#Honeymoon Heaven: Surprisingly Romantic Honeymoon Destinations

The honeymoon represents a time of celebration in the lives of newlywed couples. Choosing the perfect destination should be the top priority when planning a romantic honeymoon. Your choice should reflect your personal interests as well as a symbol of your love for your new spouse. Consider these romantic honeymoon destinations; they might surprise you both!

Tennis in Australia

Tennis interests many people the world over. If your spouse likes to be active, you could go to Australia for your honeymoon. Melbourne offers visitors plenty of Australian charm and other activities like surfing, volleyball and hiking. When you’re not playing a rousing game of tennis, you can explore the city’s many restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, and other activities. The friendly locals will help you to celebrate your new marriage in a way only Australia would be able to. Perhaps if you’re less of an active couple, and more for relaxation consider booking a tennis vacation to the Australian Open 2014. That way you’ll be able to be a part of the action without leaving your seats.

columbiaMedellin, Colombia

During the days of Pablo Escobar, Medellin was considered the most dangerous city on the planet. Times have definitely changed, yet the crimes of the past still deter many people from enjoying this amazing destination, but Medellin today is as safe as any other city in Latin America. The unbeatable climate of Medellin attracts many visitors. The city is nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring” for its incomparable weather and beauty. The flowers all over the city give it a charm that other cities just don’t have.

Prague, Czech Republicczech

Prague intrigues people all over the world with its history and mystique. The architecture alone in Prague is worth seeing with your new spouse. A walk along the Vltava River provides one of the most romantic scenes in the entire world. You can see the Prague Castle in the background in all of its magnificent glory. Explore the city’s many stores and restaurants. It’s an Eastern European tour filled with magic.

JordanAmman, Jordan

Most people don’t think of the Middle East when they think of romance, but that’s what makes it a surprise. If you go to the top of the Citadel, you will take in all of the city’s sights and sounds in a unique way. Don’t let the differences in culture deter you from seeing an amazing city and enjoying romantic evenings with your loved one.

Your honeymoon should be perfect, and one of these locations may be just what you need. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You might discover an amazing opportunity for your honeymoon adventures. It will be a great adventure to start your married life with.

More Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Photographer – #wedding

Hardy 3How do you find the perfect photographer? There are different methods used to figure out how much to budget for the photographer but that doesn’t guarantee you will find the perfect one by looking only at your budget.  I photographed weddings where the bride spend half of her budget on the photography and others where I was a tenth of the budget. This only gives you an idea on how the importance of photography varies from client to client.

Here are some tips on choosing your wedding photographer:

