Archive for December, 2011
When we find something good here at the Wedding Guide, we want to pass it on. That is the case with this latest article we found from The Knot.
Just as there are no two people alike, there are no two couples alike and what their expectations for a honeymoon is. One thing for sure, however, don’t listen to others. Do what feels right for you…and there are so many options. So take a leisurely read and check out all the thorough information The Knot has found for you, and take notes as you plan your perfect honeymoon.
Find out why small, stylish hotels, unique cruises, and adrenaline-inducing trips are all the rage in honeymoon travel.
1. Adventure Trips
If reaching for the suntan lotion is your idea of exertion, this honeymoon trend isn’t for you. But if you’re a more active twosome, an afternoon of learning to surf, hiking to the top of the tallest nearby peak, or four-wheeling over rugged terrain are foolproof ways to increase your pulse.
Where to Go
- Taking a safari doesn’t have to mean living like a rhino. Tintswalo Safari Lodge in South Africa is a luxurious base from which to explore the surrounding nature reserve. tintswalo.com
- Crisscross the Mediterranean island of Gozo on a weeklong bike trip. Breakaway Adventures offers “independent” tours, whereby they suggest routes and provide bikes, and then wave good-bye. breakaway-adventures.com
- For the helicopter pilots at Nimmo Bay Resort on Vancouver Island, the top of a glacier is a fine place to drop you off for lunch before whisking you away to other natural landing pads. nimmobay.com
- Get more adventure honeymoon ideas!
Help: Find tour operators for adventures from surfing to storm chasing at voyagetrek.com.
2. Private Villas
Whether it’s a house in the countryside or a collection of bungalows along a stretch of beach, private villa rentals afford a lot of privacy and give guests the sense of having a home away from home. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.
Where to Go
- The 40 pavilions at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos are made largely of glass and wood to create airy, open spaces from which to enjoy the surroundings. amanresorts.com
- Cotton Bay Villas, opening this year in June on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, will boast 24 villas, a mile-long beach, and two private cays for birthday-suit sunbathing (just don’t skimp on the SPF!). discovercottonbay.com
- The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa has 38 new villas perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, each of which has its own plunge pool. ritzcarlton.com
Help: Search 1,600 villas of all sizes in Europe and the Caribbean to find one that fits your honeymoon budget at wimco.com.
There’s no real definition of what qualifies a hotel as “green,” but making minimal impact on the surroundings, serving local fare in it’s restaurant, and using solar power are signs that it’s on the right track. These resorts prove going eco can still be posh.
Where to Go
- Fiji’s Turtle Island limits visitors to just 14 couples at a time to ensure the island’s preservation, and organic gardens provide fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. turtlefiji.com
- Never thought you’d see a zebra grazing in Mexico? You will in the 25,000-acre nature reserve that surrounds Cuixmala resort, along with gazelles and wild boars.
- Machaca Hill Lodge in Belize is located within an 11,000-acre nature reserve, less than 25 percent of which is used by visitors of the resort. machacahill.com
Help: Want to spend your honeymoon helping others? Plan a volunteer honeymoon through sites like charityguide.org or i-to-i.com, and get more green wedding ideas.
4. Intimate Cruises
We’re not talking about a huge ship swarming with grannies, we mean luxury boats with only a few dozen rooms that can take you to spots that aren’t as fun to reach via planes, trains, and automobiles.
Where to Go
- The Oberoi, Zahra is a week-long luxury cruise on the Nile River. With Egyptologists on board to explain the country’s fascinating history, as well as four massage suites, this voyage is just as educational as it is relaxing. oberoihotels.com
- Island hop between the French Polynesian Leeward Islands aboard a 60-person yacht. Depart from Bora Bora and make stops at the islands of Taha’a, Huahine, and Raiatea during the six-night cruise before returning to Bora Bora. boraboracruises.com
- Love watching Planet Earth? Real life is better than HD on a National Geographic-sponsored tour of the Galapagos Islands, during which you’ll have the chance to glimpse the famous giant tortoises, search the waters for whales and dolphins, and (we’re not making this up) snorkel with penguins. expeditions.com
Help: Find a cruise to fit nearly any itinerary and to practically any destination (including a 108-day “World Cruise”) at crystalcruises.com.
