Why DO couples traditionally have a honeymoon after their wedding?

Published 25th Sep 2017 - It's not always been about a romantic getaway, FYI...

The honeymoon is arguably one of the best parts about getting married: what’s not to love about a dreamy trip with the one you love, to celebrate the start of your marriage?

However, whilst couples these days might view the honeymoon as a chance to enjoy some much needed relaxation after the excitement of planning their wedding, the origins of the tradition are, naturally, a little less blissful.

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In the UK, the tradition first appeared in the 19th century, when it was regarded as an opportunity for the newlyweds to visit family members who had been unable to attend their wedding celebration. It wasn’t until the later part of the 1800s that the concept took on a more romantic form, with couples enjoying getaways together - and without their relatives.

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As for the word ‘honeymoon’ - WTF does it actually mean? The ‘honey’ part stems back to the 5th century, when newly-married couples would drink glasses of mead, a honey-flavoured alcoholic beverage after their first ‘moon’ as a married couple; the sweet drink was believed to help with conception.

However, 18th century writer Samuel Johnson also neatly explained the meaning, describing it as 'the first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure'.

And we know Johnson knew his stuff, because he compiled no less than Johnson's Dictionary - AKA one of the most influential books in the history of the English language. So there you have it!

Not sure where to head for your honeymoon? Browse our A to Z of around-the-globe ideas here!

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