Wedding Planning Q&A

Mini Moon vs Honeymoon


Should you have a Mini moon or just go straight for the Honeymoon? This is the ultimate Mini moon vs Honeymoon showdown. Watch it now on Wedding Espresso.

Listen to Carly, Tanya and Terry on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


The amazing people that made this possible…

Carly Straughan from Epic Elopement

Tanya Jones from Perfect Promises

Terry Hatfield from Terrific Cakes


James: [00:00:01] Hello everybody and welcome to the Wedding Espresso online meet up. We are so excited to have you join us today. And of course it is now Weducation go go time. So coming up today our hot topic is: “Mini moon vs Honeymoon”.

James: [00:00:21] Then if Terry joins us he will be explaining what to expect when commissioning a bespoke wedding cake. Plus be offering you the chance to save 20 percent on a bespoke wedding cake commission for next year. Then Carly is going to share with us what is elopement and why this might be for you. Plus offer you the chance to save 10% on her services. And then Tanya is going to share why choose a wedding celebrant. Plus give you guys a free downloadable cheat sheet which you are not going to want to miss. And maybe if we’ve got some time left at the end we shall throw in something else as well.

James: [00:00:57] Great. So without further ado we’ll now move on to the introductions. Joining me today is Carly and Tanya. Very excited to have you with us. And I’m just going to pass over to you at Carly and just say… Just let you introduce yourself to everybody and tell them a little bit about what you do.

Carly: [00:01:13] Perfect, thank you, so I’m Carly. I am also known as Epic Elopement. Epic Elopement is a blog that I started back in 2015 when I ran away to Vegas to get married. I found that normal wedding blogs and kind of other wedding centered places and spaces, so wedding fairs etc, just didn’t really feel like they were particularly interested in what I wanted to do. And even just the basics didn’t really help me find what I wanted. I’ve struggled to find things about legalities and my wedding dress. All that sort of stuff, and started blogging and getting the ball rolling really.

Carly: [00:02:01] So I spent three years talking to couples and am just basically helping people plan. So that’s kind of what I do. The things that I do day to day are helping brides and grooms find a venue or a location or whatever it might be. So they might ring me and say I have no idea where to start. We just want it to be legal and then I’ll go and find them locations where it’s legal to be married, depending on where they live and what what nationality they are.

Carly: [00:02:34] And then… Or otherwise I might be helping people elope in the UK. So finding them venues in the UK where they can have really small weddings or legal ceremonies and then blessings in a different location, so up mountains, in waterfalls, wherever you can think of basically. So yep that’s what I do day to day. But I love it and it’s been a bit of a journey so it’s been fun.

James: [00:02:59] Brilliant, thanks very much and Tanya would you like to say hi to everybody and tell them a little bit about Perfect Promises.

Tanya: [00:03:06] Yes sure so I’m Tanya, Perfect Promises, and so I’m a wedding celebrant. So I’m the person who would actually marry you. So if you were choosing not to have a registrar led ceremony, you might go for a celebrant and we’ll talk more about that later. But I used to be a registrar so I’ve seen it from that side, and decided I’d rather do something that was more about the couples themselves than be bound by rules and regulations. So it can be very similar to Carly in the sense of it’s about what the couples want. So it can be… Locations in the waterfalls and mountains is singing to me as that’s a lot of what I do as well as ceremonies in a hotel, or ceremonies in a garden or wherever. And as I say we’ll talk about it later but it’s just about the fact that I would be the person conducting the ceremony and delivering you the ceremony you want, rather than the one you have to have.

James: [00:04:06] Brilliant, brilliant, thanks very much. Super. So for this week’s hot topic I was reminiscing recently actually about our own wedding and I remember that the budget just got blown on the wedding.

