Wedding Book Giveaway! My Book “Weddings Away” for Your Destination Wedding, Girls’ Getaway and All Wedding Season Celebration Trips!

Time for a Wedding Freebie! I’m Giving Away 3 signed copies of my new book Weddings Away

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This one is JUST for U.S. locations; sorry, no international sends right now, but we’re working on other giveaways coming up!

All you have to do is post a comment here, even a smiley-face, then say hi on Twitter @sharonnaylorwed. No tagging friends needed. We’re making this easy as pie! Deadline is 9/15/18.

Here’s the Amazon write-up for my book

Now that you’ve said, “I do” to having a destination wedding, it’s time to make your fairy tale getaway celebration a reality!

Whether you’re planning an island wedding, overseas nuptials, or an intimate gathering in a beloved beach house or a charming village close to home, this invaluable guide from go-to wedding expert Sharon Naylor gives you all the information you need to make your magical day meaningful, memorable, and carefree—for you, and for your guests! You’ll discover:

*How to choose the right planner—and how to get the most out of your on-site wedding professionals

* Up-to-date wedding etiquette and planning tips from celebrity wedding planners and experts

* New ways to use social media accounts, blogs and apps for info-gathering and inspiration

* Invaluable advice for when it’s a destination wedding for out-of-town guests but not for the couple

*How to plan amazing and unforgettable destination wedding weekend outings and events

*Great ideas for getaway bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as arranging a romantic pre-wedding escape for you to reconnect with your beloved before the big day!

* Must-have tips and to-dos for your destination wedding scouting trips

From navigating travel trends and social media to benefitting from little-known freebies, this comprehensive guide to planning your wedding from afar is brimming with information you won’t easily find anywhere else. Weddings Away has everything you need to keep your happily-ever-after stress-free and smooth sailing!

Good luck!

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So Excited to Appear in Bridal Guide with my Budget Tips for Wedding Catering, Cakes and Drinks!

What a great start to this Monday! First, I received my first copies of my newest book, (which almost spent the night out in the rain after UPS left the box outside without ringing the bell! Whew!) And now, my article “Eat, Drink, Save” is featured in the January, February ’18 issue of Bridal Guide! Check it out, and find a whole pile of realistic, smart and budget-saving steps to get more from your wedding menu, cake and desserts and bar list!

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Brides, Start Your Jewelry Collection Now

Photo courtesy of Dune Jewelry

Photo courtesy of Dune Jewelry

Your wedding is the perfect time to start a jewelry collection that you’ll build upon all through your marriage. The time to start a new tradition is now, so that your collection extends from the start of your marriage and lasts for all time. Not married yet? Begin your jewelry collection during your engagement season — it’s your tradition to create as you’d like!

You might decide to stick with a particular brand, such as Alex and Ani, or go with a particular type of gemstone such as Aquamarine or Blue Topaz (in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets throughout the years!) Or, choose something highly customizable, such as jewelry bought during your honeymoon and lifetime travels. Dune Jewelry (above) lets you customize jewelry with actual sand from beaches all over the world [and if they don’t have your beloved beach in their sandbank, you can send in a small vial of sand you collected, to be incorporated into your chosen jewelry design. [I don’t work for Dune Jewelry — I own a bunch of their necklaces, personalized with our favorite beach sands!]

Happy collecting!

 

Our Stay at the Star Inn in Cape May

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I’ve been meaning to post about our recent stay at the charming Star Inn in Cape May, part of the Cape Resorts family of hotels and fabulous eateries. We’d walked past this hotel a number of times in the past, while staying in nearby Wildwood Crest and driving into Cape May every single night. This time, we checked in to our Carriage House room and immediately saw its potential as a Girlfriend Getaway suite with its roominess and upscale design. Not to mention its awesome kitchen and fully-stocked supplies in case you want to cook a great dinner while you’re there. Two spacious, airy bedrooms and a pull-out couch mean you can comfortably fit several friends during your fun group stay. (Ask for the upper floor suite — that view is excellent!)

It didn’t even occur to us to cook anything, since we were right across the street from Congress Hall’s fantastic restaurants. Upon suggestion by our friend Laura, we tried the stuffed French Toast at the Blue Pig Tavern’s breakfast, and it was sensational. Marscapone in the morning? Absolutely. And Joe loved his omelette so much, we went  back every morning.

I spent a lot of time out on our suite’s deck overlooking the ocean, spending some time in the cozy chairs and on the swing, and although I didn’t get to order mimosas to enjoy al fresco, it’s on my list for the TWO trips we have planned this spring and summer to stay at The Star Inn again and again.

The beds were comfy, the shower spa-like, the night quiet.

Not that we were looking into our neighbor’s windows, but we did see a pretty mint color in a corner room, so we may try that room on a future visit!