5. The Sporting Life
Roaring crowds and awesome athletes can be a big highlight of any honeymoon. To see a world class sporting event in person can be a thrill, even if you don’t follow the team.
Where to Go
- NASCAR has nothing on Formula 1 Grand Prix racing—for starters, these drivers have to make right-hand turns. F1 speedsters zip around the track from March until October at races around the world, from Malaysia to Monaco. formula1.com
- If your honeymoon doesn’t coincide with a major tennis tourney (who wants to get hushed at Wimbledon, anyway?), have no fear. The pros compete nearly year-round in events on six continents. atptennis.com.
- To understand soccer’s rep as the “beautiful game,” take in a contest in South America. Root for some of Brazil’s squads along with 95,000 other enthusiasts at Maracaña Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. worldstadiums.com
Help: For those who want a sporting event to be the pinnacle of their stateside trip, check out sportstravelandtours.com when it’s time to set the vacation plans.
A growing appreciation for fine cuisine has put couples on the hunt for once-in-a-lifetime culinary experiences. Whether it’s a restaurant with a 12-course tasting menu, a wine bar with a well-versed sommelier, or a market with the freshest local produce, take advantage of your honeymoon abroad by letting your appetite be your guide.
Where to Go
- Paris has long been considered the world’s culinary epicenter, and at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, you can taste small, tapas-style portions of the classics (like foie gras) concocted by one of the top chefs in the world. joel-robuchon.com
- A tasting of more than 100 types of tequila at Esperanza resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, will take you way beyond Patrón. esperanzaresort.com
- At TabaC24 in Barcelona, Carlos Abellan—one-time student in the kitchen of famed Spanish chef Ferran Adriá—serves traditional tapas that make for truly haute cuisine. The potatoes bravas, spicy meatballs, and lemon anchovies (seriously, give them a shot) are all must-try dishes. comerc24.com
Help: Hone your culinary skills in a one-session cooking class. See epiculinary.com for a list of culinary vacations available throughout Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico. Find more of the best destinations for foodie honeymoons.
7. Country Hopping
Couples who don’t get to travel much are splitting their honeymoon between a few different spots. It’s a chance to take advantage of far-flung places you may never travel to again, or to vary the type of trip by spending time in different settings (like a week in the city, then a week on the beach).
Where to Go
- Shop and dine in the bustling city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and then fly five hours to rest on a beach in The Maldives.
- Get a well-rounded Mediterranean experience by jetting from the Italian island of Sicily to the Greek capital of Athens, with a final stop to see the ancient ruins on Crete.
- Travel to the Caribbean island of Antigua to experience the lively nightlife, and then take a 40-minute flight to Dominica, which is less developed and has a more subdued vibe.
Help: Flying within Europe? Check ryanair.com or easyjet.com for supercheap airfare. Find the most romantic cities for honeymooners, and the best beach honeymoon ideas.
8. Boutique Hotels
Personalized service. Less than 100 rooms. No cookie-cutter style. Such hotels set themselves apart from large chains by creating an experience that’s unique to their property.
Where to Go
- Get an authentic feel for Mexico’s culture at Hacienda San Angel in Puerto Vallarta, with a chef who will serve your dinner anywhere you choose. mexicoboutiquehotels.com
- Stay next door to Buckingham Palace at London’s 41. Each black-and-white room has a marble bathroom and the unmatchable air of gilded aristocracy. 41hotel.com
- Bauer il Palazzo in Venice is more than 100 years old, has 82 rooms and suites, and is located just next to Palazzo San Marco. ilpalazzovenezia.com
Help: Search more than 250 of the world’s most stylish boutique hotels at epoquehotels.com.Tags: honeymoon trends, Travel
Posted in Details, Honeymoon, Travel | No Comments »
Let’s face it…shiny object syndrome has set in, or as I call it SOS. Our focus is pulled in the office and we cannot focus on anything but images of Christmas morning, all the aromas of a gorgeous feast, Bing Crosby singing his famous carol, and Ralphie wishing Santa would get him a Red Ryder BB gun that he so desperately needs to protect his family.
It’s okay. It happens. But don’t despair, everything will get done. Give yourself permission to take a break from all the wedding planning and just relax with those that you love.
But we did want to add to the imagery. Visions of a Christmas we wish we could have in Central Texas. So feast your gaze on this winter inspiration board we found. Okay, okay, so we are still kind of working, but if you have to work this week, at least have something beautiful to look at.
