- Five Reasons to Have a Long Engagement by Mrs. Tractor
- Planning a Cocktail Reception Timeline by Miss Narwhal
- Let’s Get This Party Started: Clownfish Edition by Miss Clownfish
- Bridesmaids’ Dress in Real Life by Miss Coral
- Wedding-Day Timelines by Miss Tractor
- Looking at Traditions by Miss Narwhal
- Our (Non-Fall) Color Palette by Miss Clownfish
- Monumental Love: Liturgy of the World by Mrs. Pyramid
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered! Crabs Are Hitched. by Mrs. Crab
- Florists in the Making by Miss Orca
Bacon and donuts and eggs, oh my!*
Before Mr. C and I had any other wedding detail planned out (even including the date!) we knew without a doubt in our minds that we wanted to serve breakfast food at our wedding. It is our favorite meal of the day, and whenever we are home from breaks one of our favorite things to do is make breakfast for each other. We’re also known to eat breakfast foods any time of day. ‘Cause, hello, my stomach don’t care what the clock says when there’s a plat of bacon and pancakes in front of me.
Originally, when the wedding was taking place at our church, we had planned a mid-morning/afternoon affair. This timeline made sense for breakfast/brunch food, as we would be serving our guests around 11:30 AM. When our wedding vision got shifted around and we were forced into having an evening wedding, we still did not waiver from our original plan to serve breakfast. “Brinner” it was.
A photo like this is totally happening.
Pouyev is showing off a photo of her bridal party.
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One of the first decisions we made during wedding planning was hiring our photographer, Anni, of Anni Cee Photographie. Anni and I met several years ago online through blogging and social media. I ran a DIY blog and Anni was starting her photography business—we exchanged comments and emails and countless tweets. I got the opportunity to meet her in person for the first time while she was visiting LA (Mr. Tractor and I lived there at the time), and she was just as sweet and wonderful in real life as she was on the internet! During a road trip later on, we both got to meet her again in Chicago.
Photo by Anni Cee
I feel so lucky to know Anni; she really is a true friend, even though we’ve only truly met a few times. She is an amazing photographer, and I’ve been able to watch her talent grow over the years through her online portfolio and blog. Though she is not based in Boston, Mr. Tractor and I decided it was worth it to have someone we love and trust shoot our wedding, and we made the decision to fly Anni out for our wedding.
When it comes to decision making, I don’t tend to hem and haw over things. Once I know something, I know it. I feel pretty confident in my decisions once I’ve made them. Sometimes I search forever, and sometimes I get it on the first shot…but once I have it figured out, it’s generally set in stone.
Some decisions are like forks in the road. / Etsy shop jessicaNdesigns
Mr. Narwhal and I tend to share a brain on a lot of things and trust each other’s opinions. We each have our things that we are good at and have an eye for, and when we come to each other with an idea or anything wedding related, we generally have the “sure, sounds good” approach to things.
So, when we last left off, the wedding was basically planned, but I didn’t have locations confirmed for anything. I started reaching out to the wedding coordinator after Christmas to try to get these details nailed down. And…I never got any responses back to my emails. I was kind of in my Zen by this point, and I figured it would work itself out. My last email to the wedding coordinator was the day before we left, and I was like: “We leave tomorrow, so I’m going to leave it in your capable hands to relay wedding-related information to our guests since I am no longer in a position to do so. Thanks! See you soon!”
Just kidding. | Image via someecards
Around this same time, my photographer reached out to me to go over the details and create a timeline for the day. I knew this was going to happen; when booking him he told me that he knows the resorts and the DR, has done a million weddings, and would create the timeline for the day. That was one of the reasons I hired him. He was more than just a photographer; he was kind of a day-of coordinator! I hadn’t been worried about the schedule because he said he had it.
This week, our honeymoon expert Sara Margulis is taking us to Italy to share her latest honeymoon deals and ideas! 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!
Mr. and Mrs. Mouse hit Milan for their honeymoon! Read about it here.
If a hip city scene is the vibe you seek, Milan is the honeymoon destination for you. Milan is Italy’s economic and financial heart, home to Italy’s stock exchange and tech scene. Not to mention renowned fashion, design, and shopping, and a sparkling night life. Don’t visit without some extra spending money!
The Brera District looks like the perfect place to for honeymooners, with art galleries, shops, and restaurants, proximity to major landmarks (La Scala, Duomo), and a plethora of B&Bs. While a B&B could be romantic, to me a honeymoon in Milan calls for a luxury hotel—the Carlton Hotel Baglioni (see deals below) is a short walk away.
What you need to know:
Best time of year to go: Visit Milan in April, May, late September, or October. These spring and fall months avoid the city’s peak summer season and hot temperatures. The months between November and March are cold and foggy.
When to book: At least four to five months in advance
- Il Duomo – This cathedral is a world-class specimen of medieval architecture. With more than 1,000 marble statues and 100 spires, Il Duomo took more than three centuries to build, and needless to say, you gotta check it out.
- Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” – Buy tickets in advance to see the famous painting. Or take a “Da Vinci Tour” to experience more of the painter’s lasting mark on the city.
- Lake Como – If Milan’s intensity is wearing on you, a day trip to Lake Como will be just the reprieve you need. One of the most spectacular sights in the country, it’s located a mere hour by train out of Milan.
