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Aloha, It’s Friday!

The totally filthy Ka’anapali Beach in Maui. (That’s surfer speak, Brah.)

The most enjoyable part of planning a wedding has to be arranging the honeymoon, at least, that’s how it was for this particular bride. Approve invitations – check, order confetti – check, revise RSVPs – check, book hotel for San Francisco and luau tickets in Maui? Yippedeedoodah! Now you’re talking.

It’s no secret that Monsieur and I are far from the youngest of newlyweds on the block, so a traditional wedding list didn’t make much sense to us. We have plenty of crockery to throw at each other as the days of wedded bliss fade. We have all sorts of kitchenware, from steak knives to an arthritic’s jar opener (I have weak hands), a crock pot and le Creuset bits and pieces (you get the picture) and a rolling pin that has yet to see some action. We have plenty of towels and bedding and other household paraphernalia, from mops and irons (plural) to a nice, fat tool box and there’s little room for anything else, so Monsieur and I sought out an alternative type of wedding list that wouldn’t require furniture or storage space.

We found some great ideas out there in the ether. I particularly liked the idea of each wedding guest giving the bride and groom a hardback copy of their favourite book, thereby filling a bookcase, but Monsieur’s response to that was “No. We have enough books.” and he has a point. We could just about start a lending service.

Some couples ask their guests to donate to a charity but thinking of our wedding gifts being listed in a stack of tax returns didn’t exactly float our boat; we’re a bit more romantic than that. Others ask for help with home improvements, but we don’t need a new kitchen and we have no garden to landscape. (Yet. Sod’s law is now we’ll probably get one.) Then there was the concept of asking our guests to contribute to the cost of our wedding but that approach wasn’t really us either.

In the end we settled on suggesting that our friends and family contribute to our honeymoon via an online honeymoon list, which, if you (a) realise how much we love to travel, (b) realise how much the happy couple NEEDS a honeymoon after planning and executing a successful wedding and (c) would like to receive a thank you note that doesn’t mention a household appliance, then you must know that a honeymoon list was exactly what the doctor ordered in our particular case.

We used a site called Honeyfund, allowing us to create our own page for our guests to visit, giving them the freedom to offer us a romantic dinner or sunset cocktails or a surfing lesson or Aloha shirt or other such activity or honeymooners’ treat. Not only did we enjoy the process of arranging our honeymoon list, but from what we heard back, our friends and family had great fun choosing what they wanted us to experience in our first weeks of marriage. Thanks to them we did indeed have a wonderful time. You should have seen Monsieur on that surf board. What a du-u-u-u-ude! Totally tubular. This landlubber is stockabocka to be his babe.

As Nuptial Novices we little realised quite how grateful we would be for the relaxation of this particular break away because by the time we were pronounced man and wife Monsieur and I were just about on our knees with fatigue. Read: dead. Six feet under. Kaputt. A pair of carcasses with the vultures closing in. We were practically incoherent and when we finally got to the airport two days after the wedding, I thought I was going to fall over, that’s how tired I was. At one point I had to stop and hold onto the wall – no joke. My head felt like a laptop when it loses power with fading screen. My brain was that screen and it didn’t feel so good. Later, in a particularly low-brain-cell-moment I even bought a Candace Bushnell novel, so depleted was my concentration. What was I thinking? It’s only one step up from a Ladybird book, for Heaven’s sake.

Given said physical state of exhaustion it’s therefore understandable when I say that never in my life have I so looked forward to a long-haul flight. Ah, the thought of ten plus hours in an economy class seat? With NOTHING to select, plan, approve or update apart from which new-release films to watch? Those are some seriously fond memories. Yes, this was a serious case of Please Pass the Eye Mask and Watch Me Snore.

First we flew to San Francisco, where we spent a couple of days exploring the Bay Area. Then we travelled on to the Hawaiian island of Maui for eight precious days of sun, sea, swimming, SLEEP and that world-renowned Aloha spirit. On the way back we stopped off in San Fran for one last night before jetting back home to work and piles of wedding magazines that were now screaming “Burn me! Burn me!”

Climbing onto my soap box now, I do have a few words to say to our new government here in the UK. Messrs Cameron and Clegg, Family Guys, if you’re so keen to promote family values, you should seriously consider giving married couples a helping hand on their way to honeymoon because such trips are a mental health requirement after all the work and wonga that goes into a wedding. There’s something about a daiquiri in hand and sand between the toes that goes far further in the soothing of frazzled newlyweds’ nerves than jaunt down to Brighton. Tripping through the tropics has probably saved Monsieur from committing Bride-acide and has definitely saved the NHS a fortune in beta blocker prescriptions, which I was perilously close to needing in recent months. In summary: we taxpayers don’t want to bail out any more banks. We want a holiday kickback from paying for all the banks you hold in our names. End of pseudo-political comment and back to Hawaii.

Indeed, the promise of the honeymoon and total rest in a place with decent weather was a massive carrot in front of our wedding donkey. It certainly helped to get us through those sticky moments when you wonder why you’re bothering with such an archaic ritual. Will all the effort be recognised? Is it worth it? Well, in our case we’d have to say yes, it was. And even though there is not yet a honeymoon benefit for hardworking taxpayers like ourselves, once the celebrations were over Monsieur and I were lucky enough to have our Honeyfund to help us reach those swaying palm trees. Our honeymoon was medicine in more ways than one and for that reason, we will be forever grateful to all our friends and family who helped to get us there. Hawaii’s still in my head even a fortnight after leaving. Now THAT’S what I call a holiday. Mahalo to you all! MAHALO and ALOHA, IT’S FRIDAY!

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