As I quickly discovered, second-time married couples going off to honeymoon destinations overseas can find it difficult to be totally immersed in post-wedding romance. The responsibilities of home and children seem to follow you everywhere, even when those children are teenagers and older!
You would think that after planning a wedding ceremony and reception, organising a getaway would be relatively easy. Well it can be, but keep in mind that encore weddings bring their own special challenges, especially when children are involved.
In my case, trying to organise people to look after our teenagers for three weeks during our honeymoon provided some logistical hurdles. Even after we’d packed our bags and made our escape there were frequent interruptions from back home. At one stage my daughter called to update us on her house move! It seems even when newlywed parents are alone, they’re never really alone.
While most etiquette books suggest that honeymoons are strictly a couple-only affair – an opportunity to relax and spend time concentrating on each other – in reality, that’s not always practical particularly if you have very young children or limited carer options.
So what do you do if you’re torn between a honeymoon and a familymoon?
First up consider the practicalities of each:
- Is it possible to have a couple-only honeymoon and, if there are children, who will look after them?
- Are the children old enough to stay home alone for the length of time you’re considering?
- Can you afford a familymoon or should you plan to go on a holiday later when you can take the children?
- Is it possible for you to have some time by yourselves for a few days and have the children join you for the remainder of your vacation?
Deciding that you either want to (or have to) take the kids doesn’t mean abandoning all hope of alone-time. If you have the resources think about hiring a nanny to travel with you. Alternatively, take along an adult friend, someone you know that is capable and discreet who can look after the kids and would appreciate the holiday. There are also a host of child-friendly resorts and cruises to choose from that have professionally-run kids clubs to entertain children during the day.
Some couples who have focused on a family wedding will prefer a familymoon. If that’s the case, forget what the naysayers will tell you; familymoons can and do work, provided this is what you and your spouse want.
Just make sure you consider the range of options that fall within your budget. With so many to cater for you might want to think about driving instead of flying, renting a self-service apartment instead of a hotel or even go camping!
Finally, if you do plump for a familymoon try to have at least your wedding night and part of the next day alone to focus on each other, relive your wedding day and talk about the highlights. Who knows when you’ll get the opportunity again!