Posts in Wedding
A note to my husband on our SEcond anniversary
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You are the greenest pasture that I pull up to after my hardest and longest journeys. You are so open and make me feel so free and yet I feel my least exposed..my most secure..when I am with you. You know how to simultaneously keep my soul wild and my heart safe. You make me giggle right when I start to forget the sound. 

Thank you for being my solace...my greenest pasture. For supporting me just as thoroughly when I am skipping across the grass in the sunshine as when I am laying on the ground in the rain feeling like I can’t get up. For loving me wholey when I feel anything but. For being you, my husband. And for being hot as hell, of course.  Happy 2nd wedding anniversary, Jay!

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First Year Of Marriage Reflections
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Today is Jay and my one year wedding anniversary! I thought that it would be a good time to reflect on our first year of marriage and share a few thoughts with you guys as well so here it goes...

Our first year of marriage was filled with tons of great memories! We laughed a lot (so glad I married my number 1 comedic fan even if he doesn't want to admit it). He cheered me on as I started a new career (and really has been my partner through that venture has well) and I supported him through all of his big endeavors. Our first anniversary trip was one for the freaking books. Having 2 weeks straight with him, exploring this world, experiencing new things and all of that with him is the most treasured thing of all. We did a lot of fun things, like that, this past year that create those bigger memories that we'll always remember but we also had plenty of "regular" memories that I will always treasure. Memories from this time in our lives when it was only the 2 of us, making pancakes on a Sunday morning in our little apartment while listening to music. I crave more slow mornings with him, where we skip on plans and timelines and responsibilities because doing nothing with him is my favorite thing of all. 

Unfortunately, this past year was also filled with plenty of hard times. This Fall and Winter were pretty brutal for me since I was feeling really ill while changing medications (like really ill) and I had a procedure for my back, which involved another recovery. We also faced personal things with our families. Even through the bad times, we were together. I'd be up all night feeling like sh** but Jay would be in bed beside me holding my hand. I couldn't get off the couch but we lit candles and binged watched GOT and made a cozy night out of it. We comforted one another through tears and laughed the hardest at one another's jokes during the happier moments...and that is marriage. He is my rock. He is most steady force in my life and it is my greatest honor to be his in return. 

I used to wonder if marriage would be different. I mean, we've lived together in this home for almost 4 years now so we've been doing the whole co-habitating thing for a while now. I also think that we've had a sense of security in our relationship from a young age because of all that we've gone through together following my accident. We've walked through some dark times together and have always rode it out as a team (and Jay has always been the most supportive partner) so I think that there has always been a strong sense of "forever" and "in sickness and in health." 

However, I have noticed that there are things that feel different about being married. Mainly, I've felt like we are a family unit more so than ever. I feel like we are The Robinsons and that we created our own little family of 2 the day that we got married. I don't really know how to describe it because I always felt like he was my family but now it feels solidified and even more so like its him and I taking on the world. I wear his last name with pride and it makes me embarrassingly giddy to think about how we are The Robinsons and Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. I know that changing your last name isn't for everyone and its really not about the name so I respect that decision (identifying as Carly Robinson on my own feels stranger than The Robinsons). Marriage has created this new sense of belonging to one another. The day that we kissed for the first time was the start of 'us' but the day that we said our vows was the start of our family.

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I also was surprised at my reaction to seeing him wear a wedding ring...I mean it's just a piece of jewelry so I don't get what the big deal when I actually think about it but I can't help it. I think that it's insanely hot to see him wearing his wedding band. He looks like such a MAN and then I realize that he's MY man and that really gets me. I sound like such a pathetic girl for admitting that but it's true, there's just something about it. 

Jay is the flint that sparks the lighter and the fuel that holds the flame for me. Marriage (from what I gather thus far) is exciting and fun but it's the constant fuel that holds the flame that matters. It's the slow Sunday mornings and the holding of one another's hands through the tough nights that matter the most. I'll take all of the laughs and travel any day though!

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One Year Anniversary Trip
Photos by Rachel Ellentuck Photograph who I recently sent to Santorini!

Exciting News:

We are leaving tomorrow for our One Year Anniversary trip!! Yes, our anniversary isn't until July 15th but we have our good friends' wedding that weekend (SO EXCITED), so we are going a little bit early! We decided that we need to prioritize taking one big trip, just the two of us, a year and definitely want to check some travel bucket list items off before we have kids. We figured that our first anniversary would be the perfect time to do so..I mean, is there any better gift than travel?! We only got each other a pair of sneakers for our birthdays, skipped big holiday presents and aren't doing anniversary gifts because THIS is the best gift that we can imagine giving one another...time alone together exploring the world! I'm hoping that it will feel like a honeymoon part 2. The happiest that I've ever been were on our trip to St. Lucia when we got engaged and our honeymoon in French Polynesia so I'm out to create memories like that!

Where:

-4 nights in Ibiza 

-4 nights in Santorini

-4 nights in Mykonos

-2 nights in Lake Como

We haven't been back to Europe in 7 years together (I went back once without him) so I'm so excited! I studied abroad in Rome and Jay studied abroad in Barcelona so we are each really pumped to go back to Spain and Italy. We went to Corfu, Greece during our time in Europe together but neither of us felt like we had a true Greecian experience (we stayed at some sketch hotel for college kids and didn't leave the resort haha) and are really looking forward to going to Greece as well!

We really fell in love all across Europe and it holds SUCH a special place in my heart, in our hearts. We were only together for like 6 months before we left for abroad (you can imagine the tears before we seperated...we went to visit each other's parents' houses "one last night before we left" 3 times haha). We would meet up in destinations across Europe on many weekends and it was a freaking fairytale. We'd wander and get lost together (we get lost A LOT because we're both directionally challenged but when you're exploring a city it seems fun for once haha), eat way too much food, feel like such grown ups as we shared hotel rooms and hostels (not as nice of hotels as we'll stay at now, that's for sure haha), create itineraries, and see sights until our feet ached. We went abroad "not dating" in order to not feel like we "missed out" on the experience of studying abroad but it was a joke because we were in a full blown relationship (via BBM on our blackberries) and living out this amazing romance during our travels. It was this thing that we said but wasn't actually true because he was my full blown boyfriend who I knew would be my husband one day. Regardless, he "officially" asked me to be his girlfriend at the Trevi fountain in Rome one night. During a different trip in Venice, we said I love you to one another for the first time. Of course, we knew that we were in love long before that, but it's fun to have that destination hold the spot in our hearts a little extra. 

NEEDLESS TO SAY, I'M SO EXCITED TO GO BACK THERE NOW THAT HE IS MY HUSBAND!

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The Cozy Traveler:

We are also making this partly a business trip for the Cozy Traveler and are going to do a lot of research for clients! We are moving hotels a lot in order to experience different properties first hand. We are also doing site tours of various hotels in each destination so that I can see as much as possible first hand. We are also trying to do specific activities that I know are popular for clients to book in order to truly experience each destination first hand so that I am able to speak to it. My partnerships and network really enable me to speak confidently on a destination, regardless of whether or not I have been there but I think that seeing these places first hand will only help build my knowledge! 

