Though spring and summer can seem synonymous with weddings, winter weddings can be incredibly romantic. There is the hush of the fallen snow outside, the warmth and intimacy inside, and the romantic promise of starting something new at the darkest time of year. A wedding like that deserves an equally romantic honeymoon. When choosing winter honeymoon destinations, you can look beyond the beach default and find some hidden romantic gems in alternative winter honeymoon getaways.
When it is winter in the northern hemisphere, it is summer in the southern hemisphere, making places like Australia and New Zealand wonderful destinations for a winter honeymoon. There are beaches to be had down under, but there are also cultural and tourist destinations. See the open air cinema or take the Manly Ferry to the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia or bungee jump and swim with dolphins in Auckland, New Zealand.
There are culture-rich destinations both in the United States and abroad that are alive with activity in the winter months. With a little planning, you can schedule your wedding and honeymoon around festivals and events like the winter markets in Germany or watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve in New York City. Vacationing in the cold of the winter months can bring a whole new experience to tourist destinations you may have already visited in warmer weather. The romance of Paris, for instance, can only be heightened in the cold. Imagine sharing warm, buttery chocolate crepes and cafe au lait on an overnight train ride between Paris and Switzerland, snuggled and safe together in front of a picture window showcasing the snowy European countryside.
Beaches are the most common winter honeymoons and they're popular for good reason. Just escaping the harsh winter weather for sand and sun can make a honeymoon magical as soon as you get off the plane. Remember that Florida and the Caribbean won't be warm enough in January or February for bikinis and wave surfing. If you want a beach vacation, complete with snorkeling and sunbathing, consider something farther south, such as Aruba.
If you want to save money on your honeymoon, consider taking a northern-hemisphere beach vacation in the off-season. Places like the Florida Keys and the Outer Banks in North Carolina will be pleasantly warm compared to temperate zone winter conditions, and tourist areas like these can be incredible in the off-season. You can rent a house on the beach and enjoy a privacy together you'd never achieve during the height of tourist season. Hole up together by a fire and watch the sun set over the ocean. Get take-out, authentic barbecue and talk to the locals to find out where to get the best clams and the freshest lobster. Off-season and other hideaway honeymoons can become romantic adventures you'll never forget.
Cruises and other all-inclusive vacations are wonderful choices for honeymoons at any time of year. Everything is paid for upfront and there is a staff ready to cater to your every desire. Consider taking a cruise if luxury and decadence are high on your list of important honeymoon traits.
Make a list of what you'd like to do on your winter honeymoon. Do you want to cuddle by a fire? Is privacy important? Maybe a skiing vacation is for you. Do you want to see how many adventures you can cram into one short week together? Try a vacation to Australia or go on a cruise. With a little imagination and some planning, a winter honeymoon can be truly magical.