Where would you go on your first safari?

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You decided to go on safari but you don’t know where to go and not sure whether the research found online is reliable, much less which country to choose. So many options and so little time! Our first  recommendation would be to make a list of what you would like to experience. Are you a very adventurous kind of person? Will you be alone, with a group or with family? Will you have young kids with you? How much time you have and your budget will also be a deciding factor but Amber, your safari expert will be able to help you make a decision and our posts will also give you some guidance.

Continue reading Where would you go on your first safari?

The Cycles of Life

new yearWell it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.

My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively.  One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and Chobe Sunsetneedless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.

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Croatia: A Trending Wedding Destination

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Whenever destination weddings come up in conversations with my wedding clients, the countries that usually pop up first are Paris or Italy which are known as the most romantic places for lovers and are the usual Countries that inspire romantic visions. Lately though, couples have been asking more about off the beaten track destinations which got me doing some research about the latest trends that are NOT France or Italy of course, and Croatia kept popping up as trending. In case you were wondering… The country is situated just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It’s no wonder that it has the perfect climate for making wine and olive oil! Well there is no better way to get the down low about a country, than from a dynamo travel agent with many years of experience and hails from Croatia!

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“I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”

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This week, on Erev Rosh Hashanah I want to write about something a little different but still wedding related. Even though the heading refers to the month of Elul and preparations for Rosh Hashanah, we can apply some of the same principles in our personal lives and especially to our close relationships during these months.

According to the Rabbis, Elul is the time when we attempt to come closer to God and establish that relationship of intimacy in preparation for the Days of Awe that follow in the month of Tishre and they believe that we cannot simply enter that period without preparation and expect the Days of Awe to be meaningful. As we prepare for our wedding we often become so bogged down with all the details that we forget that we cannot or should not enter into a marriage without preparation and expect it to be meaningful. We should not lose sight of the fact that this is not just about the celebration but also about the many years ahead of us.

Continue reading “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”

Backyard weddings never looked this good!

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In the last post I wrote that having a backyard wedding could be one way to save quite a bit of money but received a few comments that the idea of a having a wedding in someone’s backyard didn’t actually conjure up exciting images so I decided to do a blog post showing just how magical a backyard wedding can be.

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The Wedding Budget!

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For the couple on a tight budget!

Now that you and your fiancé have decided on your vision and the most important aspects of the wedding, the next step is the budget. A realistic budget that will allow you to choose most of the must-haves for your special day. In order to do this well you should know approximately what things cost in your area. You don’t want to spend time creating a budget only to discover that flowers cost twice as much as you had hoped to spend, so do the research. When you have info on most of the costs, you can look at the available funds and figure out what kind of wedding you are going to have. If needed and possible, ask your parents if they are willing to help in some way – whether by paying for some aspect of the wedding or just adding funds to the budget. Have a discussion with them and share your wish-list so that they know the scale of the wedding (and also so that they don’t try to pressure you into having the wedding of their dreams!) With open communication, parents can tell you how much they were planning to contribute. If you want their help financially you’ll get much better results when you invite parents to participate and allowing them to state what they’re comfortable with. Show them your priority list and share your excitement about the wedding planning process, rather than just telling them what your dream wedding is going to cost or trying to guilt-trip them into contributing more than they can afford. Never compare what they are contributing to what the in-laws are! If you initially told your parents that you are paying for the wedding yourself but after a period of time expenses have piled up and you now need help, just be direct and ask whether the offer of financial assistance is still on the table. Just FYI – couples typically spend between $20,000 and $33,000 but, it is possible to spend less than $10,000 and still have a fabulous wedding.

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Planning your wedding – the most important decisions.

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When you have nothing other than “we want to get married”… which is of course the most important part, it has to feel pretty overwhelming! Just know that the first decisions are the hardest. As you go along everything will start to fall into place and it will get easier. If you decided on a long-ish engagement it will give you time to get everything done without any (or too much) panic. Continue reading Planning your wedding – the most important decisions.

I said YES!

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So…your partner proposed and you said… YES! and then reality hits you. HELP! Overwhelming details spinning through your mind furiously and you are wondering how you will actually pull this off followed by images of the dream wedding you have imagined maybe since you were a kid. If you and your partner decided on a long engagement you might not be panicking too much or if you are not surprised by the proposal and have secretly been planning under the radar, you have most likely thought about most of the details by now and are ready to jump into action. Continue reading I said YES!

Infusions, Champagne Bar and Wedding Trends.

This blog is inspired by research I have been doing for a couple  who is so much fun to work with – a planner’s true ideal client! As we are going over the details for their wedding, their signature cocktail came up. As they are having pink-ish/blush accents in their bouquets and decor they wanted to carry that through to the signature champagne
cocktails as well which had us discussing what we would have to infuse their champagne with to get that effect. Continue reading Infusions, Champagne Bar and Wedding Trends.

Fun Pairings for Cocktails and Food Stations

Hamburger sliders and friesOne of the biggest challenges for any caterer or wedding/event planner is to find fun and unique ways to wow guests at an event so fish and chips with mini beersI have been looking around for inspiration for the next wedding we are both planning and catering and will share with you some fun beverage and appetizer pairings for cocktail hour and even for the main course that your guests will love! These appetizers are served a little differently than what we are used to seeing at events and this will work well whether you are having a formal black tie or casual backyard event. In fact imagine inviting your guests to a black tie wedding and then giving them fish and chips wrapped in paper with mini beer shots! So far we have had rave reviews.

Continue reading Fun Pairings for Cocktails and Food Stations