Naturally, what happens after many couples get hitched is an ‘elopement’ to a place where they spend the first few days [maybe weeks] of marriage together, happily soaking in the sun and enjoying the peace of each other’s presence.
Words like peace and happiness were however not originally used to describe honeymoons. In fact, the tradition has a dark, terrible history.
Back in medieval times, marriages could happen when a man snatched a woman and escaped with her.
Marriage by abduction has been practiced around the world and throughout history, especially before civilization.
According to Wikipedia, it still happens till this day in central Asia, the Caucasus region, and parts of Africa, and among peoples as diverse as the Hmong in Southeast Asia, the Tzeltal in Mexico, and the Romani in Europe.
The act is regarded now as a form of sex crime though, as opposed to a form of marriage.
So after capturing a woman, the groom would run very far away with her to a safe location where her angry family members and kinsmen would not be able to find them.
The groom would remain in that distant land with the stolen bride for such a long time that the family would have no option but to give up the search and only then would he return.
At other times, the groom would return only after he had impregnated the woman.
However due to civilization, the act changed.
According to wedding historian, Susan Waggoner, “later, it became customary for the groom to pay the father a bride price beforehand and to have a public ceremony before completing the ‘abduction.”
Eventually, with more civilization, the barbaric act became completely phased out but the tradition of going away with the bride stuck, and remains till this day as honeymoons.
The word ‘honeymoon’ itself is actually gotten from the Scandinavian practice where couples would drink mead or fermented honey, during the first month of the marriage in order to increase their chances of making a baby in that first month.