Megan and Aaron's Hawaiian splurgefest honeymoon

By on Sep. 3rd

We put out a request for reader ideas as far as ways to improve and add onto the Offbeat Bride experience. We got a great request from reader Cortney:

Maybe do a once-a-week feature about fun (and cost effective) places to go for a honeymoon? Alternative ideas for people who can't afford honeymoons?

So we're introducing real offbeat honeymoons! We're hoping that getting a wide arrange of honeymoons, from the spendy to the budget, will give inspiration and ideas and (hello!) travel tips! And we're kicking it all off with my honeymoon…

Aw yeah…

Honeymooners: Megan and Aaron (you might remember our Maui wedding)

Type: Domestic travel, beach vacation

Budget: Spendy ($5000-$10,000)

Where did you go? We actually stayed! We had our wedding in Maui and then just stayed on the island for our honeymoon.

Aaron and me at the shark attack beach

Aaron's first return to the shark attack beach.

At first we were just going to crash in my cousin's pool house but then my parents surprised us with a week at the Four Seasons!

When presenting us with the gift my dad said, "The bad news is that you're going to have to go back to where Aaron was attacked by a shark. But the good news is that it's because that's where you'll be spending your honeymoon!" It was a total surprise.

What did you do? What else do you do on Maui!?

Meditating

Meditating in the Waihe'e Valley.

  • Lots of lounging on the beach.
  • Exploring the ocean and swimming with sea turtles.
  • Driving aimlessly around the island. We literally took an entire day to drive around the island.
  • Hiking in the Waihe'e Valley aka "Swinging Bridges."
  • Drinking and dancing to my friend's Irish band at Mulligan's.
  • Did the labyrinth walk at the Sacred Garden of Maliko nursery.
  • We hit the Maui Ukulele Festival.
  • A trip to the aquarium to re-visit where we got engaged.
  • Shopping in Lahaina and Paia, of course.
  • Eating and partying with friends. Since we had all our best friends and close family members on the island we had a lot of people to party with.
  • Recording music with Aaron's travel recording gear.
  • And on the last day, right before our plane trip home, my cousin took us out to snorkel and have breakfast on his boat at Molokini.

What was the most meaningful moment of the trip? As you can see whe ran allover the island doing all sorts of wonderful touristy things. So it might sound strange when I say, I think the most meaningful moment of our honeymoon was when we'd end each day by soaking in the big 'ol Four Seasons bathtub with champagne and bubbles. We would just talk about our future together and of all the infinite and awesome possibilities.

love montage

And I'll also always remember all the moments we would just looked at each other and say, "we're married." And then giggle. It's still weird. ;)

What would you have done differently? As much as I love Maui I wish we had taken a trip to another island for our honeymoon, at least for a few days. There are two reasons…

the shark tank

Aaron and his nephew check out the sharks at the aquarium.

Maui is like our second home so it wasn't like a new travel experience. And since it was a destination wedding that meant after the wedding everyone was still there. So we both felt all this pressure to entertain our guests since they flew there for, well, us. Taking a mini break on a neighboring island would have afforded us some immediate alone time.

What's your advice for other offbeat honeymooners?
First of all, Maui is amazing. It's almost to the point of obnoxiousness that I tell everyone I know and love that the should try to take a vacation in Maui at least once. Freaking paradise, people.

On the more general advice side: I set aside some of the money that we were gifted for our wedding in a "honeymoon fund." So if we wanted to go and do things out of the norm for us (ie. eating at fancy restaurants and shopping) we didn't have to feel guilty for splurging. Being so spendy was something that we've never done before and probably never will do again.

Aaron says his advice for destination wedding and honeymooners would be to have your family come the week before and your friends stay the week after (or vice versa), so that you aren't torn between spending time with one group and feeling guilty about not spending time with the others.

So now it's your turn! I know that there are some awesome and interesting honeymoon adventurers out there and I can't wait to see what you guys did. So get your Flickr set together and submit your honeymoon profile now!

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About Megan Finley

Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher for the Offbeat Empire. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog, Twitter @meganfinley, and Instagram @meggyfin.