The Cream Event: #DanceForFrance Recap

 #DanceForFrance was officially a success! Congratulations to our winner,  Michael and his fiance, Dina, who won a 7-night honeymoon in Paris! Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 9.27.05 AM This year’s Cream Event in LA was one for the record books. Between the unbelievable band and DJ to the mouth-watering food that was served, this event will have people (especially us) talking for months. Each and every vendor  that participated was incredibly unique and brought something special to the table. Our favorite part had to have been #DanceForFrance, a dance off hosted by yours truly where the grand prize was a trip to Paris. After many impressive dance moves from a number of talented contestants, the winner was finally chosen. Congratulations to Michael, the winner of this year’s dance-off, and his fiance, Dina! We were thoroughly impressed with the amount of flips and cartwheels that Michael pulled off, and could not be happier for these two lovebirds. Enjoy the beauty and romance of breathtaking Paris!

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 2.11.39 PMCourtesy of: @FrostiFresh (AKA Michael, the winner)

Just in case you missed the epic prize deets: Michael and his fiance Dina won a 7-night honeymoon in Paris. This includes a $2,000 hotel credit to any Mr. and Mrs. Smith Hotel in France, as well as 7 different Wanderable experiences. These experiences include a Flytographer photo shoot, a Macaron making class with Patisserie a la Carte, an Eiffel Tower tour and Versailles bike tour with Fat Tire Bike Tours, a 2 hours GPS tour with Twiz Tour, an Epicurean food walk with Paris by the Glass, and last but not least, a guided tour of Montmartre with Hidden Paris Walking Tours. In total, this prize is valued at over $5,000! Here are some photos of this awesome event:

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 9.26.55 AMThe lovely Wanderable team at The Cream Event in LA

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 9.26.40 AMKarson Butler Events // Stella Bloom Designs

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unnamed-9Jacqui, our Marketing Director making beautiful bows with Inspired by This

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unnamed-6Beijos Events // JL Designs

unnamed-8Pow Wow // Moon Canyon

unnamed-5The Cream Event goody bags!

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unnamed-2Gold Coast Goods

unnamedThe Venue Report

unnamed-4The Photo Bus

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 10.00.46 AMThe incredibly talented LA Follies

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Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 9.56.59 AMThe winner of #DanceForFrance (Michael and his fiance, Dina)!

Hopefully this gave you a little taste of our experience at The Cream Event in LA. We highly recommend that everyone attends next year because as you can see, this event is something truly special. Plus, you might even win a free honeymoon. You never know. May the odds be ever in your favor.

#WanderOn

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Say “I do” with Aideux

Ditch the trad and go for the rad: Introducing a new bridal line, Aideux

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We are always on the lookout for new friends in the wedding world. One of our personal favorite (and brand new, we might add) bridal lines is the utterly chic Aideux (pronounced “I do”). This is no ordinary bridal line. The talented designers, Lucy and Aileen have created incredibly unique wedding dresses, sold as separates, to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want for the most important dress you’ll ever wear. With Aideux, you get to pick and choose your faves so your dress suits you, not the other way around. Also, the best part is, unlike other bridal lines, Aideux prides themselves on being able to wear your dress again and again after your special day! We were lucky enough to get the chance to interview Lucy and Aileen in the midst of all the craziness that is fashion week.

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What inspired you to become involved in this industry? Was it something you always dreamed of or something you just fell into?

Lucy: I’ve always loved making and designing clothes, and as a true romantic, designed my first wedding dress for a friend right after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design. I then landed my dream job as part of the Ralph Lauren Collection design team in New York.

Aileen: Personally, I have always been drawn to the behind the scenes, business aspect of fashion. As someone who aspired to be an artist as a child, I have an appreciation for craftsmanship and technique. I studied at NYU, followed by a short stint in finance, before finding my groove in fashion at marc jacobs, in retail strategy and financial planning. Bridalwear is really the pinnacle of all that – a blend of romance rooted in reality, craftsmanship and quality at its finest.

