Tag Archives: Travel

Honeymoon Destinations

So you’ve pulled it off. The caterers arrived on time, those missing chairs turned up and your great uncle contained his drunk dancing until well into the reception. Hurrah! You’re married. So now is it back to work, routine, post-wedding blues? No you get to go on honeymoon! Woohooo weddings are amazing; a massive party followed by a holiday, what a combination. Here are some ideas to help you plan your getaway, where literally you have the excuse to be as lazy, luxurious or adventurous as you like. Some couples find planning the honeymoon too much on top of all the wedding jazz and time off work might be an issue but you could always have a bit of a gap between the two and extend the good times. Your wedding should be all about bending the wedding rules to fit with you as a couple; planning your honeymoon should be loads of fun; not stressful. Do what suits you and make sure you get the trip you want.

7_142406

If you are planning a bigger trip, why not head to South East Asia: tropical climate, bustling cities, relaxing islands and a chance to see a completely different part of the world. Although the airfares for these honeymoon destinations are expensive, you do definitely save on the cheaper rates once you arrive in the country. So don’t rule out going for something more exotic until you’ve done your research!
In Thailand you could volunteer at an elephant sanctuary. Get the chance to help feed and bathe the elephants,while interacting with and observing them in their natural environment. You’ll also be helping support the organisations providing welfare, development and a home for these animals. Then head to Bangkok; soak up this vibrant, busy Asian capital where you can fill your days with temples, street food and lively bars. From here you could head to the coast and spend the rest of your trip relaxing on Thai islands; attending a few full moon parties if that’s your thing or simply relaxing on any number of the stunning beaches; heaven!
If you wanted to visit more countries, flights to Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia all go from Bangkok. Go trekking through the jungle, take a Vietnamese cooking course, and explore the dazzling beaches. South East Asia has it all.

8_683473_orig

Or if you’re thinking about staying closer to home, why not visit Cornwall for your honeymoon? With serene beaches, coastal walks, and some of the mildest temperatures in the UK Cornwall seems like the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Accommodation options are plentiful with cottages, hotels and even camping options. A honeymoon isn’t complete without a beautiful sunset to gaze upon; and Cornwall will not disappoint. As many of its beaches face west this gives some of the best sunsets in the country. On top of this outstanding scenery Cornwall also has interesting towns to visit such as St.Ives, Penzance and Marazion. Penzance with its abundance of palm trees and gardens full of sub-tropical plants, presents a sure sign that you have arrived somewhere unique. All of this before we even mention Cornwall as a culinary destination, apparently one of Rick Steins favourites with its abundant seafood and of course Cornish pasties and Cream tea!

9_1377309_orig

Croatia provides a perfect place for a honeymoon.The Balkans have become increasingly popular in recent years as a cheaper alternative to Mediterranean destinations without compromising on beautiful scenery, glorious weather and stand-out cuisine. Croatia offers a gorgeous mix of Adriatic islands and beaches, fortified Renaissance towns and inland national parks with white-water rafting, hiking and boating on spectacular lakes. Dubrovnik houses a range of luxury honeymoon accommodation and offers a city break while still being able to relax on stunning beaches and take in sea views. Croatia also holds a lot of wineries and it’s oysters are supposedly delicious; perfect honeymoon fare!

10_8669552_orig

Italy is full of romantic destinations, especially in the north. Arrive in Rome and take in sensational renaissance architecture, wander the city, relax in gardens and dress up for a night at the opera. You can then get a train to Florence, the culture capital of Italy. Here you can visit Michalangelos David, take in numerous piazzas and churches; many of which offer free concerts and opera performances throughout the year. Enjoy delicious steak, fantastic wines and wander the Piazza di Santo Spirito, home to Florence’s hippest, liveliest bars and cafés. Aperitivo is a Florence tradition which happens at 7-9 in the evening, dress up to see and be seen at the cities trendiest bars. Extra points if you are mistaken as a local. With your drink you get to eat your fill from a buffet where food ranges from nuts and olives to bruschetta, salami and cheese, via couscous and cold pasta salads. From Florence you can travel by train to Venice; take a tour of the grand canal,soak up the contemporary art scene and savour the best ice cream in the world. The wine will continue to impress and you can even take a day trip to Verona and visit ‘Casa di Giulietta’- Juliet’s house. Be sure to do your own Shakespeare rendition before you return home, priceless!