Here are some photos of The Star Inn’s rooms:

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Oh, and they have excellent coffee and fresh-baked pastries in the lobby! And fantastic drinks in the Brown Room in Congress Hall. And a sweet gift shop. I could go on and on forever about how much I love The Star Inn. It’s the only place, besides our honeymoon resort, that we would (and will!) go back to again and again!

Fab Find! From Cape May with Love at The Virginia Hotel

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The Virginia Hotel is offering two unique Valentine’s Packages this year, featuring the historic Cape May Diamonds. Found along the pristine beaches of the Delaware Bay, the Cape May Diamond is a pure quartz crystal that appears as a frosted pebble when first discovered on the beach.  Once tumbled and cut, the stone resembles that of a real diamond. These shiny treasures are found in different shapes and sizes all along Cape May’s popular Sunset Beach. Throughout the year, visitors and locals alike scan the beaches for their very own one-of-a-kind diamond to keep as a reminder of their time spent in Cape May.

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Cape May Diamonds have a history that predates the birth of the United States. In the 1750s, it is said that the last chief of the Kechemeche tribe, King Nummy, presented a large Cape May Diamond to Christopher Leaming, a local whaler. The Kechemeche believed that the “diamonds” contained supernatural powers, and used them to seal bonds of peace and friendship. 
Today, similar bonds are created as families and couples scour the shores of Cape May Point looking for the famed rocks.

To honor the search for “the one” – that special someone and the perfect diamond, Cape May’s Virginia Hotel is bringing these local jewels to you and your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with 3 special offerings. And for those who may not know, Cape May, NJ isn’t just a wonderful summer beach-town, it’s also a romantic winter getaway. With beautiful Victorian inns, a cozy beach-town feel, fresh salty air (even in the winter!), boutique shops, and delicious restaurants, Cape May is a special place to spend Valentine’s Day – especially at the luxe, critically-acclaimed Virginia Hotel and its fine dining restaurant, The Ebbitt Room.

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Your very own Cape May Diamond will be waiting for you when you book one of the following:

From Cape May With Love

Celebrate your next milestone or special occasion at The Virginia Hotel. Give a gift as unique as your love and as extraordinary as Cape May with a pair of beautiful Cape May Diamond Earrings. These precious gems are created from stones found right here in Cape May.

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Upon arrival, a silver tray adorned with chilled Champagne, chocolate truffles and a pair of Cape May Diamond earring will be delivered to your room.
  • $110 Voucher for Dinner for two in the Ebbitt Room*
  • Continental Breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Valet Parking
  • 1pm late checkout*Valentine’s Day dinner at The Ebbitt Room is offered as a Pre Fixe Dinner for Two. Please make your dinner reservations after booking your package by calling The Ebbitt Room at 609-884-5700.Rates starting at $345.00 per night Valentine’s weekend

Cape May Promise

  • Whether you fell in love on the way to Cape May years ago, or its your first visit to this beautiful place, you want to show that special person in your life how much they mean to you. This package promises to create memories that last as long as a Cape May Diamond. Enjoy the ultimate epicurean experience with a romantic meal in the relaxed and elegant setting of the Ebbitt Room. Your romantic getaway is waiting for you on Jackson Street.
  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Upon arrival, a silver tray adorned with chilled Champagne, chocolate truffles and a pair of Cape May Diamond ring will be delivered to your room.
  • $110 Dining and Cocktail Credit for Dinner for two the Ebbitt Room*
  • Continental Breakfast each morning
  • Complimentary Valet Parking*Valentine’s Day dinner at The Ebbitt Room is offered as a Pre Fixe Dinner for Two. Please make your dinner reservations after booking your package by calling The Ebbitt Room at 609-884-5700.Rates starting at $360.00 per night Valentine’s weekend

Diamonds and Dessert During the month of February, The Ebbitt Room will be featuring Diamonds and Dessert – a decadent dark chocolate mousse bar filled with milk chocolate and peanut butter praline made for two and topped with salted caramel sauce, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, and dark chocolate hearts. Each dessert is decorated with a one of a kind 2-carat Cape May diamond, polished and shined from the beaches of Cape May and set upon crushed graham crackers made to resemble the sandy search for the diamond.While the stones themselves have little monetary value, like real diamonds the memories and legends that are associated with Cape May Diamonds last forever in the sand of the city’s beaches.

