MAGICAL PLACES TO VISIT IN PRAGUE.

 

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Prague is one of the most beautiful, enchanting, and romantic cities in Central Europe.  This capital city of Czech Republic seems straight out of a children’s storybook, like the setting of a fairy tale.  Legend has it that the turrets and spires of  Tyn Church Towers in Old Town gave Walt Disney the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is one of the wonderful magical places in the Europe.

This is the perfect place to simply stroll and explore. You may stumble across a hidden alley, courtyard, or a lovely garden tucked away behind an apartment block.  Even locals get lost wandering the cobblestone streets discovering this architectural jewel.

You should begin your enchanted walking adventure at the Powder Tower, the first point of the Coronation or Royal Route, and follow in the steps of Czech kings.  This will lead you on a historical path which medieval Bohemian monarchs paraded on their way to being crowned in St. Vitus Cathedral.

This will put you at Prague Castle, which takes center stage in Czech history. It sits majestically on a hill high above Prague. Rising above the castle is the 600-year-old St. Vitus Cathedral.

Arch your back and you will see the beautiful spires on top of the cathedral. It is the largest and most important church in the Czech Republic. The cathedral is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture where saints, kings, and emperors of Bohemia are buried.  The coronations of kings were held here until 1836.

Duck your head to visit the nearby houses of Golden Lane, originally the laneway of goldsmiths that served Prague Castle, dating back to the 15th century. It is one of the finest collections of traditional medieval buildings.

Climb the 287 steps of the South Tower for breathtaking views.

Here, you will also see Zikmund, the largest bell in the country, weighing in at approximately 15 tons.  Six bell ringers are required to swing the bell into motion, 4 to swing and 2 to manipulate the clapper.

Presidential guards secure the main entrances to the castle.  They are members of a special army division and services directly to the president.  The exchanging of the guards occurs every hour, with a ceremonious changing at noon that features a parade and music.  They also walk the grounds of the Castle looking over the security of visitors and reluctantly giving directions to lost travelers.

The iconic Charles Bridge, that crosses the Vltava River, is a destination in its own right. Construction started in 1357 under King Charles IV and finished in 1402.  This land connection made Prague significant as the trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. Crossing this bridge with 16th arches and 30 baroque statues, you will be treated to very talented street musicians, souvenir shopping, custom portraits drawn by local artists and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.

Prague’s Old Town, dating back to 1328, is a plaza surrounded by former palaces.  Here you can wander in any direction and discover picturesque buildings, winding alleyways as well as galleries showcasing Prague’s Modern Artists.

The Medieval Astronomical Clock, dating to 1410, is the 3rd oldest astronomical clock in the world.  Sometime in 1490, a calendar dial was added and the entire structure was decorated with Gothic sculptures. The figures at the top and bottom had significant meaning in medieval times, while the skeleton pulling the bell cord is Death and the fourth represents lust and earthly possessions.

Join the crowds from around the world lining up on the hour to watch the procession of the Twelve Apostles appear from a small trap door.

After experiencing first hand, it’s easy to see why travelers say Prague is one of the most magical and beautiful historical cities in the world.

For more information contact Nancy @ Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways 

Header image courtesy Nancy Barkley.  All other images courtesy The Official Tourist Website for Prague.

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YOUR DREAM DESTINATION WEDDING STARTS HERE.

Your tropical fairy-tale wedding awaits at Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa

MAR-WED-09A luxurious seaside hideaway located along the Riviera Maya. Belmond believes there is nothing more important than location when it comes to planning the best day of your life, and Maroma delivers.  The magic begins as you enter this romantic hideaway, winding your way through the jungle and being greeted with genuine warm Mexican hospitably.    Understated elegance is the style at this enchanted estate, hidden by lush foliage and coconut trees.  The resort is located on a white sandy beach, recognized as the “World’s Best” by the Travel Channel.  While discretion and privacy are dominant, this intimate 63-room resort makes it perfect for buyouts, affording exclusivity for your entire stay.

