They say marriage is an adventure or like going to war. From the day you are engaged, the battle lines are drawn. There are only two things you can do: accept the fact that it’s a war you cannot win, or fight the war to realise that it’s a war you cannot win. By the end of the honeymoon, wise men will cut their losses and accept the facts; the unwise, however, will spend the rest of their lives wondering, ‘what went wrong’. So you see, the honeymoon is actually the turning point of your life, not necessarily just your marriage. How you plan it can make or break it for you. So here’s how you can come out mostly unscathed and regain control (or at least some semblance of it) over your life through successfully planning your honeymoon.
Lose to win
While planning for the honeymoon, you can decide the budget, but let her decide the destination. That is, unless you wish to spend your honeymoon listening to why her suggested destination would have been so much better. And don’t forget to get her to eliminate all other options and select the one you want, by hook or by crook!
Play safe or play safe
If yours is an arranged marriage, it’s safer to opt for a planned tour. You never know when the ‘whoops-I-forgot’ moment will take the rest of the trip downhill. It’s definitely more fun to discover places with the flexibility of managing your own time, but first check whether your partner is enthusiastic about the experience too. On the other hand if you’ve known her for a while, you’ll know when to call it quits and start focusing on more important things in life.
Know it all
Do your research. Do it well. You’ll have to answer more questions than a guide with a Japanese group and you’ll get lesser leeway for saying the dreaded three words–I don’t know! It may help if you have Praful’s (from Khichdi) or Sheldon’s (from Big Bang Theory) all encompassing knack for ever-ready answers. But be ready for kickbacks in case your wife catches on—sooner or later she will.
Enjoy the drama, play your part
It’s best to defer choosing the activities you do for the actual trip; and hope that the trip to the botanical gardens to take sweet couple selfies will be undone by rain or some other blessing of nature. If not, it’s always easier to fake a cramp at that time, than arguing about it four months before. I would know, that’s how I used to bunk school.
Do it right once, reap benefits forever
Always plan a ‘special’ night somewhere in a private romantic setting; the girls love it and will forgive the next few transgressions without complaints. Obviously it goes without saying it works best as a surprise. Why would you want to pass up on this golden opportunity of being called “The best husband ever”? Maybe she’ll even tell friends and family as bonus.
Bigger is always better (no pun intended)
The hotel bookings are your responsibility, so don’t forget that the stars attached to it and spaciousness are both very important, even if a lesser starred city-centre hotel is just as expensive. Truth be told, the interiors always offer a better view, although my wife also preferred convenience over luxury, but we’ve all heard the horror story of what ‘Oh my god, the room is so small’ can lead to. Haven’t we?
If she loses, you lose more
For long distances, always choose a flight with convenient timings; don’t think of how it will pinch your pockets. Hell hath no grumpiness like a woman who hasn’t slept. And that’s not counting the sleep you’ll lose for the next few days as a result. Trust me, it’s worth the extra bucks.
So you think you can pack?
You will be play several roles during the honeymoon; that of a trip coordinator, a guide, a spectator and if you’re lucky a lovable underling, but not an expert on packing by any stretch of imagination. Especially when it comes to short listing the essentials. How would you understand the importance of a straightener, blow dryer or the five pairs of shoes (which may or may not include the new pair of pumps she bought ‘especially for the trip’)? How could you have missed the simple solution of sacrificing some of your clothes (at the risk of spending the entire trip wearing the same pair of jeans) to accommodate her stuff? My wife was kind enough to listen to my carefully-outlined points against taking her blow dryer, before giving me the boot, you may not last the second sentence.
If you’re still confused about what to pack, head over to our ready packing guide to make things easier.
These tips are in no way complete and this guide is and will always be work in progress; you’ll also have to devise and discover your own way to survive this adventure. I have been really fortunate to have a wonderful partner who has contributed equally in planning the trip and this article (read between the lines). So have the trip of your lifetime and make it worth remembering for your version of ‘How I wooed your mother’!
As published in DNA, Mumbai