April 17,2014

Happy Easter! {Inspiration Board}

Credits: tablescape (Martha Stewart), bridesmaids and flower girl (J. Crew), egg place card (A Southern Life), linens (Martha Stewart weddings), cake (Martha Stewart Weddings), egg nest menu display (pottery barn), bride (Jessica Clare Photography), tie (The Perfect Palette), candy (the Wedding Vine), Easter Lilies (Martha Stewart), tulip basket (Martha Stewart)

Throwback Thursday! We love this inspiration board with fun, Springy colors and Easter-themed ideas. Happy Easter!

April 11,2014

Escape to South Africa {Honeymoon Week}

Last up in our week of fabulous Honeymoon ideas from Teresa at Honeymoon Islands: an exotic African experience!

Cape Town and its environs are home to such intensive culinary adventures that it can be difficult to imagine how to see it all, which is why having a Honeymoon Islands bespoke safari specialist custom-craft your Southern Africa itinerary may be just the ticket. These experiences have made even the hardest-to-please foodies weep with joy.  A five-course food and wine pairing at Reuben’s; farm to table perfection at Chef Franck Dangereux’s The Foodbarn; exploring Cape Town’s Malay Quarter; and exploring the Cape Winelands. A food and wine adventure can also be easily expanded to include time at Singita Private Game Reserve, whose superb game viewing is an easy flight from Cape Town via Johannesburg.

Safari. The very word evokes a flurry of imagination. Majestic mountains, stunning savannahs, breathtaking vistas and wildlife beyond your imagination. This is safari. But what makes a Honeymoon Islands bespoke safari different? Experienced safari guides pointing out something that the untrained eye misses. The friendly staff taking care of every detail. The Pinto family of Micato inviting guests travelling to East Africa to their home to dine. Fellow travelers going from strangers to friends one incredible experience at a time. Daily surprises, nightly treats.

Honeymoon Islands South Africa partners Micato sojourns are deliberately luxurious.  Safari lodges enchant with such unadulterated luxuries as private plunge pools and personal butlers. Itineraries offer an irresistible array of experiences from the sophisticated pleasures of Cape Town to the celebrated savannahs of the Serengeti and the near spiritual beauty of the Kalahari. In addition to providing every traveler with an incomparable safari experience, Honeymoon Island and Micato is dedicated to providing impoverished children with an education.  Hence, the groundbreaking Micato “One for One” Commitment.  For every safari sold, Honeymoon Islands in partnership with Micato will pay the school fees for an African child who would otherwise stay home due to extreme poverty.  This… is safari with Honeymoon Islands Micato.  No wonder readers of Travel+Leisure magazine have voted Micato “World’s Best Safari Outfitter” a record nine times.

To find out more about this truly amazing property, contact Teresa at Honeymoon Islands:
Telephone: 703.753.8115

April 10,2014

Elite Romance in St. Barths {Honeymoon Week}

Honeymoon Week continues from Honeymoon Islands with this uber exclusive resort in the Caribbean!

Eden Rock – St Barths is an ultra-luxe hotel/resort on the French island of St Barths, often referred to as the Saint Tropez of the Caribbean.  Situated on a rock and surrounded by turquoise waters and white sand, Eden Rock – St Barths attempts to provide the absolute ultimate in service within its accommodations, bars, restaurants and boutiques.

“Eden Rock Estates” is the Eden Rock – St Barth’s brand new ultra-luxe, six-star villa product featuring two accommodations for the discerning guest seeking the ultimate villa experience.  The Garbo suite (below) is perfect for honeymoons boost a very sensual atmosphere with panoramic views of the ocean. Villa Nina and Villa Rockstar are located directly on the beach; these villas offer the best of both worlds: all the services of a world class hotel, as well as the privacy, security and spacious luxury of a world class villa.

Eden Rocks’ restaurants are a must for anyone visiting St Barths. The legendary hotel is the beyond perfect place to soak up the sun or to enjoy world class dining at ‘The Sand Bar’ and ‘On the Rocks’ restaurants, both masterminded by the world famous Master Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Luc Lanza and Renaud Liou manage these exceptional St Barths restaurants. An on property garden grows organic herbs and tomatoes. Everything that can be homemade is created fresh and delicious each and every morning. These days Eden Rock employs one hundred and forty staff to look after sixty-six guests and has become one of the world’s leading luxury boutique hotels.

