Ask A Wedding Expert: Planning The Perfect Honeymoon

This week, we are focusing on a part of the wedding planning process we haven’t yet examined in “Ask a Wedding Expert”—the honeymoon. For this installment, we spoke with Renée Strauss, internationally acclaimed wedding expert and founder of the recently launched WEDAWAYS, a unique digital platform that helps couples plan their destination wedding or honeymoon with extreme personalization.

WEDAWAYS uses a unique algorithm to match members with luxury properties and wedding planners based on their needs, allowing couples the ability to consult a stateside expert while planning an overseas event. Strauss herself has visited and vetted every luxury property and planner available on WEDAWAYS, so that members can have the most elevated and seamless experience possible. Strauss has years of experience planning international, luxury weddings and honeymoon vacations, including one that included plane, boat and helicopter travel.

Here, Strauss reveals the best tips she’s learned for planning the most romantic trip of your life.

When in the wedding planning process should you start planning your honeymoon?

Honeymoon planning should start as soon as the engagement is confirmed and the wedding date is set. It may sound premature to some, but whether you plan to depart for your honeymoon directly following the reception or a bit after you’ve settled into married life, the details involve you both on a very personal scale, so it’s never too soon to start the planning! 

What do couples often overlook in the honeymoon planning process?

Wedding planning can sometimes be all-consuming, so when the honeymoon planning isn’t given full attention, couples may find that their desired destination is already fully booked and they need a plan B. No one wants to settle for plan B when it comes to the most romantic trip ever, so I suggest deciding on a location and start inquiring about dates ASAP. 

How should you go about picking a honeymoon location?

First talk to your beloved and learn what he or she envisions as their dream honeymoon experience (e.g. lounging in the sun poolside with a cocktail or swimming in a secluded cove, museum-hopping or driving the winding roads of a gorgeous countryside). Listen to one another and then explore options. This is the best way to pick the ultimate location(s) to spend that precious time.

Do you recommend choosing a location that is relaxing or a trip filled with activities?

A relaxing location or a trip filled with activities is personal preference and may require some compromise. But that is the main ingredient to marriage, right? I think it greatly depends on the daily lives of the individuals, combined with where the wedding/reception is being held. If it’s a destination wedding and the couple is already in a beautiful place, then it could also be the perfect launch (or even final destination) for the honeymoon. For example, a wedding on the Isle of Capri (Italy) calls for poolside lounging and sea-dipping. A wedding in Aspen during the winter months leads right into a ski trip. A wedding on an adventurous train trip through South America can continue with a honeymoon exploring Machu Picchu.

What are some luxurious services you would recommend planning into the vacation?

I suggest working with a professional, full service travel planning company like WEDAWAYS. We can arrange everything from complete itinerary suggestions/bookings, private transport from point A to B, make top dining suggestions/bookings and/or plan intimate dining experiences for you, and so much more. Services like ours offer professionals who are well traveled, have the best relationships with top services and establishments and can share the insider tips with you. 

What’s your #1 tip for honeymoon planning?

First, it’s important to actually make time for your honeymoon. Once you are married, life gets busier and busier and it is so much more difficult to find time to go and truly enjoy it. If a honeymoon is on the agenda, then my #1 tip is to make it a mutual experience that both of you will love. Each of you should make a list of what you envision as the perfect experience and then cross-reference. This way you’ll both be satisfied.

What was the most memorable honeymoon you’ve helped plan?

Fortunately, I have had wonderful couples count on me for honeymoon advice and assistance.  The first honeymoon I helped plan was to overwater bungalows in Tahiti. Getting there involved private flights as well as boat and helicopter travel. It went smoothly but definitely required a lot of logistical involvement.

Another amazing honeymoon I helped plan was just a few years ago. The couple married in France, but had never visited Italy together. We planned a three-week itinerary including a private car that took them through the city and countryside, eating and drinking the finest Italian fare. A private photographer and videographer were hired to document their travels. When they returned home to the U.S., the couple hosted an Italian-themed dinner and party for their friends and debuted the movie/slideshow of their honeymoon.

 

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Alex Morgan Trying To Fish, The Clausens Looking Perfect & Chris Christie’s Perfect Weekend


Chris Christie’s approval rating is gonna go up after this weekend…just kidding

You know who doesn’t take off the holiday weekend? The photojournalists at NJ.com. The guy who caught Chris Christie’s fat ass lounging on a New Jersey beach after the beaches were closed to the public because of government stupidity tells how he got the shot of Chris enjoying the beach. NJ.com put a plane up in the sky and got the shot that should win a Pulitzer.

