The word ‘honeymoon’ was coined to describe a holiday taken by newlyweds to spend some time in intimacy and seclusion right after they swore vows to each other. All couples would love for that sweetness phase to go on and on — who wouldn’t? But the ground realities are a little different.
Three main factors have contributed to the rise of the mini-honeymoon, or minimoon: the practice of taking a few days off right after the wedding to go somewhere relaxing and beautiful, while postponing the ‘real’, more elaborate thing by a few months.
The workplace environment has changed radically. The bride and groom often find themselves hesitant to take a long break from work immediately after the wedding. They’d rather take an extended holiday later in the year when they feel they’ll need another break.
The second reason is that the Great Indian Wedding keeps getting greater, bigger and longer. Couples, for almost a week, sing, dance, drink, spend sleepless nights, make polite conversation with strangers, and wear clothes and jewellery that add kilos to their carbohydrate-starved frames. By the time they’re done, all they really want to do is relax and recuperate.
Third, the typical Great Indian Honeymoon is not designed for lazy beach bums. Ask any travel agent: we like our honeymoons three weeks long. The more exotic the destination, the better. European destinations such as Greece and Croatia are competing with classics like Italy and France. These are complicated itineraries that may require multiple visas. It’s no wonder we haven’t the time or bandwidth to plan this extravaganza while we’re still organising the wedding.
No, the minimoon is a much smarter way to go, where you can take off for five days to a beautiful resort in a visa-free destination, just a few flying hours away. In India, the most obvious spot is Goa, with its beachfront real estate stretching a hundred-odd kilometres down the coast, and a wealth of five-star hotels. Another popular choice is Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas; here, the mist enters your suite and you can make a habit of cuddling.
Just a hop across the Bay of Bengal is Thailand. A four-hour flight, no time wasted on jet lag and visas on arrival: it ticks all the boxes on the minimooners’ checklist. Its resorts are plentiful, a string of them laid out like an exotic garland along the seashore. Rent a boat for a morning; you can hop on and off for short swims, and set up a picnic lunch for two on your own private island.
The minimoon experience is very gratifying: your batteries are recharged and you can put your feet up and spend the next six months planning The Big One. The modern day professional/entrepreneur couple wants the same thing from a honeymoon that every newlywed has ever wanted: quality time with a loved one and the chance to fall in love with someone under a new set of circumstances. They’ve now merely taken that old wine of shared memories, golden tans, happy hangovers and stuffed shopping bags, and poured it into a new bottle. Yes, the minimoon is here to stay. And the honeymoon? Well, that’s going both nowhere and everywhere.
To know more, grab a copy of the Condé Nast Traveller India June-July 2013 issue, out on stands now!