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Sun & Snow In A USA Honeymoon

by | Honeymoons, Location USA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Teagan
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Teagan and Jay

We spent our honeymoon (which took place about two months after the wedding) travelling across the USA for three weeks, experiencing snow for the first time ever, the infamous ‘polar vortex’, deep dish pizzas, very interesting people, and finishing up with some Hawaiian sun before coming back home. A whirlwind of planes and packing for every type of weather, but just brilliant! An amazing way to start our lives as husband and wife, with lots of memories and stories to bring back with us after all the excitement of the wedding is over.

Our USA honeymoon itinerary was: Los Angeles, Las Vegas (including the Hoover Dam), Denver (for New Year’s Eve), Chicago, then we were meant to go to Toronto to see the Niagara Falls but we were snowed in, so more time in Chicago, then New York, and finally a week in Hawaii to warm up with a day trip to the Big Island in the middle of the week.

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Highlights: Cirque du Soleil in Vegas, hugging Eeyore at Disneyland, the amazing vibe of New Year’s in Denver which turned into one big fantastic street party where the new hubby and I felt like one of the locals, the fresh postcard-style snow on the Rocky Mountains (where I made my first snow angel!), the deep dish in Chicago where we absolutely stuffed ourselves with cheesy food, the view from the top of the Empire State Building along with the regular New York sights like Central Park (squirrels everywhere!), Ground Zero and Times Square… and finally the coconut pancakes and pulled kalua pork in Hawaii, as well as a day trip to the Big Island volcano to see the lava glowing at night and a visit to the powerful and moving Pearl Harbour memorial. Too many things to go into detail, but it truly was the holiday of a lifetime.

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Things I learned along the way: I learned what ‘cold’ really means. It means close to 50 below zero, where you wear all of your clothes at once and still feel cold. And even through all those layers your skin gets chapped and itchy. Annoying, but we weren’t going to waste our days inside! We still got out and about to explore, powered by several Starbucks hot chocolates. I learned that if you’re going to a museum or gallery in the US, you should probably set aside at least a full day because they are HUGE (wear comfy shoes – you’re in for a long walk). I learned that being a passenger in the car when your Australian husband is driving on the American side of the road is terrifying, and that from this experience I know that I definitely married the right man

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I learned to not take selfies at the circus when there are people threatening to throw you into the fire for taking photos (very interesting ushers in Vegas!), and that the Hoover Dam is an incredible feat of engineering. I learned that ice hockey is surprisingly awesome, but not as awesome as being upgraded to premium economy on the longest flight of your whole trip (I don’t know how it happened, I’m just glad it did!).

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Finally, I learned that I want to always keep travelling and experiencing as much as I can.

Images from Teagan and Jay’s collection

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Ms Gingham says: It’s been such a joy following your journey Teagan. We wish you the very best of luck for your future life with Jay!

Teagan says: “I am 26 years old and teach English to high school students. I live in Melbourne and I divide my spare time between marking essays, planning classes, researching wedding ideas and gazing at my sparkly engagement ring, which I am still not used to seeing on my finger! Now that I am finally engaged I feel like a lot of things are falling into place in my life – it’s a very good place to be. “

Australian Honeymoon Ideas

by | Destinations, Honeymoons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jaime Macmillan
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Planning a wedding is hard work. I know, I’m planning two right now. Every so often, my mind thinks about after the wedding celebrations have ended and lands squarely on thoughts of our honeymoon. Will it be somewhere far-flung? Will it be tropical? Will it be a city-break or somewhere remote? Which then got me thinking (I think a lot you see), does it really have to be far away? Why not honeymoon in our backyard? And by that I mean Australia, not an actual backyard. We’re very fortunate to live in a country that’s big and diverse enough to offer all sorts of honeymoon options suitable for all tastes and desires. Having virtually travelled all over Australia, here are some of my Australian honeymoon ideas!

