Romantic Beach Honeymoons

We thought we would turn last week's post about honeymoons into a miniseries, so how about some inspiration and information on romantic beach honeymoons?

Australia

 

 

It's summer, the weather is beautiful and everyone is getting married! A lot of you are going on, planning or dreaming of a beach honeymoon and you are not alone!  The wonderfully resourceful folks over at Martha Stewart Weddings have assembled a list second to none of where the best beaches are, the best sand, the best beaches for walking, people watching and even the best beach bar so when you need a break, you know exactly where to relax with a "fruitty umbrella drink".

Take a look at what they have found here: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/231184/50-best-beach-honeymoons/@center/272460/honeymoons?xsc=eml_wed_2014_06_25

 

 

 

 

If those destinations don't have you swooning, then head over to my all time favorite get away, Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios Jamaica and book the Honeymoon Oceanfront Verandah Butler Suite or the Royal Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite (view from my room below). Don't forget to request the best butlers in the world…Shelly Ann and Jermaine! I promise you won't be sorry and if you're honeymooning the last week of September, I'll see you there!  http://www.sandals.com/main/plantation/rp-home/

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Honeymoons, Don’t Make these Mistakes!

We know that wedding season is in full swing and most of you have completed your honeymoon planning, but there are still a few out there who are tying up the loose ends. Read this great article from Brides Magazine with 10 common mistakes brides and grooms make while planning their honeymoon to avoid disaster!

mistakes-couples-make-planning-honeymoon

 

The honeymoon is a much-needed respite after months of wedding planning. For many couples, it's also the trip of a lifetime — the first long, exotic trip taken together. Heaven, right?

Not always: It is possible to do it wrong, thanks to ill-timed bookings, too-small budgets, and more. We consulted a few travel experts who specialize in booking honeymoons to find out what you should and shouldn't do when planning your post-wedding getaway.

1. Procrastinating
The ideal time to book your honeymoon is six to eight months prior, especially if you're planning to go to a specialized resort, as premium rooms book up early. In addition, says Linda Dancer, of Honeymoons Inc., mergers between major airlines means fewer flights, longer layovers, and higher prices.

2. Not sharing the planning
When it comes to wedding planning, divide and conquer is often the best approach. But not when it comes to the honeymoon, says Jim Augerinos of Perfect Honeymoons. Too often, if one person handles the planning, you end up with a trip that's more tailored to his or her desires. Unless your spouse-to-be is uncommonly perceptive about your travel wishes and peeves, honeymoon planning should be a joint effort.

See More: 3 Things You Need to Know Before You Book Your Honeymoon

3. Choosing someone else's honeymoon
Wedding planning can be so overwhelming that it's tempting to simply copy another couple's honeymoon itinerary. They had a blast, right? Your pals may have loved that no-stress all-inclusive resort, but you might find it tamps your adventurous spirit. Or maybe you've heard your parents reminisce about their honeymoon in Bermuda your whole life. Just because they'd like to revisit their 'moon vicariously doesn't mean it's right for you. It's okay to solicit advice from like-minded friends and family, but take it with the proverbial grain of salt. This is your big trip; tailor it to you.

4. Not being specific enough about what you want
When you think "exotic destination," does that mean a luxury resort on an island renowned for its natural beauty? Or do you define it as a faraway foreign country where you don't speak the language? The difference between your "relaxing" and "boring" isn't always immediately clear. Define it for your intended. And, according to Dancer, if you're using a travel agent, a good one will know the right questions to ask.

5. Relying too heavily on Internet research
While "real person" reviews can help you get a feel for a place, the information can be outdated, biased, or worse: fraudulent. Also, says Augerinos, "Google will only tell you about what you put into it," making it difficult to discover hidden gems. Plus, it's time consuming. Web research can provide good ideas, but a friend or professional agent with first-hand knowledge is the best resource. According to Augerinos, "We won't sell a destination unless one of us has been there personally. We like to think of ourselves as human Trip Advisors."

6. Not seeking professional help
It's true that travel agents make their livelihoods by booking trips for folks, but using one doesn't necessarily mean your honeymoon will be more expensive. In fact, travel agents have insider knowledge on deals and discounts and cultivate personal relationships with hoteliers, which can sometimes mean a room's suddenly available in a booked-solid hotel. They also save you endless research time and can offer first-hand destination knowledge. "I like to say our service is threefold," says Augerinos. "We help you choose the perfect destination with the right fit, we do all the planning and researching, and we provide clients service while they're on their honeymoons. My job is not finished until my clients return home."

