Travel

Would You Take a Family Honeymoon?

Would You Take a Family Honeymoon?

“Paul and I are from separate ends of the earth,” says Lucy Laucht about her new husband. Since their families — based in Australia (his) and England (hers) — had never gotten a chance to spend much time together, Lucy and Paul asked everyone to join them in Maine after their wedding for a weeklong family honeymoon. Yes, a honeymoon with parents, siblings, babies, the whole shebang. Here, Lucy tells us how it all went down…


A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

Over the course of our nine-year relationship, the 9,000+ miles of distance meant that our families being together at the same time had been all but impossible. So, we decided to skip the traditional honeymoon and instead spend a week in Deer Isle, Maine, with both families in tow.

Paul and I handled all the planning. (Since there were 18 people total, it would have been too many cooks in the kitchen.) We rented a couple houses for everyone, and Paul and I booked a room in a lovely B&B. We were on our honeymoon, after all! Each night, one of the houses would cook or host cocktail hour, which was really fun.

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

Our best move was designating days where we’d do things as group and then having downtime days. We organized a big walk in Acadia, and then the next day everyone did their own thing. Paul and I would steal off for lunch or to go the beach. That was key — for everyone to have their own time. We had a kitty as well, and we all threw money in there, so it wasn’t awkward with people splitting bills.

Luckily everyone got along. There were a couple sweet friendships that developed. Paul and I just bought an old 1985 VW Westfalia camper van, but we’re typical New Yorkers and have never had to fix a car. His dad is an engineer and my dad is a pilot, and they’re both like, omg our kids have no skills. One day they fixed up our van and got along really well. They both like spinning a yarn; they’re as bad as each other. They took turns telling each other these long stories!

One afternoon we went to a store to buy a wooden spoon or something, and the shopkeeper said, “Are you with the family moon? Oh my gosh, the whole town is talking about it!” There were thirteen of us, and everyone either has strong English or Australian accent, so we were pretty noticeable. The locals thought it was so amusing that Paul and I had brought our whole family on our honeymoon.

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

One afternoon, we built a den on the beach together. The kids were so excited, and my mom put sticks on it. Everyone sat on the sand and chatted. I remember looking around at all the people I loved, and it was just the most amazing feeling.

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

When everyone left, it was really sad. We dropped everyone at the airport, and, you know, it’s really hard to say goodbye to your family. We’d had this insanely amazing week, and suddenly it was just the two of us, and we’re like, we’re married now, how you’re doing? It took us a few days to acclimatize!

It was a magical week of lobster, gallons of red wine, laughter, beaches and walks in the sun. Our family, like so many these days, is spread out across the world, and having that time with everyone was incredible. I can’t recommend the experience enough. Now I tell everyone, take a family honeymoon!


A Family Honeymoon in Deer Isle Maine

Thoughts? Would you ever do this? Yes, maybe, or no way? Have your family and your partner’s family spent much time together? And thank you, Lucy! Find her Instagram and These Foreign Lands.

P.S. Eight slamdunk honeymoon destinations, and a honeymoon packing tip.

  1. Love! Am inspired to gather family together for my husband’s 40th bday this year. And all those pics of parkas and hats and sweaters. I’m pysched for fall! Thanks!

  2. C Da says...

    While I’m not married, or intended at moment, I do love that sweater the bride is wearing in the first and last pictures… any way she’ll say who’s the designer :) ? (Seems like a lovely idea btw!)

    • It’s old from J.Crew Collection!

  3. Bill and I were married in 2001; my girls were 13, 15 and Bill’s daughter was 16 years old; we decided it would be a good idea to rent a campervan and drive around France! Better than hotels, better than restaurants. We spent two weeks shopping for groceries just like locals, camping in campgrounds with French families, and holidaying like the locals. it was wonderful. It was one of the best holidays…….. they are grown now, all beautiful, amazing sisters to each other. I would do it again if I could.

  4. aili medeiros says...

    We did! Went to Bermuda on a cruise with parents, siblings, friends and grandparents! It was a blast!

  5. A R says...

    This sounds lovely – but would be completely impossible for us as both of our parents are divorced. My boyfriend’s parents could handle being at a wedding for the day but there’s no way they would vacation with each other, while mine can’t even be in the same room – which means that we are delaying marriage in part because I’d have to pick which one I wanted to be there! I think we will end up eloping – which makes me a bit sad as I love the idea of celebrating with all our friends and family.

    • Caitlyn says...

      After being engaged for ages and putting it off largely because I couldn’t figure out how to have both of my parents in the same room – we eloped! And I’m so, so happy we did. Our families were a bit hurt, but in the long run it was the absolute best thing for my husband and I! Good luck!