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How did the concept of Aideux come to be?

While living here, we had so many friends falling in love and wanting to get married. When it came time to find their dress for the special day, they had such a hard time finding one that they felt reflected them – for all that they were. Here we’re smart, strong, successful women who were ambitious, eager to change the world and make it a better place. Sadly, the dresses they found seemed to be too one-dimensional, frilly, princessy. The dresses were disconnected from women’s lives. They did not reflect and could not adapt to the multi-dimensional, empowered woman.

What should have been a joyful, personal opportunity to find a dress that fit them perfectly and reflected them authentically, became a stressful, discouraging experience for friends. Why couldn’t they find a dress that reflected the person their friends, family, and fiancé knew and loved? We knew that we wanted to create something different to meet their need.

When Lucy and I met, we immediately recognized our complementary skills and experiences. Through our friendship and different personalities, we saw an opportunity to create a new kind of wedding apparel, one that would resonate with real, modern women. With that, Aideux was born.

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What is the philosophy behind Aideux and how does it differ from a traditional wedding dress designer?

Our philosophy is to create wedding wear that empowers the woman to choose their vision. We want our pieces to inspire unique style choices. How amazing was Olivia Palermo with her sweater and tulle skirt on her wedding day, a look that perfectly showcased her personality?

We create dresses that can be fully customizable, offering brides the chance to tailor their look to perfectly represent who they are, beyond accessories.We know that every single bride is multi-faceted and unique. So, we are the first bridal line to offer only separates, allowing each bride to choose creatively how to pair the top and the bottom with our pieces or even their own, to seamlessly fit her vision, her taste, her body, and most importantly, her story.

The garments are constructed from the finest hand-selected silks, and made locally in New York. We personally oversee and attend to every detail in the process from start to completion. Each dress feels luxurious, chic and elegant for the bride’s wedding, but can be transformed into a reception piece, is also available for mixing and matching to a black tie event, or night out on the town after the wedding toasts have ended. As we like to say, we are for your special day, and all the days after!

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What do you love most about being a wedding dress designer? What challenges do you tend to face?

Lucy: My concept for creating this collection sparked me to think outside of the box. I wanted to have all pieces match each other and it like was a puzzle to solve. Influences from my travels played a big part in designing them, and I love to challenge myself by incorporating the emotions I felt during those experiences into my designs.

Aileen: The world is changing and it is exciting to be a part of it. New attitudes about women – in the workplace, family, and world – offer us an opportunity to innovate in the wedding industry. Women have more opportunities than ever before; because of that, so many women no longer feel that the typical, “princess storyline” resonates with their goals and dreams when there are multitudes of storylines that she could write for herself. Aideux meets these changes by offering wedding apparel that allows each bride to customize a look that reflects her authentic, empowered self, exactly as she is.

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Switching gears, what is your favorite place you have ever traveled?

Aileen: Iceland blew me away! The ever-changing landscapes, the freedom and isolation, the adorable sheep everywhere. Normally I have a hard time camping (and this is so cheesy), but being outdoors under the stars surrounded by such exotic landscape, I felt like I was a part of something grander and more beautiful.

Lucy: Hands down to Iceland. Everything that Aileen says about Iceland is true. It is such an inspirational place. As a designer, I have always been inspired by the designs that nature creates and they were everywhere to be found. Also, even though I’ve been living in the city for quite some time now, I have always been a nature girl over a city girl. Last year I had the privilege to travel to Iceland with my two roommates (one being Aileen) and it was life-changing.

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What’s next on your bucket list?

Aileen: I would like to explore more of home sweet home so I’m heading to Portland, Oregon next!

Lucy: There are so many places I would love to see… If I have to choose, I would hope New Zealand is next for me.

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What are you feeling/loving right now?

Aileen: Feeling excited about the launch of our brand new website! After working for so many months, we cannot wait to show our new collection to the world.

Lucy: Loving the positive vibes we’ve been receiving from other wedding industry startups! It’s encouraging to see how others are also innovating in this space.

