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The History of the Honeymoon



Like all histories, the history of how honeymoons became to be, is varied depending on geographical location. The post wedding vacation that we have come to know as the honeymoon, was not always such. Many sources say that the history lies somewhere in Northern Europe, where for a month’s time, the newly married couple would drink a wine, known as mead, which was made from fermented honey. This is where part of the term, honey, comes from. A month’s time during this period was also referred to as a moon, hence the term, honeymoon.

Later during the bride-by-capture era, we first relate honeymoons with travel. Grooms would abduct their brides for a period of one month and take them into hiding. Friends and family assured their safe return. However, it was imperative no one should find them during this period. Very often the family of the bride would go out looking for her to bring home. It was the husband’s hope that within one month’s time his bride would be pregnant and would be before the bride’s family located her.

It was not until the 16th century and later in the Victorian era, that the honeymoon became the romantic trip that it is known for today. During Victorian times, the bride and groom were kept separated during the engagement and the honeymoon was the first time the couple was allowed to go away together and get to know each other.

During the 19th century, in the Victorian era, bridal tours were introduced and paid for by the groom’s family. The couple would go on tour or take a wedding trip which lasted anywhere from several weeks to several months. With the rise of industrialization, the middle class sought to emulate the upper class bridal tours, and took small trips which lasted a few days after the wedding. Once automobiles, trains and airplanes became mainstream couples were able to increase the distance of the honeymoon trip and seek out exotic locations, hence the modern day honeymoon was born.

According to tradition, the groom or groom’s family should plan the honeymoon, since the bride and her family have planned the majority of the wedding. Where to go on a honeymoon should be a joint decision by the couple, but the groom or groom’s family should handle the arrangements to help alleviate the stress from the bride’s family. Of course though, this is only tradition, and may of today’s modern couples handle the honeymoon planning.

Before you leave for your honeymoon, why not give your guests romantic travel inspired wedding favors such as airplane luggage tags? Or check out our section of Honeymoon novelties and fun items such as Just Married flip flops, "Shh! Honeymooners!" door pillows, or a romantic Honeymoon Journal.

Article Copyright 2007, Erica Tevis, Little Things Wedding Favors

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