How and Where to Plan Your Honeymoon

Best trip of your life? It can be! Even off of the heels of a chaotic ceremony, your honeymoon will likely be one of the most relaxing and memorable vacations you ever take. But, where do you start? Take these tips into consideration to help you get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Pick a Place

This could be the hardest part, because the options are limitless. If you and your partner are having trouble deciding where to go, each write down your top five or ten choices. Chances are, one or a few might overlap. If you do not have any places that overlap, look for some common ground in the ones that you listed. Are they beachy? foreign? urban? From there, you can find a compromise.

Get Tickets Early

Once you pick a place, book it as soon as you can. Nothing is worse than getting your heart set on something that falls through because of lack of planning. The last thing you are going to want to be worrying about when your day approaches is whether the hotel for your honeymoon still has openings. This also goes for plays, concerts, reservations, etc. If you are planning to see the sights, get on top of buying tickets sooner rather than later.

Get Recommendations

Chances are, you (or someone you know) will know someone who has been to your destination. Take some time to talk to them about their experience. What are the musts and must nots of that region? What is something they wish they had packed? Are there any restaurants that they loved? Do not be shy to ask around. If he or she had a great experience (or what’s more, a bad experience), then chances are, they are happy to share. Learn from the triumphs and mistakes of others.

Set a Budget

Yup. Our favorite “b” and “f” words… budget and finances. Just like a normal trip, money will be a good issue to handle up front. The bright side of going somewhere outside of the country, though, is that sometimes the cost for activities can be lower than in the United States. Take Thailand, for example. It can be a steep price to get there, but once you arrive, the cost of living is fairly low. So, that sailboat tour might be within your budget when you crunch the numbers after all.

 

Photo Credit: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/32/96/58/329658c00ff86e9736402a5ec8265e9a.jpg

 

Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

Planning a wedding is always a challenge. Planning a wedding out of the state or country… that’s Everest. But, like any journey, preparation is key. Learn from us about how to make a destination wedding manageable.

Go There

At the bare minimum, you should visit your destination once. Ideally, you will visit two or three times. Do not try to plan a destination wedding without visiting. We repeat. Do not plan a destination wedding without visiting. This sounds like common sense, but many couples will try to save money for the wedding by planning remotely.

If you do not have the budget to visit the site (preferably more than once), then you might need to go back to the drawing board. The first trip is to scout the venue, sign the papers, etc. The second and third are for the vendors. You will need to meet with the local florists/ caterers/ hair and makeup stylists to flesh out the details.

If you are a particularly laid back couple who can go with the flow, then you could be an exception to this rule. However, the majority of brides (and even grooms) want to have a good idea of what to expect on their big day. If this is you, make sure you visit to work through the kinks.

Think Like a Local

Think local weather, think local food, think local rules. Often, popular destination wedding locations are also popular tourist locations. This means you have to consider whether your date falls on the height of tourist season and plan accordingly. The weather/ season also helps dictate whether there will be crowds. Make sure you know when the peak months are for your destination so you can plan around the tourists and in line with the fair weather.

Local food is also something to consider. Especially if you are going out of the country with family members with dietary needs; make sure you know what the local cuisine is so your guests know what to expect. Your guests will be spending more than just your wedding day with you. So, it is up to you to make them as comfortable as possible. Prepare them by scouting out the good restaurants before they arrive.

You can scout the restaurants and check the tourist schedules until you are blue in the face, but if you do not follow this last tip, your wedding could be ruined: know the local marriage requirements. Some places, like France, will require you to arrive in the country 40 days prior to your ceremony for your wedding to be legal. There are many rules like this that are unique to the destination. Make sure you know how to make your marriage legal by the country’s standards. No one wants to come back home and say, “Well, we kind of got married. Kind of.”

Prepare, then Go with the Flow

Hats off to you. You’re really going for the gold in terms of wedding planning if you are choosing to have a destination wedding. You will have an unforgettable time when you get there, but the months leading up will be that much more stressful than if you were staying local.

The secret to staying sane is to over-prepare, then go with the flow. Unlike a local wedding, you have a deadline for when your control over last minute items will end. It will happen when you board the plane or take off in your car. In that moment, you want to be positive that you have done everything you could do to make the adventure go smoothly. From there, let it go. Know and understand that there will be a few glitches, but that it is a small price to pay for the trip of a lifetime.

haha so cute for a destination wedding save the date

 

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/violator3/797976003/in/faves-m-e-lewis/

{Real Wedding} Lodge and Spa Cordillera

“Blessing of the Hands”

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

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Vendors

Wedding Planner:  Taylor Walkowicz, Frosted Pink Weddings

Venue:  Lodge and Spa, Cordillera

Photographer: Josh Tilton

Hair and Makeup: Stacy Kelley

Band:  Diamond Orchestra

Florist:  Petals of Provence 

Cake:  Sugarbreck

 

How to Manage Wedding Stress

 

 

You are in a whirlwind. Finding love is overwhelming enough, it fills you with happiness and a satisfaction unlike any other. But, you barely have time to revel in how you are feeling since wedding planning starts so quickly. Experiencing onsets of stress is completely normal. But, like most things in life, the more you know, the better you can manage. Once you understand what the stress points of planning are, you can take action to limit its negative effects.

 

1. Do not lose sight of marriage

This is by far the most important thing to keep in mind. Our society has become wrapped up in the idea of a wedding, putting too much emphasis on the day instead of the lifetime. If you are sure that you found someone worthy of spending the rest of your life with, then everything else is secondary. Be thankful to have found true love and let the other trivial details be just that… trivial.

