by: Lauren

I recently was able to visit and experience the French island of Martinique, and I’m so excited to share more about this gorgeous Caribbean location with you! Filled with tons of beauty, lots of fun things to do, amazing food, and more, it’s a fabulous destination for a honeymoon, and one that you should absolutely consider.

[I’m also sharing about how you can enter to win a trip to Martinique, so read through to the end of this post to find out more!]

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1. Location

I myself had no idea exactly where the island of Martinique was at first, so let’s start with that tidbit, shall we? Owned by the country of France, Martinique is one of the Southernmost islands in the Caribbean, South of Dominica and North of Saint Lucia. It’s an easy and gorgeous flight to Martinique from Miami- one that flies by (no pun intended) because you’re too busy staring out the window at the beautiful islands!

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2. Beautiful scenery

Clearly, the scenery is going to be beautiful for any Caribbean island, but Martinique is a bit- unique (also, no pun intended!). Mountains, rainforest, and beaches can all be found on the very same island- which is only 420 square miles. The crystal clear blue waters are my personal favorite, but the lush, green forests and volcanic mountains are pretty phenomenal as well. Without a doubt, if you’re wanting to reside somewhere that is filled with natural beauty, Martinique is most definitely the place for you!

Recommended places to visit: ilet Loup-garou, a turtle reserve with pink sand; ilet Chancel- an iguana island; ilet Madame- a sand bank swimming pool in the sea; La Baignoire de Josephine- Josephine bathtub (white sand banks protected by coral reeves).

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3. Adventure

Just because Martinique is a Caribbean island, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do! Thanks to the eclectic terrain, there are plenty of adventurous options available. From sailing around Martinique’s smaller islands and diving, to 4-wheeling in the rainforest and hiking, you will certainly not be lacking in things to do.

Recommended things to do: Visit the estate and the distillery of Clement Distillery and Plantation Home; Sail the waters of Martinique on a catamaran- we recommend “Les Balades du Delphis”; Go on a 4×4 tour of the rainforest and waterfalls in Martinique

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4. Food

Martinique is a French island, so of course the food is going to be spectacular. Showcasing French cuisine with a Caribbean twist, you will find amazing food everywhere you turn. Whether it’s a beachfront grill or a phenomenal restaurant, if you and your fiancé are foodies, Martinique is is the place to go!

Recommended restaurants: Les Ateliers Médélices (This foodie was pleased to partake in a cooking class with renowned Chef Bredas, using fresh ingredients straight from the garden!); Le ZandoliLe BelemLe Petibonum by Lionel Chamoiseau

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5. Romance & Relaxation

Of course if you’re on your honeymoon, you’re going to want a bit of romance, and thanks to Martinique’s French background, there is certainly romance in the air. If romance is what you’re looking for, secluded boutique hotels among the mountain cliffs and on the beaches will be absolute perfection. Think along the lines of suites with secluded decks, private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and yes, room service. And thanks to spas providing relaxing services, the romance and relaxation of Martinique is easy to experience for yourself.

Recommended hotels: 

Plein Soleil Hotel: Set amid a lush tropical garden, in the hills above the town of François, this chic hideaway consists of 16 Creole style rooms housed in 5 colorful villas. The suites feature their own private plunge pool outside on the deck. Plein Soleil restaurant offers a unique innovative Creole cuisine that will enchant your pallete!

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La Suite Villa: Located in Trois-Ilets, La Suite Villa is a trendy boutique hotel composed of 9 private villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms each and 6 suites in the main house. A superb restaurant features French and Creole cuisine mastered by a French Chef originated from 3 star Michelin restaurants. La Suite Villa overlooks Trois-Ilets Bay. Each villa features a private bathroom for each bedroom, a kitchenette overlooking the terrace and a living area.

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Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa: Exclusive Relais et Châteaux Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa had been named among the best new hotels worldwide by Conde Nast Traveler. The resort is located on its own peninsula in Le François, on the Atlantic coast. This exquisite hotel consists of 50 elegant suites, 30 of them featuring their private plunge pool. The resort has direct access to a secluded beach and offers a soothing full service Spa by Guerlain.

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As someone who loves color and design, I was LOVING all of the bright colors throughout Martinique- both in nature and in the architecture and decor! It’s truly a gorgeous Caribbean island!

And now for the exciting news… you can win a romantic getaway for 2 to experience Martinique yourself! All you have to do is click on the link below to enter to win! The entry period ends January 30th, so get your entries in!

