I’m a bit impatient in this whole wedding planning process because there are certain things about our celebration that I just can’t wait to figure out. One of the items on the top of that list was our honeymoon. For years I’d pictured Andrew and me relaxing at a beach resort, sipping some sort of frozen beverage that I’d sworn off in the previous months so I would fit into my wedding dress. So after figuring out the wedding basics such as the date, the venue, and the church, I started doing my research about the perfect honeymoon destination.
Andrew and I are getting married in July, which is not necessarily the most pleasant time to travel someplace tropical. Humidity and 100-degree weather don’t exactly equal a romantic getaway. So I spent a ridiculous number of hours scouring the Internet, wedding magazines, wedding message boards, and virtually everywhere I could think of to find a tropical location that wouldn’t fry us in our first married days. I did find out that Bermuda is not too terrible in the summer, but I also discovered that there’s not a single all-inclusive resort there.
“All-inclusive” was one of the elements of our honeymoon that I felt very strongly about. At an all-inclusive, you never have to think twice about ordering a drink, feasting on the lobster, or going snorkeling on a reef, because it’s, well, all-inclusive. Even if we set aside thousands of dollars designated for spending on our honeymoon, there’ll always be a twinge of guilt when ordering a $12 piña colada. So after hours of research, I decided to leave it to the professionals—I found us a travel agent.
Before the honeymoon search, I didn’t understand what travel agents did for travelers. I assumed they cost an exorbitant amount of money, all for someone to book a trip that you could do online by yourself in ten minutes. But once I discovered that it doesn’t cost anything to use them and they have a wealth of information about every possible destination, I figured it couldn’t hurt to see what an agent suggested for our perfect honeymoon location.
We ended up discovering Jim from Perfect Honeymoons, who was highly recommended on my wedding message boards. He made a great first impression by allowing us to meet with him at 8 PM on a weeknight—how wonderful to find a vendor who can work with our crazy schedule! Andrew and I sat down and each went over the things that were important to us about our honeymoon. I wanted to feel pampered and decadent, and Andrew wanted activities so we wouldn’t lie by the pool all day. We talked nonstop for about 45 minutes, and then Jim picked the perfect place for us: Sandals Grande Ochos Rios in Jamaica.
Beautiful landscapes, 11 restaurants, lots of activities, all-inclusive, lush villas—it seemed perfect! Jim even eased our worries about the weather, explaining that Jamaica felt just like DC in July, which is clearly something we can both handle. My only concern was that at a luxurious resort like that, we’d be able to afford only a tiny room. But Jim worked his magic and not only did we get a huge oceanview villa suite, but we have a butler. A butler! He’ll draw bubble baths for us while we’re at dinner, he’ll bring in candles and tablecloths for a romantic meal overlooking the ocean, he’ll make cocktails at 4 AM—he’ll do anything. I never imagined we’d be able to afford anything close to that kind of service. That’s a key example of why a travel agent is worth your time. He took our average honeymoon budget and stretched it into an indescribable trip. So we booked the plane tickets and the reservation through Jim, and now the countdown begins to our first glass of Champagne on the beach in Jamaica, enjoyed together as husband and wife.
Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.
If you like reading about Lisa Marie, make sure to check out our other blogging bride-to-be, Eleni, who writes every Wednesday. Follow her adventures here.
To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.