As a newlywed or honeymooner, it’s absolutely acceptable for you to try to haul in as many extras as you can. There might be no other time of your life when you have “milking” privileges this legit (other than maybe when your wife is nine months pregnant, but that’s a topic for a different day). From before the big day to during the honeymoon and even once you’re back home, here’s how to reap the rewards.
Before you go: Be sure to tell your chosen hotel that it’s your honeymoon while booking your stay. “We ask all of our guests to let us know if they’re celebrating a special occasion,” says Magnolia Echeverria, senior conference services manager at Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Jim Augerinos of Perfect Honeymoons & Holidays says a typical deal is a free night, but honeymoon packages might also include bonuses like a private dinner, champagne on arrival, a couples massage or included excursion sand activities. Another approach: Tweet, share and Instagram your way to VIP treatment. “Social media is crucial to the success of every resort,” Augerinos says. “Go on social-media sites, ‘like’ the hotel, and post how excited you are to be going there for the first time.”
En route: Snagging a first-class seat is a classic way to capitalize on just-wed status. “Newlyweds often wear ‘Just Married’ T-shirts or hats, but I advise my clients to verbally announce it’s their honeymoon when checking in for flights and boarding,” says Augerinos. Being blunt might work, but buttering up flight attendants and gate agents for free drinks or upgrades can be effective too. Sometimes, “the art of schmoozing works better than coming out and asking for it.”
At the hotel: Let it be known what you’re looking for — this is no time to be shy. “We love to hear what our guests want out of their honeymoon,” says Echeverria. “We encourage couples to be very upfront with us on what they wish to incorporate, and we’ll take it from there. Our staff goes above and beyond to satisfy a couple’s every whim and takes the time getting to know them to determine what will elicit that ‘wow’ factor.” Echeverria has seen it all, from delivering a mini-wedding cake to a couple’s room to having their first-dance song playing in their suite after dinner.
Back at home: Your newlywed privileges remain fully intact for one full calendar year, so by all means, continue milking. This includes the mandatory rite of passage: the Facebook status change —and basking in all the likes and well wishes. If you haven’t already, file for a change of address at the post office to score coupons from home-improvement stores. And of course, tell restaurants and hotels that you’re newlyweds: Free desserts, champagne and room upgrades await — if you have the guts to ask.