Destination Weddings

The idea of exchanging vows surrounded by old world charm and ambiance can be an exciting thought for many people. With destination weddings gaining in popularity, the idea of a romantic and atmospheric ceremony in Europe is becoming a reality for more and more couples. Usually when people imagine weddings in Europe, France; Italy; and Greece seem to be the first places most people think of. However, when it comes to lovely and romantic locations, Europe is spoiled for choices for gorgeous and unique locations to exchange your vows. Whether you are looking for something tropical and exotic or are more of an old world romantic, there is bound to be a location which is as extraordinary as your love story. 

Straight Out of a Fairy-Tale: 

Most little girls at some point dream of being a princess and getting her very own prince charming. If this still sounds like your dream come true, why not think of getting married in the Czech Republic? Not only does this beautiful county in central Europe have the largest castle in the world, Prague Castle, it also hosts a number of towns which look like as if they just popped straight from the pages of a fairy tale. One of the most magical is Cesky Krumlov. Located in the southern part of the country, this medieval town is the perfect back drop for a love as timeless as yours. 

Mediterranean Passion:

There is something about the heat and passion of the Mediterranean countries. With flavorful food, warm weather, and colorful landscapes, it is easy to see why this region has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful and passionate in the world.  However, instead of opting for a wedding in Italy, why not head to Spain? With a unique blend of European and North African architecture, getting married in Spain will offer an exotic feel to a traditional ceremony. Plus, with Spanish wines garnering more and more attention, which pairs well with their flavourful foods, you can treat your guests to some of the best wine on the market while delighting their tastebuds.

Modern Royals:

Many couples are borrowing ideas for their weddings from the younger generation of the British royal family. So why not take another page from their book and get married in an actual British castle or palace? While the UK has plenty to chose from, Wales boasts the most castles in the world. With over 600 to pick from, and some of the most exquisite countryside views, it wouldn’t be hard to feel like modern day royalty here. Plus, with a naturally poetic accent and a musical quality to the language itself, it will feel like any local officiant is singing your vows to you. What could more romantic and special than that?

With these, and plenty more under the radar choices to pick from, Europe offers a number of destinations to help you and your partner create a one of kind wedding to encapsulate your one of a kind love. So let your imagination run wild. 

Small Gestures to Show You Care.

While in may be the shortest month of the year, February is the month of love and romance, thanks to Valentine’s Day. You can’t go anywhere without seeing pink and red hearts, flowers, and chocolates, reminding you to spoil the person you love on Feb 14th. However, some of the most romantic things you can do to show your partner how important they are to you which won’t break the bank and can be done anytime of the year. 

Make Them Dinner:

Imagine it. You get a text from your spouse telling you about a horrible day they have had or maybe they are just feeling a little down. What better way to cheer them up and make them feel cared for than to have their favourite meal ready and waiting for them when they get home? And if you aren’t the best cook or their favourite meal is a little out of your skill range in the kitchen, even just making dinner is a great way to remove a little stress and let them feel pampered in a small way. You can even up the ante and clean up afterward while they relax on the couch with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. 

Random Love Notes:

Thanks to technology it easier to stay connected throughout the day. Sure, a quick “hey just thinking about you” text can be great, little hand-written notes can be better. So why not add a little note telling them how much you love them in their lunch or write it on the bathroom mirror after you shower. Or maybe you know they have a big presentation at work, slip a quick note telling them “You can do it” or “you’re going to be great!” into their briefcase. It will bring a smile to their face and remind them the most important person in their life believes in them, and that can make all the difference. 

Surprise Picnic:

This one may take a little more planning but can be a fun way to have a little minibreak. Pack up some cheese, crackers, fruit, and other goodies, grab a bottle of your favourite wine, and a big blanket for lounging on and head for a secluded area somewhere outdoors. Or, if the weather isn’t permitting, why not have a picnic in your living room? Just make sure you turn off your phones so you can disconnect from the rest of the world and reconnect with your partner. 