I've been planning a lot of honeymoons and I think that these destinations would make for amazing honeymoons! I know that Ibiza and Mykonos are known as party destinations, but particularly Ibiza has SO much more to offer! I can't even drink for medical reasons and I am SO excited because there is so much natural beauty on the island. Obviously, I will keep you guys posted on my thoughts on this after I return.

I will be doing full travel diaries after I return with where to stay, where to eat, what to do and all of that for each destination. Of course, never hesitate to reach out to me at carly.robinson@smartflyer.com for help planning your next vacation! You can learn more about my role as a luxury travel advisor with Smartflyer on my website! You can also fill out the contact form on my website to get in touch about your next adventure. 

Make sure to follow along on my Cozy_Traveler Instagram account as well as Cozy_Curator because I will be posting lots of stories and Instagram photos from our adventures! Now that I am a travel advisor, I am going to be much better about posting photos and videos and keeping you guys in the loop while I am away. 

Bon Voyage:

I've been really burying my head in the sand and just going crazy banging out work the past few weeks that I haven't gotten the chance to breath. I really want to get my work done and my clients in a great place before I leave for my trip so that I can really feel like a vacation (minus the work that I do seeing properties, etc). Jay and I haven't been spending enough QT together because we've been so busy and I'm SO looking forward to eliminating distractions and being truly present with my favorite person on Earth. 

Wedding Video

The Wedding Video

Our one year wedding anniversary is a month from today and we finally got our wedding video so I thought that it would be the perfect time to share it! This will be the first of my wedding day posts. I haven’t been able to do them until now because I haven’t had my digital images from the wedding day. Apparently, in my contract with the photographer, it stated that I would only have access to the digital images once my album was ordered and FINISHED. I guess they do this so that you don’t print your own images but it seems crazy that I can’t get them until the album is completed, even though I paid for  and ordered it monthssss ago. Anyway, it’s something to look out for in your contract because I had no idea about this rule until the wedding was over. Once I get the pictures, I’ll be continuing the wedding day blog posts! I plan on giving any and all advice that I can think of, sharing all of our day of details and invitation suite, and walking you through the amazing day!

The video is the perfect thing to show first anyway because it makes you feel like you are really there on the day! I know that video is something that people cut from the budget first and I have to say that I think that it should actually be one of the last things that you cut. That’s just my personal opinion, based on my experience and having 20/20 hindsight. Watching it is the closest that I can come to reliving my wedding day over and over again! I’m so grateful to have it as a time capsule of sorts. When I’ve had hard days, I’ve pulled it up and watched it (along with smelling the essential oil that I bought in Bora Bora haha) and it brings me to my happy place! Jay and I also received all of the raw footage from our wedding (it was just automatically a part of the package) and it was fun to watch that! We had it waiting for us when we returned from our honeymoon so it was nice to have something to immediately watch. Its cool because you see parts of the day that you missed since you can’t be everywhere at every moment with every person.  Plus, the dancing scenes are THE BEST and our friends and family crush it. In full disclosure, the first time we watched it, I just loathed myself so much that all I could focus on was hating my voice, watching myself cry, and all that but then we immediately rewatched it and I was able to get over myself and enjoy it. I’m the most grateful to have our ceremony, first look, speeches and first dance captured. There were also a lot of special moments that I’m glad we have on the raw footage that didn’t make the trailer, like Jay crying opening my gift (he HATES that part and I LOVE it haha). I kept a journal throughout our engagement and wrote him notes during milestones throughout it, reasons I wanted to marry him, song lyrics, and things like that. It was long so he only read some of it on camera but watching his face change as he scanned the words is something that stuck with me. People have asked if we were able to select the clips that were included in the trailer and we were not, which was fine. The editors selected the clips and voice overs and compiled it all but we were able to select the songs.

I've always considered watching wedding videos a hobby of mine so its so fun to get to share my own! After my accident, I would lay awake all night in pain and go down a tunnel of watching random people's wedding views and crying as I felt the love that these strangers on the internet were showing. Jay always says, "you love love" and it's true. I am a romantic at heart so wedding videos are my jam.

The Where

We got married at Bonnet Island Estate, which is located on the bay, right as you’re coming onto Long Beach Island over the causeway. I’ve been going to LBI my whole life and in 1999 my parents built a house there. They named the house Tranquility (it was featured on the map of the island in our invitation suite, which I will include in one of the upcoming blog posts)! I thought that it was so embarrassing that my parents put up a sign outside the house calling it Tranquility as a kid but I quickly grew an appreciation for it. It truly is my happy place and my home where I feel the most Tranquil. Nine winters ago, Jay and I had our first little getaway alone at the house and it quickly became his happy place as well! The fact that he LOVES it down there so much makes me love him even more. We have had so many memories down there, both good and bad (I recover down here from most of my surgeries) throughout our relationship. The first time that our families met was 8 summers ago down in LBI and we have continued to spend time down there, all together, every year since. It was also fun to go down to LBI with our parents throughout our engagement to do wedding planning tasks and create all of those new memories. My (and Jay's) friends and I also share SO many memories from down here (some of my bridesmaids and I have been coming down here together since we were 3 years old)! We had too many party weekends down here (throwback to after prom), a million slumber parties as kids, sorority pledge class “reunions,” couples weekends and more down here with friends so it was suiting to have the biggest party of our lives here. Yes, my parents are the most generous creatures on Earth! Needless to say, it was a special destination to celebrate our love, officially blend our two families and party with our friends.

The owners built Bonnet Island Estate when I was a kid and as I watched it get built from the ground up, I would always say, “I want to get married there when I’m grown up”. I can confidently say that the majority of plans that we have in life don’t actually end up happening the way that they thought they would...it’s a reality I’ve faced many times and constantly have to work on making peace with. The fact that this dream came true is something that I will forever be grateful for! I’m so insanely thankful towards my parents for making that childhood dream of mine come true and to my groom for being even more than I could have fantasized about! Luckily, Jay was/is totally obsessed with it as well so it was easy. Of course, as a kid I didn’t know that I would hate the carpet so much haha. But the reality is no venue is perfect (I hated the decor inside, the barn where we got married was way too small and didn’t have AC, I disliked the table and chairs, and the list goes on). However, I LOVE it there so much, to the point that it felt like a second home. I genuinely miss it and can’t wait to go back there this summer and every year to just walk around and hang out. It just felt right. We plan on going back every summer to hang out (the people that work there are super encouraging of that). We rented out the estate for the night as well, which was PERFECT. We were able to get ready there in the morning in the salon (the guys had a separate hang out area), do a first look by the dune grass, take photos on the property, have rest time (I needed to get out of my dress and lay down in bed before the ceremony so I was glad there were beds on site), have the guests arrive via shuttle from the hotel and then go straight to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Then, we had an after party (with food from The Chicken or The Egg aka CHEG brought in) on the deck and our families plus some bridesmaids and groomsmen were able to sleep over. We woke up the next morning and went back onto the deck for brunch with everyone, which included our favorite doughnuts from Ferraras Bakery and breakfast from the Cheg. I love that it was a ‘one stop shop’ and that it was so seamless. It was also great to be able to just walk (or in my case take the elevator up one flight haha) upstairs and go to sleep in the bridal suite.

