Jet Set: Honeymoon Inspiration from Real Brides Up North

Julia Smith

If like us you are totally over this stormy start to the year, then today’s post is well timed to help inspire a trip away to sunnier climes as we talk honeymoons.

With so much planning to do around the wedding alone, the honeymoon – though exciting – can seem like a somewhat overwhelming and time-consuming task to deal with. Remember though, this should be the holiday of a lifetime, and so something you really do want to get right as you celebrate becoming newlyweds with a special adventure away.

For this very reason we have to admit that we’re big fans of a minimoon – a short trip away following the big day to allow you to come back down to Earth after all the excitement of the wedding and to spend quality time as a couple. This is then followed up at a later date with the ‘main’ honeymoon – a longer and monumental trip away. As well as giving you something extra to look forward to in the post-wedding calendar, delaying the bigger holiday also gives you more time to plan and save for the ultimate vaycay!

Of course you will need to come to a mutual agreement on the destination – or alternatively book a series of mini trips away to suit you both – and take into account the budget, season and the style of getaway you want – chilled, luxurious, active, exhilarating!

To help inspire your choices, we’ve rounded up the details of the just-married trips of our recently featured real wedding couples on Brides Up North, which vary from cosy UK staycations and indulgent European excursions to epic long-haul hols. Now pass us some sunnies and Daiquiri, will you?!

Click on the links to see each wedding in full. 

Martina Liana for a classic wedding at Lartington Hall – Katie & Nick

Katie says: Three days after the wedding we jetted off to Las Vegas for three nights! This was a great way to start the honeymoon as we were still on a wedding high and ready to let our hair down. We were really lucky to have our hotel room upgraded so we had a stunning panoramic view over the Bellagio fountains and Las Vegas strip.

After Vegas we flew to Barbados for a bit of luxury and relaxation. We also celebrated my 30th birthday while there, making the trip extra special. We spent days out on boat trips swimming with turtles and exploring the island. One of the highlights of the holiday was visiting the famous Friday night Oistins Fish Fry. We had some amazing Caribbean dishes and danced the night away – fuelled by rum punch!

La Sposa for a minimal wedding at Eden Barn – Hayley & Matt

Hayley says: We went to Bali and it was amazing. We stayed in a private villa at Uma Sapna with our own pool and it was so nice to relax and spend time together. The honeymoon was a perfect mix of romance and adventure. We tried to fit in as much as we could, from visiting the Lempuyang Temple, swinging in the jungle at Bali Swing, white water rafting and on the final night we woke at 1am to climb a volcano and watch the sunrise.

Bali was beautiful and the Balinese people were so friendly and nothing we asked was too much for them. We would definitely recommend a honeymoon in Bali.

A handmade wedding gown for an outdoors celebration at Paxton House – Katie & Alex

Katie says: After the wedding, we had a few days on the west coast of Scotland and then flew to Canada, where we spent almost three weeks travelling around. We visited Toronto and Vancouver, drove through the Rockies in an RV, and stayed for a week on a narrowboat in Bella Coola harbour, on the North-West Pacific Coast.

Highlights included hiking in the snow at Lake Agnes, seeing bears in the Rockies and swimming with wild otters in Bella Coola.

Mark Lesley for a country marquee wedding in Askwith – Camilla & Ed

Camilla says: We went on a minimoon to Tuscany; we took a day trip to Siena and explored the gorgeous countryside in a car we hired. Some of our friends bought us a wine tasting and a cookery course. So, we ate and drank amazing wine and food!

We are going on a longer honeymoon to Patagonia, to go trekking! We love this as it gives us something else to look forward to.

Anna Sorrano for a historical & elegant wedding at The Hospitium – Ellie & Grant

Ellie says: We had ten nights in Santorini, Fira. It was gorgeous and even prettier than the pictures. We did a lot of relaxing by the pool and Kamari Beach. We went on a catamaran boat trip, where we saw the last volcano eruption, swam in volcanic hot springs, went snorkelling and saw the red beach and white beach only accessible by boat, and watched the sunset at sea. Fira town is great and lively in the evening.