  1. Google – Of course this should be a great resource to find everything you need for your wedding- but beware! All the photographers listed on, let’s say the first 2 pages, tell you one thing and one thing only: ” I am an expert on how to work this search engine”. The photographers you like and the ones who secure your perfect wedding photo with a lot of experience may be further in the back of your Google search result. So go there and give them a chance.
  2. Wedding consultants – Here is a great approach to help you to plan your perfect wedding day. All the photographers a consultant will refer to you are pre-approved and within your budget. The only decision you have to make is whether you like the person or not. No trial and error involved.
  3. Photos – This is an obvious one… of course the photos will tell you who is good and who is not, but is this enough for you to make a good decision? I don’t think so. Think about this: The photographer will be the person who spends more time with you on your wedding day than your fiancée. You need to have a great rapport with the photographer to get the best pictures. Make sure you LIKE the photographer and feel he will take directions from you and remember to get the shots you give him on your shot list.
  4. Questions about the equipment – Tools are important. I have to admit I always have a little smile on my face when I see those photographer websites: “What is in my bag.” You find all this stuff they carry around. The questions that always comes is: How do they get all this equipment fast enough from point A to point B, when the wedding couple is moving? If this photographer has to leave his equipment somewhere to follow the couple, will he/she more worried about the equipment being stolen or how to get the best photo of you? Don’t judge a photographer by his equipment, take a good look at his/her photos.Hardy 5
  5. Friend’s referral – You have seen him/her work at your friend’s wedding. That is probably the best resource you can have. You see everything; how he/she works, you will see the photos after your friend’s wedding is over and you get the inside scoop on how the photographer handles the work on your friend’s album. I don’t think there is a better way to find a good photographer than a personal recommendation.
  6. Advertising in magazines – Many photographers use ads to get their name out and you should start here to find one. I can see the fun, you just got engaged and now you are sitting with all your girlfriends, a bottle of wine and a bunch of wedding magazines in your apartment planning the big day. Here is a thought; every town has this one restaurant everyone is talking about, but you just can’t find it. They don’t have a website, they don’t advertise. When you finally get the phone number to make reservations, you are informed that they are booked out for the next three weeks. How does this work? Good service, great products and a good name does not need advertising. People start talking about it. So listen to your friends, they might have name for you.
  7. Meeting with the photographer – “10 questions to ask your photographer when you meet with him the first time.” Oh, we vendors love those forms in the magazines. Sometimes I’m tempted to write an article: 10 tips on how to find a good wedding magazine! Believe me these forms wouldn’t be one of them. Don’t get me wrong, those questions are a start but they won’t tell you anything about the photographer. We all know those question catalogs and we all have the answers ready for you. Please ask new questions, personal questions which are important to you and your event. Bring your mom and your fiancée to the first meeting. I always encourage my brides to bring their fiancées and their moms to the first meeting.
  8. Slide shows during your wedding reception. This point is a big one. Let’s be frank: You hired a wedding photographer and not an entertainer for the wedding reception. Here is another inside scoop for you: Those instant slideshows at your reception have only one purpose for the photographer: advertising! I don’t think you would like the DJ having a big banner hanging across the dance floor with his name and phone number on it, so why would you want a table in the room, surrounded by half of your guests, with a laptop in the middle playing photos of your wedding?
  9. Uncle Harry – May I introduce to you America’s busiest photographer: Uncle Harry is still in business and his name stands for all the friends and relatives who have a camera, like to take photos and offer the wedding couple their help. We thank you for that Uncle Harry, but No Thank You! We want to be sure uncle Harry has the same fun time at your wedding as does everybody else in the family. Your wedding day is the story of two families joining together and a story about love and emotions. Do you really want this to be documented by someone with no experience? Uncle Harry has the tendency to only photograph his family side. He does not know the other people at your wedding, so they are not important to him. The time will come when he will ask himself the question: Do I still need to be the photographer, or can I change to be a guest? I promise you he will decide to be a guest. Photos from the cake cutting will be taken from his table. Too bad that you didn’t hear him calling you to turn around and smile into the camera. The details of your wonderful decor, Uncle Harry didn’t think that this was important to you, so he wouldn’t waste any time on photographing it.
  10. Hardy 9 It’s your day, your show – The documentation of your day should be the photographer’s priority number 1. Hire a photographer with this in mind and not just be there to fill up his portfolio. Let the photographer be “the fly on the wall” who tells your amazing wedding day story. The best complement I received from a client was “your photos showed me the most wonderful moments of my wedding day I didn’t even know that I had them”. This is what wedding photography should be all about.

 

About our guest Author

Colorado Wedding Photographer, Hardy Klahold is pleased to bring you this article on choosing the best wedding photographer for you. If you are interested in seeing his work, be sure to check out his website at http://www.hardyklaholdphotography.com/.

 

Mother of the Bride Vs. Mother of the Groom Wedding Fashion Contest – #wedding

imagesIt started at the dinner.  My son and her daughter had announced their engagement two weeks before.  They invited my husband and I, parents of the groom, her – the mother of the bride, and her ex-husband and his new wife to dinner.  The dinner was the first we were to hear about their wedding plans, the vision they had for what they wanted, and what role we were all to play.  We talked first about the location.  Then we talked about different things that needed to be done, and we talked about the finances of all of it.

I thought we were all cooperative and supportive through all that.  After all, isn’t money the thing that gets people in a tizzy?  Not us.  It was her.  And the mention of the mother of the bride’s and the mother of the groom’s dresses.  Joanna, her daughter and the bride, wanted us to have a dusty blue hue – a warm and inviting grey colour.  That was her only request.  Joanna was leaving it up to us to discuss further coordination, but she made it clear she wanted us to feel comfortable and like ourselves.  She did not want the dresses to match by any means – which came as a relief to me.  I was nothing like her – Ulrika – Joanna’s mother.

Erik, my son, was wisely staying out of these details of the planning.  And in truth, at the dinner, Ulrika said nothing too provocative.  It’s looking back on it that I can see the mention of the dress, the way she looked at me up and down, critically, that I understand she was starting the competition there and then.

We left the dinner with plans for Ulrika and I to meet and shop together after the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses were chosen.  She was helping her daughter through that, then we would meet to choose our dresses.  She had the upper hand already.  We both knew it.  I tried to be polite, but I could already see she was determined to control the outcome.  She had her dress picked out, finding it in a boutique with bridesmaid’s dresses.  She wanted me to choose another she had picked out.