The Basics

We had 197 of our friends and family members filling up that property with so much love. Our ceremony was in a little barn on site., with doors that opened on one side to the bay and to a garden on the other side. The entire venue is set on the bay with marshland in view. That’s why our wedding hashtag was #CarlyAndJayByTheBay!

Jay’s sister, Renee, was our officiant and it was SO special to have someone so close to us marry us. We didn’t include any religion in the ceremony (I’m Jewish and Jay is Christian but neither of us identify strongly with our religions), so we just created the ceremony along with Renee, from scratch based on what felt the most ‘us’. It was very personal and we both cried a lot during it (but my ugly crying face is the one they chose to show more in the video haha). I will do a blog post all about creating a non-traditional wedding ceremony but I already wrote one for Style Me Pretty that you can find here as well!

Attire

My dress was made by Inbal Dror and purchased at Mark Ingram Atelier in Manhattan. I actually went there specifically for this dress because I had seen it online and nothing else that I was finding while dress shopping was measuring up in my head. It’s funny because I had a lot of self doubt when I purchased it because I pulled money from other areas of the budget to cover it and it felt selfish. However, it ended up being one of the decisions that I was the happiest and most confident about. The alterations were not easy though. Apparently I have a really short torso and they couldn’t alter it short enough to not show my butt crack so I eventually had to find underwear that was close to my skin color (not an easy task) to wear under the sheer mesh backing of the dress, among other things. It’s supposed to be ‘made to measure’ but we had to change a lot but it all worked out in the end! Jay LOVED it, which made/makes me really freaking happy. He still talks about it and every time he does I’m like “tell me more”! I felt like myself in it, just a better version haha. I bought little block kitten heels but only wore them during the ceremony and first look. Besides that, even during photos and our first dance, I wore white Nike ID running sneakers that said “Jay’s Bride” on the back of them. I wanted to wear cooler/trendier sneakers, but they just weren’t as comfortable for my joints and I needed anything that would help my endurance in getting through the day. Going into it, I was self conscious about it (I mean, everyone looks better in heels, period), but so many people were coming up to me saying how hilarious and awesome it was that I was wearing running shoes and they were relatively hidden by my dress. That is, until Jay stepped on and broke my bustle after our first dance aka 5 minutes into the reception haha. The bridal attendant tried to sew it but after 20 minutes of missing my reception, I begged for her to just let me go and held my train the rest of the night. I’m SO glad that I wore the running sneakers because the wedding day was truly equivalent to running 2 marathons on my body and I needed all of the help that I could get!

Jay’s suit was from Suit Supply in Soho. I was really happy for him that he got to have a cool, special experience when buying his wedding outfit as well! Everyone that worked there was so helpful and cool. The place looked like it was straight out of GQ and everything was such nice quality. I thought that the suit was the perfect shade of grey for our summer wedding. We steered away from linen because it wrinkles really easily and didn’t feel as dressy. His tie (and the groomsmen’s ties) along with his suspenders were from Tie Bar. He wore navy suede shoes from Zappos. His boutonniere had a ranunculus and a succulent. In my completely unbiased opinion, he could not have looked like a more handsome or studly groom! I will forever have the image his amazing smiling, eyes staring into mine with tears in them, looking extra blue from all of our beautiful surroundings. Lucky is an understatement! 

All of the bridesmaids wore Joanna August dresses. I told them the color (AKA Into The Mystic, which I thought was perfect for the venue) and they picked whichever style they wanted out of 60 or so choices. I think that they all looked BEAUTIFUL and that the dresses complimented the guy’s outfits perfectly. 95 percent of them chose wrap dresses, which was helpful during alteration time because they could adjust the tightness on their own and only worry about getting the hemline altered. We gifted them their earrings, robes from Plum Pretty Sugar (not shown) and hair appointments.

The groomsmen rented suits from Black Tux, which worked out really well. It was really inexpensive and easy because you just send in all of your measurements online. Only one guy had a problem with the fit when it arrived (that I know of haha) and sent it back but received the replacement in time. We gifted all of the groomsmen their Navy suede Sam Edelman shoes and their Tie Bar ties. Their suits were slightly darker than Jay's but Jay's suit had some of the darker color in it. I thought that it was a nice contrast while matching seamlessly. 

Unfortunately, the ring bearer and flower girl aren’t in the video and it was the one thing that we were both really upset about after seeing the video. We are really close with them (they’re Jay’s sister and brother in law/best man’s kids). I asked the editors to swap out a clip from the ceremony (and gave them specific timing of a clip to swap out that timed up perfectly for an even swap) in order to include them walking down the aisle but they wouldn’t do it. You’ll see how freaking adorable they looked once we get the photos though! I bought the ring bearer’s outfit from Janie and Jack and the flower girl’s dress from BHLDN. He was 1.5 years old so I picked his whole outfit for him and I LOVED it, especially the little starfish boutonniere and straw fedora. Our niece is older so I showed her 15 or so choices for dresses and let her pick which one she wanted to wear. She (deservingly) felt like the other bride and looked SO beautiful in it! I had the florist make her a little flower crown with silver dollar eucalyptus, which I think looked so sweet.

The flowers were all done by A Touch of Elegance and I think that they did an awesome job! Some of the colors weren’t what I would have hoped for (I don’t like peach, its too close to enemy aka orange haha) but with flowers, its hard because they’re natural things that grow from the Earth, obviously. I was in love with the idea of doing a mini flower wall to rest on the mantle in the ceremony and then get moved to behind our sweetheart table love seat for the reception. I would have loved to have some peonies but it was too late in the season for my florist to get them but I love garden roses so much so I’m glad that we were able to incorporate them! My parents surprised me with some flowers and eucalyptus on the archway in our ceremony, which I had wanted but didn’t end up ordering because it would have brought us over budget. It was such a sweet gesture and made me cry 1/100390 times on the day. I am going to include details on the centerpieces, cocktail hour flowers and all of those details once we get the photos.

We booked the Nick Campbell Band through Hank Lane music and loved them so much! They were really fun and energetic and so talented. Hank Lane is a really professional, amazing company. So many of my friends have used them and I’ve been impressed every time. They match you with a band that fits your style and budget and I think that they did a great job pairing us with the Nick Campbell Band. My favorite musician of all time is Dave Matthews band and our song has always been Crush so we decided to dance to Crush for our first dance. The band did DMB justice and were just so fun throughout the whole night!

