Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have an 'annual honeymoon' - so what makes it different from a holiday?

India Sturgis
Mark Zuckerberg left his honeymoon early to return to work so now takes wife Priscilla Chan on one every year - REUTERS

Last week Mark Zuckerberg shared a story on Facebook on his five year anniversary to his wife Priscilla Chan. It was a story in which the multi-billion dollar Facebook founder owned up to a substantial martial faux pas – cutting his honeymoon short to return to work.

He started the confession thus: “Today is Priscilla and my five year wedding anniversary, and I want to share a fun story about how it came together. Yesterday was the five year anniversary of Facebook's IPO. Now you may ask, who would plan their wedding for the day after their IPO? Good question."

The answer comes down to an unfortunate quirk of fate. Zuckerberg and Chan had planned a secret, low key wedding ceremony in their garden. The problem with not telling anyone was that Zuckerberg’s chief finance officer David Wehner also didn’t know and managing an IPO process is not an easy one. When it is ready to go, you go.

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla are seen with their daughter named Max Credit: Reuters

The two events collided and, though he managed to go on a honeymoon with his new wife, he wanted to get back to his team so cut the trip short by a few days. The result suggests Chan is a tactical genius, surpassing even her husband in foresight.

“I promised Priscilla that every year we'd have a honeymoon to celebrate our marriage,” writes Zuckerberg. “Some years we've gone to Japan or France. This year we're traveling around the US and we'll be spending our honeymoon in rural Maine. One lesson I've learned from marriage is that exploring together just gets better over time."

So what, you may ask, is the difference between an annual honeymoon and a regular holiday? A few things: your friends and family can’t come (duh); you can’t be angry with each other; buckets of champagne in a Bucket List destination are a prerequisite and, ideally, you spend time together in an atmosphere that reminds you why you fell in love in the first place.

As well as leaving early for work, there are many pitfalls partners can fall into on honeymoon Credit: jhorrocks

Founder of Happy Living and father-of-four Matt Gersper has been taking annual honeymoons with his wife for eight years and describes it as “a yearly reminder of the preciousness of our relationship”. So far, they’ve ticked off Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, Los Cabos, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Belize, Punta Cana and Cancun.

And for those future Mark Zuckerbergs who might be reading this, here are a few other honeymoon pitfalls you’d do well to avoid paying off every year for the rest of your life.

  1. When booking flights remember to book your partner under the name that is on her passport . If your betrothed is organised and has renewed it ahead of the ceremony, ensure the flight tickets match. Equally, don’t book them under your shared married name, if you’ve gone that route, until the passport has caught up with your new status. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many mess this up.
  2. Avoid kicking-off the honeymoon with a million sights to see and things to do. You’ve just thrown the biggest party of your adult career and it will take some time to get your neurons functioning again. Leave the first couple of days to relax, recharge and reconnect.  
  3. Leave the Sky Sports subscription at home.
  4. Don’t fill in all the days with your favourite activities if you know she doesn’t like them. This is a trip for you both, remember?
  5. Travel insurance. Nothing ruins a trip quicker if you don’t have it.
  6. Don’t expect non-stop romance. Set the bar low and no one is disappointed.
  7. Don’t think you have to be glued to each other. A few hours apart in the afternoon to go swimming/fishing/bicycling can do you both a world of good.
  8. Keep your eyes off your phone. Not even to speak to your family or upload the most perfectly filtered #bliss Instagram of a cocktail flanked sunset. Better yet, leave it at home.
Don't be afraid to spend some time apart Credit: Tom Merton/Caiaimage