The mini-moon has been named one of the wedding industry’s most popular trends. Find out where to plan yours.
by Tara Behan
The best scene in movies featuring weddings is when the newly betrothed jump into a car with a “Just Married” sign and tin cans attached and ride off into the sunset, headed for their honeymoon. Those scenes are stuff made of Hollywood magic and simply not realistic in modern times. With most couples cohabitating before marriage, honeymoons have gone through somewhat of a redefinition over the years. Some are opting to delay a honeymoon a couple months or even a year after a wedding to save money. While to other couples, it’s less about money—some are still planning dream honeymoons to exotic locales like Paris or Africa—but need to postpone the trip until they have more vacation time or until the weather is more seasonably appropriate. For all these couples, enter the mini-moon.
Named as one of the wedding industry’s most popular trends, the mini-moon is a short getaway taken by the couple immediately after the wedding to decompress and recharge after the momentous occasion. It could be a simple overnight or a multi-night stay at a relatively close location. Philadelphia-based wedding planner Renee Patrone of Events by Renee has seen a rise in popularity of the mini-moon among her clients over the past few years. “Many of my clients have planned mini-moons for various reasons,” says Patrone. “No matter the reason, it’s imperative after the wedding to go and unwind somewhere for a few days as a newly married couple. Marriage planning can be really stressful, so the idea of a mini-moon is perfect because it’s all about getting away and being together.”
Here are four romantic, within-driving-distance spots for a magical mini-moon experience.
The Ivy Hotel has put together an unforgettable, one-night romantic package for a couple celebrating a mini-moon. The historic mansion, turned boutique hotel, located in the city’s Mount Vernon section, is the first and only luxurious Relais & Chateaux property in the state. Featured in the overnight package is a full breakfast in bed, a 60-minute couples’ massage, a private tour of Baltimore in the hotel’s restored London cab and a three-course dinner at the hotel’s fine-dining bistro, Magdalena. Packages can be upgraded to multiple night stays for those looking for an extended getaway. Each suite at The Ivy has a fireplace and separate living area, with most offering a king-size, four-poster bed. The on-site spa offers a full-menu of facial and body treatments with customized packages available to meet your specific needs.
Bucks County, Pa.
Located about an hour north of Philadelphia, The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm is a romantic B&B nestled on a quiet property in Holicong, Pennsylvania, just minutes from New Hope and Doylestown. Originally the private estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright George Kaufman, it’s now the ideal locale for a peaceful getaway. Guests have a variety of accommodations to choose from on the property including seven guests suites within the main 1740 Manor House, three private guest cottages and six guest suites within the property’s 19th-century stone bank barn. In the Manor House, two, ultra-romantic guest suites that are ideal for a mini-moon are “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and “Stage Door.” The latter is a two-level Art Nouveau space featuring a gas fireplace, a sunroom that opens up onto a terrace overlooking the gardens and a second floor area perfect for a private, in-room couples massage. Dinner at The Inn is sure to be a treat because Open Table has named the award-winning Restaurant at Barley Sheaf Farm one of the “Top Most Romantic Restaurants in America” two years in a row.
The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia is hailed as one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, so where better to spend your first getaway as a married couple? The hotel completed a stunning, multi-million dollar redesign in 2016, which included all new guest rooms and a refreshed lobby, along with a new restaurant, bar and lounge. Each spacious suite features breathtaking views of the city and spa-like master bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate showers. Upgrade your stay by adding on experiences like a movie night-in with all the extras like popcorn, candy, soda, and specialty cocktails. After stressful wedding planning, spa-treatments are a must at the hotel’s Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon. With all of these outstanding amenities, there’s no reason to ever leave the hotel.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
It doesn’t have to be the summer season to enjoy a stay at the South Jersey Shore’s premier boutique hotel, The Reeds at Shelter Haven. Located in the heart of Stone Harbor’s downtown shopping district, the hotel offers bay views (don’t miss the stunning sunsets) and the beach just a short walk away. The coastal-chic resort, recently voted one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “World’s Best Hotels” is comprised of 37 rooms (eight rooms are suites and three rooms are hospitality suites). Couples can relax on the Reeds’ Roof Garden Sundeck, which has two hot tubs and a plunge pool, or can cozy up at night around the fire pits. A host of seasonable amenities are available for active newlyweds: daily yoga by the bay; an electronic motorcar escort to the beach with complimentary beach tags, towels, chairs and umbrellas; water activities including kayaks and paddle boarding; and pass-through golf membership access with Stone Harbor Golf Club. Make reservations at either of the hotel’s five on-site restaurants: SAX, Water Star Grille, Buckets Margarita Bar & Cantina, Stone Harbor Pizza Pub and Wafflewich. The Reeds currently has a second building under construction that will offer an additional 22-guest rooms (set to open in fall 2018), as well as a full-service luxury spa with anticipated opening in the winter.