Honeymoon Hot Spots

Planning and preparing for a wedding can be stressful!  One thing that helps many couples stay positive amid the stress is thinking about the blissful honeymoon they are going to enjoy.  So grab a drink with an umbrella, slip on your sunglasses and take a peak at some of our top picks for your dream get away!


Dominican Republic- For the couple that wants rest and relaxation

Photo: Courtesy of Puntacana Resort & Club

Photo: Courtesy of Puntacana Resort & Club

This tropical paradise has direct flights from Miami to the Dominican Republic. This view is from the beautiful Puntacana Resort & Club.  Stay and play on the white sand beaches, or hit the waves and enjoy surfing and snorkeling.


Costa Rica – For the nature-loving couple

Photo: Courtesy Lapa Rios Eco Resort

Photo: Courtesy Lapa Rios Eco Resort

If you really want to immerse yourself in the environment  try out Lapa Rios Eco Resort.  This lovely boutique hotel is nestled in the remote Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica on a 1,000 acre nature preserve.  Go on nature hikes in the rainforest, you’ll be able to see monkeys, tucans, and tree frogs among thousands of other creatures.  It is also close enough for you to enjoy water and land activities.


St. Lucia – For the Couple that are homebodies

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals Regency La Toc

Photo: Courtesy of Sandals Regency La Toc

You and your sweetie never have to step foot off the resort.  The Regency La Toc is so large that the resort encompasses: a beautiful 9 hole golf course,  rejuvenating spa, 9 dining options, 3 pools, and an exquisite private beach.  You will be able to fill your day with play and still stay on-site.  Many of the all inclusive suites come with a butler prepared to assist you 24 hours a day.

Maui – For the Couple that doesn’t want to get a passport

Photo: Courtesy: Grand Wailea

Photo: Courtesy: Grand Wailea

Hawaii and honeymoon go hand-in-hand just like peanut butter and jelly, and there’s a good reason for that!  Maui is the most romantic island, full of activities, and romantic hideaways, like the Grand Wailea. This resort is home to one of the highest rated beaches in the world, lather up the sunscreen and have some fun! Or slip away to the adult-only Hibiscus pool and enjoy a pina-colada in your private cabana.

Cancun- For the Couple that wants it all

Photo: Courtesy  Zoetry Resorts

Photo: Courtesy Zoetry Resorts

This all-inclusive resort, Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun, exudes luxury and relaxation.  Wade in the pool or enjoy a morning yoga class.  This honeymoon includes all of the best, romantic suites, gourmet dining available 24 hours a day, and even dance lessons.

Wedding Photography Ideas and Tips

AJwed_0699     AJwed_1384        Custom Toasting Glasses on Cake Table    Brides dress w custom hanger

Each wedding is unique and are lots of prep work before that special day.  Many brides think that hiring a great photographer means they can check photos off the list…but that’s not true.  Before you count photos as done on your wedding to do list, make sure you have given the photographer a list of photos you want, and that you have considered order and timing to get all the photos you want.  Below are some ideas to get your juices flowing.  Remember you are unique and you may think of a shot you want for your own wedding, go for it!  It’s your day!

Wedding Photography Shot List

Prep Shots – Bride & Groom (don’t forget the shot of the dress being put on)
The Dress – Hanging or Draped
First look with Bride & Father
First look with Bride & Groom (if you are seeing each other before the ceremony)
Bride walking down stairs (if there are stairs)
Bride looking out (window or door)
Groom Checking the Time
Groom with Grooms Men & Fathers
Bride with Bridesmaids & Mothers
Bride with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom waiting at altar
Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )
Father giving away bride
Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)
Holding hands – Bride and Groom
Bride & Groom Kiss
Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)
Bride & Groom – Inside Limo Shot
Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, Cake, etc.)
Shots of your guests (Photo Booths on site are a huge trend and I love it! They allow the guest to have pictures to take home as well as pictures for your own scrapbook)
Shots of Bride & Groom with & without family
Bride and Groom Portraits
Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits
First Dance
Bride & Father Dance
Groom & Mother Dance
Bouquet Toss
Garter Toss
Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom Feeding each other
Guests Dancing
Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast/Speeches
Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches
Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
Groom Giving Coat to Bride (mostly in colder weather areas)
Bride & Groom “Just Married” Vehicle – Driving Away
Bride &Groom with “Thank you” sign to mail out (This is one thank you that is guaranteed to make it onto the fridge)

When planning pictures the day of the wedding, have the bridal party and possibly even some immediate family on hand to take pictures before the wedding.  This will allow for more time to celebrate at the reception.  Talk with your photographer and get a time estimate on how long it will take to get all the pictures you want before the wedding and after the wedding, an extra 30 minutes to an hour before the wedding, for lighting issues, dress fluffing and any impromptu ideas or delays that may occur.  Trust me, I’ve been in and to my fair share of weddings and that extra time has made the difference between a stressed out bride about to cry and a bride who was actually able to sit and relax and eat a little before the wedding.  Seriously consider getting as many photos on your list as possible before the wedding, no guest likes to wait an hour or more for the bride and groom to join the reception.  But, if you prefer to take pictures after the ceremony, make sure that your wedding guests are well taken care of at the reception with entertainment and food and drinks until your arrival.

Melanie Hill, Owner/Executive Event Planner
Exceptional Events