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A big surprise and a little mystery can add some real excitement to your honeymoon, but it's a distressingly fine line between a fun, surprise honeymoon and an unforgettable failure. Planning this kind of surprise is going to be a risky endeavor, but if you can pull it off just right you will be creating some amazing memories before you even step on the airplane.
The Inherent Risks
When you take your time and plan things out carefully, you can probably create a great honeymoon experience. Unfortunately, there are a number of pitfalls that many would-be vacation planners dive into head first. It's just too easy to make assumptions that can cause some fallout. For example, there have been many cases in which the husband plans the trip he's always wanted and assumes she'll enjoy it just as much because "we love all the same things." While this may be true, you don't want to find out that "she loves some other things more" after you've purchased the plane tickets.
It is also really easy to lose sight of the fact that the honeymoon is supposed to be about the two of you. While you should listen to advice from friends and loved ones, you shouldn't choose your destination simply because your best friend loved that place. Take everyone's suggestions, but choose the destination that means something to both of you.
Why Chance It?
If there really is such a big chance that a surprise honeymoon will lead to disappointment (and let's face it, there is), why would you take the risk? Wouldn't it just be easier to work together and come to some mutually agreeable decisions?
Despite all the risks, there are some definite reasons to consider keeping the honeymoon a secret. First, some people just love surprises, and the excitement and anticipation that builds leading up to your wedding will add something special to the whole event. Second, the bride is often so overwhelmed by the other wedding plans that she just can't take the time to plan an extended trip, and this is your chance to show her you've been listening to all her thinly veiled hints all this time.
If you decide to be adventurous and go for that surprise honeymoon, there are a few things you can do to plan and implement it properly. First of all (and this is a step you really can't skip), you need to make sure you are both truly excited about the idea of a surprise. If there's any wishy-washiness on either side, you might want to rethink your strategy. If someone is only partially open to the idea, you're going to have a very small window of opportunity to get everything just right.
When you start to plan the surprise you should get ideas from a number of different sources, from your fiancé to your soon-to-be in-laws. You're going to have to be a pretty skilled investigator, though, to get the information you need without giving away too much. Don't tell anyone about your plans. All it takes is one person reporting your efforts on Facebook and the surprise will be down the drain.
You should always work on a need-to-know basis. While you don't want to let important details slip, you will need to tell her whether she should pack a coat or a swimsuit, or whether or not she should get that passport updated. There is always the option to pack everything for her (with the help of a close friend or sibling), but you should probably still give her a couple hints so she can pack a few last-minute things.
When you plan a surprise honeymoon, you will have to be sneaky - hide the plane tickets, brochures, online research, credit card statements and everything else that might hint at what you are up to. Of course, this kind of stealthy behavior may look a little suspicious, so make sure that everyone understands why you are being so careful and tight-lipped. It's especially important that your fiancé understands that you are acting strange so you can surprise her. Chances are this will just increase the anticipation when she sees you working so hard to do something great and to keep it all a secret.
Finally, you need to consider the big reveal. When do you finally let her in on the secret? You could, for example, tell her where you are going at the wedding reception. It can be your big gift to her and then all your friends and family will get to see her reaction. On the other hand, you could hold onto your secrets until you are at the airport or in the car heading toward your final destination. Both options are good - you just need to consider what will make her the happiest.