 

Win a Romantic Getaway for 2 to Martinique

 

*This trip and post was sponsored by ATOUT FRANCE. All opinions are the author’s own.



by: Michelle

Inspired by the very location they were married, Alys Beach, Lindsie and Shane’s modern white wedding was an absolute beauty! The simplicity of an all-white color palette paired with gorgeous surroundings made for one stunning wedding, and the amazing Pure7Studios captured it all! Lindsie is here with us today to share more about her wedding planning and her inspiration…

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

Each vendor that we used was extremely helpful. Alys beach had their event coordinator Meghan Kelley help us tremendously throughout the whole process. She recommended several people throughout 30A and every last one of them were awesome. And of course with the help of friends, family, my wonderful husband and Pinterest also helped along the way. 

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

The most important thing was making sure we had the right vendors who could see what we envisioned for our special day. We had so many good recommendations from the entire community, that each person worked so well with one another and they all made it seem like we’d known them forever! We were both very thankful for every vendor we had! 

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

Our inspiration was Alys Beach. My husband and I continually go there year after year and we love it. So we finally decided to purchase land there and we figured what better place to get married and start the next chapter of our life together and eventually end up there permanently with our family. Then one day, we’ll be able to look back and say, “look we got married right over there!”

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

Well besides the fact of walking down the aisle and seeing my future husband steps in front of me, my next favorite thing about my wedding has to be the setting and how quaint it was. We had our closest friends and family there and it was on one of the most beautiful days of the year. We couldn’t have asked for a better time or weather that day. 

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Enjoy the moment while it lasts. Everything from planning, up until the actually date of your wedding, goes by so fast! So cherish every moment and don’t stress about the little stuff- everything works itself out and nothing is ever perfect no matter how hard you try. I thought everything was perfect at our wedding- until I realized our cake stand was upside down and the cake was sitting in it and not on it. But at the end of the day it didn’t even matter and it now gives us something to laugh about. 

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Beautiful advice from Lindsie to enjoy every moment of your wedding because it all goes by so fast! It definitely looks like she enjoyed her wedding day!

I just love the all-white in this modern wedding. Are any of you going to be using a monochromatic color palette like this one?

 

 Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: pure7studios / Reception Venue: Alys Beach Resort / Flowers & Decor: Fisher's Flowers / Video : pure7studios / DJ: ExQ DJ

Exclusive ELD Vendors

Like the post above? Here are the Every Last Detail vendors that participated making this post beautiful! Featured vendors are hand picked and approved by Lauren. Get more information by clicking on them below:




by: Carly

Shortly after celebrating your engagement and setting your budget, you will want to start considering various wedding dates. Unless you’re completely open with the rest of your planning process, we highly suggest having a few dates in mind before contacting vendors, purchasing your dress, or even deciding on your wedding style. Your date will guide you as you make more decisions down the line, and it may or may not be the source of potential issues too. So to help, we’ve teamed up with a few of our favorite wedding experts (all members of The V List) to talk about 10 factors you should keep in mind when choosing a wedding date.

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1. Meaningful Dates

One of the best places to start when narrowing down wedding date options is to consider dates meaningful to you, your fiancé, and both of your families. Think about whether you would like to get married on the anniversary of your first date or the date you got engaged. A few other dates to consider: the anniversaries of your loved ones, or even just the same day of the month as your anniversary. Side note: Think about meaningful dates to avoid, too. Check in with family members to make sure you can plan around graduations, significant birthdays, and weddings that might already be in the works!  

2. Budget

You will want to consider getting married during a time when the majority of your wedding must-haves are in season, like food and flowers. You will also want to consider popular times when others are getting married, including seasons and days of the week. The spring and fall are the most popular seasons to get married, and Saturday evenings are the most desired day and time. There are always seasons, months, and days that are just as wonderful to get married that may not have quite as high of a price tag. Make sure to consider those too, and respect your budget.

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Image by Kat Braman Photography

3. Season

Temperature and weather patterns are so important to consider when choosing your wedding season. If you’re envisioning hosting your wedding when the temperatures are more moderate, you may want to consider a spring or fall wedding. However, note that those seasons are typically also during the height of wedding season. Weather patterns are also a huge factor to think about. The summer is lovely, but it’s also when we see the greatest spike in temperature and threat of hurricanes and thunderstorms. On the other hand, snow may also affect your wedding day during the winter, especially if guests and professionals need to travel a distance in order to reach your venue.

“Think about peak times/seasons/dates when choosing a date. I know for destination weddings, this effects hotels, venue fees and food and beverage minimums. They also should think about rainy seasons/hurricane season if they are considering the Caribbean or even southern US.” - Just Save The Date Events

 

4. Length of Engagement

Think about the ideal length of time you would like to be engaged, and also the ideal length of time you would like to have to plan your wedding. If you got engaged during the spring and your ideal wedding season is also the spring, you’ll likely be engaged for about a year. However, if you’re hoping to celebrate your wedding day within six months, you will be planning a fall or winter wedding. Know what’s most important to you and your fiancé, and be open to compromising on time and season if necessary. 

