Tropical Paradise at Samujana

Famed for its exclusive villas, all with private infinity pools, Samujana in Koh Samui excels in hosting weddings with breathtaking backdrops and simply stunning sunsets.

As Koh Samui’s reputation as a destination beloved by global jet-setters grows, so too does the island’s popularity as an event location for romantic weddings. And with White Lotus slated to be filmed in Koh Samui this year, its popularity is sure to grow even more.

With a wonderful year-round climate with consistent tropic temperatures of between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, the island is in high demand as an outdoor wedding location. According to the expert events team at Samujana, the best months of the year for such events are from February to October, with the ideal time of day being late in the afternoon, right before sunset.

Known for its exclusivity and respect for guests’ privacy, Samujana is the perfect property to hold a wedding for 30 to 60 guests, but it also has the capacity for up to 250 guests if desired. Besides the property’s postcard-worthy location, another big draw is the fact that some of the villas, boasting awe-inspiring spaces, can be transformed into fabulous event settings.

Rates at Samujana start from $1,100 per night for a 3 bedroom villa

Understated Style

A selection of Wedding industry suppliers came together for this feature to showcase a soft, feminine, floral theme. Styled by photographer Whitney Graham Photography & Peaches n Cream UK.

The Fabulous Team

Concept & Planning
Whitney Graham Photography ~ @whitneygrahamphotography
Peaches n Cream UK ~ @peachesncreamuk

Dresses
@flossyanddossy

Hair
@melaniegilmourhairstylist

MUA
@e.s.beauty.xx

Model
@paula__muir

Photographer
@whitneygrahamphotography

Venue
@wellingtonhouseonthesquare

Florist & Decor
@peachesncreamuk

Romance & Seclusion in the Seychelles

North Island is 30km from the mainland and can only be reached via boat or helicopter

THE ISLAND

North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, has been expertly designed with pioneering conservation programs to offer the highest standards of hospitality. With a mission to demonstrate that luxury with a conscience can co-exist, sustainability lies at the heart of North Island’s philosophy and will be further embraced and supported with The Luxury Collection. North Island offers an inimitable experience that seeks to offer a contrasted way of life; rough and smooth, old and new, casual and refined, where footprints are the only trace on the island’s untouched beaches. It is a place that unashamedly aims at providing the very best in ‘barefoot luxury’: privacy, accommodation, services, facilities and experience, yet has restored its environment to a place of verdant plenty.

WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS

The discreet service on North Island is so unobtrusive, couples can feel as though they have an entire island to themselves. The beauty of the sea and striking sunsets provide unparalleled romance for the perfect honeymoon destination. Whether it be private picnics on the beach or couple massages in the villa, the North Island team delights in creating special moments for couples and ensuring that your experience is exactly what you want from your time on the Island.

North Island is also available for sole-use booking of the entire island for wedding purposes. Pristine powder-white beaches form an idyllic setting for an elegantly simple, barefoot wedding ceremony. North Island offers outstanding luxury, privacy and exclusivity combined with outstanding natural beauty. In keeping with North Island’s flexible philosophy, they do not offer wedding packages, but instead will consider each request and create a bespoke, tailor-made offering for each couple.

THE VILLAS

North Island houses 11 private villas, each created using local materials harvested during the island’s rehabilitation process. Lovingly and individually handcrafted by Seychellois and African craftsmen from wood, local-hewn stone and glass, each is nestled discreetly in the tree-line, facing onto Ase d’est Beach. Beachfront Villas 1 to 10 have two bedrooms, a main bedroom and a second bedroom for families. When the Villa is occupied by only one or two guests, the second bedroom is set up as a luxurious, air-conditioned lounge room. At night the lounge can be converted into a private cinema complete with projector, screen and surround sound.

The fully retracting sliding doors allow for uninterrupted views onto the lawns and the turquoise seas in front of each villa. A private plunge pool and sala are the finishing touches to this private sanctuary.

The 11th villa, Villa North Island, is tucked away at the far end of East Beach in the takamaka forest. The ultimate honeymoon villa with a multitude of secluded spaces and unparalleled sea views, the privacy of this villa is unimaginably decadent, cascading down granitic boulders with direct beach access to the ocean below. Designed just for two, Villa North Island is the quintessence of exclusivity.

KEY FACTS

  • 11 private guest and family villas
  • North Island is a conservation-oriented, ethically driven company
  • North Island joined The Luxury Collection in December 2019, the first private island in the portfolio

Rates start from €5,500 per night

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.north-island.com

Golden Hour

A wedding photographers dream is the perfect golden hour… That half hour just before the sun sets, when you get that perfect golden hour light and can sneak away from your guests for 10 minutes to get some stunning intimate wedding portraits.

That’s exactly what you’ll find from this photoshoot planned by Georgia-Beth Photography at Flore House, a luxurious estate located in the picturesque Northamptonshire countryside. The shoot featured a real model couple, dressed in gorgeous wedding outfits, posing against the stunning eclectic backdrop of Flore House. The whole shoot was brought to life by a fabulous team of experienced wedding suppliers who I would recommend in a heartbeat!

Other than our stunning (newly engaged!) couple. The photoshoot also featured beautiful wedding tablescapes styled by Bunting and Willow Weddings and invitation and bridal detail flatlays inspired by the colours of the sunset. The tables were arranged with floral centerpieces in shades of pinks, oranges, and yellows. The tables were also styled with romantic decorations like candles, gold cutlery and soft organza tablerunners, creating a dreamy feel.

The fireplace, windows and welcome signs were decorated with stunning statement florals created by Sophie Okeeffe Floral Design to really add the wow factor and give you all the autumnal wedding inspiration you need.

Hair and makeup created by Bridal by Coral and Alex Bridal Makeup, stunning jewels designed and handmade by Elizabeth Terzza and a gorgeous gown from Bride Like Me completed our beautiful bride Wingshan’s look.

And Alex our groom was dressed in a sharp beige 3 piece suit supplied by Collective 13 Clothing. The whole shoot was brought perfectly together by wedding planner Katherine Leigh Weddings and Georgia-Beth Photography.

