Our Favorite Honeymoon Experiences: Sunset Cocktails in Hawaii

mai_tai-house-without-a-key-1Looking to add a unique dining experience to your honeymoon registry? Consider sunset cocktails at Halekulani’s House Without a Key, located in the heart of Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu.

Snag a table under the giant Kiawe tree, order a pair of signature Mai Tais, and enjoy traditional Hawaiian music and dancing just as the sun dips below the horizon.

Meanwhile, you’ll have a front row vantage point of Honolulu’s famous Waikiki Beach.

It’s incredibly romantic and overall one of Hawaii’s can’t-miss honeymoon experiences.

 

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Image courtesy of Take Me Away!

How to Take Beautiful Photos On Your Honeymoon

Amazing tips for taking beautiful (and affordable) photos on your honeymoon – without a fancy camera!

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Have you ever seen a friend’s photo and just been floored by how beautiful the moment was? Well, this is how we felt about every single photo shot by the uber-talented photographer, Sam Shorey. Sam’s work is gorgeous. She specializes in film photography and told us that “film has this wonderful memory-like quality, a softness that has so much feeling in it.” What an incredible way of putting it. Here, she shares her top three tips for how to take your own beautiful (but affordable) photos during your honeymoon.

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1. Bring a disposable camera!

A lot of people don’t realize that you can still buy these at just about any drugstore (for about $15) and have the photos developed there too. They’re a perfect-match for honeymoons for a few reasons:

— Disposable cameras are tough. — On a honeymoon, you’re going to be doing adventurous things that aren’t great for carrying around your quality digital camera or even your smart phone. Sunset cruises and beach days; sand and water are electronics’ worst nightmares! But disposable cameras are basically indestructible. Once on a trip to Big Sur, I left mine on top of my car and drove 25 miles down the road before I realized it was missing. It’d been flung off my roof, but was fully in tact on the roadside (and the pictures still turned out great!)

— If you like the look of film, disposable cameras actually take pretty great pictures! — Just as good as your iPhone or a point-and-shoot digital. They’re going to have all the great color that’d you be emulating with your Instagrams, but with #nofilter.

— Disposables are way lighter than a digital kit and easily fit in your bag or pocket. — Save on overweight baggage fees or having to lug lenses through Yellowstone (I’ll only make that mistake once.) And, if you’re traveling abroad, bringing a few disposables saves you the stress of having your fancy digital camera stolen. All you’d lose is $10 and the memories. And I mean, who’s going to steal a disposable?

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2. Natural light makes taking good pictures so easy! 
In general, get outside or a room with big windows. Coordinate your most scenic activities during “golden hours,” the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset. Everything looks so magical! The light is gold or blue in color and doesn’t have the harsh shadows of noonday sun that might highlight your under-eye bags from the redeye flight. Use this time for big events – like riding the Ferris Wheel in downtown Seattle – or even the more photogenic day-to-day stuff, like taking the ferry home. No matter what I’m doing, I always try to be out-and-about during these hours when I travel! Even just walking around the neighborhood.

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3. Get on the other side of the camera!

If you’re reading this post you’re probably the designated photo-taker on vacations, just like me. Whenever I get home from a trip and show my family the pictures everyone says “well that’s all lovely, but where are all the pictures of you?!” Over the last 5 years, the number one thing I wish I’d done is taken more pictures of me.
I know it’s embarrassing and can feel kind of vain – but ask your partner to take your picture (especially on the good hair days!), and don’t hesitate to ask a trustworthy stranger to take one of you together. Everyone loves young people in love.

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Sam, thank you for your amazing tips! We’re feeling inspired right now to run to the corner store and grab a disposable camera to take images of all the small, joyous moments. Practice for all our future travels!

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What to Pack – Thailand Edition Featuring Ashley from Her Sparkle

The only Thailand honeymoon packing list you’ll need, by fashion blogger, Ashley Fehr Hajjar

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Ashley Fehr Hajjar of Her Sparkle is one of our all-time favorite fashion bloggers and wedding enthusiasts. ICYMI: Ashely has already given us the DL on what to pack for Hawaii and Italy and is back to share her tips on what to pack for Thailand.