7. Shortchanging the honeymoon budget
Weddings can get costly quickly, and it's tempting to take it out of the honeymoon budget. But think about it: The typical wedding ceremony lasts six hours, while honeymoons usually last 10 to 14 days. Which one do you think you'll remember more? "It always scares me when a couple wants a seven-night luxury stay with an ocean view and can only afford five nights in a two- to three-star hotel. You just know they're going to hate it," says Dancer.

See More: 20 Celebrity-Approved Honeymoon Destinations

8. Leaving too soon after the wedding
It happens in movies: The happy couple floats strait from their reception to the airport, en route to their honeymoon. But the pros advise giving yourself some time to catch your breath between the ceremony and the big trip. You may have had a little too much to drink the night before, and you'll definitely be exhausted, so give yourself a chance to rest. "Leave on a Monday or even Tuesday following a Saturday wedding," says Augerinos.

9. Not balancing your activities
For most couples, a mix of adventure and relaxation makes for the perfect honeymoon. You'll want to explore new lands and take part in exciting activities together, whether that means pony trekking through the rainforest or exploring Paris on foot. But you'll also need time to recharge before getting back to reality. Be sure not to wear yourselves out — or give yourselves an opportunity to get bored.

10. Winging it entirely
For the more adventurous types, it's tempting to choose a destination, book a hotel for the first night, and take it from there. In fact, that may be how you always travel together. But, remember, your honeymoon isn't like any other vacation. It's the pause between one of the biggest — and busiest — moments in your life and the business of navigating a new reality together. Give yourself a break by going with a basic structure — booking your hotel rooms for the whole stay — then make room for adventure by choosing activities on the fly.

 

Thank You Note Etiquette

We are sharing this wonderful article on "Thank You Note Etiquette" featured on Style Me Pretty today.  Enjoy and don't procrastinate on those thank you's! wink

 

It’s been a while since Lisa Hoffman of Ceci New York stopped by to share some of her always fabulous invitation wisdom. So I am thrilled to say that today she’s chatting with us about those pesky little Thank You Notes…from thank you note etiquette to thoughtful words for a thank you, she’s covering all the bases. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this post as it’s something that everyone, brides and non-brides alike, should keep handy!

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1. Think Ahead. Order your thank you notes early with your invitations. That way you are preparred as all your gifts come in.

thank you notes etiquette

2. Don’t procrastinate! As soon as you get your gift, remember to write your thank you note. That way your message will be sincere and of the moment. You don’t want your guests thinking you were tired of writing your notes and just quickly wrote out the same generic message to all.

3. Write in your own language. Don’t fake your way through it with over embellished words that you never use in real life. For example do not say “thank you for the fabulous blender if the word “fabulous” never typically comes out of your mouth. Be sincere and honest. Your guests will appreciate it so much more.

thank you notes etiquette

4. Keep track. You are going to be writing so many thank you notes over the course of your engagement it’s impossible to keep it all straight in your head. My advice is to keep separate guest lists from all your events (shower, wedding, engagement party) and document what each guest gave you at the time you receive it. If you do not instantly write them a note then chances are you will get confused with all the gifts coming in. And once you do send the note, make sure you check off a column on your list that you actually sent the note so you can remember later. (a. guest name b. gift name c. sent thank you note date) Tip – mind your manners- even if you do not receive a gift I believe it is still nice to write a personal note of thanks, thanking them for being someone special in your life and coming to your wedding to celebrate your big day. That will go a long way.

5. At a loss for words? The basic structure of a proper thank you note is as follows: -. thank the guest for the name of the gift. Make sure you state back what it was to personalize it even more. – mention how you use it (or plan to use it) in your daily life. – added bonus add a nice sentence stating that you can’t wait to have them over to share it with you and your new hubby. – if you’re sending before your wedding tell them how excited you are to be celebrating with them soon at the wedding. And if it’s after the wedding state how much it meant to you to have them at your wedding. – then sign with love

thank you notes etiquette

6. Timing. Etiquette states that you truthfully have up to a year after your wedding to send a thank you note (because technically guests have that much time too to send their gifts). However, as I mentioned above, I highly recommed staying on top of your thank you notes so they do not become a chore. Plus you do not want to come off ungrateful or worse have your guests inquiring if their gift made it to you OK! Chip away at your list by setting attainable goals for yourself. Maybe 10 a weekend or 5 on Monday nights. Whatever works for you. Pretty soon you will find yourself a writing pro! (and maybe you’ll even enjoy it)

thank you notes etiquette

7. Flat or folded? Yes there are choices when it comes to the type of thank you note you pick. The two main ones are flat cards or folded. TIP: Think about your writing style – do you write large or small. If you write big, probably best to go with a folding note card so you have more room.

