Unplug
Speaking of unplugging, you should do just that. Nix the technology and enjoy the present moment. Relish in the fact you don’t need to answer to anyone, and anyone who needs to get a hold of you can wait. The tendency to impulsively check your phone can worsen existing symptoms of anxiety and social media use can increase psychological stress. Keep paradise sacred and the outside world where it belongs, out.
5. Keep the Honeymoon Alive
By this I don’t mean the honeymoon phase, which will surely fade, alive. But instead, bring the peace and rest you restored on your honeymoon home with you. Continue to appreciate the present moment with your spouse, this is especially important early on in marriage. Continue getting good sleep. If this is the first time you’ve shared a sleep space with someone, talk about what it takes to get a good night’s sleep. Whether that’s how you sleep or what you sleep on, remember marriage is all about compromise. Just remember to never compromise on prioritizing rest. Whether that means physical rest or mental rest.