As with the wedding ceremony itself, the honeymoon is a cost many brides and grooms are looking to pay themselves rather than following tradition and placing the funding responsibility onto the parents of the bride. This is due to many factors, including an increase in the average age of marriage, recent economic slowdowns and an increased emphasis on independence in younger generations, especially those who may have seen an older sibling forced to return home during the job crisis of the past several years.

Consequently, average costs for honeymoons vary widely. With "staycations" a popular option in many circumstances and the cost of overseas travel remaining high, some couple are opting to honeymoon closer to home, spending the funds they have saved or received on fine dining and fun, rather than seeking something exotic.

However, all-inclusive resorts remain a very popular option, and they make saving so much easier, since costs are easily figured and can be reviewed well in advance, with few surprises. And, of course, for those with the money on hand, whether through the generosity of loved ones or smart saving, the lure of a romantic destination like Paris or Rome remains hard to resist.

A honeymoon is one of the all-time top savings motivations, and every little bit can make a difference, whether you're in Saint Lucia or staying at the bed and breakfast down the road. While it may seem premature, saving before the wedding is even on the horizon is actually a smart idea -- it allows you to gather a nice nest egg that could be a lifesaver in an emergency, and it will definitely impress the person you eventually choose to spend it with.

Recommended savings goals:

Domestic honeymoon: $2,500

Overseas honeymoon: $5,000

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