I’m all for being agreeable but she was suggesting a style I knew looked awful on me.  I had to decline.  I would be self-conscious the whole wedding day.  We shopped together for a few more hours, and the tension just continued to build between us.  Finally, I suggested that now I knew what she was wearing, I would shop for something that was of the same hue that Joanna wanted on my own.  I didn’t need to waste her time, I said, and alluded to how busy she was.

In the months leading up to the wedding, it became a real fashion contest for us.  Shoes were another big deal.  I had shown the dress I found to Joanna, who approved, but I kept it from Ulrika’s critical eye.  The shoes I thought I could show her.  It was a bad decision.  She insisted we both have a substantial heel, but closed-toe.  I had bought open-toed shoes.  She showed me her handbag that matched her dress.  It was exquisite and far more money than I would want to spend.  I found an equal exquisite hand-bag and had a big argument with my husband over buying it.

The jewelry was the next thing.  We unofficially decided to not show each other anything more, and save the ‘revealing’ for the wedding day.  I knew I would have to have earrings that bedazzled as much as the handbag.  My husband would just have to forgive me.  I was getting more and more determined that I had to get more compliments than Ulrika from the guests.  She would give me that self-righteous look of contempt forever if I didn’t.  I bought diamond earrings, a beautiful diamond necklace, and I booked an elite makeup artist and hairstylist. I wanted to win the wedding fashion contest!

The day of the wedding, it turned out, we were both outshone by the stepmother.  And not only did I learn a lesson in humility, but I also learned what it was like to loose perspective to what was really important – my son getting married.  He, at least, thought I looked fantastic.

How to work with an Invitation Designer

SunnyThumbSo you have a major event on the horizon – the wedding of your dreams, your parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, your daughter’s high school graduation – and you need the perfect invitations. Your invitations will help set the tone for your entire event, giving guests a preview of what’s to come, whether your event is formal, casual or whimsical. Your invitations should also be infused with your personality and those extra personal touches.

 

In order to make this happen, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with your invitation designer so you end up with the perfect finished product. So here are some tips on how to work with an Invitation Designer to get the perfect custom invitation of your dreams.

Discuss the Basics

When planning your wedding or other event, the first thing you should go over with your designer is invitation basics. A good place to start is to discuss different types of paper quality. For example, do you want a matte paper, something with texture, something metallic or perhaps paper that’s been recycled? Be sure to do this in person so you can see and touch the options that are available.

This is also the time to consider different colors for your invitations. If you want to match your invitations to your color scheme, it can help to bring in a fabric swatch in order to find the perfect match. Keep in mind that different colors impart different feelings. For example, white and off-white are classic wedding choices, pink denotes love and blue is associated with peace and tranquility. Make sure you choose a color that feels right to you and works with all your other invitation elements.

Another important part of your invitation to discuss upfront with your designer is font style. Choices are virtually limitless, with options ranging from fancy, flowery scripts to Art Deco sophisticated to whimsical and light. Be sure to also discuss word limits with your designer and have a general idea of what you would like to say.

Iron Out the Details

Once you have worked out the basics, it’s time to inject some personal style into your invitations. Perhaps you’re passionate about flowers and want them prominently displayed on your invitation. Maybe you want to use a special photograph. If your husband-to-be is a motorcycle attorney and you both love to ride, find a way to incorporate that into your invitation. If you can dream it, it can be done.gatsby-2

Your designer may find it helpful if you bring personal items in to help in the design process. If you have a particular style in mind it’s helpful to provide examples, such as an antique plate’s colors and style or an inspiring photograph. The more you bring with you and the more details you provide, the easier it will be for the designer to hone in on your concept and bring it to reality. Joann Marks, founder of Music Box Invites suggests that brides and the designer set up an Pinterest Account so they can share ideas easily.

The designer should provide you with several mock-up designs, and from these you can zero in on what you like best. This is also the time to make subtle changes if any are needed. Once you have a final selection, be sure to proof it carefully and even enlist a friend to do so. The more eyes on it, the better. Another tip that the designers at Music Box Invites found helpful is to read the invitation backwards!

Designing your ideal invitation takes time and effort, but the results will be well worth it. You will have an invitation that reflects your own personal style and personality and encapsulates your special event in a perfect little package.

Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer who loves social media, music, and the French language. To see more of her work, follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin or visit her blog, Design Roast.

How to have a small wedding without offending anyone

downloadA wedding is meant to be a beautiful and lasting event that is shared between two people who are in love. However, far too often the wedding can be turned into a much larger ordeal that requires hundreds of invitations and place settings for the reception. In doing this, large weddings open themselves up to a variety of issues, including the possibility that not everybody will get along, which can throw the entire event into dismay. Therefore, many people are opt for smaller weddings that are easier to manage and more dedicated to the love between the two people tying the knot. If you are looking to have a small wedding, but you don’t want to offend anyone by not inviting them, here are some tips to consider.