  6. Definitely! Looks amazing and like so much fun! We don’t really have families who enjoy traveling so I’ll have to keep this in mind for when MY kids are grown and have their own. So fun! I’d love to take my kids on a trip when they graduate high school. That’s a long way from now though! Haha! Our daughter is almost 2!

  7. How lovely! Also, her instagram is incredible!

  8. I actually had a similar thought this weekend! I went to a friend’s wedding in France, and got thinking about my own (future) wedding. I’d love to have something simple with the family, and then for the honeymoon just go on one huge vacation with my friends – especially as since I have a serious travel bug and expect to travel loads with my partner.
    Especially as time goes by, kids, jobs and whatnot, it becomes harder and harder to get all your friends in one place. It would definitely be one to remember!

  9. This sounds like it could be awesome, or potentially an awful, rude awakening, depending on your in-laws…

  10. This is wonderful. I prefer the idea of having a special one on one for honeymoon and taking the whole family on the other holidays :)

  11. Rue says...

    This sounds wonderful, if your families are up for it. My partner comes from a family where most people have very few resources, and he also has a complex family structure of half siblings and their associated extended families. It’s a question we struggle with — when we get married, how will we balance my family’s expectations about extended family traveling long distances to be at this important event, versus his family’s practice of not traveling to *anyone’s* wedding because there has never been the money for that kind of extra expense. We don’t know what our wedding will look like, but I really hope we can find a way for it to be inclusive and celebratory, and for our awesome families to get to know each other a bit.

    • Johanna says...

      This sounds so much like my husband’s family. He’s got a huge, complicated blended family with minimal financial resources and most of them don’t travel outside of the small city where they live. We were living 2,000 miles from our families and started planning a wedding close to them, knowing that otherwise only my family would travel for a wedding close to where we lived. It got so stressful and overwhelming that we ended up eloping in Costa Rica last year and threw a big first anniversary party this year to celebrate with our family and friends from home. It was the perfect decision for us, and no feelings were hurt by including my family but not his.

  12. Kim says...

    Loved reading this. We are planning a somewhat similar event for next summer…. I am French-American, my fiancé is Senegalese-Lebanese, and we are getting married in the South of France 20 minutes from my grandparent’s village :) Our family and friends from the U.S., Senegal, other European countries will rent vacation homes for a week and our families will of course be there. The goal is to spend a week of bliss with everyone we love in the same place, but allow for independence as well. And our families will be meeting for the first time!

    I have to admit I’m both excited and nervous. My parents are divorced and there is a lot of tension there. I’m honestly curious to see how things play out… will it be this blissful vacation I am hoping for?! Will everyone be on their best behavior? Not to mention all the cultural differences–between the U.S. and France and Senegal/Lebanon (Africa, Middle East, mostly Muslim). It going to be interesting ;) I am obviously a huge proponent of travel and sharing experiences across cultures… so fingers crossed everything goes well!

  13. Melanie Price says...

    My husbands family is from Maine and we have family cottages (that we rent out during the summer!) there on the beach. It is a magical, beautiful place to be and I highly recommend anyone to visit Maine. The food, people, scenery, feels…just amazing.

    I love that you had a ‘family moon’ and you could’t have chosen a more perfect setting. Cheers to your future and many, many more family moons!!

    Melanie
    http://www.oceancottagesmaine.com

  14. My sister and my brother-in-law dated for 10 years, but before they got married last October, we had only ever met my BIL’s family once or twice thanks to living pretty far apart. After their wedding, they went on a private honeymoon in Thailand and Bali, and then right after, both families met up in China for a week to celebrate with extended family :) That week really did so much to help us all get to know each other better and it was also special in that it showed my BIL’s family my sister’s roots. We called it the week of two families truly becoming one!! This year, we’re spending Thanksgiving at my BIL’s family home in Boston to see more of his roots. I definitely support a big ol’ family honeymoon!!

  15. Roxanne says...

    To be honest, maybe I’m a bit cynical but I find the idea of Honeymoons to be a bit outdated. In this day and age couples live together or travel together before they get married, and most likely go on a few trips before they have kids. So I think it makes so much sense to make it something like this, where it is special.

    • Emily says...

      We didn’t live together before we got married, and my husband already had kids. Our honeymoon (for the two of us only) was just what we needed after the stress of the weeks and days leading up to the wedding.

  16. ceciel says...

    Love! Am inspired to gather family together for my husband’s 40th bday this year. And all those pics of parkas and hats and sweaters. I’m pysched for fall! Thanks!

  17. Jessie says...

    We’ve been married for 10 years and no way would we have done a family honeymoon. Our families spent time at our wedding which was a destination. They got to spend a long weekend together. Since they live on opposite coasts in the summer we all travel (Us with three kids) to Portland OR for with my family and we also rent a beach house in the Outerbanks with some of his family (He’s one of 5). Those we don’t see we visit for a long weekend.