We love the frosty blue, silver and winter white color palette in this board. There’s just something about this combination that brings to mind the first cold crisp winter morning and the cleanness of that first snow. And who doesn’t love a snowflake? Each unique and sculptural, it is a visual that beckons a fresh sheet of white paper and a pair of sharp scissors to try and replicate.
So after you’ve completed your work week, just relax. Grab your special someone, open a nice bottle of red wine, throw a Duraflame log in the fireplace (or at least turn on the TV station that plays a roaring fireplace 24 hrs a day this time of season), cue your favorite holiday movie, cuddle up under your Snuggie and…let all the wedding and holiday stress go. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you most definitely cannot take care of all the others in your life.
Seasons Greetings from all of us at the Wedding Guide.
Traditions are something brides love to incorporate into their special day, whether it’s a special flower, dish, location, or an item of clothing that has some sort of special meaning to the bride or couple, it’s…well..tradition.
And no other type of wedding checklist has the same cache as the little poem we often hear brides and her maids recite than “Something old, something new…”. So I took it upon myself to research the actual poem and find out a little history about it. And after about 2.5 seconds of investigating, I came across an ASK Yahoo site that had it all clearly spelled out before me.
The next line of this old saying actually hints at its origin. The complete phrase is:
A sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. So this wedding tradition is definitely English, and many sources say that it began in the Victorian era.
Each item in this poem represents a good-luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be happy. “Something old” symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family and the past. “Something new” means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead. “Something borrowed” is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item also reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family.
As for the colorful item, blue has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Christianity has long dressed the Virgin Mary in blue, so purity was associated with the color. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, “Marry in blue, lover be true.”
And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings.
And after researching this small item, I coincidentally ran across a similar topic in Brides Magazine discussing what brides are “borrowing” for their day. Here are a few of the keepsakes these brides borrowed.
“My grandparents’ wedding cake topper from the 1950s,” says Tracy via Facebook.
Denise replies, “I will be the third granddaughter to tuck our grandmother’s hankie in her garter on her wedding day.”
“My soon-to-be MIL is loaning me her lace purse and the pearl comb she wore on her wedding day. She has two sons and a grandson, so I am honored to be the “girl” in the family,” Michelle responded.
Additionally in this piece, a poll was taken and not surprisingly, 41% of brides say they borrowed jewelry for their wedding and 78% said they did, indeed, have something blue on them on that day. Regardless of what you decide to integrate as your small treasures, we think it’s a great idea to memorialize things and people that are special in your life via these small tokens. It’s a great way to keep those close to you even closer and to create, yet another, special memory.Tags: keepsakes, poems, traditions
Posted in Accessories, Ceremony, Ettiquette, Wedding Jewelry | No Comments »
We are fast approaching at least two major holidays where champagne could make an appearance. We think you should use this as your opportunity to test out some bubbly options for your wedding reception toast. The hard working staff at Brides Magazine have given their all for you and ranked their top four sparkling wines in their latest issue. If you have made arrangements with your caterer to provide the libation for the auspicious toast, then you might want to ask if you can have one of these as your go-to selection. If you are bringing champagne separate from your caterer, try these out first. Bring one or two for your holiday dinner and then the other two for your New Year’s Eve celebration toast. This way, you have enjoyed your evening and been bridal efficient all at the same time.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, do a blind taste test with these four different bottles and one you had already selected to see if you would still keep your original selection. Invite a favorite couple or a couple of bridesmaids and make a casual evening of it. Either way, you’ll get to mark something off your “To Do” list and get to try some amazing bubbly. Cheers!Information provided from Brides.com
FUN FACT: Acclaimed Chandon winemaker Tom Tiburzi used to be a microbiologist who made vino in his garage.
FUN FACT: When he died in 1826, Thomas Jefferson reportedly had 49 bottles of this wine in his cellar at Monticello.
FUN FACT: Korbel bubbly was served at the past seven U.S. presidential inaugurations, from Reagan’s to Obama’s.
Posted in Advice, Beverages, Catering, Celebration, Ceremony, Details, Planning | No Comments »
The most basic goal in wedding photography has always been quite simple: To make a portrait of the newlyweds. Over time, as photographic services have become more accessible, wedding photography expanded to include pictures of the wedding party and the families of the bride and groom. Gradually, wedding portraiture has evolved to the point where creative shots showing the bride’s gown, the wedding party, and the newlywed’s rings are typically included with romantic portraits of the bridal couple.
