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History, The Individual And The Post-industrial Honeymoon, The Honeymoon As Romantic Consumption

The honeymoon is a peculiarly modern creation. Building on wedding customs of Europe in the late 1800s, the honeymoon has evolved into a ritual that nearly all people in the United States and Canada practice and that has grown in popularity around the world (Bulcroft, Smeins, and Bulcroft 1999). What distinguishes the honeymoon of today from its precursor, the wedding night, is the element of distancing the couple from their social networks by means of traveling to locations that are uniquely unfamiliar or foreign. The term honeymoon first appears in the sixteenth century in Thomas Blount's Glossographia (1656), where he defines the honeymoon in terms of the waxing and waning of newlywed emotions. Specifically, "married persons that love well at first, and decline in affection afterwards: it is honey now, but will change as the moon." Contemporary understandings of the honeymoon are far from this original lexicon, and the current emphasis on passion and romance as pivotal aspects of the honeymoon today seem paradoxical in light of Blount's definition of the term.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily & Marriage Traditions