A Modern Love Story

This incredible Wanderable couple share their even more incredible love story.

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Here at Wanderable, we’re lucky to support a community of smart, thoughtful, and adventure-loving couples who all dream of experiencing the world. Today, we’re honored to share the story of Shannon and her fiancé, Phil. Their relationship has been through life’s ups and downs, and Shannon would love nothing more than to surprise Phil with the dream ending – a honeymoon to Italy! See their beautiful registry here and read their story below. 

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What is your and Phil’s dream honeymoon?
Gosh, that’s such a great question! For as long as I can remember, we have always dreamed of visiting Italy – Rome, Venice, Florence, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast – so many places to see! We love, love, love learning about foreign countries, their cultures, and of course their food! We are both adventurous and like to try new things, but we also appreciate relaxing on the beach with a drink in hand! I have no doubt that our feet will touch ground in Italy at some point in life!

Where do you plan on going? Why?
As I’ve mentioned, honeymooning wasn’t even on my radar, and I think both of us knew Italy was definitely out of the question, so we never even gave it a look. We also knew we might not be able to afford a honeymoon at all, so a location that was somewhat economical was of importance. Phil and I have dreamed of traveling the world – Italy, Greece, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Indonesia, it’s hard to pick just one! Initially we had looked at Mexico, and I hate to say our destination was based on financial reasons rather than fulfilling dreams, but there is a lot of truth to that. When it came down to it, we were focused on areas where we could fly on banked Southwest miles, or travel in the off season to save a little more – even if that meant dealing with the threat of hurricanes. Is it our dream? Not necessarily. After really contemplating this question, and considering why, I had to change course. I’m doing all of this to honor Phil, his love, and our new life together, so with that in mind, I know in my heart he would love to go to Italy.

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How did you know that Phil was the one?
After having both been married before, that’s a question I can’t say I’ve considered. If I get real about it, we both, at some point, thought we had already found “the one” previously, and that obviously wasn’t the case. However, we both learned a great deal from our marriages – we learned why they didn’t work and accepted and acknowledged our parts in that, but we also did a lot of self reflection and healing to hopefully be better people. If I had to pinpoint a time of knowing that Phil was “the one”, I’d say it was when I clearly understood that who I am was good enough. I know it sounds a bit cliche, but when you’ve lived the last 10 or so years in emotional and mental distress, feeling as if you are enough is like being able to breathe – we often take breathing for granted until it’s difficult to do so.

Phil’s acceptance of me and my fondness of him never really made me feel as if I had to impress him. I absolutely adore him and I’ve seen time and time again, his dedication to me and my boys. The past few years have challenged us in ways I didn’t know possible; from my diagnosis, to raising two teen boys, to helping my ex manage mental health and substance abuse issues, it’s been a very emotionally charged time in both of our lives, yet we seem to come out stronger each and every time we are thrown a curve ball. We laugh at some of it now, but quite honestly, I had no idea how drastically Phil would change my life.

I didn’t realize how much the little things really affected me. Your question has sparked some wonderful, reminiscent thoughts! I remember the first time we sat in a booth at a restaurant – on the same side when it was only the two of us – I had never done that before! And, he didn’t think it was gross to share a bite of my food or a sip out of the same glass. I remember the first time he held my hand – we were on our way home from lunch at an Indian restaurant – funny thing is, five years later he still holds my hand while we are in the car, even if it’s just a short trip to the store. He jokes how lucky he is to have found a loud Italian girl so he doesn’t need to turn his hearing aids up – although, I’m quite certain there are times when he turns them off!! HA! I actually forget that he’s hearing impaired; he’s been so since birth due to underdeveloped nerves. I love that he doesn’t use his disability as a crutch, but rather as a means of conversation and education – it’s just one more reason why I love him so much.

Together, we have learned what the other needs and wants. We know what the other likes to eat, the movies we enjoy, the best blankets for a good night’s rest, and if we prefer our socks folded or balled – for the record, he likes his socks folded so they don’t stretch the elastic! On a larger scale we talk about our dreams and visions for the future, come to each other’s side when there is a work-related struggle or family issue needing addressed, and have open conversations, no matter how uncomfortable, about our finances.

As for my kids, he loves them, and has no problem letting them know it! He treats them with respect, and makes certain they have what they need – he always has. He’s never faltered, understands his boundaries, and knows if that line as been crossed. He resolved a long time ago, that he would never have children of his own, and is happy that mine have accepted him – they refer to him as their “step-ish” dad, which we think is very telling and pretty funny too.

Phil and I have built a secure foundation that is laced with respect for each other, and because of that our connection blossoms, communication improves and our commitment deepens, and for those reasons, and I’m sure many, many more, I know Phil is “the one”.

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What does being able to take this honeymoon mean to you and Phil?
Let me start by saying that Phil has no idea that I’m doing this – he has no idea that I’ve set up a registry, have posted on various social media outlets to ask for help, or that I’ve been in conversation with you and your fabulous team at Wanderable. As far as he knows, I’ve dropped the entire idea of going on a honeymoon, so if I’m able to make it happen, it will be a HUGE surprise!

When we crunched the numbers and determined that we could either celebrate with a small backyard party or take our honeymoon, provided it was an economical location during the off season, we decided that time spent with family and friends was priceless. We will marry in a private ceremony this summer, and share that news with our guests via party invitations! Clearly we love surprises! While we would absolutely love the opportunity to celebrate our new life together in a far off land, I’m just not certain how it will happen. Taking this trip would illustrate how the unconditional love Phil emanates creates a domino affect. From this love a passion was born. My deep desire to make his dream come true was fueled by the kindness and generosity I see in others, and with their assistance, they solidify the power of love and what it can do, and that would mean the world to me – to us!