The Kangaroo Valley NSW

Located just two hours from both Sydney and Canberra, The Kangaroo Valley is one of NSW’s most picturesque locations. Nestled between the Southern Highlands and stunning south-coast, The Kangaroo Valley is a great place to spend your honeymoon. Rolling green hills that are reminiscent of England, quaint towns and delicious produce – what’s not to love? It’s a great location that allows you to indulge in activities that are as adventurous or as laid-back as you want them to be.

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Kangaroo Valley

Accommodation suggestion: The Jolly Jumbuck Cottage is a romantic self-contained cottage, made just for two. With stunning views of the valley, a private entrance and a wood-fire, it has secluded, undisturbed romance written all over it. Promoting a ‘green honeymoon’, the owners want couples to indulge in a romantic getaway with a gentle carbon footprint. They even provide use of bicycles to explore the local country lanes!

Australian Capital Territory

The nation’s capital may not be everyone’s first choice when it comes to places to honeymoon, but really it’s a great place to enjoy a romantic getaway, especially during the cooler months. Art galleries and museums are in abundance,  there are fantastic restaurants and with accessibility to the south coast and snowy mountains, Canberra is a great location!

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Rosebud Cottage

Accommodation suggestion: Located just 8 km’s from Canberra’s centre is Rosebud Cottage. If you’re into historical country charm, then this is a fantastic place to stay. Located on one of the last sheep and cattle farms in the ACT, you can indulge with your love in this lovely rural location which includes a four-poster bed and a crackling wood fire – perfect for winter time!

The Yarra Valley Victoria

Victoria is fantastic and is really somewhere that has it all. Having been fortunate enough to travel around there a little bit, it’s safe to say this next suggestion is truly enchanting and an ideal location for a honeymoon. As Victoria’s wine region, the Yarra Valley offers a great escape and is not all that far from the centre of Melbourne. There’s something about visiting vineyards that I find really indulgent and not something you do that often, and wine is delicious, so why wouldn’t you want to honeymoon near a lot of wine?

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Accommodation suggestion: Black and White on Green is a modern self-contained cottage just near the lovely town of Healesville. It’s a great location where you can jam pack your stay with a variety of activities. From visiting wineries, dining out in excellent restaurants, browsing quaint boutiques, going on picturesque walks or taking a hot air balloon or helicopter tour – the area has pretty much everything you could want.

Tasmania

Tasmania is world renowned for its natural, rugged beauty, so of course it would be a great place to go and celebrate your union! Especially magical during the cooler months, this is a great place to travel to if you’re planning an autumn or winter wedding. Discover local arts and cultures, feast on local produce from farmers markets and of course go on adventures in the wilderness.

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Tourism Tasmania & Chris Bray

Accommodation suggestion: Situated in the rather spectacular location that is the Freycinet Coast is the Piermont Estate.  Described as ‘ecologically sustainable luxury’ the beautiful self-contained cottages and suites bring a touch of sophistication while respecting the beautiful natural surroundings. It’s a great spot to explore Tassie’s east coast including the jaw-dropping Wine Glass Bay.

The Barossa Valley South Australia

It really makes you realise what a beautiful country we do live in. Regardless of where you live in Australia, chances are you are near to some pretty glorious honeymoon locations. South Australia is no exception. Particularly drawn to wine regions (can you tell?), The Barossa Valley is a world-known wine region that produces some of the best wine. Ever. Ideal for honeymooners, The Barossa is a great place to kick back, relax and bask in beautiful surroundings.

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Image via The Louise

Accommodation suggestion: On your honeymoon you deserve a little bit of luxury, especially after all your hard work, and this suggestion has luxury in spades.  combines rustic charm and opulence to give a glorious location for which to have your honeymoon. Located in The Barossa, it’s a great location to explore the region and watch the beautiful sunsets over the valley.

Margaret River Western Australia

If you live on the east-coast then travelling to WA will make you feel like you have flown to another part of the world, given the distance! It is definitely worth the lengthy flight! The Margaret River wine region is another fabulous part of the country you should consider for your honeymoon and not just for obvious (wine) reasons. Located near beautiful coastlines and beaches, forests, world-class restaurants, art galleries and of course wineries, you won’t be short of things to do here.