More details to come in future posts but for now, click play on this video and join us in reliving the greatest day of my life! https://vimeo.com/248187006

 

Wedding Guest Dresses for Summer
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Wedding season has officially kicked off. I'm going to my first wedding of the season this upcoming weekend! I rounded up all of my favorite dresses here in case you also have summer weddings or events. All of these dresses are under $300, most of them are much less than $300. I broke it down into two categories, long dresses and cocktail length dresses. As always, hover over an image to see the price and click on the image to shop it. 

Long Dresses

Cocktail Length Dresses

Bridal Shower Dresses
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I went to my friend's bridal shower on Saturday and it got me thinking about great dresses for bridal showers. I'm thinking that the weather will get warmer some time soon (it has to, right?!) so I pulled together some perfect dresses for Spring and Summer showers! These are also great for any Spring or Summer party or dinner of course. I love wearing something girly for a shower though. The dress that I'm wearing in these photos runs true to size but I would size up one size if you have big boobs are are tall. I wear a 34C or 36B bra and am 5'4" and got a size 2 for reference. It's only $29, which is crazy! 

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Partnership Through Hardship
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I know that Jay and I have only been together for 7.5 years and married for only half a year but its fair to say that we've faced our fair share of hardship throughout the course of our relationship. So many people have said things to me about how my accident (and the events, surgeries, pain...that followed) was a kind of "sink or swim" test for Jay and my relationship and how we are such a strong couple to have made it through. I wholeheartedly agree and have said on many occasions that Jay vowed "in sickness and in health" to me long before we stood at the alter. I think that we can get through anything because we built a solid foundation of support for one another.

The thing is though, I wasn't ever nervous about not making it through. I remember being upset about entering a "long distance" relationship that would involve him having to visit me at the hospital bed in my parent's living room on the weekends if he wanted to see me. I remember being upset about having to "burden" him with my issues, especially since we were only 22 years old. I remember thinking that it was unfair that a part of our youth and the freedom of our 20s were being stolen from both of us. Hardest of all (and this still holds true), I had to see the pain in the person that I love most in this world's eyes as he watched me in pain.

There wasn't a second where I didn't think that Jay wasn't going to be completely there for me.  We still face hardship as a result of that accident daily. Jay makes sacrifices every day in the name of partnership. He has to base aspects of his schedule around my pain, he picks up slack for chores that I can't do without hurting myself, he leaves parties early or doesn't even attend to stay with me. What's worse than all of that though is the fact that he has to carry the emotional "burden" of my medical situation right along with me. It's a rollercoaster of a ride but I am so grateful that he is strapped right in next to me for it. That being said, I am there for him fully through all of his hard times as well.

Hardship comes when we least expect it sometimes. It can be found in purely crappy times (like the ones mentioned above!), in times of transition (like not sleeping enough hours with a newborn!), or in day to day life (like being upset about something that happened at work!). The reality is that hardship will always be down the road and that's just something that we can't control. What we can control is our reaction to it and the partner that we chose to go down that road with. Here is my "advice" for successfully navigating partnership through hardship. Please note that each relationship is unique, there is no right way to do things and I am only sharing what has worked for me and my relationship. These are all things that I practice regularly but that I have to work at. 

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Choose Wisely

Is Jay an amazing person? YES! He is such a great guy with an incredible heart. He loves his people largely, cares about the world and all that jazz. Is he a walking saint? No. Jay is a great guy and there are tons of other great people out there in the world too. The reason that I chose wisely with Jay is because he is the greatest version of himself with me and I am the greatest version of myself with him. That's not to say that he doesn't take out his crankiness after a long day of work on me from time to time and that I don't give him the short end of the stick by "keeping it together" all day and then crying in pain to him at night. Instead, it means that we want to be the best for one another with everything we've got in us because we are each other's "person." Jay wasn't exactly a true gentleman with all other girls that he was with in the past. In fact, I was the first girl he ever brought home...his first girlfriend ever! It's not because there was a lack of girls in his life (yikes haha), its because none of them were the one for him. I didn't pick the "nicest" boy in the room. I picked the boy that was definitely the nicest to me but more so that I wanted to be the nicest to. 

This is really going there but its a concrete example that I can think of that will illustrate what I mean better....choose someone who only is pleasured in bed when you are pleasured. Find someone who can't get "into it" unless YOU'RE "into it." That is just an example but the point is to find someone who you are undoubtedly connected to. The person that experiences your happiness truly like it's their own (and visa versa) and contrarily feels your sadness right along with you (and you with theirs). That person will weather any storm with you because your storm is their storm. Your victory is their victory. End of story. 

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Step In and Out When Your Partner Needs To Step Out and Down

You know when you're already running on empty and then your partner also starts nearing an empty tank? Those times are my least favorite. You're already scraping the bottom of the barrel with all you've got to get by and that's so much easier to do when you can lean on someone whose getting by okay. There have been so many times when I am recovering from a surgery and Jay is in the middle of a big project at work and working crazy hours and so stressed out. Those are the times when you have to really dig deep and find something that you can offer. Even if it's as small as taking care of dinner by ordering delivery or sending sweet, encouraging text messages...do it. 

Just because YOU are going through something, doesn't mean that your partner isn't and that he/she doesn't need you. Find a way (even a small way) to be intimate, even when you don't have the time or energy. There have been MANY times where I was forced into abstinence after surgery but that doesn't mean that we didn't make out like 14 year olds at a movie theatre because you can't just deviate fully from intimacy. Additionally, create opportunities to have moments that aren't totally crappy together, even if it's just binge watching a show on the couch.

The other part of this is that your struggle IS your partner's struggle. I try to remind myself of this frequently. I can explicitly remember days where I left the doctor's office where I found out that I was going to need another surgery and go into a little grieving period. I tend to get crushed and just let myself feel the weight of it for a beat before pulling myself up by the boot straps and forging forward full force. I have sat in a chair looking at Jay, gasping between my sobs, as I express all of my fears, sadness...and seeing him just staring back at me. It's like I dumbly thought that he could just go directly into comforting mode before taking his OWN beat to grieve. I've never been mad or upset about it...I've only just been thrown off for a second in the heat of all of it all. When you are experiencing a high volume of your own emotions, it's hard to even have a chance to think about your partner's emotional experience. Now that I've done it enough times, I know to now ask how he's feeling, what he's thinking, and how he's coping with it all (although admittedly still probably not as much as I should).

One of the great perks of having a partner is picking up one other's "slack" and taking care of each other when you're needed but that becomes SO challenging when you need to be taken care of too. Where there's a will there's a way though. Trust me...you can do it.

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Don't Assume You Get Unlimited Passes

When you are the one going through a hard time, its important to be conscious of how you act towards your partner. If you're over tired, you can't just bi*** and moan to your partner and take your bad mood out on them. If you're over worked, you can't just assume that your partner will pick up your share of household chores. Yes, you get a pass to be a little cranky once in a while. Yes, you get to ask your partner to pick up slack for parenting responsibilities or household chores when you're strapped on time and energy. Don't assume you get unlimited passes though. Find a way to get your mood in line on your own (meditate...). Find a way to not deviate SO far from your "norm" as a couple for SO long or it's hard to find your way back to regularly scheduled programming in your house. 

