Nate and I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Kona, Hawaii with my parents. They flew us over there to meet them for a week as an engagement present. Of course we discussed all things wedding-related while we hiked the volcano, and between breaths snorkeling around the amazing coral reefs. It was a very relaxing way to commence the wedding planning!

Nate and I in Hawaii!

We have had such a productive last few weeks! The location for our destination wedding has been agreed upon. And the winner is… RIU Santa Fe Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! Three summers ago I vacationed at the resort with my family, and we had a blast. It was always in the back of my mind as a fantastic spot to have a wedding.

The infinity Pool and beach at the RIU Santa Fe

There are actually two RIU Resorts right next door to each other on the beautiful sands of the Sea of Cortez. The RIU Palace is a classic resort including fancy fixtures and starch white walls, all in all pristine. But we ultimately chose the Santa Fe because of its natural beauty and the truly authentic Mexican spirit it emits. It is the newer of the two resorts and definitely has a more laid-back feel. Being budget conscious we wanted to make sure that as many of our guests as possible could make the trip, and the Santa Fe is giving us great rates. To make it even more appealing it is an all-inclusive resort. The resort is less than 3 miles from downtown Cabo. Meals at the buffet and specialty restaurants, snacks, all drinks, in-room mini-bar, gym, and daily entertainment are all included.To hire or not to hire a travel agent? That was a huge lingering question we had. After thinking about it and trying to figure out travel logistics on our own, we realized that a travel agent is a must! After speaking with a few over the phone, we finally met with Gloria Emanuelson and hired her on the spot. She was working with a larger nationwide company and recently broke away to start her own new business. Her new site just went on-line: are encouraging all of our guests to book through her as she will be keeping our RSVP list, and is able to get better group rates. She will handle all room reservations, transfers to and from the airport and coordinating flights. It is a huge relief to know that our guests will always be able to contact her with any questions or concerns, before and during the trip.

I love this picture of the famous arches. I took it from a cruise ship a few years ago.

Not only am I planning my own wedding for next year, but I am also in two other weddings for my sorority sisters and besties: Maureen’s in June and Rachel’s in November. It is going to be an amazingly busy, exciting and fun-filled 2011! Going bridesmaids dress shopping this weekend for Maureen’s wedding is a much-needed break from my own craziness. I am thrilled to being thinking only of her wedding this weekend! Lots of Love,Amanda