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Sarah and Mark

Destination weddings are such a special breed of wedding. There is a lot to be said for a week long celebration with your loved ones- sun, surf and plenty of cocktails by the pool! Sarah and Mark (who met through a mutual friend at a birthday party) chose Bali as their wedding destination- specifically the stunning Ayana Resort & Spa for their big day, Set overlooking Jimbaran Bay,  the resort provided the most beautiful backdrop for the celebrations of Sarah and Mark’s wedding.

Sarah and Mark’s wedding was captured by Photo Factory Bali. I love the captures of the beautiful destination the studio took!

Sarah wore a strapless gown by Suzanne Hardwood with Christian Louboutin heels. The resort provided the bouquets.

Organika Hair styled Sarah and her bridesmaid’s hair and makeup.

Sarah’s bridesmaids wore gowns from Style Stalker with Robert Robert black heels.

The best part of a destination wedding is that the celebrations are not just the wedding. They last for days before and days afterwards. Sarah remarks “We organised a pre-wedding brunch the day before to ensure everybody got to know each other before the wedding day. We got a large Bus to the venue which was an experience to get a full-sized bus through the tiny streets and roads of mayhem to our venue where we enjoyed a great brunch and introduced family and friends in a relaxed atmosphere.

The wedding wasn’t just the actual wedding day – it was a culmination of the Bucks and Hens party, two days before, our introductory wedding brunch the morning before and the wonderful wedding day. All this spend with our closest family and friends.”

Of their photographer, Sarah remarks “They were very professional and got some exceptional shots in a very difficult environment. Amazingly quick to send through our Album which was also very well finished. Overall – very happy.”

The resort provided a decadent wedding cake.

Sarah describes the wedding as “A magical backdrop to a surreal evening filled with love and laughter.”

Sarah and Mark made their own stationery. Sarah notes ” We made our save the date and invitations. We also made our own guestbook in the form of a hand drawn tree with our guests fingerprints for leaves. We also had photos from our past as placeholders for the tables.”

A makeshift photobooth was setup by the couple. Sarah explains “We had a section setup for props. We asked our guests to use the props and pose for photo’s which proved to be an entertaining highlight and provided some very funny photos and memorable moments.” Guests were gifted silver elephant statues as a token of the wedding day.

Sarah and Mark had 44 guests make the trip to Bali to celebrate with them.

DJampiro provided tunes for the guests to dance under the stars to, Including the first dance. Sarah explains “We danced to Michael Jackson – I Just Can’t stop loving you played live by the wonderful band. Several weeks of dancing lessons did nothing to calm the nerves and we just improvised something casual and funny. Great fun.”

Thank you for sharing your destination wedding with us Sarah and Mark! Thank you also to Photo Factory Bali for sharing today’s images!

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Photo from Aman Resorts via Amanpulo, The Phillipines. – Nothing around this resort for miles

Imagine arriving at your honeymoon resort to find that the smooth sand beach and swimming cove are a stone’s throw from the island’s airport. It’s hard to unwind when 747s are gliding in deafeningly so close to your head you can read the lettering on the side of the plane, and everything in your hotel suite rattles every ten minutes as each plane approaches and departs. Imagine how icky it would feel to swim in that ocean cove, knowing there’s probably some airplane fuel and oils in there.

That’s one thing they don’t bring to your attention on a resort’s splashy, colorful, dreamy-looking website. “Hey, we’re right across from the airport!” isn’t something they want you to realize. So before you confirm your honeymoon or destination wedding bookings, take some time to geo-locate your resort on the island or in the city where it’s situated. Google Maps will give you a fine look at how far from aviation central your resort is, and calm your fears.

It’s not just airports, though. I searched a resort recently and found that it was right next to a popular amusement park. The sounds of people screaming on roller coasters wasn’t my worry… but the crazy parking and a hotel filled with families and over-sugared children was. It was a good thing I looked at what’s near the resort.

