Although Mr. C’s and my first registering experience was a bit of a disaster, we learned some valuable registry info during those few hours spent fumbling around Target’s home section. Since I’m all about learning from past mistakes (not making a solid game-plan prior to our Target trip was mistake #1), we took what we learned during our first trip and applied it to the rest of our registry-making. Since I’m also all about being transparent for the sake of helping other brides who have yet to experience the fun/hellish experience that is registering, I’m sharing the mistakes we made and how we were able to fix them by first learning the hard way what not to do.
I am in no way a wedding-registry prodigy, nor did Mr. C and I do everything right when it came to building our list registries. HA. If only! I’m sharing our experience with registering to shed some reality on the whole thing and hopefully give a few helpful tips + tricks to use when it comes time to put your registry knowledge into action. Without further ado…
Mistake #1: Failing to Make a Plan
It’s almost embarrassing to admit Mr. C’s and my trip to Target was sans any sort of list/checklist of what we needed as a married couple about to start building a life together. We scanned things only as we came upon them in their respective aisles, which lead to us forgetting some of the “essentials” (How could we forget the toaster?!) and including some of the more obscure “desired” items (I’m lookin’ at you, wok!).
Today, our honeymoon expert Sara Margulis is sharing her honeymoon deals and ideas for a much-needed escape to somewhere warm: the South Pacific. Sara is co-founder of Honeyfund, the world’s most popular honeymoon registry. Sara and her husband, Josh, also started Plumfund, the easiest way to raise money for travel, gifts, or anything else—for free. As a champion of budget-conscious honeymooners for the better part of a decade, Sara’s got an eagle-eye for romantic travel deals. Learn more or start your Honeyfund today!
The South Pacific has to be the ultimate post-wedding escape. Friendly resort staff are known for pulling out all the stops: beds and baths strewn with tropical flowers turned down and drawn for you each afternoon, couple’s massages with blossom-scented oil, private moonlit dinners on the beach, breathtaking overwater bungalows where your only distractions are the brilliant fish swimming below the glass porthole in the floor, and a room-service tray being delivered to your private deck.
Sound like a honeymoon in paradise? You bet. You will LOVE the South Pacific.
Booking a dream honeymoon in the South Pacific takes some extra attention. Plenty of resort deals can be had online (see below!), but you must follow up personally with each resort to book internal transfers (to/from the airport, and between islands). In Fiji, where the official language is English, you can easily manage this. However, in Tahiti, where French is spoken, you may need an interpreter or a professional travel agent to take care of these details.
Best Time of Year to Go: From April 1 to October 31, temperatures are milder, and there are fewer rain showers with less humidity, as well as better visibility for divers. This is high season. Off-season, November to March, means more chance of rain, but less crowded resorts, and it still offers warm temperatures.
When Josh and I were engaged, we were working full time, planning a wedding, and frankly, sometimes bogged down by the rate race. Whenever the stress overcame us we had a little catch phrase we would say in unison: “Let’s go to Fiji, right now!” Actually, it was our Fiji dream, a luxury honeymoon halfway around the world, that inspired us to create Honeyfund!
Fiji was EVERYTHING we dreamed of. Gorgeous beaches, crystal blue waters, sweeping sunsets, amazing tropical food, world-class snorkeling/SCUBA, and lush island landscapes.
Beyond our dreams, we discovered a warmth of the Fijian people that really made our honeymoon special. When you arrive and hear the resort staff shout “Bula!” (welcome) you will simply be enchanted by their hospitality. In the evenings, you may be welcomed into a ceremonial kava-drinking and singing. During the day, bring a sevusevu (a small gift of kava root) to the chief of a nearby village.
Fiji’s warm South Pacific water is equally inviting, and is known to snorkelers and divers as the Soft Coral Capital of the world. See my note below about diving!
While there are wonderful resorts everywhere, I can personally vouch for all-inclusive resorts in the Mamanuca Island chain (pronounced “mamanutha”), or on the island of Taveuni. Travel between islands is done by plane, via one of two cities on the big island of Viti Levu. Nadi (prounced “Nan-dee”) is where the international flights land, and offers great places to eat, drink, and shop. Suva, the capital, boasts museums, a beautiful national park (Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve), markets, and more. Both can make a nice stop-over between islands.
Be sure to eat some Indian food while in either city. There is a large Indian population in Fiji and especially on the island of Viti Levu.
Visit the international date line in Taveuni, where the 180-degree meridian runs right through the island. Also be sure to visit the Tavoro Waterfalls. Both can be arranged by your resort.
Also not to miss in Fiji is snorkeling or SCUBA diving in the Somosomo Straight, the Soft Coral Capital of the world! Just off Taveuni and south into the Koro Sea lies this rich marine ecosystem. On the main island of Viti Levu, you’ll find top-quality SCUBA diving right at Rakiraki, with pristine reefs and an abundance of fish. For a real thrill, visit the shark-feeding dives in the waters off Pacific Harbour, just off Viti Levu.
- Save 40% on Mana Island Resort and Spa.
- Book here now for low rates on Mololo Island Resort in Fiji (where Sara & Josh stayed on their Fiji honeymoon!).
- Book now for 25% off Taberua Island Resort (discount for stays between June 1, 2015 and October 31, 2015).