  18. Tyler says...

    THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!! Plus, everything about Lucy’s outfit in these shots – love.

  19. We have a family home in Deer Isle, it was great to see it through the eyes of this family. Miss it so, would recommend Maine to anyone for a trip!

  20. Marcia says...

    My parents immigrated to the USA, so when we got married family came from all over the world. My husband and I agreed we wanted to spend time relaxing with everyone after all the craziness of the wedding was over so we rented a bnb and spent a few days with my extended family and his parents. I am so glad we did! It was so fun to remember our favorite moments of the wedding and just bask in the glow of it all with family. Then when the cold winter came 6 months later we went to the beach for a second honeymoon. It was perfect for us.

  21. Fay says...

    I love vacationing with my family. we do it every year if we can…I have 3 sisters and 1 brother….with their kids, husbands, and wives that makes 23. But their is no way I could bring my in laws with us. My side is very laid back, do whatever during the day but meet up for dinner. While my husband’s side is the opposite. We actually don’t have holidays all together anymore because they hate my side…so lucky us get 2 of every holiday :(. Anyway….I love the idea of family-mooning. I think it’s great for the families to get to know eachother and spend quality time together. And when people travel so far it’s great that they get the time and less stress after the wedding.

    Now if I wasn’t already married we would probably do this.

  22. Neila says...

    I would totally take a vacation with both of our families, but no way would it be our honeymoon. I’d want a ton of one-on-one time….. and I want I’d want to be pampered, ha!

  23. Jenny says...

    Sounds like they had so much fun! Sounds like a lovely, fun bunch!

  24. Teri says...

    My knee jerk reaction was that this is a brilliant idea, in that it would probably break a lot of marriages up before they ever began. My inlaws took 10 years before they ever accepted me as permanent. It’s now 20 years and we aren’t even speaking. I wish I had put more thought into the fact that the same sociopath that asked me to step out of my wedding photos raised my husband and gave him a toxic view of marriage. He tries to replicate his parents broken marriage ( his father literally hides in a shed all day to avoid his wife), and it’s so sad. The brilliance of the family honeymoon is that it will allow you to see your in-laws marriage up close and personal. At least you’ll know what you’re in for.

  25. This is such a beautiful idea. I would definitely do it if I could do both – have that alone time with my husband, then include our families. That alone time on a honeymoon is so special, in some way I feel it “cements” the commitment you’ve just made.

  26. Hannah says...

    Geeeeze, this is like a movie – with Meryl Streep and Andie MacDowell. I smell the pine-y, wasp-y air. ;-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i agree! i told lucy it was straight out of an LL Bean catalog. she and paul have such a cute family. :)

  27. Samantha says...

    Friends of our who recently got married did this. They were also in a long distance relationship (US and Switzerland). They took a road trip with the families to the Grand Canyon. It gave them all a chance to bond and get to know eachother. It’s an interesting approach.

  28. Kate says...

    I love the idea of a family holiday yes, but it’s not really a honeymoon is it? I think loads of us from the Commonwealth countries who intermarry do this, but then have a later honeymoon with the two of us. Simply because everyone is willing to fly across the world for a family wedding.

  29. I love this idea and think families should do whatever works. My dad got remarried to a woman from Indonesia, and they had a family honeymoon. Made perfect sense since we had flown all the way there for the wedding, and we all got to know each other better. :)

  30. Katie says...

    Such a lovely story! Made me tear up a little when they had to say goodbye to everyone. The older I get, the more melancholy I feel about living so far away from my family.

  31. Lauren says...

    My husband and I went on a five week camping safari in East Africa for our honeymoon… with my family! How cruel am I?!

    So many disclaimers: the trip was booked prior to us setting a date for the wedding; the safari was essentially a gift from my parents following the sale of the family home; we didn’t really consider the trip our “honeymoon” per se, but we did leave so soon after marrying, and everyone else referred to it as our honeymoon, so that’s what it became.

    Anyway, it was occasionally tough but mostly fantastic, and we both value the experience so highly. Besides – how many people get to trek with the gorillas on their honeymoon?

  32. We did kind of a similar thing after we got married, as my husband is French and his parents and sister came all the way out to Australia from France for the wedding. We couldn’t very well just up and leave on our honeymoon, so we took them and my parents on a 10 day trip through the centre of Australia. We even shared a campervan with my parents! So we definitely don’t call it a honeymoon. But it was such a lovely experience for everyone, and a great opportunity for our parents to get to know each other. Even though they don’t speak the same language (his parents don’t speak a word of English) they managed to communicate and get along. Our Dads spent time on their own together, chatting away, not understanding a word but getting the general idea, using lots of hand gestures! It was a special time. And the next year, we had a belated honeymoon just the two of us!