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Ready for another edition of Her Sparkle’s What to Pack!? This time we are going {or dreaming of going} to Thailand 🙂

When packing for Thailand it’s ALL about bright colors & prints. These pretty prints will be perfect for Thailand’s gorgeous beaches. It’s important to note that Thailand is a modest country so don’t go overboard with any skin bearing outfits. Also, the basic rule for Thai temples is to cover your shoulders so the printed wrap would be a welcome edition to your packing list! xx

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Mara Hoffman Slouch Pants // Trina Turk Beaded Halter Top // Personalized Towel // Elephant Tank // Neon Print Maxi // Madewell Fringe Beach Tote // Michael Stars Print Wrap

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Well now you can all understand why we love Ashley and her packing lists so much. Thanks for all your tips Ashley! Now it’s time to plan all of our future trips and put these packing lists to good use!

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What It Feels Like to Win a Trip to Vietnam

Ever wonder what it would feel like to win a trip to Vietnam?! Kelly and John share their amazing story.

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We recently teamed up with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (side note: we are all obsessed with Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s gorgeous hotelsto co-host a Vietnam Giveaway and are so excited for our winners, Kelly and John! You know how there always seems to be that one hip and inspiring couple you know and love? That’s Kelly and John. They are wanderers at heart. In true adventurous fashion, they shared with us their how-to for enjoying life to the fullest and what they’re most excited to try in Vietnam.

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Kelly, what was your reaction when you found out you had won the contest?

My first reaction was of skepticism and disbelief. I received the email from Ann Marie [of Mr. and Mrs. Smith] while I was at work and talking with a co-worker. It was like “OMG, I think I just won a trip to Vietnam” and then I called Ann Marie to see if it was legit and she assured me it was. I was just super floored by the whole thing, I’ll enter these contests from time to time, you know, “The Downton Abbey” sweepstakes, “Win a Trip to Wimbeldon”, “Win a Trip to the French Open” (we’re both big tennis fans), I just fill them out and forget about them, never expecting to win, but this time I did! I called John and let him know and we both still cannot get over how crazy the whole thing is. We’re super, DUPER insanely, excited!

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What are you and John most excited about for your Vietnam trip?

The prospect of taking a REAL, proper, vacation! Overseas! To an exotic locale! On the beach! 5-star hotels! John has never been out of the country aside from Mexico and I’ve only ever been to Paris so having a real vacation is just a dream come true. Neither of us has EVER stayed in a 5-Star hotel. We plan on extending the trip a bit and taking a full two weeks. Seeing the temples of Angkor Wat has been on my bucket list for years and we figure, while we’re over there, let’s just go to Cambodia too! We both love Vietnamese food so we plan on spending a lot of time sampling the offerings of the various street vendors. We’re just so excited to explore a part of the world that’s so different from ours!

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We’d love to hear, where did you and John go on your honeymoon?

Well, we had initially registered for a Croatian and Slovenian honeymoon but because we didn’t have a traditional wedding (we were married in a courthouse in August 2012 and had a party the following October with our friends to celebrate), we didn’t quite make our goal, funding wise. Instead we used the money our friends donated through Wanderable and took an epic two week camping trip through the Eastern Sierras and the Cascades and back down the coast of California with our dog, Juniper. We both love the outdoors, camping, and hiking, and this turned out to be the ideal trip for us at the time. We had a blast!

Why did you choose to register for experiences over things when you got married?

Being an “older” couple (I was 40 when we got married and John 38, first marriage for both us!) we really didn’t have a need for household items, we already had them. Life and marriage for us at this point wasn’t about things or kids, it was just about spending the rest of our lives together. John’s mom had been fighting cancer throughout our engagement and she lost that fight the week that we were married. The importance of enjoying life to the fullest was really and profoundly made apparent to us. We’re both super adventurous and love new experiences, exploring different cultures and foods and really just seeing, smelling, hearing, laughing, loving, doing and living as much as possible! Our time here is short and our time together even shorter, why spend it in the aisles of Target registering for an espresso machine when we could be sipping espresso along the Dalmatian coast, or in this case, sipping Vietnamese Iced Coffees on the beaches of Hoi An!

