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The Rise Of The Mini Moon

November 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Cat Hepple Photography

It’s been a busy Monday morning and Friday feels a long way off.  What better time than for our regular guest blogger Rachel (we’ve missed you Rach!) to talk time out and remind you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  Today, she’s all about facilitating that “minimoon”.  Monday blues?  What Monday blues? Go on, get it booked…

Images by Cat Hepple Photography, as previously featured here and here

Cat Hepple Photography

Rachel says:  I don’t know about you but I love an excuse to extend a celebration. Take my birthday for example – of course the main celebration is the day itself but I like to push the partying over at least one weekend, if not two. After all there’s the family meal, weekend away with the boyfriend (I hope) and drinks, shopping and spa treatments with friends to squeeze in. And don’t even get me started on festive celebrations in our household – they stretch from the very beginning of December right into the new year (though thankfully don’t include a turkey curry buffet).

Looking at today’s wedding scene, it’s clear there are many wedding couples who share my mindset with a growing trend for weekend weddings. After all, why would you confine the celebrations to just one day when you can easily spread it across three with a pre-wedding dinner the ceremony itself and then, of course, a day of present opening, cake eating, champagne quaffing and catching up with family and friends.

But now brides and grooms are taking extending the wedding celebrations a step further by delaying their main honeymoon until later in the year, or even the following year, and taking a minimoon in the meantime instead.

Cat Hepple Photography

The minimoon was originally born out of the credit crunch when many wedding couples were forced to tighten the purse strings. Research revealed brides and grooms were swapping lavish two-week holidays to long-haul destinations such as the Maldives for shorter holidays closer to home. But as circumstances have continued to change so too have couples’ holidaying habits, with many brides and grooms now having the best of both worlds – booking themselves a minimoon for a that much-needed break straight after the wedding and a honeymoon a little later down the line, giving reason for the wedding excitement to live on.

Cat Hepple Photography

A minimoon usually consists of a relaxing three- to four-day break at a destination not too far away from the wedding location. Some couples might choose a sentimental location such as the first place they went on holiday together or the place they got engaged, while others might just want a destination that provides pure relaxation to unwind following the tense pre-wedding build up. In the UK top choices include rustic retreats, spa breaks and city locations while those flush enough to push the minimoon boundaries are jetting off to romantic European destinations such as Rome, Paris and Venice.

Cat Hepple Photography

While delaying a honeymoon in favour of a minimoon does effectively spread the celebrations, it has become a big hit among today’s wedding couples for many more reasons.

The minimoon is particularly popular with teachers and those with work commitments that can’t afford to take large amounts of time off work all in one go. It’s also ideal for those asking their guests for contributions towards the honeymoon instead of traditional gifts as they book a holiday suited to the fund following the wedding.

Cat Hepple Photography

For those who can only handle so much planning at a time, delaying the main honeymoon means there will be more time to organise the holiday after the wedding preparations have taken place. Taking a minimoon in the meantime means couples have that essential break before returning to the daily grind after their wedding day.

A postponed honeymoon also gives brides and grooms who will be stumping up the honeymoon costs themselves longer to save up and book their holiday at a time suited to the best prices and weather conditions.

Cat Hepple Photography

So while the credit crunch may curbed our Topshop sprees and cocktail drinking, we do have it to thank for the introduction of the minimoon/postponed honeymoon trend which helps keep the post-wedding day blues at bay that bit longer.

What do you think?  Will you/ did you take a minimoon?  Any hot spot recommendations for our other readers?

All images taken from Alice & Paul’s gorgeous Parisian engagement shoot with Cat Hepple PhotographyClick here and here to see the full set. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cat Hepple Photography

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Posted in Guest Blog, Honeymoon | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Location, Location, Location! Supplier Showcase: Sykes Cottages

January 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Slipping away to a cottage retreat in the middle of nowhere (or somewhere near to spas and shopping where the neighbours can’t hear your raucous singing) for one last “relaxing” weekend with the girls might be expected as your big day approaches, but have you considered a holiday cottage as a potential venue for the wedding day itself?

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In my job as a full time and bridal features writer, I come across gems of wedding venues all the time – from the stately and sublime to the cosy and chic, but I must admit that I hadn’t considered the option of hiring a holiday cottage to host a private and personal wedding celebration until I was approached by Brides Up North sponsor Sykes Cottages

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Why haven’t I thought of this before? 

