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Vendor Guide
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Fly South this Winter to Abaco Beach Resort

When our car heaters are blasting, and we're mumbling at the traffic on I-64 because we just got our first regional snowflake, it's very easy for our minds to drift off to warmer and sunnier places. Because let's be real, turquoise waters and balmy 75-80 degrees sound a whole lot better than tackling the congested roads to work and getting home cranky to your significant other.

As someone who actually loves the winter (hello, Christmas bride here!), even I get a little cabin fever and look forward to not wearing twenty layers of clothing to stay warm. Back in August, I had the amazing privilege to head down to the Bahamas with Aisle Society to photograph a place called Abaco Beach Resort and get to know the perfect winter destination, a quiet hidden tropical gem in Marsh Harbour that will win your freezing minds and cold toes over the moment you touch the sand. (And psst, there’s a really, really great giveaway after I tell you all of my favorite things about this place! You won’t want to miss it!)

Unique Experiences

There aren't many places you can say "I swam with pigs." But literally, you can swim with the pigs in the Abacos. One of the activities you can book while staying at the Abaco Beach Resort takes you on a private boat to the Great Guana Cay to greet, feed, and swim with the island native swines. To say it was a highlight of my trip would be an understatement. It completely made my trip to be able to send those once-in-a-lifetime photos to my piggie-loving grandma! If nothing else, it totally makes for a great conversation starter when you get home!

Accommodating Dining

As I mention with every destination I visit, I have a boatload of food allergies and dietary restrictions. The list is borderline comical, and yet every time, I'm overwhelmed at the above and beyond effort taken to make sure I have yummy things to eat so I don't get sick or have adverse reactions. Abaco Beach Resort was no exception. I'm pretty sure my eyes turned to giant hearts with emoji sparkles when a plate of homemade gluten-free chocolate chip cookies came out to my table one night. With advanced notice, the dining options on premises, Angler's Restaurant can whip up amazingly delicious dishes for anyone with allergies and intolerances. And when you have gluten and seafood allergies and you go to the fishing go-to spot in all of the Bahamas, you know you’ve set out a real challenge for the Chef. So whether it’s you or your partner who struggles when traveling to more intimate resort communities, no worries here! You'll get your fix of Vitamin Sea and a dose of full tummy syndrome.

Gorgeous Views

No matter where you stay at the resort, you have an oceanview. And this was intentional in the design of the property to showcase just how special Abaco Beach Resort's location is. Tucked away on the east coast of Marsh Harbour, you have the luxury of complete privacy, iconic landscapes soothing to the wintry soul, and access to the surrounding islands for entertainment, adventure, and ultimate vacay vibes. If this doesn't get rid of your winter blues, I don't know what will!

Fly South to Abaco Beach Resort with Your Sweetie Giveaway

Win a 5 Nights' Beach Vacation for Two

From October 19th to November 18th, 2016, in partnership with Aisle Society, Abaco Beach Resort is giving away the same incredible experience I had to one lucky couple. It'll not just include accommodations, but airfare, food, activities, and one fab bottle of celebratory champagne upon your arrival, too! So whether you're a winter bird or beach bunny, it's time to get spoiled in the Abacos in 2017!

Head over to the contest giveaway form for more details and how to enter!

- Chelsea

Disclaimer: Abaco Beach Resort sponsored my stay in the Bahamas. All opinions are my own love for the resort and personal experience and are not endorsed by Abaco Beach Resort, Aisle Society, or their affiliates.

Photography: Aisle Society | Accommodations: Abaco Beach Resort

DIY Fall Bridal Shower Coffee Cozies with Keurig®

Fall is here! While we're all basking in the gloriousness that is red, orange, and yellow-dappled trees as we don our favorite boots and scarves, it's time to also think about the couples getting married in the most colorful and cozy season ever... and those bridal showers that accompany wedding planning! In partnership with our friends at Keurig Green Mountain®, we’re sharing our latest DIY tutorial for the cutest and easiest bridal shower favors you'll ever make: no-sew felt coffee cozies!

With dozens of K-Cup® pod flavors, you can set up a hot beverage station at your BFF's bridal shower with hot apple cider, rich coffee, and sweet hot cocoa, so no matter what the guests' preference is, they can brew a mug and slide on an adorable "Grounds for Celebration" cozy to save their hands as they toast the upcoming wedding day!

