This isn’t something to stress about. The whole idea of a honeymoon is that it should be a little bit of time when you can relax after the excitement of the wedding, and most importantly, spend time with each other before the routine of going to work and keeping house kicks in.
Most of the advice on the internet and in magazines will tell you to start early, and if you’re the type who only feels comfortable when all your to do lists are in place and items are being ticked off within your self-imposed deadlines, then that is probably good advice. If you don’t mind flying closer to the wire, though, last-minute bargains are often too good to resist.
Even for last-minute bargains, you will need some idea of where you are going. Discuss with your partner whether you want a beach holiday or a more active one. Do you both enjoy the heat, or would you prefer to go somewhere cooler? Do you love the buzz of a city and its opportunities for culture, or would you rather have the peace of the countryside and its opportunities for fresh air and exercise? Depending on the time of year and the type of holiday you want, you may decide on a staycation, exploring Britain. You may want to snuggle into a cosy hotel in Scotland with views of the mountains, or you might book a grand hotel in London within easy reach of the shows, the British Museum and all the art galleries. You will probably have a number of destinations that would be equally suitable, so the next stage is to check your budget. With the budget in mind, you can now trawl the internet and travel brochures. Your travel agent can advise you about connecting flights, transport to the hotel, car hire and any other necessities, even if you have not chosen a typical package holiday.
Assuming you will go abroad for your honeymoon, what you will definitely need to start early with is making sure you can legally and safely leave the country. In other words, make sure your passport is up to date and that you have had any necessary vaccinations.
Updating your passport raises the question of when to notify the passport authority that your name is changing. You can change the name on your passport up to three months before the ceremony, but you may feel that is tempting fate. It is simpler and more accurate to change your name after you return. The only thing to remember is that you are legally obliged to use the same name that is on your passport to make any travel arrangements. The name on your aeroplane ticket (or boat or train ticket) must be the same name that is on your passport.
At least eight weeks before the wedding, phone your GP to check that you have the right vaccinations. The GP practice will be able to tell from your notes. If you’re travelling to countries in northern and central Europe, North America or Australia, you’re unlikely to need any vaccinations, but it’s worth checking, especially if you are going to a tropical country or South America.