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The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

Honeymoon Venue: One and Only, Wolgan Valley

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This week's honeymoon venue is One&Only in the Wolgan Valley, a quintessentially Australian luxury escape. The conservation-based resort occupies one precent of the beautiful nature reserve in the Greater Blue Mountain World Heritage Area. Just a two and a half hour drive from the heart of Sydney lies the tranquil resort surrounded by steep cliffs and picturesque rivers - it is easy to see why the resort has been ranked the number one Australian Hotel in the TripAdvisor’s Travellers' Choice Awards.

When staying at One&Only, choose from three villa styles. The Heritage Villas are reminiscent of traditional Australian homesteads and designed to complement the magnificent surrounds. Enjoy your own private pool, double sided fireplace and expansive terrace. The Wollemi Villas have been inspired by the lands rich heritage. With the likes of your own large pool, separate lounge and dining areas and an open living room, it is the perfect option for a honeymoon hideaway. The Wolgan Villa provides ultimate privacy and luxury. Nestled among a beautifully landscaped garden relax in natures pure beauty. Enjoy the use of a your own butler, gourmet kitchen, private pool, terraces and luxury like no other.

During your stay, One&Only provides an array of activities and excursions to enjoy. Firstly, if you wish, have the opportunity to take part in the protection of the surroundings and wildlife. This includes the planting of trees, taking wildlife surveys, assessing the quality of the water and habitat testings. Other available activities include guided nature walks, the resorts magnificent location allows for incredible views of the wild. Horseback riding is the perfect opportunity to explore the Blue Mountains creeks, beautiful hills and ridgelines in a fresh way. Take a journey to experience a stunning glow-worm tunnel or, spend a night star gazing in a campfire setting. After a long day of incredible activities, take to the resorts spa to be pampered and enjoy the serenity and views of the Blue Mountains.

One&Only has a culinary philosophy of only using the very best seasonal, regional and organic produce from local farms, growers and vintners. The Wolgan Dining Room will prepare you the finest cuisine while you enjoy the warm fireside atmosphere. The Country Kitchen is a providore-style restaurant, which invites you to relish in a curated menu of smaller, light meals. To enjoy award winning wines, opt for the Valley Bar and Terrace with astonishing views and walk in wine cellar. If you are after something more private and personal, choose to have your dining experience from the comfort of your own villa.

One&Only, Wolgan Valley, is an Australian honeymoon like no other. The outstanding resort and its magnificent surroundings is a wonderous place to explore and discover.

Honeymoon Venue: Bill and Coo, Mykonos

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

Bill and Coo Boutique Hotel, situated just three kilometres away from Mykonos town is a true oasis by the sea. The hotel combines ultimate luxury with traditional Cycladic touches, making for an unforgettable honeymoon or holiday experience. From the moment you arrive, you will feel relaxed and tranquil and with the hotel's name being adopted from the lovers expression “to bill and coo”, it is certain that Bill and Coo is a blissful sanctuary for all couples.

Bill and Coo is made up of 15 luxury suites which all overlook the sea and the island of Delos. All suites are decorated in a way that is elegant yet contemporary, with neutral tones, soft fabrics and natural wooden touches to mimic the sea and sand just mere steps away. The honeymoon coast suites are the perfect escape for any couple. They have been perfectly designed to offer all the privacy that any couple would need, combined with serenity and relaxation among your own sun-kissed terrace and private pool. With no shortage of sunny days in beautiful Mykonos, there is plenty of time to enjoy and take it all in.

When at Bill and Coo, there are a range of facilities and services to use should you wish including, an expansive fitness centre, infinity pool and round trip transfers to Mykonos Airport. Massage sessions and spa treatments can also be arranged upon request, in the privacy of your own suite. Bill and Coo has an array of dining options available. Enjoy breakfast by the pool, in your suite, or on the picturesque beach as you listen to the sound of the waves. The Lounge Bar is the perfect option if you are after a refreshing cocktail and light snack while settling in to a sun lounger next to the infinity pool to enjoy the Greek sunset. Should you be tempted, enjoy Bill and Coo’s signature culinary experience, Taverna. Run by award-winning chef Athinagoras Kostakos, relish in the array of traditional and specialty dishes from the restaurant or privately from your suite.