Your guests will stay in luxurious authentic Mexican style handcrafted rooms, feeling more like a home than resort, all within close proximity to the exclusive beach, truly a little piece of paradise.

 

Activities to choose from are onsite jungle bike tours, tennis, cooking and tequila classes and yoga.  The world’s second largest barrier reef just offshore, provides world-class snorkeling and diving.   Private tours of the rich Mayan culture as well as golfing at nearby premier golf courses. Golf classes can be arranged by the concierge.

Spend an entire day at KINAN Spa, voted # 1 best spa in Mexico and Latin America by Conde Nast Traveler.   Pronounced keynan, is Mayan for “the source of life”, this spa offers a full range of spa services in unique environment combining Zen and Maya concepts.  In addition to steam bath and saunas, the traditional Temazcal (spiritual Maya sweat lodge) is offered.  Beautiful caftans are worn in spa.

Savor sensational genuine Mexican cuisines at El Restaurante or El Sol where Mexican taste sensations await.

This resort exudes romance, and with the Caribbean Sea as your backdrop, make for the perfect destination wedding.  The hardest decision you will make is which magnificent location to choose from. Beach, main pool, courtyard, garden, terrace?

Rest assured from the moment we are involved, we will start working tirelessly and behind the scenes sprinkling metaphorical stardust to ensure your day is pure magic!   “And they lived Happily Ever After”

Please contact Nancy Barkley at Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways for your Happily Ever After at Belmond Maramo.

All pictures are courtesy of Belmond.

SOPHISTICATION AND LUXURY GEM IN THE CARIBBEAN

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Paradisus Palma Real  is where you want to get away if you desire the crystal blue sea, pristine white sandy beaches, stylish accommodations and exceptional dining.

This luxury all-inclusive resort is located on one of the most legendary beaches in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the remarkable Bavaro Beach.

First impressions are everything, and this resort does not disappoint.  It is love at first sight upon arrival where you are met with a jaw dropping dramatic lobby offering stunning views of the Caribbean.

This exclusive paradise offers extravagant options and experiences for everyone, the possibilities are truly endless.  You will be treated like Royalty while staying in the adult only Royal Service, the personification of elegance offering discreet butler service during your entire stay.  You can roll out of your bed and onto the beach Bali bed reserved and waiting for you.  While you are sipping cocktails you can contemplate which fine dining restaurant you want reservations for that evening.  Private check in/check out, regal amenities, and pillow, yes pillow menus are a glimpse into your pampering.

Families can also experience this VIP treatment in Family Concierge. Children can wear their child size robes and slippers while enjoying such amenities as a Play Station before starting the multitude of children’s activities available to them.  Or you may want to stay in “The Reserve” a hotel within a hotel offering residential concierge suites.

Paradisus Palma Real is where you go to be gastronomically content.   Gourmet restaurants offer contemporary world class cuisine including Passion, by Martin Berasateui, winner of 8 Michelin stars, and well know Spanish chef.

Guests are provided endless options to relax and reduce stress. Yhi Spa specializes in Asian treatments and is a sanctuary of positive energy.  Therapists hailing from the Philippines and Indonesia specialize in treatments based on the arts of Thai Chi and Muay Thai.

Those who choose to stay active can choose from beach volleyball, tennis kayak and numerous water sports.  The Yhi Moves Fitness Center offers state of the art equipment as well as an on-site personal trainer.  However runners might want to strap on their running shoes, relish the natural backdrop of the Caribbean, and run on the miles of white sandy beaches.

Golfers will delight in the unlimited green fees included at the World Class 27 hole champion golf course designed by Jose Pepe Gancedo.

For those desiring different activities, the resort offers life enriching experiences which include sushi making, wine tasting, painting and salsa classes and more.

You will rediscover the romance of travel at this romantic haven.  This is the perfect destination to say I do or celebrate each other.

Honeymooners and anniversary couples celebrate romance “Under the Star” private dinner, rose petals bed and bath couples massages creating memories to last a lifetime.

Brides and Grooms who choose to have their wedding at this paradise are assured a postcard perfect ceremony and can choose from many glamorous locations.

