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10 top tips to help you plan and enjoy your honeymoon

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After hectic months of planning and bringing together a wedding, a honeymoon is a huge relief for most couples. This is the time when you and your new husband can finally find the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company, and finally settle into being newly-weds.

While a honeymoon is more about the experience than the place where you go, you may find that certain destinations are more enjoyable than others. So, the place where your best friends enjoyed their honeymoons may not always be the best place for you. The ideal place to honeymoon at depends on your personality, budget, and many more factors. And this is why you need some help to choose the location you should go to.

Here are ten top tips to help you plan and enjoy your honeymoon after considering all possible factors

1.Determine your budget first

The first step to planning your honeymoon is fixing your honeymoon budget. Although you may like to visit the far East or set off on a safari in Africa, it will be impossible unless you have the budget for it. Decide on your honeymoon budget soon after you begin wedding planning, so you can make your reservations and avail of the best offers. Sit down with your partner and chalk out the maximum amount you can afford to spend on the trip. Once you know this, you can then look at the various locations that will fit into this range.

2.Plan how much time you can take off

You will have to consider the amount of time you can take off work, to decide on a practical honeymoon destination. You will already be taking a few days off for the wedding. So, the question is how many more days can you afford to stay away from work. To travel out of the country, or to a place with several must-see tourist attractions, you should have an extended leave. There is no point in spending most of your honeymoon traveling to the place, and not enjoying it because you have to return soon. If you do not have enough leave to accommodate the traveling time and also a few extra days, it may be better to settle for a place nearer home. The other option is to have a mini honeymoon for the moment, and save the real vacation for later, when you can afford it in terms of time and money. Either way, make sure you have your honeymoon soon after the wedding. It is a well-deserved break, before you get into the routine of daily life.

3.Decide what type of place you would like to visit

It is imperative to choose a spot that is interesting to both of you. Think of the type of place you would enjoy most. Is it a beach, where you can relax and snooze in the sun? Or would you prefer to visit a destination with historic sites? Perhaps, you would prefer an adventurous trekking trip in a scenic location, instead of the above two. Basically, find an option that is interesting in most ways to either of you. You should also consider how much time you would like to actually spend on sight-seeing, as this will help you plan your itinerary. A good honeymoon destination will be one that both of you are eager to visit. For this take both your tastes into consideration, and find a place that has something to offer both of you.

4.If you can’t decide, create individual dream lists and compare

What if you and your to-be-husband aren’t on the same page and fancy different locations. Let’s face it, with so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide where to visit. Or it could also be that you want a bit of all these places, and can’t decide. We have the solution to your problem! We suggest that you both make your individual lists of the top five or ten places that each of you would love to visit. Then compare the lists. The places that figure on both lists, is what you should be looking at. And what if these places are not practical options due to budget constraints or lack of annual leave, or anything else for that matter? Find a location that comes close in providing a similar ambiance, and settle for the next-best. Save the actual choice for another celebration, say your first anniversary or the next holiday you go on!

5.Consider weather conditions and other factors at the destination, at the time

When looking at honeymoon spots, don’t forget to pay attention to the local conditions there at the time of your wedding. You may be able to get cheaper deals, if the place you plan to visit provides off-season rates at the time. However, if the weather isn’t favorable at the time of your visit, it may not be such a great idea. For example, do you think it will be exciting to visit a beach during hurricane season, or places in Europe in winter when many spots are closed due to unfavorable weather conditions? Apart from the weather at the place, you should also give due importance to other conditions that may affect your trip. This could be conflict situations or natural disasters that the place is still recovering from. Your ultimate aim is to enjoy your honeymoon, and you may not be able to do so, if the place is under turmoil of any kind. In that case, either put your honeymoon off for later or settle for an alternate location that provides a similar experience.

6.Plan and book early to find the best offers

Do not wait till the last minute to book your honeymoon trip. The closer to the travel date you start looking for tickets and accommodation, the more money you will have to spend. Once you settle on a location, immediately set out to book your tickets, accommodation and any other package deals you may like to use at the location. Check around and you may find an early bird discount. Sign up for newsletters and track popular airlines to the destination, to learn about any offers around the time. Also check their social media sites to learn about special deals and discounts. It is not just about the travel, but you may also be able to avail better deals on sight-seeing tickets and similar other choices when you look early. So explore your options and find out the best deals for your money. If you look closely, you may even find good package deals which club accommodation with meals or sight-seeing options that take your money further.