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If you could choose one of our Wanderable experiences (we have over 2,500!) which one would it be and why?

Wanderable is such an amazing concept. I think spending time together is the best gift you can give to someone, and Wanderable takes that ability to a whole new level. If we could choose, we would go on the Ireland experience because of its hauntingly beautiful landscapes, cliffs, and, of course, the whiskey.

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It’s pretty easy to see why we are so in love with this timeless bridal attire. It is the perfect solution for every bride who wants a dress to perfectly suit her style. Make sure to take a peek at the other incredible options that Aileen and Lucy have designed and say “I do” with Aideux. We know we will.

#WanderOn

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Interview with Wedding Extraordinaire Darren Allen Dunn

#Wanderable Tastemaker: Interview with wedding extraordinaire, Darren Allen Dunn

Staying Home is Overrated.

 

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It’s near-impossible not to envy the carefully curated life of wedding extraordinaire, Darren Allen Dunn. This event, wedding & production designer flutters between homes in Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, and Paris, leaving his Midas touch for design, and delighting his clients, wherever the universe leads him. We can’t get enough of his uplifting Instagram because his attention to detail is unlike any we’ve ever seen. In the worlds of Roald Dahl, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you…those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Here we caught up with Darren so he could share some of his secrets for living wildly & freely.

Wanderable: What inspired you to become an wedding/event planner? Was it something you always dreamed of doing or something you just fell into?

Dunn: I’ve always been inspired by sounds, fabrics, found objects, spaces, and environments, but I sort of stumbled into the event business. While freelancing as a graphic designer, I was hired by a bridal boutique to re-brand them and lead their design. It was the beginning of the shift to digital, so there was a lot of hand-holding on my part to familiarize the owner with communicating his desired brand energy to a new and growing audience. We became friends, and meetings led to conceptualizing, designing and planning a sixty-model fashion show. From there, I became hooked. The natural progression blended all of my skills for a special, experiential purpose.

White wedding Banquet Table With Milk & Doughnuts

Where did your signature hashtag #LifeYourBestLifestyle come from?

By nature I am curious, and I am a romantic and an adventurer. I always hold and see the beauty in fleeting moments, and my goal is to translate that feeling into a tangible journey for my clients. I want every experience DADL creates to be an extension of oneself, only elevated. For me that means spending time discovering who they are aesthetically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually, and illuminating their most natural traits to create a cohesive whole. While some designers and design industries are smoke and mirrors, I try to keep the purity of intention alive throughout the experience. My hope is that even after an invite date has passed, an elevated energy will carry on throughout their lives.

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Tell me a little bit about the process of planning an event (i.e. getting to know the couple, figuring out exactly what they want, budget, etc.)

One of the first questions I ask is, “How much do you want to spend?” Once that’s established, getting to the lifestyle core of clients really informs how I’ll work with them. I want to know what you feel, how you feel it and how that manifests itself. Why do you enjoy that particular shade of green? Where was your last vacation and why? Do you consider your friends family or vice versa? Why this wine over that? The questions can go on and on, and usually do, but the goal is to make sure the details are intrinsic to the client’s spirit. Love is in the details and this is why people hire event designers.

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Have you ever dealt with a bridezilla? How did you handle it?

Luckily, knock on wood, I haven’t had any clients I wouldn’t work with all over again. Know of any? I’m always up for a challenge.

What are a few things that all brides should know before they start planning their wedding?

I can’t say that I have a list of things all brides should know beforehand. I will say, however, that a wedding isn’t only the day printed on an invitation. Brides (and grooms) should remember that the festivities are simply the culmination of time spent putting into form the acknowledgement and celebration of a milestone. Lean in during every meeting, tasting, fitting, rehearsal and embrace the moments. Love is in the details, so don’t entertain negative energy or hints of stress because that really defeats the purpose of the entire happening and will only take away from a moment where you otherwise would have been fully present to learn even more about you and your partner.

