Grab your passports and get ready to enjoy some unique cuisines and experience a culture full of history and romance! allé travel grants these two lovebirds the vacation of their dreams. Let's hear it from their professional perspective:
The best part of our jobs (though, to be honest, there are many), is getting to know our clients- the things that they are passionate about, what really makes them tick, and then bringing it all to life at their destinations of choice. With Chris and Laura, as we learned very fast, it was food, dining and the experiences around it all. These two are food connoisseurs like we’ve never met before, and they really know their stuff.
Combining Italy and Portugal into one big foodie honeymoon trip was the perfect choice for these two, and we had so much fun curating food-related experiences for them, like the EatWith dinner with a local in Rome, a cooking class with the Cucina Gusepina family in Tuscany, a visit to a Tuscan dairy farm, Port wine tasting and a full on Porto food tour.
And then of course there was the Osteria Francescana (literally ranked the best restaurant in the whole world) lunch. Reservations at this restaurant are notoriously difficult to land, and we were determined to get one, which included all sorts of maneuvering at 2 AM on a random Tuesday in April to make sure we locked in a reservation.
All in all, Laura and Chris were serious travel all-stars, they covered a LOT of ground, and did it all with a huge smile on their faces. Throughout their travels, we loved Instagram- stalking them (another highlight of our jobs!) and keeping in touch with them through the messaging in our app.
Lucky for us we get to hear all about Laura + Chris' honeymoon! Polly + Irina of allé travel interviewed the couple + here's what they had to say:
OK but first, let’s talk about your wedding- it was beautiful! Laura, tell us more.
If someone has a time machine, please take us back to our wedding day!
It was a perfect day. We had a bit of a bump in the road when planning and needed to change our wedding venue just two months before the wedding. Looking back, this was probably the best thing to happen for our wedding because the venue we were lucky enough to find was absolutely perfect. We had 175 of our friends and family celebrate with us in a beautiful mansion in South Minneapolis. Chris and I love to entertain at home, so we knew our wedding had to be just as amazing for our guests as it was for us. We chose Brasa as our caterer because we wanted something different from the typical wedding food; we like food with lots of flavor, a global influence and spice. So it was fitting that we had hot sauce as our wedding favors.
We also had so much fun dancing that night! Our guests and DJ made it a party! We even had other vendors say they've never seen a wedding with that much dancing. One of my favorite moments was the father/daughter dance. My Dad has been battling Glioblastoma, a brain cancer, since Fall of 2015, and there were several moments in the course of wedding planning where I didn't think he and I would be able to share that moment. Being able to have my dad walk me down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding was a dream come true. I've been told there wasn't a dry eye in the room as we danced.
What was most important to you two when you were thinking about your honeymoon (back when you were in the midst of wedding planning).
Planning our honeymoon ran parallel with our wedding planning since we knew we wanted to have a honeymoon registry. The traditional wedding registry of items for our house didn't make sense for us since we already had everything we needed for our house. Except for a new air conditioning system, but we thought that might be a weird registry item.
So, we set up an account on Honeyfund and started dreaming about the possibilities! We started working with allé on possible locations in Europe for our honeymoon. We knew we wanted to go somewhere in Europe because we love to experience and learn about cities through food, sightseeing and immersing ourselves in the culture. We're sure relaxing on a tropical beach is lovely, and we plan to experience that someday, but this needed to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
It was so exciting to put the Honeyfund registry together, and it was easy to do based on the itinerary that allé put together. We loved that our friends and family could gift us an experience.
Laura and Chris’ honeymoon, in their own words:
Our honeymoon was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip! We were lucky enough to spend 14 days traveling in Italy and Portugal. We started in Tuscany, which was a nice relaxing start. We are wine lovers, so it was amazing to be surrounded by vineyards.
Next, we had a quick stop in Florence where we walked 463 steps to the top of the Duomo. We were out of breath, but the view was priceless!
Rome was next on the list. We saw the Colosseum, dined with a local and saw amazing views of the city.
We stopped in Modena where we ate at the best restaurant in the world, literally.
Venice was the final night in Italy where we enjoyed romantic views.
Our first stop in Portugal was Porto. This was an amazing city with colorful buildings, delicious food, and wonderful people.
In Lisbon, our last stop, we took a quick day trip to Sintra and took in the breathtaking sites. In Lisbon, we became addicted to pastel de nata, a Portuguese pastry, and ended our trip with a romantic, sunset cruise on the river.
We wanted an adventure, and we got one! We walked about 20,000 steps each day, which is our kind of trip. We enjoyed the perfect balance of relaxation and exploring.
What are the stories from your honeymoon that you’re sharing with friends/coworkers/family now that you’re back home?
Most people ask us what our favorite thing about the honeymoon was. Do we have to choose just one? We loved so many parts of our trip! We've been telling friends and family about the days we spent sipping wine while taking in the views of Tuscany, meeting other travelers from around the world, and eating everything in sight!
One of our favorite stories to tell is about driving in Italy. Italian highways are very similar to American highways, but the small, winding, side roads are exactly like the movies. It was intense in some moments, but well worth the steep climb to see Tuscany from the hilltop.
We've talked about our favorite stop, Porto; the beautiful views from the Ribeiria, drinking Port wine, the vegetarian buffet and the food tour around the city.
Of course we've also been telling our friends about eating at Osteria Francescana, which was the best meal we've ever had, by far. We could really talk about our honeymoon for hours, but we're afraid we wouldn't have many friends left :)
Anything else you'd like to add or share?
We highly recommend working with a travel planner for a honeymoon like this! If we had planned our wedding and planned the honeymoon ourselves, it would've been very stressful. The trip wouldn't have been nearly as amazing either. Best decision we made for our honeymoon!
Contact alle travel through Forever Bride + get a complimentary printed and bound honeymoon plan (in addition to online version). This is like a guidebook, custom written to you! Makes for a great coffee table book once you're back from your trip, and a great conversation starter.
Now, fly away to this favorite getaway in Curacao and Aruba!
wedding photographer // Tracy Walsh Photography
venue // The Blaisdell
flowers // Florals by Claire
honeymoon travel planner // allé travel