The Fabulous Team

Concept and Planning
@weddingworkshopsuk &
@kathrynleighweddings

Photography
@georgiabethphotography

Content Creator
@thesocialweddinguk

Hair
@bridalby_coral

Make-Up
@alexbridalmakeup

Models
@aw.modelcouple

Dress
@bridelikeme

Suits
@collective13clothing

Accessories
@elizabethterzza

Florist
@sophieokeeffefloraldesign

Stylist
@buntingandwillowweddings

Cake
@mylittlecakestudio

Romantic Elegance at Stapleford Park

Re-introducing the fabulously grand Stapleford Park, nestled perfectly in the picturesque countryside of Melton Mowbray this venue offers every element of opulence and grandeur.

 Stapleford caters for every moment of your wedding day including its own extensive list of experiences and talented suppliers. In this shoot Sarah Carter Photography captures both the romantic elegance and the bold drama of Stapleford.

Models Kayleigh and Laura are simply spectacular in these breathtaking gowns supplied by Rachel from Boune Bridal, teamed with the perfect bridal hair by Hayley from The Hideaway Bourne, and flawless faces by Rachel of Rachel Bray Make up Artistry. Not to mention this stunning mix if flowers and ostrich feathers bringing fresh inspiration for our brides of 23/24 created by Stephanie of Stephanie’s Flowers Bourne.

This dream team never fails to deliver.

Suppliers

Flowers
Stephanie’s Flowers Bourne
@stephaniesflowers_

Photography
Sarah Carter Photography
@sarahcarterphotography

Make Up
Rachel Bray Make Up Artistry
@rachelbraymakeupartistry

Hair
The Hideaway
@thehideaway_hayley

Bridal Dresses
Bourne Bridal
@bourne_bridal

Venue
Stapleford Park
@staplefordpark

Contact Stapleford Park and ask for this wonderful team to take on your wedding day for a day full of the finer details.

The Wilds of Africa

Experience Africa with Great Plains’ Best of Botswana Safari. From gliding along in a poled mokoro at sunset down the Okavango Delta and a champagne helicopter safari to private bush dinners under the stars, there’s something for every couple with Great Plains.

 

Available at a selection of stunning properties, including the brand-new Sitatunga Private Island Camp, these wildly romantic safari experiences will see guests fall in love all over again. ‘Whether couples are renewing their vows, planning to pop the question or honeymoon in style, there’s nowhere more romantic than our camps across the Okavango Delta in Botswana’, says Great Plains co-founder Dereck Joubert. ‘We have created a selection of memorable offerings for our guests which aim to bring them closer to nature, and each other. With sunsets straight from the movies, floating sundowners and dinners in the bush with only the stars, wildlife and each other for company, our team takes huge pride in creating an entirely bespoke safari experience that will see all of your romantic dreams come true.’

The experiences include…

Magical Mokoro at Sitatunga Private Island

At the new Sitatunga Private Island, opening mid-July 2023, couples can swap the hustle and bustle for complete silence with being personally poled along the waters, and along the channels, of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Couples will gently drift through the shallow channels of the Okavango Delta system, surrounded by water lilies and colourful birds nesting on the banks, towards a private sundowner setup. The ultimate spot for a truly unique proposal or a toast to recent nuptials, if a moment of peace and calm is what’s desired, a trip on a mokoro is a must.

Set to open later this month, Sitatunga Private Island will provide guests with the most authentic Robinson Crusoe experience and a refuge for the soul in the Okavango Delta. The new Réserve-Collection safari camp, is made entirely out of recycled materials, designed by Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Providing adventurers with the opportunity to explore the scenic area’s permanent channels by mokoro, stretch their legs on guided morning walks, take part in fishing or photographic safaris, it is one of the few locations in the world where one can spot the rare aquatic antelope – Sitatunga – from camp and on the water.

For the ultimate hideaway experience, couples can check into the two-bedroom Sitatunga Private Island Suite. Built on a raised, wrap-around railway sleeper private deck complete with plunge pool, the Suite can accommodate up to four adults (or two adults and up to three children).

Nightly rates at Sitatunga Private Island start from $1,550 per person, per night based on two sharing.

Private Bush Dinner Under the Stars at Selinda Camp

Accompanied by a bottle of bubbly, fine dining, the sounds of the bush and a sky full of stars overhead, a private bush dinner for two on the Selinda Spillway is the ultimate setting for a celebration of love. This Relais & Châteaux culinary experience, available at Selinda Camp, can be tailored entirely to couples’ tastes by expert chefs, from bringing in special sparkling wine preferences for the occasion or whipping up a personal favourite dessert.

Resting on the banks of the Selinda Spillway as it enters the Linyanti River, Selinda Camp is situated on the private 118,000-hectare Selinda reserve. This pristine area is home to elephants by the thousands, wild dogs, and the famous Selinda Lion Pride, recently featured in Birth of a Pride, the National Geographic film by Dereck and Beverly Joubert. The camp can accommodate up to six guests sharing three tented suites, including the 2-bedroom Selinda Suite is also perfect for families. Children are welcomed to Selinds Camp aged 8 and up. Each suite has a private pool and in-room exercise equipment to assist in working off the sensational food and wine served at the camp’s fine dining show kitchen. Activities include morning and evening game drives, guided walks, and motorised boating opportunities. In-room spa and wellness treatments can be arranged at an additional cost.

Nightly rates at Selinda Camp start from $1,820 per person, per night based on two sharing

Floating Sundowners at Zarafa Camp

The phenomenon of the Zibadianja Lagoon in the Selinda Concession is an experience like no other and the private sunset cruise from Zarafa Camp, which provides a floating bar and dining experience, is the most indulgent way to enjoy it. Couples will take to the waters of the lagoon as they drift on a floating bar fully equipped with everything needed for a romantic sundowner. Here, lovers can watch the sky change colour by the second as the birds fly home overhead, while they enjoy a selection of gourmet dishes and wine pairings.

