wedding charm

Guest Blogger: Kimberly Williams

When Pantone® announced Radiant Orchid as the color of the New Year 2014; they couldn’t have found a better color for marriage-minded couples wanting to enrich their weddings’ color repertoire. Radiant Orchid is described as a harmonious symbiosis of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones is associated with confidence, warmth, charm, joy, love, and health, all ideas that are closely linked to the lucky couples visions and desires of the relationship with the significant other. Furthermore, it symbolizes the wish for a prosperous future of the newly-wed, filled with the previously mentioned warmth, joy, health, and above all love.

Radiant Orchid can be used in various ways to embellish your wedding ceremony and following reception. Flowers can include this joyful color to the couple’s most precious moments or the dresses of the bridesmaid can be in Radiant Orchid completely or include parts of it. Even down to the smallest detail of Radiant Orchid hair ribbons.

Men can also color up their suits with an actual orchid or a pocket square featuring the color of the year. Table clothes can combine white with the refreshing warmth of Radiant Orchid and the contrast between white and Radiant Orchid can also be achieved in adding flowers or other complimenting decorative items to a white table cloth. The room for the ceremony and reception can furthermore be beautified by adding the new color of the year. This might include curtains, candle holders, balloons napkins, randomly spread flowers on the floor and elsewhere, or even light bulbs enriching the room in a joyful, warm light in Radiant Orchid.

Take it a step further by polishing up drinks or food items such as desserts, ice creams, candy items, the choice is yours. The wedding cake itself can contain the lovely color of Radiant Orchid in its decoration or maybe even as the cake’s color. Cocktails can be in the desired color or just parts of the glasses or the décor.

Last but not least, make up and accessories also can contain or be in Radiant Orchid. Lipsticks, finger nail polish, and eye shades in radiant orchid can used in a creative way and also accessories such as jewelry, or ribbons woven into bride’s maids hair are possible ways to include the color into your special day.

mexico city's 5-star hotel alternative

Guest Blogger: The Restless Voyager

Honeymooners planning a stop in Mexico City after getting married in San Miguel de Allende and not wanting to check into an impersonal "Big Box" hotel,need look no further for the perfect "honeymoon haven," thanks to the recent addition of the chic "Flat & Breakfast" to the roster of 5-Star accommodations.

Conveniently located just one block from MexicoCity's iconic Angel de la Independencia (aka "The Angel") and two blocks from well known Paseo de la Reforma, location of many of the city's finest museums, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and myriad tourist attractions - including the legendary Chapultepec Park and Castle the "flat" offers the perfect launch pad for visiting the ancient Aztec capital.

Trendy Polanco - home to designer boutiques, popular eateries, 5-star hotels and modern shopping centers - is nearby. A short taxi-ride away is the Historic Center and the Zocaló - legendary "Halls of Moctezuma" and hub of the ancient Aztec Empire - as well as Bellas Artes Palace and Alameda Park.

The "flat" is completely furnished, offering privacy and a truly "at home feeling," with two bedrooms, two-and-half baths (designer amenities included) and a living and dining room. The "flat" is close to the US Embassy and tucked into a small secure building whose ground floor is home to the renowned Curryer Chocolates, which has been crafting the finest confections in Mexico City since 1919. Guests of F&B receive a 50 percent discount at Curryer's on a variety of gourmet coffees.

The apartment suite offers a king-size Master bedroom with desk, walk in closet and private bath and deep Jacuzzi. Should you be traveling with a couple of post-wedding guests, the second bedroom has two oversized twin beds, full bath, walk-in closet and in-room safe.

The tastefully appointed living area offers plush leather sofa and love-seat, large LCD flat screen TV, DVD and large dining area. A fully equipped kitchen includes granite counters, microwave, dishwasher and wet bar. The flat also has a washer and dryer, high speed Wi-Fi, free long distance telephone to the US and Mexico and SKY HD satellite international TV service.

