If you thought the reason newlyweds take time off after the ceremony to go on a honeymoon was so that they could have quality ~ReLaXaTiOn~ time together, you’re kinda wrong (soz). While this may be what honeymoons are like now, prior to the 1800s they actually started out as something quite different, explains Sarah Margulis, CEO of Honeyfund.
Rather than a lovebird getaway, the honeymoon was for the new husband and wife to travel around to visit family and friends who were unable to make the ceremony. Back in the day, travelling was much more expensive than it is today (y’know, before Jetstar became a thing), so it was pretty standard for a loved ones to miss out on the big day. As such, honeymoons were a way for the married couple to include everyone in their union. Think of it as kind of like Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Tour (minus the private jet).
The other thing you probably hadn’t thought about until now was where the name ‘honeymoon’ even came from. Contrary to what you might be thinking, it wasn’t named after stuffing your face with honey or travelling to places with the perfectly coloured yellow moon.
Instead, Sara says it was based off a 5th century tradition whereby the husband and wife would drink mead (a honey-based alcohol), after their first ‘moon’ as a married couple. Perhaps not surprisingly, mead was basically an aphrodisiac given by guests to help with conception…. Now that gravy boat doesn’t look so shabby after all, right?
There are, however, a couple of other theories about where the name ‘honeymoon’ came from. Kim Forrest, a wedding trends expert from WeddingWire, says the word was used as far back as the 16th century by authors Richard Huloet and Samuel Johnson.
In 1552, Richard got all punny and coined the term ‘honey mone’ to refer to how the love between newly married couples quickly dies out. If you hadn’t already guessed, he was a bit of a cynic.
Another hypothesis is that “the word may come from the Nordic word ‘hjunottsmanathr.’ This refers to when the groom would actually kidnap the bride ad hide her until her family stopped looking for her,” Kate explains.
That’s so screwed up.
For what it's worth, we're kind happy with how honeymoons turned out in the end. A trip to Bali is waaaayyyyy nicer than kidnapping or some old-school version of Meet the Fockers tyvm.