Romantic Alternatives If You Can’t Afford A Honeymoon

The rise of the Minimoon! The Later-moon! The Staycation honeymoon! Whether it’s Covid-19 travel restrictions or lack of budget, the traditional, day-after-wedding, all-inclusive resort is no longer the norm when it comes to modern honeymoon planning.

Honeymoons are expensive, we get it! And while you can crowdsource your honeymoon funds (find our favorite platforms for such here) sometimes wedding bills & other unexpected expenses can still get in the way from planning that immediate, jet-off-from-your-wedding-night honeymoon.

But! That doesn’t mean you can’t have that ‘honeymoon phase’. Newlywed bliss is not reserved only for couples on vacation. We all know with the right vibe & pampering, things can get just as hot & steamy at home. You are marrying each other, this should become a habit anyway!

So whether you’re planning a Later-moon, or scrapping honeymoon plans altogether, we’ve come up with some romantic alternatives if you’re lacking a honeymoon budget. With help from our friends at Be Inspired PR, you’ll find great staycation ideas, date nights, and simple & affordable ways to treat your new spouse, no passport needed.

Focus on a weekend staycation instead!

“A traditional honeymoon isn’t always in the cards. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan a blissful weekend getaway! Grab your favorite bottle of champagne, a simple white dress, and your new lingerie and head out! If you’re going to be near a pool or beach, bring a gorgeous white bridal swimsuit from Bliss-On to remind your guy that a weekend in white together is all you need.” – Kat Platt, Co-Founder & Designer, Bliss-On by Kat Platt

Hire a professional photographer to capture fun memories!

“A great idea is to go to your favorite hangout spot and document your newlywed bliss with a couples photoshoot. Or if you’ve just moved in together, you can do a fun lifestyle photoshoot.” – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography

Photo & Props by The Prop Dispensary

Nail down your registry and get excited about coming home post-wedding.

“Putting the final décor touches in your home with accessories is not only a great way to blend both of your design styles, but it’s also a great way to create a romantic experience at home to enjoy long after the big day. Add non-traditional items to your registry that you’ll actually be excited to come home to and put out in your home for the first time. This also helps create a romantic setting and sets the mood at home!

In need of a few ideas? We love decorative candle holders to dress up any room in the house. Choose a pair that reflects your styles and add elegant, tapered candles to help create mood lighting. Throw pillows in different fabrics and sizes can be used to create a luxurious aesthetic. Consider layering pillows to create a cozy setting in the bedroom or living room. You can also showcase your favorite moments from your wedding in stylish frames throughout your home. Pick from frames that reflect your style and place them on nightstands in the bedroom or hang them as part of a gallery wall. Have fun with it and make a date night or two out of it!” – Silpa Yadla, Founder, Nook+Cove

Photo by Freda Banks

Plan a road trip!

“Rent your dream car and plan a road trip! Whether it’s a drive to your favorite spot for a picnic or a day trip to a B&B a couple of hours away. Drive away and catch up on some quality time after the busy wedding weekend.” – Jamie & Stephanie, Cape Cod Celebrations

Enjoy the place where you got married!

“Plan a staycation wherever you are getting married! Extend your stay by a day or two after your wedding to enjoy the place where you got married. Even if it is not far away from where you live, do things that you have always wanted to do like tours, dine at new restaurants or go for a long walk in a new place!” – Jamie & Stephanie, Cape Cod Celebrations

Photo by Monotone Journal

Appreciate the time to get some rest and relaxation.

“If you can’t afford a traditional honeymoon after your wedding, I encourage couples to do a stay-cation at a local hotel for a night or 2 or a weekend getaway to somewhere nearby! Having some time to relax, decompress and just be together with your new partner is really important and special. You’ll appreciate the time to get some rest and relaxation and be with your partner without all the hustle and bustle of wedding plans and family and friends.” – Kari Dirksen – CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events

Photo by Kisterova

Take a tour in your nearest local city.

“Your honeymoon is about having a new experience together and there’s no reason you can’t have an adventure without booking a flight. I highly recommend taking a tour in your nearest local city. We always think about exploring the world, but have you ever joined a guided tour to learn about the history of your own neighborhood?

Even better, if you can swing it, splurge on a night or 2 in a hotel and make a weekend of it by adding dinner somewhere unique that you’ve never been (think trying something new like Moroccan, Peruvian or Vietnamese) or authentic cuisine from your dream destination (try some fancy French, Tuscan, or Thai).

If you’re a DIYer, you can even take a cooking class. Trying something new together is guaranteed to make forever memories. If you can’t swing a night away, consider bringing in a local chef to prepare a meal for you so you can truly sit back, relax and enjoy that expensive bottle of champagne your aunt gifted you when you got engaged!” – Carli Fernandez, founder, The Honeymoon Concierge

Photo by Claire Eliza

Try renting a van, RV, or sprinter bus.

“A honeymoon spent traveling and exploring new places does not mean having to hop on an expensive plane ride. Renting a van, RV, or sprinter bus is a great option to see new parts of the country without breaking the bank! Many national parks allow for affordable camping passes or overnight parking to keep hotel fees to a minimum. Road trips routes can also be completely customizable based on your travel time, interests, or desired sightseeing locations. Have a family member or friend who was unable to make it to the wedding? Add them as a pitstop on the honeymoon tour!”- Ari Busch, Operations Manager and Lead Planner at Bridal Bliss

Hit the spa.

“Nothing like a couple’s body scrub, massage & sauna to keep things steamy. Head to a nearby swanky spa and treat yourself to a sensuous day of pampering.

Look beyond the typical day spas. Maybe the luxury hotel in your town has a state-of-the-art spa? Or, maybe you have a unique nature-infused wellness center nearby like hot springs or open-air saunas? (Thinking of all you spoiled spa-goers in Calistoga, California!) Find someplace ‘extra’ and go all out.

Follow up with a salon blowout or mani & pedi and take your new spouse out on the town. Guaranteed romance.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings

Photo by Blake Nelson

Think amusement parks, historic hotels, food and wine tastings.

“We’re all about staycations and being creative! Most places have somewhere fun and enjoyable to drive to within a few hours’ radius. How about picking a long weekend and each one selects a fun activity? Luxury doesn’t always equate to memories. A honeymoon is all about taking some time away to enjoy each other and celebrate the start to a marriage. Think amusement parks, historic hotels, food and wine tastings or even an outdoor adventure like ziplining or kayaking.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides

Book a day at the pool.

“Many luxury hotels offer their pool cabanas as day rentals, even if you’re not staying at the hotel. Book a day poolside, enjoy cocktails, ice buckets of rosé, poolside snacks and drink in that newlywed bliss.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings


We love a lovely cottage in Joshua Tree!

“If you’re in Southern California, perhaps it’s doing a night or two at a lovely cottage in Joshua Tree, purchasing items to make a nice dinner and picnicking in the back yard or deck underneath the millions of stars. The night skies in Joshua Tree are unbelievable. Or pick a quaint town nearby and camp out for a night or two.”- Weddings by Susan Dunne

Photo by Explorerssaurus

Have a bit more honeymoon cash to spend? Find affordable honeymoon ideas in our Travel section.

These tips were gathered by Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness & lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram & Pinterest.