It’s easy to assume COVID has wrecked your honeymoon plans. With new strains popping up every other week (it seems) and mask mandates coming, going and coming again, the traditional honeymoon to some place exotic may not look possible. But, contrary to what it may seem like, honeymoons — extraordinary ones, even — are in reach.
A stay-at-home honeymoon, or “homeymoon,” can be a fantastic option for newly married couples. Kimberly Moore, CEO and wedding coordinator at Events and Moore in East Lansing, says couples have many options for stay-at-home honeymoons. A certified travel agent (CTA), Moore recommends couples “look at the conventions and visitors bureau wherever they’re located” to help with local destinations. Many visitors bureaus will even help with LGBTQ-friendly places to experience or visit near you.
Here are six fabulous homeymoon ideas to consider:
1. Book a private sailing excursion on Lake Michigan
There’s nothing more refreshing than sailing. Throw in some of your favorite beverages and you’ve got an experience you’ll remember for ages. SeaSun Sailing Charters, based in Saugatuck, offers private tours for couples and up to six passengers.
SeaSun offers three- and five-hour sailing experiences. During the three-hour experience, you’ll ride along Lake Michigan up to Holland. The five-hour experience adds a relaxing beach day. Captain and SeaSun Sailing Charters owner Bill Bardelmeire says “most people love it” and that “a lot of customers come back when they come to [Saugatuck] on vacation.” Beverages and food are not provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own aboard.
2. Start a home improvement project
For you HGTV queens, this one will surely appease your design desires. Instead of observing someone else’s interior design hacks, apply some of your own by taking on a home improvement project. Both you and your partner can decorate or renovate your space as a new couple. Think of it as a positive step in your new journey together.
For example, paint that room you’ve been hoping to make into your den. Or update your kitchen with new stainless steel appliances. Whatever you and your partner choose, take it as an opportunity for you two to explore your creativity as newlyweds. If you need a little help with design ideas, check out some episodes of “Bargain Block” and get inspired by Detroit’s very own Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas, the personal and professional partners of the show.
3. Order a romantic dinner in
Sure, you can cook dinner together, but why not order in and enjoy one another over candlelight? For this option, choose your favorite restaurant and indulge in whatever you and your partner want on the menu. This is not the time to worry about calories or that diet you’re trying to stay on. No, this is a time for decadence and sensation. So let your inhibitions go and live the fine-dining experience you deserve. Create a romantic ambiance by decorating your dining room, adding some music and, as a bonus, wearing whatever you want. Create the curated romantic dinner of your dreams and let the night unfold.
4. Turn your backyard into a camping ground
With a bit of imagination and a quick trip to your local outdoor supply store, you can turn your backyard into a cozy camping ground. This option takes the stress out of prepping for an out-of-town camping trip. All you and your partner need to do is pitch a tent, grab some plush pillows and covers, gather all your gadgets and enjoy some nature together. This is also a budget-friendly experience for those trying to save, primarily since most items can be found at home.
5. Visit an LGBTQ-owned brewery
You and your partner will have a lot to be hoppy for with this excursion. See what we did there? But, seriously, this homeymoon idea is for those who want to experience the behind-the-scenes brewery world.
Consider Guardian Brewing Company (GBC), based in Saugatuck, just two miles from Lake Michigan. GBC is 100 percent LGBTQ-owned, women-owned and has 22 taps consisting of year-round, seasonal, one-off and barreled-aged taps that range from classic to modern. Beyond beer, they also offer wine, cider and a full menu. “The whole concept behind the Guardian is we want to make you feel like you can relax and enjoy your time,” says owner Kim Collins. GBC also offers their monthly Beer School and private tours upon request.
6. Curate an at-home film festival
Looking to upgrade the typical Netflix and Chill? How about a curated film festival for you and your partner? First, research movies you and your partner have never seen and create a queue of movies. Next, designate a spot in your home for the screening. It can be as simple as the TV in your living room or an elaborate viewing with a projector in your bedroom. Finally, buy some of your favorite snacks to nosh while screening.
Simply put: make this a full-featured experience. You may even want to include cast interviews in between showings to get a more in-depth understanding of a film’s storyline and characters. And to make it more LGBTQ-friendly, look for films that represent our community.