Zarafa means “the beloved one” in Arabic and comes from a giraffe that was presented to Charles X of France in 1826 by the Viceroy of Egypt. Today Zarafa, Botswana’s first Relais & Châteaux property, is an exquisite camp located on the private 118,000-hectare Selinda Reserve. The Reserve links the Okavango Delta with the Linyanti and Savuti water systems. Every area of the camp offers stunning views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel. Each of Zarafa Camp’s recently refurbished four guest suites are 1,000 square foot (100m2), set on raised decking, under flowing canvas. Entering through a Lamu door, guests will find a lavish space of deep reds and browns, where the bedroom is connected to a full lounge and open layout bathroom complete with copper claw-foot bath. Outside, extensive decking includes a private plunge pool and outdoor shower.

Nightly rates at Zarafa Camp start from $1,820 per person, per night based on two sharing.

Champagne Helicopter Safaris, In-Suite Dining, Couples Massages, Decadent Bubbles and more

In addition to the camp-unique offerings, Great Plains provides a menu of ‘Wildly Romantic’ experiences available across all Botswana camps, ensuring there is truly something for everyone! These include:

  • Champagne Helicopter Safaris. One of the most breathtaking ways to see the magic of the Okavango Delta is to see it from above. The meandering water channels, the ambling elephant herds, the open space for wildlife to explore, seeing the Delta from above brings a different level of feeling connected and in awe of nature. Great Plains’ helicopter scenic flights include the option of a romantic island stop-off where guests will land on a remote island to a champagne stop in the wilderness, providing a jaw-dropping setting for a vow renewal or spontaneous proposal!
  • Private In-Suite Dining. The feeling of being connected and present, the ‘us united against the world’ moment, comes true with the in-suite private dining experience at Great Plains. Guests are welcomed home from their game drive to a bubble bath and private dining setup from the comfort of their private suite, where they can expect mouth-watering culinary dishes, expert pairings of wine and some extra special touches from the team.
  • Couples Massages. The ultimate way to unwind post safari, couples can enjoy a massage à deux with Great Plains’ expert on-site massage therapists. Spacology products and essential oils help one unwind and loosen any tension, while the sounds of nature all around soothe the soul, providing a truly grounding experience.
  • Decadent Bubbles. The most indulgent way to experience Great Plains’ iconic large copper baths is with a bubble soak! Explorers will arrive back at camp to a prepared bubble bath with a bottle of champagne and two glasses at the ready. The perfect way to wind down after an exciting game drive spotting elephants, lions, leopards and more, couples can soak up the memories of their day.Nightly rates at Zarafa Camp start from $1,820 per person, per night based on two sharing.

For more information on any of the Great Plains camps and experiences, please visit www.greatplainsconservation.com

Together is a our favourite place to be

Last month saw the second Photography HAUS shoot day which was held at the stunning Ayrshire Airstream. The theme was an Americana Elopement, styled by photographer Whitney Graham. Several amazing local suppliers came together to create a truly beautiful set up.

Suppliers

Venue
@ayrshireairstream

Models
@tothemoonandback_modelcouple

@liftwithlauren19

MUA
@e.s.beauty.xx

@sophiecrawford_

Hair
@clayhairbyfee

Dress
@unbridaledb

@corastitch

Styling
@whitneygrahamphotography

Celebrant
@jennymugfordcelebrant

Flowers
@jennyflowermug

Jewellery
@shopelizaloves

Banner
@daydreamer_creative_studio

Decor hire
@thecheekyhoundprophire

Cake
@cairnscakes

Workshop
@thephotography_haus

Photographer
@whitneygrahamphotography

That’s Amore in Venice

Five-Star Romantic offerings at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice in the City of Love

The iconic city of Venice offers honeymooners a picture-perfect getaway seeped in history, delicious Italian cuisine and long walks along cobbled streets watching the sunset over the glistening canals.

Venice is truly a unique destination unlike any other and is regarded as one of the most authentically romantic cities in the world. Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, i a five-star hotel and former flour mill situated on Giudecca island, perched on the banks of the lagoon with views of Venice’s historic centre, the perfectly positioned iconic property provides an unforgettable setting for honeymooners, within the most romantic city in the world.

Guests staying at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice can arrange to visit the Borges Maze within the Cini Foundation for an adventure to remember– whisper sweet nothings in your beloved’s ear as you wander through The Borges Labyrinth on the mesmerising island of San Giorgio. Another authentic and wildly romantic must-try experience in the city of Canals is the Clementson Gondola Tour, which Hilton Molino Stucky Venice can arrange for guests. Here guests will be taken by boat and on foot by an English-speaking guide on a two-hour Venetian romantic walk and boat ride. Guests can anticipate seeing hidden and historic palaces, local houses and hidden alleyways off the beaten path. Admire the Bridge of Sighs and the Greci Church, hear the Venetian legends and folktales. Retrace the footsteps of Giacomo Casanova, Venice’s famous writer, poet and notorious lover and seducer! Guests can also capture special moments with a professional photographer to record treasured memories.

The team at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice are delighted to introduce three new packages so guests can follow in Casanova’s footsteps for a romantic trip of a lifetime.

A Romantic Retreat à deux
(starts from 966 Euros/£805*)

  • Two-night stay in one of the Molino Deluxe Rooms with a View with daily buffet breakfast at Il Molino
  • Romantic welcome amenities in room upon arrival
  • A Venetian Romance couples massage at the spa
  • Signature cocktail for two at Skyline Rooftop Bar
  • Romantic tour of the Grand Canal in a private water taxi
  • Valentine’s Day dinner at Aromi Restaurant, beverages excluded

A Presidential Romantic Extravagance
(starts from 1,750 Euros/£1,560*)

  • A one-night stay in the Presidential Suite with romantic in-room amenities (Champagne and roses) and wellness experience in the private spa with panoramic views from the private tower
  • Valentine’s Day “Passione” cocktail at Skyline Rooftop Bar at sunset
  • Candle-lit dinner in the Suite or a dinner for two at Aromi Restaurant with a special menu created by Executive Chef Luca Nania
  • Enjoy a Venetian Romance couple’s massage in the suite

The Molino Love Tower Escape
(from 7,624 Euros/£6,358*)

  • A one-night stay in one of the five Molino Tower Suites with romantic in-room amenities including prosecco and red roses
  • Valentine’s Day “Passione” cocktail at Skyline Rooftop Bar at sunset
  • A romantic dinner for two at Aromi Restaurant with a special menu created by Executive Chef Luca Nania
  • Enjoy a Venetian Romance couple’s massage in the suite
  • Private spa – private access to eforea spa sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi and a relaxation room for 2 hours

Nightly rates at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice begin at 200 Euro per night based on double occupancy with breakfast included. Molino Suites start from 500 Euro per night.

www.hilton.com/en/hotels/vcehihi-hilton-molino-stucky-venice/

* Prices based on today’s exchange rate

Wild at heart in Antartica

For newlyweds Suzy Guttler and Juan Castillo, life is defined by extraordinary adventures. Following their engagement in Jordan’s Lost City of Petra, and a fairytale wedding in Lake Como, Italy, they embarked on a once-in-a lifetime honeymoon to the Great White Continent.

