Getting the Honeymoon Right!

It might sound obvious, but a honeymoon needs to be planned well in advance. In fact, most travel agents advocate planning for the honeymoon before the actual wedding! Clare Dunne, founder of the Travel Broker, advises couples to book the honeymoon the same time as they book the venue. “All too often, couples leave the honeymoon planning to near the end when they may be exhausted by the whole process and as result are unable to find what they want,” she says. “Or they just say they want a rest and book a beach holiday when normally they like more adventurous holidays.


“This might be the first holiday they go solo without the company of friends and two weeks in an isolated beach hut can be an awfully long time!”


Dunne set up the Travel Broker ten years ago after a career with mainstream travel agents. Researching the market, Dunne opted for a niche approach and opted for the luxury honeymoon market. Her clients are not after the standard package deals but prefer to use their personal taste to create honeymoons that are individual and tailored just for them.


“People do book holidays on the Internet but the most successful Internet bookings tend to either city breaks or packages. Once you deviate from standard, then personal knowledge is required. We find that most of our clients want a special package, mixing types of holidays, resorts and even countries.”


Dunne combines a mixture of personal experience with direct client feedback to build up a portfolio of interesting, different and luxurious holidays. “It is very hard for an individual to use the web for detailed research,” says Dunne. “There are questions that we can ask based on our experience that may be beyond most peoples’ ability to discover. It is not worth taking a risk on your honeymoon – we advise that you save that for the other holidays where the odds are not so high.”


It is not just honeymoons that are planned well in advance, another trend is to host the entire wedding – complete with wedding party – abroad.


Many Irish couples are also opting to combine weddings with the honeymoon itself. “This is as much about expense as romance,” says Dunne. “Originally the trend was for the couple to get married by themselves abroad, but now they tend to take an entire wedding party. Combining both can save them money and ensure they have a honeymoon to remember.”


Weddings Abroad


Rosemarie Meleady, the Irish agent for Weddings and Honeymoons Abroad, is also witnessing this new trend where the entire wedding party decamps to a villa complex in Tuscany or country hotel in Provence.


However, as she points out, while the cost to the couple may be considerably reduced, there is a potential drawback from the guests’ perspective in that it costs a lot to attend a wedding abroad and uses up valuable holiday time. “Choose your guest list carefully,” says Meleady. “While it is a fabulous idea to have a wedding weekend in Tuscany with all your family and friends, just remember that while you may be saving a fortune, it could be costing your guests a bomb. Maybe you can waive the wedding present instead.”


Either way, Meleady is in agreement with Dunne on the planning stakes. “The honeymoon lasts two weeks and a wedding lasts a day yet all too often the couple spend the majority of their time planning the day and not the holiday. By rights, the honeymoon should be the most memorable and romantic two weeks of your life,” says Meleady.


“It is also typically the most expensive holiday the couple will have taken – and may remain the most extravagant for many years. So it is important to get it right.”


It is hard to cost an average honeymoon, but if an average wedding costs in the region of â‚ ¬30,000, then an average Irish honeymoon costs around â‚ ¬3000. In both cases it is hard to reduce the spend but very easy to increase it.


Meleady deals in the romantic. Her role is to capture a vision and then deliver it. As she explains: “Whether your dream is just the two of you having a sumptuous champagne dinner on a deserted island, sharing a rose petal strewn jacuzzi together in a sunken bath overlooking the Indian ocean, walking barefoot on white powder sand and drinking rum from freshly cut coconuts or lazing together in a double hammock while watching elephants roam from your luxurious safari tent, there’s a honeymoon out there to fulfil your every dream.”


Meeting the costs is problematic as the more rose petals, the more euros. Dunne has an answer for that as well.


Last year, she set up Ireland’s first honeymoon registry. This web-based service works just like a traditional wedding registry, except instead of glassware, china and linen, guests can contribute towards the cost of your honeymoon. Guests love it too because it’s a great time saver – instead of having to race to the department store where your registry is, they can buy your wedding gift online from home or office.


The site – – allows couple plan their dream honeymoon and then ask their guests to contribute. The honeymoon registry itself works just like a traditional wedding registry, except it is elements of the honeymoon that can by purchased. All elements are broken down into units of â‚ ¬25, so a guest wishing to spend â‚ ¬100 for example can contribute â‚ ¬50 towards the flight, â‚ ¬25 towards the hotel, and â‚ ¬25 towards extras such as champagne, massages and excursions.


Contact Details


Clare Dunne


Managing Director


The Travel Broker


Tel: + 353 1 833 3921


[email protected]




Rosemary Meleady


Weddings Abroad


Tel: + 353 55 279 77


[email protected]