CHRISTINA DEHAN JALOWAY
Before I got married (in December of 2016), I had quite a few blog readers and friends warn me that honeymoons aren’t always the romantic dream vacations that couples imagine them to be. I was told things like, “Don’t be surprised if sex is awkward or painful at first,” and “You might still be really emotionally off-kilter thanks to the stress of wedding planning,” and “Don’t be surprised if you argue a lot, since it will be your first time being together 24/7.” Needless to say, I didn’t have my typically high expectations about Kristian’s and my honeymoon to Nicaragua; I was even a little anxious about it.
To my great delight and surprise, the entire week was peaceful and such a beautiful time of deepening our union and our love for each other. We didn’t have any major honeymoon disasters (unless you count the time when a giant tree branch fell onto our car windshield and almost shattered the glass), serious arguments, or awkwardness. It was such a blessed, relaxing week, and one that I will always look back on with great fondness.
If you have also been warned about honeymoon letdowns, or if you’re in the process of planning a honeymoon and want it to go as smoothly as possible, here’s what I recommend:
1. Incorporate prayer into your daily routine, even while on your honeymoon.
When your entire routine is thrown off by being on vacation together, it’s tempting to let prayer fall by the wayside. Kristian and I intentionally incorporated prayer into our honeymoon so that we wouldn’t forget the source and goal of our married life. We prayed morning prayer together (when we woke up at the same time), went to Mass at a local Nicaraguan parish, stopped in at every chapel and church we could find to visit the Blessed Sacrament while sightseeing, and prayed our nightly examen together throughout the week. Staying faithful to our usual prayer routine kept us close to one another and to the Lord throughout the week, and set a positive tone for each day, whether we were adventuring or just lounging around the condo.
2. Stay off social media.
My husband goes on Facebook maybe once a week, so this wasn’t an issue for him. I, on the other hand, had to make a concerted effort not to check or post on Facebook or Instagram while we were on our honeymoon. I’m so glad I did that, because I was able to focus all of my attention on Kristian and our time together. I also think that it’s nice to keep your honeymoon happenings to yourselves until you return home; there’s something about sharing real-time updates on social media that zaps the moment of intimacy.
3. Talk with a trusted married friend or family member before the wedding about consummating the marriage.
If you’re nervous about the wedding night/honeymoon in terms of sex, then I highly recommend that you and your husband talk to both each other and to married friends or family members beforehand to get some tips. That might sound super awkward, but I know both Kristian and I appreciated the advice we received; it took away quite a bit (although not all on my end) of the nervousness leading up to the honeymoon, and made for a much more pleasant transition into living as husband and wife. Consummating the marriage is such a powerful sacramental moment, and it doesn’t have to be scary or awkward or unbearably painful, but it could be all of those things if you go into it without any pre-marital conversations with women who are already happily married.
4. Maintain a sense of humor.
As with all things in life, a sense of humor on the honeymoon goes a long way. It’s what kept Kristian and me from getting too crabby when we had to spend all day in the Atlanta airport on our way to Managua, or from freaking out when our car was attacked by that rogue tree branch. Even though you’re on your honeymoon, life still happens, and those little (or big) inconveniences can be a wonderful opportunity to bond as a couple.
Are you planning your honeymoon? Do you have honeymoon planning tips? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!