Honeymoon Travel Guide: Santorini

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I’m not going to pretend for one second that I’m some kind of expert in the world of travel or honeymoons. BUT you may have noticed that I’ve done rather a lot of globe-trotting over the past 12 months. And as we’re about to launch our 2014 Blogcademy world tour in a couple of weeks it would appear that it’s not really going to change any time soon!

So I figured, why not share some of the places I’ve visited and the experiences I’ve most enjoyed with you lovely lot? First up is a honeymooners paradise - Santorini.

For her 30th birthday Gala decided that she wanted to whisk us away to the Greek Islands. Of course Shauna and I weren’t complaining! Ever the travel guide, she organised most of it (so I can’t take any credit!) but what I can do is share the things we loved on our trip. Hum… it’s my 30th in April, I wonder if we can top this?

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Accommodation

Whenever I travel, an apartment rental service like Air B&B or GowithOh! are my hosts of choice. Not only are the houses and apartments usually much cheaper than staying in a hotel, I personally think you get a much more authentic and interesting experience not being hauled up in tourist city.

For this trip we stayed in this apartment, in Oia. I kid you not, it had the best view on the whole island and the private balcony overlooking the ocean completely sold it to us. Our host, Nicolas, was also amazing. He and his porter Vasilis, (who carried our 25kg bags up and down those stairs with ease!) were attentive, helpful and made our stay a total pleasure!

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Smoke Bombs, Hippy Buses and Incredible Cornish Views: Antonia & Harvey

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Antonia and Harvey had a three day wedding at Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm in Cornwall. Their wedding was a true labour of love, with the couple and their friends and family working hard to create the wedding of their dreams. The weekend happened to be the hottest of the year which couldn’t have been more perfect for their outdoor, ice cream farm celebration!

“Ultimately we wanted something that we would enjoy going to and to have a festival style, laid-back feel to the whole party”, began the groom. “Being the most expensive party of our lives, we didn’t want it to be over in a day so we had three days!”

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“The retro caravans made for a great backdrop to the festival theme and allowed us to create our weekend jamboree. We dragged our friends to the far end of the country, and in return gave them a church overlooking a Cornish fishing village, magnificent tipis and hippy buses. We had smoke bombs instead of confetti, original 1950s Monte Carlo pin-up glamour playing cards as place cards and table runners made from old public WC roller-towels. Our bunting was Mexican Day of the Dead bunting, we had a piñata ‘first dance’ and lucked out on finding an incredible caterer, celebrating the best of Cornish food. Antonia’s Fur Coat No Knickers dress was a theme unto itself – it was supremely glamorous, laden with historical allure. Yes it was vintage, yes it was rural, but the day sparkled with lavishness.”

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Fun and Games DIY Wedding: Amy & Stephen

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As soon as I saw Amy’s amazing fairy princess ball gown wedding dress I knew I wanted to see more of her wedding, but when I found out she and husband Stephen planned the whole thing for just £5000 I knew you’d be dying to see it too! The wedding had a ‘fun and games’ theme with 80s toys on the tables, an egg and spoon race and the bridesmaids (and bridesman!) carrying giant lollipops instead of bouquets.

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“There was so much that we did differently for our wedding”, explained Amy. “Firstly my dress was very different from the standard ivory gown. The invites for wedding were made by our awesome friend Jon were titled ‘Steamy Buttworm Wedding Gig’ and so we had wristbands for guests to wear – even the registrar wore one! Steamy Buttworm is a mixture of our names Ste, Amy, Buttle and Wormwell (which some people only twigged on the day what it meant!)”

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Marriage Mantras: It’s Not Always Sunshine & Rainbows

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(although sometimes it is)

Unless you’re some kinds of freaks of nature, it’s unlikely that you and your spouse will agree on everything. Disagreements are a fact of life but how you handle them is vital to your continued happiness. One of the things we learnt very quickly was that throwing phrases like “You ALWAYS do this…” or “You NEVER do that…” not only never resolved anything, but only succeeded in hurting the other person much more.

We’ve since made a pact to never use those phrases with each other and, as a result, are able to have much more constructive discussions rather than ending up throwing mindless insults at each other.

3. Its not always sunshine and rainbows

It’s important to remember that although arguments are a fact of married life you must never over-inflate your frustration by bringing other issues into the conversation. You must learn to accept your partner’s flaws and not use them as petty ammunition. Once you’ve resolved any issues you need to forgive each other immediately. Look forwards to the future rather than carrying any weight from the past.

Gareth and I actually handle conflict very differently. I hate any bad feelings and I like to get things resolved as fast as possible. I’m happy to go all hell for leather and bash things out to try fix them quickly, whereas he likes to take his time to think things over before talking them through. I can see why his way of handling disagreements might be the more mature option, but in the heat of the moment I always just want to say my piece!

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Tech and Geek Festival Wedding: Ali & Ben

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Ali and Ben met while they were both working at PlayStation. This mutual love for all things techy and geeky was a recurring theme throughout their festival inspired wedding. Instead of using lots of paper they sent out digital invitations and had an online gift list, their seating plan was animated and they had pacman references everywhere. Each tier of their homemade wedding cake was a different PlayStation symbol, and they even the meme style table names!

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“The best way to describe me is ‘Digital Hippy’ because while I am very much a child of the Earth, I also do love a good gadget!”, began Ali. “Ben is similar, and we had a problem picking a ‘theme’ because we like so many things! So it was just one big jumble of awesome. I suddenly thought about a festival theme, because Ben and I both love going to festivals and then everything fell into place. The thing I love most about festivals is that anything goes and that was perfect for our wedding. I’d never been to a wedding in a tent before, and with our beautiful individual bridesmaid dresses, face painter, dapper Groomsmen outfits, glow bands, giant sparklers, live music and fancy dress elements…I think we hit the festival vibe nicely on the head!”

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Thursday Treats: It’s all Going Swimmingly

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Photography: Shell De Mar Photography

Gareth came home from the gym on Monday with a bunch of flowers and the swimming pool timetable. A strange kind of romantic gesture you might think, but I’ve been saying recently how I used to really love swimming (I even swam in the sea in Greece!) and I wish I was making the effort to do more of it.

So on Wednesday, when he went off to the gym (as he does three times a week – way to make me feel bad!) I packed my galaxy swimsuit and trotted off behind him. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous as hell. Those stupid little voices about how I look in a swimsuit wouldn’t give over.

But I did it.

And I’m super proud of myself.

I also felt great afterwards. As someone who usually avoids exercise at all costs, I was genuinely surprised how good my body felt after. My plan is to swim once a week (at least to begin with) so fingers crossed I can keep it up! Thank you husband for pushing me to get off my computer, to banish my insecurities and to jump in the pool again.

Weddings & Weddingy Things

Whimsical Philadelphia wedding
Ombre flowers DIY – LOVE this!
Beautiful farm wedding
Vintage woodland wedding
♥ Cute bridesmaids wearing the Rock n Roll Bride for Crown and Glory headpieces!
Pamela Love’s beautiful flower child wedding

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Photography: Hannah Thomson

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