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Honeymoons and Destination Weddings Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning
May 262015
Brides Live Wedding 2015 Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals

Now that you've voted for every element of our bride and groom's wedding, now it's time to choose Katie and Sean's relaxing honeymoon! After they say "I do" at Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa, our lucky couple will jet off to one of four Sandal's resorts — and you get to choose which! Read about each romantic destination below, and vote for your favorite!

Brides Live Wedding 2015 Honeymoon - Sandals Regency La Toc

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals

Sandals Regency La Toc
The Piton's Water's Edge Two-Story Suites at Sandals Regency La Toc are nestled in the middle of tropical gardens and are just a short walk to the beach. These exotic retreats feature a spacious living room, master bedroom, balcony with a private Tranquility Soaking Tub, picturesque views, and butler service.

Brides Live Wedding 2015 Honeymoon - Sandals Grande Antigua

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals

Sandals Grande Antigua
Steps from the beach are the lavish Mediterranean Villa Suites of Sandals Grande Antigua. These Butler Elite sanctuaries boast an open living area, grand bedroom, bathroom with Roman tub and separate rain shower, and a private outdoor courtyard with a plunge pool and whirlpool.

Brides Live Wedding 2015 Honeymoon - Sandals Barbados

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals

Sandals Barbados
Chic and elegant, the Crystal Lagoon Swim-Up Suites at the new Sandals Barbados are unrivaled in beauty and design. These ultra-spacious suites boast a separate bedroom, expansive living room, personal butler service and a patio with zero-entry access to the resort's stunning lagoon pool.

Brides Live Wedding 2015 Honeymoon - Sandals LaSource Grenada

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals

Sandals LaSource Grenada
Set atop the Italian Village at the new Sandals LaSource Grenada, the spectacular Penthouse One Bedroom SkyPool Suite features an infinity-edge pool overlooking the sea. Inside, enjoy a full living and dining area, and bathroom with two marble vanities, claw-footed tub, and separate shower.

Voting on the Brides Live Wedding honeymoon will be open through Friday, May 29. And now that you've chosen each aspect of our couple's wedding, watch all of the details in our Brides Live Wedding web series, premiering Friday, May 29!

Who Should Be Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner at a Destination Wedding?

 Etiquette, Honeymoons and Destination Weddings, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on Who Should Be Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner at a Destination Wedding?
May 232015
Destination Wedding Etiquette

Photo: Getty Images

A destination wedding can be a wonderful excuse for guests to enjoy a much-needed vacation while celebrating their favorite newlyweds, but the logistics of a far-flung affair are always a challenge. But are the bride and groom expected to host a rehearsal dinner for their entire guest list? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the dos and don'ts of a destination wedding rehearsal dinner.

If your guests have agreed to travel a significant distance to join in the festivities, they will likely expect to be included in each stage of the wedding from rehearsal dinner to Sunday brunch — and as their host, it is your job to be as accommodating as possible. Travel isn't inexpensive, and your guests' choice to be a part of your destination wedding is a greater gift than any gravy boat or salt shaker from your registry. Remember that your guests have taken planes, trains, and automobiles to this location specifically to see you and your fiancé tie the knot. Make your attendees' trip worth their while and plan on inviting all of your guests to the rehearsal dinner.

See More: How To Start Planning A Destination Wedding

If the cost of such a large dinner is an obstacle, try to find an inexpensive venue large enough to accommodate your guests where you can host a more casual, family-style meal instead of selecting an expensive restaurant. If the season is warm enough for an outdoor dinner, you may even wish to host an al fresco spread with local cuisine and refreshments. No matter what your budgetary or logistical constraints, make sure to create a welcoming and pleasurable experience for each of your guests.

May 222015
Honeymoon Planning Tips

Photo: Getty Images

After all the stress and excitement of wedding planning, we wouldn't blame you if you wanted the honeymoon to be just plain simple. Here, five ways to take to make your life easy when you're planning your honeymoon:

1. Work with a travel agent.
If a friend or family member has a travel agent they love, consider using them for this trip. Chances are you're splurging on your honeymoon, and that you're spending more time as well as more money on the trip, so this is a good moment to let someone else handle the details.

2. Consider a cruise.
Choosing a cruise vacation for your honeymoon means one decision gets you your lodging, your food, your ground transportation, and most activities. All you have to do is get yourself to the ship, and you're good to go.

See More: 4 Ways To Foolproof Your Honeymoon

3. Look into all-inclusive resorts.
Like the idea of paying once and getting your whole trip, but prefer a beach vacation that lets you sit in the sun from morning to night? Check out the sandy all-inclusive resorts of the Caribbean and Mexico. Many of them are adults-only, and they can be a great deal for couples who like to stay active and well as those who plan to toast to their new union all day long.

4. Have your bags shipped ahead.
One of the least pleasant parts of flying is dealing with luggage. Several companies — including Luggage Forward, Baggage Quest, and Luggage Free — let you plan ahead to ship your suitcase and have it waiting for you when you arrive, eliminating the to-check-or-not-to-check question entirely.

5. Ask your hotel for help.
If you're staying a full-service resort, take advantage of their assistance and ask them to take a few things — from arranging for airport transfers to making dinner reservations and booking spa treatements — off of your to-do list.

May 202015
Biggest Honeymoon Mistakes Not To Make

Photo: Getty Images

No one knows more about travel than Wendy Perrin, founder of WendyPerrin.com and travel advocate for TripAdvisor, the trip-planning and booking site. We asked her to share some of the biggest mistakes she sees honeymooners make and how you can avoid them.

1. Leaving the day after the wedding
You don't want to start your trip exhausted from the wedding, jet-lagged, and cranky. Give yourselves some time to decompress so you can start your trip fresh.

2. Packing too much
When I'm traveling, I can always tell who the honeymooners are because they're wearing fancy new dresses, heels, and jewelry. I totally understand wanting to look fabulous, but don't bring too much; no one wants to lug around a lot of luggage on a honeymoon.

3. Splurging on your first resort
Honeymooners often want to pamper themselves right after the wedding, but psychiatrists and happiness experts say that people remember the peak and the end of their trip most. Obviously, if you have the budget, every hotel you book should be fabulous. But if you're staying at more than one resort and can afford to splurge only once, save your money for a grand finale of your trip.

4. Going for quantity instead of quality
A lot of people think that if a trip is longer, it's going to be better. But, again, you don't remember every moment of the trip; you remember the peak moments. So instead of stretching out your trip, consider cutting it by a couple of nights and using the money to punctuate it with some really memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like a balloon ride or a helicopter to the top of glacier. Check out Viator for some ideas.

5. Doing nothing
A lot of honeymooners think, "I just want to go to a fabulous resort and lie on the beach all day." But if that's all you do, you'll regret it. I recommend signing up for an adrenalin-pumping activity you've never done before, like a jet-boat ride or an ATV tour or bungee jumping. Mastering a challenge together can be a huge bonding experience.

See more: 4 Ways to Decide if an All-Inclusive Honeymoon Resort is Right For You

6. Doing too much
A lot of people try to cover too much territory. They write to me and say, "OK, we want to do Australia and New Zealand." And the thing is, it's a lot of time and expense to fly between countries. Why not simplify and enjoy yourselves?

7. Saving the adventure for last
Many honeymooners do a two-part trip, with adventure and relaxation. I think it's best to save the pampering for the end so you can return to real life as relaxed as you can be.

8. Forgetting about school vacations
Before you book your honeymoon, check school schedules so you don't end up traveling when there are a bunch of screaming kids running around. And avoid family resorts. Instead, choose a resort that caters to couples and has all the romantic bells and whistles, like outdoor showers or daily breakfast in bed.

9. Not doing your room research
Say you want to be in a suite on the west side of the hotel so you'll be able to sip champagne and watch the sunset from your balcony. It's important to have that room intel. The reviewers on TripAdvisor post room tips, and some even share photos of their views.

10. Scrimping on your trip
If there's any time to splurge, it's on your honeymoon. The next time you go back to your honeymoon destination, you might have kids with you, and then you'll really be scrimping.

5 Sexy Honeymoon Activities That’s Aren’t Sex

 Honeymoons and Destination Weddings, Relationships, Sex  Comments Off on 5 Sexy Honeymoon Activities That’s Aren’t Sex
May 192015

Photo: Getty Images

In the days following your big day, it's almost too easy to put your hands all over your new husband. But when you can't enjoy the privacy of your hotel room, you can still keep the attraction alive. "Part of intimacy is the element of anticipation — because anticipation is one of the hallmarks of foreplay and for building sexual desire," says sexologist Dr. Patti Britton. "Getting into sexy activities is part of the dance of seduction and allure to get us to want a partner to be sexual with us. Follow those impulses and you'll find a great payoff in the bedroom later on."

Here are five sexy activities that aren't sex — but that you totally need to try on your honeymoon to keep sparks flying.

Touch each other in innocent ways.
"Holding hands is a prelude to what's ahead," says Britton. "Touching hair or the neck, touching or grazing a hand over sexy body parts can amp up arousal."

Indulge in a couples' massage.
"Massages are always welcome and can be done just about anywhere," says sex expert Nikki Ransom. "Massages are a way to make your partner feel relaxed, soothed, and taken care of."

See More: An Expert Busts 3 Married-Sex Myths

Share breakfast in bed.
"This is another sexy thing couples can do because it is pampering each other and showing how much you care," says Ransom. "There is nothing sexier than a man cooking breakfast! Even if it doesn't turn out edible, it's still pretty sexy and really sweet."

Tease one another.
"Behave like children," suggests Ransom. "We forget as adults that we can and should still be silly, goofy, even downright childish — but in a good way." Achieve a childlike affection for one another by going "to the arcade and playing games, playing a round of miniature golf, watch ridiculous comedy movies with each other. To me, there is nothing sexier than a couple that can laugh and have fun together."

Go on a date.
"Dressing up and meeting in a public place can be a real turn on for couples," says Britton. So pick a spot you're dying to see on your honeymoon, but head their separately — and enjoy the process of "meeting" each other once more.

May 132015
The Honeymooner's Guide To Fiji

Photo: Getty Images

With its secluded white-sand beaches and palm trees, exotic far-away Fiji is impossibly romantic and the perfect honeymoon destination. So what makes this island chain, located in the South Pacific, worth the day-long trip to get there? Read on to find out.

1. Stay in a bure.
Tahiti is famous for underwater bungalows, but Fiji has beachfront ones called bures. You'll get a wooden hut with a thatched straw roof and enough charm to make you feel like you've wandered way off the beaten path. Turtle Island has a personal butler for each bure, Wakaya Club has some of the largest bures, and Likuliku resort has the only over-water bures in the region.

2. Shop the market in Nadi.
Don't leave all of your shopping for the hotel gift shop; spend a day hunting down souvenirs at this open-air market. Look for local hand-made crafts, such as woven baskets, carved wooden bowls and get this cannibal forks, the kind once used by tribal kings in feasts.

3. Get out on the water.
Whether you explore in a pair of kayaks, or charter a boat for an afternoon sail, you'll want to see these lush green islands from the perspective of the sea. Namale has one of the best water sports programs in the area: You'll find sea kayaking, banana boating, day boat tours with snorkeling, and even water skiing and a trampoline set in the sea.

4. Check out a fire-walking ceremony.
This is the most famous ritual of the local culture, and today it is performed by the men of the islands, the descendants of warriors, as a tribute to their tribal history. Ask your resort about opportunities: Some have a regular event on their property and the ones that don't can help you arrange one elsewhere.

See More: The 10 Best Honeymoon Resorts in Fiji & French Polynesia

5. Eat fish curry.
Anytime you're on an island, seafood is your best bet. Here, the fish curries fragrant with coconut milk and bright curry leaves are the way to go. For a luxurious (and delicious) date night, book a table at the Sheraton Fiji resort's Flying Fish Fiji, an offshoot of the Sydney hot spot. They serve their mahi-mahi curry with shrimp rolls.

6. Go underwater.
If you think Fiji is gorgeous on land, just take a peak under the water line. It's considered one of the best dive sites in the world, and you can't leave here without diving, or at least snorkeling, around the kaleidoscope of rainbow-colored soft coral. The Jean-Michel Cousteau resort, run by the son of famed diver Jacques Cousteau, offers diving packages for those with experience and PADI courses for the uninitiated.

7. Hike to a waterfall.
The largest of these tropical islands, Vitu Levu and Taveuni, have some spectacular waterfalls, surrounded by lush green vegetation. Some of these are on national park land and require a long hike to access the site; others, such as Biasevu Falls, are easy to reach.

8. Participate in a ceremony.
While watching the fire walkers is impressive, there are plenty of traditional experiences you can have in Fiji that you can actually take part in. Ask your resort about kava-drinking rituals as well as gift-giving ceremonies, called sevu sevu.

9. Bring home some pearls.
South Pacific black pearls are elegant, and a memorable souvenir from your honeymoon. Bring one, or a whole strand home, and you'll remember this moment every time you put them on. Pearls are available everywhere in Fiji: There are duty-free shops in Nadi, and there's also a pearl farm in Savusavu that offers tours and shopping.

