Where Are You Going on Your Honeymoon?

Photo by The Knot

What’s your ultimate honeymoon destination? As wedding planners, we get to hear of so many ideas for honeymoons – from road trips to international travel, to sit in the sand all-inclusive beach resorts. Croatia seems to be the honeymoon destination for a number of our couples in the last year and we hear nothing but amazing things! It’s definitely been added to our own travel bucket lists.

While it can be hard to decide where to go on a honeymoon, and what budget permits, keep in mind the activities once you arrive and that they’ll accommodate each of your goals for the trip. If one of you prefers lounging on the beach and the other wants some adventure, look for a locale that offers both. Do you have a travel bucket list? Honeymoons are a great time to cross a new location off your list! Just be sure to save room in your wedding budget if necessary to take that trip! Also, don’t wait to order passports. If you don’t already have them, I advise couples to start working on that process during the wedding planning in case international travel becomes an option.

Photo by Lonely Planet

Harper’s Bazaar has great ideas for international honeymoon destinations, including adventurous places like Zambia, Cambodia and Thailand. Add those all to my list! Iceland, Mexico, and St. Lucia all come highly recommended from our own couples, and if you’re in Florida, the Bahamas is only a quick flight away. So easy to plan and there’s beautiful weather year round.  One more idea based on personal experience is a road trip up (or down) the Pacific Coast Highway in California. We’ve done this trip a couple times because we love it so much – start in San Francisco, then head south through Monterrey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, Cambria, and end the trip in Los Angeles. 

10 years ago, my husband and I boarded a plane the morning after our wedding for Rome. We spent seven days exploring the city and practicing a little Italian as we fumbled our way through eateries and cafes, got stuck at a train station, and had dinner in the tiniest little restaurant that we still think was actually an Italian grandmother’s home. I love travel and am always eager to hear about must-go places in the world! My travel bucket list is always growing and I’d love to hear about your choice for honeymoon destinations. Drop a line in the comments and let me know where you went or would love to go!

Perfect Combination: How to Pull Off a Multicultural Wedding of Your Dreams

Getting married to the love of your life is one of the most exciting milestones you will ever experience. It’s your chance as a couple to create a beautiful fairy tale based on your common preferences. But what if you’re from two different cultures? How do you pull off a multicultural wedding that pays homage to both your backgrounds? Hiring the best wedding planner with a lot of experience will definitely help, as she will be there to guide you in the planning step by step. Consulting friends, family members, and other couples who have done the same thing is also highly recommended.

Here are some tips on how you can have a wedding that equally represents you and your soulmate.

  1. Lay it on the table

The best way to strategize is to talk and discuss it. Knowing the ins and outs of each cultural background will be helpful in setting a concrete wedding plan. Get tips and suggestions from relatives and friends that had the same kind of celebration. Identify the traditions that you want to be included in the ceremony and reception.

 

Pro tip: Include your wedding planner in the meeting to get another person’s perspective on the subject. She can give inputs that you and your betrothed might have overlooked.

 

2. Keep it balanced

Keeping the celebration balanced as to what rituals and customs you want to include in the will keep the affair simple. This is also to not overwhelm you, your partner, and the guests. Going over-the-top may come across as tacky and less elegant. 

 

Pro tip: Infuse traditions not just at the wedding ceremony but also in the decorations. The easiest way is to take inspiration from your country of origin when it comes to wedding cakes, floral arrangements, music and even artwork design elements.

 

3. Separate celebrations

If you have a budget to spare, the best way to include both cultures in the affair is to have separate celebrations. This can be a bit costly but in terms of unforgettable experience, this definitely wins it. Bring the party to yours and your hubby’s hometown, immersing each other with your respective backgrounds.

 

Pro tip: Hire a destination wedding organizer to assist you on your out of town/country ceremony. Best hire a local who knows the wedding traditions as well as the best suppliers and deals.

 

4. Notify your guests

Get your guests involved by letting them know the type of ceremony they will be attending. Brief them of the basic rules (if there are any) like dress code, gift preferences, and proper decorum.

 

Pro tip: Add a short description of the ceremony on your invitation as a heads up to your guests. Familiarize them with the rituals by outlining them in the wedding program.

 

5. Make it uniquely your own.

Don’t feel too restricted about your choices. It’s the day you make happy memories – it’s supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and utterly romantic. Don’t think about the dos and don’ts too much. If you want to infuse activities and rituals outside your tradition, do it. It’s your wedding, your rules, at the end of the day.

 

Pro tip: Get inspired by looking at how other couples have made their weddings unique and special while fusing their own different backgrounds. Ask your partner if he or she has a preferred activity outside tradition that he or she wants to include. Find a way to add it to the program.

 

6. Find a neutral ground.

If you and your partner can’t decide which cultural background to highlight, why not veer away from both and find a common ground where everyone will enjoy? A destination wedding would be ideal for this kind of arrangement. Get creative by infusing the local rituals and traditions from the destination of your choice to make your union unique and special. For cases like this, it’s best to notify your respective family and friends beforehand so everyone will be in the loop on what will happen.

 

Pro tip: The first step is finding your destination. Top of mind choice is Greece, as the country hosts numerous weddings all year round. Greece has a lot of options when it comes to venues and suppliers, so the planning will be a breeze. The country also has romantic local wedding traditions that you can include in the ceremony.

This post is brought to you by Maria from Make Happy Memories, an International blog and event planning agency specializing in destination weddings in Greece. Thank you, Maria, for these helpful tips! 