  33. I am also a Brit living in Australia with my Aussie fiance. His brother lives in London and recently married his German love. As family had travelled from Australia and Germany to London for the wedding, we all went over to France for a few days to spend some time together afterwards. It was a really special time however we won’t be doing anything similar!

    We are getting married in Sydney in March, and family and friends begin arriving 3 weeks before. We are really looking forward to sharing this time with our loved ones, but are also excited about having a week or two after the main event just the two of us, to digest and reminisce and just be together following the whirlwind.

    jamielaurengem.com

  34. Nicole says...

    While we had a traditional, just us two honeymoon, I’m currently on vacation with my husband’s whole family, plus my mom! The best part is I didn’t even invite her, my MIL did! We are lucky enough to all be local and four years into our marriage I see many more joint holidays and vacays ahead!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so sweet, nicole! we went to portland last year with my mom, and my MIL joined for the last weekend. it was such a nice vibe with two grandmas!

  35. Kate says...

    My husband and I did something similar.. We got married in Cape Town and stayed for 3 weeks with friends and family, including 3 friends that traveled with us from the states.

  36. Andrea says...

    Love this, such a sweet way to start a life together with both families!

  37. Mariana says...

    Love this. We’re doing the same. My fiance and I come from different parts of the world and will be having family and friends visit for a week after the wedding. Can’t wait to celebrate this exciting time with our favorite people.

  38. Maria in Maine says...

    What a great idea. I remember both my husband and I feeling sad (briefly)as we flew off on our honeymoon. We had been surrounded by people with whom we loved dearly and then had to leave all of them.

  39. Christine says...

    Sounds like a great idea for families who live far from each other. Between my family and my husband’s family, 75% of our relatives (parents, siblings, aunts,uncles, cousins, grandparents) live 30 minutes or less away.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      You’re living the dream!

  40. We wanted the opposite: keep our families apart as much as possible. We didn’t anticipate that they would get along so we went the route of not encouraging them to interact. Five years into marriage, it’s worked well so far. They’ve only been in the same place at the same time on three occasions, and luckily no disagreements have surfaced. We also didn’t live together or travel together before we were married, so we were dying to go on a trip with just the two of us (which we did, and had an amazing time!).

  41. What a beautiful story. As for me and my husband–we couldn’t wait to get as far away from our families as possible after the drama leading up to the wedding! And we had a December wedding, so after the honeymoon on Kauai we had to jump right into our first Christmas with each other’s families. :|

  42. When my husband and I got married, we had two weddings: one in China and one in the US. My parents and sister came to the Chinese wedding, and they stayed for two weeks, during which time they got to know their new in-laws. It was really fun!

  43. I love this idea – I would totally do that!

  44. Alicia says...

    We did something like this! We rented a huge house on the California coast for our immediate families. We stayed for 5 days and in the middle of the vacation we got married! It was just us an our immediate family – no friends, no cousins, etc. Our families live on opposite coasts so despite our 10 year relationship they haven’t spend much time together. It was actually amazing to have everyone together (even in the same house!) for 5 days. I would highly recommend it – if you are lucky enough to enjoy spending time with family that is!

    • Jenneth says...

      My husband and I did this as well over the Thanksgiving holiday in a big house by a lake it was perfect. Being in a similar situation we wanted our families to get to know each other and also for us to spend some holiday with my family who all live on the opposite end of the country (we met in the middle so that everyone would have to do a bit of travelling – including hubby and I). The best part? There was 0 stress over the wedding once we were all there. We simply just enjoyed each others company and made most tasks into a visit. The female members of both families (along with my dad) sat for hours talking, sipping on wine and arranging my floral bouquets the night before the wedding. The men would take the kids fishing and hiking to get them out of the house. The moms “ooohed and awwwed” over each others grandchildren and happily spent time with whatever child wanted their attention (it was really sweet to watch). We prepared and ate breakfast and dinner together, ended the nights with beach bonfires and sweet stories and had dance offs. We don’t get the chance to do family vacations very often (especially with both sides) so it really was the best of both worlds and we wouldn’t have done it any other way. Highly recommended!

  45. what a lovely idea! we are planning our honeymoon right now (a road trip along the dalmatian coast this fall!) and while i am thrilled for a romantic getaway just the two of us, i can absolutely see why this would feel so right for families scattered across the world.

    also, jo, speaking of honeymoonin’…i would LOVE to read a post on your sweet honeymoon baby :) specifically, if you planned conceive on your honeymoon, thoughts on spending your first married year pregnant, etc. sorry to go a bit off-topic, just wanted to throw it out there that there is interest in such a topic!