This is where you want to go if you want a dreamlike location, superior service, extraordinary food, luxurious accommodations and countless activities. So what are you waiting for?  Contact Nancy Barkley at Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways to plan your once in a lifetime memory.

All pictures courtesy of Paradisus Palma Real.

Yachting about Italy and Croatia!

Lying back in a wooden rowboat together and entering the magical Blue Grotto in Capri Italy.

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Romantic sunset gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.

 

Wine pairing at a family run winery in Sicily.

 

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Exploring Montenegro with its twisting byways, Byzantine architecture, and pitched mountains plummeting straight into the Adriatic Sea.

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Walking the medieval walls that surround Dubrovnik and then exploring what lies within the white old city.

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Visiting Split Croatia with its bustling harbor lined with cafes and Diocletians’ Palace in the center of town.

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Strolling through the streets of Rovinj, Croatia where hints of Italy are everywhere, in the signs, in the language, in the cuisine, thanks to having spent more than 500 years under Venetian rule. Romantic, quaint, and captivating, it’s Istria’s most beloved town.

 

Trip of a lifetime, you bet!  Memories that will last forever, indeed!  Can you experience this?  Absolutely, call Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways today!  215-793-4808

www.honeymoonsandgetaways.com

 

How to set your own trend for your Destination Wedding!

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Tell your own story:

Customize everything you can. You’ll be able to set your own trend for your destination wedding and reflect your unique personality. Continue reading

Love, Italian Style!

  1. Learn from the celebrities. Many engaged couples want to emulate the lavish celebrity weddings held overseas in some of the world’s most romantic locales. These types of celebrations are not necessarily out-of-reach of the average couple—ask local tourism boards or suppliers to recommend wedding and reception venues. You might be surprised what’s available.

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  1. Italy reigns. No surprise, Italy continues to be at the top of the list of wedding locales, with its culture, stunning landscapes and rich history—not to mention the excellent cuisine and wines. Venues range from luxury villas to medieval castles, renaissance palaces to ancient monasteries. One of the most desired locations is Chianti, in the Tuscany region, known for its stunning rolling countryside, vineyards, medieval villages and Renaissance churches.
  2. Take over an entire property. More couples are choosing to buy out an intimate venue for a weekend for the exclusive use of the wedding party and guests. During a buyout, all hotel amenities (including restaurants, lounges, spa, etc.) are open only to the wedding party and guests, assuring an exceptional, unique, unforgettable and private celebration.

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  1. Eloping is still an option. Perhaps surprisingly, more brides and grooms are choosing to run away secretly to get married. But make no mistake, this is no hurried affair, it is a sophisticated event — just one without invitations and guest lists. Today’s elegant elopements often include elaborate photo shoots in gorgeous locations and stunning wedding gowns.
  2. Fuse cultures and religions. The trend toward interfaith or multi-cultural weddings shows no signs of slowing down. You can help your clients combine and personalize the ceremony with different traditions, foods, dance, music and attire. They can recite vows in multiple languages, before officiants of differing religions. Such joint ceremonies can honor both religious and ethnic traditions.

Nancy Barkley/Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways/215-793-4808

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Dreaming of a romantic wedding in Italy?

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Have you always dreamed of a romantic wedding In Italy, at a luxury boutique hotel or possibly on the cliffs of the Amalfi Italian coast or at a medieval castle in Tuscany or on the beaches of South Florida?

Imagine saying “I do” in an exotic locale and spending three to seven unforgettable days bonding with your family and friends.

Your wedding day is the most important day of your life. A destination wedding is the perfect way to make that day memorable
for you and your guests.

With over 15 years in the events, hospitality and lifestyle services industry, Pamela, owner of Celebrating With Elegance, strives to please with an attention to detail, exceptional customer service and an overall enthusiasm, no matter what special event or Concierge lifestyle need you may have.

A keen sense of understanding a client’s vision and needs while finding the most effective and compelling solution is always Pamela’s objective.