Choose A Smaller Venue
People that get left off the invitation list can’t say too much, if they understand up front that your venue is smaller and that there simply isn’t enough room for them to come. Sure, you can go with a venue that’s larger, but choosing a smaller venue not only allows you to limit who you invite, but it also makes the weeding a more intimate setting.

Explain The Budget
Weddings can be incredibly expensive. And anyone who has had their own wedding, will be able to attest to the fact that it quickly adds up with each person that is invited. While it may not always be the easiest thing to say, if you admit to their not being a large enough budget to invite everyone, it becomes an issue that people won’t want to harp upon. After all, anyone who wants to give a newlywed couple issues about money probably shouldn’t be at the wedding anyways. And if you really want to take it to another level, you can explain that the budget is out of your hands and that you were told what it is by the people paying for the wedding, which is typically the family of the bride. Talking budget may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it’s a logical way of getting out of having to invite people without offending them.

Wording The Invitation
No matter what excuse you come up with to avoid inviting people, you want to make sure that your invitation limits the amount of guests that are brought or people who want to be added to the list. In order to do this, you put the exact name of the person or couple invited. You do not put “and guest” or give any indication that guests are allowed. If a response comes back with a higher number than you expected, you then can explain to them that this is a small, intimate wedding and unfortunately you can’t have them bring a guest.  Another option is to send out wedding announcements that aren’t invitations. Instead, you use this as a way of letting people know that you are getting married and you can tell them that you want to get together after all the madness of the wedding has settled down.

Avoid The Issue
Having a wedding is difficult, but you might be surprised to find out how difficult it is for people to attend weddings as well. After all, coming up with a gift, finding something to wear and taking time out of a schedule makes for a lot of effort just to attend the wedding. If you want, you can avoid the issue of inviting those “extra” people to the wedding all together. You may be surprised to find out that people are relieved that they don’t have to go. The flow chart  is helpful in deciding who makes the cut if both you and your fiancee agree to the same terms.

There are a variety of different ways to keep your wedding small. And while it may not feel entirely comfortable at first, keep in mind the tips on this list when telling people why your wedding is limited in size. Remember- this is your special day, and you have a right to have the kind of wedding you want!

 

Milena James is an event planner, world traveler, and published writer from Tucson, Arizona. She writes reviews of Arizona resorts, restaurants, and travel destinations around the world.

Real Weddings: Tyson- Marks #Wedding April 14, 2012

Joann & Doug  0612For the first REAL Weddings Submission, I am posting my own wedding which was (in my opinion) PERFECT!

The overall theme of our wedding was “classic Hollywood”. We wanted the feel of a 1940’s Hollywood hotspot like Ciro’s or the Coconut Club and we planned our wedding date around local celebrity, Michael Andrew’s schedule because he was the perfect fit for that type of event.

I planned the wedding myself with no wedding planner and managed every detail so that by the day of, I was completely relaxed. I used an excel spreadsheet timeline that I will share for FREE – you can download it here.

The invitations probably took more time and energy then the rest of the affair. I wanted something special so that when the guests opened it, they knew what the evening would be like. I was surprised I was unable to find musical invitations so I set about to create them myself. Beginning with a custom invitation I added more details and configured a beautiful box that sang “Fly Me to the Moon” (my first dance music) when opened.

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We also made our Rehearsal Dinner and Day After Brunch invites look like old movie posters (Dinner at Eight and Breakfast at Tiffany’s). Our photographer was Sterling Photography and we our photo engagement session was done in old Hollywood poses so we had those images to use on our menus and posters.

movie-poster

Finding a gown was harder than I thought! But when I put on the Justin Alexander I knew I had to have that dress. The dress was extremely flattering, sophisticated and comfortable plus had a slightly 1940’s feel to it! My hair and makeup was done by Dawn Henderson of The Loft at Dawchers. I felt like a movie star walking down the aisle (with my handsome nephew escorting me).Joann & Doug  0190

The setting for the wedding was Interlachen Country Club which is 3 minutes from our house. The Country Club is very elegant and their chef is outstanding. The ceremony was on the golf course facing the lake. It was a very intimate occasion with only 54 guests. I had no bridesmaids but my niece, Nicole LeBlanc, was my flower girl and my nephew, Devin Day walked me down the aisle. My other two nephews were in charge of seating everyone. Nicole walked down the aisle to Somewhere over the Rainbow and I walked to the traditional Here comes the Bride. Doug and I wrote our own vows and mine had references to movies. His were very sweet and funny as well. Afterwards, we exited to The Best is Yet to Come.