However I completely encourage you all to be creative with your note writing. If you are having a destination wedding try picking up fun postcards from your chosen location. Or from your honeymoon. Another idea is to consider a different method other than paper. Send a photo postcard of you from the wedding. Take a big group photo of all yor guests and send that. It’s a great keepsake and your guests will love it!

thank you notes etiquette

Friday Fashion: 1920’s Wedding Inspiration

With the popularity of Downton Abbey and the upcoming release of The Great Gatsby in May, the 20's are definitely roaring back!  Many are choosing this theme for their weddings and I couldn't be happier.  This bygone era exudes lavishness and fun~what better inspiration for a wedding?

 

Dropped waist gowns, beading in art deco patterns, long strands of pearls, what's not to love?  Ivories were much more popular in the 1920's than stark white and I find them more complimentary to everyone's skin tone.  Don't even get me started on the head wear!  Cloche hats, soft veils that "capped" the head, beaded bands in the hair, feathers~swoon!  Fashions really came of age during the 20's and many of our designs these days are still heavily influenced by them. 

 

The 1920's bride did not leave for the church without her accessories!  (I so could have enjoyed living back then!)  High heels, trend setting handbags, gloves and lots of pearls were a must!  Pumps from that era were not all that different from ours today (minus the platform).  Most were very feminine featuring lace detail and ribbon accents.  Handbags sparkled and glistened with beading and sequins.  Elaborate embroidery, fringe and tassels were all popular design elements as well.

 

Let's not forget about a little something for the groom!  The 1920's was a time when men truly dressed like men in my opinion.  Suits and ties, overcoats with hats and gloves~it's like lingerie for women! :)  Morning suits and tailcoats were the standard attire for grooms.  Top hats and gloves rounded out the groom's accessories on wedding day.

 

If you are looking for a fun and trendy theme for your wedding day, the 1920's is definitely one that will get your guests involved and having fun.  Don't forget the mustaches. feather boas and long cigarette holders for photo booth props!

 

Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend!

Pricing-Need a Quote from a Wedding Planner?
Nearly every call I receive from a bride begins with inquiries about price. I, like everyone out there, am also a consumer and can absolutely understand why this happens. But, finding a wedding planner isn't like selecting paper products of the shelf at the local box store. I would like to assist potential clients and all brides for that matter in understanding why giving a direct quote is virtually impossible.
 
Before any planner can give you a quote, there are certain tidbits of information we need. For starters, your ceremony date. We may not be available for your date which would make a price quote irrelevant. In this case though, let's say we are open on your date. We need to know what services you have already contracted and what services you are seeking assistance with. Are seeking a consultation to make sure you are on the right track with your DIY planning, or are you looking for full-service experience? These questions can be addressed during the initial phone conversation, and then followed up with the complementary consultation. Then, pricing and planning your customized experience begins.
 
This process may seem lengthy but it assures all that no detail is left unattended and let's face it, this is your wedding day, your moment to shine let's be sure it is done perfectly! You and your guests will remember this day always and you will want that memory to be a beautiful, personalized statement. As a planner, I am passionate about what I do-creating beautiful stress free experiences for discerning brides! Your wedding day is of utmost importance to me.
 
Not being able to get a price right off the bat does not mean that this is a luxury you can't afford. It means we are doing our homework to assist you in getting the services you desire and are in need of. In most instances, we, as planners can save you money by using our resources, knowledge and relationships with others in the event industry to obtain discounts and prevent costly mistakes.
 
It is my hope that this helps you to better understand and enjoy the process of finding the wedding planner or coordinator that will assist you in making your wedding day spectacular!.
Congratulations Celine and Chris!

Celine and Chris were married in a touching ceremony at the Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta.  Afterwards they shared in a fun, intimate reception with close friends and family.  Best wishes on a long and happy marriage!

 

Photos Courtesy of A Day in the Life Photography

 

Olivia and Joe Get Married!

