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Rutika and Neeraj came up with a brilliant idea that is sure to catch on. After the exhaustion of planning and celebrating the wedding – take one honeymoon just to unwind. Then, six months later, take a second honeymoon to really do some fun stuff! And you get twice the chance for romance too!

Here’s a glimpse of how they did it.

Rutika and Neeraj, Maldives and Italy

How We Met
I was visiting California and our parents introduced us. Like most people our age we hardly believed our parents could find us a match so my plan was to meet him for a day and then spend the rest of my week there with friends. Except, we hit it off immediately and ended up meeting him every single day of my visit there.

I went back to Australia not knowing what this was – it felt like a holiday romance – you have a great time with someone you just met and then, that’s it. You go your separate ways.

However, despite a 19-hour time difference, we kept in touch and made time to talk every day. It didn’t feel like an effort. In fact it soon became the best part of my day and I’d secretly look forward to it. One day he said he wanted to take this forward and before I knew it, he flew down to Sydney, asked me out and we started dating. One thing led to another and I decided to move to America. And here we are now, giving you the five-minute version of our two-year long story!

Honeymoon Planning
We got married in Mumbai and it was crazy planning a wedding from America and coordinating everything over email or the phone. We had limited leave from work. I wanted to spend enough time in India before the wedding (in order to plan everything) rather than after and this left us with very little time for a long honeymoon. So we decided that we’d fly to the Maldives for three days right after the wedding and then, six months later, travel to Italy for a much longer trip.

After the wedding frenzy, we were ready for a relaxing holiday by the sea to soak our feet in the water and lay under the sun. Given our time constraint, the Maldives seemed like a great option and after having been there I can vouch for the ultimate rejuvenation this island provides. I‘d highly recommend it.

We were so ready for something more active on our second official honeymoon. We’d debated the merits of France versus Italy but the historical wealth of Italy, its beautiful architecture and amazing food lured us in. We travelled across the country and went to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Vatican City over fourteen days.

Both honeymoons were beautiful and we loved both, the Maldives and Italy.

Rutika and Neeraj, Maldives and Italy Rutika and Neeraj, Maldives and Italy

Honeymoon Highlights
I've always thought of the Gondola as something that is super romantic and Bollywood, j’accuse! A couple, gliding over the canals and being serenaded as they spend loving moments together… so many movies that I grew up watching had such imagery. And it was everything we thought it would be too. In Venice, riding the gondola with Neeraj made for memorable moments.

Most Romantic Moment
Our most romantic moment was in the Maldives. The month of the wedding was very hectic and we had barely any time to even let it sink in that we are getting married to each other and will be spending our lives together from now on! Being with him, just the two of us in the Maldives, with nothing but the endless sea around us, made me realize how much I was in love with him all over again and made me want to do everything all over again.

Rutika and Neeraj, Maldives and Italy

Advice to Couples
If you are planning to go on a honeymoon right after your wedding, a place like the Maldives is ideal. It is a luxury getaway where the two of you will have ample private time to yourselves. I recommend Italy if you are going for a honeymoon a few days after the wedding madness has ended. Italy is more fun when you are up for walking long distances and experiencing the cities on foot.

Must-experience
Flo Lounge Bar, Florence, which I consider one of my best finds there, the beautiful Amalfi Coast and a meal at Le Sirenuse when in Positano

Rutika and Neeraj, Maldives and Italy

Hotels We Stayed At
Maldives
Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, Maldives – where we stayed at a water-villa with a private pool. It was stunning. My favorite part of the hotel was their breakfast area, a deck by the open waters.

Italy
Le Sirenhuse, Positano
Hotel Brunelleschi, Florence
Palazzo Montemartini, Rome
Hotel ibis Milano Centro, Milan
Hotel Carton on the grand canal, Venice

Rutika and Neeraj, Maldives and Italy

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