By Maria Immaculate Owechi
If you’re feeling a bit sad about how your wedding turned out due to COVID-19, you’re not alone. In line with the government of Uganda mandatory guidelines on managing the spread of COVID-19, many couples were thrown off balance when they could not have their large dream wedding or even their dream honeymoon as means of travelling to honeymoon places were cut off too. But what is a wedding without a honeymoon?
The good thing is a honeymoon can be planned much later. So how can you continue to plan your honeymoon in an effective and efficient way during this lockdown?
Carol Nakandi Kinobe, the CEO Twese Safaris gives us five tips on how couples can use the lockdown period to continue planning for their honeymoon.
2. Start your travel agent hunt now
Nakandi says that with so many honeymoon trips being postponed now due to the COVID-19, the schedules of travel agents will soon be full with people that have postponed now and those that will be getting married when the lockdown is lifted. This, she says, is why couples should book now so that when the time comes for them to go for their planned honeymoon, they are not pushed further ahead.
“Since we are all at home now, this is the time to browse through websites. See what different packages they offer. You can request for Skype calls to discuss more on specifics,” she comments.
Nakandi also adds that it’s better to book now as you are still eager to have a great experience together. That way, as a couple, you will look forward to a good time instead of sliding into a comfort zone and never getting to have your honeymoon, “Scientific weddings gave couples a chance to save more on weddings. So why not have a good honeymoon with your wedding excess?”
2. Think about the smaller details
With the wedding stress, people tend never to fully envision their honeymoon. They pack in a rush and end up forgetting items or realising there are some essentials that they didn’t think about. Lockdown gives the perfect opportunity to reconsider what you may want for a better honeymoon experience.
“Couples can use this time to think and read about sentimental details they want captured on their honeymoon and different items they want to take, say a camera, a shawl, a special scent, etc.” Nakandi adds.
Ruth Nakato who got married in 2017 says because you do not know where you are going, you may tend to pack different, “I remember thinking, I wish we packed different shoes, some matching clothes for photos. Also, I wished I had packed our own soap so that when we smell that scent, it reminds us of our honeymoon instead of the hotel provided soap.”
Nakandi advises couples to take this time to figure out what they want. They can also have a honeymoon suitcase so that whenever something pops up in mind, they can add it to their luggage.
3. Accessorize and redefine your style
Nakandi says that many of the couples they plan honeymoon travel packages for tend to realise they forgot important things at home, “When someone Googles honeymoon, images of models wearing bikinis and shirtless men show up. In the end, many pack clothes they are uncomfortable in. Use this lockdown period to figure what looks good on you but also what you will be comfortable wearing.”
Nakato says honeymoon brought some challenges she had not anticipated, “When it comes to the sexy clothes I took, It became hard to use them. I kept wondering, won’t he think his woman has all of a sudden become street girl? I think the very revealing clothes are for couples that are used to each other, it may be more comfortable to dress up like the person he is used to for couples living together for the first time,” Nakato comments.
4. What are you looking out for on your honeymoon
If you’re a details orientated couple, what specific experiences would you like on your honeymoon? You will want to plan out the details and discuss them with your planner, travel agent or even yourselves. That way you will know what places to go to.
“Some places like options we recommend are game drives, hike/drive to the top of the falls, boat cruise and nature walks. Other places have enjoyable sounds of birds chirping every morning, access to swimming pools in the tranquillity of the forest, bird watching and so much more.”
Take advantage of offers and discounts
With Coronavirus hitting the wedding industry hard, there are discounts and offers to be had. But be quick.
“The best advice I can give to newlyweds is to take their time to look through wedding professionals website’s and inquire for availability and prices. Vendors are offering discounts and dates are going fast for 2021. Don’t make fast decisions, look through the websites, talk to the travel agents and choose the professionals whom you like and also who can offer the services you need.”