The History of the Honeymoon

Today most couples look to relax in a beautiful, warm, tropical place after their wedding for their “Honeymoon” getaway. This is where they can enjoy their first vacation together as a husband and wife. Today’s “happy ending” to the wedding is a far cry from it’s origin. There are several theories as to where the word honeymoon derives. One has its roots in the Norse word “hjunottsmanathr” which means “in hiding” and is anything but blissful. According to Northern European history a “bride” would be abducted from a neighboring village by a man “husband” from another village. The “husband” would take the “bride” to be into a hiding place until she became pregnant or her family stopped looking for her. Then he would return to the village with his “bride” and present themselves as married.

Another theory of the word honeymoon stems from the ancient practice in many cultures of drinking a honeyed mead for the first month of the marriage. The honeyed wine, known as hydromel, metheglin or mead, was purported to have aphrodisiac properties, and was also considered by many to enhance the fertility of the wedded couple.

The ancient Teutons and the Babylonians all practiced the drinking of the honeyed wine for the thirty days after the wedding day. The Babylonian father-in-laws supposedly fed their new son-in-laws honeyed mead every night for a month after the wedding.

Northern Europeans believed that drinking the metheglin would bring them additional luck in their marriages. Did you know that Attila the Hun supposedly died of an overdose of hydromel at his wedding feast? ( Was this a historic version of Viagra?)

Others historians believe the “moon” part of the word refers to the “Full moon”. Teutonic weddings were only held under full moons and the honey was from the honey mead drink.

The first use of the word “honeymoon” was in the 16th century, though, it did not refer to a vacation at that time. As couples were expected to remain chaste until marriage, the honeymoon was simply a time for them to get acquainted in a more physical sense. The inclusion of a vacation became part of the honeymoon tradition much later around the 1800s, although it did not become a common practice for the general public until around 1930.

Today’s couples have a much better experience on their honeymoon’s. Whether they are on a tropical island or on a luxurious cruise ship, they are enjoying each other as a happy newly married man and woman. Instead of being fed “honeyed mead”, they are dining on steak and lobster and drinking wine or champagne. This newer version is, of course, a much more pleasant one!

Happy Honeymoon,

Elizabeth Keating Weeks

Southern Breezes Travel

About Elizabeth Keating Weeks & Southern Breezes Travel I am a wife, mother, grandmother & great grandmother. I love traveling and visiting different places and experiencing different cultures. I enjoy spending time with my very extended family, expecially my grand children. I entered the travel industry in the fall of 2004 after the untimly death of my younger sister. She always told me to live and work at what you truly enjoy because life was just too short. I had always wanted to be in the travel business, so I walked into the local travel agency and asked what I needed to do to become a travel agent. I was handed an application and began my training and carrear in this fun business. I decided to try it on my own in 2007 and Southern Breezes Travel was born. I am able to work from home and still give my clients the one-on-one personal touch they deserve when planning their vacations. I specialize in Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, and work closely with the wedding coordiators of all the major resorts; ie, Sandal’s, AM Resorts, Superclubs, etc. I am also a cruise specialist and work with all the major cruise lines. I even work with Disney Resorts, which has become a major honeymoon destination.

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