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We might be staying put at present, but it’s still the City Issue here on Polka Dot Bride and we always like to feel inspired for a brighter day. That includes international travel! Here are five of our favourite big city hustle honeymoons to get you mentally packing the old passport.

1. Mia & Zak’s Maldives, Paris and Dubai Honeymoon

Lucky Mia and Zak, who married in a classic and elegant Melbourne wedding, went on to honeymoon in three amazing locations. They were in awe of the culture, history and food in Paris, and loved the bright lights and endless activity options in Dubai. Read more about their adventures in their full post.

 

2. Carol & Jonathan’s Dreamy Tokyo Honeymoon

After tying the knot in a fun ‘colour pop’ Brisbane wedding, these two jet-setted off to Japan! While in Tokyo, these visited locations such as the Pokemon Centre in Ikebukuro, a small part of Harajuku, and the Meiji Shrine. Hear more about their travels in Tokyo and Japan here.

3. Kelly & Andrew’s Hong Kong Honeymoon

“Being married in November helped to narrow down the choices, due to it being winter in many of the places we considered,” says Kelly. “We decided to head somewhere warmer, but it wasn’t a lazy honeymoon by the pool we had in mind!” So with that, Kelly and Dave headed off to exciting Hong Kong. Read about their travels, including their trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, here.

4. Sally & Michael’s Rome Honeymoon

These lucky newlyweds had a three part honeymoon, featuring beautiful Paris, stunning Florence, and the incredible Rome! In Rome, they checked out all the famous landmarks and filled their bellies with delicious Italian food. Get all the Rome honeymoon inspo in their original post.

5. Melissa & Jeff’s Koh Samui and Singapore Honeymoon

After six nights kicking back in Koh Samui, Perth couple Melissa and Jeff traded the beach for the hustle and bustle of Singapore. They stayed in the iconic and luxurious Marina Bay Sands hotel, which they said was like a city in itself! Looking for Singapore travel or honeymoon tips? Melissa has you covered.

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Emma & Grant

“Emma and Grant are so perfect for each other, it pours out of their aura,” says their wedding photographer, Esther of The Love Archives. “They’re private but bubbly and confident. They’re loved by many and love to keep their affections close to their hearts. They had a stunning first look prior to the ceremony where they read each other their vows (this was a tearful moment for all four of us) and they went and got married on a pier over the crystal clear blue water of Vanuatu.” Below, Grant details how his and Emma’s elopement at Ratua Island Resort unfolded.

Emma and I met on Tinder. When it came time to propose, we were scuba diving. I had planned to propose to Emma underwater… but we got separated. When Emma surfaced, I was there waiting for her and surprised her with a wedding proposal (still in the water) – in front of her father who had remained on our boat.

We were married on the private island/resort of Ratua in Vanuatu on March 1, 2020. We had planned to have a wedding celebration party shortly after we returned from Vanuatu, however we have moved the party to our first wedding anniversary in 2021, due to COVID-19 and lockdown etc.

Emma looked absolutely incredible wearing a beautiful white dress by Wilkins Bridal.

Just before we did our vows – Esther (our photographer) made me wait with my eyes closed. Then I heard Whitney Houston playing. Emma had Whitney playing on her phone (which was in a pocket of her wedding dress) to help keep her relaxed and smiling. Esther then told me to open my eyes once Emma was in front of me and I have never seen such beauty and happiness at the same time – all while Whitney Houston was playing!

I wore a suit that consisted of a white shirt, a green jacket and matching shorts. It was far too hot to wear trousers and shoes!

One of the things that made our elopement so special was that we could pause proceedings at any stage of the day to reset and compose ourselves – I was very emotional!

The venue, Ratua, is a small private Island that is located near the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. We wanted our wedding to be special yet relaxed and informal. We didn’t want everyone to be staring at us (like conventional weddings) and we wanted it to be just about us… and it was. Ratua nailed it!

We did not choose any music, however the resort put on the Ratua string band. Emma walked down the aisle by herself (with the Ratua string band following her).

We had no say in the flowers – they were a surprise and were perfect, lush and very vibrant and tropical.

We wanted our day to be exactly was WE wanted it. We didn’t need to think about other people, there was no stress about where other guests might sit (there weren’t any), we didn’t have to worry about the food or any allergies (it was just the two of us). It was just the two of us and that made it all the more magical.

Our photographer Esther Boyd from The Love Archives was amazing and had such a relaxing manner.

It was hot and humid, very hot and humid. We were able to pause throughout the day to keep cool and calm because it was just us, and we were doing exactly what we wanted to do. We loved that we had the ability to do that. Then of course the swim at the end! We didn’t have a first dance on our wedding day, but perhaps our first dance was without music when we danced together in the ocean still wearing our wedding attire?

Incorporating our honeymoon and our favourite recreational activity (scuba diving) in to our wedding trip was also a highlight. We didn’t just get married, we experienced some of the best diving on the planet and also had an amazing honeymoon!