This is definitely a strength of mine and a hard thing for Jay but it's something that he is always working on and making lots of progress at. I can be in the worst of pain, didn't sleep (from said pain), am upset (about said pain) and will still find a way to be pleasant towards Jay/anyone. I have to dig DEEP inside of me to not be a raging b-word but I make it happen because I am SO COMMITTED to MAKING it happen. That doesn’t mean that I’m necessily chipper.. it just means that I try not to play hot potato and throw all of the negative things I’m feeling inside onto him. That's not to say that I never lose my patience but I do my best to not take my sh** out on Jay. After all, he is my number one advocate. Remember that your partner is on your team and KEEP reminding yourself that when you are struggling. You are on the same side of the battle and fighting the same war at the end of the day. 

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Ask For What You Need

One of the things that I've really pushed for is a safe space to express what we need, when we need it and for it to be okay. For example, if Jay gets home from a long day at work and is shot, it's totally okay for him to say "Hi babe...I'm fried. Wanna tell me about your day and then just watch a show together? I'm not up for talking much." It's not about me, him not wanting to talk to me, ect. I would MUCH rather us turn on a show and lay in peace than him NOT express this to me and take out his long day on me by being cranky and argumentative. 

Jay and I tease each other a lot and have a great time doing it (I know its not for everyone but we're sarcastic people who like to laugh and can take a joke). You know when you're just feeling raw though? Sometimes I feel like I'm just trying to keep my head above water and not drown. I feel needier than normal and more sensitive than normal during those times. I'll say, “I feel raw. Can you be really gentle with me today? I'm not up for being teased." I also usually say something like “I'm looking to be treated exclusively like your lover and not like your sister who you tease” because I'm a sick f-word who likes to tease him even when I don't want to be teased haha!

The reason that I included examples of what we say is because it's important during these times to not point fingers. Don't say, "you usually are so mean to me and I just want you to be nice." Also, I think it's important to stay ahead of it. Recognize what you are feeling and express that right away. Preventing the mood in the room from going south is a lot easier and more enjoyable than trying to fix something. It also makes the most sense for you and what you're going through. If you had a long day at work, do you really want to come home and fight with your husband and then have to put the pieces back together and apologize? That sounds like it is only going to take your exhaustion to the next level! 

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Just Stick With It

Just be there. Most of us just want to feel seen and heard when we're going through a hard time. You don't have to "fix" everything, you just have to be there. When your partner expresses his/her feelings, you usually don't even have to say much back. We all just crave validation for those feelings and want someone to say "that sucks. I'm here." Learn quickly how to put your partner first and your partner will put you first in return. When the going gets tough lean in. If you take two blocks that are standing upright and lean them in towards each other, they will stand up and support each other in a little triangle form. If you lean out, you both crash. Just stick with it. True partnership is the bees freaking knees. I promise it's worth it. 

Creating a Wedding Website

I knew that I wanted our wedding to feel very customized and personal. I wanted our guests to look at whatever we put out and think that it screamed us. I thought that it would be a good idea to create a custom wedding website as a part of that mission. It definitely took a lot more time and effort, but I was happy with the end product. I also think that services, such as The Knot, make it easy for engaged couples to put personalized information onto a pretty website in a much easier and quicker fashion. I think that having a website for your wedding is both practical and fun. I bet you that a lot more of our friends went to our wedding website over for the information instead of pulling out our invitation when the weekend got closer. Unfortunately, I will have to shut down our site soon because it costs money to keep it running so I wanted you guys to get the chance to look at it before that happens. Our wedding domaine is www.JayandCarly.com

I used Square Space, which is the same platform that I ended up publishing this blog to (afterwards). They have clean palettes and helpful customer service who chat with you online. I chatted with them many times in the launch of both of these sites and learned a lot from the tutorial videos that they would send me in the process. 

There are a few crucial components of a wedding website. I love wedding websites that include these 

1. Your "Story": This is a good time to include some personal information about the two of you. Include part of the tale of your love. What brought you to the moment of creating this site? There are a lot of logistics and dry facts included on wedding websites so its nice to have a page that is more personal. 

2. When & Where: You need to include the logistics for the wedding weekend. Where will the wedding be held? Will you be providing any transportation? Are there room blocks at any hotels? What is date and time for the wedding? Are there any other wedding events that guests are invited to that weekend? This is also a good space to include recommendations for any local restaurants or sites that you think out of town guests may find useful. 

3. Registry: It's a good idea to include links to all of your registries on your wedding website. My mom & bridesmaids put the link for our wedding website on my bridal shower invitation, which was awesome because all of the registries were in one place. It's also the only place that you can really include a honeymoon registry, which we had. 

4. Bridal Party: While this page isn't crucial, I think that it's fun. I also think that it provides a nice space for your bridesmaids and groomsmen to get a little bit of recognition that they deserve. They put in time and money to be a part of your bridal party so its fun to showcase their pretty faces. 

Our Wedding Website URL

http://www.jayandcarly.com/

Bora Bora Boat Tour & Video
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Some of my bridesmaids got us the AWESOME gift of a photography session. We used this on our boat tour in Bora Bora. I'm so glad that we have pictures from this extremely memorable day. The downside of doing photos on a boat is that your hair is never going to look good! The upside is that we got to just soak in the beauty around us without worrying about capturing it on camera. The best part of all was that we got photos of our snorkeling experience without having to worry about taking them ourselves. We were already focusing on breathing, moving, not hitting coral, and most importantly LIVING IN THE MOMENT, so it was awesome that we had someone else capturing it. 

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We had issues going on our boat tour because it kept raining right when we were supposed to leave. Bora Bora obviously has a tropical climate so it would pour for a little while but it would usually end after a half hour or hour. This happened almost every day. The water was typically really flat so I wasn't too too worried about my back on the boat, especially since it was a private tour so we could go at a slow speed if I asked them to. However, the weather was making the water choppier than usual. Out of fear of it really hurting my back, we rescheduled the ride. It ended up being fine when we went and on the way to the coral reef, it wasn't bad on my back. However, on the way back, we must have been going straight on into any choppiness and it wrecked my back.

I told the guy that I was done taking photos and that I just had to lay flat and that Jay could take on the job solo. He was cracking up and the whole scene was hilarious. Watching Jay modeling in the water, flexing his muscles, and being shot by a photographer looked like one of the "behind the scenes" videos from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

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It was incredible to see all of the different parts of the motu and the main island. I loved getting to see Mount Otemanu from different angles. The different perspectives were so cool! It was also so crazy to see how frequently the color of the water changed depending on where we were and how deep the water was. The boat tour alone was my favorite "thing" that we did and that was before the snorkeling...

