Mini-moon? I had never even heard the term before my wife mentioned it a couple of months before our wedding. We had already decided to save some money and wait a while after the big day to take our official honeymoon, but our recently married friends kept telling us not to go home after the wedding. They said it would be a huge letdown to have the best weekend of your life and then go back to work the next day. The more I considered it, the more I loved the idea of a bite-sized version of a honeymoon. Now that I've experienced it for myself, I'm a big proponent of mini-moons. It was exactly what we needed post-wedding, and the perfect way to wind down from the wedding without diving back into real life right away.
Once you know the differences between honeymoons and mini-moons, you can decide if you're cool with just the honeymoon or if adding a mini-moon is the right move for you.
Mini-moons are about the time spent together not the destination.
While honeymoons are all about picking the perfect destination, mini-moons are more about finding the right place to clear your head. We weighed all of our mini-moon options – everything from staycationing to finding a tech-free wilderness retreat with total seclusion – but in the end, we settled on Grand Velas Los Cabos, a relatively new all-inclusive resort in Baja, California. All-inclusives generally get a bad reputation for emphasizing quantity over quality when it comes to food and drinks, but Grand Velas is one of the few resorts that blows the bad food stereotype out of the water. As a majorly food-loving couple, it was the perfect choice for us. For three days, we enjoyed incredible meals (including unlimited room service and mini-bar privileges!), drank watermelon juice mixed with tequila, melted into our spa treatments, and felt totally relaxed by the pool as we read (books! Actual books!). It was everything a mini-moon should be.
Make as few decisions as possible for a mini-moon and as many as possible for a honeymoon.
Honeymoons are about the possibilities: where to go, what to do, how to best spend alone time with your favorite person in the world. Mini-moons are the opposite. The best part of the entire mini-moon experience was not making any decisions. With the exception of choosing what we wanted to eat for every meal (and we crammed about six meals into each day), the entire mini-moon was free of choices. That's the beauty of an all-inclusive resort like Grand Velas. Every restaurant and activity is right in front of you so you don't have to worry about figuring out your day's itinerary and the logistics that go along with that.
You can focus on relaxing.
No matter what type of honeymoon you choose, there's an expectation that you have to make the most of it. After all, you only get one shot at your honeymoon. For mini-moons, though, the goal should be simple: relax. You don't need to feel like you have to go snorkeling and golfing and hit the hottest restaurant in the city. Instead, you can feel good about vegging out and clearing your mind.
There's way less pressure for a mini-moon to be perfect.
The average honeymoon lasts between a week and nine days. There's a lot of pressure to make sure you make the right choice of destination. A mini-moon, on the other hand, can be as short as you want it to be. We went for three nights/four days and that ended up being exactly the right amount of time. By the last day, our heads were free of the stress and minutia of wedding planning and we were ready to join the real world again.
Mini-moons function as a transition between the wedding and real life.
Honeymoons take on a life of their own. There's a whole new set of decisions to make and the pressure you may feel in planning your honeymoon (see above) is pretty much non-existent when it comes to mini-moons. Instead of tacking on another major event post-wedding, use the mini-moon as a way to wipe the slate clean. They're a great way to transition between the hectic joy of your wedding and the crushing dread of heading back to the office. Think of mini-moons as the appetizer of post-wedding trips and honeymoons as the main course.
As you plan your wedding and all of the fun that comes along with it, consider the pros and cons of adding a mini-moon before you head off on your big honeymoon. After all, who doesn't love a few extra days of vacation as you settle into the happiness of marriage?