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Honeymoon A-Z: Florida

by | Honeymoons, Honeymoons A-Z, Location - North America


Samantha Chua


Image via The Palms Hotel & Spa

Home to Disneyland, Daytona and the infamous Miami Beach, Florida is the Sunshine State. Defined by its swaying palm trees and sandy beaches, the large state is usually associated with its party-scene. But there’s more to Florida than its chic night clubs for honeymoon-goers.

5 Places to Stay

1. Ocean Key Resort & Spa

Right in the middle of all the action in Keys West, Florida, Ocean Key Resort & Spa is a haven from the party-heavy Key West. Private balconies, whirlpool tubs and ocean views, the 100 rooms are designed for privacy to enjoy the post-wedding bliss!


Image via Ocean Key Resort & Spa

2. Naples Grande Beach Resort

This 23-acre property is the definition of luxury: three miles of white-sand Florida coastline and a perfectly tranquil adults-only pool. Take a romantic stroll through a tunnel composed of tangled mangrove branches and vines that lead to the beach.

3. The Palms Hotel & Spa

It’s not Florida without its iconic palm trees, and The Palms Hotel & Spa certainly lived up to its name. Beautifully landscaped with swaying palm trees and lush tropical gardens, the 251 newly renovated rooms are superbly chick, with bold hues and nature-inspired textures. The farm-to-table menu at The Palms’ on-site restaurant, Essencia, further highlights the hotel’s focus on green sustainability.


Image via The Palms Hotel & Spa

4. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

The property that hosts 700-plus rooms was designed to resemble the Amalfi Coast, complete with an on-site lake standing in for the Adriatic Sea. During your stay, book a treatment at the Mandara Spa or rent a private cabana at the Villa Pool. Come sunset, grab a bistro table and enjoy the nightly live show featuring folk tunes and romantic ballads – it’s a piece of Europe in Florida.


Image via Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

5. The Setai, Miami Beach

If you’re a fan of Miami Vice, this stylish hotel in the heart of South Beach is your perfect getaway. The historic hotel dates back to 1930’s and exudes an Art Deco feel with Asian influence. The room is magnificently outfitted with rainfall shower, black granite tub and a bed topped with luxury linen.

The Setail Miami Florida Honeymoon

Image via The Setai, Miami Beach

5 Places to Visit

1. Sanibel Island

For secluded and untouched beauty, Sanibel Island is the ideal place to be. The city has taken active measures to preserve the natural beauty of the area. You’ll notice that the island is devoid of any fast-food restaurants and even traffic lights. It’s an experience unlike other to enjoy with your other half.


Image via Ross Thornley

2. Santa Rosa Beach

If you are looking to work up a tan surrounded by sandy beaches and outdoor activities, Santa Rosa Beach is your haven. Nestled along a 26-mile stretch of Florida’s Emerald Coast, it’s home to a thriving artist colony, as well as the Point Washington State Forest Reserve.

3. St. Augustine

For fans of historical artefacts, St. Augustine is America’s oldest city. Founded by the Spanish and settled in 1565, there’s lots of history to explore. See the Castillo, Fort Matanzas and the oldest wooden schoolhouse in America. Take a romantic ride through the town on a horse-drawn carriage as you soak in the historical sites.


Image via Scott Smith

4. Palm Beach

The iconic Florida location is lined with stately palm trees and home to legendary resorts, exquisite mansions and historic landmarks. The shopping nirvana of Worth Avenue is known worldwide. The coastline is dotted with chic restaurants and bars, while a round of golf here affords magnificent views along the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Everglades National Park

The Everglades in Florida is an adventure traveller’s dream, offering various activities from hiking trails, airboat and tram tours, bird-watching expeditions and camping. For wildlife lovers, the Everglades’ ecosystem is like no other in the world. Alligators, crocodiles, falcons, turtles and even panthers are but a few of the many animals you can spot in the Everglades.


Image via National Park

5 Things to Do 

1. Watch the Sunset on St. Pete Beach

What can be more romantic that watching a stunning sunset show? For breathtaking sunset views, St. Pete Beach is a paradise. Park your toes in the sand and listen to live music while the sun bids farewell.

2. Explore the coral reefs in the Florida Keys

“The Keys” is home to United States’ only living-coral barrier reef and offers unparalleled diving and snorkelling experience. Live your mermaid dream and snorkel your way through schools of brightly coloured fish. Then visit Spiegel Grove, a sunken U.S. Navy ship, that’s home to its own thriving underwater ecosystem.


Image via John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park

3. Enjoy a Picnic in Lover’s Key

If there was any place designed for couples, it’s Lover’s Key State Park near Fort Myers. The island is home to manatees and dolphins. Pack a picnic and enjoy the endless blue skies!

4. Visit Thomas Edison and Henry Ford

Did you know that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were buddies? Neither did we. But they were, so much so that they owned adjacent homes where they spent their winter. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is open to the public. Well-preserved and absolutely fascinating, you can walk through Edison’s laboratory and Ford’s garage!


