Thursday, July 8, 2010

Honeymoon Islands Giveaway!

Today we have a super-cool giveaway! We aren't giving away an island as the title might lead you to believe (although that would be one bad-ass giveaway) but we are getting one reader a little closer to visiting one!

Our favorite honeymoon travel specialist, Honeymoon Islands, is offering $100 towards a honeymoon package.  So if you're planning a honeymoon but haven't gotten around to actually booking it (or if this is on your fiance's "to do" list and it hasn't gotten done yet), this is the giveaway for you. Just email us ( with Honeymoon Islands Giveaway in the subject line and tell us you'd like to be entered. We'll pick a winner on Monday!

We have been working with and recommending Teresa from Honeymoon Islands for nearly 15 years. I can't even count the number of my couples she has worked with over the years and they have always been thrilled. She really knows the resort market and, even more importantly, the honeymoon market. Although she traditionally specialized in island honeymoons (hence the name), she has expanded into luxury travel in all destinations and has sent couples to South Africa, the Far East and all over Europe.

We did a little Q and A with Teresa to find out more about her business:

How long have you been working in the travel industry?
30 years, Since 1982

Why honeymoons?
Passion is “my passion”.  It’s deep routed in my soul. I guess you can call my soul’s calling. I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life searching the world for the most romantic, most pampering places where you can lose yourself. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have the best job in the world. 

What do you love about working with couples?
It’s the beginning of where dreams come true. It’s not only a happy celebration but we are creating day one of their vision of love.  I’m honored that people invite me into their lives to help them create a lifestyle that they not only wish to take as they start their new life together but will continue growing and evolving over the years as they explore the world together.

How long out should couples start planning their honeymoon?
About one year prior to the wedding, and have it all finalized 8-6 months prior to the wedding is standard. I have to add that Teresa has pulled it off for my couples in less time, though!

What is one piece of honeymoon advice you'd give couples? 
One important factor to consider is your expectation – budget ratio.  Does your budget match your expectations?  If not, you have decisions to make.  Should you lower your expectations to match your wallet or should you increase your budget to meet your expectations?   I think all couples want the “wow” factor experience for their honeymoon.  From the time you step off the plane at your destination, drive up to the hotel and open the key to your room you want to experience a lifestyle that dreams are made of.   Does your budget allow you to do that?  Like most couples the answer is NO, you have under budgeted.  This is what I call the “50% rule”.  You have most likely under estimated the cost of your dream trip by at least 50% and in some cases even more.  My number one advice I have is you can’t take a champagne honeymoon on a beer budget.  Let’s face it, weddings are not cheap, honeymoons are no different. Look beyond the price tag.   What will you remember 5, 10, 20 years from now? How much you paid or the experience and memories you created?   Life is full of experiences….What will you remember?
What are the newest trends in honeymoons? 
1)       Honeymoon Gift Registry - This is a brilliant idea if you need help paying for your honeymoon (who doesn’t?)  especially for those of you that have everything in place for your home already. The key to a successful Honeymoon Gift Registry is to “get the word out” and limit how many registries you have so you don’t dilute your money.
2)       Familymoons –  A destination wedding for the 2nd timers to included the blended families as their wedding party.

What are the honeymoon hot spots? 
Caribbean, Hawaii, and Tahiti are timeless classics although Thailand and South Africa have seen a rise in popularity. Thailand is the up-and-coming luxury destination that offers a combination of adventure and culture along with pampering relaxation.  South Africa is on the horizon as a leading spot for wine excursions in Stellenbosch wine district in concert with a safari at Kruger National Park in search of the Big 5.

Any favorite destinations or resort?
I have many favorite resorts depending on the region of the world.  On the Maldives it is a toss up between  One & Only or Four Seasons both for their privacy and overwater bungalows. In Thailand I melt each time I visit Phulay Bay, a Ritz Carlton Reserve for the stunning views and the service.  In Prague I love visiting Prague Castle in the winter time when there are fewer crowds…The Four Seasons Hotel is a must.  I love each and every Caribbean Island for it’s own uniqueness, however, it’s hard to beat Curtain Bluff because it’s one of the few places around the world that you can have trouble falling asleep at night because the sounds of the waves crashing in front of your room can keep you up at night gazing at the stars from your bed…how great is that.  Also, Can’t miss the spa at Sandy Lane in Barbados voted by Conde Nast as the best island spa in the world. The list is endless.

What is one thing couples should definitely pack that they might otherwise forget?
A Camera…you will never have this event just like it ever again.  Capture the moments.

How to contact Honeymoon Islands:

Make sure you log on to Honeymoon Islands’ web site in September as they launch a new and improved web site to offer more exciting destinations and resorts. 

Please note: The honeymoon package booked should be at least $5,000 to use the discount.

Thanks to Teresa for this great giveaway.  Good luck everyone!

Bridal Bubbly Wins Sassy Blog Award!

Sassy Site Awarded By GetMarried

We're excited to announce that Get Married has awarded us a Sassy Site Award! We like to think we're pretty sassy but it's always nice to hear it from someone else.  Check out the Sassy button over there on the right.  Here's what the herald trumpeters had to say when they presented us with the hand-lettered announcement scroll:

Your blog is Smart, Awesome, Savvy, Stylish, uniquely You, exuding SASSY! We applaud you for your contagious enthusiasm, crafty inspiration and fun ideas!

Okay, there weren't any trumpets and the scroll might have actually been an email but it still felt pretty fabulous. It's so nice to hear from other sites and readers.  Thanks to everyone who has told us they love Bridal Bubbly! We love you right back!