We’re told our whole lives, “The honeymoon is the most glorious time of your life!”

And so we want to have the perfect honeymoon. It’s part of that whole perfect wedding package–you’ll go off into the sunset with your beloved, and you’ll make mad passionate love and stroll along the beach and gaze into each other’s eyes and everything will be perfect. All so perfect.

But what if it’s not?

In fact, most people report major honeymoon regrets. Not just that, but sex on the honeymoon really isn’t that stellar. When i did my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found that about 20% of people had AWESOME sex on their wedding night. Around 20% of people didn’t even have sex, because they got their period or they were exhausted (or someone was too drunk. Big mistake). And then the other 60%? It was just kinda meh.

My own honeymoon left much to be desired! Our introduction to sex was rather disastrous, and it took quite a while to recover from some of that. Nevertheless, we chose the perfect trip that made a lot of those problems not quite so bad.

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Us leaving for our honeymoon!

This week Rebecca and I have launched our Honeymoon Course–an awesome package of videos, activities, discussion questions and more that can help you plan the perfect honeymoon for YOU, and also make sure that your married sex life starts off well. My mission is to move far more people into that top 20% tier, so I’m giving people that one big piece of advice to make honeymoon sex much better, plus a lot of practical tips on how to plan the right trip and start sex well.

Today I thought I’d give you 10 things to keep in mind if you want to plan the honeymoon that’s more likely to work for you! And thank you to everyone on Facebook who contributed some great ideas to this post (and many of those ideas made it into the course as well!)

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1. Name the aim of your honeymoon

What is the BIG THING you want from your honeymoon? Is it romance? Adventure? A time to destress? Relaxation? Or do you really want to see some major part of the world that you’ve always dreamed about?

Sometimes we think that the honeymoon has to be this big trip, and so we plan something huge–like going to Europe–when if we’re honest, what we really want is just to relax and spend time together getting adjusted to sex.

If sex is new, you likely don’t want to take on a hugely stressful honeymoon! But if you really want adventure and to be busy, then sitting at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico may not give that to you.

One of the best things we did before our honeymoon was talk through expectations beforehand. This helped us alleviate the pressure of performing on that first night together and instead enjoy the time we got to spend.B.W.

2. Don’t overemphasize the wedding night

We hear it our whole lives–“the wedding night is the most glorious night of your life.” But the wedding night comes after the wedding day, which is the longest day of your life. Many couples are just exhausted on their wedding night, and expecting it to be bliss often leads to disappointment. See the wedding night instead as the beginning of your life together. It doesn’t have to be The Best Night Ever. It’s more like the entrance into this new magical place you’ll be in forever!

That applies to hotels, too. I know people who spend $500 to get the honeymoon suite, but then they don’t arrive back until midnight, and they have to be up at 6:30 to go catch an airplane. It’s almost better to get the luxury suite a few days later, after you’re recovered from the wedding and more comfortable with each other.

Definitely include that having sex on the first night is not some sort of expectation. My counselor said so much trauma could be avoided if couples would remove that “we have to” expectation. It’s totally fine if it takes days or weeks as long as you’re communicating. 

Jessica Harris

Blogger, The Beggar's Daughter

3. Make allowances for adjusting to new things–even sex!

Being married is FUN. You’re finally with that person you’ve loved for so long. But even if the change is a great change, all change is still stressful. And for many people, sex is a huge learning curve. Even if you’re not a virgin on your wedding night, sex changes once you’re married. It means something more now.

So give yourself time on your honeymoon to make those adjustments. Don’t schedule yourself so much that you’re exhausted and you don’t have time just to sleep in, whisper under the covers, or enjoy each other. If you have to fly out to your honeymoon destination, consider leaving two days after the wedding, not the next day, to give yourself at least a day to unwind.

Do what feels good and don’t aim to push beyond that if the body isn’t ready for it yet. Progress naturally (over time). Keep snacks around for post workout!A.H.

4. Remember how tired you’ll be

Even if your wedding goes off without a hitch, it will still be tiring. The adrenaline alone, plus all the anticipation, is likely to make sleep more difficult in the weeks leading up to the wedding. When you’re planning your honeymoon, take that into account. If you have to return to a heavy work or school schedule soon after your honeymoon, then consider taking more of a low-key trip, where you don’t have to change time zones, and ideally you may not even have to get on a plane. You can always do a big trip in a year’s time. For now, do something special that will give you time to destress.

