Real-life honeymoon: Smitten in Hawaii

All photos by Jena DeMoss of JMD Photos

All photos by Jena DeMoss of JMD Photos

When I started working with Mr. and Mrs. D, they told me their favorite date nights include dressing up, then getting appetizers, drinks and dinner somewhere with an outside patio. Even better if they’re able to hop from one restaurant to the next throughout the evening. Other times, they said, they prefer to snuggle up at home with wine and a charcuterie and cheese tray.

When it came to their dream honeymoon, they wanted a similar mix of relaxation and exploration, with ample opportunities for being outside and enjoying delicious meals.

The answer?

A two-part honeymoon in Hawaii, starting on O’ahu’s vibrant Waikiki Beach and ending on the island’s tranquil North Shore. From the glamourous The Royal Hawaiian to a luxe cottage at Turtle Bay, their honeymoon was an ideal blend of colorful beachfront bars and private, serene sunsets.

Why did you pick Hawaii for your honeymoon?

Mrs. D: I knew it was at the top of the list of places Mitch has always wanted to go, and it seemed like the perfect spot for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Mr. D: It's an island, so I knew I could somewhat trap my wife there for seven days…

What are some of your favorite honeymoon memories?

Mrs. D: We both really enjoyed just driving around the coast in the Jeep and exploring the island. I tend to over plan at home, so it was so fun not always having a schedule and being able to just go with the flow, making stops at random food trucks, beaches and shops. Another favorite memory was enjoying coffee or wine outside our Oceanfront Cottage at Turtle Bay, especially during sunrises and sunsets.

Would you recommend Hawaii to other honeymooners?

Mrs. & Mr. D: Absolutely!

What is one thing you think every couple visiting O’ahu MUST experience?

Mrs. & Mr. D: The North Shore! Waikiki Beach and the busier side of the island were fun, but the North Shore gives you that true Hawaiian feel and is much more scenic and laidback.

What advice do you have for other couples planning their honeymoon?

Mrs. D: If you’re changing your last name, book your honeymoon in whatever name will be on your ID when you travel! Since we got married six months before our honeymoon, I thought I was being proactive by switching my name at the social security office months prior to our honeymoon. There was a mistake though and it was taking forever to receive my new social security card, which I thought I needed to have before I could update my name on my driver’s license. At the last minute, I was panicking because my driver’s license was still in my maiden name and did not match our travel documents. (I’d asked Amy to book them in my married name!) Luckily, the DMV was able to confirm my name change via their computer system, and I just needed to bring a copy of our marriage license to get my driver’s license (rather than my new social security card). So, my main advice: If you aren't sure you will have time to get your name changed before your honeymoon, use your maiden name on your travel documents!

Mrs. & Mr. D: Both of us would highly recommend waiting a month or two before going on your honeymoon after the wedding, especially if you live in the Midwest and get married in the spring, summer or fall. It was so nice to have a few months after the craziness of the wedding to get into the swing of "married life." We both took a few days off work after the wedding to go on a “mini-moon” to where we got engaged, but I can't imagine having to plan/pack for a weeklong trip to Hawaii while getting ready for the wedding. It was nice to establish a normal routine for a few months after the wedding and then also still be able to look forward to our honeymoon.

Also, we were married in the fall, which is one of our favorite times of the year. Being able to wait to honeymoon and go somewhere romantic and warm during the intense winter we had last year was a Godsend. It also gave us a chance to re-connect and reflect after the first few months of marriage.

Why did you decide to use a travel professional for help with your honeymoon?

Mrs. & Mr D: We haven't been on that many trips in the past, so we weren't even sure what we were looking for when starting to discuss honeymoon options. Going through a travel professional brought to our attention a lot of questions we wouldn't have even have thought of when deciding on a place to stay. Also, with all the chaos and planning that goes into a wedding, it was so nice to not have the travel planning part on our plates, but still have peace of mind that our honeymoon would be one-of-a-kind and organized.

What did you (or did you not) enjoy about working with Smitten Honeymoons?

Mrs. & Mr D: What we both loved was how detailed and organized Amy made everything. We LOVED the format she used to present our different itinerary options when trying to decide between different destinations, and, once we decided on Hawaii, we loved our actual travel documents Amy gave us to use during our honeymoon. Everything was in one location and easy to navigate. She provided us with daily suggestions for activities that matched us as a couple, and they were spot on!

We also liked that she kept us on track for planning our honeymoon. It was so easy to make payments at any time and nice to be able to see our balance left at any point. Amy was so easy to get a hold of with any question and extremely professional with every interaction. We can't thank her enough for planning our dream honeymoon!


No sweat. I've got 15 questions prepped that every couple should ask before they start planning the most important vacay of their life.