Wedding Wednesday // 5 Ways & Reasons for a Mini-Moon

posted by Amanda // Travel, Wedding

Jan 30, 2013

Honeymoons… arguably one of the most exciting parts of the wedding process. M and I have actually known where we wanted to honeymoon for a long time… like before we were even engaged. Japan. We love the culture, the food, and more importantly, M is partially Japanese. It’s a special place to us, and we’ve never even been there (actually M has been there once when he was little). The thing is, Japan is crazy expensive. Like, one of the most expensive places in the whole world. Now that we’re budgeting out all our wedding costs, we’re finding it’s just too much to add a 2 week $10,000 trip on top of everything else, and that realization is kind of heartbreaking.

So we got creative. We’re still going to Japan. Absolutely. But we’re not going right after the wedding. Let me walk you through our process, and 5 ways and reasons we’re choosing a mini-moon!

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon // Cherry blossoms in Fukushima

1. Cheaper! Our all-out honeymoon would cost 7-10K. That’s just crazy when you consider how much a wedding in LA costs. Instead we’ve given ourselves a budget of $1500 for a simple road trip up to Portland. We’ve been dying to go to Portland, and the California coast is just so beautiful, why not drive?! I’m super excited about this alternative. (Also I’m looking for hotels, restaurants, and adventures in the Portland area. Comment or email me!)

2. Time off. We both work for ourselves, so taking “time off” is tricky. Technically we’re always working, but there are times when we can tell our clients we’re not available. That’s going to be at least one week before the wedding, and if we did a big honey moon, that would be 2 weeks after. I know people do this all the time, but it just doesn’t seem practical to take the whole month off (especially when at the same time you are spending money left and right). A mini-moon will allow us to take some time off, but then get back into our schedules.

3. Weather. I hear August in Japan is miserable. So humid and sweaty. The spring, however, is supposed to be breathtakingly beautiful. Cherry blossoms people! Yes! This was actually a big reason we’ve chosen to delay our honeymoon 7 months. If you’re going to spend all that money to travel somewhere, make sure you’re going during a good time so you aren’t stuck inside. (Lots of countries have rainy seasons, so make sure you check that too!)

4. Relax. From everything I’ve heard, weddings are super stressful and exhausting to plan. The point of the honeymoon is to relax after the big show is over. Sleep in. Indulge. Take it easy. In Japan we would be torn between seeing all the sights and experiencing the big cities, and wanting to just stay in our hotel room and oder room service. Our mini-moon to Portland has been scheduled so we’re only driving 5 or 6 hours a day. Plenty of time to sleep in, stop for adventures, and be flexible with our time.

5. Unplug. Japan is super cool. I mean, Portland is cool too, but Japan is like Über-cool. I’m going to want to call my mom and tell her the awesome thing we just did, and take photos on Instagram  and post on this blog. And I kinda feel like you should have some private time right after you get married—unplugged and distraction free. We’ll be bringing our phones and laptops, but just to do research while we’re traveling (maps, yelp, etc.) not to share or tweet. I’m excited to actually focus on the 2 of us after a big event like a wedding. We’re launching our little family! That deserves some privacy, right?

Alright, so that’s why we’re doing a mini-moon right after our wedding and saving up for a big all-out honeymoon a bit later.

Did anyone else do a mini-moon? I’d love to hear if you have any other tips or reasons why!

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10 Responses to “Wedding Wednesday // 5 Ways & Reasons for a Mini-Moon”

  1. katie says:

    I think this sounds like a fantastic idea! I’ve driven between CA and Seattle SO MANY times, but never taken the coast. I’ve heard it’s just gorgeous. You should definitely check out the latest posts on my blog, but a few favorites in Portland include: Pok Pok, PorQue No, Screen Door, Papa Hayden’s (desert), Salt n’ Straw, and Ruby Jewel. Oh, and here’s the FB page for the flea I went to: It’s only held once a month, so I’m crossing my fingers it’s when you’re there!

  2. Marit says:

    Great post! Were going back and forth on this too…I can’t imagine having any spare change after the wedding to go anywhere too exotic. Your road trip sounds fab :)

  3. Callie says:

    So glad you guys decided to do a mini-moon first! It’s going to be awesome. I went to Portland last year and had an awesome time. You should check out Hair of the Dog for beer tasting, it’s so good and you can’t really find it outside of Oregon. We stayed at Ace in Portland and it’s a way cool hotel, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re ok with it being pretty loud. I’m going to think of some more restaurant suggestions too!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks so much for the tips! We were planning to stay at the Ace, but I donno if it’s going to be loud… will have to think about that.

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