The History of the Honeymoon

The Honeymoon

If the wedding ceremony is primarily the province of the bride, then the honeymoon is the domain of the groom. It is unclear whence the term “honeymoon” derives, though its first documented usage in the English language, “hony moone,” occurs in 1546.  But the term as used today to describe a blissful vacation taken by the bride and groom immediately after the wedding ceremony, is believed to be rooted in the ancient belief  that drinking honeyed mead for the first month of marriage would enhance fertility. And though there are references in ancient Nordic culture, dating from around the 5th century C.E., to men abducting women from neighboring villages and hiding out with them until they became pregnant, thereafter presenting them to the men’s families, fait accompli, as de facto brides, the modern day concept of newlyweds heading off on a romantic vacation derives from the early 1800s’ England “bridal tour,” a concept borrowed from East Indian culture, where newlyweds, sometimes accompanied by family and friends, would tour the land to visit relatives and dear friends who were unable to attend the wedding. Eventually, during the Belle Époque (1890-1914), the honeymoon assumed a posture of romantic tourism, the popular destinations of the time being the ancient towns, cities, and seaside resorts of Italy.


Traditionally, all the expenses associated with the honeymoon are paid by the groom and his family. And while budget should be a factor, romance should not. A creative gentleman can plan a glorious honeymoon anywhere. His primary goal should be to ensure that he and his bride are in a “honeymood” while together on their first, official vacation as newlyweds.

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