Love Letters: A Throw Back to Romance.

Every so often an article about the most romantic love letters of all time goes viral. It makes people nostalgic for the past when traditional mail was more common, and life seemed a little slower. There is just something about a handwritten missive, declaring your love for the person you wan to spend the rest of your life with. Here are some helpful hints on how to write the perfect love letter for the one you love. 

Use your own voice:

It may be tempting to try to be poetic and flowery. Don’t. Try to write it the way you speak or write things. Not only will it be easier for you to get your thoughts and feelings out, it will also be more authentic when your partner reads it. By writing it in the way you would naturally express yourself means that for years to come, when the letter is lovingly reread, they will be able to hear you. And what could be more romantic than that?

Go Beyond The Physical:

Sure, you could look into their eyes for eternity. Or maybe you think their smile lights up the room. However, also make sure you tell them about how much you adore the fierceness of their spirit or their zany sense of humour or any of the many little quirks of theirs which make them so uniquely loveable. While it is important to make sure your partner feels beautiful and desired, it is equally important to make sure they feel respected and important. 

When You Knew:

There is usually a moment when most people knew for sure they were in love. Why not tell your special someone the moment you knew they were the one for you? Sometimes it a big moment, like when they stepped up and were there when you really needed them. Other times, it is something which would seem so normal to anyone else but made you realize there was no one else in the world for you. Whenever it was, letting them know is a sweet way to tell them how long you have been in love. 

Past, Present, Future:

Make your love letter a road map of your relationship. Start with a sweet memory of when you first started dating or maybe the first time you saw each other then move on to how amazing the life you have created with one another is and finish with some hopes and dreams for the future. This will show not only how treasured the memories you together are, but also that you are excited about what the adventures wait on the horizon for you both. 

The History of Valentine’s Day Cards.

While the origins of Valentine’s Day maybe a little confusing, with several different stories circulating about various men named Valentine being martyred in the early days of Christianity, one thing is for sure, it is now a day when love and romance is celebrated with gifts and tokens being exchanged. One of the most common of these trinkets being cards. So, lets take a look at the history of the Valentine’s Day card and how they became the face of a holiday. 

Their Medieval Origins:

The earliest example of a Valentine Day’s card still around is a love letter written by the Duke of Orleans to his wife in during the 14th century while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. He wrote her a love poem after he was captured in battle. A few years later, Henry V hired the poet John Lydgate to write his wife, Catherine Valois, a Valentine’s message. Both of these letters are on display in The British Library, for all to see.

Rising In Popularity:

For the next few centuries, Valentine’s missives were exchanged primarily among the upper classes. However, starting in the 17th century, it picked up steam with the middle class, wanting to be fashionable. By the 18th century, it was common for people of all social classes to exchange little love tokens and notes to friends and lovers. It is here that we see the real beginnings of what would become the modern celebration of Valentine’s Day. 

The Victorian Mass Market Cards:

By the middle of the 19th century, Valentine’s Day was here to stay. With the advances in printing technology and cheap postage made exchanging and sending cards much easier. While many were more like the cards we know today, these early massed produced cards could be elaborate works of art, with little inlays and pockets for hiding small tokens of affection or even engagement rings. By the end of the Victorian era these over the top offerings went out of fashion and were replaced by simpler greeting cards, especially as flowery declarations of love were no longer socially fashionable. 

Valentine’s Day Cards In America:

Just like in Britain, Americans began to really start celebrating Valentine’s Day in the 1700’s, mostly sending handwritten letters. However, in the 1840’s a woman named Esther Howland began to sell the first mass produced cards, complete with lace, ribbons, and colourful pictures on them. Today, Howland is known as the “Mother of the Valentine” and set the stage for the cards Americans exchange today. With over 1 billion Valentine’s cards sold each year, it is the second most profitable day for the greeting card industry behind Christmas.