The Honeymoon

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We did not include the honeymoon in our wedding budget, for three reasons (1) It was a gift to me from my hubby-to-be, (2) It was not a necessary part of the wedding, we could save for a year and then take the honeymoon as a celebration of our first anniversary, and (3) It would have been possible to use the monetary gifts from the wedding to plan a future honeymoon and include the accumulated points from the hotel stay we provided for a few of our guests (to use for a free/partial night’s stay at the same brand hotel).

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While planning the accommodations for my guests I signed up for the Hilton Honors membership, it is free! We paid for a one night stay for a few of our guests and used the points for a future partial night’s stay at a Hilton brand hotel (our honeymoon destination was at Homewood Suites in California, we used the points for a future stay and not the honeymoon). The points may not be available for your honeymoon, however, you can use them to plan for your first Anniversary stay if you decide to travel at that time (we have continued to use our Hilton points any time we have enough to redeem).

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We booked a two night stay at the Marriott in California (we received a gift for a three day two night stay in Las Vegas and took that trip in the middle of our honeymoon), we traveled to Las Vegas by car and then back to California to stay at the Homewood Suites for the remainder of our trip. We find that it’s less expensive to fly Southwest (very few baggage fees and a points system to receive rewards) and we like the customer service, therefore, we booked roundtrip tickets, at least, three months in advance in addition to our hotels.

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Homewood Suites offers wonderful amenities (another plus to staying with them), therefore, we did not have to be concerned with buying breakfast (throughout the week) or dinner (Monday through Thursday) and the hotel offered free parking, a manager’s reception (Monday through Thursday) and free wireless internet. We researched restaurants that had good ratings (on Yelp and TripAdvisor) and weren’t expensive for lunch (we did treat ourselves to three nice restaurants for dinner) and we researched attractions through TripAdvisor and Groupon websites (although our main objective/entertainment was to visit the different vineyards in Napa Valley, our favorite attraction ended up being the Getty Villa and two Russian River Valley Vineyards).

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We remained on a budget throughout our stay and we enjoyed ourselves while celebrating our honeymoon. I will list a few of the places that we visited during our honeymoon below (however, just before that list I will share six websites that may be of interest to you while planning your honeymoon/first year Anniversary, please ensure that you check the Bed Bug Registry for any accommodations you intend to book and also research the fine print for any deals/discounts/Groupon that you receive/purchase before your trip. Most importantly, be sure to enjoy your honeymoon, after all, the two of you deserve it!

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Bride on a Budget

Bliss: Honeymoon Wishes

Total EXPERIENCE Travel

Getaway Adventures

Viva Resorts

Odenza Marketing

Rumbling Bald: Resort on Lake Lure, NC

Bistro Boudin

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Hunan Home’s Restuarant

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Hard Knox Cafe

Hurley’s

Lick Observatory: Mount Hamilton

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Castello di Amorosa: Castle of Love

V. Suttui Winery

Lynmar Estate

Merry Edwards Winery

Japanese Tea Garden

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Lombard Street

Hoover Dam

Hearst Castle

Getty Museum Center/Villa

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