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Looking for something a little different for your honeymoon? Hoping to make incredible memories in a place like no other? This month’s ‘inside the photo’ is sure to inspire your wild side and give you special moments you’ll reflect on for the years to come.

Come with us as we set off to Africa!

The location

Kenya is located on the east of Africa and is home to some of the world’s most majestic animals including rhinos, lions and elephants.

Close to the Samburu National Reserves in Kenya’s Northern Frontier District is where you will find SASAAB.  SASAAB came to be in 2007, out of a need to protect and promote the remote wilderness of its surrounds.  And it is here that your perfect honeymoon awaits!

About the accommodation

Wake up to enjoy an enormous open-air bathroom and the comforts of your own private plunge pool. Each of the nine rooms located at the intimately designed SASAAB are over 100m2, and boast an incredible view toward Mount Kenya where you can gaze at elephants as they bathe in the river.

You won’t have to lift a finger during your honeymoon at SASAAB or worry about where you are going to eat. Your stay includes all meals and most drinks, excluding some alcoholic beverages. Additionally, if you have little ones, babysitters are available, if you just want some alone time together.

In the photo

Experience luxury at the SpaSaab, where the team will use natural Kenyan ingredients as well as Healing Earth skin care products to get you relaxed and feeling rejuvenated.

And of course you’ll still have the incredible views to enjoy whilst you receive world-class treatments.

Also loving…

Perfect for a honeymoon all year round, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. Take advantage of your surrounds and participate in bird watching, or stargaze during the night enjoying the tranquility. Take a game drive and see how many of ‘the big 5’ you can spot or stretch your legs on a guided walk.

All images via SASAAB – The Safari Collection 

Ms Zebra Says: If there was an experience I could recommend, it would definitely be Safari! LOVE this honeymoon idea!!

About Bec Lawrence: I’m an animal lover, sustainability advocate and natural landscape enthusiast. On a good weekend, you’ll find me hiking with my two adorable beagles and my equally adorable husband.

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Image by Garrett Hill. Nashville: the music city.

Image by Garrett Hill. Nashville: the music city.

One of the great mysteries to me will always be how Las Vegas seems to lure Aussie honeymooners to the USA more than Nashville, Tennessee. I think it comes down to the countless films romanticising the Las Vegas experience, but if it’s a party you’re looking for, Nashville is the place to go. I think the opening line on the Nashville Music City website hits the nail on the head: “You won’t find a city more accommodating, authentic and accessible than Nashville.”

And the music scene? “Second to none.”

What to eat

We could probably just do a whole article on ‘what to eat’ in Nashville – music may be the star here, but the cuisine is close behind!

Let’s talk barbecue. There are so many options in Nashville and you’ll find they all have lines to get in – so get there early. Check out this list from the Nashville Eater for a few options, but my fave is Martin’s Bar B Que. These peeps put a “fresh hog” on the pit each day, leaving it to cook for the next day’s customers. “We believe in the importance of good technique and doing things the right way,” the Martin’s Bar B Que team says. From ribs to chicken, whole shoulders and sides made from scratch, you can’t go wrong.

What to drink

I was more than a little sceptical about the ‘Bushwacker’ – which I kept seeing signs for at every bar I went to. For starters, something called a ‘bushwacker’ in Australia is not exactly appealing. So what is it? Basically, it’s a boozy thickshake and in the Nashville sunshine, it really hit the spot.

I tried to find out what was in it, but I got that coy local response of ‘it’s a trade secret’. After a bit of research, I found out they’re usually rum based (but you can get whiskey too) and naturally, they feature milk and/or ice cream. Just trust me, get one.

But wait a bit before you get number two!

Image by Paul Brennan. Nashville is a music lover's paradise.

Image by Paul Brennan. Nashville is a music lover’s paradise.

What to do

It would be remiss of me not to mention the music scene, after all, this is the Music City we’re talking about. If you’re feeling chill, you can head to the Johnny Cash Museum or even take in a line dancing class at the Wild Horse Saloon while the sun is still high in the sky.

But Mrs Houndstooth and I waited until the sun went down and then headed out to Lower Broadway in the city’s downtown core. This place was amazing. Every single bar had live music playing. Every. Single. Bar.

It got to the point where we’d stroll down the street and stand out the front of the bar, listen for 30 seconds and if we liked the song and sound of the band, we went in. I’ll never forget heading into a Honky Tonk bar to hear a band play, only to discover they were all the way from North Queensland! If you love live music, Nashville has to be at the top of your list.

Just for fun

I was amazed at the amount of bikes pedalling around the streets of Nashville and I don’t mean hipsters on fixies. I’m talking party bikes! Also known as ‘pedal taverns’, these things are pretty much the most fun you can have riding a bike.

