Offbeat Bride and the Chicago Tribune talk non-traditional honeymoons

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Aaron and me on our ocean-loving honeymoon.
This week we decided to move our real honeymoon profiles over to Offbeat Home. It's also the week that the Chicago Tribune featured an interview with me about non-traditional honeymoons.

Offbeat Empire associate publisher Megan Finley sees the alternative honeymoon as a reflection of a larger willingness to question wedding conventions.

"Just because when someone says 'honeymoon' most people think of their toes in the sand and a drink in their hand, doesn't mean you have to book a tropical vacation. Unless you and your partner love the ocean, surfing, snorkeling and sunbathing! Then the tropics are the way to go," Finley said in an email interview. "But never because 'that's just how it's done.'"

The article also features me dishing the details of some of our past non-traditional honeymoon features.

Which brings me to this: If you're thinking about honeymoon plans, you should totally revisit our real honeymoon profiles on Bride, or our travel features on Home. If you've already had your offbeat honeymoon… quick, head over to our new travel submission page and start dishing the details!

Let's talk non-traditional honeymoons! What are YOUR plans?

  1. My fiance and I already live in a version of the ideal tropical honeymoon destination (Florida), so where are we supposed to go? To another tropical place that reminds us of home? And we have to pay extra for everything we can get here at a slightly cheaper rate or free?

    Screw that – we're going to Vancouver in March! SEASONS! MOUNTAINS! PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! (Besides, we're planning on moving there and need to check it out, anyway.)

    6 agree
    • Vancouver is AWESOME. It's like someone mashed up a little taste of the UK with a taste of Shanghai, and wrapped it all up in a super friendly Canadian blanket, complete with gorgeous mountains and forests and ocean and HOLY SHIT. I need to get back up there for a visit.

      12 agree
      • Ariel, I trust your opinion on the awesomeness of a place – I'm so glad it already has your stamp of approval!

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    • We also live in Florida. For our honeymoon we went skiing in Colorado. Neither of us had ever went skiing before and we had such a fun time!

      1 agrees
  2. We're going to Orlando for our honeymoon. We're going to visit Disney, Universal, and even go see a dinner show at Medieval Times! I can't wait!

    3 agree
  3. I've traveled extensively throughout the US (extensive road trips with the 'rents for the first 16 years of life will do that). Despite being an American history nut, my fiance has barely traveled at all. I'm planning an autumn road trip to Virginia where we'll tour the bazillion presidential and civil war historic sites (for him) and fit in plenty of Shenandoah hiking, leaf-peeping, and wineries (for me). We're calling it our "Virginia is for lovers of each other and history" trip.

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    • Oh hey, that's my neck of the woods. Be sure to wave as you're rolling through. It's sooo lovely in the Shenandoah and our wine country in the fall!

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  4. We went to Iceland on our honeymoon in February. For us it seemed like the only logical choice. We both love the Northern European countries, wanted to see the northern lights and we own an Icelandic sheepdog. We went there for one week, got a hotel in Reykjavík and did all kinds of outdoor activities such as horseback riding, snorkling, walking on a giant gletsjer and ofcourse we went to see the 'touristic highlight' like the Blue Lagoon and the Geysir.
    It was perfect and magical!

    4 agree
    • Your honeymoon sounds wonderful! And, congratulations!

      We are going to Iceland in December for our honeymoon and plan on doing some of the same things.

      Did you manage to see the Northern Lights?

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  5. I can't wait to tell you all about our upcoming Halloween honeymoon at Cedar Point in Ohio. They don't do "honeymoon packages" so we're going to treat ourselves like royalty with funnel cakes and haunted houses and goofy theme park pictures!

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    • Halloweekends is soooooo fun!!!! We go every year and it's such a great time. Just make sure you bring varied clothes because sometimes it's pretty warm and then others it gets like wintertime cold. Plus they always have people dressed up in elaborate costumes so you guys can get lots of great pics.

