#TravelTuesday: Honeymoon Planning!

If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for wedding planning (aside from the actual wedding & marriage, of course) it’s the honeymoon. After well over a year of planning, our honeymoon is going to be the sweetest reward. We went back & forth on locations a few times, but we’ve finally chosen our destination! Keep reading for the big reveal + to help us plan.

How to Plan Your Honeymoon

We’ll be heading to the south of France to explore Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo and more and then taking the train up to Avignon for a peek at the historic town. After a night’s stay there, we’ll continue to the last leg of our trip – Paris & London! We batted around a few other ideas, including driving the Pacific Coast Highway in California and having a pure relaxation honeymoon at a Sandals resort, but realized that for the same amount of money we could have a really memorable honeymoon in a location we’d both been wanting to visit.

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From our perspective, our honeymoon will check a ton of boxes: Mike is big on all things British yet has never visited the UK or France; London is one of my favourite cities and I’ve never done the South of France. Monaco was a place we’d been considering honeymooning in for awhile, but we couldn’t swallow the idea of spending the whole trip in such a pricey city. I think we got the perfect mix at the end of the day.

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Things to consider when planning your honeymoon:

Budget: As with everything wedding-related, budgeting is so important and should be a primary concern when you’re thinking of where to honeymoon. You want to make sure that whatever you’re spending is something you’re comfortable with – no one wants to start off their marriage feeling a bit sick over the cost of your honeymoon! For me, seeing that we could get all the bells & whistles on a beach vacation for the same price as a European adventure sealed the deal. We’ll take the beach vacation another time, but spending a bit more on a trip like this likely can’t/won’t happen for awhile.

Expectations & a Reality Check: I’ll be honest: after all of this planning, I wanted to just lay on a beach and have some fruity drinks with Mike. Then my family reminded me that I’m the whitest Sicilian there ever was…and that a week on a beach would turn me into a grumpy lobster. The trip we booked will let us do everything without focusing too much on one thing: a bit of beach, a bit of sight-seeing, a bit of relaxation. After realizing Mike didn’t want to be responsible for driving around on our honeymoon, we nixed the idea of the California coast. It’s all about being honest with yourselves.

Something for both of you: Once we decided on our trip, we both came up with a few things we really wanted to see. For me, I want to check out Laduree + the Chanel store in Paris while Mike really wants to visit Highclere Castle while we’re based in London. We both want to head out to Versailles but would be OK with skipping the Louvre or going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Knowing what each of you expects and really wants from your location will make prioritizing and planning so much easier! It also gives you both something to look forward to.

paris Help us plan our honeymoon!

We have our flights booked (Toronto –> Nice; London –> Toronto) but haven’t booked up anything else just yet. I’d love to hear what your suggestions & recommendations are on..

  • Which cities to visit in the south of France
  • Where to stay!
  • Things to do in each city
  • Must-try restaurants/bars/etc

Leave me a comment below with your suggestions! I’ll share a post later on with what we’ve decided on.

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  • stephullman

    Amazing choice!! In Cannes, stay at (or visit) the Hotel Martinez. Take a day trip to Eze, France (an adorably quaint and historic town near Cannes). And in Paris, a boat tour along the river on a sunny afternoon. 🙂

  • ddeestefano

    Paris is my favourite place in the world! I rented an adorable apartment in the Marais via Cobblestone Paris Rentals. Something to consider if you want to get out of a hotel for a portion of the trip. Definitely you need to have dinner someplace on Île Saint-Louis and stroll the streets afterwards.

  • HeatherJLennon

    I suggest taking a day/night trip out to Windsor and staying in this The Sir Christopher Wren Hotel. Very romantic! https://sirchristopherwren.co.uk/ 

    Also, if you decide you want to go to an art gallery the Musee d’Orsay is my favourite! http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/home.html

  • helloLisaNg

    Second this!  My friend Jenny owns Cobblestone Rentals 🙂  She is from Toronto too.

  • helloLisaNg

    Also a word on Cannes + Monte Carlo – it was so expensive to stay there, but only a 20-30 minute train ride in from Nice, which was was cheaper. We chose to stay in Cannes and then did day trips from there. Hope you enjoy!

  • crystalcrichard

    Laduree is amazing! Make sure to visit the location on Champs de Elysee – their brunch is to die for! I actually decided to skip the Louvre when I was in Paris in September, in lieu of sitting in the cafe on the grounds to read a good book and enjoy a cafe au lait. I am not an art enthusiast enough to want to deal with the crowds or fight 200 people for the perfect shot of the Mona Lisa. 

    I DID spend the day at Versailles and it was unreal – I could have spent all day in the gardens! And if you want a neat souvenir – they have a Laduree on site with special collection Versailles boxes for macarons. I picked up a box of six and sat on the lawns in gardens and ate them Marie Antoinette style! It was one of my favorite memories from the day! Just remember to wear comfortable shoes – you will do SO much walking at Versailles. 

    Hope this helps! Ping me on twitter @crystalcrichard if you need any other tips or want to talk all things Laduree!

  • crystalcrichard Thank you!! I’ve done Versailles before and loved it – how I missed the Laduree, I have no clue. Will definitely make sure to do that when we’re there! Will stay in touch on Twitter 🙂

  • helloLisaNg We’d consider a night in Monte Carlo or Monaco just for the experience but yeah, it’s definitely so expensive to stay longer! So excited 🙂 especially now with all of these awesome recommendations.

  • HeatherJLennon Thanks, lovely! That hotel is beautiful.

  • helloLisaNg  ddeestefano thanks, guys! Will definitely consider that – might be nice to stay someplace that isn’t a hotel for a bit.

  • stephullman I love all things quaint & historic! Will definitely look into Eze. Hotel Martinez looks gorgeous.

  • southoffrancelover

    Fun! I highly recommend Cassis in the south of France over Cannes and Nice. If you have to do Cannes and Nice, I’d suggest picking one. They do have some picturesque architecture, but most of the buildings are kind of grotty. If you’re going in the spring, summer or fall, Cassis is perfect for swimming and there’s a beautiful castle hotel where you can stay. Google “calanque” to see what makes Cassis special.

  • nataleighb

    AidanNg stephaniefusco just grab a few 2 euro bottles of champagne & sit under the Eiffel tour, all that matters are the laughs you have!

  • stephaniefusco

    nataleighb
    AidanNg and I only drink Moet 😉 That’s definitely on our to-do list, though!

  • AidanNg

    stephaniefusco nataleighb say yes to Moet 😉

  • southoffrancelover Thanks for the suggestion! The castle hotel is absolutely beautiful – we may have to find a way to fit it in.

  • KarenAllison1

    Hi Stephanie! 
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I recently stayed at a great little boutique hotel in Nice.  Hotel Rivoli. http://www.villa-rivoli.com/en/rooms.php
    It is in a great location! Only 2 short blocks to the beach & it’s right in the heart of everything!  The rooms are lovely (and very clean) and the sitting room/breakfast room is charming.  It’s very reasonably priced for the location. The staff was amazing and had some great restaurant recommendations. I will warn you the rooms are on the smaller side but that is often true of hotel rooms in Europe and Nice is such a beautiful city that you won’t be in your room much anyway. Try to get down to the historic part of old town and walk the streets and check out all the shops.  Charming! As for restos I had lunch at some of the beach clubs and I can honestly say that Neptune Plage http://www.neptuneplage.com/ was my fav! They had the best Salad Nicoise!  And it’s right at the base of the street the Hotel Rivoli is on. 

    I know you’re going to have a great trip!

    Cheers!
    Karen @oliveoilboutique