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Thank you, Shannon! We are wishing you and Phil the best as you continue to collect donations on your registry.

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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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Top 10 Tips for a Magical (Yet Affordable) Honeymoon

Here’s the inside scoop on how to plan a magical, yet affordable honeymoon:

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We totally understand that weddings can get expensive REAL quick, so who needs to overspend on your honeymoon too? We’re here to help you find a way to make that dream honeymoon you’ve always been dying to take, a reality.

1. Sign-up for a honeymoon registry

A honeymoon registry is the perfect solution to making your dream trip a reality. With a honeymoon registry, your friends and family are actually able to help contribute to the honeymoon you’ve always imagined.

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2. Book early!

An easy way to cut back the costs of a honeymoon is to BOOK EARLY! You’ll have much more time to explore your options and will be able to find the most affordable (yet magical) honeymoon rooms, transportation, etc.

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3. Use a travel concierge

For those of us who need a break from planning, a travel concierge is the way to go. With a travel concierge, all the planning and booking is completely done for you. A travel concierge is also a great money-saver, as everything is already included. This way, you won’t have to worry about all the little extras that would normally add up on your trip.

4. Consider waiting until the off-season

One of the best ways to save money on your honeymoon is to travel to your destination during the off-season, where there will be less crowds and the prices will be less expensive. We would recommend somewhere where the weather is warm year-round– here are our favorites by month 🙂

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5. Word of mouth

You’d be surprised how resourceful people can be, and they might even give you some ideas you had never considered before. Also, don’t forget to try out our Referral Program, where you and your friend can EACH get $20 just for letting them know about Wanderable.

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6. Do your research

We are constantly surrounded by technology, whether it’s our iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, Apple Watches Kindles, Androids, desktops, you get the picture. Use this to your advantage in preparation for your dream honeymoon! Compare and contrast. The world is your oyster!

7. Costco is your new BFF

One great way to save money on your honeymoon is to do your own grocery shopping. Make a fun night out of it and cook your hearts out. You’re guaranteed to have some unforgettable memories.

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8. Use your miles

Take advantage of all the traveling you’ve been doing and USE. THOSE. MILES! We cannot stress that enough. You will save loads of money and seriously, what better way to use your miles than on your very first adventure as official life partners?!

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9. Flaunt your newlywed status, because why not?!

You’re newlyweds, this is your time to shine! You’re almost guaranteed to get some sort of deal– because let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to make someone else’s honeymoon that much more special?

10. Cards with benefits

Have you ever looked into whether or not your credit card (or other cards) has special benefits for traveling? Well, now is the time! You may be pleasantly surprised considering how many cards nowadays have deals, points, benefits, etc.

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Well, Wanderers, now you know our insider tips on how to have a magical, yet affordable honeymoon. Now go have the time of your lives with your love.

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UPDATE: Contest Closed! Win A Bachelorette Party for 8 to NYC!

UPDATE: This contest is now closed! Make sure to follow us on Facebook to find out about more chances to win!

CONTEST ALERT: WIN A FREE BACHELORETTE PARTY IN NYC FOR 8!

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We cannot wait to announce our partnership with The Bach, The Big Fat Indian Wedding, Manhattan Walking Tours, On Location Tours, and The New York Nightlife to give away an incredible New York City bachelorette party for 8!

Here’s what’s included:

– A 1-hour bachelorette planning session with Joanne Barken, CEO of The Bach

– A Sex and the City Hot Spot Tour from On Location Tours

– A VIP Nightclub Experience from The New York Nightlife

– A Times Square Walking Tour from Manhattan Walking Tours

– A $400 voucher for a ladies luncheon or dinner from The Big Fat Indian Wedding

Goodie bags provided by The Bach and The Big Fat Indian Wedding

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Here’s what you need to know:

The Bach is an online resource that provides classy bachelorette party ideas, curated venue recommendations, and the tools necessary to simplify the planning process. The Bach will be offering a 1-hour bachelorette planning session with Joanne Barken, the CEO, as well as goodie bags.

The Big Fat Indian Wedding is a South Asian wedding inspiration blog to help brides and grooms plan their wedding, help guests navigate the cultural world of South Asia, and inspire wedding lovers. The Big Fat Indian Wedding will be offering a $400 voucher for a ladies luncheon or dinner, as well as goodie bags!

Manhattan Walking Tours was created to give the NYC sightseeing tour an advantage over the tour bus. Manhattan Walking Tours will be providing a Times Square Walking Tour to show you the best kept secrets of this famous NYC attraction.

The New York Nightlife is the leading promotional company of choice for New York’s fashion and entertainment industries, with a large focus on tourism. The New York Nightlife will be offering a VIP Nightclub Experience so you and your ladies can have the time of your lives in the City That Never Sleeps

On Location Tours is one of the world’s largest TV and movie tour companies. Their tours feature sites from the hottest and latest on the big and small screen. On Location Tours will be providing a Sex and the City Hot Spots Tour so you can get a peek into the fabulous lives of the Fab Four.

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ENTER NOW FOR THE BACHELORETTE PARTY OF A LIFETIME! 

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Happy National Best Friends Day!

Happy Monday Wanderers and Happy National Best Friends Day! 

National BFF Day

We know how important your BFFs are in your life & want to celebrate them…and you of course! Tell your besties about Wanderable and you’ll each get a $20 credit. It’s THAT easy!

Refer A Friend

You know that snorkeling trip in Maui you’ve been dreaming of, or even that cocktail-making class you’ve been dying to try? Well now is the time! Invite your friends!

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