Westin-Bali

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Wedding Cakes

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I grew to love my name, Tamara, as I heard different pronunciations and meanings in each country I traveled. Every pronunciation sounding more beautiful than how I pronounce my own name. I have visited many places, stayed in low budget hostels and guesthouses to extravagant hotels and resorts. I have also met wonderful men from other countries and was surprised to fall in love, back home, on my own stomping ground. My husband, Peter, shares in my love of travel and has his own impressive itinerary which led him to touch down and live in many parts of the world. When he proposed, we were sure we wanted to elope. We chose Bali as our destination and had an incredible wedding ceremony. I knew, during our elopement, that I wanted to create a site to share the excitement of eloping and destination weddings

Antigua & Barbuda-Hairdressers

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Dec 112013
 

We are cur­rently research­ing hair­dressers, styl­ists and appro­pri­ate busi­nesses to rec­om­mend in this region.

If you are a hair­dresser, want to rec­om­mend one, or know of good busi­nesses to rec­om­mend, please con­tact us, and enter “add hair­dresser” in the sub­ject line. Pro­vide all avail­able con­tact infor­ma­tion; name, name of busi­ness, address, phone, email, and website.

On behalf of Eloperite and all our read­ers, we appre­ci­ate your recommendations.

Grenada-Wedding Photographers

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Dec 102013
 

We are cur­rently research­ing wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers to rec­om­mend in this region.

If you are a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher, or want to rec­om­mend one, please con­tact us, and enter “add pho­tog­ra­pher” in the sub­ject line. Pro­vide all avail­able con­tact infor­ma­tion; name, name of busi­ness, address, phone, email, and website.

On behalf of Eloperite and all our read­ers, we appre­ci­ate your recommendations.

Bahamas-Marriage Celebrants

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Dec 102013
 

We are cur­rently research­ing mar­riage cel­e­brants to rec­om­mend in this region.

If you are a mar­riage cel­e­brant, or want to rec­om­mend one, please con­tact us, and enter “add mar­riage cel­e­brant” in the sub­ject line. Pro­vide all avail­able con­tact infor­ma­tion; name, name of busi­ness, address, phone, email, and website.

On behalf of Eloperite and all our read­ers, we appre­ci­ate your recommendations.

Jan 182011
 
We want to hear your stories!

Did you elope/have a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding and decide to have a recep­tion in your home coun­try? Do you dis­agree with hav­ing a recep­tion after eloping/having a des­ti­na­tion wedding?

If you decided to have a recep­tion, we want to know the details. Look­ing back, are you glad you decided on a reception?

Pete and Tamara’s Reception

The reception: We knew just who we wanted to invite, our mother’s also knew just who they wanted to invite. I suppose for the reason that we had already had our time to share our love, in the way we wanted, left details like guest list decisions, arranged seating or decorations, a non issue. We were happy to accommodate. We decided that we wanted our guests to feel included in our wedding ceremony that we had in Bali. We had our fathers greet guests while we got dressed in our wedding suit and wedding dress. There was a slide show with our young years and courtship time playing. When this finished, my mother announced the bride and groom and we made our entrance along a winding garden path to our guests. Pete thanked everyone for coming and a combination of pictures and video from our wedding day in Bali was projected onto the wall. We ate, drank, listened to father’s toasts (against our request), shared cake, a first dance and spent the evening enjoying our family and friends.

I wouldn’t change a thing. The elopement and reception fit Pete and me to a tee.

Jan 182011
 
We want to hear your stories!

What hap­pened after you came home from your elope­ment and shared the news with friends and fam­ily? Were there cheers? Tears? Excite­ment? Drama?

Pete and Tamara Come Home After Eloping

Coming home: After we came back from Bali, we were scared stiff to tell our families (especially our mothers) that we had just eloped. However, we broke the news to our immediate family members and sent out an email to all family and friends.  Our families were thrilled. They welcomed each of us into the other’s family. We were now one big happy family, ready to have a party and celebrate.

Jan 182011
 
We want to hear from you!

