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New Series: Honeymoons

We’re starting a new series and we would love your feedback! We’re opening the series with a topic that is often left behind in wedding planning, though is the most fun – and unanimously enjoyed by everyone: Honeymoons!

Debuting the series is Jamaica! The Jamaica Tourist Board took us on a tour around their most popular Honeymoon and Destination Wedding locations: Montego Bay and Negril. If you know me, you’re probably aware of how much I love the beach. A little over 3 hours away from JFK airport in NYC, I landed at Montego Bay via JetBlue. Being a short flight away from a paradise destination is major points in my book. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall, which is located 10 min away from the airport. The pampering began upon our arrival – The Ritz’s staff greets everyone with a flute of champagne. We visited several hotels in the area, and below are my personal picks – each hotel features a different price point, but all allow you to bring in your own vendors if you wish and are equally amazing for a Honeymoon.

 destination wedding locations

Did you know that all you need to get hitched in Jamaica is your birth certificate? No need for blood tests. If you’re from a non-English speaking country, you just need a notarized translation of your birth certificates.

 honeymoon destinations on a budget

The images above are from Half Moon Resort. Their grounds are as large as they are gorgeous with over 400 acres of land. Half Moon is considered one of the most luxurious hotels in area, so their rates are a little saltier than most hotels. It’s definitely a splurge, but I highly recommend spending at least one night and have the day to explore their spectacular private beaches.

 jamaica honeymoon weddings

Later in the evening we were invited to meet the staff in an intimate setting by the beach. I had the privilege of meeting the Chef in charge of designing the 5 course meal chosen for the evening, which is also offered for Destination Weddings dinners. The setting is also the space for intimate chic weddings by the water. The Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall offers several different packages for Destination Weddings besides hosting a huge amount of newlyweds who come to stay for their Honeymoons. Their Destination Wedding packages start at $160 per person and include everything from ceremony arrangements to reception set up. You can also bring in your own florist and photographer. The Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall also offers discounts and packages – just ask and they might be able to give you a complimentary night stay or even waive the ceremony fee depending on how many rooms are booked for your wedding.

 destination weddings jamaica ritz
The Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall is incredibly affordable for a 5 star hotel resort – their rates start at $189 and offer a wide range of packages. Some activities they offer include cooking class with one the chefs (you will learn how to make authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken!) to sailing.

 the ritz-carlton destination wedding rose hall jamaica
 riz-carlton jamaica honeymoon

Next destination was Negril, which I was so excited to visit! It is about an hour from Montego Bay by car, but you can also take a quick flight (and enjoy the view!) The insanely beautiful photos below are from the Rockhouse Hotel, another unbelievable hotel for its price (rates start at $125 for Summer season). They also offer Destination Wedding packages with amazing view overlooking the Caribbean waters!

 negril jamaica honeymoon rockhouse hotel
 negril rockhouse honeymoon

Kansas Backyard Wedding

Jessica and James’ downhome backyard wedding was an adorable affair filled with charming DIYs by Jessica, who is a Prop and Set Stylist by profession. Her attention to detail paid off with the beautiful floral choices, place settings and the giant balloons! Shot by David and Kendrick for Our Labor of Love. Peonies, balloons and riding boots. What’s not to love about this wedding?

 Bride and Groom with giant balloons
 Bride and Groom Kansas Wheat Fields

From the bride, Jessica: After our engagement we made a list of words to describe what we wanted out of our wedding. The words that continued to come up were celebration and romance. Intimacy was also a big one. Stylistically, we both have a thorough appreciation of shape and color, and we both share a vintage style; however, we also wanted to incorporate Jessica’s Kansas roots into the theme so “rustic vintage, with pops of color” felt right.

 Kansas Groom PortraitKansas Bride Portrait

I knew that I wanted to be in control of the wedding planning and that we would be doing the decor ourselves. My mother shopped and collected milk glass throughout our engagement for the table flowers. She also did a great job of getting dishes and cool vintage decor. We had acquired some beautiful vintage china from a dear friend. We used it and supplemented with other great vintage place settings so every place was different but they all had the same feel. I got an old radio from Grandma’s barn. A frame of my mother’s used to house Polaroids…I was really happy with the final look.

 Bride and Groom Kansas Wheat Fields
 Bride and Groom in the trees
 Bride and Groom Whitewashed BarnBride and Groom Whitewashed Barn
 Kansas Bride in cowboy boots
 Brides Pink and Green Bouquet
 Kansas Bride with Bridesmaids
 Sheet Music Bunting

Jessica’s mother had the idea for the bunting used around their upstairs and lower decks. She found some great vintage music books. With the help of a friend they cut out the pennants and strung them together with twine. The movement in the wind made them a hit!

 Kansas Backyard Ceremony
Kansas Backyard Ceremony
Kansas Wedding Flowers

I cleaned and separated all of the flowers the Thursday before (when they were shipped to us) but the day of the wedding I wasn’t able to do all of the arrangements myself. I left to get my hair done with only a handful of the table arrangements completed. Thankfully, my mother and her friends jumped in and finished the job. Don’t be afraid to let people help! I think it makes it even more special when your closest friends help you pull off something so amazing.

 Backyard Kansas Wedding Reception
 Backyard Kansas Wedding Place Setting
 Backyard Kansas Wedding Reception
 Polaroid Photo Strings
 Backyard Kansas Wedding Reception Balloons and Fabric Strings
 Backyard Kansas Wedding Cake

Advice for other couples planning their weddings now: Instead of looking at the wedding as something we had to do we tried to look at it as a celebration of something bigger than ourselves. We wanted to get our closest friends and family in one place and celebrate what love can do and how it can bring us together.

 Backyard Kansas Wedding First Dance

Wedding Vendors (Wichita, KS):

Wedding location: Jessica’s parents house / Flowers: the bride, ordered from Cut Flower Wholesalers. / Photographers: Kendrick Brinson and David Walter Banks, Our Labor of Love / Wedding dress and veil: Purchased at Kelly’s Closet, the gown was by Amy Kuschel / Bride’s jewelry: Highland Row Antiques in Atlanta. / Sandals: Walmart / Makeup (eyelashes): Sarah Pennington / Hair and Makeup: Platinum Salon / Bridesmaids’ dresses: JCrew / Bridesmaids’ shoes: Target / Groom’s suit: Express / Groom’s Alterations: Ann at Avondale Expert Alterations (404) 299-0096 / DJ: Tim Utter, Loverly Brothers DJ 316-871-1628 / Caterer: Bella Luna / Wedding Cake: Tina Brooks at Cake Affairs / Invitations: Kirksey Wells Transportation: Prestige Bus Charters

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Announcing the Prizes!

T minus 3 days till we close the gates for submissions to our DIY Contest…have you entered yet? Last week we presented you with the judges, now it’s time to highlight the prizes. First place winner will receive $500 and the sponsors for the second and third prizes are just as impressive. Second place winner will receive $300 from ModCloth to go on a little shopping spree.

 modcloth modern shoes clothing and accessories

All you have to do enter is send over your best DIY projects that are wedding related with 4-6 images (images need to be at least 600px wide), instructions and a list of materials. Everyone around the globe is welcome to enter! Remember last day to submit your project is Sunday, October 3rd. Above are my picks if I won – and how I wish I could enter myself! That oversized bow hairclip would make a splendid veil tradeoff. We will come next week to highlight third prize sponsor – Silhouette Machine (a $299 value).

ruffled blog diy contest projects

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