This week, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Teresa from Honeymoon Islands, which is based in Virginia.  (This segment of Making It Last will air March 6 & 7.)  For years, Teresa has been helping couples plan “pop the question” trips, honeymoons, destination weddings, babymoons (the last trip before the baby comes), second weddings, family-moons (where the whole blended family goes away together) and anniversary trips.  By traveling all over the world, and checking out the various resorts, she’s developed relationships with the various service providers across the globe and therefore has a wealth of information to assist couples in planning the trip of their dreams.

It was fun to reminisce with her about some of our past adventures, learn about the latest travel trends and hear about some of the amazing trips she’s put together for her high-end clients.  Sharing some of these ideas will hopefully help others dream up their ideal honeymoon, however, it may also leave many flabergasted by how some of the wealthiest members of our society spend their free time.  Even I was shocked to learn that for the right price, you can arrange to have the Sistine Chapel closed for a private tour.  I guess that just confirms that everyone, including the church, has its price.

Unfortunately, great excursions are rarely cheap, but many seem to suffer from the common problem we refer to as having “champagne taste on a beer budget.”  I see it all the time in the divorce world, but it was interesting to have Teresa address this same issue in her own industry.  Apparently, most couples blow their budget on the wedding and don’t leave enough for their honeymoon.  Now that is truly silly because let’s face it– what will you remember?  At the end of the day, the wedding is just a big party you are hosting, and it is full of stress and drama.  Meanwhile, the honeymoon is exclusively yours to enjoy, while you relax and bask in the newness of being married.

The biggest take away I got from my interview with Teresa is that people should be simultaneously researching the wedding and honeymoon details.  This way, you can budget accordingly, and if you need to make cuts, my suggestion would be to cut the guest list.  If you only feed 100 versus 200 people, that alone will probably save you $10,000 or more.  Particularly in this economy, I think people will understand if you keep the wedding size small, and if they don’t– do you really care?  True friends will want you to have the experience of a lifetime.  Give yourself that luxury, and allow yourself to enjoy at least one vacation dream come true.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.