DEL MAR, Calif —
When it comes to weddings and honeymoons, Dana Lagomarsino knows what she’s talking about. Dana lives in Carlsbad and works with brides before their big day with her company Just Lago.
”I always ask ‘where are you going to honeymoon?’ and a lot of people are actually taking mini moons lately,” said Dana.
Yes, you heard that right. A “mini moon.” No, we are not talking about a small piece of the moon after a field trip to outer space (my first thought). It turns out that San Diego couples are honeymooning locally.
“I’m just seeing that trend,” said Dana. “People are just going out of the box, doing what they love, not going by the traditional colors and what you ‘should do’ as a bride.”
Newlyweds are ditching the weeks-long, overseas vacations in Europe and the Caribbean to honeymoon in their own backyard. Sometimes it’s a staycation, or other times a San Diego couple will just mini moon in LA and call it a weekend. It’s a trend that Dana opted for when she married her husband Jeff less than two months ago.
“[It’s] actually something my husband and I did,” said Dana. “We just got married on New Year’s Eve, so [we're] super excited about that.”
Dana and Jeff spent their mini moon in San Diego County getting massages to recover from a dance-filled wedding, paired with wine tasting in Temecula.
I did some digging, and it turns out mini moons are the most popular trend you’ve never heard of.
Richard and Tera Walker got married in September 2019. They live in Del Mar and mini mooned in nearby Escondido - a familiar place.
”When we met, I took her on a real cool overnight trip to get things going two, three days after we met, and we basically decided to recreate that [date],” said Richard.
“It was nice to go back, you know, years later, and see it from a different perspective,” said Tera.
Their mini moon was only one night, but the couple says it’s a night they’ll never forget. They mini-mooned on a Monday - a day when many wineries in the San Pasqual Valley are typically closed. A few wineries opened their doors just to help celebrate the Walkers’ special day.
Dana said many people opt for a mini moon to save time. After all, many people spend a ton of their vacation days for the wedding itself.
“I think the biggest reason is we don’t have enough time, really,” said Dana. “There’s just simply not enough time (PTO) to take off of work.”
Other people just want to save some money, especially since extravagant honeymoons can really add up. The Walkers took that money and bought a property together in Julian, a place they take great pride in.
“Getting to invest in that property, it was exciting for me because it was the first thing that we’ve done together,” said Tera.
It's true that you don’t need to travel far to have a memorable time.
"We had been dating for four years and had been to like, 30 countries together,” said Richard.
“It was more of an intimate [experience] between us,” said the couple as they held hands in their kitchen. “Yeah, we did what we wanted to do for us.”
Dana said some couples will take a bigger, more “traditional honeymoon” a year or two after their wedding once life calms down a bit. However, some people say a mini moon is all they need.
"I mean, San Diego is just incredible," said Dana. "Right now it's February and it's almost 70 degrees."
Here are some ideas of places to check out if you’re mini mooning or honeymooning in San Diego County:
1). Kayaking in La Jolla
Where else can you enjoy the ocean in January? Also, I think how you paddle in sync on a kayak together could foreshadow the rest of your marriage.
Can't afford an international vacation? Oh whale! Groupon always seems to have good ideas.
3). Sunset cruises
Again, the weather here can't be beat. Why not hop on a boat and enjoy it? Also, it's surprisingly affordable.
Throwing caution to the wind, literally. Make sure you call ahead and see if the forecast is windy enough that day for paragliding.
5). Getting lucky at casinos
Why not spend all that money you saved on a boujee honeymoon at the blackjack table? Harrah's in Valley Center even as a lazy river and swim-up bar.
6). Shelter Island
Relax by a fire pit on an island that isn't even an island.
Depending on the time of year, this spot could be music to your ears.
Several couples recommended this to me, aqua zumba and all. The massages all cost upwards of $100, but you deserve it after the stress of planning a wedding. I haven't been myself, but hopefully, it's worth the hype!
9). Dana recommends checking out Airbnb experiences.
Lastly, wherever you go to celebrate your love, Dana recommends this Pinterest Capsule Wardrobe tool to help you pack light. You know, Pinterest, that thing you planned your entire wedding on long before you even started dating your spouse? The tool mixes and matches the different pieces you've packed to mix up your different looks and to optimize space in your suitcase.
You can watch her full interview here: