Guest Post: Real Tips & Advice for Planning Your Honeymoon

Image: Eastport Photography

Romancers I know I owe you a bagillion apologies for the blog silence lately. Life has been crazy lately ~ Evie turned two (and we decided to drive to NJ for all of 3 hours for a live Peppa Pig show, some pizza & ice cream), I am headed into wedding #2 of THREE weddings this month, and oh yeah – we listed our townhouse on the market. I’d be lying if I said things were headed back to normal any time soon though, as I have SO MANY things to do with CapRo this year, we’ll hopefully be selling our home by mid June, moving into a rental, and then dealing with the MAJOR renovation of the other home we own in Brookland.

So yeah. Things are crazy. But really, when isn’t life crazy? So I’ll apologize for the blog silence, but I’ll also let you know that it’s likely to happen again over these next few months, so please forgive me and I appreciate you guys stick with me through this all! For today we have another guest post from our girl Rebecca, who is bringing the REAL advice on planning your honeymoon. Take it away!

How to Plan Your Honeymoon – Real Trips, Tricks & Advice | By: Rebecca Grawl

I’m going to be real with you, CapRo readers, part of the reason I wanted to get married is to plan a honeymoon.  My fiancee and I love travel and have made it a cornerstone of our relationship – it makes perfect sense to kick off our married life with a travel adventure!  I understand this better now that I’m in the thick of wedding planning but the honeymoon actually feels like the reward after the months (or years) of planning, stressing, budgeting, and agonizing over all the wedding details.  As a tourism industry professional (this is LinkedIn jargon for tour guide), here are a few tips for planning your newlywedded travel!

  • Start early.  You know how you’re spending money on the wedding your planning?  You’ll have to spend money on a honeymoon as well, so be sure to start making plans in advance for budget and scheduling purposes.  Also, “where are you going on your honeymoon” is a question you will hear a lot during the wedding process.
  • Figure out your honeymoon style.  As with weddings, there is no right way to honeymoon.  All-inclusive beach resort?  If that sounds like heaven, do it!  Luxury European adventure?  Sounds great!  Road trip across America?  Whatever way you like to travel is right for your honeymoon.
  • Go immediately or wait it out?  More and more, couples are waiting to honeymoon until later after their wedding.  Again, this really boils down to what works best for you.  Honeymooning immediately following your wedding allows you to relax after all the excitement and stress of implementing a major event and bask in the afterglow of the event.  Waiting a few weeks or months can allow more flexibility for travel, budget, and scheduling, which can allow for a bigger travel adventure.
  • Make your wedding work for the honeymoon.  One of the best pieces of advice shared with me was to utilize our wedding spending for our honeymoon.  All our major purchases are put on our travel rewards card (and paid off immediately – debt free wedding is the goal!) so that we can earn flight/hotel points for our honeymoon.  You can also consider adding a honeymoon registry for your wedding day.  Websites like Honeyfund, Wanderable and Newlywish give you the option to register for honeymoon treats like tours and meals as opposed to flatware and linens.
  • Consider off-season/shoulder season travel.  To get the most bang for your travel buck, look at when your preferred destination’s peak season is and try to travel just before or after that time.  You can often get better rates, less lines, and better service across the board.
  • Honeymoon perks!  Be sure to mention that it’s your honeymoon whenever possible!  Whether working with a travel agent or booking on your own, you’ll want to take advantage of your special status as a honeymooning couple.  Be sure to let your hotel know in advance and upon check-in and when you dine, mention it with your reservation or let the staff know when you arrive.  This is the time to rake in free drinks, desserts, and special upgrades!

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We’re on the Founders Nextdoor Podcast Today!

I know we’ve been quiet here (I PROMISE I’ll be back soon!) but wanted to share that we’ve been interviewed on the super awesome Founders Nextdoor podcast – talking all about our entrepreneur journey, our tips for blogging, and all about the business that is Capitol Romance.

Give it a listen: http://foundersnextdoor.com/episode23/

Kristin & Eric’s Playful, Classic Washington DC Engagement Pictures

Images: Michael Justin Studios

I am writing this post to you from a 2 hour+ plane delay in Pittsburgh. I spent the weekend mostly in the car or waiting at the airport (my flight to Pittsburgh from DC was delayed too … thanks American Airlines) – but I got to wish my two best friends the happiest of baby showers and see them one last time before their lives change forever, so I am trying to make the most of this time in the airport.

