Category Archives: Sponsored Post

Honeymoon Travel Guide: Surfers Paradise, The Gold Coast

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The next adventure on our whistle-stop tour of Queensland was Surfers Paradise. After a quick drive from Dreamworld with our Tourism and Events guide for the day, Jess, we arrived ready for a surf lesson and bike tour!

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to surfing. Although I love the water I’m not the most athletic of people and the thought of hurling myself into some rather giant and scary looking waves filled me a little with dread.

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You can’t really tell from this photo, but that’s a grin that says “OMG are we actually really doing this?!”

The beach was glorious, with the Gold Coast skyline just behind it. As Shauna lounged in the sun, Gala and I headed over to meet our surf teacher, Patrick from Cheyne Horan School of Surf.

Patrick didn’t seem to sense our trepidation (or if he did he definitely ignored it!) and he dived right in to the lesson. He also clearly had much more faith in our abilities than we did because after the briefest of introductions he told us to head out into the waves and give it a go. ARGH!

I glanced at Gala nervously and could sense her thinking the exact same thing as I was “Oh crap, are we actually really doing this?”

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: Queensland – Dreamworld, Kangaroos & Cuddles with Brandy The Koala

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When the initial email from Celeste at Tourism and Events Queensland came into The Blogcademy inbox asking us if we’d consider an all-expenses paid trip to Queensland I nearly deleted it, assuming it must be spam. I mean, this kind of opportunity doesn’t exactly come knocking on your door everyday. After verifying that Celeste wasn’t, in fact, just playing a rather cruel prank, we started to plan our epic adventure down under!

Skip forward eight months or so and we were finally there. Celeste and her team had pulled out all the stops and scheduled an action packed five days for us including koala cuddles, surf lessons, boutique hotels and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef! I’m so excited to share some of my highlights with you guys over the next few weeks. This new Honeymoon Travel Guide feature of mine is working out quite nicely don’t you think?

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Queensland isn’t somewhere I’d ever really considered visiting before, but after this trip I can say with the utmost sincerity that I will be going back, only next time I’m bringing Gareth with me – this tropical paradise is just made for lovers!

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Patchwork Present, A Truly Alternative Gift Registry

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I’ve written about many amazing alternative gift list services before, but I’m yet to find one that allows you to register for literally anything you want… until now. When Gareth and I were engaged we went with the surprisingly traditional option of a department store registry. While we had a lot of fun running around  pretending we were on Supermarket Sweep, I do wish we’d know about some more alternative options. I guess they just weren’t around in 2007!

Wanting to offer engaged couples a wider range of options for their gift registries, Olivia Knight had the idea for Patchwork Present when she got married two years ago. Not wanting homewares or the usual generic gift list junk, she came up with the idea to allow couples to register for anything they might want – from a True Love Tattoo to a Honeymoon on Route 66 or even to help fund the Wedding itself. In a nutshell, if you can imagine it, you can register for it.

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Breathtaking Wedding Rings Without the Breathtaking Price Tag

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When Gareth and I came to buying our wedding rings, it sounds awful, but they were a bit of an after-thought. We didn’t have a lot of money and the costs of even the most budget-friendly rings in traditional high street jewellers were just completely out of the question.

Gareth is also very particular and wanted us to have rings that were not only awesome, but would last forever. He wanted titanium, and as he’d found my platinum engagement ring at an amazing price, having my wedding band matching was really important.

A hell of a lot of of research and a staunch determination to not have to re-mortgage our house later, we were able to find beautiful rings from Wedding Rings Direct at amazingly competitive prices. I opted for a 2mm flat profile platinum band and Gareth went for one made from titanium with a white gold inlay.

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Our rings – photo by Devlin Photos

We are proof that expensive high street shops are not your only option when looking for an engagement or wedding rings. Although it might not feel as romantic as browsing boutique jewellery stores together to find ‘the one’, sometimes the budget really does win out. Which is why I’m thrilled that online jewellers like Wedding Rings Direct exist.

Alongside the traditional metals like platinum and gold they also offer materials such as wood, titanium, black zirconium and ceramic. The designs they hold also vary widely – from classic bands to much more decorative and elaborate designs.

And if you don’t find anything suitable from their extensive catalogue, they even offer a bespoke design service where you are able to work with an experienced jeweller to design a ring yourself. 

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Don’t Want the Usual, Boring Gift Registry? Ask your Guests to Buy Your Honeymoon!

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More couples than ever before are looking for alternative gift list ideas. Adding new pots and pans to a department store registry is about as exciting as it sounds, which is why so many newlyweds are opting to forgo the new linens and ask for money towards getting started in their new married life or for something they’ve always wanted but could never afford.

The whole ‘asking for cash’ thing can be a bit daunting though. Sure, there are cute ways you can do it, with poems in your invites or whatever, but the fact of the matter that asking your guests to show you the money is a bit… er… awkward.

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Apart from the inherent embarrassment of asking for money, the real trouble with requesting cash is that a lot of guests really don’t like the idea of just slipping money into a wedding card. It can easily get lost in the madness of the day but also (and forgive me but) it feels a little bit gross and impersonal too. No thought goes into the gift buying when it’s just cash exchanging hands. A lot of older relatives, in particular, really enjoy the gift buying and giving process. There’s also something quite special about being able to think “Aww Aunt Mildred gave us this china and we’re going to use it forever”.

So what are your options if you don’t need more house stuff and you’ve decided you really don’t want to just ask for money?

There are many services that offer honeymoon gift lists these days, in fact I’d imagine that many of you are already considering using one of them. Because these systems allow your guests to buy a tangible gift that you’ll enjoy on your honeymoon, they also really solve any problems that some guests might have with the idea of just handing over money. So let me take a moment to introduce to you to one the market leaders, a UK based company, who have been around for over six years – Buy Our Honeymoon.

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The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza is the Best Alternative Wedding Show in The UK, Here’s Why…

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Photography: Assassynation

Call me cynical, but these days, I can’t seem to move for a new ‘alternative’ wedding fair. They’re cropping up all over the place this year, but there was just one that started it all…

In early 2012, Sassy of Assassynation Photography, Jo of The Couture Company and Rawhide Corsets and Vikki of Liliia had a dream. They dreamt of a wedding fair that was truly alternative and that showcased only the best of the best alt wedding suppliers. They wanted to have a place to host the kinds of suppliers they saw ignored by other, mainstream and vintage, wedding events.

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