Another item your search will turn up is how complicated it will be to get to your honeymoon resort. If you have no idea where it’s located on the island, you could find yourself on a super-crowded shuttle bus that stops at every resort along the way. Or, if the resort has its own ferry, you absolutely must check the fine print to be sure that the ferry ride is free. Some resorts charge a hefty ‘transfer fee’ per guest in order for you to reach your destination.

And yet another item to research is how far your resort is from the attractions and shopping centers, restaurants and beaches you plan to visit. It can be a stunner to find that the cabs you have to take charge a jaw-dropping fee because they know they’re the only game in town. You’re not going to walk four hours along windy, cliff-drop roads just to catch lunch at a local-favorite-eatery.

Make it a high-priority research mission to get a wider view of your resort’s setting, making sure you get the beautiful, peaceful, romantic, and adventurous honeymoon you had in mind.

Ms Gingham says: Truly that’s one thing that I would never have thought to do but will be doing now before any holiday! Thanks for the great tip Sharon!

About Sharon: Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding books, including her newest: “Bridesmaid on a Budget”, “Smart Guide to Wedding Weekends”, and “1001 Ways to Save Money and Still have a Dazzling Wedding”. Her two books for the mothers of the bride and groom are bestsellers, and she has appeared on such top shows as Good Morning America, ABC News, Lifetime, Inside Edition and more – sharing tips and insider secrets to help you plan your dream wedding on a budget, personalized to your love story. Visit her site Sharon Naylor for more on her books, free worksheets and appearances. She lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband Joe and is at work on her next two wedding books.

Read more by Sharon here

If you are looking for an overseas destination to celebrate your honeymoon be sure to consider New York – a stylish and sophisticated metropolis that offers an appealing blend of sightseeing, shopping and live theatre. This distinguished state in America also lays claim to a well-recognised cultural presence, which includes some of the finest museums, art galleries and designer fashion houses in the world.

New York is an exciting and energy packed city, and is home to some of the most renowned landmarks and attractions in America. The city is made up of five boroughs or districts – Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx, all of these regions are linked by bridges, tunnels and ferries, and a comprehensive public transport system ensures seamless travel to all areas. New York City is filled with art, architecture and history and also offers some of the best shopping in the world. The most popular tourist attractions are all centrally located in Manhattan; these popular sights provide tourists with a diverse selection of landmarks and tourist hot spots in very close proximity to the central region.

New York’s top attractions
• Times Square – the hub of New York City, filled with shopping, live theatre, street dancing and where most of the tourist population converge to enjoy the bright lights of the big city.

• Central Park – New York’s ‘back yard’ spans approximately 843 acres and consists of scenic hills, lakes, meadows, trees and shrubs. Also home to a zoo, Central Park is the ideal playground for locals and tourists to enjoy, and a great place to jog, walk or enjoy a picnic.

• The Empire State Building – the tallest and most famous skyscraper in New York, it is an elegant example of art deco architecture and has been featured in movies such as ‘King Kong’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. Travel up to the observatory level on the 102nd floor and view the city from its highest peak.

• The Statue of Liberty – the symbol of freedom for millions of American citizens. This graceful lady was a gift from France to America in 1876. Visit the base of the statue, or take a ferry trip and circle the statue seaside.

• Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of the world’s great art museums with a collection that spans 5000 years of culture from all continents.

• Broadway – lavish theatres and restaurants adorn the region of the theatre district home to live performances, music and dance.

• St Patricks Cathedral – is America’s largest Catholic cathedral and a gothic representation of 1878 architecture.

Weather conditions
• The weather in New York can vary from day to day, but a guide to the seasons can certainly help you plan your wardrobe.

• Spring in New York typically brings light wind and rain, with temperatures ranging from cool to very warm.

• Summer is known for bright, sunny, hot days.

• Autumn is cool and crisp.

• Winter is cold and generally snowy with temperatures often plunging below zero.

• Generally the city is warm and sunny from May to October with lower temperatures and snow in winter months.

Shopping in New York
The city of New York offers fashionistas a tempting array of designer shops and department stores to indulge in. Boasting some of the world’s premium boutiques, the shopping precinct of New York is an alluring attraction for all shopaholics.