But when Sunday’s weather looked good, and the governor’s schedule was open except for an afternoon press briefing in Trenton, I wondered, “What are the chances …?”

I called the pilot.

“Let’s take a shot,” I said. “Worst-case scenario is we get some great aerial shots of the crowded and empty beaches and we try again on Tuesday.”

 

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Stuff You Guys Sent In & Stuff I Like:


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

Bruno Mars Falling Asleep at the BET Awards Is a Perfect Metaphor For Monday

Image Source: Getty / Paras Griffin

Bruno Mars was caught nodding off during the BET Awards on Sunday night, and true to form, the internet has made the moment a meme. While Mary J. Blige was on stage singing, the camera panned to Bruno in the audience, where he appeared to be «resting his eyes» while standing at his seat. In Bruno’s defense, it’s no wonder that the «24K Magic» singer got a little sleepy; he opened the big show with a high-energy performance of «Perm» — plus, the show was three-and-a-half hours long, which would make it difficult for most people to stay awake through.

Once Bruno was caught on camera, the internet lit up with reactions. See the best ones below.

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Do We Need a Pitch Perfect 3? No, But I Will Sure As Hell See It Anyway

I will go to the mat for the first Pitch Perfect. Anna Kendrick is fetching and quirky; “Cups” is ideal for shower singing; and I’m pretty undiscerning in my fondness for a cappella covers. The sequel was enjoyable not so much because it was especially good, but because I am a sucker for fan service. And that is why I…

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Jezebel

The Perfect Father’s Day Gift For Your Trump-Stumping Dad

Father’s Day is too often a half-hearted gift-giving affair littered with cornball cards and #1 Dad mugs. But if your bleeding heart wants to do something special for your conservative dad, you want to go above and beyond, right? But that can be tricky. I mean, he already has a «Make America Great Again» ballcap and probably several of Trump’s Made-In-China neckties. So what’s a special gift to give your dad to show him how you care? We have racked our brains to present the perfect gift guide for your Trumping-Stumping Dad on Father’s Day, because this is a holiday where he should really know how you feel.

Climate Change shmimate change, amirite? Your dad doesn’t need to appreciate the world-threatening dangers of America’s carbon footprint to appreciate this solar-powered laptop bag/charging station. For all those times he barked about you running up his electricity bill, show him you’ve learned your lesson about the importance of conserving energy with Climate Store’s unique gift.

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Does he consider himself a master of spotting «fake news?» Get him a subscription to the New York Times, The Washington Post, or even Teen Vogue. That’s sure to amuse.

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Is your father constantly talking about politics on Facebook? Well, he’ll love to know the inside scoop on congress, from Al Franken, Giant of the Senate!
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Or maybe yours is the kind of dad that thinks family shouldn’t talk politics. Get him this charming pachyderm, because clearly he loves an elephant in the room.

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Does your dad love history? He’ll surely relish this riveting docudrama.
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Or this one! Everybody loves George Clooney.

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Your dad is big on personal responsibility? He’ll love that you supported responsible life choices by donating the money you would have wasted on another tie or tacklebox doodad on a donation to Planned Parenthood! A donation could even net him a cool sticker for his car!

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Or perhaps your dad is very concerned about those refugees that Fox News is always talking about. Then he’ll be ecstatic that you donated to a refugee-aid charity in his name. We recommend International Rescue Committee, where donations contribute to toilets to keep camps sanitary, education for uprooted children, and safe passage funds.

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Finally, if your father can’t get enough of Trump’s off-the-cuff, never look back, never apologize attitude, give him the gift that celebrates all of that. A covfefe shirt from our very own Pajiba shop!

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And maybe treat yourself to something nice, for being such a great kid. Shirts are 15% off through June 21st!

Happy Father’s Day, Pajibans!

Pajiba

Meryl Streep Dressed as Diane Keaton to Honor Diane Keaton, and It Was Perfect

Diane Keaton was (finally) honored with a Life Achievement Award by the American Film Institute in LA on Thursday night. The big event brought out lots of her famous friends and costars, including Father of the Bride‘s Steve Martin and Martin Short, Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, and Meryl Streep, who took the stage to give a toast to her fellow legend. Meryl went the extra mile to celebrate her longtime friend by wearing a look inspired by one of Diane’s most iconic characters, Annie Hall; from the blazer and tie to the oversize hat, Meryl really nailed her homage to the 1977 film, as well as Diane’s own unique personal style. The 71-year-old star looked overjoyed to see Meryl’s ensemble, and the two stuck together throughout the gala. Keep reading to see Meryl’s tribute to Diane Keaton, then look back on the speech Diane made at Meryl’s AFI ceremony in 2009.

