Can't decide between mai tais on the beach or sipping Bordeaux in Provence? Here's how to pinpoint your perfect place and plan your trip painlessly.
Ask friends and travel agents to help find your ideal vacation spot. Many brides and grooms opt for a sunny beach destination like Hawaii or a cruise to the Caribbean or Mexico, but there's no law that says you can't do something more off the beaten path, like hiking the Andes or ice climbing in Antarctica. Remember that the best source of advice is often other couples -- so log on to TheKnot.com/talk and chat with others about their experiences.
Figure out your priority -- beautiful weather, working your budget, or jet-setting to your dream destination -- and begin there. Summer can be a scorcher in many areas, like Mexico or the Bahamas, but places like Hawaii have great weather year-round, and going during the off-season can land you some great deals. If you've been dreaming of Costa Rica ever since you slipped on that engagement ring, we won't be the ones to stop you, even if you are getting married in the heart of the rainy season. But be realistic -- as much as you love canoodling in bed, you won't want to be stuck inside for your entire trip. Tip: If you have your heart set on a place that isn't good weather-wise, think about postponing. In the meantime, spend an extra night or two at your wedding hotel, or sneak away to a local B&B for a few days to unwind after the wedding.
If you and your fiancé don't agree, remember that marriage is all about give and take. "Try combining different interests," says Katharine D. Dyson, author of 100 Best Romantic Resorts of the World. "If one person wants a more active trip, go to a beach resort that offers scuba diving or horseback riding." You can also split up your vacation -- spend a few days relaxing at a Tuscan villa, then go to Rome to sightsee.
Though most of us are used to booking our own trips online, an agent can help even the most avid globe-trotter plan the perfect honeymoon. "Some resorts may put pictures that are misleading on their websites or in their brochures," says Renee Duane-Meyer of UnforgettableHoneymoons.com. "A good agent who's been there will give you an accurate description." Savvy agents can find you great travel packages, or get you insider discounts. Don't be discouraged by agents who charge a small fee -- they'll often waive it for couples who book with them. If something unexpected happens while you're away -- you miss your connecting flight, or a hurricane hits -- your agent can help by rearranging your flight or getting you home in a hurry. Tip: Make sure you have an after-hours number where your travel agent can be reached in case of an emergency.