Brides, when you're planning your wedding, choosing the passed hors d'oeuvres for the reception trumps selecting a spa treatment for your honeymoon at a Caribbean resort. You're so focused on the big day that it's hard to wrap your mind around the details of the after-after party.

It's not uncommon for the honeymoon to fall by the wayside for busy brides. And if couples don't factor the cost of the honeymoon into the wedding budget, they might not be able to afford the newlywed retreat they really want. A lack of funding is a major reason that some couples choose to put off their honeymoons. The other major reason? Insufficient planning. No, it's not rocket science (or even as complicated as revising the reception seating chart for the fifth time), but you've got to choose the destination, make travel reservations, research the area to plan your excursions -- and shop for new bikinis, of course!

Here are a few more reasons that couples delay their honeymoon:

  • They can't take the time off work.
  • They have their hearts set on a tiny island that gets hammered during hurricane season. (Note: Resort rates are typically less expensive during this time, but you might have to endure nasty weather.)
  • They're too tired from wedding planning to make the most of a vacation.
  • Their wedding is during peak travel season, and resort rates are much higher than in other seasons. (Summer brides, we're looking at you!)
  • They're having a destination wedding, but they want privacy and their entire family is holding court at the resort for a week.

If you identify with any of these points, a belated honeymoon might be for you. However, that's not to say you can't make the most of your newlywed luster. Why not spend a long weekend somewhere a few hours' drive away, then take the official honeymoon a few months later? Instead of spending one night in the Four Seasons honeymoon suite, plan to stay two or three. Or, move to a different room and take advantage of the lower rates that are typically offered Sunday through Thursday at most hotels.

Opting to stay put after the wedding comes with some nice perks. You can see more of the family and friends who came into town for your big day. You'll have time to drop off your dress at the dry cleaner and take care of other bridal admin details, like mailing off tips and thank you notes to vendors. And speaking of thank you notes, you can start opening gifts and writing those cards of appreciation, too. If you're putting off the honeymoon for a month or longer, you can conquer bigger tasks -- like moving into a new place.

But don't keep paradise waiting too long. After about three months, your enthusiasm for a getaway might fade as the voice of reason begins to whisper about other matters that need your financial attention. That honeymoon fund could make a nice down payment on a house, for instance.

Belated honeymooners, you need a game plan. Take note of these tried and true tips:

  • Before your wedding or right after, pick your destination, settle on a budget, and circle the dates on your calendar.
  • Set aside the honeymoon funds in a separate bank account so you can add to the stash but won't be tempted to withdraw.
  • Ensure you've got vacation time built up so you can take leave without asking any special favors. Your boss might be less understanding this long after your wedding.
  • Think seriously about the emotional ramifications of delaying your honeymoon. Will the trip still be special to you if you feel more like a new-nester than a newlywed?

Above all, be prepared to field questions about why you're taking a belated honeymoon. Trust us -- people will ask!