Emma & Grant’s Vanuatu Elopement (Feb 2020) The Love Archives from Esther Boyd on Vimeo.

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations on such a beautiful elopement in paradise, that was true to the both of you. Wishing you both the very best and a fun celebration with your loved ones next year!

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Image via Mayfair Hotel

Let’s face it, your honeymoon planning might be looking a little bit different these days. It’s not quite as simple as hopping on a plane to Paris or booking a summer jaunt in New York City anymore. But that doesn’t mean you and your special someone can’t have a honeymoon to remember. We’re swapping out international hotspots for domestic must-dos.

Paris for Sydney
Planned on getting loved up in the City of Love? Drinking champagne under the bright lights of the Eiffel Tower, eating pain au chocolat at a cute café, perusing the shops for a few special pieces? Well, how about putting a Sydney spin on things? Spicers Potts Point sits on a leafy street back from the hustle of Kings Cross and is the perfect Parisian style pied-à-terre close to home. The Victorian terrace houses were transformed a few years back and are a study in soft whites, hardwood floors and high ceilings. Head just across the road to The Butler for cocktails on the terrace – Sydney Tower in the background (it’s no Eiffel, but hey it’s a tower!) and in the morning wander down the road for breakfast at Yellow. Très bien!

Images via Spicers Potts Point

New York City for Melbourne
The shopping, the street art, the food – New York, we love you all year round. Just not right now. Soak up a little bit of Big Apple magic with a trip to Melbourne. Stick with us. Shopping. A big tick there. Street art. Graffiti laneways aplenty. Tick. Food. Tick, tick tick. And, you’re probably going to get better coffee. Zagame’s House burst onto the scene last year, converting a motel into one of the coolest boutique hotels around town. The location certainly helps; sitting on Lygon Street in Carlton, you’re surrounded by cafes and eateries, although with the 1851 Coffee and Kitchen and Lord Lygon Wine Shop both onsite, you don’t have to go far. Then there’s the bright pops of neon, the fun art pieces (say hi to the gold bullion-style bulldog on your way through the lobby), the super-size honesty mini bars in your room, and the industrial chic interior design – you might as well call this the Lower West Side.

Images via Zagame’s House

Los Angeles for Brisbane
Yes, you did read that right. If you still thought Brisbane was a sleepy riverside city, think again. Sure, it’s a bold claim to say it can compare to the City of Angels, and the answer lies in Fortitude Valley. Yes, LA has a valley, but that’s not why. The reason is The Calile Hotel. While we weren’t looking, this 175 room hotel has emerged as a vision of green and white poolside umbrellas, polished concrete and a dreamy gold and pastel pink colour scheme. Did we mention the swaying palm trees? And the spa? Oh and there’s the award winning Hellenika restaurant on site – one of the hottest tables around town. No need for Hollywood Boulevard either – The Calile brings it to you, with the superstars of Aussie design lining the shops around the lobby. Think Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, Venroy and Carla Zampatti. Treat yourselves to the Suite Dreams stay – Ruinart Brut Rose champagne in your room, $100 Lobby bar, late checkout, valet parking and turn down – the works!

Images: Sean Fennessy

Stratford Upon Avon for Launceston
Shakespeare fans out there will have this quaint English town on the top of their to do lists, and if you wanted your own Shakespeare in Love moment, consider heading to Launceston. Green rolling hills, winding river, cute Tudor style houses, crisp morning air – there’s a lot more parallels than you’d think. Base yourself in the Leisure Inn Penny Royal for a few days of fresh country air and cosy evenings. Located alongside the Tamar River, the hotel dates back to the 1840s, when it was a corn mill, before being relocated and rebuilt back in the 1950s. It’s still full of character, with the onsite Penny Royal Adventure Park hosting ghost tours and a live canon firing complete with costumed re-enactment to keep you entertained.

Images via Leisure Inn Penny Royal

Florence for Adelaide
Dreaming of walking down the cobblestoned streets of Florence with your amore? Drinking Aperol spritz as the sun goes down? Well, The City of Churches might offer you more than just a slice of Italy. Base yourself at the Mayfair Hotel on King William Street, in a grand old dame building that has been transformed into a beautiful hotel. Make a beeline for the rooftop Hennessy bar, where there’s faux skin rugs on the floor, chandeliers on the rafters and great views out across Adelaide’s skyline. Then, in the morning, get in the car and head up to the Adelaide Hills. There might not be fields of sunflowers under a Tuscan sun, but there’s strawberry fields ripe for the picking, and plenty of wineries for you to stop in for a tasting.

Images via Mayfair Hotel

Whether you want to sip cocktails under the sun, curl up in a bay window or soak up a pool scene, you can have that honeymoon close to home and not be disappointed.

Ms Floral Says: This is such a clever way to get a change of scenery when you can’t travel too far! Australia really has so much to offer honeymooners and travellers. Thanks Lisa!

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.