While dreaming about our honeymoon, Juan and I reflected on all of our spectacular travels. We’ve trekked alongside families of gorillas through the rainforests of East Africa, and swam in the clearest crystal blue waters of French Polynesia. We’ve immersed ourselves in the historical splendors of the Great Pyramids, and we’ve hiked the majestic, alpine ranges of Everest Base Camp. Our quest for the most profound place in the world to honeymoon lead us to our 7th continent. We wanted to travel to the last frontier of our planet, make and be part of its history. And so began our journey… a 3,200 nautical mile, 10-day voyage to Antarctica aboard Quark Expeditions’ World Explorer vessel.

Our voyage commenced in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentine Patagonia, and the southernmost tip of South America. Proverbially regarded as “The End of the World,” Ushuaia serves as the gateway to the 7th continent. After two days at sea through the treacherous Drake Passage, we’ve reached the Antarctic Peninsula.

Each day in Antarctica presented a new discovery. We marched alongside colonies of penguins in their natural habitat, and watched them curiously waddle right up to our camera lens. Onboard Zodiac boats, we navigated through towering, incandescent icebergs, being careful not to get too close in case they tipped. Knowing that these majestic icescapes were thousands of years old was awe-inspiring. We kayaked through the peaceful polar seas, and marvelled at humpback whales from water level, as they slowly glided through the current just inches from our kayaks. Following our curiosity, we hiked in the footsteps of bold explorers who discovered the continent only two centuries ago.

One of our fondest memories on the passage and ultimate bucket list item was the ceremonial polar plunge – jumping into the frightfully cold Antarctic waters in nothing but our bathing suits. The custom purportedly began in the Arctic, where it’s known as the Polar Bear Plunge. Traditionally taking part on New Year’s Day, brave participants would plunge into the icy water to commemorate a new beginning. What better way for us to celebrate our marriage and the beginning of our happily ever after.

From wildlife to landscape, Antarctica was an out-of-this-world experience    endlessly intriguing, and breathtaking in every direction. There really isn’t another destination that’s more transformative, and romantic than the Great White Continent. Together, we’ve braved the elements, and came face to face with the world’s most distant and wondrous region.

Fall in Love (again)

Gili Lankanfushi’s Wildly Romantic Island Experiences

Gili Lankanfushi enjoys an unspoilt island location in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé Airport with direct flights from London now available. Perfectly suited for couples, families, solo travellers and groups alike, the resort combines rustic eco-design, unparalleled service and stunning natural scenery.

The new packages include:

Romantic Retreats at Meera Spa

Couples will feel the weight of the world float away as they enter Gili Lankanfushi’s tranquil overwater Meera Spa. The ‘couples’ journeys’, which are all complimented with a bubble bath therapy session for two overlooking the lagoon, include:

Gili Honeymoon Bliss

Guests will start their romantic journey together with a foot ritual to relax the feet before being pampered from head to toe with a full body Aromatherapy couples massage. A mini facial and scalp massage will revive guests from their tranquil state as an aromatic bath awaits, with Champagne and spa refreshments on ice. From $499++ per couple.

Wonders of Gili

Designed to awaken and lift all five senses, this treatment sees couples enjoy a blissful massage by candlelight as they enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean.  This is followed with an ‘ocean therapy’ incorporating a Seaweed Body Buff & Detox Seaweed Mud Wrap to deeply clean and revitalise the skin and a gentle scalp massage. The journey completes with a candlelit desert rose Aroma Bath for two accompanied by a bottle of Champagne, chocolates and fresh fruit. From $699++ per couple.

Traditional Dhoni à Deux

The perfect pick for those who like their romance served with a side of local culture, the Dhoni à Deux experience sees couples set sail on a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat at sunset. Guided by a private skipper, guests will float around the island’s turquoise lagoon enjoying champagne and canapés before returning to the jetty for supper. The most indulgent aperitif on-island and an incredible proposal opportunity!
From $180++ per person.

Castaway Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Sealife lovers will delight in this bucket-list opportunity to spot dolphins, eat canapés and enjoy a drink or two as they enjoy this two-hour sunset experience. Departing at dusk to coincide with the migration of the dolphin from the atoll to catch their supper in the deep sea, couples will create memories to last a lifetime aboard this very special cruise.From $115++ per person.

Private Dinner in the Wine Cellar

The ultimate follow-up to a sunset cruise, lovebirds can opt for a private dinner in Gili Lankanfushi’s intimate wine cellar. As Gili Lankanfushi Maldives boasts 3 sommeliers available at all times, couples can enjoy daytime tastings in the cellar or at a chosen location on the island. With a delectable gourmet menu that changes on a monthly basis, guests can expect four sumptuous courses paired with the finest wines from around the world. From $230++ per person dinner only/$290++ per person with wine pairing

Supper Under the Stars

Gili Lankanfushi’s supper under the stars experience is a wonderfully romantic and completely private dining offering. Here, guests will enjoy a fine dining meal with champagne and wine pairings as they soak up the magical sunset and crystal-clear Maldivian constellations. Whether couples prefer a champagne toast on a lantern-lit private beach or an exotic feast served amid lush palms and birdsong, the experience is completely tailored to one’s tastes and preferences. For the ultimate surprise, the team can even whisk lovers away to a mystery location where they will enjoy the chef’s culinary creations in a dreamy setting. From $275++ per person.

