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2 Honeymoons Are Better Than 1 – Barossa Valley and Bali Honeymoon

by | Honeymoons, Location Asia, Location Australia, My Honeymoon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mrskerrieturner
1
COMMENT

photo 37 550x365 2 Honeymoons Are Better Than 1 Barossa Valley and Bali Honeymoon

Not everyone gets to have two honeymoons, but we were lucky enough to do just that. And after planning our wedding in 5 short months, we felt we deserved it!!

The compromise we made, by having a surprise wedding – was that we wouldn’t be able to go on a big overseas honeymoon straight away. Logistically it just wasn’t going to happen. We hadn’t told our workplaces about our sneaky surprise nuptials, and so therefore couldn’t exactly take a chunk of annual leave, immediately after what everyone thought was just our ‘engagement party’, without risking people getting suspicious.

A long weekend was feasible though, and so Mark and I both took the Monday and Tuesday off, with the promise we’d go away overseas in the New Year.

We had hosted a lunch at our house, the day after our wedding – and then jumped in the car and headed for the amazing Barossa Valley, just for a couple of nights ‘escape’. A chance to reflect on how everything had panned out.

The Barossa isn’t all that far from Adelaide, but when you’re there it feels as though you’re far enough away from the daily grind, to really relax. It’s beautiful countryside, and our accommodation at The Barossa Pavilions, provided us with absolute peace and quiet.

The 75 acre property is simply beautiful. It consists of six freestanding, self contained pavilions. There’s a minimum 50 metres between each pavilion, ensuring absolute privacy. With views across the Barossa Ranges, the accommodation is modern, luxurious and first class. We were very impressed.

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We turned our mobile phones off, sat on the balcony, and sipped champagne, indulged in cheese and other fresh produce from the region and just talked for hours. Each of us had different memories from our wedding, that would pop into our head and keep the conversation flowing freely. It was a great way to unwind and digest the events of the past few days.

It is somewhere close enough that we can easily return – we have already flagged another visit for our first Wedding Anniversary in November.

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Honeymoon #2 was in May 2013. We had been married for 6 months, and chose a Bali Honeymoon (via Darwin) for a complete recharge. It also seemed fitting, given the story we had told people while planning our surprise wedding, was that we would get married in Bali, in May.

We couldn’t take the time off that’s required for a big US or European holiday. That will have to remain on our ‘to do’ list for a little while longer.

We spent 3 days in Darwin, visiting family. I have been to the Top End before, but it was Mark’s first visit. So we did a few touristy things. I had wanted to take him to Kakadu and Katherine Gorge, but time was against us. Instead, we saw as much of what Darwin has to offer, as possible. Crocodylus Park, the Darwin Races at Fannie Bay, the Military Museum, and the fascinating Cyclone Tracey exhibit at the Darwin Museum. And of course, no trip to Darwin is complete without seeing the famous sunset at the Mindil Beach Markets.

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Soon enough, we were sitting in the departure lounge at Darwin airport, waiting for the short flight to Denpasar. Bali is somewhere we have been before, and somewhere we love. We knew what sort of a holiday it would provide, and it was perfect for what we wanted. The Villas in Seminyak is the place we called home for just over a week.

The staff were all lovely. Nothing was too much trouble, and they always greeted us with a smile. We were given the VIP treatment. They knew we were honeymooners, and so we arrived to find our villa beautifully decorated with a rose petal love-heart. Fresh flowers were also replaced every couple of days.

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The Villas is only a short walk from the main street of Seminyak, but feels so isolated and remote. Perfect, in assisting with creating that relaxed feel. They have 1, 2 and 3 bedroom Villas available. We had a 1 bedroom, 2 storey villa with our own private pool.

It wasn’t until we got to Bali, that Mark and I both realised how much we needed a decent break. We crashed! Our days were extremely lazy. I read two books in the time we were there! Mark and I would wake, enjoy a delicious breakfast, lie by the pool reading for a few hours, and then jump into the pool when the morning heat and humidity got too much.

seminyak bali villas 2 Honeymoons Are Better Than 1 Barossa Valley and Bali Honeymoon

We would then go for a walk and find somewhere for lunch, which would be followed by some sort of pampering. The Prana Spa at The Villas was amazing. I can highly recommend their Shiro Dara and Simply Slimming treatments!! Both very different, but both like nothing I have experienced at any Australian day spa. I was completely transported to another world, the décor in the spa is stunning and the attention to detail from the staff is second to none. Chill Reflexology is part of The Villas as well, and was also a fantastic experience! I think I actually did nod off at one point, during my Ultimate Chill treatment, I was that relaxed!

