Jamaica: Coup de foudre by Rayna Wallen

There’s something you should know about me.  

I LOVE Jamaica!

My love affair with this gorgeous country started a few years ago, when I had the opportunity to visit with one of my closest friends.  Back in 2009, Leona (of Leona Morelock Designs) and I were invited by Sandals to check out their newest Jamaican resorts—some of the most incredibly romantic and luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.  

Since then, I have been back to Jamaica at least ten more times, and stayed at every Sandals resort on the island!  I’ve had the time of my life.  Each visit has been consistently wonderful, yet altogether a unique experience every single time.  From Montego Bay to Negril, Ocho Rios to Kingston, and everywhere in between,  I’ve fallen in love with Jamaica more and more.

Recently, Joseph and I went on a real vacation.  You know, the kind where you turn off your phones and limit your social media interaction...  It's rare when we get to sneak away and not call it work.  It was going to be his first time to Jamaica, and so I really wanted to make a great first impression.  I have to say, as far as these things go, the island of Jamaica pretty much nailed it!

Ya, mon!


We started in Montego Bay, at one of my favorite Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, the impressive Sandals Royal Caribbean; then, made our way to Ocho Rios, where we rented a little SUV and started our journey up and through the mountains—destination: Kingston.  Since I am a self proclaimed beach girl, and there isn't a beach in Kingston, I had little desire to  check it out.  Needless to say, this little detour was all Joe's idea and I was a skeptic from the moment he suggested renting an SUV.   After a quick stop at Scotchies for an authentic Jamaican lunch, we were on our way.  In all honesty, as many times that I have been to Jamaica I have never veered off the beaten path, but this was quickly becoming one of my most favorite things to do.

Sooo... driving in Jamaica is not for the faint of heart!  They happen to drive on the right side, and many of the secondary roads are, let’s say... not as polished as one would prefer.  They are working on it, though, Jamaicans will assure you, and will keep getting better as tourism thrives and Jamaica reinvests to further develop its infrastructure. 

That being said, driving across the island was one of the most awesome adventures I have ever had and after a 45 minute drive, all uphill, we find ourselves at the entrance to Strawberry Hill.  What started as a drink with a view, turned into an overnight treat in their Honeymoon Suite, dinner at their incredible restaurant and a phenomenal experience that left us wanting more.  I have a feeling someday we will found ourselves back at Strawberry HillWords fail me in describing our experience, so I created a gallery. 

As you can see Jamaica is one of those places that easily makes it's way into your heart and you will never want it to leave.  Ya mon!

If you are interested in visiting Jamaica, or any other island in the Caribbean we would love to help you plan your journey.  Contact us today or visit our sister company AP Luxury Travel.

New Hiring Fall Interns by Rayna Wallen

Here at Always Planned we believe in getting things done, having fun and planning some pretty awesome parties.  If you, or someone you know, would be interested in joining our team we are now accepting applications for Fall 2014 Interns!

Make no mistake about it, this is a real job with real experience in real situations. You will be involved in every aspect of the event planning industry and will learn as much as you are willing to take in. 

Here are the requirements:

  • 20 Hours Per Week
  • Work 3 Events During Your Internship, this will be weddings, corporate and networking
  • Great Personality with a Can Do Attitude!
  • Must Be Creative
  • Being Organized is a Major Plus!
  • Must be able to lift 20 lbs.

We are starting interviews immediately.  Please email your resume to Rayna@alwaysplanned.com

*This is an unpaid internship. College credit given when applicable. 

AP Luxury Travel: Honeymoons and more by Rayna Wallen

A little backstory...

When it comes to weddings, we know what we are talking about!  So, when we made the decision to take Always Planned to the next level, we knew it had to be onto something that our clients would appreciate and that we would enjoy.  Since AP loves to travel, and destination weddings are simply something we cannot pass up, a boutique travel-planning division was born!

AP Luxury Travel has been around for a little while now—4 years!  We had a super cute logo and lots of happy travelers in our little family.  But, since Always Planned just received a total marketing overhaul (all compliments of Maystorm Studio), our travel division was starting to get a bit jealous...

The only option:  to share some of this love with AP Luxury Travel!

So, without further ado here is our new AP Luxury Travel logo!  The website is still in progress, and lots of fun things are happening at the AP Headquarters.