For this Monday, we have a super cute, classic Washington DC engagement session – full of some of the most iconic spots in DC for engagement pictures. Always good to start the week with love, right? I am going to try my best to blog this week, but it’s going to be a long one … insane day job meetings, getting our house ready for real estate listing pictures, day tripping to NJ on Wednesday for Evie’s birthday … and more. OMG I am just exhausted typing all that and that’s only the half of it. One day at a time …right? Alright, back to the regular scheduled programming:

Erik and I met at a party at our college. A mutual friend of ours invited my roommate and I to a party. Everyone there was from the same area and we didn’t really know anyone. I remember sitting on the couch and watching everyone do karaoke. Erik made a joke to his one friend calling her “Emily Minaj” and my roommate and I were cracking up. That’s when I noticed Erik.

Erik and I had our first date on Valentine’s Day of 2011. I never really had a valentine so I was excited to go out. He picked me up and we went to dinner and a movie. Earlier in the day Erik also dropped chocolate and roses to my dorm when I was in class. We talked about where we were from, our families and friends. Everything really. The conversation was a little hard. I think we both felt kind of awkward. We didn’t know each other really and we were out on valentines day. When I went on the date with Erik, I remember being so nervous. I don’t think I was ever that nervous before going out with someone. Erik genuinely cared about the date we had and wanted to make sure it was perfect. Erik is a gentleman. He always has been and I think he always will be.

Kelsey & Phil’s Classic, Art Deco Inspired DC Wedding at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Images: The Happy Couple

Sometimes I get wedding inquiries where I can tell from just a few sentences, that these prospective clients and I were totally MFEO. This was the case with Kelsey & Phil. From the Harry Potter style ask, to the jumping on board to guest blog their planning experience, to the mutual love of Parks & Rec, and right on to the shared affection of lists, meetings & spreadsheets – Kelsey & Phil were my people and their wedding did NOT disappoint. So I am super excited to have Kelsey guest blogging today for her own “real wedding” feature. Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day & for allowing me to get to meet your AWESOME family. This wedding won’t be forgotten ANY time soon <3

You guys, I’ve been blogging for Bree for months and I realized that I never got to do her traditional ‘real wedding’ post. I’ve been gabbing with the dos, don’ts, buy, sell, eat, don’t eat, ivory, cream, well now it’s time to leave the advice aside and tell you about the best day ever. My wedding.

Phil and I did a first look where we first fell in love, The George Washington University. I met him there and he put on a blindfold so I could tie his bowtie. Then the big reveal. It was wonderful. We were able to soak in all the magic of the day and the night to come without the chaos.

Wedding Planning Advice: Top 5 Things to Know About Your Wedding Rehearsal

Image: Pop! Wed Co

We tend to attract super laid-back couples (which we LOVE) and sometimes our couples have such small wedding parties, that they don’t think they need to do a wedding rehearsal. We also have couples that use some of the more alternative venues in DC for their wedding – ones that don’t always cater to making the space available (and not charge extra!) the day before for couples to do a rehearsal. These are two common problems or issues we see often, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the top things to know about wedding rehearsals.

1. You should always do a wedding rehearsal

Even if it’s literally only one person down the aisle – it’s the most nerve wracking part of the day (I am not even exaggerating here!) and it makes everyone feel better, if you practice a few times the night before the wedding day.

2. You don’t HAVE to have it in your actual ceremony location

I’ve done rehearsals in restaurants, parks, apartment complex rec rooms, and even outside Eastern Market! Though it’s ideal to be able to practice in your actual ceremony space – scheduling of the space can be tricky sometimes, so don’t fret if it’s not available. Just find an easy place, that is near your dinner location, and practice away!

3. Start at the end of the ceremony

The easiest way to start your wedding rehearsal is actually as if the ceremony is just about to end! Line everyone up next to you (the couple) and have your officiant or planner say the final words, then practice the recessional. THEN line up for the processional, run through your ceremony (as much or as little as you want), and recess once more. Do one more processional run through – and then you’re done!

4. Try to think about who you want processing, before the rehearsal

Sometimes I get to my rehearsals and ask my couples, OK – who’s walking down the aisle? And they look at me with a blank stare, because they hadn’t really thought about it. There’s no right/wrong way to do this — you can have grandparents as part of the processional, dearly beloved canine friends, full wedding party, just the bride’s side, both parents, no parents, and everything in between. But I do recommend talking about this with your partner BEFORE the rehearsal, as unspoken assumptions might lead to deep conversation, and it will help to ensure anyone processing is invited to the rehearsal!

5. Try to keep the invite list small

You really only need anyone who is walking down the aisle, doing something special during the ceremony, your planner/coordinator (if you have one), and your officiant (though I’d say only about 30% of my rehearsals have the officiants at it!). The more people you invite, the more people you have to wait to have on time, get into the space, be quiet to listen, and just generally HERD. Keeping it small will help it go smooth and get you to your rehearsal dinner on time!

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