There would be some more reading and lazing by the pool during each afternoon, before we would start to think about dinner. Each night, we made sure we tried a new spot – rather than fall into the trap of going back to the tried and tested.

Having been to Bali before, we didn’t need to go sight-seeing. We knew what was on offer. We could make ourselves as busy or as lazy as we wanted – and that is exactly what we did!

It was all over far too quickly, as holidays always are! But all good things must come to an end. A mini honeymoon, and a longer one – and now I’m very excited about the journey through life, my and husband I have ahead of us!

Images from Kerrie and Mark’s collection

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Ms Gingham says: Sounds like heaven! Thanks for sharing your experiences and recommendations with us Kerrie and Mark!

Kerrie says: “I am a radio journalist in my hometown of Adelaide. I love cups of tea, glasses of bubbles and precious time with those closest to me.”

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Luxury Honeymoons – The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

by | Honeymoons, Location USA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natasha Pavez
4
COMMENTS

Sand Castle front 550x268 Luxury Honeymoons The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

A couples-only retreat straight after the big day? Sounds like heaven! The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island, is one of New Jersey’s most popular locations for couples looking for a romantic escape after their wedding day. From the food to the suites, you’ll have the honeymoon you always dreamed of.

This contemporary bayfront inn is located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and is more a mini-resort than your typical B&B. The luxurious rooms and suites all come with gorgeous bay views, each individually decorated with a romantic seaside vibe. Each room also has a private entrance – no need to worry about finding a park and hauling all your luggage miles to your room! With a choice of five rooms and two spacious, elegant suites to choose from, you’ll have the perfect place for some luxury honeymoon relaxation. The rooms and suites come with private bathrooms (Jacuzzis or oversized showers await!), full kitchen amenities and fireplaces. WiFi’s also provided if you want to catch up with your loved ones back home!

sandcastleroom4 550x268 Luxury Honeymoons The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

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Sand Castle room 550x268 Luxury Honeymoons The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

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I know I’m more relaxed when I don’t have to take care of the little things. Worrying about food, transport and entertainment on top of accommodation isn’t something you want to be doing after planning a wedding, especially for an overseas honeymoon. The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast has you covered, though. The inn has a beautiful parlour for guests to visit when they’re wanting to fill in some time. Boasting a library filled with books for any taste, game tables and a grand piano for the more musically inclined, there’s always something indoors to keep you entertained. Make sure you’ve packed your swimsuit, too! The inn has its own courtyard area with heated swimming pool.

Sand Castle Library 550x268 Luxury Honeymoons The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

As far as food goes, you’re going to be satisfied. Each room rate includes a complimentary breakfast, prepared on-site by gourmet chefs. Each evening, you’ll also be treated to some freshly-baked sweets (sounds divine, doesn’t it!). Eating out is just as easy – the Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast is close to a number of fine-dining restaurants.

Sand castle food 550x268 Luxury Honeymoons The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

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If you’re looking for an overseas getaway that’s truly romantic, the Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast is just right for you. It’s the perfect blend of B&B charm and resort luxury, set in the beautiful island backdrop of Long Beach Island. You can also give them a look on their Facebook page and blog!

Photos courtesy of The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast  

Swirl divider Luxury Honeymoons The Sand Castle Bed and Breakfast, Long Beach Island

Renae and Jimmy’s Tuscany Destination Wedding

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
1
COMMENT

tuscany destination wedding14 Renae and Jimmys Tuscany Destination Wedding

Renae and Jimmy

If there is one place I dream of a destination wedding- it’s Tuscany! Today’s destination wedding of Aussie expats Renae and Jimmy is my kind of way to spend a warm evening. Photographed by Simon Peter Taylor, it’s all about dancing under the stars, enjoying the view and celebrating love.