    • Yes, I love the idea of a post about having a honeymoon baby!

      Also I’m throwing in a vote for a post on Anton’s birth story, if you would like to share :)

    • Kim says...

      I second the vote for Anton’s birth story…. if you’d care to share! ;)

  46. marsha says...

    couldn’t pay me to do something like this…but awesome idea and i’m glad it worked for them!

  47. Christina says...

    I’m Canadian, my husband is Australian and he and I live in London, England. We eloped January 30, 2015. We knew our families weren’t thrilled with it, but in order to be together, we had to plan our wedding rather quickly. (and I loved that we eloped). But, we set our wedding for a Friday so that on our one-year anniversary this year, we all gathered on the Gold Coast, Australia, the Canadians went over, and we had a wedding ceremony again. We saved exchanging rings for the second celebration (which was hard the first year, we wanted to wear them!) so that our families could witness it! It was really awesome to have our families meet, possibly the only time it’ll ever happen, and show them around Australia for nearly two weeks!

  48. My husband and I eloped at San Francisco City Hall the day before a scheduled trip to Wisconsin in March to visit his parents. So our honeymoon was spent with his parents, his sister and even his ex-girlfriend. We went bowling, trekked through a huge snowstorm and sang an Islands in the Stream karaoke duet in a dive bar in Northern Wisconsin. I have to admit, it was pretty perfect for us. The following year we went to Europe for two weeks, which was magical. But our honeymoon was still perfect.

  49. Johanna says...

    Sounds lovely! And you can always take a separate trip by yourselves.

  50. My husband’s cousin married a woman from Romania in Romania. After the wedding, the newlyweds, and about 10 other people — friends and younger family from both sides, including my husband and I — flew from Romania to Barcelona for about a week. It is still one of my favorite trips ever, and I would agree that the key was being able to do things as a group and on our own.

  51. Christina D. says...

    We did, and I have to say I have some great memories. Both my husband and my extended family got to spend time together-we even had a close couple friend we know stay with us for several days and everyone got along well. I would definitely recommend this experience, especially the way the family did in this post-the destination so close to nature really lets folks relax. one tip: downtime is important-especially with your partner.

  52. Hell to the no. This looks very nice and I truly like our families, but since having a kid I really cherish couple time all alone. I feel like I didn’t appreciate it enough when we had it, so I’d really be kicking myself if we had given that up on our honeymoon.

    • i am with you

    • Susan says...

      Yes! Honeymoons are for couples. Family vacations can always come later! Treasure your time together alone; real life will get busy soon enough.

    • Sarah says...

      Totally agree. Shocked to hear how many think this is a great idea – not judging – just surprised. I laughed out loud when I saw the headline!

  53. If my family were similarly spread out, I would absolutely consider this, but I’m not sure if I would do it in place of a honeymoon alone. Maybe we would schedule a large reunion for our first anniversary instead so the two big trips were spread out?

  54. Samantha says...

    The best part was “omg our kids have no skills”, haha! My parents had a similar things, since they got married in Israel (where my father is from) and that’s when both families actually met. We all stayed at the same place where the wedding was held that night (yeah, I was 5 when they married), but of course, they had a separate room. My little brother and I stayed in another room with my grandma. During the month we stayed there, we spent time with my dad’s huge family all the time, he has 9 siblings, so there was always people to hang out with. When you live so far apart, you don’t see family as often, so we all took advantage of the time we had there to spend it together as a family.

  55. We had a family honeymoon (which we deemed a “funnymoon”) *after* our traditional honeymoon. It was the best of both worlds! We got to go off on our own adventure, recover from the stress of wedding planning and then return to my husband’s family house in Vermont to relax and share stories all together. Definitely a great time for family bonding, though we were also lucky to have everyone on their best behavior. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s one thing that works so well about a family honeymoon, versus a family vacation — everyone is on their best behavior. you know you can’t pick a random fight or get annoyed at something small.

  56. Melissa says...

    In the late 80s my family and cousins went on my uncle’s honeymoon with him at a lack in Minnesota. It was so fun to feel like I was part of something special. My cousin and I played with bride and groom paper dolls all week. When I got married we invited all our friends and family on a 3- day cruise. There were 30 of us! But it was so fun to keep the party going and spend time with each of the groups. We then went to Key West by ourselves for a few days. But I would definitely recommend it!

  57. Heather says...

    We did this last summer 3 weeks after my son married his lovely wife in July in Victoria. Then my daughter had a destination wedding in Jamaica early August and the newly weds along with my husband, sister and 86 year old mum! Most of my new son in laws family came along too. We had babies and kids and 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen. We had never met the new in laws from St. Catherine”s before. There were 25 of us all meeting and having a fabulous time at an all inclusive resort in Montego Bay. We all had a ball. Everyone got along no mishaps no fights only tears of joy. We will never forget the magical time we all had together. In fact I hear from my daughter that her in laws speak of joining us all again on a family holiday in the future. Something we need to start saving for!