Parking is available for one vehicle and a doorman is onsite from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Housekeeping service includes replacement of towels and sheets as needed and Continental breakfast. Also available for a nominal fee: laundry and ironing services, grocery shopping, dry cleaning and arrangement of transportation services.

Drawing on the Mexican adage: "Mi casa es su casa," (My home is your home), F&B is perfect for up to four guests for short - or extended stays.

For more information: email: travel or call: (860) 632-1911.

A few of our favorites...

Always on the hunt for hidden gems, the team at Runaway Bride has searched high and low to uncover and discover some of the most charming, boutique havens in the world. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites...

While all these hotels have enviable locations, what really sets them apart is that each makes you feel like you are the only person in the world who knows it's there.

Overlooking the bay of Positano on Italy's Amalfi Coast, Le Sirenuse, is the former summer home of the Sersale family. Still family run, the 58 room property features whitewashed walls and vaulted ceilings. The glazed floor tiles and shuttered French doors and private terraces furnish guest rooms with the comforts of a luxury hotel, while maintaining the atmosphere of a private home. Runaway Bride favorite: the champagne and oyster bar!

The next hotel on our list takes us to colonial central Mexico. The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is fashioned after a classic Mexican hacienda. The luxurious furnishings of its 67 guest rooms include regionally sourced hardwood floors, leather desk blotters, museum quality wool rugs and special touches such as candle drawn bubble baths with turndown service. Runaway Bride favorite: the views from the rooftop Luna tapas bar at sunset!

Sunrise is just a little bit nicer at the Four Seasons Bora Bora. Surrounded by palm trees and thatched roof dwellings, this Polynesian village resort has been deemed by many "the most beautiful place on earth". Overwater bungalows allow guests to star gaze or spy on schools of fish below. Runaway Bride favorite: passion fruit mojitos at the pool bar!

Qualia, meaning "a collection of deeper sensory experiences" in Latin, is situated on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island surrounded by the mesmerizing Great Barrier Reef. Hillside pavilions dot over 30 acres of tropical land overlooking the Coral Sea and incorporate Aussie style using local hardwoods and quarried stone. For a real treat, book one of their sundeck pavilions with a private pool. Runaway Bride favorite: the Tasmanian salmon with whiting and enoki!

Couples can channel their inner "Will & Kate" at this sixteenth-century fortified castle in the Irish countryside. The limestone exterior towers Dromoland Castle give way to interiors with Waterford-crystal chandeliers, damask wall coverings, and tasseled drapes. Guest rooms feature Empire and Louis XV furnishings and eighteenth-century botanical drawings. Runaway Bride favorite: picnicking on the grounds with special baskets prepared by the chef!

cancun's slice of paradise

Guest Blogger: The Restless Voyager

We've all heard glowing tales of Cancun, Mexico's popular honeymoon resort. Many of us have even traveled there and savored some of the area's many delights. And while there are obviously many wonderful resorts to choose from, honing in on the "perfect" spot may prove to be a challenge.

Not anymore. I recently discovered a slice of heaven on these powdery shores in the sleek form of Grupo Posada's newest hotel brand: Live Aqua, (the "Live" rhymes with "give"), which is a "must" for honeymooners.

Recently named No. 1 resort in Mexico by Travel & Leisure, the resort is strategically located along Boulevard Kukulcán, on one of the area's best beaches. Just steps from Cancun's premier shopping area, the all-inclusive, adult-only hotel gives new meaning to understated luxury and personalized service.

The emphasis is on tranquility, from the moment you step into the aroma- scented marble lobby, lulled by soft strains of soothing music. Music is such an important component to this resort, that there are 14 individual "zones," where the tunes cater to the specific locale.

On check-in, each guest is treated to a hand massage, as they will tell you, "to remove the stress of travel." This simple touch paves the way for what proves to be a very soul-satisfying stay. A nod to the mighty Maya who first inhabited this area can be found throughout.

Maya-inspired spa treatments, menus and décor combine with the warm Maya greeting, "Inlaa'kech," (a greeting of mutual respect you will hear often from staff) evoke the area's ancient heritage.

