Alternative Honeymoon Ideas

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After all the stress and excitement of the wedding is over, your honeymoon is the perfect chance for you to kick back and relax. But what if the idea of lying on the beach in the Bahamas sounds frightfully dull? Don’t you worry, my friends from Patchwork, an online alternative gift registry and honeymoon fund, are here to share their top five 2016 honeymoon destinations!

For this article I’m handing over to Patchwork founder Olivia Knight.

Speed through stunning Japan: Two weeks sightseeing on the bullet train

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We’ve got tons of couples using Patchwork to plan and fund honeymoons to Japan this year. I know you’ve just been there Kat (always bang on trend) so you’ll appreciate what an incredible culture trip it is. From the bright lights of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto and the paradise island of Miyajima, there’s so much to see and do. And thanks to the speeding bullet trains it’s actually possible to experience it all in a two-week break.

Japan is an expensive country to visit, especially if you want to see all the sites and travel in style! So if this is your dream honeymoon, it makes sense to ask friends and family for cash gifts to help make it happen.

Experience bohemian Berlin: One week living on a houseboat

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If you’re planning a summer honeymoon and want a city break that’s full of culture, colour, music and art, Berlin is where you need to be. If you want to experience the city’s bohemian delights avoid hotels and live like a local in one of the many unique homes available to rent. My favourite place right now is a super stylish houseboat on lake Rummelsburg that offers a romantic and secluded escape for honeymooners with excellent access to the city.

I think the best way to experience Berlin is just to take your time to wander the East side, stopping off at the food stalls, pop up bars, flea markets and random arts events that all spill out onto the streets in the summer. But there are a few essential tourist-y things to include in your Berlin patchwork too: Dinner up the TV tower for £50, U-bahn tickets for £20, a guided tour of the Berlin wall for £40 and zwei bier for a fiver.

An epic adventure in Peru: For couples who can take some serious time out

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Colourful Mexican Inspired Wedding in Eqypt

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Amy and Hegazy wanted a beach wedding and they chose Ain el Sokhna, a resort in Zaafarana, which was an hour and a half away from Cairo, Egypt. “I have always had an affinity to the Red Sea and it was natural that I get married on its shores”, the bride began. “I always imagined my wedding day would be bare feet, undone braided hair and dancing in the sand surrounded by friends and family.”

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The day also had a colourful, Mexican theme. “We actually went with the Mexican theme after we asked Gringos Burrito Grill (our absolute favourite take out) to cater our wedding”, she continued. “We thought a Mexican vibe would go perfectly with the beach setting and food.”

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Classic Vintage Wedding with Eccentric Touches

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Laura and Simon wanted a wedding that felt like them. They didn’t pick one particular theme. “We didn’t really have a set ‘theme’,” explained the bride. “With so many fantastic sources of inspiration we simply couldn’t decide and commit to one thing. At the beginning, we felt overwhelmed, but soon realised that we needed to focus less on the best bits of other people’s weddings, and more on what we actually wanted for our own. It was important that whatever we chose reflected our relationship, interests and personalities and this is exactly what helped us to bring it all together.”

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“We knew we didn’t want the wedding to be traditional or stuffy, but we wanted it to be quite classic with some eccentric touches. We wanted to incorporate a nautical element too as it linked back to our engagement which happened on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. We also introduced the vintage element with pastel colours as we’re both inspired by alternative fashion and trends, and it suited the décor of the venue.”

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Alternative Woodland Wedding

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Alex and Maddy had different ideas about what their wedding should be like, but luckily they learned to compromise! “When we first started discussing the type of wedding we wanted, we realised we were on opposite ends of the spectrum”, explained the bride. “Alex would have been more than happy with a simple registry office with minimal guests whereas I wanted something where we could celebrate with all of our friends and family, where I could feel a bit like a princess for the day! In the end we agreed on a rustic woodland theme and kept to a relatively small budget considering the size of our guest list. We had 105 people (big families!).”

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“We decided to throw out all of the typical conventions and plan a wedding that was ‘us’. Alex didn’t want much to do with it (events aren’t his forte) so he gave me a list of his requirements (which were pretty much ‘Hog roast’ and ‘No hats or fascinators’) and I set to work with making the rest of it fall in to place.”

“I don’t feel our wedding was particularly unique or cutting edge, but it was completely right for us and our family and friends. It was a relaxed chilled out day with LOADS of personal details. Having our three year-old daughter involved in the ceremony was really special. She helped tie the knots around our hands during the handfasting part.”

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Halloween Wedding at The Royal Pavilion

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For a lot of ‘normal’ brides and grooms, getting married on Halloween would be super weird. But for most Rock n Roll brides and grooms its the best idea ever! Liz and Si picked October 31st for their big day which took place at the iconic Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

“We knew that we wanted a Halloween wedding, with purple as the main colour, and plenty of skulls”, began the bride. “Everything evolved very organically from there. As well as Halloween we took inspiration from the things we both liked – the 1950s, skulls, bats, poison bottles and Brighton.”

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“We made poison bottles and apothecary jars for the centrepieces ourselves. We made the labels for the favours and assembled them. We also made ring-books to hold our rings during the ceremony and the place-cards. We even made our own cake and the memory tree we used to honour people who couldn’t be with us on the day.”

“Something else that was significant was my leather rose bouquet”, she said. “Leather roses have been a part of our relationship from the start, and we wanted the flowers used on the day to reflect that. We also decided to keep real flowers to a minimum, and matched the bridesmaid’s wrist corsage to the flowers being used in the centrepieces.”

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: Kyoto and Osaka

One of the things I was most looking forward to on our recent trip to Japan was that we were going to take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to a few different cities. The transport in Japan is so fast and reliable and it really wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. (I wrote about our itinerary and all the ins and outs of getting the bullet train in my Japan 101 article.)

After Tokyo, the next city on our tour was Kyoto which is less than a three hour journey away. We opted to spend five nights, and although it was beautiful and peaceful, any longer and I think we would have struggled to fill our time. I must prefer to be busy and occupied when I travel. I’m terrible, I know, I literally do not know how to switch off!

There are way more people in traditional clothing in Kyoto which was so cool to see. These colours!

If you enjoy history, castles, palaces, gardens and museums, you’re going to LOVE it in Kyoto.

Castles and shrines

Being an older city there are plenty of castles (many of which have been converted into museums) for you to explore. Doing touristy things really isn’t my idea of a brilliant time, but Gareth particularly enjoyed our visits to Nijo Castle, the Silver Pavillion and Osaka Castle (which is in Osaka, obviously! More on that below). The Golden Pavilion, which unlike its silver counterpart is actually covered in gold, was also on our list, but we were feeling a bit Pavilion-ed out by the time we came to visit so we gave it a miss.

There are also SO MANY shrines in Kyoto. It’s hardly surprising that the city’s nickname is ‘the city of ten thousand shrines’! I’m pretty sure that’s literal too. Nearly every corner you turn its like “Oh hey, there’s another one!”

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