Outstanding Occasions

5 Under The Radar Honeymoon Destinations | Outstanding Advice

by Mikayla at Outstanding Occasions on

DWH 01 1024x401 5 Under The Radar Honeymoon Destinations | Outstanding Advice

If you’re in search of a unique honeymoon getaway… look no further. Our team at Outstanding Occasions did a little research and compiled a list of the best 5 under the radar honeymoon destinations that combine both beauty, uniqueness and exclusivity. What more could you want? Keep reading to find the perfect location for you and your sweetheart.

Grindavík, IcelandYou’ve definitely seen the pictures, and if you haven’t, open a new tab because you have to check this out. Think massive hot lagoons and outdoor pools in the most stunning ice blue color you have ever laid eyes on. And we won’t stop there! Rolling hills and green cliffs with wild horses will be within sight in every direction you turn. Besides the unbelievably beautiful landscape of this quaint city in Iceland, you’ll be surrounded by a strong sense of community and culture. Grindavík is the perfect under the radar honeymoon destination because it provides an outdoorsy twist to the classic choice of a beach escape.

Cape Town, South AfricaTalk about the best of both worlds… The gorgeous city of Cape Town is located on the port of Table Bay. There aren’t enough words to explain the uniqueness of this incredible city. Countless activities await including unbelievable beaches, hiking trails among massive mountains, vineyards, botanical gardens, and last but not least, exclusive safaris and sightseeing tours through wildlife reserves. During the day, laze around on the warm sandy beaches or hike to the top of Cape of Good Hope for a breathtaking view on the tip of the Cape Peninsula. At night, get out on the town and experience the special cuisine and culture Cape Town has to offer.

Tulum, Mexico Full of local businesses and privately intimate beaches, Tulum is the foolproof choice for the honeymooners who are in the market for a tropical trip. Pure white sand beaches and extra warm water are just a few of the perks that make Tulum a foolproof choice. While you’re not catching rays, take a walk through the small winding streets and shop from locally owned boutiques selling everything from handcrafted candles and wood carvings to restaurants serving up authentic Mexican cuisine.

Seychelles, East AfricaIf you’re looking for a completely secluded getaway, Seychelles is most certainly the place for you. This small island in the Indian Ocean offers incredible tropical beaches that look like they are straight out of a movie. Crystal clear blue waters and pure sand surrounded by lush green tropical forests will be your view nonstop. Pamper yourself at the exclusive spas, sanctuaries and retreats that Seychelles offers its tourists, some of them located within tree-house villas nestled in the trees. After lounging on the beach, make sure to check out the local open-air markets.

Corsica, FranceDreaming of getting to experience life in an amazing village on an island in the South of France? Look no further than Corsica. Resorts and homes are scattered on the lush green hills of this island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Take romantic walks through the cobblestone roads  -  straight from a fairy-tale – and sunbathe under the hot French sun. Rich with history, Corsica is one of France’s most well known islands due to its impeccable beauty and style.

Whether you and your new spouse are looking for a city escape, tropical getaway or outdoor adventure, we are confident one of these under the radar honeymoon spots will meet your every need and desire. Bon voyage!

Photography Credit: Bonnier Corporation

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The 5 Hottest Wedding Registry Trends | Outstanding Advice

by Mikayla at Outstanding Occasions on

carfeatured 1024x576 The 5 Hottest Wedding Registry Trends | Outstanding Advice

Now that you have officially said yes and set a date, a very important (and fun!) step in the wedding planning process is creating your very own wedding registry! Family and friends will want to celebrate you by sending congratulatory gifts, so it’s a smart idea to create a registry full of  items that you actually need, and want to use in your new home. Although traditional wedding gifts include basic linens and housewares, our team at Outstanding Occasions researched the 5 hottest wedding registry trends of the season to give your loved ones a hip guideline for some awesome gift ideas.

Opulent Stemware & Dinnerware. Stylish and elegant stemware & dinnerware gives the traditional gift a complete modern makeover. Rose gold, marble and copper metal are very fashionable right now, and every basic kitchen must-have can use an upgrade! You name it, martini shakers, stemware, dinnerware, cutting boards, serving utensils, glasses, wine buckets, and even salt & pepper shakers all incorporate these sophisticated patterns in their design. Select some fun options to spice up your kitchen from retailers like Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel and Sur la Table

High Tech Appliances. Technology is rapidly influencing every industry, even weddings! Whether you need a high tech alarm system for your new home, a helpful Alexa speaker, the new generation iPad or a brand new Keurig, you can’t go wrong with selecting some useful gadgets for your new home together. Modern day technology is always advancing, but receiving some new appliances with up-to-date software will definitely be  an amazing gift, especially for those husbands-to-be who love tech, and just can’t understand the need for the rose gold flatware you love.

Recreational Gear. Making new memories together as husband and wife is certainly one of the most exciting parts of getting married, and what better way to get a head start than by traveling and adventuring together. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, add a few recreational picks to your wedding registry such as outdoor acrylic wine glasses, modern camping gear, portable speakers and grilling accessories. Having the right material on your overnight adventures can definitely make or break your trip. 