With its convenient location, Bill and Coo is a short 10 minute walk to Mykonos town where you will find beautiful cobblestone streets surrounded by idyllic whitewashed buildings, endless restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Should you wish to venture further from Mykonos town, make your way to ‘Little Venice’, an 18th century district popular for its charming windows and colourful balconies perched over the sea where you can relax in a waterfront café as you admire the views of the iconic Mykonos windmills.

With a dream combination of a pristine location, incomparable views and stunning suites, Bill and Coo is an exquisite hotel where you can devote your time to unwinding and curing your post wedding blues in luxury and privacy.

Honeymoon Venue: Te Manava Luxury Villas and Spa, Rarotonga

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This weeks honeymoon venue is Te Manava Luxury Villas and Spa, in the beautiful Pacific Island of Rarotonga. Situated overlooking the white sand of Muri Beach, these villas are the perfect five star relaxing accommodation. Fringed in palm trees, Te Manava is an impeccable option for the couple that wishes for a getaway slightly closer to home.

These villas are the ultimate sanctuary, offering privacy as well as luxury with expansive garden and beach views. With one, two or three bedroom villas available, there is something to suit everybody. All villas are decorated in an exquisite manner, with contemporary touches mixed with traditional Cook Island designs, luscious foliage and tropical flowers.

Glass bifolding doors create an ease of flow and streams of natural light between your own private pool and villa with your own sunbeds, spacious kitchen and barbeque for ultimate honeymoon comfort. Te Manava allows you to recuperate and rest in peace while having the undivided attention from the staff, should you need it.

To ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible, guests have an array of services and facilities available to them. If you wish, enjoy a secluded and romantic dining experience from your own personal chef. This service brings the luxury of fine dining into your own villa. Or, if you are after something more casual, opt for a grocery service. Guests can provide a grocery list and these groceries will then be ready and waiting for you on your arrival. During the day, enjoy free use of the resorts kayaks, paddleboards and snorkelling gear in the crystal clear waters of the Muri lagoon.

For those that are more adventurous, experience a free scuba diving session. Or, be pampered and relaxed at the Te Manava Spa. Surrounded by the peaceful water garden, the spa offers an array of beauty treatments, with a line of organic products available made from local Cook Island ingredients.

If you find yourself wanting to venture from the comfort of the resort, Te Manava is just a fifteen-minute walk to Muri Village where you can find restaurants, markets and cafes. Daylong snorkelling cruises in glass bottom boats are also available around the beauty that is the pristine lagoons, allowing you to explore the protected marine and coral life. We recommend walking the length of Muri Beach at sunrise, the golden sky is definitely a sight not to miss.

Highly rated for the best value in Rarotonga, Te Manava Luxury Villas and Spa is an idyllic honeymoon retreat and getaway for those wanting to relax in luxury surrounds.

Choosing your Engagement and Wedding Rings

Deciding on both your wedding rings and engagement ring can be a daunting and time consuming task with many technical and personal aspects to take into consideration. To help you, we have put together some basic information that we recommend keeping in mind when making the important choice. After all, diamonds are forever!

The 4 Cs

There are four main characteristics to consider when you are looking to purchase a diamond, these being, cut, clarity, colour and carat. The cut of a diamond defines how well the diamond reflects and absorbs the light – it does not refer to the shape of the stone. Clarity means the amount or type of inclusions that are present in the diamond. When a diamond is examined under 10x magnification and has fewer flaws, it will receive a higher grade. The colour of a diamond gets rated on a scale of D to Z, with D having completely no colour and Z being more obviously yellow. Diamonds rated D to F are the most sought after and also the most expensive. Carat refers to how heavy the diamond is, the more carats, often the larger the stone is.

HG Tip: Make sure if you're buying a solid diamond, that you ask for it be taken out of the setting as the claws are a classic place to hide flaws. Also ask if possible to view it in natural light as the light in a jewellery store is made to enhance the sparkle and colour of the diamond.

Stone Shape

With an array of diamond shapes such as, emerald, asscher and radiant, choosing the right shape of stone can be an overwhelming decision. A round diamond is the most classic and is popular due to its 58 facets, which maximise its sparkle. We recommend doing thorough research on different shapes, visit stores as well as look online to discover which shapes you like and what would suit you best. A ring that has a well-shaped diamond will enhance its overall beauty and worth.

Should Mine Match His?