7.Do your research about what you must take along

Different locations call for different needs. It is not essential that your hotel will provide you all the things that you require for your  stay. Plan your luggage depending on the weather, available resources and other factors. When visiting some countries you may have to carry along mosquito repellent and bug spray. In other cases, it may be thick winter gear to tide through the cold. The best way to know is to check with the hotel where you will be staying. Call up in advance and find out how the weather at the time of your visit will be. Then ask them what will be included in their package and what you are expected to bring along. You should also check online to confirm you haven’t forgotten anything. Remember that it may not always be possible to buy some things that you may require, after you reach there. So, it is best to carry everything you need with you. You should also find out whether there are any dress restrictions at the place. Some tourist spots may not admit people in clothes that do not cover the shoulders or may not admit you if you wear shorts. It is best to find out in advance and be prepared for it, rather than go all that distance and be unable to visit these spots, just because your attire is unsuitable for these locations.

8.Don’t forget the essentials

Even if your are certain that your hotel will provide you the basic amenities, stay prepared by packing in essentials like towels and toiletries. Create a checklist in advance, of all thing that should go into your suitcase. Tick it off as and when you pack these into your bag. This way it is unlikely that you will miss carrying anything you may need. If you are traveling abroad, make sure to carry photocopies of your passports and other documents that may help you, if any unforeseen circumstances arise. Remember that the electricity connections in the country you visit may not be similar to your own. Find out in advance and carry adapters to make sure your electronic devices can be charged without issues, once you reach there. Also inform your family or friends of how you can be reached when you are there. Leave the contact address of your hotel and don’t rely entirely on your email or social media network, in case the internet connection isn’t reliable at the place you are visiting.

9.Tell everyone that you are on your honeymoon

You will have to travel using your maiden name, since it is unlikely that your name change documents will all be sorted out in time for your honeymoon. So, book your tickets and accommodation in your maiden name. Nevertheless, let everyone know you are on your honeymoon. Most airlines, hotels and hospitality services like to encourage and pamper newly weds who choose their services. So, tell them you are celebrating your honeymoon, and don’t be surprised if you receive special upgrades, a bigger room, bubbly to celebrate your first journey as a married couple, or a token gift. Although all this doesn’t really matter, as it is all about you enjoying your newly married experience in the most exciting way, it certainly does increase the fun factor. So, right from when you arrive at the airport to check-in your luggage, make sure you tell the people you are dealing with about your new relationship status. Who knows, you may set out on your journey in business or first class, with a welcome upgrade. Wouldn’t that be fun!

10.Make up your mind to relax and enjoy your time

Unless you’ve been to the destination you are visiting, you may not really know what is in store for you. You may find the ambiance different from what you were expecting, or surprised with some other aspect of your holiday. Whether the situation is just as you expected or entirely different, make up your mind to enjoy it. So, if you think the place is hotter or if the hotel room is not to your satisfaction, just take it in your stride. Think of the bigger picture—you are here to celebrate with your partner, and let the trip be just about that. Don’t worry about things back at home, and make the most of every opportunity that arises. Try to make memories that will last forever, collect mementos to remind you of the exciting trip, relax and enjoy! Plan couple activities and cozy up and spend time finding out more about your husband. Return rejuvenated and refreshed to start your life off as husband and wife. This welcome break away from normal life will give you that perfect start to face life’s challenges and struggles together.

Plan a wonderful honeymoon and you will enjoy your wedding even more. For everything that you need for the perfect wedding, we are here to help you. From fantastic wedding dresses to wedding vendors to bring your dream wedding together, we have everything you need in one place. Visit our Best for Bride website to find out more about all the services we offer, and keep visiting our blog for more tips, inputs and advice on everything wedding-related.

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Making the most of your wedding registry and 9 registry must-haves

Wedding registries help guests to find useful gifts for the to-be-married couple. This is very helpful for them to set up their home, when they begin their new life together. Today, many couples may be living together long before they are married. Nevertheless, a good wedding registry allows them to get a little help with what they need to make their married life function more smoothly.