5. Wedding Professionals

If you have dream professionals on your list, make sure to contact them early on. Sometimes the availability of these pros will drive when you choose to get married. By contacting your favorite pros, you will make sure to be on their radar. Should another couple contact them for the same date, the professional will typically contact you first to see if you would like to firmly reserve the date and time.

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Image by The Hons

6. Your Schedule

Always, always consider your schedule and the schedules of family and friends who you know you definitely want present on your wedding day. Even though you may love a season, it’s best not to get married during times you know are particularly stressful in life or at work, as you’re less likely to enjoy the days leading up to your wedding. Also, think about times when it will be easier for guests to travel. 

7. Holidays

Either you definitely want to get married on or around a national holiday or you are very much against it. There are absolutely pros and cons, and we love what Danielle from DPNAK Weddings says below. Also, make sure to research the area in which you plan to marry in order to avoid popular events happening in that city, because these can cause a transportation and/or accommodation nightmare (think: marathon weekends, festivals, homecoming games, graduations, etc).

“For some, it’s better to plan around a holiday because most family will already be in town. For others, it’s better to avoid holidays because it’s tougher for family to travel (not to mention there may be additional fees or availability issues with vendors and venues).” – DPNAK Weddings

 

8. Honeymoon

If you’re planning on jetting off on your honeymoon immediately following your wedding, you will want to keep your destination’s season in mind. Additional fees may apply at resorts in the Caribbean during the winter because so many guests are searching for sunshine in order to escape the cold temperatures at home. The best time to head to the slopes is likely not during the summer when there isn’t snow in sight, but the winter isn’t the most popular time to visit Europe so you may find better priced options. Our best honeymoon tip: research the best season to visit your destination and then plan to travel at a time when couples and families are more likely to be working or in school (i.e: avoid holidays and peak times).

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Image by j.woodbery photography

9. Lighting

Throughout the year, the sun sets at different times. Even though you might be planning your summer wedding during the winter, the sun will set much later on the day you and your fiancé get married. Research sunset times if you’re hoping to get married on the beach as the sun is setting or if portraits with the sunset as the backdrop are on your radar. Also, know the presence or lack of natural light will change the amount or type of lighting you will need to have present at your wedding venue.

“Lighting is key for photography so making sure you know the sunset time for your date and being aware of that when planning ceremony time.” – Amalie Orrange Photography

 

10. Wedding Style

Although you will completely design your wedding after setting your date, it’s important to have an idea about your ideal wedding style. We cannot agree more with what Emily Grace Design says below!

“When it comes to designing your wedding, the time of year can be crucial if you are adamant about elements involving wedding decor. Accessibility to certain types of flowers, color options for materials, and even fighting natural elements (snow, heat, hurricanes, etc.) can become costly and frustrating. I’ve had brides panic over finding the right color shoes/costume jewelry/cardigans/ties/socks for their bridesmaids and groomsmen because it wasn’t a typical color for that season. And seriously, no one wants to have their wedding ruined by a hurricane.” – Emily Grace Design

 


What factors are influencing how you are you choosing your wedding date? Whether you are a bride or a professional, comment below with your best tips and tricks!



by: Lauren

Chic style, gold sequins, and a gorgeous design make this plum and champagne wedding from Amalie Orrange Photography absolutely stunning. Central Florida’s beautiful Cypress Grove Estate House lends a bit of southern style, while sequined bridesmaid dresses and table linens infuse a chic, glamorous look- a perfect complement to the beautiful color palette of plum and champagne. Now sit back and soak in all the pretty!

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Did you see that purple dance floor?! So much fun! And I just love how the sequins were incorporated- it really gave everything a chic, glamorous style.

Are any of you going to be incorporating sequins into your own wedding elements? (Please say yes!) If so, where will you be incorporating them?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Amalie Orrange Photography / Reception Venue: Cypress Grove Estate House / Wedding Planner & Designer: An Affair To Remember / Flowers & Decor: Lee Forrest Design / Cake Baker: The Sugar Suite / Linens: Over The Top Linens / Chairs & Farm Tables: A Chair Affair / Catering: Big City Catering / DJ & Lighting: Soundwave Entertainment / Hair & Makeup: Lejune Artistry / Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero / Bridesmaid Dresses: Badgley Mischka / Vintage Rentals: RW Events / Vintage Car: Cole's Classic Cars / Ceremony Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss

Exclusive ELD Vendors

Like the post above? Here are the Every Last Detail vendors that participated making this post beautiful! Featured vendors are hand picked and approved by Lauren. Get more information by clicking on them below: