Dreaming of Honeymoons

As much fun as planning a wedding can be, my mind often meanders over towards the honeymoon.

I’m almost more excited for the honeymoon than the wedding.  Overall, the wedding still takes the wedding cake, but it will be infinitely more stressful than 10-14 glorious days of rest, relaxation, and enjoying our newlywed-ness on some remote, sandy beach for the honeymoon.  I really think we should try to make this honeymoon thing a yearly tradition…

Sandals, please

For the honeymoon, we’re leaning towards one of the Sandals resorts.  Cliché? Yes.  Do I care?  Not at all.  Sandals has everything I want in a honeymoon:

  • beach
  • eating
  • drinking
  • privacy
  • catered towards honeymooners
  • all-inclusive

We want to go away for at least 10 days (maybe more) and spend those days relaxing on the beach, going to romantic dinners, having more sweets and decadent desserts than we probably should (and I’ll be dying to do that after cutting out sugar in order to fit into my wedding dress), and generally just enjoying being newlyweds.  Not so much to ask, is it?

The goods will cost ya…

    With that said, Sandals knows their game and they know it well.  They lure you in with all those tempting accommodations and then leave you wanting more … which they will happily offer since they have such a wide variety of room choices (standard room with view of tennis courts to deluxe room with oceanfront view to a private villa with your very own pool).
    When you bring up a quote on their Website for your stay, the standard room will pop up first with a price that will floor you.  Something like $2,000 for 10 days per person (remember – all-inclusive).   Sounds pretty good, right?  Then you see that the view is of the garden and that the room is teeny-tiny.  Bummer.
    So … you scroll down a bit and see a $3,500 room with a private pool!  Score!  Only to find out that the view is of another pool … no oceanfront view here.

Finally, you’ll scroll down to see the Deluxe Oceanfront View room for $4,500 a person with a beautiful ocean view and you immediately fall deeply in love with this room.  You become so attached to the Deluxe Oceanfront View room that you can no longer even fathom going on your honeymoon if you have to stay in the … ick … standard room.  You MUST have the Deluxe Oceanfront View room!

Reality Check

But at $4,500 a person plus airfare, there’s no way I can swing that.  I cannot and will not spend over $10,000 on our honeymoon.

Yes, we’re getting married, and, yes, we want to have a special honeymoon, but after those two things are over, it’s back to life.  Back to our full-time job and our quest to save for a house and for retirement and for children.  As much as I want to wake up to an ocean view with my husband on our honeymoon, I can’t justify spending $11,000 for it.

Our budget is about $6,000 for the honeymoon for the two of us.  I, personally, think that is already a little ridiculous, but it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I don’t want to miss out on it.

Hey, Readers!  Have you been to Sandals?

I have several friends who have been to Sandals and absolutely loved it.  I haven’t heard a bad thing about the place!  Even my matron of honor and best friend said she loved it and I value her opinion more than anything.

So, I ask YOU:  have you been to Sandals?  If so, did you like it?  Hate it?  Did you get a good deal on your stay?  If so, tell me your Sandals money-saving secrets!  I’d love to have that room with an ocean view if it fit into our budget!


  • I would suggest looking into other all-inclusive resorts besides Sandals to compare prices. There are lots of other options! What location are you looking at? Mexico, the DR, and Jamaica seemed to be more affordable than say, St. Lucia when I’ve looked at honeymoon destinations. My fiance and I are pretty set on a resort called Excellence (Playa Mujeres, Mexico) which we’ve priced out to be about $3,500 for both of us for 7 days. The room has ocean views and is two levels with its own private rooftop terrace. I originally always thought we would take a 10 day honeymoon, but we’ve decided on 7 days. I think it will be enough time and like you said, life moves on when you get back! Maybe consider shaving a couple days off the trip? That seems like it would be the most effective way to keep the price down. Either that, or a destination on the affordable side.

    • Wow – private rooftop terrace sounds awesome! We’re actually leaning towards Jamaica or the Bahamas, because, like you said, they are a bit cheaper. Yes, if it comes down to it, I think we might just shave a couple days off. Have fun on the honeymoon!!

  • I’m sure my future wedding will be fun, but HELL YEAH I’d be more excited for the honeymoon. I love travel, I love relaxing, I love getting away! I don’t really like playing hostess, so while I’d want the wedding to be a special day, I’d be looking forward to the honeymoon even more.

  • Sandals is a big name but there are probably better deals out there. Can you live with the standard room? You won’t spend too much time in there. If it’s worth it to go to Sandals you could just deal with the standard. I have always wanted to go to Sandals but I’m thinkin’ it’s not gonna happen unless I win it! We’re using our timeshare. $0 dollars. But, we have to pay for food of course.

    • Ooohh, what a nice deal! Too bad I don’t have a time share.. 🙁 Well…this is one vacation where I think we will spend more time in the room. Ha! Did I just say that on my blog? Whoops. So I guess I would opt for a nicer room with less of a view if it came down to it. BTW – your wedding pics were gorgeous – you are so pretty!

  • One of my best friends got married last year. Jamaica was their honeymoon destination and they REALLY wanted to stay in a Sandals but it was WAY over their budget, and they were definitely on a budget! They ended up staying in a non-Sandals all-inclusive resort and just raved about it! So, agree with some of the above comments. Also…whenever I get married in the future, I want to go to Greece for my honeymoon. Talk about expensive!! 😉

    • That’s so funny – Lloyd and I plan to do a big Europe trip before we have kids (maybe a year or so after the wedding) and one of the places we want to go is Greece! It looks so beautiful! I lived in Spain in college and it was SOO amazing, so hopefully we can go back there, too.

  • Amber-Thanks! Can’t wait to see your wedding pics! And you are right. You probably will be spending some time in that room. He, he. But really ,as long as you two are together and in a beautiful place it will be awesome. Even if it’s not Sandals.

    Money Maus-I wanted to do Greece too! Actually that was our plan but we didn’t have enough points and I figured with all the money we are spending on the wedding this year Hawaii was fine and we can plan for Europe in the future.

  • How about a cruise? It is all inclusive, minus alcohol, and very economical, including a GREAT ocean view! That is what we did for our honeymoon and I will remember it always!

  • Ooh 10 days in a Sandals resort sounds amazing. But I agree with MoneyMaus. I think that for the price you pay for Sandals you could get a nicer room at another all inclusive resort. A couple of friends did that and they had nothing but good things to say.

    • We went to Jamaica for our Honeymoon and LOVED it! We actually stayed at two different all-inclusives because I could not decide on just one. We stayed at the Sandals Grand Ocho Rios and Couples Swept Away. We loved them both but give a slight edge to the Sandals because it was bigger and had more to see and do. Couples Swept Away had a better beach and rooms though, the pool was just smaller and there were fewer restaurant choices. Time of year will influence the price a lot. Summer is actually the down season and we went in July. We were able to stay 6 nights at the Sandals and 4 nights at Couples Swept Away for $2000 each in 2008. We stayed in the ocean front suite at Couples and it was ON the beach. At Sandals we stayed at a room that was a ways away from the ocean, but you could still see it, and we had a semi-private pool. The rooms were not the most up-to-date but we had a butler that made our restaurant reservations and shuttled us around on a golf cart. We also had the largest mini-bar ever. We had a great time and overall thought they were both great choices for a honeymoon. I don’t think I have ever posted before on your blog, but I love talking about vacations so I thought I would jump in. I did tons of research to find the places that would fit best for what we wanted. I have also been on a few cruises and could give you a good idea of the pros/cons of each. Good luck planning.

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