So I have a fear of many sea animals. I don't feel "one" with them, even though I REALLY want to. I was especially afraid of the eels that live in the coral. A few locals told us that you can't make them angry or they will "get you." I asked our tour guide in Moorea if I should be afraid of them if I am not going to purposely annoy them and he responded with, "well I am not afraid because I was raised here and I learned how to protect myself from them my whole life." Thanks dude! Needless to say, I was wary about snorkeling in a freaking coral reef. I bit the bullet and did it anyways because I knew that it was a once in a lifetime experience in one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world. 

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I jumped in the water with my heart pounding in my chest and my Darth Vader mask on my face. I peaked down into the water and saw swarmmmmsssss of fish. I grabbed onto Jay's arm and he guided me the whole time. I don't even know if I actually swam at all of if he just pulled me along with him because I don't think that I could actually focus on moving my body! I felt better when I was close to him, hence my tight grip on his arm in the photos haha. 

I am extremely proud of myself because I was able to redirect my brain away from the fear and into enjoyment. That's a wide bridge to cross in such a short period of time. I felt on the verge of a panic attack when we got in the water, my body was freaking out. I felt like every time I looked at how close so many fish were to me (they were touching me at various points), I felt flipped out. Once I would stare far away and take in the entire scene, I was able to appreciate the beauty. Like really appreciate it.

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It truly felt like I was in some crazy Imax 3D ride except it was real life. I couldn't get over that. I kept just thinking to myself, "this is REAL." I saw the most beautiful, bright colored fish. We saw the most INSANE oysters that were literally glowing in electric colors and opening and closing. I seriously felt like I was hallucinating because it was the trippiest thing I've ever seen. We got SO close to the coral and got to see just how vast and intricate it is. I ended up being blown away by the entire experience. It was one of the coolest and most surreal things that I've ever done in my life. I will never forget a second of it. It felt like an out of body experience in a whole world that I didn't even knew existed (to that extreme). Jay has been scuba diving at one of the biggest reefs and he said that we saw WAY more fish and way cooler fish snorkeling here. Seriously, I am obsessed with the entire experience and I can't believe that I didn't want to do it. I feel like a snorkeling junky (is that even a thing since its pretty low on the adrenaline scale haha?!). 

It was the perfect finale to a perfect trip. Being on the other side of the world made me think about how large this world is and how different it all is. The beauty of it is enormous. Seeing the "whole new world" under the water made me feel like I bursted into a new land of discovery. If I did that without Jay, all I would have been thinking about was how I wished he was there. It feels so much more profound and enjoyable to be able to see a new sliver of this Earth and live a 'once in a lifetime' experience when it is alongside my HUSBAND. 

Cozy Curator Honeymoon Video

I created this video of our honeymoon and it is now one of my most precious "possessions." It serves as this instant time machine to the greatest moments of my life. I included the link for the video below and I hope that you guys like it! 

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Excerpt From Our Wedding Ceremony
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On my husband's 28th birthday, I to share an 'excerpt' from our wedding ceremony in which our officiant (my beautiful sister in law) read a paraphrased version of what Jay and I each shared with her about the things that we love about each other and our partnership. We never saw/heard what each other said until the ceremony and so I think Jay's last line here is hilarious.

From Carly, on her groom...
I love how thoughtful he is. He really takes his time to think things through, especially when it invokes someone that he cares about. 

I love how funny he is. I am guaranteed to laugh every single day that I am with him. 

I love his eyes. They're like the most beautiful blue ocean that I could get lost in. More so than that, they really SEE me.

I love how affectionate he is.

I love how he is so committed to bettering himself in every realm of his life. He doesn't just want it though, he actively goes out and works on things. 

He is so freaking smart. 

I love how he is the definition of a true partner. He will jump up to take the heavy load off my shoulders and then all of the problems in this crazy world instantly feel lighter to carry around.

I love how chill he is. 

I love how he embraced my family and friends as if they are his own. 

I love his sense of self.

I love the fact that I KNOW that he is going to be the most incredible father. 

I love how he's such an incredible listener. No one has ever listened more intently to what I have to say. I can feel him hanging on my every word and processing everything that I say and it's the most validating feeling on the planet. Just to KNOW that someone cares that much about how I feel and what I say makes whatever I'm talking about feel better.

From Jay, on his bride...

She’s my dream girl. She is a Jill-of-all-trades. She is well rounded in so many ways. She will be the ultimate wife and most loving and nurturing mother. She knows how to make a house a home.

She is incredibly smart and can do anything she sets her mind to.

She is the most emotionally intelligent person that I have ever met. She has taught me so much about empathy, differentiating my emotions, and properly channeling them to not only achieve my individual goals but more importantly our goals as a team.

I love her optimism and positivity despite all of the hardships that she has endured.

I love her beautiful smile.

I love when she laughs even more. Her giggle is my favorite sound in the world and it makes me smile every time I hear it.

I love her curiosity about life and the people in it. She seeks to truly understand others.

She is generous and selfless. She is thoughtful and thinks about how to make others happy. She will consistently put the needs of others before her own.

She is genuinely kind to the bottom of her heart.

I still get butterflies when I see her name pop up on my phone. I love talking to her.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world. I love her skin and her perfect body. Her skin is electric yet comforting.

I love how she smells.

I love how she loves love. I love how she loves me. 

I love her passion and enthusiasm.

I love all of her quirks. Like how she has to eat her cupcakes with the wooden forks.

She is the best communicator.

She is hilarious.

She is confident in who she is as a person and the beliefs that guide her.

In my pursuit of her, I once said that one of the things that I liked most about her was how strong she is as a person. She has proven that over and over again, more than any person should ever have to. It’s one of the reasons that I know I will be able to lean on her for the rest of my life.

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From Carly, on their relationship...
I love how I can know what he's thinking and how funny it is when I call him out on it. I read him like my favorite book.

I love how we have the same idea of fun and have so much of it. We don't have to negotiate what we do together because we both enjoy the same things. We can also be doing nothing together and have the best time.

I love how have complete and utter trust in one other. It makes our home a peaceful place to live.

My heart circles him. Somehow whatever I do or think comes right back to him and my love for him. He's the center of my universe.

I love how we share the same morals, values and goals for our future.

We both are dedicated to living with intention and fighting for a happy marriage.

I love how easily I get lost in him...the kind of lost that feels like being found. He's an escape from reality and yet a part of my every day truth.

From Jay, on their relationship... 

I love that we know the other person just as well, if not better, than ourselves. We can read how each other is feeling or what the other is thinking without saying a word.

I love our connection and need to be with each other as much as physically possible. I wish I could share every experience with her. 

I love how we have the same, slightly inappropriate, immature and sarcastic sense of humor and make each other laugh constantly.

I love how we elevate each other. We teach each other new things. We build each other up, support each other, and help the other person with new ideas and advice.

I love how we balance each other out. She brings me a sense of urgency while I relax her anxieties.

We fully and completely trust each other.

We share the same goals and visions of our futures and work towards them as a team.

We both value our families and we both want to grow a family of our own.

I love how we probably said very similar things.