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Merribrook Retreat

Accommodation suggestion: If you want luxury, seclusion and relaxation then this is the place for you. Set amongst lush surroundings is the Merribrook Retreat. Offering luxury villas and lodges this is the perfect place to escape from it all and really enjoy your first days together as a married couple. And if you do manage to resurface you’re right in the Margaret River region where you can explore the abundant natural beauty.

Northern Territory

If it’s breathtaking scenery you’re after then you better hot-foot it over to the NT for your honeymoon. Take a dip in a water-hole, go on a camel ride or a crocodile cruise – there’s a lot of exploring to be done in the NT. The contrasting environments make it a very unique and beautiful experience everyone should have, so why not enjoy it whilst on honeymoon?

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Image via Cicada Lodge

Accommodation suggestion: Located in the Nitmiluk National Park which holds the utterly awesome Katherine Gorge is the Cicada Lodge. An eco resort that combines elements of modern Australian architecture and design with traditional elements. Here you can sample native Australian foods, explore the local area and get to know Australia like you’ve probably never done before.

The Whitsundays Queensland

Queensland is the un-disputed king of Australian honeymoons. A haven of sun, sea and sand it’s the perfect tropical backdrop to a romantic honeymoon. There are countless of options when it comes to a Queensland adventure: city breaks, glamorous beach side holidays, rainforest getaways and secluded island resorts. It screams honeymoon. The Whitsundays is a jewel in the Queensland crown. The Whitsundays are a group of 74 islands, all ready to be explored by you and your significant other. And if you think that going during winter will leave you a little cold, never fear – it’s always warm in QLD!

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Image via Flight Centre

Accommodation suggestion: Now for something a bit unique – grab your sea legs and head off on a cruise of The Whitsundays! Either ‘bareboat’ it, where the two of you navigate and anchor up where ever you like or hire a crewed sailing tour, both options are readily available. Nothing says romance or luxury more than hiring your own yacht and mooring at a secluded island over night.

Where would you recommend going on an Australian honeymoon?

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Laura and Brad’s Lake Louise Elopement

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Inspired Elopememnts, Inspired Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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 Laura and Brad

I love a beautiful elopement and when Laura and Brad decided they wanted to elope rather than have the big wedding they’d started planning, they headed to Lake Louise in Canada and well, I couldn’t see a more stunning backdrop for a marriage! The incredible marriage ceremony was captured by One Edition Photography .

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The marriage was performed by Marion Kutzer of Bow Valley Weddings. Photographers Meg & Raf (who also acted as witnesses) remember, “Laura and Brad wrote their own vows. I’m not sure this is typically considered a DIY detail but their words for each were so them, so their own, and so meaningful, made even more so I believe, because of all that led up to their courage to plan an elopement and cancel their larger more traditional wedding. They had words just for each other, they were so in the moment, there were tears of overjoy and pure love. It was incredible to bear witness to their exchange of vows and promises to each other.”

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Laura remembers, “The ceremony was held on a private little rocky beach about 1.5 kms away from the main tourist epicentre, known as the Rock Pile. We wanted a quiet, intimate location to steal some privacy from the tourist area, and so Raf went exploring and found this beautiful unique spot just for them. It was truly stunning. We went back to the main beach and Rock Pile area once the tourist rush had subsided and it was equally beautiful for us to have that privacy, intimacy, and time in one of the most iconic and stunning natural beauty locations in the world.”

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Of their photographers, Laura tells, “Both Meg and Raf were just amazing! Before, during and after the elopement there was nothing they weren’t willing to do. Plus their photos were incredible! Brad and I are really not the posy type but they made us feel so relaxed and we really enjoyed our time with them. As we had decided to elope three weeks after realising the big wedding we had booked wasn’t for us, Meg and Raf were just incredible with helping make our elopement possible. Photos were a very important part to the both of us and I’m just so thankful that we found Meg and Raf! ”

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Laura wore the wedding gown she had purchased for the traditional wedding from Brides By Design.

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Congratulations on your incredible elopement Laura and Brad! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you to One Edition Photography  for sharing today’s wedding!

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