Hayley Paige for a spring wedding at Rudding Park – Hannah & Stuart

Hannah says: Stuart was tasked with this one and boy, did he do good! We spent the week immediately after the wedding in our favourite part of the country – the Scottish borders – holed up in a lovely little converted Bothy (from our favourite holiday cottage company Crabtree & Crabtree) with our two cocker spaniels. Lots of walks, cosy pubs and good food.

We then spent a week in luxury in Rhodes, at the Amathus Elite Suites, and finished up with a stay at the Shangri La at the Shard in London.

Kate Beaumont for a Relaxed Wedding at The Mowbray – Cat & Marvin

Cat says: We spent two weeks touring around California in a convertible Beetle. It was heaven. We flew into San Francisco and, after a few days there and lots of sightseeing, we headed down Route 1 to Big Sur for a night. We had a meal at Sierra Mar and drove across the Big Little Lies bridge. From Big Sur we carried on to Los Angeles and biked up into the hills to The Observatory. After a day wandering up and down Melrose, our next stop was Palm Springs, taking in Joshua Tree at night for some stargazing, then up the 395 to Bishop and onto Yosemite for three days of trekking and hiking around. Then we headed back to San Francisco. It was exhilarating. We made some fantastic memories.

Essense of Australia for a September wedding at Middleton Lodge – Sarah & Mike

Sarah says: We went to Riviera Maya, Mexico for two weeks of eating, drinking and laying down. We stayed at a new hotel called Unico 20 87, which is all-inclusive. It was beautiful. We had a swim-up room and all the staff were amazing – so attentive and they couldn’t have done enough for us. There were three pools and five restaurants as well as cafes and bars where they made the best Amaretto Sours – ever!

Randy Fenoli for a sunny October wedding at Wharfedale Grange – Katie & Joe

Katie says: We had a minimoon in Morocco straight after the wedding, which was absolutely lovely and gave us a chance to unwind and relax – you don’t realise how stressful the build-up is until you’re out the other side!

However, we always wanted to do a longer, more adventurous honeymoon so we’ve actually just come back from over three of months traveling around Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It was a truly amazing experience to share together.

Essense of Australia for a boho wedding at Middleton Lodge – Lucy & Alexander

Lucy says: For our honeymoon we flew to Singapore and spent four amazing days there, staying in Marina Bay Sands. We spent our days exploring the amazing sights, smells and tastes that Singapore had to offer. It’s such an amazing place to spend a few days wandering around the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, plus the Supertree’s light show is amazing to see. We also went to the Night Safari, which is a very interesting way to see wildlife in a way we had not experienced before. Not to mention Raffles Hotel – the home of the Singapore Sling – along with Michelin star street food; it’s beyond anything we’ve experienced before. The infinity pool atop the hotel is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is one we’d highly recommend to anyone – both day or night – to see the city in a way that very few get to do.

After spending an amazing few days in Singapore, we flew on to Bali for the second leg of our trip. In total, we spent ten days at The Viceroy, in Ubud in central Bali. The hotel was a beautiful small hotel consisting of only around 16 rooms. Our room was stunning, with a heated infinity pool looking out into the Valley of the Kings. We even had wild monkeys feeding on the leaves of the trees within metres of our pool! We visited local markets and a monkey sanctuary, as well as a full-day guided tour. We went to a coffee plantation, a water temple, a traditional Balinese dance show, to see the volcano of Mount Batur and explore local markets. It was a nine-hour day but fantastic. The local people are so friendly and welcoming, and Bali is a beautiful place to visit.

Jesus Peiro for a laid-back wedding at Newton Hall – Katie & Jono

Katie says: We chose nine days in Zanzibar for our perfect honeymoon! Jono and I have travelled a lot together, but we had never before done the relax-by-the-beachside holiday, so this was our chance to go all-out on that front.