10. Find a beach to call your own.
Get away from the crowds on the main island, and explore the empty strands until you find a beach that's the perfect home for the two of you, at least for the day. Yasawa, one of the more remote Fijian resorts, has spectacularly long stretches of white sand.

Bonus: We're giving away a seven-night getaway for two to the Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji, the South Pacific's top-rated hotel in "2015 Brides Best Honeymoons." With powder-white beaches and a thatch-roofed bungalow to call your own, this will be a bucket-list-level trip. Also included: flights on Fiji Airways, a helicopter ride from the airport courtesy of Tourism Fiji, and $1,000 in spending money.

For more details and to enter, go to brides.com/win.*

*No purchase necessary. Restrictions apply.

May 132015
Things To Know Before Taking Extended Honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

A never-ending honeymoon may sound like every newlywed's dream, but actually extending your travels weeks (or even months) is surprisingly a lot of work. Here are some expert-approved questions to ask yourself (and your fiancé) before booking those round-the-world flights.

What do your ideal vacations look like?
You dream of sun and sand, while he's envisioning days spent exploring cities. Is your honeymoon doomed? Not if you're up for compromise, according to HoneyTrek Trip Coach founders Anne and Mike Howard, who help travelers planning lengthy vacations (and went on a 675-day honeymoon themselves!). "If she's a history-buff and he's an outdoorsman, take turns going to her pick of museums and his choice of nature excursions," they suggest. "Or better yet, find the places where your interests intersect, like hiking to the ancient civilization of Machu Picchu or biking the Temples of Angkor Wat."

Is it financially feasible?
There's no way around it: a longer honeymoon equals more expenses, which can be tough if you're leaving your job behind. While surveying your finances may seem discouraging, the Howards say creative planning has helped their clients go a long way on a low budget. "If you pick your destinations wisely, learn a few travel hacks, and prioritize experiences over excessive luxury, an extended honeymoon is more affordable than you'd think."

See more: Why You Should Plan Your Honeymoon Right After You Get Engaged

What kind of lifestyle are you looking for?
For some travelers, it's all about communing with nature, while others won't settle for a room without a keycard. If you've lived together in the past, you may be more in-tune to each other's preferences, but if not, now's the time to lay those cards on the table. Anne and Mike urge couples to be flexible in this stage. "Sometimes, you may stay in a hotel that wasn't in your honeymoon dreams, but the experience of getting off the tourist track is more valuable than any set of high-thread count sheets."

What do you want out of your honeymoon?
Whether it's ticking off bucket-list items or simply spending quality time with your S.O., taking time to assess your motivations will allow you to really understand whether or not this major step is right for you. If you and your fiancé do find yourselves gravitating towards an extended trip, the Howards say this is the best possible time to make it work. "This time as newlyweds, while you are young, healthy, and kid-free, is precious. There is no better time to travel than now and no better way to celebrate your marriage."

The “2015 BRIDES Best Honeymoons” Awards Are Here! (Plus, Enter for a Chance to Win a Trip to Fiji!)

 Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, Honeymoons and Destination Weddings  Comments Off on The “2015 BRIDES Best Honeymoons” Awards Are Here! (Plus, Enter for a Chance to Win a Trip to Fiji!)
May 062015
2015 Brides Best Honeymoons Awards

Photo: Courtesy of Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji

Still searching for the perfect honeymoon spot? We teamed up with TripAdvisor to find the best escapes for two! Pick up the June/July issue of BRIDES (on stands now!) and check out "2015 BRIDES Best Honeymoons" to start dreaming about fantasy getaways around the globe — all beloved by TripAdvisor reviewers and honeymooners like you.

Not only will you be able to scope out the world's most romantic destinations (hint: number one is the place where overwater bungalows were born), you'll also get to explore the top resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, mainland United States and Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Africa, the South Pacific, and Asia and Australia.

Whether you're into sprawling megaresorts or sleek boutique hotels, outdoorsy ecolodges or sexy beach retreats, all-inclusives or à la carte properties, you'll find your dream honeymoon stay here.

Bonus: We're giving away a seven-night getaway for two to the Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji, the South Pacific's top-rated hotel in "2015 Brides Best Honeymoons." With powder-white beaches and a thatch-roofed bungalow to call your own, this will be a bucket-list-level trip. Also included: flights on Fiji Airways, a helicopter ride from the airport courtesy of Tourism Fiji, and $1,000 in spending money.