Olivia and Joe were one of the sweetest couples I have worked with!  Olivia, a soft spoken, compassionate nurse and Joe a true southern gentleman serving his country in the military turned prince and princess for the day in a beautiful ceremony followed by a candle lit reception. 

 

Details were definitely on hand with custom table numbers, photos of the bride and groom through the years, candles galore and personalized favors to name a few! 

 

The bride and groom were center stage from their arrival down the spiral staircase of the South Atrium at Atlanta Financial Center, their romantic first dance, cutting the beautiful cake supplied by Sweet Stuff, LLC until their sparkler lit departure!  While all eyes were on them, they only had eyes for one another!

 

Olivia and Joe truly are, as their favors said "The Perfect Blend"!

 

Photos Courtesy of Jeffrey Franks Photography

 

Lindsay and Kurt are Married!!

I was honored to be a part of the wonderful team that helped Lindsay and Kurt have the wedding of their dreams!  From the beautiful gown the bride wore to the monogrammed cocktail napkins, no detail was left unattended!

 

The bridal party began their day (in matching outfits) with hair, make up and mimosas!  Meanwhile, the guys were getting "cleaned up" and looking rather handsome.  A fun photo shoot with Paperlily Photography followed and culminated in the romantic "first look" shared by the bride and groom just before the ceremony.

 

As soon as the I Do's were said, it was one short trolley ride to the Biltmore Ballrooms to party with friends and family!  The ballroom was breath taking thanks to Holland Muscio of Balloonacy and Floral by Holland.  Peonies, hydrangea and crystals were plentiful and expertly arranged.  But the eye candy didn't stop there…..the bride's ribbon wrapped four tiered cake featured cascading peonies and was gorgeous!  And speaking of cake, the groom's cake was a nod to both the bride and groom's alma mater, the University of Alabama.  Roll Tide!

 

There was most definitely not a shortage of entertainment with Photobooth Phun and the band Super T in the house!  The guests danced and sang along, left great messages and photos to cherish in the scrapbook created right on site for the bride and groom.

 

Enjoy the photos and gain some inspiration for your own wedding celebration!  Happy Planning!!

 

Photos Courtesy of Paperlily Photography

 

Wedding Budget Ideas to Help You Save Money

Right after the excitement of the engagement wears off, comes the fear of the wedding cost.  Many brides have been lead to believe they can only save money by doing things themselves (DIY WEDDINGS).  I am here to tell you that is not true!  When you add up the cost of materials and the time you and your bridesmaids put into these tasks (if you can get them to participate) you usually come out the same if not end up spending more.  Hire professionals and stick to your budget guns and you can have a beautiful wedding!

Hiring a wedding planner is an expense many brides have tried to do away with in today's economy.  Did you know that your wedding planner may end up saving you more money than it cost to hire them in the first place?  It's true!  Wedding planners have contacts with other vendors in the wedding industry and develop great working relationships over time.  Your wedding planner may frequently take brides to "Florist A" and in doing so has helped "Florist A" to develop a thriving business.  "Florist A" is no doubt grateful and passes along a discount to the wedding planners client as a professional courtesy.  Just think if this is the case with your wedding planner and they have wonderful relationships with not only florist, but caterers and bakers alike!  The savings can really start to pile up and before long you have paid the wedding planner and gotten everything you wanted all while having someone else make all of your appointments and take care of the fine print!! 

Your wedding planner should pass along a few helpful tips to save you money in your wedding budget.  Tips like offering a signature drink instead of a full bar, comparison shop for your cake (get a pretty faux from the bakers displays and have sheet cakes hidden in the kitchen for serving!), select in season blooms for your bouquet and centerpieces and while you are at it, make those alter arrangements do double duty and place them on the buffet tables, use what you have…vases, boxes, cans..borrow vessels from friends and family.  Celebrate your ceremony and reception on an "off day".  Fridays and Sundays are almost always more economical solutions.  Using these tips, setting your priorities and hiring a professional planner will no doubt save you money on your wedding budget!  Happy Planning!!

Recently Engaged? Ring care you should be aware of

Many young ladies became engaged over the holiday season and are sporting a little bling bling on their left hands these days.  Remember to keep your ring safe and looking beautiful with these wonderful tips found on Martha Stewart Weddings.

 

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/229012/caring-your-engagement-and-wedding-rings/@center/272448/wedding-jewelry

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