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The White Box
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I found The White Box on Instagram and was intrigued by their business. I ended up getting the opportunity to speak with the founders of the company on multiple occasions. I loved learning about their business model and dreams. Basically, The White Box is a wedding planning service for people who either can't afford a full time wedding planner or don't want one. They work remotely with you on your wedding. They help you lock down a 'wedding brand', point you in the direction of next steps, connect you with vendors, and generally help guide you along the wedding planning journey. Unfortunately, I discovered this service after I already did the majority of my planning. Still, they helped me get the linens that I ordered at a discount because of their connection with La Tavola. They have connections with lots of companies to help brides and grooms get the best rates! They also sent me this pretty mock up box to demonstrate to you guys what it would be like if you worked with them from the start! The owners are SO sweet and are definitely a pleasure to work with. If you're interested, head over to their website and take a look! 

https://thewhitebox.co/ 

WeddingCarly EllentuckComment
Honeymoon Part 2- Bora Bora
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We said goodbye to Moorea and hopped on a plane to Bora Bora. The plane landed and we went to get off of it. While collecting our carryons we heard "next stop Bora Bora" over the speaker. Apparently planes there work like our trains here! Once we landed in Bora Bora, we had a boat waiting to take us to the hotel. I think that its a v-nice touch that the hotel sends private boats to pick up each of their guests. +10000 points and we hadn't even gotten to the hotel! The fresh flower leis didn't hurt the arrival points either!

I have the mental reel of us pulling up to the hotel engrained in my mind for forever. The iconic huts jut out into the water, the insane mountain was showing off, and the water was the most crystal clear and blue water I have ever seen BY FAR. It sh** on Moorea's water, which was the clearest I had seen. Prior to the trip, I was worried that photos would overhype the destination. There are so many filters and ways to boost color when editing pictures. We purposely didn't look at any photos of our destinations and did not follow the hotels on Instagram in order to not become 'immume' to the beauty before arriving. Even if we had, the photos would not have done it justice AT ALL. The same can be said for my photos. It was just so much more spectacular in person and that water was just so much more vibrant. 

We were greeted on the dock of our hotel, the St. Regis, by a butler who handed us drinks and walked us into the lobby. He then gave us a tour of the property via golf cart. We were SO pleasantly surprised by the property. We expected to be obsessed with our room and to not want to leave it. We didn't expect to be so in love with the resort property in general. It was freaking unbelievable! It was like a whole other world, tucked away right on this Motu (little island inside the barrier reef). The property was huge and was 98 percent nature and 2 percent buildings. There was so much to explore and so much beauty to soak in everywhere that we turned. 

Our last stop on the tour was our villa and it was everything that I hoped that it would be. It was the size of our apartment and was truly what honeymoon fantasies are made of. I wish that I could live there permanently. I'd have to swap out some of the bright colors if I did for some white decor but it was cool to have Tahitian decor for our vacation.

The coolest thing inside was our shower. The bathroom had sliding mirrors at the vanity that could be opened up so that it was an open flow between the rooms. I loved how you could shut the mirrors because it gave the option for privacy. Most of the time we kept them open though because you could look straight out and see the blue water off of our deck! The shower didn't have any doors and was just an open rain shower. That means that we got to stare at the insane view outside while in our shower...WIN! 

The best part about our villa was obviously the outdoor space. It was SICK to have this place that we could be alone and experience paradise together. We had two cushioned lounge chairs (cushions are the first thing that I check for in pictures of hotels now sadly haha but they are game changers for even ‘normies’). We also had a table and chairs, which was perfect for ordering room service. We looked out at the amazing water and it was insanely peaceful. It was a little less private than we expected it to be. There are walls on either side of the area with the lounge chairs, so your neighbors can’t see you from their villas. However, everyone on jet skis, canoes…can see you from the water. There were a few times when boats would just stop in front of the villa and the guys would look over at us. I think that they are maybe looking for celebrities and hoping to get the Bieber d*** pics part 2. This only happened a couple of times and besides that, it was really secluded feeling.

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The first morning I woke up to find my cute husband reading out on the deck for sunrise. Generally speaking, I thought that the sunrises and sunsets were a little anticlimactic considering we were in this beautiful tropical place. It was definitely beautiful to see but the sky wasn’t putting on a crazy show. I think that it has something to do with how the atmosphere is different there (same reason as to why the clouds are so low). Suddenly I’m a hard core scientist who knows things?! I know nothing haha.

Breakfast was included with our room and it was a legit buffet spread. One of my favorite parts of vacation is the breakfast buffet so I obviously went IN on it. I attribute most of my vacation weight to the endless croissants that I ate. They also let you order things off of the menu, which is perfect for someone who values freshness and hot food to an extreme like I do.

The hotel provides complimentary bikes that are part of a shared program, like in Amsterdam. You can grab any bike that you see, as long as someone did leave their belongings in the basket and mark it as theirs. I haven’t really gone on bikes since my accident and was scared but it was good for the flat surfaces. I held onto one of the bikes for the duration of our stay because it was the lightest and easiest to maneuver. The bikes were perfect for exploring the large property. You can also call a golf cart at any time, but I quickly learned that I could be in increased pain if I got a bad golf cart driver so we walked everywhere and sometimes rode bikes.

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We explored all of the little canals and different areas of the lagoonarium. We got our bearings for where everything was and oohed and aahed over everything. There is something to be said for wandering around aimlessly in a new place with your partner. My favorite memories from when Jay and I studied abroad were from the times when we would just walk around for hours discovering new things. We got lost CONSTANTLY, but it was okay because we just discovered new alleys and canals in Venice, for example. Well, our first day in Bora Bora was a lot like that. I feel mega grateful that I got to wander around a new place with this guy as my husband.

You guys, the people there literally SING their greetings. Everyone is just so happy there because how can you not be?! The staff was all so friendly and helpful. They learned our names, which was SO impressive! 

The marine biologist at the hotel does an educational fish feeding and shark feeding twice a week. We went to the fish feeding at the lagoonarium and were shocked to see how many fish there were. There is a net with holes in it where the private property begins. The fish can swim in and out at their leisure. One fish (this crazy blue one) is the only one that can’t leave because he is too big. He came when he was only a baby but never swam out when he was small enough. Clearly they like the lush life at the St. Regis and the endless supply of food…I’m with him!

Jay made fun of me a lot for being an “8 year old in school” at the shark feeding. He does a pretty good imitation of me saying, “do fish sleep?” FYI the answer is that some do and some don’t…this lemon shark never stops moving because he has to move to get oxygen but he sometimes swims slower to rest and the lagoon shark sleeps on the bottom of the ocean. I learned a lot…as in we stayed after the session for a solid 20 minutes chatting with the sweet marine biologist about everything. I feel bad for the sharks there because they were originally trapped by other fisherman by accident and brought to the hotel. They are treated really well and they do their best to not interfere with their natural way of life. I wish they could be free and treated well, but it seems like there are a lot of problems with Tahitian tourist culture with how they use sharks as entertainment and let people swim with them (sharks are supposed to be afraid of humans but they are being positively reinforced to want to be near them since they are getting fed by the humans).

