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Top Honeymoon Destinations in the Continental USA

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 23, 2011

Guest Post By: Brandon, co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

It’s no surprise to find that many newlyweds opt to experience the soft sands of a Caribbean beach or indulge in the old world charm of Europe for their honeymoon. However, there are plenty of options for those couples looking to stay stateside but still covet the experience of a lifetime. No matter if relaxation or adventure is in the cards, check out these three top destinations in the Continental United States and discover how your ultimate honeymoon can actually be found in your own backyard.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Situated in the Northwest corner of Wyoming, the Jackson Hole region is considered the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. With unparalleled mountain vistas around every corner, a wide range of accommodations, and an endless list of activities, it’s the perfect destination for newlyweds seeking that perfect balance of relaxation, exploration and adventure.

teton by wallpaper sdotorg, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs

Grand Teton National Park (Photo Credit: http://americanthings.wordpress.com)

After days of experiencing wonders such as Old Faithful Geyser and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, couples can go whitewater rafting on the Snake River, biking, kayaking, hiking, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, or sign up for wildlife and ranch tours. Meanwhile, the town of Jackson offers hundreds of restaurant, shopping and nightlife options for every type of budget.

Consider visiting around the Fourth of July and booking with one of Jackson’s many luxury properties like Amangani or Hotel Terra. Head into town for dinner and an evening at the Jackson Hole Rodeo before watching fireworks light up the sky over Snow King Mountain.

Pacific Northwest – Washington to California

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Big Sur, California

Visit three beautiful, diverse cities and spend time enjoying the great outdoors in between as you spend your honeymoon experiencing the Pacific Northwest. This often overlooked but spectacular region is home to picturesque beaches backed by towering mountains, sunbaked vineyards, historic lighthouses, and charming towns.

Consider a drive from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco. You’ll be able to take in the unique big city sites before exploring majestic places like Olympic National Park in Washington, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, and Redwood National Park in California.

Book a suite at The Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, a romantic property overlooking the rugged shoreline and world renowned Haystack Rock. The inn also features Jacuzzi Air Baths, flat-screen televisions, wet bars, and an excellent restaurant on site.

U.S. Southeast – Charleston and Savannah

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Charleston, SC

Savannah exudes southern charm with its tree-lined streets, historic homes, and wide array of shopping, dining, and arts destinations. Hold hands while walking through beautiful Forsyth Park and the Savannah Historic District before heading over to the waterfront area to browse through the fine collection of boutiques and galleries. This lovely destination also features several historic forts, a restored central market, plus 22 distinct public squares complete with fountains and monuments.

Meanwhile, Charleston ranks as one of America’s top destinations for romance thanks to its vibrant streets, historic sites, and overall diversity. As South Carolina’s oldest city, Charleston contains miles of cobblestone streets, stunning harborfront views, well-manicured gardens, and beautifully restored homes that go back more than 340 years. The city – one of the country’s finest spots for a horse-drawn carriage tour – is also home to many must-see museums, unforgettable historical sites, and a flourishing restaurant scene.

Consider making your home base at the gorgeous Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island, a top-ranked beachfront property noted for its tremendous golf courses, superb kayaking options, excellent dining, and award-winning spa.

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Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.

20110504 062823, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs

Stationery Show Recap: Must-Have Wedding Details

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 03, 2011

Guest Post By: Anne Chertoff

The National Stationery Show isn’t just about wedding and party invitations.  Designers also showcase all sorts of party supplies from paper goods and wedding favors to woodland and nature-inspired wedding details.  Here’s an assortment of some of the creative party supplies you’re sure to want for your engagement party, bridal shower and wedding:

Festive Straws

BHLDN paper straws, wedding invitations ideas and trends guest bloggers Whether or not you’re planning on serving a signature cocktail you can create a festive drink by simply adding these retro-inspired colored straws to any glass.  Designed by Mara Mi, exclusively for BHLDN, the new wedding company from Anthropologie, these striped straws can even coordinate with your wedding palette or drink colors.  Available in plum, black, blue, grey, green, pink and yellow.  Set of 25, $6.

Beer Bottle Labels

Formal Grapevine I Do Brew Labels, wedding invitations ideas and trends guest bloggers

If your caterer will be serving beer bottles at your wedding ask them to stick a custom label on each one.  These “I Do” Brew stickers can be customized to feature your monogram, wedding date and any other information you want to share.  Custom beer labels by Grapevine, price upon request.

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Stationery Show Recap: Formal Wedding Invitations

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 31, 2011

Guest Post By:  Anne Chertoff

After the grandeur of the royal wedding last month many brides are finding inspiration in the formal details of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day.  The Queen who hosted the wedding mailed formal invitations — thick white cardstock with gilded edges and gold engraved lettering — to the 1,900 wedding ceremony guests.