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After the ceremony, the guests were ushered into the cocktail lounge where we had a three piece jazz band performing, open bar and appetizers passed around– Beef Wellingtons, Escargot in Brioche, Quiches and Cheese Puffs. The center of the room was the cake table complete with three cakes and the guests favors (with escort cards attached) – which were a CD of Michael Andrew’s Tribute to Sinatra . The cocktail high boys had feather centerpieces.   The cakes were done by Everything Cake – Alejandra Rodriguez. The linens were from Over the Top. After formal pictures, Doug and I joined the cocktail hour to meet and greet our guests. Then I left to change into my “dancing gown” – lots of sparkle in pearls and sequins but light as a feather and easy to dance in.

The ballroom was set with a huge dance floor and the bandstand was the focus. We had a “gobo” light behind the band. Ten guest tables were arranged around the dance floor. Each table was decorated in black, silver and pearl. We had sequined toppers over silver lame tablecloths and black beaded placemats. The centerpieces were tall black candelabras with crystal swag on them.  Around the centerpieces were rhinestone candle holders and votives that were made by me since I couldn’t find any to purchase. The evening was lit mostly by candlelight. Each table was named after a famous Hollywood couple and each table’s menu had a story on that couple. When some guests discovered each table was different, they set out to try and collect all ten so I know they were a hit! Guests were in black tie and everyone looked fabulous.

Joann & Doug  0744Joann & Doug  0792

We entered and immediately begin our first dance as man and wife to Fly me to the Moon. We had been taking dance lessons for almost three years and spent the last year on this one dance which was choreographed by Michael Dean, our dance instructor! After our perfect dance, we toasted each other and everyone got up and danced and the night was in full swing. The meal was perfect (guests had chosen from Chateaubriand, Salmon en croute and Chef’s creation Pear Chicken), champagne and wine flowed and people danced.

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But perhaps my favorite part of the evening was our Sparkler Exit. I changed back into gown #1 and we went to exit under the stars and the sparklers. Because we had long sparklers and a short walk,  we had time to do it 4 times, with our guests shouting “one more time”. As we got ready to get into our car, our guests all spontaneously started serenading us to “Fly me to the Moon”. It was truly magical.

Joann & Doug  1331

We drove home and my new husband carried me over the threshold! It was the perfect wedding; I wish I could do it over and over again.

4 Beauty Tips for a Beautiful Bride

4 beauty tips for a beautiful brideA woman’s wedding day is one of the most memorable twenty-four hours of her life. Every single aspect must be perfect. The wedding dress is the main attraction, but what good does a dress do if everything else is totally botched? No girl wants to look like she just rolled out of bed and slipped into a dazzling wedding dress. With these simple tips and tricks woman are guaranteed to be stunning from head to toe. Use make up to your advantage and use these 4 Beauty Tips to get yourself perfect for your big day.

  1. Primer Means Perfect –  One of the biggest problems women have is trying to find a way to keep their foundation on for the entirety of her special day. It is highly recommended to use a primer before applying any kind of makeup. The primer gives foundations and eye shadows something to latch onto without creating a greasy shine. The process will also ensure that any fine lines or pores will be smoothly erased.
  2. Secretly Sleepy Bride - Planning a wedding can be incredibly time consuming, and leave many woman exhausted by the time their big day comes around. That’s why it is essential to cover up those unwanted dark circles. Applying concealer with a small concealer brush below the eye will take care of the dark circles layers of foundation couldn’t erase. According to the Emerge spa in Boston, extremely light eye shadows, preferably white, applied near the tear ducts will also open up the eyes, and keep the bride from resembling a zombie.
  3. Lose the Oil -For brides getting married in the warmer months and locations, there is always the threat of having a greasy sheen. Brides should look for products that don’t contain oil. Keeping oil-free blotting sheets on hand is also a good way to keep makeup in tact prior to, during, and after the bride’s dream day.
  4. Defined Eyes Built to Last - Liquid and gel eyeliners are ideal to support a stunning look for hours on end, but there is no need to fret if pencil liners are up a bride’s alley. All that’s really needed to keep applied pencil eyeliner looking fabulous, is tracing over it with a matching eye shadow. The powder sets the liner, creating a long lasting look sure to make any groom drool.

Following these ideas will keep brides looking angelic long after they have said I do. One mistake can turn a girl’s dream come true, into a horrific nightmare. Don’t let something as simple as makeup ruin such a monumental occasion.

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