11_5809040_orig

Wedding Traditions from around the World

Weddings have so many traditions that if you really think about, are weird. Wearing a white dress (any other occasion completely unpractical), Being given away by your father, wearing a veil. However in comparison to some other wedding traditions out there, these nuptial customs seem pretty mild. From elaborate costume changes, humiliating the groom and regimented weeping; worldwide wedding traditions are a varied bunch. Although some of them are a tad extreme, I think a few of these traditions could be incorporated to make a pretty awesome day! I present to you my multicultural wedding day schedule, would you adopt any of these for your wedding day?

30_249878_orig

In India, a few days before the wedding, the bride is decorated with intricate henna designs on her hands and feet. Other females in the family and female friends also apply henna in a ritual that can take hours to apply and dry. The Bride and groom also exchange rings and sweets. This tradition is called a ‘menhdi party’ and sounds like a great excuse to extend the festivities and give all the females gorgeous henna designs for the big day.

A Russian tradition dictates that the groom must go to the brides house before the wedding and ask her family and friends for her. They naturally refuse until he has presented gifts, money, jewellery and sufficiently humiliated himself. Grooms are forced to do silly dances, answer riddles, and perform goofy tests of worthiness like putting a nappy on a baby doll. Once the crowd is satisfied, he may meet his bride.

Another great wedding tradition from China is to have 3 wedding dresses; one traditional, embroidered cheongsam that is usually red to represent luck and strength, then a white wedding dress not unlike what we are used to in the west and then a cocktail dress for the reception. Any excuse for a costume change sounds like a good idea to me!

31_6055258_orig

In Sweden, during the wedding reception, if the groom leaves the room all the other men can try and kiss the bride and vice versa! Think kissy-cats for grown-ups. This one sounds hilarious and is bound to keep everyone awake and alert during the reception. Although hopefully won’t end up with cheating rumours so early on in married life!

The final wedding tradition I’d incorporate comes from South Korea. Here the grooms friends beat his feet with dried fish before he is allowed to leave the wedding with his beloved, in an apparent test of strength and knowledge. Not sure how good a test this is of these qualities, but I do want to see someone getting beaten with dried fish.

32_337176_orig

While these wedding traditions all sound like fun and games there are some I am so relived not to have to do, respect for betrothed couples in these countries, they must really want to get married:

In China the bride starts to cry for an hour DAILY a month before her wedding. Ten days later the mum joins her daughter for some tears, after a further ten days the grandmother joins in and by the end of the month every female in the family is weeping. I know married life can be tough but surely a month of regimented crying is a bit pessimistic, I think I’ll stick to the hen do thanks!

On the Maruesas Islands of French Polynesia after the wedding reception is over the relatives of the bride all lay side by side in the dirt, face down. The bride and groom then walk across them like some sort of human rug. Hmmm well this isn’t the worst tradition I’ve heard of, but pretty sure my family would not be up for it.

Charivari: In France the friends and family of the newlyweds congregate outside the newlyweds home on the first night of their marriage while proceeding to bang on pot and pans, yell, and just in general be as annoying as possible. Whoever thought of this tradition is just MEAN and also think of the neighbours!

In Malaysia newlyweds are not allowed to go to the bathroom for 3 days and 3 nights after the wedding to avoid bad luck. Yikes this painful tradition should definitely not be part of your wedding itinerary, although I guess if a couple can get through this, they can survive anything.