Unique Statement Furniture. Furniture is a big investment, but having special pieces of furniture in your house can really make it feel like a home once your married. Family and friends will enjoy seeing the special pieces they gifted to you (or contributed to) in your home. Select some unique pieces that fit your new married lifestyle, from retailers such as as Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Zara Home and Design Within Reach. These stores have one-of-a-kind pieces available for every room in your house. One of the biggest trends of the season is custom upholstery, eclectic mirrors and wicker furniture, for a relaxing beachy feel. 

Crowdfunding. Traditionally, it’s inappropriate for couples to directly ask for money in the form of a wedding gift from their guests. However, new websites such as Honeyfund, I Do Foundation, and Tilt, have modernized the idea of giving cash to newlyweds, and it’s now considered acceptable by most (although grandparents may still find the concept foreign!). Couples use these crowdfunding websites as methods to collect money that would be typically spent on gifts. Couples are attracted to the idea that their guests can contribute to personal expenses such as honeymoon activities or the down payment on their new home. Alternatively, some couples have their guests donate directly to a charity of their choice. 

Whatever you do, make sure to spend some time thinking long and hard about what you might like to receive from friends and family, should they choose to give you a gift to celebrate tying the knot! There does not have to be a central theme to your registry, just be sure that all of the items have a  purpose within your home and your upcoming adventure as newlyweds. Happy choosing!

Photography Credit: Charlotte Magazine

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The Breakdown of a Foolproof Cocktail Hour | Outstanding Advice

by Mikayla at Outstanding Occasions on

PicMonkey Collage 3 1024x704 The Breakdown of a Foolproof Cocktail Hour | Outstanding Advice

The cocktail hour is a key element to any wedding celebration. It’s a chance for guests to socialize, have a few drinks, snack on your hand picked hors d’oeuvres and prepare for the night’s festivities. For the newlyweds, the cocktail hour gives the bride and groom an opportunity to take photos with their wedding party or extended family, and spend some one-on-one time together after the ceremony. This crucial hour also gives your wedding professionals time behind the scenes to perfect all details for the reception. There are so many important elements that need to be squeezed into this hour, so our team is here to help with the little pointers that make a cocktail hour one to remember.

Seating. Having a lounge area is a great idea if you want to spoil your guests with comfort. Large comfortable sofas will provide your guests with the optimal seating area, but regular cocktail tables with chairs definitely will serve their needs as well. It’s also a good idea to have a few high tables scattered around for guests to linger at as they enjoy their cocktails and conversation. Seating during cocktail hour is especially important for older guests, who may be unable to stand and mingle for the entire hour.

Music. Cocktail hour music will set the mood and bring your guests into the right mindset for the rest of the evening. If you have a band, request that they play upbeat and hip music or maybe something acoustic, at a lower level so people can still hear each other and chat. If the band doesn’t arrive until later in the night, check if the venue is able to play some subdued tunes through the house speaker system. Be sure not to play anything too intense or loud, because that should be saved for after dinner to get everyone ready to party!

Hors D’Oeuvres. Having servers tray pass hors d’ouvres during cocktail hour will allow your guests to nibble on a few small bites before dinner. Another idea is to have a “serve yourself” type of cocktail hour, with appetizer stations, such as a cheese and cracker spread, or hummus and crudité station. This way guests can help themselves to any portion they want before dinner, or try multiple smaller options. When working with the caterer or venue banquet team, be sure to sample your hors d’oeuvres exactly as your guests will eat them on your wedding night, as you want to ensure each piece is small enough, and easy enough to eat while carrying on a conversation.

Specialty Cocktails. It’s no surprise that the drinks are definitely the highlight of cocktail hour! Tray-passed champagne definitely sets a festive tone, while tray passed red and white wine helps alleviate the line at the bar. You might also consider implementing a specialty cocktail, based on the location of your wedding and the season! For example, delicious ice cold cocktails with muddled fruit are perfect for spring and summer weddings, while rich and heavier options are more fitting for fall and winter weddings. Don’t forget special garnishes as well as fun straws and cocktail napkins to make your drinks really stand out. It’s also a great idea to include a specialty nonalcoholic drink for those who don’t drink or are under 21!

Décor. Implementing your wedding design into your cocktail hour décor is very important to ensure your whole day is cohesive. Small centerpieces with floral and candles, similar to the bridal bouquet and ceremony flowers, will tie the floral design of the ceremony and reception all together. If your budget allows, consider renting a specialty linen in the color scheme of the wedding. Remember that your decor during cocktail hour is serving as a sneak peak for the beautiful reception, so all-in-all, keep it simple and cohesive so your wedding reception can really shine!

As you can see, there are countless details that go into perfecting a cocktail hour. But all in all, a cocktail hour is nothing without the love of friends and family gathering to celebrate this new chapter in your life! Cheers!