Image via Edison & Ford Winter Estates

5. Enjoy a Taste of Cuba in Little Havana, Miami

Miami has been defined by its Cuban influence, and there’s nowhere better to experience it than Little Havana in Miami. Take a stroll through the vibrant Cuban neighbourhood filled with colourful murals and unique art galleries. Scenes of elderly men playing dominoes and cigar rollers deep at work can still be seen amidst a backdrop of pulsating traditional Cuban music.

little havana florida

Image via Miami and Beaches

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Great food, beautiful beaches and a rich history, Florida is such a seaside dream for honeymooners!

Elyce & Steve’s French Chateau Destination Wedding

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Destination Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Location Europe,


Polka Dot Bride

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Elyce & Steve

If there is a wedding to dream of, it’s a wedding like Elyce and Steve’s French Chateau destination wedding captured by Mitchell J Carlin. The couple chose a beautiful French chateau for their wedding day, making a weekend of it with their closest family and friends enjoying a weekend of food, wine and plenty of cheese, as they tied the knot!

Elyce tells their story. “We met through mutual friends not long after I had moved to the UK from Australia. Steve then went traveling to Australia (typical the way these things work) and we went on our first date a few days after he returned.”

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The bride wore Pronovias, telling, “I knew I wanted something I felt comfortable in (and most importantly dance the night away in!) and that had a flattering silhouette rather than anything too full. Given the warm summer temperatures (compared to the UK!) it had to be quite light. With my Mum in Australia I faced the shopping alone with the ipad in tow for skype calls. I went to only two wedding dress shops, Pronovias being the second where I found my dress “Lamero”. I knew it was the right dress from the moment I put it on. After a second trip back I ordered it then and there. Mum came over later in the year and we were able to go in together, try the dress again and choose my veil which was cathedral length and double layered. This made the dress perfect and enabled me to have one dress that took me from ceremony to the dance floor. My dress was perfected by Christian Louboutin heels, a wedding gift from Steve.”

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Elyce and Steve chose Chateau Rigaud  for their wedding, noting, “We had an outdoor lawn ceremony in the courtyard of the Chateau underneath a big tree. We then held our reception in the wedding barn which had lovely views out to the tree we married under and the main grand Chateau building.”

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Elyce remembers, “I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon. We wanted something traditional that really would concrete the moment that we were getting married. After we were wed, The Darkness “I believe in a thing called love” was played which really set everyone’s mood to party mode.  Walking down the aisle and seeing each other was really emotional. The whole ceremony was the happiest and most emotional we have both ever been. So special.”

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“We wanted the ceremony to be very personal to us. Rather than having a stranger as the celebrant we asked Elyce’s stepfather Jeffrey to preside. We had two readings, “I carry your heart” by E.E. Cummings read by Steve’s sister Annabel and “The One” by Keira Cass read by Elyce’s sister Laura.”

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“We had the best bunch of vendors and we were able to let them run loose with their ideas and trusted their judgement. Our favourite part of planning was our planning weekend at the venue, we got a real insight of what our day would be like, from the food to the wine (need I mention, a lot of local produce was sampled at both the planning weekend and our wedding weekend).”

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Of their photographer, Elyce tells, “Mitch (Mitchell J Carlin Wedding Photographer) was literally the first (and easiest) decision we made. We had been following him on Instagram as a friend of a friend and loved all of his photos. We sent him an email a couple of days after getting engaged with the expectation that asking him to fly to the complete other side of the world would be impossible. He was super accommodating and his international packages were competitive so we were thrilled we could book him in. The whole experience from booking Mitch through to the wedding through to receiving our photos was amazing.

He is a super cool dude who we are now lucky enough to call a friend. He is so passionate about what he does and has an eye for every shot. On the day itself he managed to capture every single moment, whilst going unnoticed a lot of the time, even when though he must have been running around like a kamikaze ninja for the whole day to achieve what he did. Steve and I are awkward whenever there is a camera in sight but Mitch made us feel super comfortable the whole time. One of the nicest guys we have met and an amazing talent, highly recommended!!”

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“We weren’t tied to a specific style or theme and the emphasis was on a relaxed and enjoyable weekend for all guests. Our real focus was to make it feel like a holiday for all who had travelled so far to be with us. We did have quite a French influence, given the location, and an eclectic mix of little touches that we liked. We had a blue, silver and white colour palette, lots of flowers and a couple of unique touches such as a hand painted globe prepared by Ajna, one of the Chateau’s creative team. Ajna also created a number of blackboards for signage and beautifully inscribed blackboard placecards attached to vintage French keys. Most importantly the atmosphere was relaxed and fun with plenty of French wine flowing and hopefully no one was left wanting more! Being France; the food and produce was absolutely incredible for the whole of our stay and we were really spoilt by the staff at the Chateau.”

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“We had a dinner the night before the wedding and a recovery party the day after – these allowed us to get maximum time with everyone, was so good to see everyone properly and spend the whole night of the wedding dancing.”

