Of course, the wedding sets you up for happily ever after, but the true kick-off to wedded bliss comes with that well-deserved vacation for two. And while the wedding and reception can cost a pretty penny or two, the honeymoon can be paid off by all those guests and well-wishers you left dancing at the reception.
Antioch’s Almost There Travel offers a Bridal Registry package that allows wedding guests to present monetary gifts that go directly toward paying for your honeymoon. Owner Tammy Larsen said a recent client’s entire honeymoon, including hotel accommodations and activities, was paid for by guests. The couple paid only for meals and souvenirs.
“The bridal registry is great because your guests are able to pay toward something that you truly want,” Larsen said. “This is also great for couples who already have a crock pot and a toaster and don’t need friends and family buying them a bunch of kitchen appliances they don’t need.”
Larsen said couples should book honeymoons six to eight months in advance, not only to ensure that they get the vacation they want, but also to give family and friends plenty of time to make a donation toward the trip. Notices can accompany engagement party invitations, save-the-dates, and wedding announcements so that guests are continuously reminded that they can contribute toward your honeymoon instead of rattling their brains trying to come up with the perfect his-and-hers gift.
While couples can plan their honeymoon on their own with the convenience of online reservations, Larsen said she recommends using a travel agent to ensure you get the experience you want.
“I am a big believer in customer service, and I’ll do whatever I can do to make the couple happy,” Larsen said. “Other agents have asked me why I go the extra mile, sometimes even babying my clients by checking into their hotels for them online and making sure they have the right seating arrangement on their flights – but why not? It’s their honeymoon. They deserve the extra attention. They’ve been saving up for this, and they deserve the best experience possible.”
Larsen, a Brentwood resident with more than 10 years of experience in the travel business, said when planning a honeymoon, the most important thing for a couple to do is to know what type of experience they’d like to have. Does the couple want to lounge on the beach all day or do they want to go horseback riding and cave diving?
“Everyone has a different idea of what a honeymoon should be, so just come with a list of ideas,” Larsen said. “You can have the dream honeymoon. You just have to know what you want and I’ll make it happen.
“I had a couple come to me who wanted to honeymoon in Europe. No problem. That’s not uncommon. People like to go to France and Italy, but this couple was interested in vampires, so I sent them to Romania. You just have to ask. I might not know of a place off the top of my head, but give me a day or two and I’ll have a vacation idea for you.”
Larsen said it’s a good idea for a couple to have an idea of their honeymoon budget, even if they sign up for the bridal registry, so that all the deposits can be paid before the wedding to make up for those relatives who put off making a payment through the bridal registry until a day or two before the wedding.
To find out more about the bridal registry, set up an appointment with Larsen by calling 925-238-0001. Almost There Travel is located at 506 W. Second St. in Antioch. For more information, visit www.almosttheretravelagency.com.