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And There is Simply Too Much News, That’s All. Just Cut a Bit And It Will be Perfect.

Masterchef on Fox at 8:00pm ET.

2017 NBA Finals: Game 3 on ABC at 9:00pm ET. The site I use for listings styles the title in quotations, so they have «Game 3» listed and I keep reading it really sarcastically. «Oh, yeah ‘game 3’ of the NBA finals. Yeah, right.» No, it doesn’t actually make sense.

The Carmichael Show on NBC at 9:00pm ET.

Fargo on FX at 10:00pm ET. There was a real weird twist at the end of last week and I’m sure it’s either going to drive the entire rest of the season or literally not matter at all. No in-between. Noah Hawley has either planned all of this out from the start or he just enjoys fucking with those of us who feel like he might have, and honestly I’ll be sticking around for either one.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS at 10:30pm ET. Kind of sad this is airing the night before the Comey hearings, but I guess it gives her a whole week to come up with stuff to say about them. Then again, the way the news cycle has worked lately, those hearings will probably be last month’s news by Monday.

Pajiba

The Perfect Way to Honor Prince Today Is With This Impeccable Tap Dancing Routine

Wednesday marked what would have been Prince’s 59th birthday, and ever since his death in April 2016, fans of the singer have found ways to honor his legacy through music, art, and dance. First uploaded in May of last year, this tap routine by the Syncopated Ladies adds a fresh, new attitude to Prince’s 1984 hit «When Doves Cry» — the choreography is on point, yes, but the emotion from these ladies that goes into it is truly something to appreciate. Watch the video above now, then look back on Prince’s best, shadiest facial expressions.

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This Brand For Proud Papas is Perfect For Father’s Day

Singer and actor Matthew Morrison and photographer and travel expert Zach McDuffie are on a mission to break the stereotype of the frumpy dad. Their new line, Sherpapa Supply Co., aims to bring the modern family man a line of high-quality products like locally grown organic cotton shirts, “manly” diaper bags that last for every season of fatherhood, hats, bandanas, field kits and more.

As the proud father of a little girl, McDuffie understands the inconveniences that arise during fatherhood and the opening in the market for great dad products. Sure, men can carry a diaper bag or backpack when on baby-duty, “But the thing is, you have to carry all of your wife’s gear because they don’t make anything cool for dads,” says McDuffie. “Guys should have something of their own to be proud of.”

M4 Diaper Bags, the anchor products to the Sherpapa Supply Co. brand, make everyday father duty and family adventures more feasible. “It’s really the basis for our whole brand,” says McDuffie. “We just want that lovely classic look for the modern American family man. It’s something that’s meant to last as an heirloom piece as opposed to something that you just use once and then pass it on.”

The essential canvas bag comes with eight gusseted side pockets, easy to travel pouches, a leather changing pad and reusable containers, making it much easier to stay organized. The utilitarian bag functions as an overnight hospital bag for when the baby comes, a heavy duty diaper bag, and later (during the toddler years) an activity bag to fill with f coloring books and snacks.

Gilt Diaper Bag

Even moms appreciate the variety of colors and patterns available. “Women appreciate a good bag,” says Morrison, “it’s the bag that everyone wants because it’s more functional.”

McDuffie explains the meaning of Sherpapa in a press release as “a strong family leader, guide, and protector of our children’s future. It is also is a term of endearment for a beloved father or grandfather. It is a combination of the words sherpa (expert guide or mentor) and papa (universal term for father), but also a reference to cher papa, which in French means ‘dearest papa.’” The term papa, Morrison adds, has an acronym the company supports: Protect Aid Prepare and Advise.

Sherpapa Supply Co. has collaborated with Gilt.com to expand their reach to the Gilt audience. “Gilt has a really good channel for the storytelling aspect, so it’s not just launching a brand with cool bags and cool apparel,” says McDuffie. “We’re really trying to tell a story of what a sherpapa is, and that’s a modern family leader.” Officially launching on June 1st, favorite Sherpapa items along with Father’s Day gifts (hand painted baseball bats and canoe paddles) and exclusive products curated specifically for the partnership will be sold on Gilt.com.

“Being a dad is the best job in the world and there’s a lot of great dads that are really proud of being dads,” says McDuffie. “But there’s not a lifestyle brand that really supports that, until now.” 

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