Top honeymoon tip: A romantic picnic in the park—grab a basket of goodies and enjoy an afternoon at famous Parco Sempione (a favorite of the locals). Or, surprise your sweetie with a night out at the opera. Score big points by reserving a red-velvet-lined box! Check online several months ahead of time for schedule and availability. If you don’t get tickets to a show, be sure to visit the La Scala Museum.
- 4 star NH Collection Milano President Hotel in Milan, starting at $156 per night
- Hotel Principe di Savoia—a high society hotel since the 1920s, starting at $269 per night
- Carlton Hotel Baglioni, an elegant hotel in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, from $295 per night
Mr. and Mrs. Lamb cruised Tuscany as part of their Italian honeymoon! Read about it here.
What evokes Italian romance better than singing gondoliers or Chianti vineyards sweeping over rolling hills? Florence, Pisa, Siena…you get the idea, it’s Tuscany. With all her seductive pleasures, you won’t know where to start (and when to stop eating).
I recommend you start in Florence. A perfect day goes something like this: Start with a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia, taking in the works of Michelangelo. From there head south and visit the man himself, entombed in the frescoed walls of the Basilica di Santa Croce. Cross the Arno river and end your day with a view of the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the most popular lookouts in the city. (Be ready to climb some stairs to get there.) Back at the Hotel degli Orafi (see deals below), you’ll enjoy a view of the Ponte Vecchio bridge and the Arno river from your room!
After you’ve had your fill of Florence, travel south to Siena. The historic rival of Florence, Siena is one of the most perfectly preserved of all Tuscan cities. From here you must take a day trip into the Chianti vineyards.
What you need to know:
Best time of year to go: April through May, late September, and October. Temperatures are positively pleasant, and crowds are manageable at the major sights.
When to book: Four to five months in advance.
Top honeymoon tip: Bring your stretchy pants—you’ll want to enjoy the food of Tuscany! No seriously…it’s an aphrodisiac. It’s romantic. OK, fine. If you’re not into stuffing your face like I am, take a dip in one of Tuscany’s many thermal hot springs. A simple web search can help you find one closest to your hotel, or you can ask your concierge for info. If you have time on the way from Siena to Rome, I recommend a visit to the famous Cascate del Mulino thermal waterfalls in Saturnia, an ancient spa town dating to Roman times. Made of several natural pools of warm thermal water, this relaxing gift of mother nature is open to the public and free year-round. Be sure to ask your concierge for parking tips, though, as it’s hard to park and easy to get ticketed.
For an extended visit in Saturnia, consider a romantic spa day or an overnight at Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort.
- Up to 25% off the Hotel degli Orafi—an affordable hotel in middle of Florence
- Up to 25% Off Castello di Spaltenna Resort and Spa in Chianti—a resort in a Medieval monastery in a vineyard
- Grab a package of cooking classes at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa and learn how to create authentic Tuscan meals, step by step!
- Stay at the Hotel Castello di Casole in Siena, freshly open after a seven-year renovation, from $453 per night
Rome: Wow. Just wow. If you’re into history, archeology, exploration, culture, or just really old stuff, you will seriously freak out over Rome’s layers upon layers of ancient civilizations.
To prevent your head from exploding, I’ll keep this simple:
Top-layer must-sees: The Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Borghese Gallery
Underground must sees: Catacombs of Rome, Basilica of St. Clement, Vicus Caprarius, The Pyramid of Gaius Cestius, Nero’s Domus Aurea
Must eat: Pizza and gelato
Try the pizzeria without a name near the Trevi Fountain, on the Via del Piè di Marmo, near the corner of Via del Gesù.
Gelato must be purchased from the famous Giolitti, nestled between the Pantheon and the Italian Parliament.
What you need to know:
Best time of year to go: The best time to visit Rome is from October through April, when crowds are minimal and hotel prices are slashed. The weather is colder but well worth the other benefits. For sunny weather (70s-80s) without crowds and summer humidity, visit in May or September.
When to book: At least four to five months in advance
Top honeymoon tip: Safety. Your honeymoon could easily be ruined by one of Rome’s many professional thieves. Pickpockets and scammers abound, and they target tourists. Avoid theft by 1) leaving all valuables in the hotel, never on you or locked in a car, 2) not calling attention to yourself, 3) ignoring anyone that comes up to you or offers you anything; it’s likely a diversion. If you must carry a bag, make sure it zips and always keep it close to you.
- 20% off Relais Trevi 41 Hotel, an affordable stay only three blocks from Trevi Fountain
- Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, starting at $171
- The Sensational Serenade package at Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora (includes champagne and daily dinner for two)
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 Italy for your honeymoon? Where and when are you headed there?
Catch up with all of Sara’s honeymoon tips and ideas here.
Once we chose our venue, flowers dropped to the bottom of our priority list—the place really speaks for itself, and we knew that any flowers we used would be more of an accent and less of the main focal point. That being said, we felt that we could take some creative liberty and start to look at out-of-the-box, cost-effective flower options. Because, holy guacamole, wedding flowers are expensive.
Our first thought was an online flower company. We looked at FiftyFlowers, and I was this close to pulling the trigger on the sweet flower box below. We knew we wanted purples, and I love the combination of these flowers. I held off, though, and I’m glad we did.
The Lush Garden Romance DIY Box / Image via FiftyFlowers