Why Science Says You Should Take a Beach Honeymoon

Yes, this is what you want. | iStockphoto/Anna Omelchenko

Yes, this is what you want. | iStockphoto/Anna Omelchenko

I have long personally believed that a honeymoon should be taken at the beach. And, since I find myself with this handy little wedding soapbox here, it’s a belief I have declared more than once.

But I’ll reiterate: Planning a wedding is crazy stressful and time-consuming. Your wedding day, while indescribably wonderful, will be incredibly mentally and physically draining. Afterwards, you will feel a tired in your bones that you may not have felt before. (If I didn’t think it’d prematurely deglamorize the whole wedding thing for you, I’d share a picture of myself sound asleep on the floor, rolled halfway under my parents’ coffee table the afternoon after my wedding, brand new husband splayed out, snoring, next to me.)

Now, feeling that way, do you want to spend the next one-to-two weeks reading maps, planning itineraries, making reservations, navigating around, managing language barriers, and essentially planning and executing another little mini event?

If you do, go you! Because listen, I get it: A honeymoon should be treated like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of vacation, and if that, to you, means two weeks touring Italy, then I have no doubt you will have the time of your life and make memories that won’t be topped. But—but!—that sort of trip would also make a really excellent anniversary getaway, you know, and hey, in the future, you might find yourselves even better funded for such an adventure.

Now, you are tired. Now, you need to go lay on your face on the beach.

Turns out, researchers at the University of Michigan agree with me, and have officially and scientifically declared that looking at “blue space”—i.e., a body of water—decreases psychological distress. This is something you will be grateful for in the days after your planning days are behind you. Apparently, the brain finds it much easier to “efficiently process natural backdrops,” says the study’s author Amber Pearson, which, as a result, reduces sensory stimuli and promotes mental relaxation. (The study took a look at “green spaces,” too—parks, fields, tree, etc.—but found that that particular hue of Mother Nature’s didn’t have the same effect.)

So basically, staring at the ocean while you’re on the beach starts to drain the stress from your brain … and, since the chances are high that on a honeymoon-type of beach there will also be a lovely person bringing you delicious drinks, with delightful music in the background and probably a spa nearby, that the stress will also successfully start to drain from your body, too.

So, who’s going to the beach for their honeymoon? Raise your hand!

For more on honeymoons—roundups, advice, destinations and deals—go here

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