It was an expensive do and we wanted to tick quite a few boxes, so we just sort of thought, well we’ve got this budget, we can afford this, can we get everything in? Yes we can. What about the honeymoon? That won’t fit! What are we going to do? And then someone gave us a really great piece of advice, and that was put it off. Don’t do it straight after the wedding, go on a minimoon instead of a honeymoon. And it turned out to be an amazing idea because we got married in Scotland, as you know, and all we did was hang around for a few days after the wedding. Everyone else went home and then we went did a few bucket list things like adventure stuff. So we went horse trekking, we went whale watching off the coast and we had an amazing time, and we enjoyed ourselves so much just having that space and that time to ourselves.

James: [00:05:06] And then we saved up during the following year and got to do the honeymoon that we wanted, which was in Norway, which is not a cheap country to go to. And we were able to do that because we could save. And it was amazing because we had something to look forward to as it had been suggested to us.

James: [00:05:25] Those post wedding day blues, they never kicked in because for us it was still going. We still… We were still looking forward to that big moment we had ahead and I think that was a fantastic tip and we don’t regret doing that for a single second. The minimoon was, for us, absolutely an amazing solution to the budget problem. So Carly what do you think about this week’s hot topic.

Carly: [00:05:52] I love this hot topic mainly because I have probably one of the worst or best, depending on your point of view, sense of wanderlust ever. I always have the next trip booked, I always have a holiday on the horizon. I probably go on holiday, well more times a year than I care to share, mainly because I just love it. I love travelling. I love going to new places so the thought of, kind of… I don’t know, it’s not for everybody because some people… It will be, you know, they want this big wedding and then they want to leave their reception and then they want to jet off and have that kind of big holiday of a lifetime, and that’s great. But I do agree with you. I think I know a lot of people who will do that. Originally they think that’s a great idea but then you come home and you’ve had this huge day where you know that means so much to you. I just think for me putting it off is definitely the way forward. Whether that’s budgetary or whether that’s because you just think you know, wouldn’t it be nice to spread it out a little bit, and like you say there’s nothing stopping you kind of even just having a few days after your wedding, even just at home.

Carly: [00:07:36] If you know… Especially if you already have a family and have kids back home and doing a bigger holiday when you kind of feel a bit more rested. There’s nothing restful really about planning a Wedding for me and I think it’s a great experience, but you know, you probably want a couple of days afterwards and then you probably want to let it sink in and then maybe six months later, then you want something else to kind of be thinking about. And then yeah it’s much easier like you say. There’s always a little bit of sadness the day after when it’s over. I think then you could think, oh we’ve got something to look forward to, won’t it be great when we, when we’ve got this other thing to do. So yeah for me minimoon all the way. Absolutely.

James: [00:08:19] That’s brilliant actually as when we were in Bergen in Norway, we actually saw a wedding happening in the town, and we had our cameras with us, and we sort of thought, should we film some of it? And we went NO, we’re on our honeymoon, c’mon get serious.

Carly: [00:08:34] Yeah I think because we got married in Vegas, so for us our everything was our everything. We did actually have our honeymoon booked before our actual wedding, because we already had that trip booked. When we got home, my friends who came out with us were like, when are we having a Vow renewal because we want to do it again, we want it… We want another big holiday, we wanna do this trip again. And you start thinking, oh gosh yeah ok. You know maybe a year’s too soon, maybe we do five years, ten years. We’re already talking about it you know, it’s funny but you do. If it’s a big part of your life, if travel is a big part of who you are. Then I think you’ll always appreciate that bit of a gap.

James: [00:09:26] It’s on our blog actually. I’ve been writing recently about… We can’t get away with it anymore but we’ve been having sort of holidays for years and treating them like honeymoons because we don’t really want to let go of the vibe.

We want the buzz to keep going, so every, every holiday that we booked has been like, yeah this is another honeymoon. Honeymoon part three, here we go again. Now obviously because Xander has been born, we can’t get away with that anymore and they’re going to have to be family holidays now. So that’s the honeymoon period well and truly over. But we have milked it for every penny that’s for sure.