5. Spend your money on the stuff that really matters on your honeymoon

You have a limited budget for the honeymoon. Some of you will want to splurge as much as possible, but others will be tempted to save in as many ways as possible. My suggestion? Figure out what’s important to you, and then spend the money there. Instead of a big trip to Europe, for instance, which you try to do as cheaply as possible to afford it, it may be better to spend the same amount of money on a resort that’s all-inclusive closer to home, so that it’s more relaxing.

6. Plan how you’ll handle meals

If you’re going to go off to a cabin in the woods for a week of isolation, ask yourself: Do I want to cook my own meals for a week? For some of you the answer is a resounding yes! For others, that would make the honeymoon seem like drudgery. If you’re traveling in a way that doesn’t include meals (say you’re doing some bed & breakfasts in your local area, or you’re touring another city), then budget for meals ahead of time. Decide, “We’re going to spend $75 a day on food” or whatever it may be. If you don’t plan for this ahead of time, then every time the bill comes you may feel guilty for spending money. Give yourself permission!

7. Find ways to create memories on your honeymoon

You’re going to want to remember your honeymoon! Take lots of pictures. Start some new rituals. On their honeymoon, my daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Connor started going to cafes with puzzle books. Now, whenever they want to destress in daily life, they head to a cafe with a puzzle book in tow! Our Honeymoon Course has some great ideas on how you can create memories on your honeymoon, or start new traditions that will last a lifetime.

How can you start marriage–and sex–off well?

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Honeymoons can be awkward. You’re tired, often stressed, and you’re not always sure what to expect with sex.

The Honeymoon Course can change all that! We’ll help you choose the perfect Custom-Made honeymoon–AND we’ll prep you for fun and intimate sex (including the ONE MINDSHIFT that you need to make honeymoon sex great!)

You’ve spent so long planning the wedding. Put a little bit of time into planning your first few days as husband and wife!

8. Aim for arousal, not just sex

As we’ve said before, the best way to have great sex on your honeymoon is not to aim for it. Instead of aiming for penetration, make the big goal to ensure that she especially feels aroused. Sometimes we rush so hard to “complete the deed” that we skip that whole arousal part, and then, for far too many women, sex never quite feels right. Sex is something you’ll be enjoying for the rest of your marriage; it’s okay if you start slow. And if you aim for both of you to feel aroused, the penetration part is far easier, too!

Relax. Enjoy each other. Take your time. It will take years to learn what the other one likes. Take that time to make the strongest connection possible with the one you are committing to. Be there with your spouse. – S.N.U.

9. Commit to starting fresh on your honeymoon

For many newlyweds, sex isn’t new. Or, sex is new for one but not for the other. Once you’re married, though, sex IS new, because now it’s about total commitment and intimacy. It is a fresh start. So commit to that fresh start! Don’t go into marriage thinking, “I know how to turn a woman on,” or “I know what a man wants.” You may know what made previous partners feel good, but if this is the first time with your spouse, then treat it like the first time altogether. Just get to know what your spouse likes, because people do not all like the same thing. Become an expert in your spouse. And commit beforehand to put the baggage of past partners, or sexual shame or guilt behind you. We have exercises in The Honeymoon Course to help you do just that.

10. Fill your honeymoon days with something other than sex

As much as you may like to, you’re not going to be able to have sex for 24 hours a day, for 7 days straight. You’ll need other things to do! When choosing where to go, then, plan some other activities, like hiking, swimming, or boating. Bring some books along. Even bring along some board games! And if you’re heading to that cabin in the woods, this is even more important. Have Scrabble tournaments at night, or download some Netflix shows before you go. Check out The Honeymoon Course for more ideas!

The wedding night is filled with nerves and excitement, it also has a lot of potential to be a disappointment – but it doesn’t have to be!

We spent our honeymoon at my family’s cabin – it was a great trip for two broke students! Our favorite day was a day drive out to Gettysburg to tour the US Civil War battlefield. I know that doesn’t sound romantic, but we got to spend the day together reminiscing on past trips, reviewing the history of the battlefield, and enjoying the memorials around the site. For us, it was perfect. Make time to do what you both love, whatever that is.

Joanna Sawatsky

Researcher , To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Our Honeymoon Course also has packing lists so that you don’t forget anything super important for your honeymoon, along with lots of activities you can do once you’re there.

And we’ll walk you through those 5 honeymoon types to find out which works best for you.

Check the course out! And feel free to buy this as a gift for someone you know, too. Just email me after purchase and I’ll get you a gift card you can give to them to sign them up.

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The first few days as husband and wife do matter.

So schedule the things that are important. Spend money on the things that actually matter. And relax. A lot!

What went RIGHT on your honeymoon? What went WRONG? Let’s talk in the comments!

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