 

Our website is almost finished!  And lookout, because if you thought this was super cool, you are going to love our new site dedicated to all things travel.  Of course, if you're interested in booking your destination wedding, honeymoon, family vacation or next weekend getaway, don't hesitate to give us a call!  859.619.1841

Rental jewelry? Yes, please! by Rayna Wallen

OK, So you may be asking yourself "Rayna, why would I need to rent jewelry for my wedding day?"  Well, why not? Let's be real for a moment.  This is pretty much the only time in your life when it is completely acceptable to be draped in jewels! So, I ask again, Why Not?!

You're going to buy jewelry anyway, and much of that "faux bling" just doesn't compare to the gorgeous baubles you can rent from these fabulous finds.  So go ahead and treat yourself to being draped in gorgeous jewels! I know I would!

Here are some of my favs!

Haute Vault Sophia Necklace

Haute Vault Sophia Necklace

Adorn Livingston Bracelet

Rent The Runway - bridal

Rent The Runway - bridal

As you can see there is a ton of variety out there! I tend to go for the more diamond encrusted items, but you could rent everything from exquisite diamonds and high end costume jewelry to wedding day accessories, for a fraction of the cost.

Happy Shopping!

hook + ALBERT - Gifts for the groomsmen by Rayna Wallen

Hey guys!  You read that correctly... I said guys!  I know what you're thinking - since when did we target male viewers? Well, we are now! Just like the ladies, guys have their closest buds standing by their side on their Big Day, and what better way to thank them than with dapper gifts from hook + ALBERT.  From lapel flowers, tie bars, cufflinks and black tie ensembles, the collection from hook + ALBERT is sure to style groomsmen nationwide. Check out these stylish details!



               

hook + ALBERT Metal Tie Bars, $75

·      An eclectic set of hardware in simple and sophisticated options

·      Clip backing for a secure hold

·      Brass designs available in shapes including deer antlers, barbed wire, nail, sword and ribbon


hook + ALBERT Hand Cut Lapel Flower Set, $75  - THESE are my FAVORITE, so much better than a boutonniere!

·      1.5 inches in diameter

·      Shell button backing for an easy and secure fit

·      Available in bright fabrics, solids and bold colors


hook + ALBERT Knotted Cufflinks, $35

·      Elastic and leather knotted cufflinks with a barbell shaped back for function, and a signature twist for a classic yet urban feel

·      Silver hardware for a sturdier and more sophisticated look

·      Available in cord and leather variations

Summertime weddings by Rayna Wallen

After our roller coaster winter, we are definitely excited about summer finally being here, and with summertime comes sweet tea, sun hats, big porches and of course big southern weddings!  We love summer and weddings, so of course, we love summertime weddings! Here are a few tips to keep your guests nice and cool this summer season. 


How adorable is this couple?! (photo credit katiedayphoto.com)

How adorable is this couple?! (photo credit katiedayphoto.com)

Greet them with an icy cold beverage! We love custom Jone's Soda Bottles, Arnold Palmers, and how can you go wrong with a Mint Julep?

Having an outdoor ceremony? Summer heat can be brutal! Why not have a tray of refreshing cold towels for your guests to cool themselves down with. We have done this, and its a fun and surprising treat your guests will truly appreciate!  (OK, so we may have stolen this idea from Sandals Resorts, who treat you to this service upon arrival.)

Your cocktail hour is a great way to treat your guests to something special and signature cocktails are always popular. We suggest a chilled soup shooter! This is a great conversation starter too!

Other great options are fan programs, drink stations and lots of shade trees! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share! 



NEW, NEW, NEW! by Rayna Wallen

Hey Y'all! We have been super busy lately and are crazy excited about all of the "new" at Always Planned.

We recently moved into a new space!  Our new space on Executive Drive, which just happens to be in Hamburg and a few blocks from Hobby Lobby and Micheals, is ideal for a cozy chat about your big day!  We may even pop open some champagne!

A new logo and new site are already in use with a soft launch, and we couldn't be happier with the response!  Let us know what you think!


And, one more thing! Just wait for what we have in store next, and lookout for an open house so you can check out all of our "new" for yourself!

xoxo,

Rayna