Top 10 honeymoon destinations - who could afford this?
Weddings are notoriously expensive - with the average celebration setting the happy couple back more than £20,000. But when the cake is cut and the champagne quaffed, the expense continues, because there's still all the excess of the honeymoon to come. A study has revealed the ten most popular honeymoon destinations in the UK - and the astronomical sums you'll need in order to holiday there.
The top ten, compiled by No 1 Currency, put Bora Bora top of the pile. Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise given its combination of extravagant luxury, some of the most stunning beaches in the world and balmy temperatures.
Tropical beaches took all three of the top spots - with the Seychelles at number two (where Kate and Wills honeymooned) and the Maldives at number three. The rest of the top ten includes more beaches in Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico and Thailand. For those who want to stay closer to home, Florence and Santorini also make the list.
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn't be happy with a break to any of these destinations, but when you factor in the cost of a stay in a five star hotel, plus return business class flights, there are plenty of people who would reconsider.
Bora Bora (St Regis Bora Bora Resort) £29,657
Seychelles (Four Seasons) £12,602
Maldives (Taj Exotica Resort & Spa) £8,598
Florence, Italy (St Regis, Florence) £8,598
Hawaii (Four Seasons) £9,529
Jamaica (Half Moon) £8,573
Cape Town (Belmont Mount Nelson Hotel) £7,791
Mexico (Bayan Tree Cabo Marques) £7,760
Thailand (Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort) £6,053
Santorini, Greece (Belvedere Suites) £4,739
How could anyone expect to be able to fork out almost £30,000 hot on the heels of a £20,000 party? You would either have to be enormously wealthy, or unhealthily willing to take on a huge amount of debt.
Cut the cost
If you are absolutely determined to indulge for your honeymoon, then there are a few techniques that will help you cut the costs - while still enjoying the kind of luxury that people have come to expect on honeymoon.
1. Fly economy
If you check in early and show up smartly dressed, then by mentioning that you're going on your honeymoon, you may get upgraded anyway. The study found this slashed the cost of the break - with the Bora Bora trip coming down in price by £10,000. It also pushes Thailand and Santorini down to well under £5,000 - and in the case of Thailand down to £3,614.
2. Consider currency
For those on a slightly tighter budget, Mexico and the Greek island of Santorini offer great value for money. What's more, with the peso being one of the only currencies to weaken against the pound in the last year, your sterling will go much further if you decide to head to Mexico.
3. Ask your guests to pay
There has been plenty of talk of inappropriate brides demanding money as wedding gifts. However, this is considered perfectly acceptable nowadays - as long as you do it tactfully and as a request rather than a demand. One popular option is to ask for contributions to the honeymoon. If you have 100 guests, you could realistically hope for £5,000 to spend on a honeymoon.
4. Go on your anniversary
All you are going to want to do for the first few days after the wedding is to sleep - and you don't need to be in Bora Bora for that. If you separate the wedding from the honeymoon, then you have a chance to pay back any wedding debt, and save up for the honeymoon, so you're not sitting on a beach worrying about money.
5. Hunt for deals
If you are prepared to book in advance, there are plenty of deals that will help you cut your costs, Sandals, for example, is running a promotion offering two for the price of one on honeymoons at the moment, so you can get all this luxury for far less.
Dramatically cut the cost
The sixth option is perhaps a more controversial one: don't go on an insanely expensive holiday. The contemporary five star luxury honeymoon in a far-flung destination is a modern concept. We often see the rich and famous soaking up the sun in a glamorous destination after the wedding, and assume it is part and parcel of the nuptials, but there's no reason it has to be this way.
It's perfectly possible to stay in the UK, find your ideal destination, and enjoy a break for a couple of hundred pounds. You then have £5,000 more to spend on a house deposit, paying back wedding debts - or whatever your current priority is.
But what do you think? Would you spend your money on this, or can you think of better ways to splash the cash as newlyweds? Let us know in the comments.