Nicknamed the “Queen of the Pacific,” the island of Tahiti is lush and green with soaring peaks, rushing waterfalls, and an abundance of beaches. Tahiti is the biggest island in French Polynesia, and the common name for French Polynesia, a collection of islands under French rule, which also includes Mo’orea and Bora Bora. French rule means not a lot of English is spoken here, but the magic of Tahiti translates well across the language barrier.
The picturesque overwater bungalow common in so many honeymoon postcards was created more than 50 years ago in Tahiti. When you dive into the lagoon of your private deck, be sure to bring a mask and snorkel—schools of brilliant tropical fish await!
Beyond lounging at your bungalow, or beachside, couples will find plenty of adventure in Tahiti! Try snorkeling or SCUBA diving, feed the sharks, or jet ski through the crystal blue water. In the evenings, let Tahitian fire dancers hypnotize you with their flaming torches.
As you come in for a landing, look out the window of your plane to see Mount Otemanu, the island’s mesmerizing volcanic peak, surrounded by a shimmering lagoon. Also, be sure to visit the Black Pearl Museum, or at least hit up the markets to see the beautiful Tahitian black pearls for sale.
Heiva is the month-long cultural celebration offering activities and parties throughout the month of July. You won’t find another opportunity to experience so many traditions in such a short space of time, from dance, singing, and food to sports like javelin, stone lifting, tree climbing, and canoe racing.
- 5th Night Free at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa.
- Stay Five Nights for 30% Off Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island.
- Save 25% on Four Nights or More at Le Meridien Tahiti.
More about our resident honeymoon expert, Sara:
I am a wedding-industry CEO and lover of all things wedding, gifting, and travel. I’ve stayed at luxury all-inclusive resorts, hostels, and everything in between. Between myself and my co-founder and husband, Josh, we have visited five continents and will see the sixth this year (South America). Our love of travel fueled our own honeymoon dream, halfway around the world in Fiji. We already had everything we needed for our home, we just wanted one fantastic journey to start our lives together. From the generous contributions of our own wedding guests, Honeyfund was born! Sign up today!
Stay tuned next week as Sara jets us off to our next honeymoon locale! Are you headed to the South Pacific for your honeymoon? Where and when are you headed there?
Catch up with all of Sara’s honeymoon tips and ideas here.
Post ceremony, Mr. BC and I made our way down the aisle. Funny story, the aisle was really narrow (or maybe my dress was just big?), so I just walked in front of Mr. BC (and my dad).
We were handed glasses of champagne.
Though I gave her a hard time, I have to say, I’m grateful my mom won the battle on our rehearsal guest list and thankful that they were able to put it together for us. At our reception there were so many guests I hadn’t seen in so long, and one night just wasn’t enough to catch up and have some meaningful conversation. But with the family and friends that attended our rehearsal dinner, I felt like I got some quality time with each of them. It also gave me the chance to practice the art of table hopping—staying long enough to have a conversation with each person but excusing myself to move onto the next group of people.
Just to get this off my chest…I do not believe that BM is a suitable acronym for the lovely ladies who will be by my side on the most wonderful day of my life. I’ve giggled one too many times at brides-to-be that casually use this acronym to describe their bridesmaids without actually realizing what this acronym usually stands for. So I will be using BBM (which in my world stands for “Best Bridesmaid) in place of BM. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just ignore this last paragraph and proceed on.
the ultimate bridesmaids, let’s be honest. GIF via Photobucket
Star66 shares a ring photo from her recent wedding.
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I have a lot to say about why a long engagement worked for us, but one challenge I never thought about was that with a two-year engagement, that leaves plenty of time for me to completely forget about very important, time-sensitive tasks. Let me tell you a funny little story: I call it “The Time My Long Engagement Caused Me to Lose the Ability to Perform Basic Math.” (I’m still working on the title.)
Around the beginning of December, Mr. T and I went out for a celebratory dinner. We were celebrating the end of my clinical fieldwork rotation, Mr. T’s new job, our six-year dating anniversary, and the six-month mark before our wedding. It was so coincidental that all of these occasions occurred around the same point in time! It wasn’t until several weeks later, around the new year, that I realized that wasn’t actually the six months till our wedding date—it was the five months till our wedding date. Six months had come and gone, and I still had not decided on my bridesmaids’ look. Oops.
One of the very first projects I undertook when we got engaged was to put together a wedding binder. I know those things are getting kinda outdated nowadays, what with Pinterest and iPhones and all that newfangled stuff the hoodlums like to play with, but I had my reasons for starting a binder.
For one thing, I generally just prefer looking at things on paper than on the computer screen. (If there’s something I really have to read carefully at work, I’ll print out a copy and go at it with a highlighter. Environmental studies major FAIL.) For another, it’s easier for me to go to a meeting with, say, our florist or my hairstylist if I have my inspiration photos printed out full size, rather than trying to zoom in far enough on my phone’s screen to see the details. And finally, I’m big-time into saving mementos, and I figured the binder would become the ultimate memento post wedding day. Those hopes were justified when I came across my mom’s wedding binder a few months later (OK, fine, it was really a scrapbook that her mom put together of all the wedding planning stuff, but close enough):
Yes, that is an early-days spreadsheet that bears an eerie resemblance to my bevy of Google spreadsheets. I am my mom’s clone.