  58. I can’t help but notice that this couple is another Lucy and Paul. Hope your family’s healing continues <3

  59. Willow says...

    Such an amazing idea! And I love that part about sitting on the beach with all the people you love-it melted my heart. Congratulations on your lovely extended family.

  60. Sasha says...

    This is super sweet. My brother’s wedding was essentially a family reunion, as relatives that needed visas to go overseas whom we haven’t seen in ages came out. They rented a cabin after the wedding, and it was the best family vacation I personally have ever had. Inspired by their example, we rented a house on lake Michigan the week after our wedding so that my husband’s family from UK (who have never visited before) and us could all stay there for a small beach vacation. The girls having a bachelorette weekend at the house next door couldn’t believe that we were honeymooning with family.

  61. Haley says...

    This looks like so much fun! We’re planning on getting married at our family vacation next year and enjoying 2 weeks together with my family at our cottage.

  62. I absolutely would do this! I actually really wanted to right after our wedding – my husband and I too have families that live far apart so it would have been so amazing to spend time with EVERYONE. To us, family is priority #1. We have a life time of special vacations together, but or families will not be around forever – I think more people should embrace this approach! So many fun memoires to be made!

  63. Carole says...

    What an absolutely beautiful post!! Now living very far away from all our families this sounds like an amazing idea!! We did something a bit similar where we had a very small wedding and some elderly family members from afar could not make the flight so we chose to take our honeymoon and go to them :) We spent time walking by the ocean, going our for dinners and having a mini family reunion! Then my husband and I took off and took a mini road trip on our own and came back to end the trip with them – it was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

  64. Emily says...

    Where is the awesome chunky black and white cardigan from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask!

    • Danielle says...

      I had the same question!

    • Jen says...

      I was asking that also! I would love to know.:)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your notes! lucy said it was J.Crew from a few seasons ago.

  65. LG says...

    0% chance.

    My husband and I waited until we were married before we slept together. So no one was invited on that trip. It was more romantic than anything I’ve ever dreamed of.

  66. I’ve just finished reading “Hello, Maine” to my children for naptime and between the book and these pictures, I’m ready for a trip to Maine! I think a family moon is a great idea if families don’t know each other and everyone is traveling to take part. My husband and I are from the same small town and so a more traditional honeymoon was what we wanted/needed.

  67. It kind of took me aback a bit to read about a Lucy and a Paul on here…I read When Breath Becomes Air and it shifted a tiny piece inside of me. I still think of your sister and niece sometimes, and hope they’re doing well. x

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you’re right. thank you, liz xoxo

  68. Teresa says...

    We actually ended up doing this as well. I’m from Boston where we live, but my husband is also from Australia. We married last New Years Eve in Cambridge, MA, but went to Sydney this July to celebrate with his extended family, and mine came along!

    It was a busy crazy few weeks, with family dropping down from all over Australia, and my family flying in and leaving at their intervals. That said, it was amazing to watch everyone bond. It was certainly stressful, but really worth it.

    Our multiple weddings/ parties/ honeymoons are documented here: thepistas.com

  69. Emily R says...

    This sounds so nice. I think honeymoons hearken back to a time when newlyweds didn’t travel much, or live together – so it was special alone time. But that rarely happens much now, so I don’t see a honeymoon as all that special anymore.

    What a fun time with family and friends!

  70. My family and my inlaws get along amazingly well. I think both my husband and I get more exhausted from our own parents – and we feel like we are on vacation when we are with our inlaws. I love how well they get along – but sometimes I just want it to be me, the husband and the kids. So I guess I’d do something like this every once in a while, sure – but not all the time.

  71. We’re doing something similar for our wedding this October! Both our immediate families, plus his grandparents, are staying in one big vacation home in Saugatuck, MI for a long weekend. We’ll have a welcome supper, then the following day an intimate backyard ceremony and beautiful dinner, and then a day of bumming around town and enjoying each others’ company. The following day the two of us will be flying off on our own little honeymoon. I’m so excited for the whole thing!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so wonderful!

  72. steph says...

    between my boyfriend and me, we have four kids, one grandkid (another on the way) and lots of pets…if we decide to marry, I definitely see this as an option since we feel like we don’t get to see them enough as it is. I may feel differently as a young, first time bride tho….

  73. Lindsay says...

    I only just started following her on instagram, but it seems like this is only telling part of the story because she is always traveling. Is that true? I can’t tell whether this is part of a summer of leisure travel, part of her job, or what. I think a lot more people could go for it if you have a week with the families and then a summer of vacation with your new spouse! I’d love to know the whole story!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes, she was working at J.Crew and then left her job to do freelance work and projects. So, they’re traveling a lot right now, both separately and together. Her photos are so beautiful!

