Stuck at home after the wedding because of work schedules, or a tight budget? Or maybe the hassles of traveling don’t appeal to you as much as a quiet weekend with your new spouse. Not to worry. Here are 25 ideas for a romantic, memorable stay-at-home honeymoon.
1. Relive Your First Date
Go back to the place where you went on your first date and tell the manager you’ve just gotten married. (Maybe you’ll get a free dessert!) Take pictures. (Your honeymoon is a great time to do goofy things.)
2. Be a Tourist
Check out the tourism website for your city or state (most state tourism websites have sections devoted to specific regions). You’d probably be surprised by everything you’ve been missing within a 50-mile radius of your home. While you’re there, see whether they have recommendations for romantic things to see and do.
3. Get Lost
Way back when, people used to go walking or driving just for the fun of getting out and about. Pick a part of your area you’ve never really visited and see where your noses take you.
4. Advertise Your Marriage
Don’t take the “just married” sign off your car for a few days and just glow in the smiles you get from people you don’t even know.
If you’re not spending money on a “fly away” honeymoon, you may be able to afford to splurge a little. Go to the most swanky, expensive restaurant in town; dress up and make a night of it. The night after your wedding, register at a fancy hotel or local B&B. Go to a play, concert or museum—in short, do the things that you’d like to do but don’t always have time for.
6. Share the Love
The funny thing about love is you get more by giving it away. That’s as true for newlyweds as for anyone else, so find ways to share your love with others. Start by committing random acts of kindness—both toward each other and complete strangers. One of our favorite stories at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website is about a young woman who was waiting for a ride in the rain when a young man came up, handed her his umbrella, and walked away. When she asked how he would get it back, he just smiled and shrugged. “It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me,” the young woman writes. “I still keep that umbrella, and when I look at it, I think that perhaps, the world isn’t all that bad after all.” What a way to start a marriage. Or go a step further and volunteer at a local charity. It’s probably best to contact the charity in advance to find out the best way for you to help; be sure to mention that your visit will be part of your honeymoon experience.
7. Practice for Your ‘Real’ Honeymoon
This is silly but fun. If you are planning a getaway vacation in the next few months—or sometime in your blissful future—you could do a practice run now. Imagine both of you want to go to Paris. Do a Parisian practice picnic: pack a basket of French wine, cheese, a baguette, and fruit. Go to the local river and call it the Seine River (which winds through Paris). Bring your French dictionary and try to hold a conversation in French (or at least learn the names of your surroundings in French!). You could modify this for any destination.
Now for some ideas for going on a honeymoon without even stepping out your front door:
8. Game tournament
Start a tradition (or continue one) by getting some really fun board games (or video games) and having a multi-day tournament. And there should definitely be a prize for the winner.
9. Post Little Love Notes Everywhere
Before going to the wedding, write down some romantic quotations, poems, or things you love about your spouse; post your love notes all over the house. The more the better! Put them in places he/she wouldn’t expect (sock drawer, cereal box. car). For a good source of romantic quotations, see Romantic-Lyrics.com.
10. Exchange Wedding Gifts
Some couples give each other gifts at their wedding. Talk beforehand about giving each other a gift, handmade or with a dollar limit, if you plan to do this.
11. Dress Up the House
12. Do Breakfast in Bed
Take turns cooking breakfast for each other.
13. Give Love Coupons
Give each other a set of honeymoon coupons that you make yourselves or print from the web (search under the terms “romantic coupons” or “love coupons”). Coupons could be for a night on the town, going stargazing, or a backrub—you get the idea.
14. Cook Together
Cook a gourmet meal together, even if you don’t know how to cook. The trick to making this fun is letting go of the outcome—you can always order out. Or….
15. Don’t Cook
If you both hate cooking, make some meals ahead of time and freeze them. Save leftovers from your reception—cookies, meals, appetizers, a bottle of champagne. Or hire a personal chef to come and make a meal for you; look in the yellow pages or at hireachef.com. If you can’t afford a personal chef, ask a friend who really knows how to cook to make you a meal. And of course it goes without saying that you could eat out or order in for every meal—you wouldn’t normally do that at home, but it’s what you would do if you were traveling for your honeymoon.
16. Make a movie
Put a twist on the movie date—put yourself on the other side of the camera. Make up a story and bring it to life. Or, make a documentary for your future kids (or even for your future selves). Tell the story of how you met and the ups and downs of your relationship. Or ask one another about your childhood. What stories doesn’t your spouse know? What stories should be handed down to your kids?
17. Write a Dream Letter
Write letters to each other about your dreams for your marriage. What do you hope your marriage will look like in ten, twenty, or thirty years? Exchange the letters on the first day of your marriage, and then save them to read on your wedding anniversary.
18. Dance in the Living Room
Create a musical montage of your relationship on a CD burner or MP3 player—songs that either remind you of moments in your relationship, or say something significant about it. Then spend the evening dancing in the living room. Take this idea to the next level by going out somewhere that offers dance instruction, or hire a dance instructor to teach you the basics.
19. Let Loose Your ‘Inner Child’
Rediscover your inner child. Play games like Twister and hide-and-go-seek. Make an ice cream soda and share it. Eat popcorn at 9am. Rent a tank of helium and fill a room with balloons. Make a “fort” out of blankets under the table.
20. Go Stargazing
If it’s safe, climb up on your roof and go stargazing; if you live in the city, find a place in the country to stargaze. Bring a blanket, hot drinks, and a constellation chart. Wish on the first shooting star you see.
21. Combine Your Photos
Go through all of your photos of each other from your dating days; combine the best to make a photo album. If you’re very ambitious, print out the photos and put them in a special photo album that relatives, friends, and kids can look through when they visit.
22. Arrange for Live Music
Arrange to have some musically talented friends serenade you at a pre-appointed time. Or hire a musician to give you a personal concert at your house.
23. Create something together
Work on a fun, non-stressful project together—something beautiful that will be a lasting memory of your honeymoon. Build a table or bookshelves. Create a huge photo collage. Start a quilt for your bed. Make a hand-made kite, or a birdhouse, or wind chimes. You get the idea—the best projects will reflect your personal interests, and will be something you can collaborate on. Home improvement projects, especially the expensive, potentially frustrating, and time-sensitive kind, may not necessarily fall into the “fun and non-stressful” category.
24. Take a Bath
You know how you never have time for a bath in the morning? Go out and buy some bath salts, soaps, oils, and candles, and just luxuriate (especially nice after a hectic wedding).
25. Recruit your friends
Put the word out to your best friends that you’ll be honeymooning at home, and see what surprises they might come up with for you. (And yes, you have to have the right kind of friends for this—pranksters need not apply.)
Did we miss a romantic honeymoon idea in this list? Take a moment to leave a comment below.
Most of all, make time for simple relaxation—catching up on reading, watching a baseball game, or just sleeping a solid eight hours. What makes your honeymoon special is spending time together.