It is entirely up to you whether or not your wedding ring matches your partner's. Some couples opt for similar rings while others go for the complete opposite. Whichever you choose, there are various customisations that you can make to your rings to make them more similar, should you choose to. You could consider having your names, wedding date or even the special place that you were married engraved on the inside of your rings. Or, for subtle personalisation, you could add each other’s birthstones to the inside of your rings.

Budget

Engagement and wedding rings can largely vary in price so it is always important to have a budget in mind. Traditionally, people are willing to spend two to three month's salary on an engagement ring. Although, the key is to decide on a budget that you and your partner are comfortable with and can afford.
Wedding rings will usually be anywhere from a few hundred up depending on how elaborate the wedding ring is and if it was part of a set with the engagement ring - remember marquise and halo rings may look incredible alone but adding a wedding bandmeans custmoising a wedding band to fit under or around the shape of the engagement ring. This is becoming more popular with the advent of such shaped rings but it will add to the budget of your complementary wedding band.

Remember the Long Term

While it is important to have an engagement and wedding ring that you love, it is necessary to also think about the long-term factors. If you decide on a ring that is more fashionable, with a coloured stone or unique shape, remember that it is going to be with you for the rest of your life and could look dated in years to come. When thinking long-term it is also important to remember to not skimp on the quality of your ring, quality workmanship is essential to ensure your ring lasts for the years to come.

Choosing for her

For the person proposing, it's generally quite a daunting task if she doesn't have input into the design.
It's becoming increasingly popular to purchase the diamond in a temporary setting for permanent setting into a design of her choice at a later date.
Alternatively, short of her circling jewellery brochures and stratetgically leaving them out for you, she may be ahead of you with her design choices having pinned an array of examples to keep you on track.
Something to keep in mind is her hobbies or line of work - if she's working with her hands or climbing mountains, a giant rock isn't going to be appropriate, similarly so if she works from home or is a stay at home mother who uses her hands all day everyday because we've heard so many tales of brides reaching into a cupboard and coming out withou the diamond.

Something else to think about is her preference for metals and gems - maybe she's not a diamond girl, perhaps she'd prefer a sultry ruby or forest green emerald. Similarly, take a look at the jewelery she currently wears, is it all gold? silver? - this will help you to work it out.

Honeymoon Venue: Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This week’s venue is Bellevue Syrene, in the charming and unspoilt town of Sorrento, Italy.

Perched upon the cliffs and overlooking the gorgeous Gulf of Naples, Bellevue Syrene is the perfect destination for an incredibly romantic honeymoon. Built upon the ruins of a Roman villa, from the moment you walk through the grand doors, you can sense that it is entrenched in history. Although it has been renovated to an exceptionally high luxury standard, much of its fascinating ancient detail still exists.

Being welcomed on arrival with a bottle of Prosecco gives you a glimpse into the ultimate perfection that is carried out by the hotel and its staff, in which Bellevue Syrene takes so much pride. With each room having its own unique touch, they are all designed in an elegant way that mixes contemporary elements and more traditional pieces. Antiques, chandeliers, fresh cut flowers and hues of rose, violet and mint, make for ultimate Italian sophistication. With each room facing the sea and the Gulf of Naples, every guest is provided with one of the most magnificent views you could imagine.

Guests have at their disposal an array of hotel facilities. As newlyweds, enjoy a couple’s massage in Bellevue Syrene’s own Wellness Centre. Or, opt for the scent of the sea, and make use of the tanning beds with access to the hotels private solarium via lift or foot, through the cave-like passageway, carved by ancient Romans. For a romantic dinner, enjoy the taste of Italy’s finest food and wines from the Sorrentine Peninsula at La Pergola, the hotels restaurant, situated on the impressive panoramic terrace.

Sorrento is a place of art, culture food and wine, so there is always something new and interesting to discover. Should you decide to venture from the beauty that is Bellevue Syrene, we recommend taking a stroll through Old Sorrento. Getting lost in the cobble stone streets and alleyways is a sure way to take in the true essence of Sorrento. If your are wanting to venture out of Sorrento, hire a car and wind your way through the vibrant fishing villages, terraced vineyards and lemon orchards to the Amalfi Coast, or if you find yourself wanting to explore Italy a little further, with ferries available from the Marina Grande, a day trip to the turquoise waters of the isle of Capri is a must where the glamorous queen of Italian cinema herself, Ms Sofia Loren called home.

Coming in third place for Trip Advisor's Top Hotels in the World (2016), Bellevue Syrene is an incomparable and perfect Italian getaway for your honeymoon.