Slumber Beneath the Stars

For a truly romantic experience, couples have the opportunity to spend an unforgettable night beneath the stars on their very own star bed. Upon request, the Mr/Mrs Friday private butlers can make up the daybeds on the private roof terrace of each villa with luxurious linens, setting the scene with candlelight, champagne on ice and strawberries.

Gili Romance Story Package

For couples who want to go all out, the Gili Romance Story full package is the only way to go! The indulgent half-board package is available all year round and includes:

  • Choice of villa accommodation with a minimum 4-night stay
  • Return speedboat transfers
  • Daily gourmet breakfast and dinner at Kashiveli restaurant
  • A choice of 60 minutes of Ayurvedic therapy or Kahnuma Lomi Lomi
  • Private in-villa couples’ yoga
  • A tropical flower bath with candlelight, champagne, and strawberries
  • Meera “Better Sleep” Spa Gift (Pillow Mist)
  • Dine in the Dark – A blinded dinner experience for the senses during your stay
  • Sleeping under the stars experience

Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,397/$1,722 based on two adults sharing a Villa Suite with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit www.gili-lankanfushi.com.

Balearic Escape

Have you ever thought of eloping?

Escaping all the pressures of a traditional wedding with just the two of you running off together to say, “I do…”? What if that elopement was to the mythical island of Ibiza, would that make you consider it?!

More and more couples are now choosing this incredibly intimate way to exchange their vows: just them and a celebrant, enabling them to be completely present in this magical moment.

Alternatively, for couples who still want to have their family and friends around them, an elopement-style photoshoot after the event is a terrific idea! Giving you the best of both worlds, you get to spend all day with your guests, knowing that you will share a personal moment together capturing memories of just the two of you. We often hear couples tell us their day goes by so quickly they wish they could do it all again, well, an elopement-style photoshoot is the perfect solution as it allows you to relive the moment without any distractions!

We chatted to the incredible team who put together today’s editorial, who are all based in Ibiza. “Since the pandemic, couples are looking at weddings differently. Many don’t want to put off saying “I do” so are opting for an elopement-style ceremony instead,” explained wedding planner, Caroline Blot. Grant James, a celebrant on the island, agreed that he has conducted a lot more ceremonies with just the happy couple and a couple of guests recently. “It really gives the couple a chance to focus purely on themselves rather than worrying about their guests,” he added.

Nathalie Wood, a hair and make-up artist has found she has been doing a lot more elopement-style photoshoots a couple of days after a couple have got married in front of their friends and family. “If you’re coming to Ibiza to get married, why not do it twice?! It’s the chance to be pampered all over again, and the photos we get are definitely more intimate.” Sanne from Sanne Luna photography agrees that she gets a completely different vibe from couples when family and friends aren’t around. “The love and intimacy just oozes out of them, it’s incredible to capture!”

Featuring über-cool couple Caroline and Maya, join us as we explore Ibiza and meander through the cobbled streets of the historical Dalt Vila whilst discovering the intimacy an elopement can offer!

CREATIVE TEAM

Celebrant

Grant James Ibiza Celebrant
@grantjamesibizacelebrant
www.grantjamescelebrant.co.uk

Hair & Make-up

Natalie Wood
@nwhairmakeupbeauty

Photographer

Sanne Luna
@sannelunaphotography
www.sanneluna.com

Planner

Caroline Blot, La Boheme
@laboheme.ibiza
www.labohemeibiza.com

ADDITIONAL SUPPLIERS

Veil

The Wedding Veil Shop
www.theweddingveilshop.co.uk
Hair Accessories

Saint Beth Official
@saintbethofficial2

Editorial by Emma Manley
manley.emma@icloud.com

Enchanting Weddings in Finland

Finland’s magnificent beauty, from deep green forests and stunning, soaring landscapes make it the perfect destination for a special and unique wedding day. The country of thousands of lakes also holds the crown of happiest nation, and these are only a few of the reasons why eloping in Finland will be the best decision you ever make.

As the Finnish term Jokamiehen oikeus explains, everyone has the freedom to roam the land, so newly-weds can take the time to explore the stunning regions and enjoying the remarkably fresh air to find those secluded spots that will make a wedding trip even more intimate. 

Getting married so close to natural beauty is an even more enchanting experience, so here are some of Finland’s prime wedding ceremony destinations that will ensure couples have the best chance to add Finnish flair to their wedding day.

Hotel Taivaanvalkeat – a retreat into the wilderness

Hotel Taivaanvalkeat, a 13- bedroom boutique hotel located in the village of Konka, Finland, is a leading hotel like no other. Promising no streetlights, no demands, no interruptions – just peace.

This unique hotel nestled just moments from the banks of Ounasjoki features two indoor saunas, a romantic kitchen room and private rooms overlooking the Ounasjoki River and the adventure forest.  Weddings can be held in the small chapel in the yard, in the Northern Lights Hut or the hall. With the village’s rustically romantic atmosphere, there is every opportunity to have the perfect stage for the perfect day.
HOW To have a wedding that includes a beautiful retreat into the wilderness, enjoy a week-long stay in a Chalet for 8 adults with Hotel Taivaanvalkeat from £1,762. 

There are various other accommodation types and sizes on offer and for additional cost wedding services can be privately organised www.hulluporo.fi/majoitus/taivaanvalkeat

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Tying the knot on the edge of the world creates memories that will last  forever. Numerous couples choose Kakslauttanen for their very special day either to celebrate their wedding or renew their vows. Every couple has unique tastes and wishes, so Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort tailors their services according to the guests’ desires.

A winter wedding surrounded by snow makes for a magical event. Kakslauttanen’s romantic Snow Chapel and Tieva wooden chapel, set in the middle of the forest, are both ideal settings for the special day. Sitting in a sledge being pulled by either a reindeer or a Finnhorse, couples can go on a journey through an enchanted snow covered forest. Following this adventure through a landscape fit for a fairytale, they will arrive at a chapel made from ice and snow – an idyllic venue. 