The evolution in wedding photography continues with a new trend: photo journalistic photography. Taking the journalistic approach means creating a visual record of the wedding day as it happens, instead of posting significant participants around the couple and making sure everything is perfectly in place. The photographer accompanies the couple throughout the wedding day, often starting with preparations for the ceremony and often staying throughout the reception (as does a traditional photographer). The aim is to produce more “artful” photographs which realistically portray their subjects. People are in motion – dancing, talking, laughing – accurately reflecting the ongoing activity and the excitement of the wedding day.
The attraction to the photojournalistic style is that the photographer acknowledges the little things that make up a beautiful moment, and pays attention to find them – a child playing with the ribbons on the bride’s bouquet, Dad giving an old friend a tight-squeezed hug, or the bride putting the finishing touches on her attire – memorable elements that fill the wedding celebration.
When well done, these candid photos capture on film the natural sentiments and personalities of their subjects, as people are not artificially posed for the shot. The photographer may use telephotographic lenses so as to be as unobtrusive as possible, allowing subjects freedom to just be themselves.
In spite of its new found popularity, photo journalistic wedding photography is certainly not replacing its more traditional counterpart. Creating an artistic photo from an ordinary moment involves split-second timing, experience and skill at this style of photography, together with a highly-tuned sense of intuition on the part of the photographer. It’s simply a more risky enterprise to hope that the moments will happen and the photographer will observe and record them. Taking traditional portraits insures that you will end up with a visual record of sets of people (the wedding party, your families, etc.), grouped together the way you want. It’s also more comfortable for those who want to have a moment to compose themselves before having their photo taken.
Couples who study the two styles often wish to have some elements of both portrait and photojournalistic photography incorporated into their own wedding photographs. Considering that most couples will not opt to hire two photographers to record their wedding day, a well-rounded photographer who may lean more toward one style than the other is a good choice. Talented photojournalistic photographers know the value of traditional wedding portraiture and can excel at making beautiful portraits, as well as capturing candid moments. Accomplished portrait photographers produce classic portraiture, but can also set up scenarios which help create more spontaneous shots, ensuring a variety of photographs which include the lighthearted moments of the day.
Talk with the photographers you interview to get their ideas about the trends in wedding photography. The key to successfully finding the right photographer is, of course, looking at a lot of photographers portfolios, and seeing a good sampling of an individual photographer’s work before you engage him or her as your wedding photographer.
Best of luck in your search.Tags: Photography, photojournalistic photography, traditional photography
Posted in Advice, Details, Images, Photography | No Comments »
Every now and then we receive a blog submission that seems to go against the expected. Such is the case with this week’s blog from Knotting Hill Photography. One would expect this wedding professional to speak strictly on the perils within his own industry (photography), however, we found out that these professionals have other skills. And since most wedding professionals gain new skill sets mainly based on the sheer volume of events they work, they have gathered some interesting insights from their observations over the years.Submitted by Knotting Hill Photography
Common Location Questions
- Some venues expect you to use their own caterers and florists. Especially caterers, you might have to pay a bit more to use your own vendors in addition to what you are paying.
- Provide transportation in 15-minute intervals at the following three times:
- Before the ceremony transportation should start arriving one hour before the ceremony; up until the ceremony.
- After ceremony vehicles should be waiting, then be available until a half hour afterwards.
- After reception vehicles should be available immediately and until 30 minutes post-reception.
- Ask for the venue’s to give you a list of rules. Make sure get all the Do’s and Don’ts.
- Here are some things to cover.
- Types of alcohol? Museums for example no red wine.
- Types of lighting are allowed? Candles with open flames are not always welcome.
- How early can your team get into the venue to set up? Some sites won’t permit a setup until the public hours of operation are over. If a gallery closed at 5 and your reception begins at 7 might pose a severe time crunch.
- The director serves as the person behind the curtain at the reception. This person is responsible for things like timing, food presentation; escorting guest.
- Be sure to get a list of the Facility Director’s responsibilities and confirm with them attendance at the wedding before you sign the contract. You shouldn’t have to pay extra for this service if the facility pays the director, but a tip is encouraged.