Carly: [00:09:58] I think as well, like families, there’s… are different now. Like you know so many couples I know who take their kids on their honeymoon and you know, they’ll go to Orlando or they’ll go somewhere that’s really family friendly.

James: [00:10:25] Yeah.

Tanya: [00:10:27] I think we were… Interestingly I hadn’t thought about it actually until I saw this, until I saw this topic I hadn’t actually considered that that we actually did kind of a… Half way house I suppose. We were married a long time ago, nearly 30 years ago now. Much too long ago. But we had… It was absolutely, as you said Carly, that the idea of not missing the bit after the wedding, but we were married on a Saturday, like most people, and actually we weren’t going away until the following Friday. So it was just the way it worked out with the thing that we were doing, and that’s just the way it worked out, and it didn’t bother us, and so we went back to work on Monday. So we had the Wedding on Saturday. I am from a big Irish family. And so most of my family were staying in our flat. So Sunday we just carried on, so we were all in the pub on Sunday, it was lovely. We had a fantastic weekend of Wedding and then we went back to work on Monday morning. And we had that lovely few days, as you say, of catching up with everybody. You know we had a phone.. in those days there were no mobiles so my office phone… I didn’t really do much work on the Monday as it was just people phoning, talking about the wedding and “did you see this” and “oh god did you see so and so”. So all the catching up with the Wedding stuff over that few days was fantastic, and then we went off on Friday.

Tanya: [00:11:51] And did it all again kind of in a way, so although it wasn’t a massive… it wasn’t the six months or it wasn’t a year later, it was just a week later, but even that, as you say, gave us that breathing space to really enjoy the wedding and enjoy everything that had happened, and then go off and have our little break after that. So I can see the appeal of a minimoon. I didn’t realise I’d had one.

Carly: [00:12:17] I think you said something interesting there, that kind of middle piece where you go back to normal life. I am a huge control freak. And for me , the thought of leaving my house to go and be married on a Saturday, like you say, and then… And then not going home for however… for another week or two, I’d be like oh you know, who is packing my stuff away? I’ve got too much to think about. I’m going to leave something. You know I just wouldn’t be able to trust that people would would sort things out in my absence. I’d be so paranoid about it and be like, let me just… You know, even have a couple of days rest and then go home or like you say, have a bit of a break before you then kind of go and take this, this much bigger trip. I’d forget something. I’d be terrible.

James: [00:13:07] It does actually make me wonder where the when the phrase mini Moon was coined actually because obviously people have been doing it for, you know, generations.

Tanya: [00:13:17] Yes the one that I heard is Wedding Moon, which is interestingly, listening to Carly, I mean I do… do destination weddings as well. So if somebody is getting married, let’s say in Florida, that is a popular destination as you know, a popular place for Brits to get married. And so they’ll take friends and family with them and stay for a holiday afterwards. So it’s kind of the Wedding Moon thing where they do it all.

Carly: [00:13:42] Yeah and that’s… And that is what I’m going to talk about later basically, as the kind of, how much you can potentially reduce your costs overall by doing that kind of thing, is that actually what you might spend on one big trip for two people. Actually it could be a very big trip for five people or 10 people. You just get… You know how you can kind of factor those things in, because I don’t think people travel in the same way though either, it’s much more common now, like you say, then maybe thirty, fourty years ago, to go on one big trip was maybe the first time you’ve been abroad, maybe the first time you’d holidayed together. But that’s not the way that most weddings are nowadays you know, like you say, most people are already living together, most people have children together or at least a large percentage do. They’re not only have one holiday.

Tanya: [00:14:36] When families with children and also blended families you know families that have children between them actually the kind of wedding moon thing is a brilliant thing to do because it gives everybody that celebration and a holiday. And it just makes sense doesn’t it in a family with… with A family I think anyway.

