Whether your most romantic holiday ever is a tropical island hut with your own secluded beach, a country lodge or hideaway cottage, your honeymoon is a private celebration of your new life together.

A honeymoon is a chance to relax, unwind and chill out after what's likely to have been a frantic time in the lead up to the wedding.

Traditionally organized and paid for by the groom as a surprise, these days honeymoon planning and costs are usually shared. A joint decision on destination is a better guarantee you'll both enjoy yourselves and you can organize a surprise for each other while on holiday, such as a champagne lunch, a spa, day cruise and so on.

The world is literally your oyster and if you plan ahead well enough you can generally find some great deals either within New Zealand or further afield. South Pacific islands conjure up images of hot lazy days lying beneath palm trees with a cocktail in hand and there's a great choice from the Fiji Islands, to the Cook Islands, New Caledonia or Tahiti which is further afield.

Closer to home Australia beckons to be explored and don't forget New Zealand with choices from Queenstown, to Taupo, Nelson and The Bay of Islands. If beaches aren't your joint 'thing' why not consider a special interest holiday - cycling, gourmet food or a walking tour?

When inquiring about holiday options always mention that you will be on your honeymoon as you could receive special treats such as champagne on arrival or a room upgrade.

You could have a money tree at your reception and ask for anonymous donations which you could put towards a holiday at a later date or add a honeymoon to your gift registry.

If a honeymoon isn't within your means financially you could honeymoon at home but keep the destination secret so you can enjoy some time alone.

If you are going overseas you'll need to allow time to get a passport, visas, finalise money matters and don't forget to check if you need any special vaccinations.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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