From concept to creation Celebrating With Elegance is proud to offer full service Special Event and Wedding Planning in Florida and to all of Italy.

The talented team of event designers are here to eliminate all of the stress in planning your Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday or Product Launch.  As they work closely with each of their clients to bring their visions to reality, their goal is to create truly wonderful events that will exceed the expectations of their clients and all of their guests.

They show their talents proudly by custom designing each event and wedding according to the style, budget and request of their client. They are available for travel.

From custom props, to decor, lighting, and big themed entertainment their professional  approach to event design and wedding planning, along with their impeccable sense of detail and creativity are just a few reasons why their clients call on them to make their visions come true.

They are Creative, Unique and Dedicated.

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Pamela Spanu

President, Celebrating with Elegance

561-705-2000

561-306-4766

pamela@celebratingwithelegance.com

www.celebratingwithelegance.com

Runaway Bride Destination Weddings has partnered with Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways to create an extraordinary and unique destination wedding experience for brides and their grooms.

Kimberly Richmond and Nancy Barkley, A-List destination wedding experts, offer brides a wedding experience in unique settings and service without limitations.

What does this venture mean for brides and grooms?  Finally, Destination Wedding Experts offering a hands-on approach while providing creative customization of every event with flawless execution and 5-star service.  Couples will have a dedicated team adept at handling the unique nuptial “tasks” from honing in on the perfect flower arrangement in a remote destination to navigating the requirements for a legally-binding union far from home. The partnership will benefit couples who are looking for personal, intimate service, as opposed to generic on-line “destination wedding sites” and “cookie-cutter weddings.”

Destination weddings can be stressful, so you are invited to Run Away with them, place your “wish list” in their capable hands and allow them to stage your dream wedding.

Both Kimberly Richmond, owner of Runaway Bride Destination Weddings and Nancy Barkley, owner of Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways started in the Destinations Wedding business the old- fashioned way – by planning their own destination wedding.  Kimberly and Nancy realize the importance of working with someone you trust and this partnership promises to make your wishes come true.

Leave it to the Experts:

Runaway Bride Destination Weddings is a boutique destination wedding company specializing in luxurious hideaways all over the world. They represent select properties in unique locales and partner only with exclusive venues.

Services are customized for each individual, starting from the first meeting with the bride and groom, through the “Big Day.”

Runaway Bride Destination Weddings personally researches every destination they book and hand picks every vendor they propose. Because of their established relationships in each destination, they are able to obtain “preferred pricing,” which in turn, assures you the best “bang for your buck.” Their “quality, versus quantity” philosophy defines their approach and validates them as veritable connoisseurs of the places they recommend.

Runaway Bride Destination Weddings will guide you every step of the way, allowing you and your groom to be “guests” at your own wedding, while leaving the tedious details behind.

Contact information: http://www.runawaybridedestinations.com k.richmond@runawaybridedestinations.com

Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways is a leading full service travel agency which has built a valued reputation based on expertise, attention to every detail and unrivaled customer service. They specialize in Destination Wedding, Honeymoon, and Luxury Travel.  Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways is committed to their clients and will provide you the best travel experience available. Travel with Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways and you will quickly become accustomed to an exceptional level of service at competitive prices.

Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways go the extra mile for every single client. By leveraging their buying power of partners they are able to offer superior value added amenities, upgrades, and more. Rely on their team of travel experts whose combined in-depth destination knowledge offers more than 75 years of travel experience.  Most importantly, they are here for you, before, during, and after the trip!

Contact Information- http://www.honeymoonsandgetaways.com   nancy@honeymoonsandgetaways.com

Planning your Destination Wedding

So, you want to have a Destination Wedding? Something different, unique, nontraditional, that is great. However, do your guests want to be part of a Destination Wedding? This is the first dilemma when you decide on having your wedding in a different country or state.  Aunt Sue, who does not have a passport or has never been on a plane, does not want to fly anywhere, yet alone to a country where she does not speak the language.    Brides and Grooms, my first piece of advice is to make a list of absolutely “must be there” guests and make sure they can attend. The last thing you want to do is get six months into the planning and then have somebody back out.   Of course, I have planned Destination Weddings, with the above being the very reason for the couple chose to have a Destination Wedding, knowing Aunt Sue will not go- if that is the case, then carry on and have your Destination Wedding, you know your family and friends best.