  74. Paula says...

    HA! How sweet. But yeah, not for us. I literally live in the “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” personal movie, albeit not so funny. It’s mostly tense and crazy! My family is chain smoking, hard-liquor drinking, all loud foreigners while my in-laws are California professors, all prim and proper with antique collections in their homes! My wedding was so stressful! But fast forward 20 years past my wedding and two kiddos in tow, the grandmas bond over the grandkids and the hardships of being so far away from them, even though the differences remain strong: one grandma is upstairs doing her me time: yoga, while the other grandma is outside, puffing away on her cigarette. It is what it is, but I would not travel away with all of them together!

    • anonymous says...

      As a Greek gal, myself this made me LOL. My partner’s family is French, and although they haven’t met yet, I’m sure there will be some awkward moments in the future. For starters, they don’t speak the same language…

    • Sandra says...

      I find this so reassuring.

  75. I find it equally adorable and convenient from a logistic standpoint. I kind of relate to the situation because my family comes from Spain and my husband’s from Germany. We live in Germany. After the wedding, which took place in Bonn, where we live, my family stayed with us for a few more days. Of course, we spent a lot of time together. Great post! ;)

    http://cafesocietyxxi.blogspot.de/

  76. My favorite vacations have been ones where I get a mix of family/friend time, time alone with my boyfriend, and time alone with myself. I would definitely do this, provided everyone gets their own bedroom (and bathroom!)

  77. Rob says...

    Um… no.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha i think it depends on the family for sure :)

    • Kali says...

      I’m with you. No.

    • S says...

      I agree, Rob. And I don’t think it depends on the family, either. I think it’d be way too much to ask of your family – regardless of who they are. For instance, my husband gets two weeks of vacation a year, and to spend a full week of it to vacation with, say, my brother and his new wife and her family? No thanks.

    • hahaha this made me laugh out loud.

    • Hannah says...

      Definitely not! But for anybody who would: You must be the luckiest folks in the land.

  78. JCR says...

    This sounds lovely for lovely families full of lovely people, but personally I’m breaking into stress hives just thinking about something like this. I do my best to keep my family and in-laws on opposite ends of the East coast as nature intended. And as an introvert, just myself and my husband is ideal for any vacation, if it can be managed. Beautiful pictures, though, and I can tell it was a special experience for this particular lovely couple.

    • Heather says...

      Tee-hee…I was thinking the same thing! It’s lovely that it was a positive experience for them. :)

    • Justine says...

      This is exactly what I was thinking! I like the idea, but with other people’s families, LOL.

  79. Eli says...

    I love this! My husband’s family lives abroad and we live near my immediate family, and we’re close with both sides. Sounds like such a lovely way to welcome a married couple into their new life. And I love that you had courage to break the mold!

  80. Deborah says...

    My family & my husband’s family have done several vacations together. Usually it involves one family renting a cottage or guest house and inviting the other family to come along. It’s been really great for our siblings to get to know each other. And I think it really makes our parents happy to see their kids and grandkids building relationships; like, ‘Yes, this generation is going to be okay. They’re all in this together.”

    • Hannah says...

      Yeah, I know – but a HONEYMOON?!

  81. ‘Spinning a yarn’! I haven’t heard that expression in ages, makes me miss home! Also Splitwise is the perfect app for this situation, I’ve been using it while travelling with mates and it’s the best.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha agree!

  82. Becca says...

    We did something like this – we got married in Scotland with our parents and siblings, and everyone was together there for about a week. Our families live 3000 miles apart, so it was an amazing time to solidify us all as an extended new family. Then a few days after the wedding our families went home and my husband and I flew to Paris for a week to ourselves. It was the perfect balance!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg, that sounds so magical, becca.

  83. Kelsey says...

    My mom and dad did this in 1972. After their wedding, they went camping with both sets of their parents, and my mom’s new puppy (her wedding present from my dad!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is the cutest wedding present!

    • Carole says...

      Aw that is so sweet!! :)

  84. Emily says...

    That’s such a sweet idea – we wound up spending time with our families at their homes right after the wedding (we lived far away at the time, so it was nice to visit and not run away immediately). We took a honeymoon around the southern Baja peninsula with friends the spring after we were married – kind of like a spring break honeymoon, but the camping-on-the-beach and hiking-in-the-desert kind of spring break. It was fun to go on a big trip with friends and spend time with people who usually lived so far away, but if we could do it all over again, I think we would have built in a few days by ourselves to celebrate.