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“The most important aspect of our wedding for us was to spend time with our friends and family, many of whom live thousands of miles away from us in Australia, the UK, USA and Abu Dhabi. Everyone made such an effort and got along like they had known each other forever. I remember stopping later in the evening and just watching everyone dancing around and being silly, having a great time.”

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“Being in France we had a huge focus on food and we were able to pick the menu throughout the 4 days of our stay. This included local oysters and scallops through to Steak and Fois Gras and the fresh produce grown in the Chateau grounds. The quality was absolutely incredible. After our wedding meal we had a wedding cake made out of French cheese and the chef made homemade pork pies which were brought out later in the evening to keep our guests fuelled into the early hours! We knew that all of our guests made a real effort to make it all the way to France so we ensured that the bar was open and fully stocked at all times!”

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Of the first dance, Elyce remembers, “We chose Roy Orbison’s “You Got It”. Looking back it wasn’t the easiest song choice for a first dance but it certainly was fun and we both love a bit of Roy! I think we were glad when everyone else got up to join and the party could begin as I don’t think we will be winning any prizes for our dancing!”

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“The music for the reception was one of our top priorities. We originally wanted a band but didn’t like the idea of the set breaks and moving from band to playlist. Our wedding planner Marcia suggested DJ Guy Preston and Andre Sax Man Brown, an amazing saxophone player, playing along to the tracks. It was absolutely fantastic, we had Andre playing the sax on the dancefloor in amongst guests dancing. The music was incredible. Our dancefloor was full for the whole night, you couldn’t pull us off it either.”

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The couple chose Reel Love Films to head to France and film their wedding day.

Congratulations Elyce and Steve! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Mitchell J Carlin for sharing today’s wedding!




Photographer: Mitchell J Carlin / Cinematographer: Reel Love Films / Bride’s Dress: Pronovias / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom’s Attire: Richard James / Groom’s Attire: Alexander McQueen / Groom’s Attire: Lanvin / Groom’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS / Bridesmaid Shoes: New Look / Bridesmaid Accessories: Net A Porter / Hairstylist: Laura Cawte / Flowers: Flowers in the Vines / Invitations & Stationery: Paper and Inc / Venue: Chateau Rigaud / Styling: Oui Mon Coeur / DJ: DJ Guy Preston / Reception Musician: Andre SaxMan Brown / Cake Baker: Chateau Rigaud / Wedding Rings: Cartier

A Romantic Snowy Escape

by | Honeymoons, Location Australia, Reviews


Bec Lawrence

Pender Lea - Post office gallery

Image via Pender Lea

Fancy yourself a private, romantic honeymoon free from the hustle and bustle of the city? We’ve got the perfect place for you to escape to this winter. Welcome to the Snowy Mountains.

To stay:

There’s so many cosy, romantic places to stay in this beautiful part of Australia but we’ve narrowed it down to down to our two favourites.

Pender Lea Alpine Guest Accommodation

Located in the heart of the Snowy Mountains is Pender Lea. This is our first pick for affordable accommodation. The resort is located just fifteen minutes from Thredbo ski park and even closer than Thredbo is the Perisher Ski Tube. There are a range of rooms to select from depending on your budget and luxury must haves.

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Images via Pender Lea

While you’re at Pender Lea make sure you seize the opportunity to go horseback riding and take in the amazing scenery.  Whatever activities you tackle make sure you take a few minutes to truly unwind with an in-house massage or relax in a hot bubble bath, the choice is yours!


Another place to stay a little closer to the action is Nanook. Located in the valley of the Thredbo River, Nanook boasts luxury accommodation close to all your shopping and dining needs. Nanook has a heart-warming story of its own after being named after a much-loved black dog who once lived in the Thredbo Village.

Thredbo Nanook


Images via Stayz

Each room features a king sized bed and stunning views as well as  high quality kitchens if you’re looking for a cosy night in with your loved one.

To eat:

Step out for a bite to eat at some of the best restaurants Thredbo has to offer. A popular favourite is Cascades Restaurant who offer a wide range of meals and are open for both breakfast and dinner. I know we had our mouths watering for the Chicken Ballotine!


Image via Thredbo Alpine Village

If you’re looking for a country style feel to go along with your meal why not try Crackenback Farm. Just a short drive from Thredbo, Crackenback is situated close to Pender Lea Accommodation. At Crackenback you can expect to treat your palate to a French farmhouse style cuisine. The restaurant was given the 2015 award or the best restaurant in a guesthouse and after feasting on the food, you’ll know why.

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Image via Crackenback Farm.

Wherever you go in the Snowy Mountains there’s plenty to do –  whether it be spending the day in the snow, treating yourself to a spa or checking out some of the local shopping and events. You’re bound to have a great time. Take some time to bask in the grandeur that is the mountains and hold your loved one close during the chilly snowy days. Enjoy your stay!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What wonderfully romantic place to snuggle up in front of an open fire; the perfect break away! 


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