Hi bloom girls, Kaylyn here! Stephen and I just returned from our honeymoon to Paris and Greece so I thought I would share a little recap of our exciting, once in a lifetime events!
We decided to have a destination wedding in Mexico! Both of my older brother’s had destination weddings (Cabo and San Diego). We had the most amazing time extending the celebration with family and friends over a once in a life time vacation so we knew in our hearts this is how we wanted to celebrate our marriage! Our first “big” vacation together was to Riviera Maya, Mexico 6 years ago. We have vacationed in Mexico a few times since and always had an amazing time. We wanted to choose a destination that was a reasonable flight and cost for our guests so this seemed perfect for us! Stephen actually found our dream wedding resort, Secrets Akumal Riveria Maya. We booked the wedding without seeing the resort and just having faith it would be our perfect venue after reviewing online photos, videos and speaking to the wedding coordinators and other brides that were married here! We are so lucky it was exactly that! We decided on the date, May 1, 2017 and went out to visit the resort in February. We absolutely fell in love and were more excited than we could have ever imagined to bring our family and friends back for the big day!
Wedding Planning went rather smooth for us especially with help from my bloom Wedding Planner! My Wedding Planner helped me from the start to know a reasonable timeline to complete all of the necessary tasks when planning a wedding. It kept all of my important call notes, guest and vendor details, special events, gift and thank you tracking, and most importantly all of our precious memories! We also had the opportunity to use bloom’s Guest Book and Vow Books for our wedding which were so special and we will cherish them forever. Since my time wedding planning we have added even more items to the Wedding Collection to make planning fun and manageable!
We decided to have a Welcome Party for our guests the day they flew in. It was so nice to greet everyone and get the party started! The next day we had our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner which was so special with our closest family and friends. The food at Secrets Akumal is amazing! Then just like that it was the big day! Stephen and I both continue to say that it was the most magical day of our lives. My Uncle Mark officiated our ceremony, while my brother sang and played guitar as my Dad walked me down the aisle. Stephen and I shared our own vows and his blew me away! We had cocktail hour with a violinist playing fun covers like Coldplay and Justin Bieber. The reception was a dream for us. It was in an open courtyard, under the stars. Our dinner tables were on the outside of a water moat with a lit up dance floor in the center. A suspended chandelier hung above the dance floor which was surrounded by hanging white lights from the trees. We danced the night away and had the time of our lives! We are so grateful to our family and friends that showered us with love on this day. It truly meant the world to us and it’s one we will treasure forever!
We decided to wait to go on our Honeymoon until September. We thought it would be a bit too overwhelming to have these trips back to back and really wanted to enjoy and soak up each individually. We originally just planned on Greece but a friend who always heard me mention Paris convinced me to do both to make this our ultimate dream honeymoon! Paris and Santorini seem like two of the most romantic locations in the world to us and we are so happy with our choices!
I had been to Paris for a few days on a High School trip and always wanted to go back. Stephen had never been and was a little timid but I am so happy to say he loved Paris even more than Greece! We spent 3 nights here and tried to hit it all! We stayed at Hotel Balmoral, a perfect choice right next to the Arc de Triomphe. The accommodations were excellent, we absolutely loved it and would definitely stay here again! The Arc de Triomphe is so beautiful, the architecture is unreal. We walked down Champs-Elysees to see all of the fancy stores and cafes and made our way right over the Pont Alexandre III Bridge which offered a great first view of the Eiffel Tower and Seine River. We made our way to the Eiffel Tower and were so excited! The structure is so impressive and we couldn’t wait to see it all lit up at night! This walk around the city was absolutely beautiful!
That evening we went to Montmartre and walked up the many steps to the Sacre Coeur Church. From the top of the hill you have an amazing view of the city and the Church is absolutely gorgeous inside. The next day we went to the Luxembourg Gardens, which was stunning and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. We waited in a lengthy line to see inside the church but it was well worth the wait! After lots of walking we found a little café and took a wine and cheese break!
I have to recommend our favorite restaurant in Paris, Gaspard de la Nuit. This was a recommendation from a friend and we are so glad we could get a reservation. Most all of the restaurants in Paris are very small and require a reservation. The service, food and wine were divine! Stephen had Duck and I had Lamb and we were blown away. We also had the best crème brulee here! We highly recommend to any Paris travelers! This evening we went to Le Rooftop for an after dinner cocktail and night view of the Eiffel Tower. Every hour, on the hour the Eiffel tower sparkles for 5 minutes. It was so exciting to see for the first time. It was so romantic and magical!
We left the last day for what ended up being two of my favorite Paris activities. We decided to have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower and it was unforgettable. We got a bottle of wine and two crepes, one Ham and Cheese and one Nutella and Banana, it was perfect! This was so relaxing and memorable. That evening we did the Seine River Cruise. This offers an amazingly unique view of the entire city lit up at night. You see all of the main attractions; Notre Dame, the Louvre, all of the famous bridges, Paris night life, and of course the sparkling Eiffel Tower. This was the perfect end to our honeymoon in Paris.
The next morning we flew to Greece! Greece was such a relaxing change of pace after lots of walking and site seeing in Paris so it was the perfect combination! We stayed at Honeymoon Petra Villas in Imerovigli. The view from our hotel took my breath away. Photos and video cannot capture the beauty of Santorini. The white buildings, pure blue water and many islands surrounding Santorini are an absolutely unreal site to see. We felt so spoiled! This hotel was my absolute favorite. The view cannot be beat. We stayed in a little cave room and spent our days relaxing by their beautiful infinity pool. The island revolves around sunset so we made sure to catch sunset with a bottle of wine every night before dinner. We did venture on a hike to Skaros Rock during our stay at Honeymoon Petra which had a great view of the famous rock as well.
We traveled into the famous Oia area to see sunset one evening but I have to say I am partial to Imerovigli. It provides the most unique view of the entire island of Santorini from the top of Oia to the bottom of Akrotiri. The two volcanos that erupted to create what is now Santorini are right in the center of that amazing view. We had the opportunity to visit Santo Winery in the southern part of Santorini which was an amazing experience. Funny enough we actually knew two other Honeymooners in Santorini at the same time so we set up a wine tour and tasting with them! We had a great night together tasting local Santorini wines with a beautiful view of sunset and a local cover band playing for us all night! We made such great memories together!
We decided to book a Catamaran tour in advance based off of many recommendations and it was so worth it! We ended up choosing a double decker catamaran that made three stops to different parts of the island where we could jump off to swim and snorkel. They included a local greek lunch which they cooked right on the boat, it was delicious! We weren’t ready to get off the boat when the tour ended. We could have stayed all day and night!
We felt the combination of Paris and Santorini was perfect for us. It offered site seeing, history, culture, relaxation and so much delicious food. It was beyond our dream honeymoon and we are so very grateful for the experience. I hope you all enjoyed hearing about our Wedding and Honeymoon! Let me know if you have any questions or comments below!