HOW To have a stunning winter or summer wedding that includes transport, accommodation and stunning cuisine, a basic Wedding Service Package begins at £1857. www.kakslauttanen.fi/wedding-honeymoon/#summer-wedding

Hotel Levi Panorama- with delicious cuisine & cinematic views

A luxury hotel located on the idyllic slope side at Levi fell, is a leading destination for delicious cuisine and cinematic views that make it the ideal wedding destination. Boasting four restaurants & ten event rooms, the hotel proves to be a flexible venue with spectacular views.  

Everything from the restaurants to the 7th floor saunas look out over the wondrous snowy landscape. Overlooking the Levi village, the hotel is easily accessible via the Levi Express Cabin lift.

Given that weddings are incredibly special occasions, Hotel Levi Panorama understands the need to spoil guests with delicious food. Couples can request the hotel restaurants to cater for the event making Hotel Levi Panorama the perfect venue to host such a memorable wedding. With Restaurant Panorama serving reindeer, bear, fish, and other Lapland specialities. The magnificent views extend out to the nearby fells of Pallas and Katka, promising to take its dining experience to new levels and providing a peaceful retreat for guests to spend time, surrounded by remarkable nature.

HOW The lovely couple can stay in the luxurious Sky Suite Deluxe with a spacious separate living area and bedroom, as well as a private sauna from £320/night. There are various other accommodation options, as well as wedding services upon request. www.levipanorama.fi/en

Levi Spirit Hotel- an intimate experience

Levi Spirit Hotel offers wedding services overlooking the remote and beautiful River Ounas located in Levi Ski resort, Finnish Lapland. Levi Spirit is a rustic-chic Hotel that offers ultimate luxury amenities with a remote location to make for a memorable and private wedding destination that showcases the ultimate blend of comfort with Arctic wilderness.

The Levi Spirit resort contains nine luxury accommodations with outdoor private hot tubs and fireplaces, built to subtly blend into the astonishing surrounding landscape. Guests can pamper themselves before the big day by indulging in the on-site spa services, including hot stone massages. The modern design, luxurious furnishings, and cinematic views fuse to surround guests in a world of grandeur. 

HOW The Levi Spirit Hotel offers the ultimate luxury for up to 10 adults and 4 children for £1,213 per night. Wedding services available to organise upon request. www.levispirit.fi

Bella Donna F/W22 by Liz Martinez

For centuries, Italy has been considered the birth of place of elegance, beauty and sophistication.

From the days of the Roman Empire, to the Renaissance, to the birth of New Wave Italian Cinema and stars such as Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Federico Fellini.

Italy also personifies the quintessential modern woman – classy and innovative, timeless and contemporary, effortless and opulent. It’s no wonder Liz Martinez, Israeli couture bridal designer, has been drawn back to this place, time and time again, for its majestic style and timeless inspiration. “Bella Donna”, Martinez’s latest collection of 19 stunning bridal gowns, was inspired by and shot on location in Italy, on the shimmering shores of Lake Bolsena.

Surrounded by majestic cobble stone streets, lively piazzas, and the awe-inspiring Basilica of Saint Christina, each one of Liz Martinez’s gown tells a story – one of endless wonder, of lively playfulness, and of dazzling elegance. She’s clearly pushed the envelope and her design expertise yet again – crafting even more daring silhouettes and introducing the use of innovative laser cut leather fabrics for the very first time. Yet she still maintains her signature style: flowy sheer tulle layering, alabaster tones, and bedazzling embroidered crystals, pearls and 3D floral motifs.   

From plunging necklines to off the shoulder a-symmetrical looks, each gown is supremely crafted, exquisitely elegant and breathtakingly beautiful. It captures the spirit of Italy and the essence of femininity in such an effortless way – we can’t wait to see where Liz Martinez’s inspiration takes her next.

Happily Ever After in Fantasy Style

These were all couples whose love story was already underway, and who I worked with because of our mutual love of fantasy and romanticism. But of course there is another aspect of such fantasy to explore…

I have been approached many times to photograph at weddings. But I have not done this type of work, not because weddings are not wonderful events, but because it takes time and effort to capture the moment which expresses an entire relationship.

Amidst the many interactions, demands on time and activity a wedding day brings with it, the time to do such a moment justice is rarely if ever available. In addition, few weddings are themed in the same fantasy style I love to work in, so the opportunity to do my best work is not available.

But what if a couple seeking to celebrate their future commitment were to come to me for a photoshoot in which the same love and dreams for the future together before the wedding?

What an exciting question! We could have a photoshoot which would do the day to come a kind of homage and justice that only imagination and the time to capture it can bring. Then, in the years to come, not
only would the wonderful day be captured, but a fantastical expression of its soul.

Visit my website to see the fantasy-styled couple’s gallery www.mariamiragephotography.com/gallery/love-couples

Photographer: Maria Mirage 

Models: Shenka Mason Targus & Jordan Tomahawk Saggu

Mediterranean Destinations

The Peloponnese Oozes Romance

The Peloponnese has long been a lesser-known area of one of the Med’s all-time favourite honeymoon destinations, Greece.

Combining stunning beaches with ancient cultural delights, this region is enough to sate the most demanding of newlyweds, from adventure seekers to those wanting to relax after the big day. Eliza was here has listed some of the most beautiful locations for you.

Mareggio Residences and Suites, Githio

Mareggio Residences & Suites is the perfect oasis for a romantic honeymoon. A private beach, located on the secluded shores of Selinitsa, ensures honeymooners are far from the throngs of tourists. They will be able to take a carefree dip in the sea, enjoy their own private beach cabana, and soak in the bright blue water and sandy shore. Couples can enjoy an award-winning breakfast and beautiful wine from the hotel’s own vineyards. For any newlyweds seeking adventure, boat tours around remote coves are on offer.

En Plo Suites, Itilo

This luxury boutique hotel has one philosophy: to arouse romance. The hotel’s stunning Iona spa boasts amazing body treatments, with purely natural products, that embrace you and your partner’s senses with luxury, creating the ideal environment for a honeymoon of relaxation and rejuvenation. The romantic “Anerousa” restaurant offers culinary experiences with the signature of the acclaimed chef Vassilis Tsatsakis. The Mediterranean flavours are inspired by Greek tradition, using superior quality raw materials from the land of Mani and fresh local products. If you are looking for a truly romantic escape, the loft suite guarantees it, by hosting you in a luxurious two-level room of traditional Greek architecture.

