Jenny Block waxes on the weddingmoon

If you had told me there was such a thing as a weddingmoon, I would have told you you were crazy. If you told me I’d end up going on a weddingmoon, I would have said you were even crazier. Turns out, I’m the crazy one.

If you’re wondering what a weddingmoon is, you can probably guess. Akin to the babymoon, taken while pregnant prior to the baby’s arrival, and the traditional honeymoon, the weddingmoon is a trip taken before the wedding, preferably prior to the planning madness. That is the trip I found myself on.

I say “found myself on” because the trip was designed around the sabbatical my fiancée earns every seven years. She had a month off and was required to spend one week of it volunteering. That gave us three weeks to do anything. We had planned a three-week trip in Spain. But the unrest there left us planning a two-week trip to Hawaii and a one-week trip to the East Coast to see family.

A week and a half in to Hawaii, we decided we couldn’t leave. So, we called and apologized to our family members and booked another 10 days in Hawaii. It was the most stellar 23 days I could have ever imagined. I ate poke and shave ice as much as humanly possible. We had omakase sushi that was completely insane. We lay by the pool and drove the road to Hana and met all sorts of fun couples and just generally had a perfect vacation.

But it wasn’t until we got back home that I realized we had had far more than a vacation. We had also had the perfect weddingmoon. Of course, it’s not what you call it that’s important. It’s what one can accomplish, what we accomplished, in these dreamlike three weeks that will certainly change our wedding and will likely change our lives.

The best part of a weddingmoon is its ease. The hardest part about getting married is the stress. The ceremony. The budget. The family. The wedding party. It’s a lot. And you keep trying to remind yourself, “This is supposed to be fun. This is supposed to be romantic. This is supposed to be a wonderful memory of working together and compromising and letting love lead the way.” Nope. It’s a time of tempers and lack of sleep and fear and straight-up stress.

The weddingmoon allows you ease where there would otherwise be none at a time when there’s nothing more in the world — other than an extra million bucks — that you need. We found ourselves able to talk about the wedding plans in a way that we hadn’t been able to before. The conversations that had previously seemed so loaded. “Are we talking about napkins or family relationships here?” It’s amazing how differently a conversation goes when it’s actually about the topic at hand as opposed to whatever pent up angst either of you have. The weddingmoon gave us the time and the space to remember why we’re doing this in the first place and to put the issue of napkin colors — and place settings and invitations and all the rest — in perspective.

The weddingmoon also allows you to be alone together for hours on end. Hours and hours and hours. In a hotel room. In a car. On airplane after airplane. You know, being at home together, where you can go off with friends or you can go to work for a big part of the day or you’re at yoga and she’s listening to Hillary read her memoir, it’s much easier to get along. You might think that being happy on vacation is easier than at home. But in some ways a vacation can be harder. It’s 24 hours of mandated fun that’s not always fun. So, if you can successfully navigate that without issue, you can be sure that you can navigate all of the myriad things that real life will present to you. Our weddingmoon gave me the ultimate confidence that we’re the right girls for this marriage.

Another perk? The weddingmoon allows you to see each other for the first time all over again. Between life generally and planning a wedding specifically, you can lose sight of that person for whom you were so googly-eyed. But when you’re on vacation, you have the chance to see each other all tanned and freckled and well-rested and giddy. You can see the girl you fell in love with and remember why all the hard parts are worth it. Because you love this person, warts and all. There was something downright thrilling about seeing my fiancé so damn happy and relaxed and able to enjoy. I never had any doubts but there’s something powerful about confirming what you already know to be true.

Our weddingmoon did so many things for us. We talked about the wedding without angst. We spent hours together without issue. We fell in love with each other over and over again during those weeks. Even when the salad took more than an hour to arrive after we ordered it one night and were famished. Even when the woman slept on the plane for seven hours and let her baby scream the entire time. Even when it rained on the road to Hana. Even when the mattress on the bed in the cute little motor lodge was thinner than the average yoga mat.

We fell in love. Because of. In spite of. Still. However you want to say it. The weddingmoon revealed us.

A babymoon is nice. A honeymoon is classic. But a weddingmoon is vital. Even if it’s just a weekend staycation, if you’re getting married, make some time, some “full-on, just the two of you, get your relaxing on, forget everyone else, remember why you fell in love in the first place” time. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.

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