The History of the Honeymoon

Couples traditionally take a honeymoon trip shortly after their wedding.
Couples traditionally take a honeymoon trip shortly after their wedding.

The honeymoon is a traditional holiday that a couple takes after exchanging their wedding vows. The purpose of the honeymoon is to give the couple some time alone to bond with each other. However, in today's society many couples use it as a means to relax after the stress of planning a wedding. However, the historical significance of the honeymoon is very different than how we think of it today.

History of the Honeymoon

The tradition of a honeymoon started in Great Britain in the 19th century. The newlywed couple would go on a tour to visit their relatives who were not able to attend the wedding ceremony. The couple did not always travel alone; friends and family would accompany them on such visits. This practice was restricted to the upper-class strata of society as they could afford the expenses involved in the tour. Traveling in convoys in the countryside while bearing gifts for their relatives was not a cheap affair. The bride’s relatives, as well as the groom's, would be visited in a period of one month. The practice spread across Europe in the later part of the 1820s. In the ancient Jewish tradition, a honeymoon took place after seven days and nights of feasting and celebration by the friends and relatives of the couple.

Modern-Day Honeymoons

Couples today usually take a honeymoon shortly after they have exchanged their vows. Popular destinations for a honeymoon include the Caribbean Islands, Africa, and Asia. However, due to changing economic times the couple may opt to delay their honeymoon or not take one at all. With the advent of social media, a honeymoon may not always be private as every moment is shared on social media platforms just like the wedding. While some couples can still afford to go for lengthy honeymoon holidays immediately after the ceremony ends, most modern-day couples take a shortened vacation. With incentives from local governments, couples can afford their honeymoon at local destinations without stretching their resources.

Issues Related to the Honeymoon Today

Honeymoons today are at the center of some controversy. The reason is some couples tend to shun wedding gifts in exchange for cash which they use to fund their honeymoon trip. These cash obligations are forwarded to friends and relatives and it may burden them. In some cases, the focus on the honeymoon overrides the marriage ceremony itself. Some blame the media which portrays expensive honeymoons, influencing couples to try to stretch their pockets to go on a similarly lavish trip.


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