Location, Location, Location- where to have your Destination Wedding?   A lot of this depends on where you and your guests are physically located and how far you would like your guests to travel.   If you are traveling to another county, researching air lift helps prevent many troubles before they begin.  Also, looking at a map helps the geographically challenged, trust me, one cannot drive to Hawaii.

When to have your Destination Wedding?  Mother Nature is an important part of the wedding party.  The Caribbean is a popular choice for many couples, with summer being popular because children are out of school and summer usually provides more vacation time for guests.  However, summer starts Hurricane Season in the Caribbean, so it is advisable to plan on a different time.   In this situation, advance planning is key to allow guests enough time to request off. You can perhaps take advantage of long holiday weekends that will not be during hurricane season, or typhoon season or  weather events at your destination.  While on the topic of children, if you would like an adult only event, the same rules apply to a Destination Wedding as a local wedding.  Save the Dates and invitations should be address only to those who are invited, meaning if the children names are left off, they are not invited.

So you have the date, you have the location, what type of wedding are you going to have?  Legal, religious? Symbolic.    For legal weddings, many countries require you to be in their country a certain amount of time before wedding and have blood tests taken locally as well as papers translated.  For religious, it is not always easy to find say a priest or rabbi in certain areas.  For many the religious ceremonies, it is less complicated to fly, your rabbi with you to perform ceremony.  All of this can be done when planned ahead of time.  Also, just because you have chosen an exotic destination, you can still walk down a literal church aisle.  Many venues provide a traditional chapel at their location.   If choosing a legal ceremony, I find more and more brides getting married legally ahead of time and doing symbolic ceremony at location (which can look exactly like a legal ceremony) if you do not wish your guests to know, they will be none to the wiser.

Regardless of when you have to arrive at your destination for residency requirements, please allow yourself an extra day, especially if you are flying.  Weather and flight cancellations can delay travel and giving yourself extra time can avoid a problem before it happens.  Also, I do not suggest shipping your wedding dress, EVER, I cannot tell you the horror stories of dresses being caught up in customs.  Same goes for gifts you bring on the flight for guests.  Ideally, purchase locally or bring with you unwrapped.

Being a bit of control freak myself and having planned my own Destination Wedding, I quickly learned you need to let go of some of the control.  So, if you are a hand-on bride, be forewarned, to avoid a lot of unnecessary stress, give up of some of the power.  If at all possible, I always suggest visiting the destination you have chosen and meeting all the players that will be involved in your wedding.  If this is not possible, make sure you work with reputable travel and wedding professionals who provide references and then call the references that are most recent.  Once you are comfortable that your Destination Wedding Team is prepared to handle everything, introduce them to your Decision Making Team.  Establish an initial conference call. Discuss the entire wedding process and establish a realistic time line for everything involved for your wedding and who will be doing what.    From there, you can send pictures and detailed description of exactly what you are envisioning for flowers, table settings etc.  Just like communication is vital for your marriage, it is very important with your wedding planner.

Have your Destination Team recommend a local photographer at your destination that has knowledge of the local area, for some great unique photos you will always cherish.    Always have a Plan B for wedding location.  You do not want to think of inclement weather for your wedding day but it happens, and having an alternative location selected ahead of time will help you avoid undue stress.

This is your day, decide on exactly how both of you envision it, communicate it with your Destination Wedding Team and let them take it from there.  When planning a Destination Wedding, try not to get caught up in making everything perfect, role with whatever comes your way and it is your wedding day and it will amazing!

Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways,  Destination Wedding Specialits have been planning unique, one of a kind weddings for over 20 years.  Visit their website at www.honeymoonsandgetaways.com  Facebook at www.facebook.com/honeymoonsandgetaways  or call them today at 877 – 793 – 4808.