Sitting side by side with fellow Nashville tourists, you help pedal your oversized bike (with someone responsible steering the way) with beer in hand (it’s BYO) and music cranking. It’s a great way to see Nashville while having a few drinks. The Nashville Pedal Tavern has custom,15-passenger bikes with certified tour guides to reveal the secrets of Broadway’s legendary Honky Tonks and Midtown’s Music Row.

About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.

Olivia & Mark

If there ever was a place that was ripe for a destination wedding, we’re pretty sure Tuscany would be it. Today, we’re specifically talking about the Italian town of Chiusdino, and it’s stunning Italian villas (14th century!) and historic Abbeys (13th century!) because it turns out? They’re just the most amazing spot to tie the knot Just ask these two Aussie, Olivia and Irishman Mark!

Enlisting the help of photographer Pixel and Halide, the pair planned a fun-filled holiday for their guests (their invitation, of course, worthy for inclusion in The Invitation Issue), all culminating in an outdoor reception under the Italian sky. With seeing their venue only 72 hours before the wedding, and not speaking any Italian, I’m pretty sure these two nailed it (and can we talk about Olivia’s blush pink gown?)

The pair first met at a house party, in the bride’s words “I was taken along to a house party – I almost didn’t go. Mark lived there and was half-heartedly participating in the festivities. I asked him out afterwards and the rest is history.”

Mark popped the question on a romantic picnic. “I was studying for a University assignment one weekend when Mark suggested we go for a picnic to the Botanic Gardens in Brisbane so that I could study outside. Once we got there, Mark waited for a couple of hours, with the ring burning a hole in his pocket, because he knew that there would be no study done once I said yes!”

Carefully considered invitations were packed with information for travelling guests. Of their decision for a destination wedding, the bride recounts “Italy chose us!. We just wanted a destination wedding that would make a nice holiday venue for all those who made the trip. Once we started looking into locations in Italy, it’s beguiling beauty meant that we couldn’t shake the idea.”

“We didn’t have a theme per se, the beautiful postcard-perfect Tuscan countryside provided the vibe and would have outshone any theme if we had chosen one” notes Olivia. “I did carry over the blue and gold detailing from the invitation to the place cards, but they were definitely secondary to the beautiful brickwork, rolling hillsides, olive branches and regional wine.”

The groom, set on wearing a suit, chose an ensemble by Wil Valor.

Olivia opted out of dress hunting, instead, she worked with Suzanne Spicer to create her beautiful blush gown. She shares “I didn’t try on a single dress (too scary/too itchy/too much pressure/too much lace) or venture into a single bridal-wear store. I chose to have my dress made because I knew what I wanted. I was nervous about my decision. These nerves made me second-guess my ideas, but I was well supported and kept steadfast by a lovely, talented dressmaker; the ladies at Fabric Collection with legendary fabric fitness; and my beautiful friend. My favourite part about the experience was playing dress-ups with beautiful silk, and my favourite part of her dress was the pink layer and how the silk flowed and moved.”

Olivia walked down the aisle with her mother to “Ave Maria” by Schubert. “We had a different idea of what we wanted” explains Olivia. “But the gentleman who was hired to play let us know what song would ‘create more feeling’; we chose to trust his expertise and are glad we did.”

“The ceremony was held at Abbey San Galgano; it’s a roofless gothic style XIII century ruin of a monastery,” remembers Olivia.

Siena Flowers styled the floral details of the day. “Simple greenery decorated the tables” remembers Olivia. “The only other flowers were my bouquet. The groom had sent, via email, a rough idea of what I wanted. It turned up on the morning of laden with beautiful, chubby peonies and then I never wanted to put it down!”

And of course, what better to serve up at an Italian wedding than gelato? Gelato Frullalla coming to the party for delighted guests.

“One in a million. A tireless artist, cheerleader and friend” tell the newlyweds of their photographer.

Tenuta Di Papena hosted a beautiful outdoor reception for the newlyweds The bride telling “We wanted a reception venue that family and friends could stay at. Tenuta Di Papena is a converted XIIII century monastery that is not only beautiful but also had room for family, was close to other accommodation, and is a short drive from what turned out to be a beautiful venue for the ceremony. The team was so supportive and even helped us complete all the paperwork!”

“I’m sure it is particularly difficult for any bride and groom to choose just one favourite moment”  notes Olivia. “We were particularly moved by how many family and friends made the long journey to Italy to celebrate with us.”

For their first dance under the Italian sky, the newlyweds chose The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”. “We are not and will never be good dancers” explains Olivia

A big congratulations to you both Olivia and Mark! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day. Thank you also to Pixel and Halide for sharing today’s celebration.

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