Shopping hot spots
• Fifth Avenue – home to the most desirable premium brands such as Louis Vuitton; Tiffany & Co.; Gucci , Cartier and headquarters to Harry Winston, the sought after jeweller to the stars. This well known high-end shopping location will also surprise you with brands such as Nine West, Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger in the mix.

• Macy’s – marvel in the magic of this American department store chain – Macy’s, with 10 floors of shopping experience, Macy’s is the largest department store in New York.

• Bloomingdales – located on Lexington Avenue between 59th and 60th street and is a favourite shopping destination for visitors.

• Saks on Fifth Avenue – offers shoppers premium end brands and a selection of imported merchandise.

• Soho – famous for an eclectic mix of fashion, art and furniture, Soho is the newest shopping precinct in town.

• Woodbury Common – situated approx 55 minutes from downtown Manhattan, the premium outlet shopping location offers avid shoppers the opportunity to grab a bargain with labels such as Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace and Coach just to name a few. Over 220 specialty stores are at your doorstop, which will make the near hour bus trip well worth the wait.

Where to eat
New York is represented by a myriad of ethnic groups and nationalities, and all of them have bought their culinary
skills from around the world. Cultural favourites such as pizza and pasta are renowned in the big apple, and Italian
cuisine is popular, particularly in ‘Little Italy’. Recently a new wave of modern cuisine has arrived on the scene and
one thing’s for sure – whatever food your palette desires you will be confident to find it in New York City.

Some favourites to enjoy
• Angelo’s Pizza – the most famous Pizzeria in New York City, located in 8th Avenue next to the famous David Letterman television studio.

• Matt’s Grill – try the best burgers and steaks in town, accompanied by loads of fries, typical American cuisine.

• Avoce Restaurant – a new kid on the block, modern Italian cuisine located in the Times Warner building at Columbus Square.

• Momofuku Ssäm Bar – Asian influenced modern cuisine located on Second Avenue at 13th Street.

• Grays Papaya – if you are looking for the best hot dog in town you can’t go past this eatery that started out as a simple juice bar until their hot dogs made headlines around the city as the greatest around.

• Scarpetta – located on 14th Street between 8th and 9th exceptional new vogue Italian cuisine, opened by a hot new chef on the food scene.

Tours
If you want to really see New York, consider purchasing a bus tour package which is a great way to see the sights and also be entertained by the local tourist operators who will add a bit of flavour with their commentary, revealing stories on stars, gossip and landmarks. One of the main benefits of a bus tour is that many offer a ‘hop on hop off’ ticket which lasts for several days and is a great way to depart the tour at certain areas that interest you, and then rejoin the bus tour later. ‘City Sights New York’ offers a great selection of tours which include a boat ride that takes you around The Statue of Liberty. The tour operators man various streets enabling you to purchase tickets easily.

Where to Stay
There is so much accommodation available in New York, from large hotels and apartments to boutique style lodges. All accommodation located in the central area of New York City is situated close to most attractions, the main shopping precinct, and popular restaurants. New York is easily accessible by subway, bus or by simply walking. Visit the websites below for accommodation options. New York is a buzz of excitement, and planning your trip is half the fun. With so much to do, you will be completely enthralled and whether you have a day or a month, the American city of New York will captivate you. New York will be an experience you won’t easily forget, and will keep you coming back for more.

For more information on New York visit:
www.nyctourist.com | www.iloveny.com | www.nycgo.com

Photography by Calli B Photography

Words by Terrianne Burns

Ms Gingham says: No matter how many times you see these iconic images of this city they are still awe inspiring. One of the top contenders for honeymoon locations surely.

About Calli: Calli moved from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast and operated a home based photography business for a few years before moving into the boutique Maroochydore studio in 2008. Calli’s style of photography could be described as natural, candid and romantic. Calli has a beautiful daughter who she loves to spend her spare time with. Calli is a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).

Read more by Calli here.