For couples who are planning a formal wedding only a formal wedding invitation will do, but formal doesn’t limit you to white or ivory mixed with black or gold lettering.  A formal wedding invitation can have colors, a monogram or icon, as well as a serif or sans serif font.  Here are 7 creative wedding invitations in a formal style:

His & Her Monogram

Formal Crane Monogram, wedding invitations ideas and trends guest bloggers

This classic wedding invitation is a pearl white card hand engraved with silver ink, but you can choose from a rainbow of colors and a variety of fonts for the wording.  The top of the invitation features a monogram with the bride and groom’s first initials.  A coordinating grosgrain ribbon, you choose the color, is placed over the couples names in the center of the invitation.  The invitation suite includes both an outer and inner envelope, invitation, response card and envelope and reception card.  Embassy Pearl White & Beach Glass Invitation Set with Ribbon by Crane & Co., 100 sets for $620

Lace-Like Pattern

Formal Gwnyth Paige Gretchen Invite, wedding invitations ideas and trends guest bloggers

Many brides use their wedding dress as inspiration for their wedding cake so why not use your wedding dress to inspire your wedding invitation?  This elegant design features a lace-like border in a subtle shade of gray.  The wedding invitation wording is a mix of block and cursive fonts.  The invitation suite includes the invitation, outer envelope, response card and response envelope.  Gretchen by Gwyneth Paige, pricing for 100 sets starts at $1,540

Create a Crest With Your First Names

Formal Vera Wang Mandarin, wedding invitations ideas and trends guest bloggers

Instead of designing a monogram this crest motif features both the bride and groom’s first names encircled by a decorative flourish.  The mandarin colored card is engraved with oyster-colored ink.  Mandarin Invitation by Vera Wang Fine Papers Folio Collection, 100 invitations and outer envelopes, $696

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Top Honeymoon Locations in Hawaii

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 04, 2011

Guest Post Provided By: Brandon, Co-Founder of Travelers Joy

Hawaii has been attracting honeymooners for decades thanks to its beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, unique culture and first-rate resorts. Meanwhile, with a number of diverse islands to choose from, plus an endless list of romantic activities available at a moment’s notice, the state manages to feature everything a newly married couple could hope for in a destination. For those couples searching for paradise on earth, look no further. Here’s a list of Hawaii’s top destinations that will make for an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

Big Island

Complete with oozing volcanoes, snow-capped mountains, rolling green hills, pristine beaches and endless acres of coffee and fruit plantations, the Big Island of Hawaii is ideal for those newlyweds in search of adventure, new discoveries and other natural wonders.

MaunaKeaBeachHotel Pool ocean view, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs {Photo Credit}

Take a day to drive to the summit of Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain as measured from the base of the Pacific Ocean. During the journey, you’ll have a unique opportunity to travel through a number of different terrains within a few hours, including lava fields, desert, rainforest and lush green pastures. Another can’t-miss highlight is Volcanoes National Park. Whether experiencing the fascinating sights via helicopter or hiking, the chance to get up close with an active volcano is truly amazing.

Make your home at the gorgeous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the island’s western coast. The resort features premium beachfront access, upscale accommodations, a variety of fine dining options, plus access to a world-class spa.

Maui

It’s no secret why Maui continues to be one of America’s top honeymoon destinations. The island packs in beautiful coastline, world-class resorts, remarkable mountain terrain, charming towns and some of the world’s most scenic drives.

Hotel Hana Maui, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs {Photo Credit}

During your visit, take a day to explore Mount Haleakala. Head up to the summit of the 10,000-foot mountain for an unforgettable sunrise spectacle before biking down the dormant volcano’s switchbacks via bicycle. For those less adventurous couples, rent a car and take the scenic “Road to Hana.” Filled with waterfalls, gorges, rocky beaches, swimming holes and colorful roadside stands, this long and winding drive is truly spectacular.

Consider staying at Hotel Hana-Maui on Maui’s remote eastern coast. The ranch-style property features several dining options, a fantastic spa, plus many outdoor activities, including snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding and lei making.

Oahu

As Hawaii’s most visited and populated island, Oahu has no shortage of sights and activities. From the big city attractions of Honolulu to the picturesque beaches of the North Shore, it’s easy to see how Oahu attracts so many newlyweds from around the world each year.

Look to spend a day hiking iconic Diamond Head Crater. The moderate trek only takes a few hours and offers breathtaking views of Oahu’s entire western coast, including the Honolulu skyline. Next, after checking out the must-see historic sites at Pearl Harbor, make sure you take the time to visit Byodo-In Temple, a stunning Japanese temple built as a shrine to Hawaii’s original Japanese immigrants.

Kahala Hotel and Resort, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs {Photo Credit}

For a most memorable experience, stay at the Kahala Hotel and Resort just outside of Waikiki. The resort is much quieter than its Honolulu counterparts, features beautiful modern rooms, four excellent restaurants, plus the only swimming-with-dolphins experience on the island.


travelers joy logo, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs

Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.

20110504 062823, honeymoons guest bloggers contributing blogs

1.  Language of Flowers:  The Bridal Bouquet

Royal wedding florist Shane Connolly shared a few days before the wedding that Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, wanted her wedding flowers to be natural, seasonal, British and to have meaning.

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Following the language of flowers from the Victorian era, the blooms in her bridal bouquet were each chosen because of their meaning:

Lily-of-the-valley: Return of happiness

Sweet William: Gallantry

Hyacinth:  Constancy of love

Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection

Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.

To find flowers with special meanings visit victorianbazaar.com and talk to your florist about creating bouquets, boutonnieres and floral arrangements that incorporate blooms that “speak” to you and your groom.


2.  The Couple Share a Special Moment at the Altar

When Kate finally reached the altar Prince William leaned over to tell his bride, “You’re beautiful.”  Throughout the ceremony the couple shared loving glances, smiles and a few sweet words.

rw cermeony chat db, ideas and trends guest bloggers celebrity weddings

Don’t forget to steal a few moments throughout your wedding day with your groom after the ceremony and during the reception to share a quick kiss and chat about the wonderful day you’re having.

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