How did you and your fiance/spouse choose your des­ti­na­tion? I have listed the questions (below) that Pete and I discussed that could be helpful in making your destination decision. Are we miss­ing any crit­i­cal ques­tions that you feel should be addressed?

Where did you two decide to marry? Please select that coun­try (from the top nav­i­ga­tion bar) and post your stories!

Pete and I carefully weighed these questions to figure out our destination:

1. Is there a part of the world that either of us feels very drawn to?

Tamara: Southeast Asia

Pete: Australia/South Pacific

2. Do we want to travel in comfort or a more rustic or adventurous elopement?

Tamara: I want all three elements, if possible.

Pete: A combination, but I would like the bus to have shocks.

3. Is the element of a different culture important?

Tamara: It is to me. I love the Asian culture and eloping feels a lot more exciting and exotic, if we are immersed in a different culture.

Pete: Eloping seems like a great romantic adventure. Adding an exotic location and its cultural traditions is a very special part of  this once in a lifetime event.

4. Do we want to get married in a church, on the beach, scuba diving, on the back of an elephant…?

Tamara: On a beach or jungle with animals around.

Pete: In a church or movie theater with popcorn all around.

5. Is the wedding recognized in the country of our choice or will we need to go to a civil ceremony here, in the United States? Does it matter?

Tamara: It would be nice if it was recognized, but it doesn’t matter. We could do the civil ceremony before or after the elopement…actually, I would rather it be recognized. It would be strange to elope and then come home to get married again. I want to say my vows, sign a license and make it legal, all in one go.

Pete: Wouldn’t it be awful if we got married and found out years later that it was never actually legal?

Tamara: What?! Pete!!

6. Should it be a country we have never seen before?

Tamara: I would like it to be a country I have never been to-more exciting.

Pete: The ultimate adventure is to share an entirely new experience and visit a country neither of us have ever been to but both of us have dreamed of.

7. What kind of weather do we want? What time of year?

Tamara: Rainy season-warm and humid, February is my favorite month in Southeast Asia, by April, it would get too hot for you (Pete). Rain can fall at any time of day, but usually doesn’t last all day.

Pete: Visiting a warm country during a cold North American winter adds a layer of romantic bliss.

8. Do peak seasons matter?

Tamara:  I would rather not go during peak season because airfare and hotel accommodations are more expensive. Plus, there are more travelers out and about. I normally love to meet travelers, however we are not traveling-we are planning an eloping honeymoon that I would like to be serene and mainly about us.

Pete: Yes, going in a slow travel period makes logistics much easier for the arrangements.

9. How long should we go? How long can you take off of work?

Tamara: Southeast Asia/Australia is a long plane ride…it shouldn’t be shorter than two weeks-three or four weeks would be better.

Pete: I can’t take a whole month off from work….

Deductions and Compromises:

Bali-Situated in southern SouthEast Asia, just North of Australia, in Indonesia. It is a different culture with beaches and jungle. It is exotic and adventurous with many high-end indulgences as well as backpacking options. Marriage performed in Bali are legally recognized within the United States. You can get married in a church or jungle or beach, but it must be a religious ceremony. It is warm enough to wear flip-flops the entire time….

Let’s book that ticket!

Jan 182011
 
We want to hear your stories!

How did you chose your wed­ding dress? Did you buy it or have it made? Was it made to be a wed­ding dress or did you buy a dress that you thought would make a beau­ti­ful wed­ding dress, regard­less of the label?

Did you decide not to wear a wed­ding dress? What did you wear? A suit? A scuba mask?

It seems that most wedding dresses chosen for eloping or destination weddings are lightweight and simple. I am not sure if this is to suit the practicality of traveling with a dress or the simpler wedding dresses suit the personality of the eloping bride-to-be.

Keep an open mind: As you can see, simple was not for me. I went for a veil, a train and lots of ruffles. However, I don’t think you know what you are going to like until you start trying on dresses. I have always been, from young girl to woman, someone who likes practicality, simplicity and comfort. Ruffles have never found a place in my head, heart and certainly not on my body. However, the first place I went (Gesinee’s Bridal), the first day shopping for a wedding dress, I found it-and oh yes, there were ruffles-lots of ruffles, all the way down a long train! I tried it on and my face lit up. The dress made me feel happy and beautiful.