      1 agrees
    • Halloweekends is awesome! I'm not one for haunted houses myself, but I still loved it! Riding the Iron Dragon at night is one of my favorite things to do there. We have season passes this year, and I intend to be there as much as possible this fall!
      Oh, and if you're into funnel cakes, you should check out the funnel cake sundaes they have in Frontier Town ;)

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  6. We knew we didn't want to go to a beach and we just recently decided on Portland, ME – somewhere we have both always wanted to go. It has great culture and history plus it's walkable/bikeable, there's tons of breweries, and the scene feels very much our style. When we found out that the Harvest on the Harbor festival was happening the EXACT same time frame that we set aside for our honeymoon we knew it was a sign and booked that day.

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    • Portland is so amazing–we went on a winter trip to ME last year using a couple of really awesome Groupons. If you're at all able to tack on a day/overnight trip to Acadia, do it! It's so glorious.

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    • Aw, check out Summit Adventures while you're down there. Human sized hamster balls ftw! MECA has some pretty cool art exhibits (some are student works, some are visiting artists). Pretty sure there's a cryptozoology museum lurking somewhere in P-town.
      As far as Acadia goes, we have a metric butt-ton of state parks. If you're rushed for time, no need to drive all that way to check out the trees and water and whatnot. If you are headed up thataway, I recommend the aquarium in Boothbay (really small, but they have a bunch of petting tanks, including some sharks) and one of the Native American museums.
      As much as I am tired of living here, Maine is pretty cool. We have all sorts of weird shit lurking in the nooks and crannies (the Moxie store, to-scale solar exhibit, hubcap heaven, etc)

      0 agree
  7. We're going to Wisconsin Dells, a place we discovered last year in the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin (no hate, we live in the middle-of-nowhere ND) that has the biggest indoor waterparks in the world. Which is cool, because the fiance hates the ocean, but I love to swim, and we can't really afford a trip big enough to get out of the middle bits of America. Wisconsin Dells has some seriously awesome waterparks, stuff like lazer tag, a kickass bed and breakfast scene, a shockingly good gourmet vegetarian restaurant, and some crazy tourist stuff. We'll be inside if the weather is terrible but there's plenty of hiking and such and attached outdoor waterparks if the weather is nice.

    Our second choice was camping in the Canadian mountains, but since we don't have camping equipment yet we decided we'd rather take it easy. :)

    1 agrees
    • I grew up in Wisconsin and love the Dells so hard! Take a Duck ride if the weather is nice….you'll see the actual Dells and get some nature in with your touristy vacation. I'm so spoiled by the waterparks there….after going to Noah's Ark growing up, anything else just seems dinky in comparison. Have fun!

      3 agree
      • I grew up in Wisconsin too. It just didn't seem like summer until we took the annual trip to the Dells! The Tommy Bartlett water show was always a must see. The Ducks ride is a great way to see the local scenery. I agree with LittleOrangeMonkeys – any waterpark you go to after Noah's Ark just seems small. Welcome to Wisconsin!

        1 agrees
    • This sounds like a ton of fun! I love couples that have low key vacations and honeymoons. I feel like whenever you drop a ton of money on some highend vacay there is SO MUCH PRESSURE for everything to be perfect and to have fun every minute. I think my perfect honeymoon would be in an awesome and cozy b&b in a beautiful city(Quebec, Montpelier) where we could walk to restaurants and culture but also take a little drive and go for a hike or to museums if we want. No pressure and so romantic.

      1 agrees
  8. Yes!! This is wonderful! I'm so glad more people are discussing this : ] My soon-t0-be hubby and I planned a cross-country road trip – from Washington state back to Boston, MA. We'll be staying/stopping at Crater Lake, OR, Arches National Park, Mesa Verde, New Orleans, Shennandoah and a few other places. We are so excited and can't wait!!

    1 agrees
    • I grew up visiting national parks–all of those are absolutely breaktaking good choices :-)

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  9. We wanted to do something pretty chill and inexpensive , so we're driving from our home in Pennsylvania to a luxury campground in the Adirondacks (they have real beds!) and then up to Montreal for a few nights for that European flair without the airfare.