Photography Credit: Amy & Jordan Photography

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Tips for Perfecting Your Wedding Menu | Outstanding Advice

by Mikayla at Outstanding Occasions on

blog 1024x500 Tips for Perfecting Your Wedding Menu | Outstanding Advice

Your wedding menu food tasting is arguably one of the best perks of planning your big day! Any excuse to sample delicious hors d’oeuvres and fine wine certainly makes for a good time. While the overall taste is of course one of the most important factors, our Outstanding Occasions team came up with five helpful hints to keep in mind while finalizing your wedding menu.

Presentation. The outward appearance of a dish will give off a specific first impression to your guests, therefore influencing their dining experience, so make sure it’s beautiful! Having a sleek layout of your dish with added garnishes will excite your guests because it will look extremely appetizing. As far as the presentation of appetizers during cocktail hour, having staff serve your appetizers on platters in an arranged and polished appearance will definitely lure your guests to trying one, even if they are picky! 

Season. Which month you are getting married in will heavily influence the items served on your wedding menu. Fall and winter weddings will tend to have menus that feature more of a hearty meal with vegetables in season, such as brussels sprouts, squash, beets and sweet potatoes. On the contrary, spring and summer weddings will typically highlight lighter fare, such as adding fruits and berries into leafy green salads and grilled fish and chicken with added citrus. The season will also impact the types of cocktails served. Warm and cozy bourbon and rum will typically be served in the winter, while fruity spritzers and sangria are summer’s calling. 

Portion Size. Is the food served per person or family style? If it’s served per person, it’s important to correctly size your guest’s portions. After a long day, your guests will be famished and ready for dinner! A common complaint received at weddings is that the portion sizes are often too small, and do not completely satisfy the guests, leaving them wanting more. Be sure to correctly and generously size your meal in order to leave your guests feeling full and happy. Family style is a great option because then guests can take as much or as little as they please, and can even help themselves to more portions. 

Allergies & Dietary Restrictions. Be sure to keep in mind your guests allergies and dietary restrictions. Guest with allergies will know to  write in their specific allergies and dietary restrictions on the RSVP card, so your caterer can plan accordingly, and always ensure there is an alternative vegetarian option for those who do not eat meat. Don’t forget to think of alternatives for those who have gluten-free and dairy-free diets as well, so that your guests with dietary restrictions or allergies aren’t left hungry for the night. 

Quality. Choosing high quality ingredients is extremely important in terms of not only taste, but also presentation. Food will look more appealing and appetizing if it’s extremely fresh and high quality.  Many people choose to buy locally sourced ingredients or organic choices to ensure the best for their big day. When large scale meals are prepared, it is pertinent to make sure everything is good quality because several details of the menu may be prone to slip through the cracks. 

Photography Credit: Rachel Solomom Photography

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Just Engaged: Your New To-Do List | Outstanding Advice

by Mikayla at Outstanding Occasions on

HARRELL WEDDING EL CHORRO FOR VENDORS 0030 1024x682 Just Engaged: Your New To Do List | Outstanding Advice

The Outstanding Occasions team hears wedding bells! He finally popped the big question and, of course, you said yes– congratulations! Besides popping some bubbly and calling your nearest and dearest to tell them the good news, you’re probably wondering, what’s next? The idea of planning the perfect wedding may seem slightly overwhelming, but also so exciting! To help you get started, we’ve put together a few helpful hints and tips below.

Pick the season. Narrowing down a season in which to host your wedding is the first step in the planning process. If you envision you and your sweetheart tying the knot in a romantic spring wedding, then plan on saying “I Do!” in the warm months of April or May. Next, you must decide on how long you want to be engaged for, because that also will help determine the time of year you have your wedding. Of course, if these answers are still up in the air, just go with the flow and decide at a later time. After you finalize what season, the rest of the design will come easily!

Estimate your budget. Arguably the most important factor in wedding planning, the budget is the sole determining factor for countless important decisions for your big day. Your budget will decide the venue, catering, amount of guests and decor you will be able to provide. Our team suggests to hold off on making any concrete decisions or signing any vendor contracts until you’ve decided upon a budget that you, your fiance, and whomever else may be contributing to the wedding, are comfortable sticking to!

Consider your guest list. Although it’s not important to solidify this number immediately, it’s a smart idea to come up with an estimation. By putting together a potential guest list, you will be able to narrow down your venue purely based on size and how many people the venue can hold. You wouldn’t want to end up with your heart set on a venue that’s too small, or even much too large, for your wedding celebration.

Create your Wedding Registry. Once you become engaged, take the time to create registries at your favorite stores. Friends and family will be extremely eager to shower you and your new fiancé in congratulatory gifts! Instead of keeping your loved ones guessing, create a registry of those special items you you’ve been dreaming of since before he popped the question!

 

At times, this process may be stressful, but just make sure to always take a step back and take a deep breath! This is an incredible opportunity for you to participate in, surrounded with love from your closest loved ones. Planning your fairytale ending will come with a few bumps in the road, but everything will always work out, no matter what.

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