Archontiko Chioti Boutique Hotel, Leonidio

What was once a family mansion and a classified historical/traditional setting has now been transformed into a boutique hotel. And not just any boutique hotel, but one which has all the ingredients for a romantic holiday. Just 3 km from the hotel is the famous Plaka Beach, where you can go swimming in the waters of the Myrtoan Sea. Leonidio climbing park, and the area’s diverse and varied hiking spots, make this hotel especially appealing to adventure-seeking honeymooners. Those couples hoping to relax can instead enjoy a dip in the pools, a range of massage treatments, or any of the wide variety of beauty pampering services. This hotel’s stone walls and ceilings making honeymooners feel like they are waking up inside a cosy cave. 

Eliza was here is part of Sunweb Group, a brand with 20+ years of experience in the travel industry and serving more than 1.2 million customers a year. Eliza was here is the UK’s newest travel guru and offers unique, off-the-beaten-track holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.

For more information on New Smyrna Beach, please go to www.elizawashere.co.uk

Uniquely New Smyrna Beach

With a host of quirky and cool places to discover, there’s no place quite like this Florida beach town!

Only an hour’s drive from Orlando, yet a world away, New Smyrna Beach offers honeymooners a lush tropical landscape, white sand beach, land and water activities, unique and branded accommodation, colourful architecture, and a friendly welcome from the vibrant community. This charming beach town on Florida’s Atlantic coast, is also known for its thriving shopping, dining and creative arts scenes.

There’s much to discover for couples, including the two distinct downtown districts, Flagler Avenue and Canal Street, which are connected via the “Waterfront Loop” and welcome visitors with independent eateries, unique shops, artisanal coffee shops and art galleries.

In keeping with New Smyrna’s creative vibe, there are many unusual places and experiences for visitors to discover in New Smyrna Beach and the neighbouring communities of Port Orange, Edgewater, Oak Hill and Osteen. From dining delights to artistic endeavours and ways to follow in historic footsteps, these quirky experiences are uniquely “NSB”.

Paint Like Bob Ross 

Bob Ross was an American painter, art instructor and television host, whose TV show The Joy of Painting was broadcast across the world. The Bob Ross Art Workshop & Gallery was opened by Bob in New Smyrna Beach in 1993 and has remained in its original location ever since. The workshop hosts a large collection of Bob’s original oil paintings, and locals and visitors can book classes to learn to paint landscapes, seascapes, floral designs and wildlife using the unique Bob Ross style.

Become a Sundial 

When visiting Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens, visitors don’t need their watches. Instead, they can become a Human Sundial by standing next to the current month’s tablet with arms raised, and the shadow will point to the time. Dunlawton Plantation and Sugar Mill was a 19th-century cane sugar plantation, destroyed during the Second Seminole War. Visitors today can explore the beautiful gardens, that include a herb garden shaped like the state of Florida, and the ruins of the sugar factory. The gardens are also home to full-size stone dinosaurs which remain from its days as an amusement park, Bongoland, that closed in 1952. 

Enjoy Tea for Two 

All of the tea sold by the New Smyrna Beach based Yaupon Brothers American Tea Company is made from the only naturally caffeinated plant to grow in North America, the Yaupon Holly. Yaupon Brothers’ tea is grown in certified organic forest farms on the Central Atlantic Coast of Florida, where Yaupon consumption began 8,000 years ago. Yaupon has a rich history, it was at the centre of civilization for the Indigenous Tribes of the region for thousands of years. Today, the Yaupon Brothers sustainably harvest the leaves for a thriving business. In February 2022 the Yaupon Brothers American Tea Company moved into its new production facility and café, which sells Yaupon Brothers teas, local coffee, breads, pastries and snacks, and features patio seating, a retail shopping space, a Yaupon Garden and daily tours. 

Spot Snow White’s Cottage

Included in the National Register of Historic Places, Gamble Place was once a rural retreat owned by James N. Gamble, Co-Founder of the Procter & Gamble Company. Guests can step back in time to experience the same pristine environment that he found so inviting during the late 1800s. The 175-acre nature reserve features a “Florida cracker-style” house named “Egwanulti” (a Native American word meaning “by the water”) and the Citrus Packing House, the only one currently in existence in its original location in Florida. Whimsically, a replica of the Seven Dwarfs Cottage, a Witch’s Hut and Dwarfs’ Mine Shaft can be found in the grounds. Visitors can also observe wildlife, ancient cypress trees and beautiful azalea blossoms, and educational tours of the grounds and buildings are offered.

Dine in a Treehouse

The iconic Norwood’s, often known as the Treehouse Restaurant, was originally a Pan Am Gas Station and then a general store in the 1920s, followed by serving as a mosquito control center, piggy bank factory, and then again as a general store. In 1946 it became Norwood’s Seafood Restaurant. Today the Simmons family owns and operates the popular restaurant, which has an extensive wine list, live music, and regular culinary events. The Treehouse Bar was added in 2015 and allows guests to dine and drink in the canopy of a beautiful tree.

Indulge in Retro Vibes & Sweet Treats 

Since 1953, the Dairy Queen in New Smyrna Beach has been serving its famous soft serve treats, all beef hotdogs and smiles to locals and visitors alike. The owners of the franchised location in NSB, the McGuirk family, have taken great care to preserve the old-fashioned integrity and retro vibe of this historic “DQ”.

Get Creative at The Hub

Located on Canal Street, in the heart of the historic district of NSB, The Hub on Canal acts as an incubator for more than 70 artists, showcasing their work, offering impromptu artists talks and supporting the community and visitors through a plethora of classes and workshops at all levels. Guests can join workshops in art, yoga, music, creative writing, French or Italian lessons, and much more. There are classes for visiting kids too.  

