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A Groom's Survival Guide To...

Before Your Honeymoon

by Rusty Fischer, author of SUPERGROOM: 101 Ways to be the Most Romantic Groom EVER!

Just like planning the perfect wedding, a romantic honeymoon takes nearly as much effort and forethought. So to give your bride a much-needed "vacation" from the longest six months to one year of her life, begin planning for romance long before the honeymoon begins!

One Size Fits All

To celebrate your first night as husband and wife, find the local Do-It-Yourself T-shirt Shop. You know, the cheesy kind. Actually, the cheesier the better.

Inside, find a One-Size-Fits-All cotton sleep shirt, the kind that goes straight to the lady in question's knees, and personalize it with your wife's new name, "Mrs. Fischer Sleeps Here," the date, "Saturday, June 25, 1994," or a corny slogan sure to bring on yet another crying jag, such as "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow . . . Forever."

Secret it away in your luggage and, as she's in the powder room sprucing up after a long day of, well, getting married -- lay it on her pillow under a mint, rose bud, or other romantic treat.

It may not be Victoria's Secret, but it's bound to be twice as comfortable -- and infinitely more sexy!

Ready and Waiting

To set the perfect scene for your first night together as man and wife, make sure that your honeymoon hideaway is anything but generic.

For starters, call ahead and ask the front desk if they offer any "honeymoon specials," such as champagne and chocolates or rose petals on the bed. If so, take advantage of this. If not, dial the concierge and see how much it would take to have her order flowers or bubbly for the room herself.

If all else fails, pack an extra bag with a simple, affordable "Honeymoon Hideout Kit," including a few candles for atmosphere, potpourri for the bathroom, her favorite lotion, a box of chocolates or other midnight snack, and anything else that's both portable and romantic.

Then, when she's powdering her nose or calling her family for a quick "thank you," whip out your kit and make your hotel room into a home away from home.

Snack Attack Sack!

Amid all the hustle and bustle of your pre-wedding festivities, don't forget to squeeze in a quick trip to the grocery store. Arm yourself with a food-themed gift bag in the greeting card section, and then browse the store leisurely while filling it with your bride-to-be's favorite snick-snacks!

After all, it's a common misconception that the happy couple gets plenty to eat during the reception. But nothing could be further from the truth. Whether it's a buffet or a sit-down dinner, between toasts, roasts, and well-meaning interruptions, you'll be lucky to snatch one Swedish meatball before the busboy whisks your plate away and they're calling you to cut the cake!

So your new bride will thank you when, hours after the reception and miles from an open restaurant, you whip out your handy snack attack sack and satisfy her honeymoon hunger!

Morning After Magnets

Before you leave for your whirlwind honeymoon, invest in a set of those poetry magnets now popular at bookstores and card shops everywhere. Don't worry, you won't need them all. Simply set aside some time during the busy week before the wedding (yeah, right) and find the words to your fiancee's favorite romantic quote, passage, or song.

Stow these word magnets in a plastic baggy, toss them in your dop kit -- and forget about them until your honeymoon. Come the morning after your big day, simply paste your magnet love lines on the in-room fridge, the back of the metal hotel room door, or even on the side of the air-conditioner.

If all else fails, or you know in advance that you're staying at a magnet-free resort, invest in one of those metal travel-coffee-mug-thingies and stow your soggy sonnet there!

What better way to begin the first day of the rest of your life together than with romantic words? Even if they are stuck to the air conditioner!

Romantic Reading

No vacation would be complete without a juicy paperback for those tropical beaches, and what's a honeymoon but a vacation -- with a twist.

So stick with the theme and pack your new bride a nightstand full of wedding-related paperbacks! So what if your merry missus is a die-hard true crime fan? Give her a vacation from all that guts and gore with a gift bag full of romantic reading.

And we're not talking 101 Ways to be the Perfect Bride or 1,001 Tips for the New Wife here, either. (There'll be plenty of time for those books when you get back home! Before your big trip, browse through the local bookstore or Amazon.com for romances, Oprah picks, or even mysteries with a wedding theme, such as A Groom with a View, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, or With This Ring, You Be Dead! Sure, they may be lame, but that's why it's called "light" reading. For an added surprise, pick one to read out loud to your new bride on the beach, by the pool, or better yet -- under the covers!

If nothing else, it'll be a sweet token that's at least good for a laugh or two. And hey, don't forget to inscribe them with a sweet note and, for heaven's sake, the date of your wedding day!


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