Each of the 370 balconied rooms and suites is a sanctuary. Top-notch amenities - including an aroma-therapy menu to select the perfect "mood," and a well stocked mini-bar combine with sweeping views of lush gardens, or the long stretch of beach below to assure a comfortable stay.

Dining becomes a gustatory experience of Mediterranean/Mexican cuisine with a selection of seven restaurants to choose from - all under the supervision of European celebrity Chef Eric De Maeyer. Options range from the specialty Inlaa'kech Lobster & Grill, the casual seaside Azur, chic MB or Siete which showcases more traditional Mexican fare with buffet stations.

Sushi fans will enjoy fresh options at the Sushi Station, while fish tacos and ceviche are dished up in the Sea Corner on the beach.

After hours, sexy drinks and live entertainment beckon at Egos Bar or the trendy Soho inspired AKA Bar. 

No matter where you are, "water, water, everywhere," the dominant, soothing theme at Live Aqua assures a balance, harmonious stay.

A honeymoon stay at Live Aqua is an experience you shouldn't miss.

no passport required... a berkshires collection

Guest Blogger: The Restless Voyager

There is a legend at Bash-Bish Falls in Mt. Washington in the majestic Berkshires that the spirit of Bish-Bash, a beautiful Mohican princess accused unjustly of adultery and condemned by the tribal council, lives in the crystal pool under the Falls. They say that if you happen to be down there at the edge of the pool some misty, moonlit night, you just may see her shimmering, silvery form in the falls and that if you listen closely, you can hear her name whispered in the gushing water.

Romance and legends abound in the scenic Berkshires, making it an unusual honeymoon destination any time of year. Whether you yearn for intimate B&Bs and cozy inns or prefer posh estate-hotels, you will find everything to suit your fancy in this scenic corner of Massachusetts.

Especially noteworthy is the Red Lion Inn, located in Stockbridge, the town artist Norman Rockwell dubbed, “The Best of America, the Best of New England.” Originally founded as the Inn at the Sign of the Red Lion in 1773, its familiar front porch has lulled many honeymooners since it opened. Today, its cozy tavern and dining room showcase not only great cuisine, but also traditional New England fare.

Wheatleigh, in nearby Lenox was built in 1893 by Henry Cook as a wedding present for is daughter Georgie, who married Carlos de Heredia, a Spanish Count. What better place to spend your honeymoon? Cook was a New York financier and real estate tycoon and a descendant of Captain Thomas Cook, founder of Portsmouth, R.I. It is said that he built Wheatleigh as a summer cottage for his daughter because she had brought a title into the family. Fashioned after a 16th century palazzo, many of the materials and more than 150 artisans from Italy were brought in to accomplish the masterpiece. While the count and countess resided there only six weeks a year, today, it is a premier country house hotel, open year round and boasts accommodations fit for a king.

Nearby Blantyre is another “regal” country house hotel tucked into 85 beautifully manicured acres. Open in 1901, it offers Old World trappings while delivering 21st century amenities, which include a topnotch spa, pool and fitness center.

Romantic Gateways Inn and Restaurant is another nearby option and nestles in a 1912 summer mansion once belonging to Harley Proctor of Procter and Gamble. It is one of the most handsome “gilded cottages” in the Berkshires with 12 elegantly decorated guest rooms with romantic canopied, brass or sleigh beds and fireplaces. Yankee Magazine Travel Guides singled Gateways out as one of the year’s best regional inns and restaurants.

Pamper your body and soul at the exclusive Canyon Ranch Health Resort, built around the renovated 1897 Bellefontaine mansion. Voted best spa repeatedly by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines, Canyon Ranch is recognized worldwide. Tucked away in the tranquil Berkshire woodlands, this resort promises the ultimate R&R with spa treatments, spa menus, and a variety of classes and sports options.

For a different honeymoon experience with a side of rejuvenation and health added, spend a few days at the largest center for yoga and holistic health in the US, at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, also in Lenox. The Center offers massages, walking trails, vegetarian meals and effective workshops for people who need to reduce stress and strain.