- NO, you are expected to pay only for the wedding dinner and the morning brunch, there are way too many extra events you could shell out for, but no guest will expect to pay. If you can, maybe the wedding party’s room, or a room that sleeps a group, like a villa might save them some money.
- No matter where your wedding is, find out if you need to hire somebody to set-up and break down the wedding set. Cleaning up after the event some reception halls will cover this and some will add additional fees. If your wedding is in your backyard, offer the vendors extra money to help. You certainly don’t want to be picking up litter on your wedding night.
Posted in Advice, Details, General info., Planning, Venue | No Comments »
We love a good wedding story around here, and when we heard of another group of individuals that love one as much as we do, we wanted to hear more. It looks like two forces are heading up an endeavor to see one fantastic couple through all the stages of their dream wedding.
Kendall Plantation and Haute Weddings have been on the lookout for other wedding professionals to see if they would like to join in on their quest to make this good idea into reality. An outpouring of businesses have answered the call and the excitement is building fast. Almost 20 hosts and sponsors have already committed time and services to this worthwhile undertaking, and we’re so proud that a large majority involved are our dedicated Wedding Guide clients. To see a list of all these very generous vendors involved, take a look at this link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.303483553005324.71237.303365833017096&type=1 or type in MISSION Wedding to locate their dedicated Facebook page on the event.
Here are the current details we have on this amazing opportunity.
To honor and thank our military service men and woman, Kendall Plantation and Haute Weddings have joined forces to host a wedding for a military service man or woman. Valued at $40,000 MISSION Wedding will include all the wedding details for 150 guests donated by some of the most respected wedding vendors in San Antonio. Our goal is to reach active duty military and honor him or her with the wedding of their dreams. We are looking for military candidates who can submit their love story in 500 words or less and information as to why they should be chosen for a hosted dream wedding! One or both of the candidates must be in the military. Stories must be submitted no later than February 20, 2012. The chosen couple will be determined and announced by March 1, 2012. Entry submissions will be available on our MISSION Wedding website. Website link coming soon!
So submit your or some deserving persons entry to Kendall Plantation or Haute Weddings’ website. We know with such a large military community that San Antonio and Austin has, we can flood submissions and find the most deserving couple to win this contest. Use this as your chance to share someone’s amazing story with us and have everyone else know how this couple’s love story is a story for the ages.
Tags: contest, dream wedding, honor, military, venue
Posted in Bridal Events, Ceremony, Contest/Giveaway, Uncategorized, Venue | No Comments »
While sitting at lunch today, a group of us starting discussing possible weekend plans. And since it is December 1st, the conversation brought about all the various options related to seeing Christmas decor and lights. Most of the smaller neighboring communities came up with their holiday festivals starting and some of us discussed the local schools having their caroling shows. But if you don’t have a child in school or you simply cannot make it out for the drive out of town to see the festivities, what can you do?
Well, some of the best things to do around the city during the holidays has to be going around to see all the beautiful homes and their Christmas decorations, sometimes quite literally, in your own backyard. Pick any well-known neighborhood in your city and you are bound to think of Christmas’ past sitting in your car “oooo-ing” and “awe-ing” at the magical displays that takes us back to our childhood.
With that in mind, it just might be the perfect time of year to see some of the most amazing venues in the city with all their finery in place. Venues can tend to look somewhat generic during an initial tour, however, during the holidays everything is decorated to the “T” and provides a better visual as to how a space can be transformed with beautiful items.
A local venue participating in a holiday event this year is our very own Lambermont. They will be a part of the 15th annual Christmas on the Hill Tour of Homes on December 11 from 1-5pm. Sponsored by Government Hill Alliance, it promises to provide an afternoon filled with fun and gorgeous Christmas inspiration. There will also be free carriage rides, food and arts and craft booths presented by Government Hill Partnership. For more information on the event or how to purchase tickets, contact Donna Liston at 210-271-9145 or visit their website at www.lambermontevents.com.
So whether you venture out here or any other number of beautiful spots around your city, let us know where you are going or if you see some venues that are absolutely transformed beyond your expectations. We would love to have tons of holiday photos of your favorite spots along with the memories they evoke.
Tags: Christmas, events, inspiration, venue
Posted in Bridal Events, Celebration, Venue | No Comments »