Enchanted Garden Wedding | Britney + CJ | Luxmore Grande Estate, Winter Springs

Enchanted Garden Wedding | Britney + CJ | Luxmore Grande Estate, Winter Springs

Britney and CJ’s wedding was such a dream to plan. This couple was fun and easy-going and if I could plan every wedding with Britney’s mom, Carmena, I would! Right from the start the theme was “enchanted garden” and they never wavered from that vision. The details were so gorgeous with lush, white flowers, wisteria hanging from branch arches over the whole aisle and off the table centerpieces. Have I mentioned our centerpieces were TREES? 5 feet tall, hanging over guests’ heads while they dined. A neutral color scheme balanced out the large, lush arrangments and made an impact against the natural green setting of the Luxmore Grande Estate’s back lawn during ceremony. Also, I am a big fan of going all out on reception decor but keeping it in just a couple more neutral colors. The white, ivory and greenery paired well with touches of silver and gold in our chargers, place settings and gold acrylic table numbers. Luxe to the max, refined and elegant. This wedding was all of that and more! 

From Mother of the Bride, Carmena:As a severely picky Mother-of-the-bride and one who pays close attention to detail; I was looking for a bridal planner with similar characteristics. We only have one chance to get this right and Brittany, my daughter’s bridal planner from Tickled Pink was a dream come true! After many interviews with other planners, I knew she was the one right on the spot. My daughter’s wedding was beyond ours expectations and went off so perfectly. Everyone says to expect something to go wrong, but we were blessed with perfection! Brittany just gets it! She got our vision and brought it to life!! I absolutely adore her talent, patience and her pleasant work ethic. If you are looking for similar characteristics in a bridal planner for your special day, she is the one!”

And in case you missed it, Britney and CJ’s wedding was quickly picked up by Souther Noir Weddings, in a beautiful feature on their blog! 

Garden wedding Orlando Luxmore Grande Estate

Photography |  The Rivers Photo

Event Venue | Luxmore Grande Estate

Planner | Tickled Pink Weddings and Events

Wedding Gown | Hayley Paige from Calvet Couture Bridal

Makeup Artist | Desiree Murray

DJ and Photobooth | Moor Productions LLC

Caterer | Big City Catering

Bridesmaid Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids

Floral Designer | Fiora Designs

Wedding Day Details | Do Tell Designs and Treasury Rentals

Rental Furniture | RW Style 

Groomsman Attire | The Black Tux

Hedge Walls | A Chair Affair, Inc.

Blush and Gold Romantic Wedding | Michele + Mark | St. James Cathedral and The Alfond Inn, Winter Park, FL

Blush and Gold Romantic Wedding at St. James Cathedral and The Alfond Inn, Winter Park, FL

I have to admit that I had a hard time even narrowing down which photos to post on this Real Wedding feature! Sunglow Photography did such an amazing job telling the beautiful story of this couple’s love and their incredible wedding day, and if I could have their photos in an album on my own coffee table, I would. Michele and Mark’s vision for a modern twist on a blush and gold romantic wedding day truly came to life with their planner Kristi and the best possible team of vendors to bring it all together. St. James Cathedral and The Alfond Inn are such stunning venues, and we love working at each time and again. 

From the bride: “Honestly – I loved every single moment. I have specific memories of being in the room with my bridesmaids getting ready and just laughing so much. Putting my dress on, which was the time I started to really feel like a bride. Seeing my dad for the first time when I was all dressed up and his reaction. Having him walk me down the aisle and seeing Mark’s reaction. Dancing the night away at the Alfond and all of the beautiful details that were included in the reception area! It was a dream come true for me and I keep looking back at our wedding photos/video to relive it. So many of the details were incredible on their own and bringing them all together was incredible. I absolutely could not have planned something like this on my own and am forever grateful to Kristi for her patience and guidance.”

Cheers to many years of married bliss, Michele and Mark! 

Ceremony Venue | St. James Cathedral

Reception Venue | The Alfond Inn

Photography | Sunglow Photography

Videography | KEJ Productions

Planner | Kristi Kriebel, Tickled Pink Weddings and Events

Hair and Makeup | Makeover Station

Draping | Swag Decor

DJ | Fyerfly Productions

Rental | A Chair Affair

Floral | Velvet and Twine

Wedding Gown | Monique Lhuillier

Calligraphy, Stationery and Acrylic Items | Do Tell Callligraphy

Wedding Venue Map: A New Tool for Wedding Planning

Wedding Venue Map Makes the Venue Search Easier

We are so excited to share with you a new tool that has been much needed in our Central Florida wedding market, and is finally here!  If you’ve ever spent hours and hours Googling Orlando wedding venues, checking venue websites for capacity, whether the ceremony space is indoor or outdoor, price point, etc, then you should also feel the excitement around this powerful new resource that will make all our lives easier! Imagine a site where you can find all the information you need about local wedding and event venues IN ONE PLACE, so you can narrow down your choices before you ever have to call or search online for more details. Enter, the Wedding Venue Map. Our friend Shannon Tarrant of The Shannon Experience has worked tirelessly with her team to develop a website and a beautiful full size map of the Orlando area, which marks every wedding venue around and relevant information about each location to help brides and grooms narrow down their venue search. 

Casa Feliz Historic Home, by Darling Juliet Photography

Start with estimated guest count and style of venue (barn, ballroom, mansion, garden…) and a list of potential options show up. Search filters like on-site accommodations, bar and catering options, noise ordinances, and whether a wedding planner is included or required will help you really focus in on the right venues for you. They’ll also get you thinking about some things you may not have even considered yet! When possible, venues listed even show images and video footage so you can really get a feel for each location before you ever leave this website.

Guys and gals, if you’re engaged and starting your venue search, be sure to check out The Wedding Venue Map (and also call us!).