Over the course of this article, we will tell you why a registry is a good idea, how to inform your guests about where you are registered, how to make the best use of your wedding registry and also a list of registry must-haves that will help you set up home conveniently.

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Is a wedding registry even necessary?

Some couples feel that wedding registries are not a good idea, since it gives the impression that you are fishing for gifts. Do you agree with them or are you undecided on whether a wedding gift registry is a good idea?

Here are our arguments in favor of having wedding registries. The couple and their guests should pay attention to setting up or picking gifts from a wedding registry for these reasons:

  • It goes without saying that guests will get gifts for weddings. If every guest at the wedding were to pick a random gift, it is likely that you will end up with stuff that may not be useful to you at all, while you will still have to find the space to accommodate it till you decide what to do with it.
  • Different couples have different preferences. If your guests have no idea of your tastes, the likelihood of receiving gifts that serve no purpose or clashes with your choices, is very high.
  • If a couple have been living together for a while, it is likely that they will already have stocked up on the essentials. In that case, your registry will help your guests pick an item that will actually be useful, than go for something that you already own.

Now that you know why registering for gifts is sensible, let us look at how you can let your guests know where you are registered.

How to tell your guests where you are registered

Traditional wedding etiquette condemns you from putting your wedding registry on your wedding invitation. This makes it difficult for you to inform your guests about what you would like to receive. Fortunately, there are other ways, and here they are.

  • Entrust the task to your bridesmaids, mother and rest of the wedding party

A guest who wishes to find out where you are registered will be hesitant to ask you directly for your registry information. Instead, they will mostly ask a member of your bridal party. So, make sure your women in waiting know where you are registered, and pass it along when asked.

  • Use the bridal shower invitation

While it isn’t right to use the wedding invitation to share the wedding registry, the bridal shower invitation can be used for this purpose. Why? Technically, the shower is hosted by someone other than the bride. Since there will be invitations going out for this event, you can request your maid of honor, or whoever is in-charge of hosting it, to make this information readily available to those who seek it.

  • Wedding website

Every wedding today has to have a wedding website. This allows the couple to share relevant information pertaining to the wedding. Now, the guests needn’t worry if they lose the invitation card, or forget to ask about certain details. We suggest that you add your wedding registry to your wedding website, and your guests will have no difficulty locating it.

How to efficiently plan your wedding registry?

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There are many lessons we can learn from couples who have previously tested the waters. This couple on Apartment Therapy tell us that like most couples, they had no idea on where to begin and ended up looking at their parents’ kitchens, pulled out a few lists of must-haves from magazines and created a registry. While some of these picks continue to serve them, others ended up being discarded or in the donation pile.

So, how do you make sure that your wedding registry contains what will be most useful to you? Here are some tips

#Don’t go with the trend

Remember that expensive gifts should last long. So, don’t get caught up in the trend of what is hot today. Whether you find a trendy flatware pattern appealing, or feel hot pink towels are impressive, think of whether your taste will change over the years. The best thing to do is to stick with safe options in neutral colors, so that it will not look dated over the years.

#Choose individual items instead of a set of pieces

While it may look attractive to have a set of items that match, think thoroughly about how useful each piece will be to you. Make the best use of your gift choices by opting for items that will each serve a purpose, and you will have just the right things taking up space in your house.

#Don’t forget the basics

Instead of choosing occasionally useful items, give priority to the essential must-have’s. A good set of knives, bath towels, bed linen, flatware and cutlery are all worthwhile investments, when you consider how well they serve you everyday. Don’t forget the essential toolbox and gardening items either, if you make use of these regularly.

#Upgrades and matching sets

If you live together already, and have your basic inventory covered, make use of your registry to get items that will complete your existing sets. Also, if you have been making do with what is available, this may be the right opportunity to upgrade to all-matching choices. You should also take a look at what you could have a few extras for. Say, you have always been short of wine glasses or serving bowls, when you entertain. Make sure to add that to the list and stock up on what will help you better.