Carly: [00:15:00] Yeah and I think I’ll talk about later, about the fact that, you know, you can have a very small wedding in England and then have… If you’re gonna spend ten thousand pounds going out to Mauritius or somewhere like that is actually… There’s nothing really stopping you having your blessing when you’re out there if that’s something that you wanted to do. To do something more, you know, traditional to the, to the culture that you’re visiting or whatever it might be. And I think there’s definitely something in that as well, as like you say, there is… If you are going for this massive holiday of a lifetime you probably don’t just want to sit on the beach for two weeks, you probably do want to kind of incorporate your wedding into it as well.

Tanya: [00:15:46] Yeah I think so, it makes perfect sense. My husband would want to sit on the beach for two weeks.

Carly: [00:15:51] Ha ha ha ha, oh god yeah. Not my idea… it’s nice don’t get me wrong. Give me the sunshine any day. Maybe not the sitting down for two weeks.

Tanya: [00:16:01] Yes, I usually end up going off and doing something else and I come back and find him where I left him in the morning.

Carly: [00:16:06] Well it’s good to know he doesn’t wander and you can just leave him like a creche and just come back and find him.

Tanya: [00:16:13] Very much like a creche!

James: [00:16:15] I remember when we got back from Norway my gramps said you know, “how did you find it”. And I said “Well we’re absolutely shattered from running around doing stuff” and he said… “Sounds like a proper holiday”.

Carly: [00:16:31] You’re not doing it properly if you don’t come back from holiday and need another holiday, you’re not holidaying properly in my opinion.

James: [00:16:39] Not holidaying hard enough!

Carly: [00:16:40] Yeah absolutely. But yeah I mean I… It’s interesting because I do think… I don’t necessarily… I can’t think of anyone now who I know who was married recently, who has either gone straight away on holiday or has not just had, like you say, like a mini moon and then done something else afterwards. I don’t know anyone… I can’t… I can’t even name anybody I know that has gone straight off on holiday. And yet that seems to be the thing when people talk about the honeymoon. You kind of have this image of people getting in the car at the end of the reception and you know, everyone waves goodbye then off they go into the distance.

James: [00:17:23] With the cans, with the cans rattling behind the car.

Carly: [00:17:25] Yeah absolutely. Maybe only Hollywood has given us that impression and maybe that’s what it is.

Tanya: [00:17:34] A lot of the couples that I’ve seen this summer. Those without children or those with grown up children have tended to go away not immediately. And it tends to be a day or something and then they go off to see the family the next day, and as you say, make sure the presents are all taken back safely and locked up and everything before they go off. But those with children, there definitely seems to be a trend towards waiting for a bit and going later.

Carly: [00:18:01] Yeah definitely. I suppose as well, like maybe that traditional kind of vision that I have of like, you say the cans behind the car is that those… Those people weren’t going to the airport and getting on a long haul flight somewhere, you know exotic, those people are probably going 50 miles away to a hotel for a week. In that kind of traditional way so I think maybe our… Maybe our lives have changed as well in that it’s not as practical to go after your reception to the airport. Depends how early your flight is I suppose and how late your reception goes. That’s a different matter.

Tanya: [00:18:44] Do you remember the Vicar of Dibley where Alice… Did you see that when Alice got married and came down in their going away outfits which was a snorkel and flippers and everything, they were going straight off on their Honeymoon. People don’t do that now.

Carly: [00:19:04] I feel like they should, we could… We could maybe bring that back as a thing.

Tanya: [00:19:07] You heard it here first.

Carly: [00:19:11] Yeah absolutely. Just really encouraging people to go the whole hog you know. I remember once somebody told me that they, as part of their honeymoon, they’d just booked it. They went to the airport and they went to the travel agent in the airport and just basically said “we’ve got a bag packed send us somewhere”. And they went okay right, great, this is where you’re going. Put them on their flights, off they went. They sent them to a ski resort, they did not have ski gear with them. You probably pack for a lot of things. Ski Resort probably not one you can do on a whim, but they had a great time. I mean you know you can hire pretty much everything once you’re out there. But I don’t think that was quite the destination that they were going for.