Telephone: 703.753.8115

April 09,2014

Escape to Laucala Island in Fiji {Honeymoon Week}

Today, Teresa from Honeymoon Islands tempts us with another amazing honeymoon pick: a private island in Fiji!

Swaying palms, pristine turquoise lagoons, lush foliage, and the happiest people on earth. Welcome to Fiji’s private Laucala Island. Once the retreat of publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes, Laucala offers 25 luxurious residences scattered along the beach and hills, each with private butler, swimming pool, yoga platform and sea view. While there’s plenty to do in paradise (diving, golf, fishing, horseback, spa and more), the most luxurious amenity comes in the form of perfect bliss. On this dreamy South Seas isle, guests think and want for nothing.

 There’s everything to love about Laucala Island, so it’s hard to narrow down what I love most. But when pressed, I love the privacy of this Fijian hideaway. The exuberant smiles of the staff – so genuine. And the perfect balance of pampering. From the moment you’re greeted by the happy bula-bula-ing staff, there’s nothing you have to think about. Someone is always looking after you, checking on you, yet discreetly disappearing – providing the ultimate private experience.

 Fiji is a long-haul by anyone`s standards – a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles; longer from New York. So after finally landing on Fiji’s mainland and stretching out tired limbs and backs, it’s magical to board a tiny sea plane, low-fly over endless blue lagoons and gently touch down in water where the happiest people on earth greet you with handmade leis and the most beautiful welcoming song. Once checked in to Laucala, magic transforms quickly to varying styles of bliss.

To find out more about this truly amazing property, contact Teresa at Honeymoon Islands:
Telephone: 703.753.8115

April 08,2014

Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa {Honeymoon Week}

First up for Honeymoon Week is a brand new resort that is one of Honeymoon Islands’ top picks for a romantic escape!

The Mayan word for secret, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa opened February, 2013. Located on a four-mile white sand beach on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa features 37 spacious free-standing accommodations, each with an ocean view, pool and private staff. Facilities include a unique six-room Spa Mukul, beach club, swimming pool, nature trails, and the 18-hole Guacalito Golf Course. The first luxury property in the country, Mukul is an eco friendly paradise ready for its secret to be discovered.
The Emerald Coast of Nicaragua is a 30-mile stretch of Pacific shoreline dotted with pristine jungles, rising cliffs, charming fishing villages, historic colonial architecture, and untouched sandy beaches. One of the worldís best kept secrets, Mukul sits directly on the beach and enjoys over 1,600 private acres of lush vegetation.
Mukul features 37 spacious free-standing accommodations, each with an ocean view, pool and private staff. Nicaraguan artisans crafted furnishings and decorations that reflect the traditions of the country to accent the large villas. Accommodation rates include includes breakfast and lunch.
Mukulís six luxurious spa casitas each feature a unique decor, theme and sequence of treatments. In essence, Spa Mukul is comprised of six different spas in one location. Guests can reserve a spa casita for several hours, during which they can enjoy a series of treatments and then relax in its private garden, which features palapa-shaded lounging areas and a monsoon shower. All without ever crossing or meeting any other guest at all. Each of the six spa casitas focuses on a different spa experience including Rainforest and the Secret Garden.
The open-air Beach Club is the heart of Mukul, a gathering place where guests can enjoy snacks by the pool, cocktails and tastings of rare Flor de CaÒa rums in the split-level lounge, and lunch and dinner either in the palapa-shaded Beach Terrace Grill, the barefoot-dining Parrilla, or Mukul Restaurant. Much of the produce will be grown on the resortís organic farm; seafood will be selected from the daily catch of local fishermen; and steaks will be grass-fed Nicaraguan beef, known for its juiciness and intense flavor. An outfitter casita by the beach will provide surfboards, paddle boards, snorkel gear, kayaks and a full variety of water toys for our guests.
For more information about this perfect spot, contact Teresa at Honeymoon Islands:
Telephone: 703.753.8115

April 07,2014

Honeymoon Islands {Vendor Love}

Even though the travel industry has changed drastically with the advent of online travel sites, I’ve always thought a good travel agent is crucial when planning a honeymoon. I’ve seen the miracles that honeymoon planners can pull off (free upgrades, extra amenities, welcome gifts) for no more than the client would have normally paid. Plus, honeymoon planners know the best resorts to fit each couple’s personality (and the best resorts in general). They know which spots are paradise and which are just hype.

