Planning a Budget Honeymoon: Finding the Finances

When we first started talking about planning a wedding, we set our budget at a modest $5,000.  I had visions of a self catered, do it yourself affair with plenty of cash left over for a lavish, European honeymoon.  As Roem and I discussed our ideal wedding, I started adding up costs in my head.  Let’s just say that modest budget was doubled once we added in a photographer, my dream dress, and paying people to do a few things that were causing me to dissolve into tears on a regular basis.

Photo by: Karen Ling

I had my heart set on a romantic and extravagant honeymoon, and I was despondent over the fact we might not get to jet off anywhere.  Traveling is so much a part of our lives that I really wanted to take a trip and connect with my new husband.  We talked a bit about a destination wedding but knew it would put a strain on some our loved ones we really wanted to be there.  So we began planning the wedding and I put away whatever extra money I could into a savings account with all the optimism I could muster.

A few months before we were set to tie the knot I revisited the idea of a honeymoon.  Our reserve savings account had grown to about $2,000 after accounting for unforeseen wedding expenses.  I wasn’t tied to any one location and I was determined to plan a kick a$$ trip on a small budget with a few luxurious touches, even if it was in my own backyard.  After scouring the web for good deals, I spotted a 48 hour sale on flights to Mexico with tickets running about $300 each.

I love Mexico, but I hesitated to go there because I really wanted something a little more exotic and adventurous.  On a whim, I check flights into Cancun and out of Guatemala City, a place I had always wanted to visit.  Turns out the open jaw ticket was even a little cheaper than a round trip to Cancun, so I quickly purchased them before putting together a complete itinerary.  I think it’s always a good idea to act a bit impetuously when booking travel.  If you’ve done your research, then you will know a good price range for your ticket. That way you can act quickly when you find a deal, as chances are it will sell out fast.

I knew our meager budget wouldn’t cover our whole trip, especially with Roem requesting more luxurious accommodations than our usual budget hotel or hostel.  I did some research on virtual honeymoon registries  and finally decided to sign up for honeyfund.  I was a little nervous about how our guests would respond to this, but I liked honeyfund because it allowed guests to purchase “experiences” for you instead of just sending a paypal payment.  We set up our website with lots of different price points and added things like romantic dinners, casual meals on the beach, cave tubing and even hotels to our registry.  We personalized the site and wrote about our philosophy on travel and our plans for the trip.  The response from our guests was overwhelming.  Everyone from my Grandma to my Parents, loved the online registry and we had to scramble to add items because of everyone’s generosity.

You can check out our registry for ideas here: http://www.honeyfund.com/wedding/amberandroem

Sneak preview of our blissed out faces on our honeymoon.

We started plotting the route and decided to spend a few days on the beach in Cancun before heading to the border and crossing into Belize and ending up in Guatemala for our flight back home.  I began searching for some budget-friendly stops along the way before I passed off the research to Roem.  It was hard to give up some of the control, but I knew I was overwhelmed and really couldn’t deal with another thing on my plate.  As we approached the one month out mark, I revisited the honeymoon and started booking what would be one of the most amazing trips we would take together.

Next up:

Planning a Budget Honeymoon: Affordable Luxury

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Filed under Adventure, Airline Travel, Belize, Guatemala, Honeymoon, Mexico, Travel

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