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What are the biggest challenges that you face in working with clients to create their dream event?

Carte blanche is a dream come true, but that’s not always a reality. As an event designer, you’re usually chosen for your distinct point of view which is guided by a usually outrageous imagination. Bringing those ideas to fruition in a way that fulfills a client’s desires and stretches your ability all while remaining obtainable and true to vision is probably our biggest challenge.

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If you could choose one of our Wanderable Experiences (we have over 2,500!) which one would it be and why? 

I’m sort of living my Wanderable Experience at the moment in that this spring, we’ll be relocating flagship to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s an incredible time and an opportunity to be inspired by, experience and work in a part of the world where you’ll still find large areas of untouched geography blended so seamlessly with internationally influenced architecture, cuisine and entertainment.

What I find incredibly magical about Puerto Vallarta is that while it’s a major tourist and expat draw, its energy has remained largely unaffected by rapid growth and the authenticity of its people and history is still on full display. It hasn’t turned into a G10 rest stop, in part, because there’s a level of respect among many expats for the people and history that unfortunately I find lacking in some other destinations.

I would highly recommend renting a house or villa in the hills just north or south of Old Town because you’ll not only have full city and ocean views, but it’s easier to get around hotspots while simultaneously having neighbors who live and work right in the area. Also, I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but if you journey along the coast, just south of the city, there are tons of opportunities for relatively inexpensive boat rentals and snorkeling and some incredible restaurants that you otherwise wouldn’t know about if you only spend time in the city itself.

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What’s on your bucket list?

I was thinking about this a few days ago and have actually checked quite a few things off in the last year. However, of the remaining items I can actually share (laughter), I would say that my top three would be to spend about a month motor biking and camping through the Tanzanian mountains, participating in Carnival and seeing Rio de Janeiro from atop Christ the Redeemer, and discovering someone just as curious to do the first two with.

And we are confident that they will be the coolest couple ever. Stay tuned for more forays into Dunn’s exciting life on his social media and be sure to stay tuned on his website coming soon, which will feature posts and news for other aspiring adventurers. Thank you, Darren! We are never going to look at a table setting the same way again!

#WanderOn

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Wanderable Gypset: Mike & Anne of HoneyTrek

Wanderable Gypset: Mike and Anne Howard from the incredible travel blog, HoneyTrek! 

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On this #TravelTuesday, we caught up with Mike and Anne (also known as HoneyTrek), two American newlyweds who thought a one week honeymoon wasn’t nearly enough to celebrate a new life together.  They quit their jobs, rented their apartment, and set out on a 675 day honeymoon around the world. They’ve been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, Mail Online, The Los Angeles Times, and now, the Wanderable Blog! We’re obsessed with these two: they truly embody everything we’re about. Read on to hear about their incredible journey, their travel essentials, which Wanderable experience they would love to try, and how they really travel for adventure, and live for love.

Wanderable: Walk me through an average day in your un-average life.

Mike & Anne: We spent 675 days running around the world on our honeymoon, trying to soak up, see, and do as much as humanly possible in all 33 countries we visited. Since we got “home” we are still very much nomadic; however, we move at a much slower pace and live longer in the places we visit. For example, we just did a six-week house-sitting gig in the Mazatlan, Mexico and an average day went something like this: Wake up in our apartment in Spanish colonial beach town, walk our two pups along the malecon/promenade and ocean cliffs…stop at our local market for papaya, pineapple, guava, and banana to make a tropical fruit salad, work on our blog HoneyTrek, and help our students plan their dream honeymoons and long-term travels with Trip Coach, take a bike ride to our favorite taco stand for lunch, work until thirty minutes before sunset, grab a Pacifico Ballena beer to watch the cliff divers against the fabulous pink skies, eat freshly made Tostiloco ceviche, chat with locals in Spanish, listen to some live banda music in Plaza Machado, and call it a great day!

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W: How did you come to lead such a life? Did you always want to be a traveler, or did you just fall into this?