Renae tells their story “Despite both being originally from Brisbane and having mutual friends also living in London, we didn’t meet until a friend brought me to a farewell party at tequila bar, Crazy Homies in Notting Hill. Her words to me as she introduced her friend Jimmy were – you are running the London marathon next month, he is running the Edinburgh marathon in May. You are going cycling in Provence next week and so is he – I’ve got nothing to add here, please chat amongst yourselves! After trying to unsuccessfully set up a few cycling rendezvous over the following weeks, he eventually asked if he could take me out for dinner and the penny finally dropped that he was interested in more than just a cycling buddy! ”

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Wedding planner Gillian Fantoni at Weddings in Tuscany by Imperial took care of all the details, the couple choosing Tenuta di Sticciano for their wedding venue.  Renae remarking “The venue is a typical ‘agriturismo’ – working farm producing wine, olive oil and honey along with providing accommodation for tourists in the summer. The villa and surrounding farmhouses are situated on top of a hill with views of cypress trees and rolling fields of olive trees and vines stretching out as far as the eye can see in all directions. A truly stunning backdrop! ”

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Renae describes the wedding as “The Tuscan dream – a celebration of love and friendship with great food and wine in a romantic, rustic setting! ”

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Renae walked down the aisle to Muse’s cover of the Nina Simone classic ‘Feeling Good’. She wore a lace gown from Maggie Sottero.

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“One of our ceremony readings was a passage from Paulo Coelho’s classic, The Alchemist. As our friend Amelia commenced the reading, out of nowhere an eerie wind started blowing around the grounds, getting stronger and stronger until it almost blew over the outdoor furniture. It certainly grabbed everyone’s attention. As soon as she finished the reading it suddenly stopped. If you’ve read the Alchemist you’d appreciate the impact of something like that happening! ”

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“We loved writing our own vows and making those promises to each other in front of our nearest and dearest.”

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Of their photographer, Renae remarks “Next to picking a venue, the photographer was the most important decision on the to do list, particularly for our own avid amateur photographer (aka the groom!). For years we had been admiring Simon’s work from afar in London. His unique and artistic style and his ability to break the mould when it comes to wedding photography left us in no doubt that we wanted Simon to shoot our wedding. And on the day, he exceeded our expectations. As you will see, he worked tirelessly from very early in the day to well into the night. He was there from start to finish and has produced some beautiful shots of the whole event. His ability to have a bit of fun along the way, to put everyone at ease for the formal shots and to capture candid moments have given us a huge selection of amazing photographs to choose from.”

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“We had the bridal party hard at work the day before the wedding, collecting olive branches and rosemary from the villa gardens to make fragrant bunches for each guest’s place setting.

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Renae and Jimmy used the silver champagne flutes that Renae’s parents had used at their own wedding.

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“The Tuscan countryside provided the perfect backdrop for our ceremony and wedding reception so elaborate table decorations and venue styling were just not required. Jimmy was also quick to point out that we had to be mindful of how much we had to bring over from the UK as our vintage car wasn’t going to have the most generous space for luggage! With that in mind and trusty Pinterest providing some ideas, we scoured the Portobello road markets in Notting Hill and found a selection of vintage medicine bottles which held individual flower stems as the table centrepieces.”

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Renae tells of their first dance “I get goosebumps thinking about it – an al fresco wedding reception was always in order given the beautiful weather and views from the villa. So we planned to have our first dance outside during dinner and timed so the sun had just started setting over the rolling vineyards. The words of Florence and the Machine’s ‘You’ve got the love’ remind me of all the things we’ve been through together over the last 8 months after I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer late last year and it was such an emotional moment! Despite having 75 guests watching on, it felt like it was just the two of us. ”

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“Instead of having a guestbook, we had a time capsule envelope for each table and asked them to leave us their messages / words of wisdom that we would open on a specific wedding anniversary. It will be very difficult not to peek before each year!”

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” It was wonderful getting all our friends and family from the UK and Australia together over four days for a huge celebration together – we had the venue all to ourselves and had so much quality time with everyone ”

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tuscany destination wedding31 Renae and Jimmys Tuscany Destination Wedding

Congratulations on your marriage Renae and Jimmy! Thank you for sharing your stories with us! Thank you to Simon Peter Taylor for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Simon Peter Taylor / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Gillian Fantoni at Weddings in Tuscany by Imperial / Bride’s Dress: Bernadette by Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Lily Bella / Bride’s Jewelry: Gillian Million / Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply London / Groomsmen Attire: TM Lewin / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dessy Group - Dessy Collection & Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Accessories: Vintage Bridal Jewellery / Bridesmaid Accessories: Glitzy Secrets / Makeup Artist: Stefania Paci / Hairstylist: Stefania Paci / Invitations & Stationery: Bride And Groom Direct / Venue: Tenuta di Sticciano / Ceremony Officiant: Jason Quick
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