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We spent the afternoon at our villa and then went to this ‘secret spot’ on the beach where the staff lives, to watch the sun set. We literally chased down the sun across the property and got to watch it pop through the trees and disappear below the horizon. It was a magical collection of moments that I will never, ever forget.

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My friend, Michelle, gifted us tickets to the Polynesian Show for my bridal shower. We had Tahitian food and then the show began. I know that they do this stuff for tourists but it was so cool to see and experience. I pretty much want one of the grass skirt things that make twerking look cool.

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Our travel agent was able to get us a free couples massage at the spa since we were on our honeymoon. The hotel makes you send a copy of your marriage license to them in order for you to get the benefits, which is crazy! It makes sense though since SO many people there were on anniversary trips (more than honeymooning maybe). After breakfast we posted up at the beach in front of the spa. It was my favorite spot at the resort because it had SUCH a cool view of the mountain and it was always super secluded. You can go to the spa beach and use the spa facilities at any time during your stay at the hotel, which is cool. We snorkeled in the lagoonarium and I sucked at it. I was being stalked by a school of fish and basically spent my time swimming away from them like a baby. Jay kept getting water in his snorkel from laughing so hard at me.

The massage was awesome! They give us disposable thong underwear (yes, US), that you can wear during the massage. I thought that it was weird that they were thongs but it made sense after we saw how intensely they massage your glutes. Let’s just say that Jay was a fan (roll eye face).

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That night, we took a boat to the main land and went to Villa Mahana, which our travel agent, Lauren, told us is a must. The boat left from the main dock of the hotel with other people who were going to dinner on the main land. The boat part was the easy part in comparison to the car ride on the windy roads once we got there. Jay and I tried asking the driver to take it easier because of my back injury but he didn’t speak any English and our poor signaling didn’t work. It was a damper on the night but I put on a good face like a champ as best as I could because it was such a romantic place. We sat out in this back garden that felt like we were in Tuscany with lots of candles. It is a tasting menu so Jay got a variety of carnivore dishes and they had a vegetarian friendly tasting menu for me (this is rare and usually pushes us away from places with fixed menus so it was awesome). Jay also did the wine pairing, which was cool. Half way through our meal it suddenly started to POUR. The restaurant didn’t have any tables inside so while the guests ran inside, the staff lifted all of the tables and brought them inside the tiny indoor space. I felt so bad for them as they hustled hard. By the time they brought everything in, the filets were floating in water and the linens were soaked. They changed out everything from the tables as we all laughed about it. There is only one boat that leaves the resort each night and one boat that comes back to the resort so they had to rush to serve us the rest of our food in time. We finished our meals inside and they kindly comped everyone’s bills for the inconvenience.

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My friend, Lubin, got us a yoga class for my bridal shower. It was awesome to do yoga right on the lagoon. We saw fish swim right in front of us and we heard birds chirping. Who needs a yoga playlist when you have real life nature? Instead of closing my eyes each time that the teacher instructed us to, I looked up at the palm trees swaying in the breeze. It was such a cool experience that I will never forget. It was also the only exercise that we did the ENTIRE trip...whoops! Annddd I did it supppperr modified. There wasn't any time to waste working out so I don't have any regrets, as soft as it made me. 

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The other nights we went to dinner at the resort. People say that a downfall of going to Bora Bora is that you can’t leave the resort easily to go out at night and that it’s pretty quiet and dead at the resorts. I personally thought that it was an upside because we love the simplicity of walking to dinner. One of the reasons that we don’t want to move out of a city is because we love just strolling to dinner. We didn’t mind that it was quiet at night because we are used to not staying out late with my injuries. We also liked getting to bed early because it meant that we woke up early without being tired. It’s Bora Bora’s winter during our summer so the sun is out for less hours. We wanted to make sure that we enjoyed every second that the sun was up. We prioritized the daytime and loved it.

One night we got back from dinner and I went to take off my makeup and walked into our living room to see Jay like this. He was staring at the fish through our floor for an hour! And he called me the 8 year old about the fish…

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My one complaint about the trip was that it was WAY too short. We spent 6 nights in Bora Bora, but we traveled during two of the days, which sucked up our time but also hurt my back for the day. So, we had four full days there, which was not even close to enough. The reality is that we would never have enough time there and would always have been sad to leave. I don’t think that I could get sick of that lifestyle with Jay, I’d only get sick of the bill.

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One night we decided to just order room service to our deck. It was SUCH a great decision because we got to stay out in our bathing suits for longer and not rush to get ready for a dinner reservation. We rushed every single day getting ready for dinner because we just didn’t want to leave our deck to get in the shower! On the night that we stayed in, Jay put on his robe after he showered and I was like “DOWN!” I laid fresh towels on our lounge chairs and we laid down staring at the stars and listening to music. We ordered dinner and they set it up so nicely for us, with a candle and flower arrangement.

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We both agreed that while Moorea was awesome, it felt a lot like a really legit vacation that we were taking right after getting married. It was fun to talk about the wedding and just bask in that newlywed feeling. We were majorly in love in paradise, so it was obviously awesome. However, it didn’t feel SO much different than the trip where we got engaged (dare I say that the trip that we got engaged during actually felt more different than any other awesome vacation that we could take together). This changed when we got to Bora Bora and I don’t know exactly why. It just felt more special and different. I think that most of it was because it was iconic and it was this dream that we both shared for as long as ‘we’ were even a thing. I also think that the awesome luxury lifestyle didn’t hurt. The level of service was insane and we got to just sit back and chilllllllll. I think that the secluded feel of the villa deck with the amazing view was also to thank.

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I truly have to say that the best part of all was getting so much time alone with Jay. We both thrive with alone time and all of that individual attention. We were in full obsession mode and just having the best time being along with each other. Other honeymooners at the hotel tried to be friends with us and we would chat briefly but we were then kind of rude and unfriendly (which is the opposite of my M.O. in life), because we just wanted to spend all of our time alone together. We smiled non-stop and just obsessively talked about how happy we were in each moment. We tried our best to soak it all in and continuously talked about how we were living out our dreams and we couldn’t believe it.

It was made tenfold more special by the fact that we were honeymooning. We straight up abused the words wife, husband, Mr. Robinson and Mrs. Robinson. We couldn’t get close enough to each other, even with all of the space that we had to ourselves. Basically, we were mega annoying so I won’t drone on about it. I have been struggling with how to not make the whole thing sound cliché when people ask how it is because it just WAS amazing and it WAS insanely romantic and it WAS a dream come true. So, there you have it. It felt so special and crazy to know that this man was now my husband. We spent way too much time staring at his wedding band. I think that he looks like such a MAN with it on and it’s alarmingly hot.

I have one more post coming with our boat tour and snorkeling pictures so stay tuned! 

 

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Our AWESOME travel agent, Lauren, can be reached at: Lauren@smartflyer.com