    We wound up going back to Baja with our two-month-old after she was born, and it was fun to revisit some of the same places we’d loved (La Paz!) and do things a little differently (airbnbs & hotels instead of camping on the beach). And we got to find and eat all the best street tacos again, too!

  85. Brieanne says...

    We sort of did this but before the wedding – his family from New Zealand, our wedding in my hometown in Canada and us living in the UK. So everyone was welcomed with cocktail night, we did day trips to Niagara Falls and Toronto and a rehearsal dinner for all our family and anyone who travelled to the wedding from abroad – it was amazing. The the day after we wed we honeymooned by ourselves! Best of both worlds!

  86. Ali says...

    Not for me, but that Westfalia fan???? Oh my gosh, my dream come true! My husband and I are saving to make it happen.

  87. Gwen says...

    We’re essentially going to be doing a family/friend-moon instead of a traditional wedding. Neither of us are into having such an intimate moment as the ceremony being in front of others, so we’ll do a separate and easy courthouse ceremony, and basically do what we’re calling a destination reception! Reading this though, it’s actually closer in idea to a friend honeymoon where we plan on just inviting our closest friends and our small immediate families to come spend some time with us on a beach somewhere. The idea is we’ll cover some of the housing expense (instead of covering things one would expect at a traditional wedding) and maybe one group excursion, and then we’ll just hang out with people whenever we can. This post has me feeling more optimistic than ever that this is a fun and feasible idea!

    • Danielle says...

      I love this idea so much! We’re on the brink of deciding between eloping and taking a honeymoon on our own followed by a getaway with close family and friends or doing something more traditional. I’m encouraged by your enthusiasm that the former is a great idea.

  88. Jenny says...

    Don’t mean to be off topic but can you do a style feature on her?! I’m obsessed with her Instagram and wanderlust-y style aesthetic.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      of course!!! she has incredible style.

  89. Jill Palumbo says...

    I think it’s a lovely idea, but wouldn’t work with most families. I know my family is in a tangle of drama right now, so it would be a disaster. But with the couple having their own place and a bit of privacy now and then, I think it’s sweet.

  90. Ashley says...

    I did something similar (for 5 days after our wedding) and don’t recommend it. Too exhausting after a big event!

  91. We actually did a two-part honeymoon. The first part was 3 nights in Key West where we invited family and friends to come with and they wanted. We had family surprise us throughout the trip and it was such a great time. It was great to have fun and relax with everyone after the months of planning and hard work. From there my husband and I left for a week in Jamaica for the “real” honeymoon. I would do it again a million times!

  92. india says...

    Oh my gosh, that is the cutest thing ever!! I would totally take a family honeymoon. I don’t have a boyfriend but I dream of eloping in NYC one day (I’m from Aus). The only thing is, I couldn’t bare to not have my parents there so I guess they could come too with the rest of the family then we could all do a family honeymoon afterwards! Great post!
    ps would you mind asking Lucy where her beanie and cardigan are from, they’re both super cute!

  93. jen says...

    it depends on the family i guess but with ours absolutely not.

  94. Kim says...

    My husband and I took a familymoon too.
    We were together for 10 years before we got married and love traveling with my family, which we do a lot. We went to Puerto Rico on airline points 2 days after our wedding, had 3 days alone; then my parents and brother joined us for the next 10 days. It was perfect, after 3 days just with each other we were ready for the adventures and laughter of our typical family trips. Perhaps it’s being together for so long that makes the familymoon so fun, my husband and I spend plenty of time just with each other; it’s great to included the people we don’t see as often.

    My parents say our real honeymoon is the trip they gifted us to Thailand 4 months after our wedding. However they went with us on that too! And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

  95. Jen says...

    Where did she get the jacket from the last photo?! It’s lovely.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her!

  96. cosmo says...

    I love my family (and my husband’s), but purposely organizing a vacation (honeymoon or not) that involves ourselves, my parents and my husband’s parents, sounds like a long awkward nightmare.

  97. This is so lovely! We are spending 2 weeks of our honeymoon with my family in Malaysia, as most of them aren’t able to make it to our wedding in the UK…but I’m not sure our two families could spend a week together. I can’t picture it!

  98. I love the Idea of different houses. That makes it all so managable. Lovely. And why should the Honeymoon be couple only? I mean, that’s what’s going to happen every summer until the kids arrive (if they don’t exist yet), why not?

  99. This is so timely I cannot believe it! I was just married in Paris Aug 5th and we took a family moon after to the south of France for 1 week! 30 of our family and friends came to Paris for the wedding, which was wonderful!

    We have a blended family of 2 teenagers,l from my husbands previous marriage, our 2 under 2 and then his mother and our nanny all came. It was a full house (Airbnb) and we loved it! Traveling is much more work in large groups, but the memories created are unforgettable!

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com