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How amazing do Kelly and John sound?! Thank you so much, Kelly! And a huge shout out again to Mr. and Mrs. Smith for helping to make Kelly and John’s next adventure to Vietnam a reality!

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The Perfect Dublin Honeymoon with Flytographer!

Meet Kimberly & Josh, the real #WanderableCouple who captured their honeymoon the Flytographer way

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We cannot stop gushing over Kimberly and Josh’s perfect love story. The two met in law school, became close friends, which later blossomed into something much more (which may or may not involve a Disney/Pixar proposal). These two lovebirds chose the funky Dublin for their honeymoon which could not have been more perfect. We got the chance to catch up with Kimberly and Josh to get a closer look at their epic love story & honeymoon, which was captured by the one and only Flytographer {Pssst make sure to check out Flytographer’s article and photo series on these two}!

Give us a little background on the two of you: how did you meet, how long have you been together, when did you get married, and any fun facts?

Well, we met nearly three years ago in law school. Josh and I both went to Wake Forest University to study and we actually met on the first day. We were friends at first—studying together and hanging out with friends mostly—but it eventually turned into a wonderful relationship… and, well, the rest is history I guess! He proposed in Charlotte, North Carolina last July while I was working up there as a prosecutor, and we were married on May 4, 2015. He swears it has nothing to do with “Star Wars” day, but I’m not so sure! Haha.

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How did he propose?

First, it’s important to understand I am a HUGE fan of all things Disney. I grew up near Disneyland in California, watch Pixar and Disney movies often, and even listen to the soundtracks as I drive around or study. Josh actually first introduced himself to me because of a Pixar wallpaper I had on my computer. He commented on the wallpaper during our first week of classes, and that’s what got us talking. Anyways, Josh decided to throw some Disney magic into the proposal and contacted Pixar to see if they could help. They were gracious to have John Lasseter (the head of Pixar and the director of my favorite movie Toy Story) write me a beautiful letter, and had a  drawing framed that put all of the pixar characters around an Etch-A-Sketch where the words “will you marry me” written inside.

When he came to Charlotte, Josh wanted to take me to a nice dinner and an off-broadway show. He had been working at a law firm in another city and we hadn’t seen each other for a couple of weeks. When we went out to dinner, I must say he was acting a bit strange, but I had no idea what was about to happen. We’d finished dinner and there was still a good time before the show, so Josh suggested we take a walk in a nearby park to enjoy the summer evening. As we parked though, he mentioned that he got “something” for my apartment, but it was in the trunk of his car… and that he wanted to show me before we went on a walk. As we parked and got out of the car, he produced two large, wrapped frames. I began opening the first one with all of the characters, and by the time I realized what was going on; he got down on one knee to propose. It was just wonderful! The second picture had the phrase “You’ve got a friend in me.” I cried, he breathed for the first time that day, we called our parents, and had a wonderful night thereafter! The pictures are hanging on our wall now, and I love looking at them and remembering that moment.

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Why did you decide to go with a honeymoon registry?

We decided to go with a honeymoon registry because we didn’t really need anything for our house. We both had a lot of things before we got married, and when we were going through different registries, we couldn’t find anything we really needed. Wanderable was great because we were able to have our dream honeymoon, without spending a lot.

What was your favorite part about using Wanderable?

It was super user friendly and made it so we didn’t have to do much additional research. We did a lot of the suggested or sponsored trips, and they were by far some of the best experiences we had in Ireland.

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What was your favorite thing you did on your honeymoon?

We did three different tours with Extreme Ireland. They were fantastic. We got to see the entire country in a fun, stress-free way. Our guides were super knowledgable and we hit a lot of sites we never would have known about without the tours.

What is the #1 place on your bucket list right now?

We are currently planning our next big adventure on the other side of the country: Japan!

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Do you have any advice for people getting engaged? What should they do right away and what can they wait on?

We made sure to just enjoy the whole process and we did what felt right for us, rather than trying to please a bunch of people. The wedding/ honeymoon shouldn’t be stressful. Ours wasn’t and we couldn’t have been happier.

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How badly do you want to pick up and go to Dublin right now? We’re just a little bit obsessed with this adorable couple and these pics if you can’t already tell. Don’t forget to check out our friends at Flytographer to capture your honeymoon! XOXO


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