College Sweethearts and their William and Mary Engagement Session

True college sweethearts, Kayla and Mike knew they wanted their engagement session with Lieb Photographic on the grounds of their alma mater, College of William and Mary. With spots at the Wren Building, the iconic Crim Dell Bridge, and of course, their freshman dorm where they first met, it was a total "down memory lane" afternoon for the two lovebirds.
Mike and I dated for four and a half years before he proposed in September 2015. I think we both knew pretty early on into dating that we would be together forever. We were best friends right away. Some of my favorite memories of our relationship in college are the simple ones-- taking long walks around campus and Colonial Williamsburg, waking up early to catch breakfast together in the dining hall before classes, and our pizza-making dinner nights.

So when Mike agreed to go camping one weekend at the beach, I knew something might be happening but definitely didn't think he would propose that weekend! I am much more of a "camping person" than he is, and he was being a good sport about agreeing to go. In fact, I had even made a joke at him saying there was absolutely no chance he would propose that weekend since he wasn't a big fan of camping. Little did I know! In the morning, after breakfast at a local diner, we went on a hike up to a historic lighthouse. Mike was walking really fast on the hike, but I didn't think anything of it at the time. I thought he just wanted to be done with the hike. After we got to the lighthouse and wandered around for a bit, he asked someone to take a picture of us (unusual for him since I'm usually the picture taker out of the two of us!). That's when I put two and two together and realized what was happening! He proposed by the lighthouse, overlooking the water. It was very sweet, and he completely succeeded at surprising me!

Elegant Southern Newport News Wedding

We love gorgeous classic wedding gowns and cheerful smiles here at Tidewater and Tulle, so when this bride Cary Frances' Heidi Elnora dress that looks just as amazing from the back as the front dropped in our laps, we immediately swooned. Add to that a cathedral length veil, and we were hooked on Andrew and Cary Frances' special Newport News day! Envisioning Audrey Hepburn style and traditional Virginian elegance with a dark gray color palette highlighted by pops of greenery and silver, the James River Country Club provided the perfect backdrop for a riverside wedding for these two lovebirds.

Andrew and Cary Frances both have Auburn University in their blood as their alma mater and the place where their love story began, so these two knew they had to reflect their history in their wedding day. Since Cary Frances is from Hampton, Virginia and Andrew is from Mobile, Alabama, the bride honored her second home state by traveling to Birmingham to find her dream gown and making sure they had a fun orange and blue pom pom grand exit. Every detail exuded southern class and thoughtfulness, and it was captured beautifully by Lisa Blume Photography. From the sweet bouquet for the grandparents to a party that kept their guests dancing all night, everything was a nod to the graciousness of family and friends who traveled from near and far for their special day.

C is for Cookie Wedding Ideas

If there were a sixth love language or even another valid currency, we're pretty sure it would be cookies. From classic chocolate chip to trendy macarons, everyone can claim a favorite for their preferred little crunchy or chewy treat. To celebrate National Cookie Month, we have gathered up the tastiest cookie inspiration from around the web that you can use for your own wedding-related celebrations! Or if nothing else, it'll probably have you preheating the oven to bake your very own. Either way, today's bound to have a sweet ending!

Romantic At Home Engagement Session in Norfolk

Both being from New Jersey, Danielle and Jay met in the Garden State, but then relocated to Hampton Roads because of Jay's time in the military. They are planning a beautiful coastal Eastern Shore wedding but really wanted to document their time in Hampton Roads by having their engagement photos with Andrew and Tianna Photography in the first home they owned together. From dancing in their living room to cuddling with their sweet fur baby Lola to their perfectly shaded backyard, their engaged memories set a wonderful tone to their future together.

Family-Centered Country Club Wedding

Reggie and Kendra's special day at Meadowbrook Country Club was about more than just the two of them as they said I do. The images that Kam Goodrich Photography captured make it evident that this was a family-centered wedding from start to finish, as the bride hugged her daughter and her mom close before she walked down the aisle to the man of her dreams. This sweet couple did not let weather changes affect the core of their day as their faces lit up with smiles just because they could finally be married and create a new family out of the legacy that was built before them.

We are in love with the five-tiered purple and white cake covered in fondant flourishes and beautiful flowers. The guests danced the night away, Reggie and Kendra held each other close, and no rain could make their wedding anything less than perfect. At the end of the night, they rode out in style, knowing that their future together would be as memorable as the day it first began.

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