Cruising for a Honeymoon!

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If you’re like many people, you feel cruising is beyond your means. Think again! A cruise is actually an inexpensive all inclusive honeymoon that every couple can find one to fit their interests and budget. I’m a fan of cruises, as you can experience a variety of places and activities with minimal planning and stress on your part.

There are many different cruise lines, but for the sake of ease and my familiarity with them, I’m going to show you Carnival Cruise Lines. I’ll walk you through the process of how to plan a budget one, and what a typical cruise with Carnival is like.

All information in this article can be found on Carnival’s site, http://www.carnival.com and my personal experiences with them.

When you are looking to book one, first check MapQuest and see what port is nearest to you.

If you’re driving: If there is one within a distance you’re comfortable with driving, look at it’s cruise port first. I personally live in Southeastern Oklahoma, so I choose Galveston, Texas versus New Orleans just off of personal preference since the distance is pretty much the same to drive.

If you’re flying: Carnival offers packages for airfare, which is really great because if something happens weather wise, your flight is covered by Carnival. That’s the way I recommend to go if you’re flying.

Driving or flying, try to be there the night before so you aren’t exhausted. Definitely check for hotels on Trip Advisor if you haven’t been the the area before. Speak with the hotel about shuttle service to the cruise port. Some charge, some don’t. But it’s much safer and almost always cheaper to leave your car at the care of the hotel versus the port.  If you’re flying, be sure to arrange for a shuttle ride to the hotel.

What to take with you: You need a photo I.D. as in your drivers license or passport, and take along a copy of your birth certificate. Try to have all three. If you’ve changed your name for the marriage or one of you is under 21, you MUST take your marriage license. Pack formal outfits (like a suit and cocktail dress) for the formal night on the cruise, and an extra shirt and tie for your guy and a spare dress for you in case you want to go to a fancy on board restaurant or go to both formal nights.

Tip: Bundle your gratuity into your cruise tickets, it makes it way easier! You are given the option when booking online or over the phone.

What is there to do on a cruise ship?

Swimming, sun bathing, dancing, ice skating, watching a theatre show, seeing the latest movie releases, hanging out in the comedy club, doing karaoke, playing mini golf, poolside games, live bands, giant Jenga, shopping, dancing classes, you name, it’s there!

Most people feel overwhelmed because there is so many exciting things to do! Should you go to the midnight chocolate buffet? Captains cocktail hour? Learn the newest line dance? Enter the hairy man competition? Compete to perform as Aretha Franklin in the on board talent show? The list is endless and so much fun!

There are a lot of options on your rooming, as well. You can start out with an inexpensive interior room (no windows) then step up to a port hole room, a window room, a balcony room, and a suite. There is something for every price range.

You may want to choose your ship off of it’s activities, or off of it’s destinations! Some common stops with Carnival if you’re going tropical are Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Progresso, and the Bahamas to name a few. Carnival offers the option of booking shore excursions through them online before your cruise. This is a great way to go, because you know you can trust this excursion to not only to get you back to the ship on time, but you also know it’s a legitimate licensed excursion, and you can read reviews. You can also book these on the ship either from your room or at the desk on board if you want to wait.

There are many different kinds of shore excursions, but some favorites are swimming with the dolphins, para sailing, and scuba diving.

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I’m about to go on a cruise myself for my anniversary, so I’m pretty excited! We’ve also got a couple going with us that are on their honeymoon. Going with another couple is always a ton of fun.

Have you been on a cruise before? What lines have your cruised with?

Check out Carnival’s site for pricing and availability. http://www.carnival.com

Brooke

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Edwards-Lovell Wedding

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Meghan Edwards chose the Robert S. Kerr Conference Center and Museum, or as it’s known to the locals Kerr Mansion, of Poteau, Oklahoma for her wedding and reception. Her colors were champagne and guava. The budget was $10,000.

The wedding took place on the lawn of the mansion, overlooking the drop off.