About The Virginia Hotel

The Virginia, Cape May’s foremost luxury hotel, offers luxurious accommodations and personalized service in an immaculately restored 1879 landmark building, reopened by Curtis Bashaw of Cape Resorts Group in 1989.  Featuring 24 well-appointed guestrooms, intimate public spaces like the lobby bar and enclosed sun porches, and The Ebbitt Room – the hotel’s signature restaurant, The Virginia offers its adult-only guests a flawless integration of service and style with a timeless glamour.  The Ebbitt Room provides its discerning visitors with seasonal farm-to-table offerings from Beach Plum Farm, bringing the fresh food movement forward in Cape May. Acknowledged by Condé Nast Traveler in the 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards as a top hotel in the Northeast, in the 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards at #2 in their list of the Top 10 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic, and again in the 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards as one of the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S., as well as as in the magazine’s prestigious 2013 and 2014 Gold List, the hotel is nestled on Jackson Street in the heart of the famed historic district of Cape May, New Jersey, and is a mere half block from the town’s beautiful beaches.

The Virginia Hotel is located at 25 Jackson Street, Cape May, NJ 08204.

Readers are invited to learn more about The Virginia Hotel and Cape Resorts properties at www.caperesorts.com

News from Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas: Atlantis Celebrations

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Sharing some exciting news from Atlantis resort in the Bahamas! I’m looking forward to visiting that fun-looking resort someday, and love the trend of ‘milestone celebrations’ that this resort has built their newest package on!

Atlantis has announced the launch of Atlantis Celebrations, a personalized service for small groups to assist in planning the dream celebratory vacation,  including family reunions, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, or bachelorette parties, and more. Atlantis Celebrations is the resort’s response to a growing trend of “milestone travel” and “celebratory vacations,” small groups taking advantage of Atlantis’ unparalleled variety of accommodations, dining, and activities.

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Introducing: Atlantis Celebrations

Atlantis, Paradise Island’s Newest Team Dedicates Itself to Celebrating and Customizing Reunions, Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Every Milestone Moment in Between

PARADISE ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS – Atlantis, Paradise Island is pleased to announce Atlantis Celebrations, a passionate team dedicated to special gatherings and families looking for a customized, out-of-the-box vacation experience at a destination like no other. Whether celebrating a reunion, milestone birthday, special anniversary, graduation, or a simple getaway with your closest friends, Atlantis’ newest team offers an array of options to make special memories that will last a lifetime!

Atlantis Celebrations, a team comprised of creative and knowledgeable specialists, assist planners and non-planners alike on every detail and vision in order to create an entirely personalized experience.  The Atlantis Celebrations experts are there to do it all, no matter how big or small!

Whether a birthday blowout or unforgettable occasion, guests’ celebrations are guaranteed to receive a special touch. Family reunion? Atlantis’ Wild N’ Wacky Beach Olympics is a must-do for big get-togethers! Bar and Bat Mitzvahs? Atlantis adds the perfect Bahamian touch to the party with a Junkanoo Rush! Celebrating the big 5-0? The adrenaline-fueled “Amazing Atlantis Race,” an exclusive group scavenger hunt across the resort, provides friends and family with endless entertainment throughout their stay. Let Atlantis Celebrations’ enthusiastic experts coordinate the fun, creativity, and adventure your next getaway needs.

“There are few resorts in the world that provide the diversity that Atlantis has to offer, and we are excited for the opportunity to launch a key market under the Atlantis brand,” says Celebrations Manager Tiffany Farquharson. “Our team is truly passionate about bringing each and every one of our clients’ customized visions to life. No matter the size of the event, we are dedicated to assisting each group with their unique needs.”

Atlantis, currently celebrating its very own 20th anniversary, is no stranger to commemorating special life events. Every guest has distinctive needs and wishes, which the Atlantis Celebrations team recognizes and uses as inspiration to ensure each and every dream is fulfilled.

As Atlantis looks to the next 20 years, the resort’s enduring commitment to guests and the tourism community remains a priority; new offerings such as Atlantis Celebrations cater to guests’ desires to turn life’s special moments into something extraordinary. There is no limit for Atlantis Celebrations! For more information, please visit www.atlantiscelebrations.com or call (888) 343-5007.

About Atlantis, Paradise Island resort

Atlantis, Paradise Island is a unique, ocean-themed destination located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas, and features a variety of accommodations, all built around a 141-acre waterscape comprised of over millions of gallons of fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools and habitats.  Home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, there are over 50,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays, including The Dig, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis.  Atlantis is home to Aquaventure, a non-stop water experience consisting of thrilling water slides, a mile-long river ride with high intensity rapids and wave surges..  Dolphin Cay, the resort’s interaction and education center, was created with the goal of enlightening visitors about the wonders of these remarkable ocean inhabitants.