I’ve been recommending Teresa with Honeymoon Islands for close to twenty years now and she has made so many Engaging Affairs couples happy. I asked Teresa to share a little about her company and some of her top honeymoon recommendations. So here is a little about Teresa and stay tuned the rest of the week for her top honeymoon spots!

Honeymoon Islands specializes in luxury travel planning for the discriminating traveler. As masters in luxury & romantic travel, they take great pride in planning honeymoons, destination weddings, and celebration travel.
Their mission is to ensure that their clients experience the ultimate in luxury and service. They strive to create an unparalleled travel experience for their clients. For the more discerning traveler, Honeymoon Islands offers a concierge service to facilitate those extra special requests which raise the vacation experience to another level.
 Honeymoon Islands has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Great Escapes as offering the most unique romantic honeymoon ideas and locations. They have participated in the American Music Awards luxury getaways as part of their well-known celebrity gift bags and served on the Travel Advisor board for Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Magazine, Islands Magazine, Spa Magazine, Caribbean Travel + Life Magazine.
Honeymoon Islands has knowledge, passion, and experience to create a journey of a lifetime. Contact Teresa at Honeymoon Islands today so she and her team can show you the difference between a nice trip and an unforgettable experience. “If you can dream it, we will create it.”
As President, Teresa Belcher has been recognized by the travel industry as an expert in honeymoon planning. With over 30 years in the travel business and a penchant for all the best that life has to offer, Teresa streamlined her business to focus on luxury romantic travel. She is dedicated to creating the most memorable travel experiences for her clients by understanding their individual needs and matching those needs with the appropriate destination/venue. She travels the world over evaluating new locales to determine if they meet the high standards set forth by Honeymoon Islands and fostering relationships with property managers so as to better serve her clients.
“Since my inception into the travel business, I have always had an unwavering passion for travel and making my clients happy.  I derive the greatest pleasure in the feedback that I get from my clients.  Beside my love of travel, I am romantic at heart.  It is my unwavering passion for romance and travel that led me to create my business Honeymoon Islands.  I think what separates me from other honeymoon planners is my genuine love for what I do and making people happy.  More important than the professional accolades, I live and breathe romance & travel and will go the distance to ensure that the honeymoons I put together for my clients creates memories for them that transcend lifetimes!”  
 Besides her love of luxury travel to destinations all over the world, Teresa is an avid animal lover and enjoys all the great things life has to offer; great food and wine, good friends and family. She especially loves dancing to the beat of good music! Surrounding herself with all the good things in life is what it is all about. “I strive every day to help others live their dream.” She definitely lives the famous quote from Mark Twain, “Dance like there’s nobody watching; love like you’ll never get hurt. Sing like there’s nobody listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”
For more information about Honeymoon Islands please visit www.honeymoonislands.com   T/ 703.753.8115  E: teresa@honeymoonislands.com

April 04,2014

Romance at Congressional Country Club {Jenna + Mike}

You may remember seeing this lovely wedding over on the United With Love blog. Well, it’s so pretty we want to showcase it twice! We love the soft colors of this wedding and sweet and charming details!

A touching “first look” for the couple.

The stunning bridal party!

Lovely ceremony details . . .

The heartfelt ceremony outside under the natural chuppah.

And on to the reception inside the ballroom with decor by Edge!

Thanks to the wonderful vendors who made this day happen and congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Venue: Congressional Country Club
Officiant: Rabbi Joui Hessel
Photographer: k. thompson photography
Ceremony Music: Sage String Quartet
Reception Music: Prime Time
Floral Design: Edge Flowers
Bridal Attire: Maggie Sottero
Hair: Claudine Fay
Shoes: Betsey Johnson from Macy’s
Bridesmaids Shoes: Bill Levkoff
Favors: Sugar & Ice

April 03,2014

Throwback Thursday!

A lovely image from a wedding many years ago at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This couple now has a sweet little family. So fun thinking back on the hundreds of happy couples we’ve worked with over the decades!

We love working at this stunning venue! Floral decor by Multiflor and image by Juan Carlos Briceno.