We left for Zanzibar just two days after the wedding and arrived in what felt like a different world. We were met at the airport by a local who drove us to our accommodation and made lots of stops on the way to treat us to coconuts and red bananas!

We stayed at The Residence, which is honestly a piece of heaven on earth. Every villa has a private pool and we were made to feel so special on our honeymoon, with candlelit dinners on the beach, champagne on arrival and a much-needed couples’ massage!

Highlights included uninterrupted rest and relaxation by the pool and beach, snorkelling in the Indian Ocean, daily visits from the resident cheeky monkeys, and a private charter taking us out to a sandbank for a seafood banquet. If we could have stayed forever, we would have!

Ellis Bridals & a sophisticated palette for a spring wedding at Middleton Lodge – Hannah & Michael

Hannah says: We went to Croatia and Italy. It was an amazing trip. The food was incredible: lots of pizza, pasta and Prosecco. The water wasn’t quite as warm as we are used to in Australia, but the scenery was amazing. We went to Split and Hvar in Croatia, then we flew to Venice, travelled down to Lucca and Tuscany before heading to our final stop, the Amalfi Coast.

There were so many highlights but one that stands out was when we hired an old vintage soft-top car to drive around the Tuscany countryside. Definitely a bucket list item for Michael!

Stella York for a rose gold summer wedding at Charlton Hall – Laura & Ross

Laura says: We went to the Maldives for our honeymoon, jetting off two days after our wedding – it really is the most beautiful place on earth.

We decided we would choose a destination that was a ‘proper’ honeymoon destination: somewhere where we wouldn’t be likely to take our kids once we started a family, and where we could just chill out after a busy year.

We arrived in paradise and jetted on a seaplane to our resort. We stayed in a cosy beach villa for the first couple of days where we were able to get to know the island, taking the 40-minute round walk every day.

Ross surprised me by upgrading us to a water villa for the rest of our stay and it was like a different world. I didn’t want to leave. Ever!

Jesus Peiro for an autumnal wedding at Middleton Lodge – Emma-Kate & Lee

Emma-Kate says: For our minimoon, we went to Grasmere in the Lakes over half-term. We took our dog with us and did plenty of walking; including Helvellyn, Old Man of Coniston and Cat Bells; there was also plenty of eating and drinking!

We plan to have our honeymoon in the summer as we are going to customise a van and go travelling around Europe for a few weeks.

Essense of Australia for a rustic wedding at Barmbyfield Barns – Elizabeth & Joe

Elizabeth says: For our honeymoon, we went on a short break to W Barcelona Hotel. We enjoyed some down time after the high pace of all the wedding planning. This was also the first occasion we had spent time just as a couple for more than one night since our son was born, so it well overdue! We visited Sagrada Familia and spent lots of time relaxing on Sant Sebastia beach.

Pronovias for a pretty wedding at Le Petit Chateau – Victoria & Nathan

Victoria says: We went to Hong Kong, Bangkok and the Maldives for just under three weeks. It was absolutely amazing. Our final part of the trip was to the Kuramathi Island in the Maldives and it was pure paradise!

Odylyne The Ceremony for a stylish wedding at Iscoyd Park – Fran & Tom

Fran says: We actually decided to split our honeymoon and do a few holidays rather than one big one! It started with a tour around the Cotswolds a few days after we got married. The Cotswolds is one of our favourite places and we stayed at The Fish in Broadway; we then went onto The Painswick Hotel and finished at our all-time favourite Thyme, in Southrop.

In January, we then went to Gstadd in Switzerland for four days and stayed at the incredible Bellevue Gstaad. We are already planning our next visit to Gstaad as we both love the snow and this was one of the most incredible destinations we have ever been to – complete with the best cheese fondue ever tasted and an amazing sleigh ride through the Swiss mountains.

Last but not least we went to Santorini in May and stayed at Gold Suites Hotel. This was the holiday of a lifetime and we loved every second of it. Santorini really is stunning. The only downside: we would never go back in May as it rained the entire time!

All in all, we are very lucky and we definitely made it a year to remember!

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