    2 agree
  10. Our honeymoon was a pretty typical Hawaiian vacation. We were never again going to have that kind of money, so tropical we went! The only offbeat thing about it was that we spent a weekend in Honolulu for the express purpose of visiting the zoo. Sure, Waikiki beach was nice, but…zoo!

    1 agrees
    • :) we had our Honeymoon in Hawaii too, saw the aquarium but didn't make it to the zoo tho. I bet it was amazing
      We only managed one stroll along Waikiki beach, and never actually sat on it! Lol

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  11. Are you looking for more honeymoon submissions?
    I never wrote up our Hawaii trip – my husband refers to it is an exploration rather than a vacation.
    Who else gets up at 4am on their honeymoon to take in shark dives, surfing, pineapple plantations and Hawaiian luas all in one day!

    3 agree
  12. We got married 5 days before Christmas, so we spent two nights on Whidbey Island and then headed off to Eastern Washington to visit our families for their respective Christmas celebrations. So, three nights after we were married we were staying in my parent's un-heated pool house with 5 blankets and long-underwear (it was about 10 degrees outside). Brr!

    We then headed from Idaho down to the Oregon Coast (Cannon Beach) to finish up our honeymoon road-trip. Some relaxing time by the fire, walking along the beach in a hailstorm, it was so much fun!

    0 agree
  13. We're escaping to a tiny log cabin in the woods at the base of a mountain on a small lake. There is no electricity, no cell signal, no wifi, and no lock on the door. We can't wait. It'll be escape for just the two of us and our dog for a whole week. That's perfection for us!

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  14. My fiance's sister won a 4 day vacation to Las Vegas and she gave it to us as a wedding gift! We get to choose from a list of hotels and they give us some playing coins? Im not much of a gambler but I love to eat so I heard I will be in eaters's heaven. I have never left the east coast so its going to be sweet!

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  15. So excited about our honeymoon plans! We're from the UK, and though we've both been to a few places in the US we haven't travelled extensively there, and while we love Europe we wanted to go slightly longer haul for our honeymoon so decided on flying in to San Francisco driving down the California coast, then inland to Death Valley, then out to Las Vegas. A taste of so many different kinds of America, in terms of scenery, culture and history! :)

    1 agrees
  16. Well, my husband and I are not only going for a somewhat unconventional honeymoon destination. We're also going after our five year wedding anniversary. Why? Well, we're going all out to see the Olympics in Rio, and I do mean all out. We started saving money for this trip before the wedding so we could go to the Opening Ceremonies and get to a number of diverse events (cycling, athletics, canoe/kayak, etc.). We'll be sure to see the city, but really, we're going for the Olympics.

    1 agrees
    • This sounds amazing! It's one of my life dreams to go to the Olympics and I bet you guys are going to have so much fun. A girl at my uni was telling me how her parents always had a tradition to go to as many of the Games as possible so she got to go to the Salt Lake City, London, Atlanta, and Turin Games and I was so jealous! She got to see Michelle Kwan skate in person!! One of the tips she gave was to pick a wide variety of sports and to not limit your seat selection to the "best" or "worst" so you'll have more choices.

      0 agree
  17. Spanish bride-to-be here, with beach-hater-and-easily-sunburnt man. We thought a LOT about this. We had several restrictions:

    – No beach, please.

    – Not very expensive. It's going to be my parents' gift (bye, Australia and Japan :( ).

    – Spending time only the two of us. This comes with talking the language of the destination, so we don't need to have an interpreter with us the whole time. We're fluent (well, sort of) in English, so we still had some possibilities (bye, China and northern India-Nepal).

    When we narrowed our options, we suddenly saw THE place. So in mid-october we'll be going to Toronto, Montreal, Quebec and some more places, to spend some lovely newlyweds time taking pictures in Scott Pilgrim-esque locations.