M&A: It all started at Oktoberfest in Munich when a German couple told us they had just returned from a 12-month journey around the world, for less than our rent payment!!!…and our jaw hit the floor. So when it came to thinking about where we would go on our honeymoon, our list of destinations was endless, and that German couple’s trip kept crossing our mind. Then we thought, “We’ve got some time to inflate our savings account, we don’t have kids yet, there’s a lot of world to experience, and heck, we’re only young once…will there ever be a better time to travel?!” That night we set the HoneyTrek around-the-world honeymoon dream in motion.

W: Which Wanderable Experience would you most love to try?

M&A:  Hawaii Forest & Trails twilight volcano adventure tour! We’ve always wanted to see the lava run on the Big Island of Hawaii. Walking through a lava tube, volcanic formations and hunting for active lava flows…that would be amazing! 

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W: What is the difference between somewhere you’d want to live & somewhere you’d want to visit?

M&A: You can have the most beautiful mountains and beaches, but unless you connect with the people on a real human level, it’s just a visit. Myanmar, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, and New Zealand had the warm hearted spirit, plus the natural beauty, that made them feel like a place we could someday call home.

What are you feeling/loving/eating/reading right now?

M&A: Day of the Day Dead! We happened to be in Mexico for this holiday where everyone honors their ancestors with this nation-wide party. In Mazatlan there is massive parade where everyone dresses as skeletons decked out in feather boas, floral hats, and elaborate face makeup. They then walk through historic center, along with the donkeys carts pulling kegs of free beer, stopping at the altars of important figures who’ve passed, and dancing all the way. We got dressed up and joined in with the best of them! But this is just the half-way mark. The next day everyone heads to the cemetery to visit their ancestors and pay homage with a picnic of their family’s favorite foods, drinks, and music. We love this attitude towards death. Rather than mourning a person, remember and celebrate their amazing lives!

Day of the Dead

W: What do you miss about “home?” (Where you’re from.)

M&A: Pineapple cottage cheese on whole-grain waffles with Vermont maple syrup! Our friends and family are by far what we miss the most, but pineapple cottage cheese is one of our favorite breakfast foods and it can’t be found anywhere in Africa, Asia or South America.

W: Advice for aspiring Gypsets? Go.

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M&A: The world is massive and you can’t truly explore it on ten-day vacations. You have to carve out the time, open your mind, and mobilize. To get ready to set off into the world, here are some of the most important things you could do today:

Evaluate your savings. Divided your savings account by $40/day, and that will give you a ballpark of how many days you can spend on the road. That was our budget per person…all in: flights + food + drinks + overland travel + visas + gear + lodging + excursions + everything else…so it’s entirely possible! And if you don’t have anything saved, start putting $20 a day for the next two years and you will have enough to travel the world!

School yourself in the art of mileage hacking. Whether your trip is in three months or three years. We read books, blogs, and even signed up for a course to learn how to maximize our miles and we were able to earn 430,000 frequent flier miles in the eight months leading up to our trip. It was no small task but considering it saved us $11,8834 in flights, it was well worth it!

Join the travel community! It’s a big step to put your life on pause, but talking to people who’ve already done it is a big support! Meet Plan Go is a great community that hosts meet-ups for anyone considering a long journey, and if you need someone to breakdown the essentials of traveling the world and help you make real plan of action, reach to us: TripCoach@HoneyTrek.com. We’d love to help!

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W: What location is on your bucket list, and why? 

M&A: We would love to go to Egypt and explore the ancient civilizations, camel through the desert, scuba dive the Red Sea, and cruise up the Nile river!

W: What are your go-to travel essentials?

M&A:

STERIPen. This UV-light water purifier allowed us to make our own water in every country, and not consume a single plastic water bottle (yes, we don’t even drink the free ones) since April 2012. It has saved us over $2,190 and kept approximately 4,400 plastic bottles from a landfill.

A good smart-phone is the best gadget you can have on your hip. From GPS applications, to currency converters, to language translators, to passing the time on long journeys….the uses are literally endless.