 

2. Do not be afraid to disappoint

Aunt Nancy probably really does believe that a DJ instead of a band is blasphemous and that your wedding will be doomed because of it. But, guess what? Aunt Nancy isn’t getting married. You are. So, as politely as possible, break it to her that this is your day. You will be surprised by how quickly your loved ones forget their own desires once they see you truly happy on your big day.

 

3. Delegate responsibilities

Here, a wedding planner is key. It may seem possible to take on every tiny task yourself, but, sometimes it is best to surrender to a professional. Weddings are what we do, and what will take you exhausting hours and energy to accomplish can be done by our team in minutes. There is much to be said for peace of mind, and that is exactly what a wedding planner offers you.

 

4. Don’t sweep dollar bills under the rug

Your budget should be a major player in every decision that is made. No, it is not always fun to think about money; but, in the long run, you will be so glad that you did. Just like in the real world, finances can be an insurmountable point of stress if not handled appropriately. You owe it to your marriage to get started on the right financial foot, so don’t let your budget ever fall away into the background.

 

5. Know when to be emotional and when to be objective

As women, knowing when to set emotions aside can be a very difficult exercise. Particularly when dealing with such a passionate event as a wedding. But, planning a wedding takes some common sense. You have to take control of your emotions. Set aside certain practical decisions (center pieces, color scheme, etc.) that can be made without much emotional effort. Make your choices, and do not look back. You will find that this practice allows you to be more open and receptive for the bigger, more sentimental decisions, like who sits at your table, who walks you down the aisle, what song plays for your first dance. Those will be the arrangements you remember forever. So, clear some space to be able to put more energy toward them.

 

Wedding planning can be tough, but if you learn to enjoy it instead of letting it overwhelm you, your experience will be so much more memorable.

 

Photo Credit: http://amymancuso.com/blog

Celebrity Wedding: Kaley Cuoco

At FPW, one of our main goals is for our brides and grooms to have a unique, authentic, truly spectacular wedding day. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in what is “expected” of the event, instead of what the couple truly wants. But, the best and most memorable weddings are the ones that incorporate the personalities of the couple. Do not get so caught up in expectations that you sacrifice your own flare.

One celebrity example of what it means to make your wedding your own is the nuptials of Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting. This couple took the concept of individuality to a whole new level with their surprise ceremony on New Year’s Eve. If you are familiar with Cuoco, she is a zany personality; this came through in her unique approach to wedding planning.
She invited guests to attend a New Year’s Eve bash and only the wedding party knew that a ceremony would take place. Arriving in a pink Vera Wang tulle ball gown, Cuoco shocked guests and fans alike. The wedding had a “fire and ice” theme incorporating dry ice at the reception. Even more unconventional than her dress choice or element of surprise was her upside down wedding cake which doubled as a chandelier.
Kaley Cuoco's upside down wedding cake designed by The Butter End Bakery in LA. She married on 31 December 2013.
It has been a few months now since Cuoco and Sweeting tied the knot, but there is still a buzz about how memorable their night was. Cuoco is not an A-list celebrity, yet her wedding was idolized by many because she thought outside of the box and let her individuality lead her through the planning process. Keep an open mind about your possibilities without get too caught up in expectations, and you are sure to create a memorable evening.
Photo Credit: http://www.reveal.co.uk/

The Perfect Fit

     dress

           Wedding dress shopping can be a bit overwhelming. Sifting through magazines is only partially productive since most of us do not have the body-type of a size 00 model, and trying every dress you might like on is downright exhausting. So, how do you narrow down your choices? Step 1: Know your body type. Step 2: Know what style suits your body type.

Many of us have preconceived notions about what our body type is, but it is always a good idea to go in and get measured. For instance, you may consider yourself “busty”, so you search for dresses that fall under that category; when really you should have been looking for “hourglass” since the proportion of your bust to your hips and waste is unique. It is always a good idea to get measured by a professional just in case you had the wrong impression of what it means to be a certain shape.

Once you know your shape, find out what styles flatter you. Here is a breakdown of the most popular styles:

MERMAID: This dress is for a bride who is comfortable with her body and wants to flaunt her curves. It hugs the chest, waist, and backside snuggly, flaring at the knee. Mermaid dresses are slightly less traditional, but can be sleek and sophisticated. They are recommended for taller brides, since the flaring at the bottom can cut the line off of a short bride and make her look smaller. If you are pear-shaped, you might want to consider another choice as this style will emphasize the bottom half of your body.

EMPIRE: An Empire cut starts at the bottom part of the bust and then has loose, often chiffon-like material that flows to the floor. Brides who have a smaller bust or want to conceal a fuller bottom will love this choice. The most versatile of the styles, an empire dress is perfect for a beach wedding because of its free flowing form. It also allows you to play with the neckline. You can add netting, lace, or a statement necklace. Another option is to emphasize the high waist line by adding a chic belt (think dainty gold metal or a thin ribbon that ties at the back).

BALL GOWN: “I want to look like a princess on my wedding day!” Sound familiar? Then chances are, you will gravitate toward a ball gown. As dramatic as they are classic, ball gowns never go out of style. They have a fitted bodice that stops at the waste and turns into a full skirt. Typically, slimmer women with average height and medium to full bust look great in this dress. If you have a small bust or are particularly small in your frame, it is a good idea to consider other possibilities since ball gowns can be overpowering and distract from the bride if it is too big.

SHEATH: Much like the mermaid dress, a sheath dress is relatively unforgiving. It has a simple shape that lies close to the body. However, the long structure of the gown can elongate the figure of brides. This is a great choice for brides who are short, since the line starts from the collar bone and drops to the floor without a break. Sheath dresses also work well on brides who are well-proportioned since this dress showcases the bottom and the top evenly.

 

Photo Credit: 100layercake.com