Go for the dress that feels right: Did it fit with the practical side of eloping? No, it didn’t seem to. It was large, bulky and basically in need of a suitcase of its own. It ended up practically getting a suitcase of its own (see my packing tips for a full list of what I packed). I turned to the wedding dress consultant and let her know that I was finished. She looked a bit shocked and horrified, “You aren’t going to buy a dress today are you?” We both were a little confused as to why she was talking herself out of an easy commission, but I allowed her question to make up my mind. I set up another appointment to take a look with fresh eyes. While I waited for my appointment, I searched wedding magazines, online, and a few other boutiques but didn’t come up with another dress that made me as happy as my “country-rocker-chic-wedding-dress”.

Give yourself six months to have the dress made: The second time I went back, I tried on one of those dresses with all the pleats (impossible to press and the worst choice for eloping). I love these dresses. It was really beautiful, but certainly not as dramatic as the original ruffle dress. So I made up my mind, ruffles and drama, only to find out that I only had a couple of days to order the dress because new dresses were coming in and this old model would be retired. I was so happy to find out that I had made it on time. However, my excitement was short-lived when I found out that it would take about 5-6 months to receive the dress. They only have samples in the store and all dresses are made-to-order. I did not have that kind of time. We were set to elope in one month!

Great tailors: Luckily it was a bit small, but the tailor across the street was able to modify it to fit my body. I lucked out. Most of the samples dresses I tried on were way too big and required large clips to hold them on and give me a slight idea of how it would look. I recommend going to an experienced tailor that knows what they are doing. If your bridal shop uses them or they have come highly recommended, spend the money. Do not try to alter yourself or go to your local cleaners. Go straight to the professionals.

The pressing question: It turns out that ruffles (I believe organza) travel really well.  However, Pete and I had decided to stay at a beautiful hotel where we would pamper ourselves around our special day. This was great because they were able to steam my dress and press his suit before walking down the aisle. I had kept my dress a secret and Pete was blown away when the doors to the church opened.

Consider where you will stay: If you are not staying in a luxury hotel or resort that you feel certain will have steaming/pressing available-contact them to see what options they have.

Iron out the wrinkles in the plan: Check with your consultant and tailor to find out how well the fabric will travel. It turns out that those very pleated dresses I love are near impossible to press. However, I feel somewhat challenged by that…but not enough to walk down the aisle in a wrinkled dress.

Jan 182011
 
We want to hear your stories!

Did your finance or spouse sur­prise you with an engage­ment ring? Did you have a dis­cus­sion about what type of ring you’d like? Did you go shop­ping and bring your finance busi­ness cards, like yours truly?

Tamara Searches for Engagement Ring

Looking for the ring: My girlfriend called me one day and asked me if I would be willing to go engagement ring shopping with her. She was on her tenth year of courtship and they decided that it might finally be time to commit. I was happy to go shopping with her. On the way out the door, Pete casually says, “Let me know if you find anything you like”. I wasn’t sure whether or not to take him seriously, but I decided ring shopping would be a lot more fun if I did take him seriously. It turns out that businesses really have this engagement ring shopping down. If you like a ring, they give you their business card, write the size of your ring finger on the card, what ring(s) you like and the price of each ring. All you have to do is bring these cards back to your paramour.

Jan 182011
 
We want to hear your stories!

Did you tell any­one about your elope­ment? Did you have to tell a few white lies here and there? Did you plant evi­dence to throw your fam­ily and friends off your elop­ing scent?

Pete and Tamara Prepare to Elope

The set up: Before we left on our elopement and honeymoon, we sent out a “save the date” email to throw everyone off the scent. This “save the date” email was in fact real, however our friends and families assumed this date to be saved was for our wedding. In actuality, we were planning a wedding reception on this date. We had decided that although we were sure we wanted to elope, we also wanted to celebrate our love and newly formed commitment with our families and friends. The fact that we were searching for a venue for our reception and not a wedding took some pressure off. The only two weighing in, my husband-to-be and me, made the choice quite easy. The reception venue was set before we knew anything about our wedding venue.