Listen for a Cock-A-Doodle-Doo

Early birds who visit NSB are in for a unique treat. Just before dawn, friendly fowl can be spotted wandering the beach-side shopping and dining district of Flagler Avenue, ready to greet guests and residents alike. No-one is certain how they arrived or how many there are, but the beloved Flagler Avenue Roosters have made the street their home. Residents even saved the roosters from being rehomed away from local businesses.

For more information on New Smyrna Beach, please go to www.visitnsbfl.com

Winnie Couture 20th Anniversary Collection

Winnie Couture, celebrates 20 years dressing women for the most momentous day of their life. To commemorate this special occasion in bridal fashion, Winnie Couture is launching a 20th Anniversary Collection of gowns with exclusive drops scheduled throughout the year.

Filled with enchanting, scintillating elements and avant-garde silhouettes, the Winnie Couture bridal collection personifies fairytale romance and modern glamour. From understated chic styles, exquisite whimsical floral embroideries to subtle plunging necklines and dreamy swag sleeves, the new collection embodies an effortless blend of timeless alluring designs and chic ethereal details.

“I am beyond grateful for all the continued love and support from every one of my beloved brides these past two decades” Founder and Creative Director Winnie Chlomin Lee

Sun & Sea in Santorini

With romantic sunsets, stunning beaches and clear blue sea, there is no doubt that the Greek island of Santorini offers some of the world’s most perfect locations for a stunning, picturesque small family wedding, civil partnership or a larger, more elaborate event.

Villa Eros, Santorini (2-5 bedrooms, 4-11 guests)

Set on the highest point of the caldera, this beautiful villa just outside the village of Imerovigli offers an amazing venue for a small wedding. Another holiday rental with captivating panoramic views across the Aegean Sea, the backdrop of the magnificent Santorini sunset would make for some truly memorable wedding photos. The extensive terrace has a heated pool, which is partly shaded by a pergola, as well as a furnished sun terrace, an outdoor jacuzzi, shaded seating and dining areas, and a small garden.

From €14,000 (£11,600) per week.

Megalochori Caldera, Santorini (5 bedrooms, 10 guests)

Another villa offering the perfect venue for weddings and other special occasions, Villa Megalochori sits in a stunning position on the caldera, overlooking the sea. The spectacular views can be enjoyed from both the first floor of the villa and the huge lower-level terrace, where there’s a large swimming pool and outdoor dining area. The executive chef here can prepare meals, including delicious meat or fish barbecues. Enjoy the complimentary daily breakfast, as well as transfers to and from the airport/port. For guests looking to arrive in style, the property also boasts its own helipad.

From €35,000 (£29,100) per week.

Villa Chapel, Santorini (2 bedrooms, 4-5 guests)

Set high above the sea and benefitting from breath-taking views, Villa Chapel is located in the stunning village of Oia, on the north-western tip of the island. From its large private terrace with chromotherapy jacuzzi, guests can enjoy panoramic vistas of the caldera, the famous Santorini sunset, the windmills, Oia castle, and the small colourful houses nestled against the steep volcanic cliffs, which descend to the sea below. A charming 18th century chapel is also situated on the terrace and, though it can’t be used as a wedding venue, it certainly adds to this perfectly romantic and exquisitely beautiful location.

From €4,900 (£4,200) per week.

Akrotiri Sunset, Santorini (2 bedrooms, 4 guests)

Further along the caldera, near the historic settlement of Akrotiri, guests at Akrotiri Sunset benefit from a complimentary a la carte breakfast each morning, as well as wonderful caldera views and – of course – sensational sunsets. On the furnished terrace of this romantic villa, the heated infinity swimming pool appears to blend into the sea, and there’s a pool bar, sun loungers for relaxing, and an outdoor dining area. The perfect venue for both a small wedding, civil partnership, or other special event, the villa offers furniture and works of art which reflect Santorini’s traditions, architecture and beauty.

From €5,250 (£4,300) per week.

The Luxury Travel Book has a choice of beautiful luxury villas to rent in Greece, and throughout Europe, some boast a chapel within the grounds, and some offer large terraces with sensational views of the sea and romantic sunsets!

For more information visit www.theluxurytravelbook.com

 

True Bride Collection

True Bride® is a diverse collection of bridal gowns featuring contemporary, vintage inspired and traditional designs, with an edge. Featuring quality fabrics, pretty detailing and figure enhancing silhouettes.

Kai is a gorgeous combination of classic bridal style with a modern romantic twist. This on the shoulder style features a plunging front and back neckline adorned with beaded lace appliqués. Its slim a-line skirt of soft sequinned overlace with the addition of a detachable soft tulle over skirt add to the romance of this style.

Wilde is all about the old Hollywood glamor. This on the shoulder style is made of a beaded overlace that features a softly draped bodice and a plunging front and back v-neckline over a structured strapless satin bodice to give a super flattering look and feel.

Alba is a stunning mermaid style bridal gown that definitely has the wow factor. With beaded spaghetti straps and a plunging sweetheart neckline, cut into a low back bodice, this gown will definitely turn heads. Completed with a figure hugging fishtail skirt of soft tulle and contemporary gold lace appliqués.

To find out more, visit www.truebride.co.uk

Rowley Hesselballe London

Where the future meets traditional.

Rowley Hesselballe London is a new brand with a big heart and even bigger ambitions. With a sensibility and ethos inspired by the elegance and strength of women, we are on an exciting journey to reshape and revolutionise the bridal and evening wear market.

We are different.

With an innovative new way of interpreting traditional values and placing them in the 21st Century, we bring an alternative to in-store appointments and long waiting times. Rowley Hesselballe London offers a modern take on buying bridal wear. With the click-of-a-button, an exclusive online service and a quick turn around time, let us take the stress out of finding your perfect dress.

We are strong.

Co-founders Rosie Rowley Poole and Canan Kuro Hesselballe met at the London College of Fashion in 2009 and between them have over two decades worth of buying experience with major British brands.

We are you.

With an eclectic mix of British and Turkish cultures and heritage, we are a truly inclusive brand for all women and all styles. From modern to classic, contemporary to timeless, our range is all about you. We offer the luxury you dream about, at prices you didn’t imagine.

Discover more by visiting www.rowleyhesselballe.com

Follow them on instagram @rowleyhesselballe