Our own pillows and sheets. It might sound like a space-splurge but it makes every single place we rest our head feel a little closer to home

A jar of peanut butter. It is the perfect travel food, high protein, no refrigeration needed, and oh so tasty.


W: What are your favorite & least favorite words (one each, and they can totally be in another language)

M&A:

Favorite Word: “Delicious”  We learned this word in every country we visited. When you can tell the grandma cooking at the street stall that her food is delicious it will brighten her day and always spark up a friendly interaction…even if you don’t know a single other word in that language, learn delicious!

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Least Favorite: “Touristic”  It usually means: A fabricated experience in “authentic” clothing. When we hear that word we usually walk in the other direction until we find a side-street with a yummy street stall, pull up a small plastic chair, and get ready to say delicious :)…that’s when the authentic experiences really happen.

W: What has recently taken your breath away?

M&A: The Starlight Aromatherapy Bath at Verana in Yelapa, Mexico. It was unlike any couples spa treatment we have ever experienced through 675 days of honeymooning. The hostess showed us into the outdoor spa on the cliffs and 100s of candles were shimmering around the steaming bath, massage tables, and flower-covered bed. Then she said, “It’s yours for the night, Enjoy!” Unbelievable. Giving each other massages, soaking in the fragrant tub, sipping tea, and counting shooting stars (we saw 14!)—literally took our breath away.

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W: What was the last thing you bought abroad?

M&A: In the adorable Mexican town of El Quelite there was a lady with a sweets stand on the corner of a cobble stone street. She was selling Cajeta, a treat similar to Dulce de Leche but not as sweet and with more vanilla and a crispy topping. She packaged them in homemade pine boxes wrapped in red ribbons that were so cute we brought 12 to bring home as gifts.

W: What was the best thing you recently ate?

M&A: Chiles en Nogada from La Hacienda in Durango, Mexico. It is a poblano pepper stuffed with cinnamon spiced meat, dried apricot, and nuts then topped with a walnut sauce and pomegranates. Delish!
Chiles en Nogada- La Hacienda
W: What is the best part about traveling with the one you love?

M&A: Exploring the world, seeing awe-inspiring sights, discovering other cultures and trying new things will give you memories and learning experiences for ten lifetimes together. No one else could possibly understand the magnitude and intricacies of what you’ve seen, but as a couple who’s been through it together, you’ll always have this intensely special connection.

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W: What have you learned about each other?

M&A: Mike likes to push the boundaries of adventure and frugalness, while I enjoy a few more creature comforts, so we’ve learned to find a happy medium. Traveling around the world has brought us more in tune with each other’s needs and desires…nothing can shake us now!

#WanderOn

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#BeachLife: Win a Hawaiian Honeymoon!

#BeachLife: We love having cool friends (especially ones that help us giveaway a Hawaiian Honeymoon). Enter Now… but also read on, there is some cool stuff in here, too.

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We are thrilled to announce a partnership with a start-up we truly admire. Wedding Spot is a brilliant solution to the stress and intimidation of planning a wedding.  They are a tiny but mighty female-owned company and the first ever online site that allows you to search, price out, and compare wedding venues without ever leaving the comfort of your bed.

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You can search by category: hotel wedding, vineyard wedding, ranch wedding. That’s nothing new, but Wedding Spot calls every single venue to interview them, enters their information into a database, and offers automatic, instantaneous price quotes to users when they enter in their specific wedding details (think of Kayak, but for weddings).

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The best thing about this partnership? We’ve teamed up with Wedding Spot to give away a dream Hawaiian honeymoon! Emphasis on dream: You get to stay three nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani, fill your days on Maui with snorkeling, a sunset cruise and a luau. Then, hop on over to the Big Island where you’ll get to stay three nights at the Fairmont Orchid and receive a Flytographer vacation photographer to capture your favorite moments as you soak up the sun!

With a Mai Tai in your hand and the sand between your toes, this is #BeachLife.

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#WanderOn & Enter Now

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