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Sykes Cottages manage a veritable smorgasbord of beautiful holiday homes which are available to hire for your special day.  Think about it – it’s a wedding “at home” (the dream home of your choice, selected from a vast variety of options that you can browse online), but “on location” at the same time.  Choose your property, location, length of stay and any added extras… then send out the save the dates.  And, as the mini-moon and staycation remain as popular as ever,  the after the event possibilities are endless too.

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Genius.  Maybe that girly get-away can wait…

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Amanda of Sykes Cottages says: So you’ve got the ring (congratulations!) and now you can look forward to the next few weeks and months of planning every little detail of your big day. From the dress to the flowers and the transport, your ‘to-do’ list seems endless.

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When it comes to the venue, your decision is crucial as the venue itself will dictate the tone of the entire day. Whether you choose a grand stately home, your childhood church or an outdoor location, choosing the venue is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions before the big day. But if a grand property isn’t quite what you have in mind, perhaps a more intimate wedding venue would fit the bill.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Finding a holiday cottage ideal for your wedding isn’t as difficult as you might think. Choose a grand property set in beautiful grounds for the wow factor with an intimate feel or a more traditional cottage for a romantic, outdoorsy style. Some properties even have a dance floor, offer a private chef and maid service to ensure your nuptials go without a hitch.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Feeling at home at the venue a few days before the wedding should help settle those last minute nerves on the big day. Book a make-up artist or hairdresser so you and your bridesmaids kick start the day in style. If you’re planning a big day with a home-spun feel, choosing a property to accommodate all the guests in the run up to the wedding is a great choice: make use of the willing volunteers and create a truly unique backdrop to your big day.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Wherever you choose to celebrate your big day, choosing a holiday cottage for the occasion is a good way to guarantee a totally unique wedding. Pick a holiday cottage in some of the UK’s most stunning countryside for exceptional wedding photos that you’ll love forever.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Instead of disappearing on honeymoon towards the end of the reception, many couples now choose to enjoy the first few days of wedded bliss closer to home before embarking on their honeymoon to remember later on. While tradition dictates that the groom to be is responsible for planning (and financing!) the honeymoon, it certainly doesn’t hurt you to drop a few hints in the lead-up to the big day!

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Choosing a holiday cottage is a really great way to combine the high-end finish of a boutique hotel with all the privacy you want in your first few days as a married couple. Find honeymoon accommodation with a private hot tub and celebrate with a glass of champagne under the stars for the perfect start to married life any time of year.

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For a summer honeymoon, why not choose a holiday cottage with access to a swimming pool or by a secluded beach for a wonderful few days. Winter brides might prefer a cosy, traditional cottage with a roaring log fire for romantic days and nights in. Wherever you choose to spend those first few days as Mr and Mrs, you’re sure to leave with memories to treasure.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Got your mind whirring?  Thought as much!  For more information, visit the Sykes Cottages website to find your perfect wedding venue or honeymoon destination.

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  – Images © 2013 supplied by Sykes Cottages

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Alternative Weddings, Honeymoon, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Honeymoons – Just The Two Of Us!

January 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I think it’s time to inject a little sunshine onto the swirly silver pages of the wedding blog, don’t you?  This morning, my guest blogger Alison is back from a winter sojourn in Morocco, fired up on the vitamin D and ready to talk honeymoons – both mini and mega.

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Your wedding day comes with a massive added bonus:  the holiday at the end of it.  Whether you choose to visit balmy foreign shores, staycation in the UK or, like my hubby and I, go to some really really cool places that have always been at the top of your wish list, with a little forward planning, haggling and compromise, your trip of a lifetime needn’t cause you too much stress or debt. My top tips: check the weather at the time of year you want to go, compare DIY prices to complete packages for the best deals, shop around and start saving now.  

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog   Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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The hubby and I on our triple centre self planned tip to NYC, Vegas and LA! (Baby!)

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You can officially begin looking forward now…

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Over to Alison: Having just returned from the mayhem that is Marrakech (I raised a glass of mint tea to each and every one of you) – and with frost on the ground it seems like a good time to tackle ‘Honeymoons’!