For more details and to enter, go to brides.com/win.*

*No purchase necessary. Restrictions apply.

May 042015
Reasons to Postpone Honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007. Here, she's revealing the top reasons why couples may want to wait to head out on their honeymoon.

I got an interesting "Ask Sandy" request on my website from a Mother of the Groom who wanted to know the destination wedding etiquette for how long brides and grooms must stay at a wedding destination to entertain their guests after their actual wedding ceremony and reception.

The answer is that the newly married couple have no obligation to stay at the destination after the main event is over. Just like couples who get married at home, it's completely okay to make a run for it and start your honeymoon as soon as the reception is over.

However, more often, I'm seeing brides and grooms taking a "mini moon" for a couple of days in the islands and planning a much longer, more elaborate and expensive honeymoon for their first anniversary.

Here are 10 reasons why you might consider not taking a honeymoon immediately after you get married:

1. Delaying the honeymoon helps you save up for the trip of your dreams.

2. If your home is already well equipped, honeymoon wedding registries have become a very common way to direct wedding gifts to pay for a big trip.

See More: What We're Pinning: Amazing Honeymoon Ideas!

3. There's a bit of an emotional crash after a big wedding weekend — taking a break before you go on your honeymoon gives you a chance to be fresh, well-rested and ready for the big adventure.

4. Knowing you have a year to plan your honeymoon reduces wedding stress once the decision is made. You don't even have to start planning for it (except for saving up) for six months after the wedding

5. You don't have to worry about a wedding wardrobe and packing for the honeymoon at the same time.

6. Delaying the honeymoon means you don't have to rush off after the wedding if there are out-of-town guests visiting whom you rarely see. You can plan to spend some time with them before they head back home.

7. It's easier to split up the vacation time for work, allowing you to take off a few much-needed extra days pre-wedding to finish up the little details. You'll be able to accrue more vacation time before the honeymoon and maybe even have a longer vacation.

8. "Honeymoon packages" at big resorts and on cruises aren't limited to couples who just got married the week before. Make yours special whenever you go by letting the venue know it's your honeymoon — nobody cares if it was slightly postponed. You still deserve to be treated like newlyweds with all the bells and whistles.

9. It gives you the opportunity to help with the aftermath of your wedding. Disappearing the next morning leaves a lot of work in your mom's (or some other designee's) hands.

10. Couples who wait to honeymoon six or more months after their wedding weekend report they were more relaxed and had a better time than they could have if they'd had to go directly from the wedding chaos to honeymooner bliss.

May 012015
Ways To Foolproof Your Honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

You've spent countless hours finding solutions to the worst wedding what-if's so why leave your honeymoon to chance? While there's unfortunately no secret to keep mishaps from making a mess of your vacation, there are some ways to ensure that you and your hubby are prepared for whatever comes your way.

Check out a travel clinic
Sun, sand, and speeding to the local medical center. It's pretty obvious which one of those you want to avoid! Make sure your medical affairs are in order before going abroad by stopping at a medical center or clinic designed for travelers. No matter how popular or remote your honeymoon locale is, the staff will be able to provide you with the latest information on any medical or safety issues in the area. Bonus: Most travel clinics will send you off with a special booklet tailored to your specific destination, including consulate information and other important facts.

Create a "Just In Case" kit
Chargers? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Earplugs for those noisy neighbors in the room next door? You wish! Put together a small "just in case" kit to keep in your carryon. Essentials will vary by person (such as extra contact solution or meds), but earplugs, sunscreen, eye drops, and Band-Aids are always a good bet to have on hand.

See more: 5 Ways to Save on Your Honeymoon Plane Tickets

Figure out your finances
You've set aside a healthy budget for the trip, but that shouldn't be where your financial planning ends. Before you leave, be sure to give your bank a call and explain your itinerary so your cards do not get flagged for unusual activity. It's also important to know what fees you may be charged for using foreign ATM's. Some banks will reimburse you, while others may hit you with currency conversion fees as well as ATM fees.

Carry copies
It's certainly a worst-case scenario, but unfortunately, thefts and losses do happen while traveling. So, when it comes to super important documents like your passport, it's better to be safe than sorry. Bring at least two copies of your passport, along with a few passport-approved headshots, which can be used for visas or for a replacement passport.

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