She chose to use artificial flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces, and smaller tables for intimacy for the dinner time reception.

A collage of the wedding day!

Top left-aisle marker, top right- the wedding set up, bottom left-bubbles for the guests, bottom right-fans for the guests.

I realize this is a wedding that took place nearly a year ago! But I thought I would bring it out for my new category of past events, as it was one of my favorites. Kerr Mansion was a gorgeous back drop for this wedding, and the colors were perfect for the weather and the brides personality.

Have you been to an event at Kerr Conference Center? Was/is guava or champagne in your wedding?

Brooke

Summerlin-Ward Wedding

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Amy Summerlin was a laid back bride. She knew she wanted shades of purple, fresh flowers, and barbeque! The wedding took place near a local lake. There wasn’t really a budget, we just knew we had to keep it small. It came out around $2,000 for the entire wedding.

There was touches of more feminine things around the room to soften the stone walls of the reception, so it all blended well with her dress.

Her seating tables for the reception were rectangle, so we went with white cloths, and purple runners to keep it simple with touches of purple. Her centerpieces were fresh flowers in jars.

The couple cutting their cake!

I love doing shades of one color to break from the traditional color scheme. I think her wedding was a great combination of country laid back, and feminine.

Is this wedding your style? Will you be using any of these elements?

Brooke

Woods-Lovell Wedding

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Taylor Woods was one of the busiest brides I’ve ever had. I actually didn’t meet her until the day of her wedding! The budget wasn’t exact, but everything  rented and purchased, as well as event planning came out to $1800, plus about $300 for food and drinks that was prepared by friends.

Taylor married Ricky Lovell on August 18th, 2012. Her colors were candy pink, chocolate, and burlap. 😉 She wanted it to be as country as it could be!
Since I didn’t get to meet her beforehand, I just went with the things I knew she wanted from speaking with her Mother in person. She had chosen an unusual combination for her flowers, wildflowers and carnations! Carnations are the birth flower of her baby sister, so it was important to her to have them a part of the wedding. She knew she wanted burlap, and her dress to be pulled together with the theme.

It was a backyard wedding outside of town, with about 100 guests. It was raining all day during the set up, so it has to be artfully done to keep everything dry and ready for the wedding! Thankfully, the rain let up about a half hour beforehand, and the sun came out for the cake cutting. It was perfect timing for beautiful pictures, and the weather was pretty amazing for the wedding.

The wedding set up, underneath a hexagon tent

Her boots at the opening of the aisle

The archway, handmade just for Taylor and Ricky

The reception tables

Her large cascading bouquet proudly displayed on a stand next to the cake, with a special charm tied in of her baby sister.

Announced husband and wife!

Cutting the cake!

Enjoying their special day…

It was a great laid back wedding. They were all a pleasure to work with! Best wishes to the couple and their new child.

What did you think of this backyard country wedding? Is it your style? What are you doing for your country wedding?

Brooke

Goad-Scoggins Wedding

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You may recognize this bride from Ashley’s Personal Shower post!

Ashley Goad and Javan Scoggins married on May 13th, 2012 at the Skelly Lodge in Catoosa, Oklahoma. The wedding and reception were outdoors. The budget was $10,000. We came in well under!

She wanted the wedding to be simple and not draw attention away from the surroundings of the Lodge. Her colors were white and shades of pink, but mostly blush. All the flowers were fresh.

The wedding took place under a large tree, overlooking the cliff. The ceremony was in front of an archway overgrown with ivy.

The reception tables were covered with white rose damask cloths, and placed with fresh rose and baby’s breath centerpieces, accented with tea lights.

The cake was made by Ann’s Bakery, one of our favorites to work with. It was placed on a silver stand for simplicity.

Their first dance took place under the stars, on the dance floor covered porch of the Skelly Lodge.

The bride and groom took a moment to enjoy their photo booth, which was a big hit with the guests!

And to finish off this post, a collage of the more personal moments of the day.