#Say yes to gift coupons

At times, it is best for both parties if you receive gift coupons in place of gifts. This allows you to pick out what you want, and your guest needn’t rack their brains considering what will be the best choice for their budget, from the list you have created. So, don’t forget to tick the box for gift coupons in your registry. Also, when you write your thank you note, do mention what you got for the gift coupon, so your guest knows that you’ve put their thoughtful gift to good use.

#Keep the list varied and with items with differing costs

Do not restrict your registrations for only items that are available in sets. Keep your registry varied and with items of every price range, so your guests can pick what fits their budget. By choosing individual pieces, you can also build up your stock of items, which will allow you to entertain conveniently, whether you are hosting a party for 6 or 12.

Now, let us take a look at the must-have’s every couple should register for.

 

List of 10 must-have’s that no couple should overlook.

1.Dinnerware

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A whole dinnerware set in a neutral color, that you can use everyday is a must-have. Be careful when choosing the color, as you want it to live long and blend in easily with your varying tastes over time. White dishes are the best. Although they may not look too attractive, food of any color looks appealing when placed in a white dish. So, this is the perfect way to make sure your culinary efforts are most noticeable.

2. Flatware

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Make your choice between silverware or the more practical stainless steel flatware. Keep in mind that dishwasher safe flatware are easiest to manage, and stainless steel often does best over time. If you already have a handy set, go for the silver. Nevertheless, remember that silver will tarnish, and so calls for extra care if you don’t use it regularly. Spend some time researching the options, and pick a pattern that you will love even after years have gone by.

3.Casseroles, saucepans and frying pans

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Your food habits should determine what utensils will be useful for you. Assemble a basic cookware set with minimum three of these mentioned items. Like I said before, it is better to mix and match pieces to create the right mix of useful items, than just go with sets of many pieces that may not entirely be useful for you. Do you find yourself wishing for a soup pot all the time? Or would you like a wok for the Chinese food you always seem to cook? Then this is what should go on your registry.

4.Glassware

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Wine glasses, shot glasses, beer mugs, drinking glasses; all that you think should comprise your glass cabinet. Standard sizes and shapes are your best bet, as you will find it easier to replace should one break. Unusual fancy ones may be difficult to replace, and will spoil your set if even one is lost.

5.Sharp knives and a knife block

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The essential for modern day cooking, a set of sharp knives are a treasure that will save you time and effort in the long run. Make sure you add the basic four: a stellar chef’s knife, paring knife and serrated knife and knife sharpener to your wedding registry. Add a knife block to store these knives in. Not only will it save you valuable space, but also makes storage of these precious kitchen essentials safe and smart.

6.Cutting board

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The wooden cutting board is a great investment and one that will last a lifetime. Add this to your registry, and get rid of those pale and tired looking plastic cutting boards that have been cluttering up your kitchen all this time.

7.Bed linen

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Over the years, you will realize that you can never have too many good sheets. So, make sure you stock up on all the basic linen, including pillow cases, flat sheets and fitted sheets, by adding it to your registry. It would also help to have a few extras for backup. Choose a basic color that will be a timeless choice, and with a good thread count so they serve you for long.

8.Bath towels

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Just like with the bed sheets, you will always find use for bath towels. Put down pairs of bath towels, hand towels and face towels. You do not have to stop with just one pair. Remember to stick with colors that will look fresh over the years.

9.Serving Dishes

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A serving platter and an assorted range of serving dishes are essentials for every couple who loves to entertain. Although you may not think it is necessary right now, it will be a good investment that will be handy in the future. A large serving platter is a must, as it is versatile and can hold anything from rice and pasta to fruits, cupcakes and starters.

Do you think there is anything more that should be added to this list? If so, don’t forget to put it in the comments section below.

While we are on the topic of wedding registries, let me also remind you to constantly update yours, once you have it set up. As your guests tick items off your registry, update it with more options, so even the last guest has enough to choose from. This is where your multiple sets of items like bed linen and towels will come in handy.

Continue visiting us at Best for Bride for more wedding tips and advice. Your one-stop destination for everything bridal, we have all that you need to make your wedding day a success, under one roof. With extensive bridal dress collections, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, as well as cakes, wedding stationery, flowers and décor, we have every aspect of your wedding covered. Visit us today and make your wedding dreams a reality.