The Cove Atlantis, a 600-room resort, features oversized rooms with a step down living space, spectacular designs by acclaimed interior architects Jeffrey Beers and David Rockwell, unprecedented services and amenities, private all-adult and family pools, lavish cabanas and breathtaking views of the ocean.  Atlantis is also known as THE culinary destination in The Caribbean with a collection of restaurants from world-renowned chefs including Nobu Matsuhisa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Todd English.  The resort boasts an impressive collection of luxury boutiques and shops, casino, and the largest conference center, meeting and convention facilities in The Caribbean.

For further information about Atlantis, Paradise Island; call 954-809-2000 or visit AtlantisBahamas.com.  For reservations, call your travel agent or 800-ATLANTIS.

Fab Find! Velvet Cinn from Cruzan Rum!

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Wow, I can’t even believe how delicious the new Cruzan Rum Premium Rum Horchata is! You have to have this as part of your engagement party, engagement party, bridal shower, wedding reception, or any other party you’re planning. It’s rich, smooth, creamy, and that cinnamon is divine. Check out the cocktails recipes here in the official release, and I’m thinking this would be a great welcome drink for a fall or winter wedding.

CRUZAN® RUM LAUNCHES PREMIUM RUM HORCHATA

Pioneer of the Flavored Rum Category Shakes Up the Rum Cream Market with

 Cruzan® Velvet Cinn™

Deerfield, Ill. (August 1, 2013) – Cruzan® Rum unveils its latest innovation, Cruzan® Velvet Cinn™, to fill the need for a premium rum option in the rapidly growing rum horchata market. Now available nationally, Cruzan Velvet Cinn features fine Cruzan Rum with the addition of rich, sweet dairy cream and a smooth cinnamon flavor.

Cruzan Rum is made from tropical rainwater and high-­‐quality molasses and is distilled to be the cleanest-­‐tasting rum on the market. Crafted by Cruzan Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp, whose family has been making rum on the island of St. Croix for generations, Cruzan Velvet Cinn stands out among other horchatas.  In addition to containing Cruzan Rum, it combines the flavors of bakery cinnamon and rich dairy for a smooth and creamy combination reminiscent of cinnamon toast. Velvet Cinn also has a higher proof than others in the category.

“As rum horchatas gain in popularity and presence, Cruzan Rum saw the opportunity in the marketplace to develop a premium rum horchata option. Velvet Cinn makes an excellent addition to our exceptional portfolio and fills a need in the marketplace for a premium cream rum liqueur,” said Nabil Wanna, Senior Brand Manager of Rum at Beam Inc. “It fits right in with our expansion of flavors and provides rum horchata lovers with a high-­‐quality alternative.”

Horchata is a milky drink that originates from Mexico and is especially popular when mixed with rum. Cruzan Velvet Cinn takes the naturally sweet flavor a step further by adding a robust and lingering taste of cinnamon. Cruzan Velvet Cinn can be enjoyed on its own, mixed in a shot or in a cocktail. Jesse Card, Cruzan’s Master Mixologist, created the following recipes to introduce the new flavor:

Cruzan® Cinnful Cherry

3/4 parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum

1/2 parts Cruzan Black Cherry Rum

Method: Combine all over ice, stir, pour into shot glass.

Cruzan® Cinnful Martini

1 ½ parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum

1 parts Cruzan Aged Dark Rum

½ parts DeKuyper® Blood Orange Liqueur Float DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur Flamed Orange zest

Method: Combine Cruzan Velvet Cinn, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum & Blood Orange Liqueur in a tumbler over

ice & stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Float a small amount of DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur on top & finish with a flamed orange zest.

Cruzan Velvet Cinn is now available with a suggested retail price of $19.99 per 750ml bottle. It joins the Cruzan portfolio of rums that include of Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, Cruzan 151 Proof Rum, Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum and 13 other flavored rums infused with natural flavors, such as vanilla, coconut, key lime, passion fruit, mango and strawberry. For more information, please visit  www.CruzanRum.com,  www.YouTube.com/CruzanRum,  like us on Facebook.com/CruzanRum  or follow us on Twitter  @CruzanRum.

About Cruzan® Rum

Named for the people of St. Croix (Crucians), Cruzan® Rum is synonymous with the spirit of the island whose unpretentious and authentic lifestyle proves that life – like our rum – is more enjoyable when you embrace the “Don’t Hurry” and sit back, relax and take things one sip at a time. The Nelthropp family, who has called St. Croix home for eight generations and runs the distillery to this day, crafts each of its rums with natural ingredients and a five-­‐column distillation process. Cruzan® also touts one of the cleanest-­‐tasting rums in the industry – a characteristic derived from crafting a spirit with low levels of fusel oils, a by-­‐product of the distillation process which, if not removed, can taint the smell and taste of the rum.

Cruzan® Velvet Cinn™, Rum, Cream, Natural and Artificial Flavors, 15% Alc./Vol. ©2013 CRUZAN International,  Deerfield, IL USA All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.