When the leaves change color and it starts to get chilly, those of us in the romance travel and wedding planning industry can almost feel the anticipation in the air! Approximately 40% of marriage proposals will happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, with the most popular days being Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day. December is particularly popular for those “surprise” engagement getaways that we are often asked to help plan during the winter holiday season, when family and friends gather for those special celebrations.
However, unless the couple has a favorite place they both love, choosing a wedding destination and venue can be a daunting task as there is so much to consider! How do you choose a venue if one loves the beach and the other is more of a city person? Same with choosing activities. What about the legalities of the country where you will get married or the vendors you would need? Do you buy your wedding attire where you are getting married, or take it with you? How many guests should you invite, and should you remain in the same area for the honeymoon! So many details to think about and that is what your travel advisor will help you with. Once you have decided on a venue, there are amazing professional planners on site who will give you great advise and support you throughout your event and stay. As far as destinations are concerned, these three popped up most often when I did research in my singles groups and FYI, these destinations are LGBTQ friendly.
This post is about Safari Experiences in East Africa. Find info about Southern African Safaris, sun soaked beaches and Fine Wine Experiences HERE.
If you have not ever been on an African Safari, choosing an area or place to stay is not that easy. There are so many options, each more amazing than the last, which is why working with a safari specialist is very important in that process. East and Southern Africa have very different landscapes, some similar but also very different experiences to offer for the newbie and safari enthusiast, so I suggest making a list of your priorities. What is your goal, and what experiences do you want to have? Are you adventurous or do you want to disconnect, go for a few game drives, and lie by the pool? Do you want to have a luxe experience with brick-and-mortar lodges, swimming pools and hot tubs, or track animals on foot and sleep beneath the stars? Maybe both! Who you travel with, and the purpose of the trip is of course important, as is the size of the group
Some lodges can only accommodate a certain number of guests and some don’t accommodate kids under the age of 6. Your budget and how much time you have, will also be a factor. If you and your partner both love Africa and want to get married there, look for my post on weddings in Africa HERE. It will be a mind blowing experience, and an unforgettable way to start your life together. The bottom line is If you are going all the way to Africa, you should spend at least ten days to two weeks to get the full experience.
There are few experiences as exhilarating and life changing as going on safari to Africa. It is not just a vacation; it is a magical and unforgettable experience. You will take something with you when you leave, and some part of you will stay behind. While interest in Safaris are rapidly increasing in 2022, there is still some hesitancy about being safe “in the wild.” I can assure you, as someone who has spent countless years visiting various spots in Africa; if you follow the suggestions and instructions of a professional guide, you will be totally safe. With regard to COVID-19, each Country has different requirements and thorough planning is imperative, however the lodges are super strict about sanitizing and cleanliness.
Well it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.
My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively. One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and needless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.
Several years ago I catered a wedding at a hotel where the Marriott Beverly Hills is now, and not operated by Marriott at the time. I was not impressed by the dark uninviting interior nor the design. It felt gloomy and I never returned there for another event.
Whenever destination weddings come up in conversations with my wedding clients, the countries that usually pop up first are Paris or Italy which are known as the most romantic places for lovers and are the usual Countries that inspire romantic visions. Lately though, couples have been asking more about off the beaten track destinations which got me doing some research about the latest trends that are NOT France or Italy of course, and Croatia kept popping up as trending. In case you were wondering… The country is situated just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It’s no wonder that it has the perfect climate for making wine and olive oil! Well there is no better way to get the down low about a country, than from a dynamo travel agent with many years of experience and hails from Croatia!
This week, on Erev Rosh Hashanah I want to write about something a little different but still wedding related. Even though the heading refers to the month of Elul and preparations for Rosh Hashanah, we can apply some of the same principles in our personal lives and especially to our close relationships during these months.
According to the Rabbis, Elul is the time when we attempt to come closer to God and establish that relationship of intimacy in preparation for the Days of Awe that follow in the month of Tishre and they believe that we cannot simply enter that period without preparation and expect the Days of Awe to be meaningful. As we prepare for our wedding we often become so bogged down with all the details that we forget that we cannot or should not enter into a marriage without preparation and expect it to be meaningful. We should not lose sight of the fact that this is not just about the celebration but also about the many years ahead of us.
When you have nothing other than “we want to get married”… which is of course the most important part, it has to feel pretty overwhelming! Just know that the first decisions are the hardest. As you go along everything will start to fall into place and it will get easier. If you decided on a long-ish engagement it will give you time to get everything done without any (or too much) panic. Continue reading “Planning your wedding – the most important decisions.”
Surrounded by the lush mountains of Malibu is the Malibu Canyon Ranch; a stunning estate famous for it’s European castle like tower. With white horses and white oak trees you will never believe that this beautiful gem is only 40 minutes from Beverly Hills and 10 minutes from Paradise Cove Beach.