For young couples, honeymoons are an opportunity to explore the world, leave behind the grind and enjoy the early days of married life with one another in a special destination.
They visit historical landmarks, eat in famous restaurants and enjoy cold beverages on the beach. Not too bad, huh?
There’s one problem: Honeymoons are expensive. Very expensive. There are travel expenses and lodging costs. And those delicious meals and sunny beaches? Not free.
Asya Zlatina and Sam Nemirovsky will soon leave behind the Philadelphia area for their Caribbean honeymoon. The recently married couple didn’t have much trouble planning their trip — not after ditching the idea of a wedding registry for a honeymoon fund.
Zlatina, who is 31, and her husband have each been living by themselves for quite some time. They are fully functioning adults, with jobs and responsibilities and bills to pay. They also have appliances and furniture and enough stuff to fill two living spaces — enough stuff to make a traditional registry unnecessary.
“We’re not 18. We’re not 20. We’ve been living on our own. I’ve been living on my own for at least the last 10 years. I already have a lot of things,” Zlatina said. “He’s also a mature male adult. He also has beautiful things, he has his own house. Practically speaking, a lot of household items we don’t need.
“And aside from that, think about how annoying it is for guests to have to schlep gifts.”
Zlatina got the idea from her cousin, who got married about three years ago, then vacationed with her husband in Argentina and Chile thanks in part to their honeymoon fund. She suggested the idea to Nemirovsky, citing the convenience for guests.
“I’m pretty open minded. I probably erred for a couple moments, then said it was a novel idea,” Nemirovsky said.
The couple set up an online link asking for donations to their honeymoon fund. Nemirovsky harbored some nerves, hoping people wouldn’t think they needed to donate and bring a gift.
That didn’t happen.
“I was a little pleasantly surprised with how it worked,” Nemirovsky said.
Zlatina is a professional dancer, but also works on the side for Chevra, a group that organizes social and educational events for Jewish professionals and graduate students. Part of her job responsibilities include reaching out to people to attend the events and, one day several years ago, she called a stranger named Sam.
Nemirovsky started attending Chevra events and developed a friendship with Zlatina. Soon they were dating, and this past summer they got married at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, overlooking the picturesque Inner Harbor.
“The wedding was probably the most fun day of my life,” Zlatina said.
The ceremony preceded the High Holidays, so the couple was too busy to think much about their honeymoon. Zlatina then immediately left for Europe with her dance team.
She frequently travels across the world for work, so she suggested they don’t go too far for their honeymoon. Nemirovsky nixed a trip to Miami, citing his desire to check out Iceland. They compromised and agreed on the Caribbean.
Zlatina and Nemirovsky said friends and family complimented them on the idea to start a honeymoon fund. They haven’t yet heard from others interested in doing the same thing, but neither said they’d be surprised to see some of their more mature peers follow the same path.
And they’re enjoying married life.
“It’s wonderful. It’s so fun and so nice to grow and learn about one human being and share with them your world,” Zlatina said. “I learn a lot from him. He pushed me to be a better person and not to be afraid of change or growth or trying new things.” ❤
[email protected]; 215-832-0737