    I couldn't be happier ^_^

    2 agree
  18. We're hoping to do Paris in the fall (and rent a small apartment instead of doing the hotel thing). We should probably start planning this soon!

    0 agree
  19. We waited a year and went to Australia and New Zealand, waiting a year and going on a big trip on your first anniversary is pretty darn fun too!

    0 agree
  20. We're thinking about doing a cruise to Alaska for our honeymoon, if we have one right away. I've never been on a cruise and he's never done a domestic cruise before, so it'll be new for both of us. Best part, they're not crazy expensive and it includes any activity we could possibly want!

    0 agree
  21. We're planning on taking a weekend trip to Chicago by train. While we're in the city we'll see Blue Man Group (because we both love it!) and go to at least 5 different vegan restaurants, and of course get tattooed together. :D

    0 agree
    • Going to Chicago by train is wonderful!
      I recommend staying at the House of Two Urns bed & breakfast. The decor is artsy, dark & morbid, the rooms are cozy and have fanciful themes. Plus, the included breakfast is amazing! It's right by the metro, so taking the public transportation to get anywhere in the city is so easy.

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  22. That's what I love about this place, offbeat weddings AND offbeat honeymoons! Everybody looks at us like we are crazy for not going to some where that is exotic with a beach, more so than for our actual wedding choices. I've actually had somebody say to me "but, that's not honeymoon-ish, don't you want to *go* somewhere!?"

    What are we doing that is so crazy? We're spending the week in Washington DC! It's perfect for us because we have both never really spent time there and there is really so much to do that we're interested in (history, museums etc). Did I mention a lot of it is FREE? We're paying for the hotel, metro pass/transport, and food, souvenirs of course, but not much else which is great for our small, self-supplied budget. We haven't planned *all* the details yet but we have the hotel booked so the biggest expense is out the way. We are both pretty excited because as I said we've never been and it provides a balance of things for us to do: we can go run around and be super active, or we could just relax in a tub all day! :)

    0 agree
  23. My fiancee and I managed to snag tickets to PAX Prime. Our video game/ steam punk wedding is on September 8th and we've already been together for 6 years. we're as happy as can be and don't need to please anyone by having a traditional honeymoon. So, we're going to carpool with his brother and go to PAX Prime for our honeymoon. And, we can't wait! :D

    0 agree
  24. We're planning on a road trip to the Florida pan-handle for a couple of days, then heading over to New Orleans. Neither of us have ever been to Florida or Louisiana before, and we want to go some place new. I get a beautiful beach for a couple days, then my fiancé gets a foodie experience in New Orleans! Plus, there's the Audubon zoo and aquarium and all the historical stuff in New Orleans, which we're both excited about :) We chose to drive to our honeymoon (from Ohio) for several reasons: 1. we save money by not paying for airfare, baggage fees, and rental cars 2. it gives us a lot more time to spend alone together 3. it gives us the opportunity to find fun things to experience along the way and 4. we want to visit his grandmother's grave in West Virginia after the wedding, and its easier just to take the car with us instead of having someone drive us down and drop us at an airport or something.

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  25. If you're looking for something a little different, I recommend staying at guesthouses instead of a hotel or resort. You get to really immerse yourself in the culture of your destination, they are usually cheaper than a hotel, and in my experience they offer personalized service and the comforts of home.
    My husband and I stayed at guesthouses in Puerto Rico on our honeymoon. One of my favorite memories was one night of the trip going to the house's open-air courtyard and drinking ice cold local beer in the hot tub, while it rained, listening to all the coquis.

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  26. Vegas on Halloween! I am so psyched!

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  27. The whole not going on a honeymoon is not financial wise it's time wise.We are going 1 month after the wedding This Article Helping me A lot We're planning on buying a house in the next couple months, hopefully before or immediately following the wedding- that a honeymoon really isn't priority one. Along with buying a house,

    0 agree
  28. I think if we were able to do a honeymoon when he's on leave, i'd like to go to Oregon, or some secluded place in WA or CA.

    0 agree

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