Tanya: [00:20:11] How fantastic though. Wouldn’t you love to do that? I would love to do that. It’s an updated version of the old mystery tour on a coach isn’t it?

Carly: [00:20:18] Yeah very much so. But yeah I do think it’s funny, like you know probably thinking, oh we’ll go somewhere, you know it’s the middle of winter, we’ll get some winter sun.

Tanya: [00:20:31] Yes. How funny.

James: [00:20:33] Rachel I would be OK we love the snow.

Carly: [00:20:40] Absolutely.

James: [00:20:40] I’m actually… I’m actually… I’ve just remembered actually the first thing that we did on our mini moon after… the day after the wedding, was to drive our photographers to the airport. So that was very adventurous.

Carly: [00:20:59] You were like, they were going on honeymoon, bye.

James: [00:21:02] Exactly, it was like we were chauffeurs to our photographers, it was brilliant.

Carly: [00:21:05] Ah that’s very sweet. I hope they appreciated it.

James: [00:21:08] Actually we liked them a lot. We thought it was nice to hang out with them. It was a great start. Great start to the mini moon.

Carly: [00:21:16] I do think… I think that’s probably the one thing that when I talk to people about the kind of… people say that what they regret is that they forget about that. The photographers go home and then you have all this other experience that happens, you know on your honeymoon or wherever. Like having a holiday of a lifetime and nobody captures that properly you know. That’s all done on your mobile phone or on a digital camera or whatever. So I think that’s probably something that we’ll… We’ll see more of in the future, is maybe people taking photographers on their honeymoons as well. It’s certainly something that I’ve heard of people doing. Because you know you spend a lot of money on your wedding day, but then you also spend a lot of money on your honeymoon and you probably want to remember that as well in the future.

Tanya: [00:22:17] I had a couple last year who I married at Stonehenge actually, which was lovely, and they’d come over from Italy and that was well… It was more a renewal of vows really. So they came over to Stonehenge to renew their vows. But were having a week here in the UK and brought their photographer with them. So he was with them for the whole week, so he was there at the wedding and then he stayed with them for the week. So he was doing exactly that, recording that week for them. Yeah. Great idea.

James: [00:22:52] We have a blog post up actually, on our site. When we were invited to go to Venice to shoot a post wedding sort of honeymoon, we were going to meet the couple. They were going to arrive on the Orient Express and my brother actually managed to wrangle exclusive use of one of the carriages for photos and video and stuff. So I mean that exists, that happened. It was amazing. I think it’s a really good idea.

Carly: [00:23:19] Yeah I think people will start to see more of it. I think that maybe the last few years where people have definitely become less reliant on carrying a good camera with them, and take pretty much everything on their phone. I think people are a little bit… or at least starting to realise that maybe that’s not the best way to capture really important things in life, and that you do probably want somebody to capture that properly. You know, and that there’s a reason that we still hire photographers for big occasions, and that if you want to record something properly you do sort of need… Not necessarily amazing equipment but probably just something a bit more robust.

Tanya: [00:24:10] Yeah, I think as well, it makes sense in the sense of the idea of this being your journey together, because I was talking to a photographer before about this, and being, you know, the engagement shots now, I’m seeing a lot of pre wedding engagement shots, which is… She was saying that as a photographer, it helps the couple to be become relaxed with her and get used to the idea of taking pictures, but also of course you’ve got those lovely, lovely pictures of… Informal pictures of them together. Then of course you get the wedding and it makes sense doesn’t it to follow it up and have some honeymoon shots as well to kind of complete the cycle.

Carly: [00:24:48] Yeah yeah. I think when people only took a few photographs. They were always very special because you always printed them. You always kept them somewhere. Now we take millions of photographs but none of them feel particularly special and I think that definitely is changing the way that we think about photography as well.

Tanya: [00:25:09] Yeah I think that’s right.

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