Tris (my husband) and I both owned our own places before we finally took the plunge and moved in together – so when we got married we decided against a traditional wedding list.

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We put the usual on our wedding invitations, “Of course, having you at our special day is present enough”.

But I knew that people would still want to get us something. Not wanting to risk a mountain of Jamie Oliver cheese boards, we agreed that what we wanted most of all were amazing memories, so went for an on-line wedding list where people could buy treats for us on our honeymoon to New England and New York.

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But which one to choose?

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In the end we came up with a short list and ranked them on cost (many will charge a set-up fee, % of gift value and a transaction fee depending on payment. And don’t be caught out by PayPal fees), flexibility, and which looked the best.  We chose ‘Bliss List’ (www.blisslist.co.uk) but do shop around and find the right one for you.

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Finding the right product was just the start. You then have to fill it with exciting treats – describing them in a way that people almost feel like they are coming with you. ‘Bliss List’ gave us the option of adding a web link which was really handy, so guests could check the treats out for themselves.

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I tried to include a range of price options, from £5 up to £100. In addition to contributions to flights, car hire and campsite fees, we had treats such as:

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“Whale Watching at Cape Ann – Nothing beats the thrill of getting up close with these amazing creatures. Help us have a whale of a time!” (2x£30).

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“Cocktails on the Lower East Side – Very Sex and the City” (4x£7).

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“Carriage ride through Central Park - It’s cheesy, its 30mins, but it’s our honeymoon. Bring on the romance!” (2x£50).

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If you want to check out the rest of our list for ideas, click here (www.blisslist.co.uk/viewlist/Natural)

It worked like a charm. Our guests found it really easy to use and were ridiculously generous, filling their virtual shopping baskets with multiple treats. In fact it was so successful we ran out and unfortunately had to add a minimoon to Paris – damn!

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“Keep us in croissants – Help us start the day with a proper petit dejeuner!” (4x£5)

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“The Louvre and galleries of Paris – I bet we can make the Mona Lisa smile! Paris is one of the most artistic cities in the world. There is so much art to see it is a Monet away from ridiculous.” (2x£20)

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With ‘Bliss List’ our guests paid the web site directly. They held the money which we were able to transfer into our account at any time. We found that most people bought their gift as soon as they received their invitation which really helped with cash flow.

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Of course I was really careful not to over promise. I didn’t want ‘achieving our wedding list’ to overwhelm our honeymoon. The temptation is to overfill our days with treats – I had visions of screaming at Tris “But we can’t sleep yet – we’ve got a unicycle workshop from your Auntie Beryl and ice fishing from Una to fit in before bed time!”

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While we did do most of the things on our list, there were a couple of occasions where we were thwarted. So we made sure we did something else instead. When we couldn’t get to see a Boston Red Sox baseball game, we spent that gift on watching it in a bar while having dinner.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog   Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Alison and Tris on their Bliss List Honeymoon(s!)

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It was fantastic to text people from the top of the Eiffel Tower and send post cards from Moosehead Lake to thank people for treating us. Then when we got home I made a montage of photos and e-mailed people with stories.

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But despite all the treats and excitement – at the end of the day our honeymoon was about the two of us. After the build up to the wedding it was fantastic to be just us again. I can remember sitting opposite Tris in a café in Paris in the sunshine three days after our wedding. We’d moved onto the next stage in our life together and it was like falling in love all over again! Ahhhh!

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Alison writes her own personal blog at http://alison-staples.blogspot.com

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Alison’s latest posts for Brides Up North:

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Santa Baby- A Bride’s Letter To St Nick

Christmas Weddings In Soap Land – Some Very Un-Real Weddings!

Up For Discussion- Money Can’t Buy You Love – Bringing It In On Budget

Up For Discussion- Don’t Tell The Groom! Man Management

Up For Discussion- How To Do “I Do”- Writing Your Own Vows

Up For Discussion- Empty Chairs

Up For Discussion- Achieving The Perfect Level Of Wedding Morning Zen

Up For Discussion- The Name Game (and meet Alison!)

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Would you like to guest blog for Brides Up North? Email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk

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  – Images © 2012 Brides Up North/ Alison Staples

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Posted in Guest Blog, Honeymoon | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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