Most newlyweds leave for their honeymoon shortly after their wedding, but unless you plan on being done with your family by that point, bolting from the post-nuptial festivities doesn't really make much sense. Today Associated Press writer Hillary Speed argued in favor of delaying honeymoons until months after the wedding.

Speed says that while she enjoyed her wedding in Boston, leaving for Cancun hours later was exhausting and made it difficult to process the wedding. She writes that after a hectic trip to the resort,

Distant were the memories of the festivities just one day before. While many of our loved ones gathered at my parents' house, we couldn't even find Internet access to let them know we had arrived safely.

I finally found a patch of shoddy wireless the next day that lasted just long enough for a quick view of the first wedding photos that friends had uploaded to Facebook. My husband and I huddled over my too-small iPhone, soaking up those first shots of our magical day.

According to a Knot.com/Wedding Channel study, 80% of married couples have a honeymoon, and 8 out of 10 leave right away. But, like many things that we consider traditional, the practice is actually a more recent invention. In the 19th century "honeymoon" didn't even refer to a trip. Barbara Penner, author of Newlyweds On Tour: Honeymooning In Nineteenth-Century America, explains:

"The honeymoon was said to last one month, after which tenderness would wane like 'the changing moon ... A post-wedding trip was referred to as a wedding journey, bridal tour or nuptial tour, while a honeymoon denoted a generic period of newlywed bliss."

The travel plans evolved out of a need for alone time to consummate the relationship, but since there's less deflowering happening on honeymoons these days, that's no longer a major concern. Grandma may be perturbed by you bucking tradition, but if you run off right after the ceremony you may miss out on hearing her laundry list of other complaints.

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What's The Rush? In Defense Of A Delayed Honeymoon [AP]

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