All the rentals for this wedding were provided by The Party Loft of  Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

Thanks for checking out this post, I hope you enjoyed it!

Brooke

Ouray, Colorado

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This honeymoon destination is a great getaway, most any time of year!

In the warmer months, there is great hiking, biking, and shopping to be done! The Yankee Boy basin is a must for novice “Jeep-ers”You can see old mining sites, a vast array of wildflowers in the summer, and gorgeous waterfalls on your 4-wheel ride up the 11,000 elevation trail, then hike to the top for an intimate picnic with a fantastic view!

In the colder months, go ice climbing in the beginners area of Uncompahgre Gorge for a great adventure!

Take a relaxing soak in the hot springs before a romantic dinner on the rooftop of the Ouray Brewery.

Ouray Brewery

Or just curl up in your room at the China Clipper Inn, rated number 2 on Trip Advisor in the B&B category!

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No matter the season you’re going to honeymoon in, this is a place to consider! It’s breathtaking scenery to be found year round, unusual activities, and many homes-away-from-home to choose as your own, it’ll be the trip of a lifetime to settle for a week in this sleepy town nestled in a valley of the Rocky Mountains.

Brooke

Jared and Heather’s Wedding Shower

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Jared and Heather are one of our more recent couples. They married July 1st at the Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa, OK. We don’t yet have their pictures, but we’re told we may sooner than later! Heather is a photographer who has her own studio, and Jared owns his own construction company. They’re a busy couple that didn’t have much time for planning, but wanted everything to be just right.  Their shower was held at the University Club Tower in downtown Tulsa on a warm summer day. The original plan was to have the shower in the evening on the fantastic patio and yard of the Tower, but it was so incredibly windy our plans changed 2 hours before to have it inside!

My inspiration for this shower was the that the groom was my brother. 😉 So basically, I did what I wanted cause he had to let me! Haha okay no so much… But it was much more personal than most events I do. The budget was $500.

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I chose hydrangeas for the centerpieces because the home we grew up in had large, beautiful hydrangeas all along the front of the house (see above! Our childhood home, now a bed and breakfast I hear is lovely in Southeastern Oklahoma)  Seeing them always made us think of home, so I knew it was a must, despite how frail of flowers they are (I bought extras, and the flowers held up beautifully, I even took some home to keep on my desk for another week!)

He loved the hydrangeas so much he wore one around for a while! This is Jared with his bride-to-be, Heather.

I went with green silk cloths to keep it a bit dressier, as the University Club Tower is a nicer place.

But I had to have some butterflies there! My brother and I were quite the bug collectors, butterflies and fireflies were our favorites, so that was a must.

The butterflies on the windows, hand cut by my Mother and I.

I also knew immediately where my cake would be from, Ann’s Bakery! You cannot have an event within two hours of Ann’s and not have them.  They’re known for their longstanding quality and customer service. You don’t know who they are? Check out their website.  http://www.annsbakery.com/

They have the best flavored wedding cakes you’ll ever eat (orange pineapple, anyone?), and they are by far the most impressive on design as they pretty much refuse to use fondant, so the cakes stay delicious. What does that mean? Butter cream art, all by hand! No laser cutting fondant machines for these pros. So how could I not get the most lovingly created cake from thisoutstanding bakery for my brother and his new wife? Especially because they have amazing gluten free cake, so that was a must for my gluten intolerant soon to be sister in-law.

The gluten free cake and the cake balls. Ignore the terrible plastic cloth. Ugh! That was because of a horrible mishap with the intended linen.

For the favors, we did tubes with small thank you cards, and filled them with jelly beans and skittles, their favorite candies.

The favors sat in a basket by the door for guests to grab on their way out.

They got a lot of great gifts and were excited to see all the family there.

It turned out to be a great shower, and everyone was willing to lend a helping hand.

So what did you think fo this glimpse into my personal life? What did you like about the shower?

See you next time!

Brooke