Category Archives: travel

Honeymoon planning- Wilmington, NC Wedding Photographer

Honeymoon Planning

Your engaged, and your planning a wedding, and now a honeymoon right?

Cruises? All inclusive resorts? Maybe afraid of planes?

Honeymoon planning can definitely be daunting. I mean you have to figure out do you want a cold place, or are you more warm natured? If so, do you want a beach, dessert, or maybe neither. Do you just want to flirt with the cocktails and be poolside all day? Also, sometimes ya both don’t want to go to the same place.

I’ve gathered some tips and places I wish I could go on my pretend honeymoon. So.. I felt it was only fair if I share these places with you, so that maybe you can go there for me! (Or, bring me along, I mean I can take photos there too!)

I think you should definitely try and lock down your honeymoon literally after getting engaged. Or start the process of choosing what you want.

International bound?

So now think about the passport process. The time frame is about two to three weeks for you to get your passport. Yup, so if you want to go out of the country for your honeymoon take notes, and go to your local university visit their travel department (it’s usually like the foreign affairs office) or visit your local post office. Each post office has a form you can pick up, fill it out at home while you Netflix, and send it out the next day.  You can even go to CVS or Walgreens, and have one of their photo techs snap your photo within minutes.  Than, attach your little bite size photo onto your passport.  It’s pretty easy.

If you are traveling internationally also invest in a phone that you can buy an international sim card. I found this to be super helpful when I traveled to Italy. It’s so much better than coming back home to a 1k phone bill. (trust me, not fun). You can get these at Walmart, Target or even at your local phone providers store. This is a lot better to do and you don’t have to worry about loosing something that holds your life in it. And whoever is important, give them that number.

Also if you have time, go check out some books about the country.  Maybe buy some maps, and if it’s a country you don’t speak the language spruce up with some Rosetta Stone or Duolingo. Duolingo is free, its an app on your phone, and it’s super fantastical and you can impress the locals. And usually this will only make your time in their country that much better! I know Spanish fluently so luckily for me Italian sounded the same, but I do regret not being able to communicate better with the locals. It just seems like a respect thing too. So definitely a plus if you can accommodate it into your planning.

Thinking cruising is a better option than jet setting on a plane?

Well double check you don’t need your passport for this too, and also I found that if your a risk taker you can actually get your cruise accommodations wicked cheap if you wait the month before the sailing date. Yes, it’s kinda crazy but you could save almost 75%. Why you ask, well it turns out that in most cases the companies will offer either upgrades or discounts to fill the boats! So, you could definitely get a great steal if you are risky enough to wait.

If not, I get it. I don’t think I’m ballsy enough to do so, but always price shop and actually sometimes your airlines have the best deals. We bundled are Alaska honeymoon with airfare and for a flight from ILM to Seattle, Washington. A week long cruise to Alaska and we spent 2100 for two people. (I know right.. crazy) Ridiculously fair price when you compare east coast to west coast flights. We got lucky and flew with Delta and their partners, and got a really good deal bundling our vacation.

One thing also to consider hopefully you won’t be in your room the whole time. Ultimately yes an ocean view room is ideal but if this means no excursion, I would compromise with a port hole, or something similar. Your excursions will be one in the lifetime type of activities you don’t want to miss out on these opportunities.

Staying local?

Let’s say you can’t go to a far away place, you can still have a nice honeymoon locally. Be a tourist in your own town. We frequently bypass these experiences because it’s our town and we figure we live here. Why would I do touristy stuff? I guarantee there are things that are in your hometown that you have never done. Take a dinner boat cruise, watch foreign films at a small theater, become a foodie and food hop from restaurant to restaurant.

And if all fails, just relax. This is the time in your life that is meant to start new experiences and moments. Capitalize on those moments! They go by too quickly! So as long as your with your love, I don’t think it’ll matter if you decide to hibernate and watch your favorite movies and order in. Or, if you decide to lay out in a tropical beach together. The possibilities are endless.


Alright the good stuff, check out some really pretty spots to look more into 🙂

New Zealand– My favorite country. I’m super obsessed with this country. It’s one of the only places in the world you can jet ski in the morning and snowboard at night. Lord of the rings was filmed here, I mean is that not enough of an excuse to go and visit? And they speak English, so your covered if you feel like this is a worrisome thing.

Verona, Italy– Romeo and Juliet, nuff said.

Cinque de terre- You can either stay in Rome, or Florence and travel here. Or, just go ahead and fly into Milan I believe and drive to this spot. It’s gorgeous! And while you are there, take a boat into Lake Como.. you won’t regret it.

Iceland– I mean why not, right?

Bar Harbor– If you want a Maine experience and want to be adventurous but not too adventurous (not leaving our country); Literally 2 hours from the Canadian border. You could totally drive right into a new country! You can also get here by a cruise, and probably see some more of the Canadian coastline. Either way, it’s a beautiful fairytale town. It’s actually one of my favorite towns in the New England area.

England coast, small towns– I love these little quaint spots. I’ve always wanted to visit these towns, and would love to hear if they are as pretty as they seem.


-Cheers to opening up your honeymoon horizons!

(A photo of the beautiful downtown in Bar Harbor) 



Four Seasons Firenze, Florence Italy- Destination Wedding Photographer

As a photographer, photographing a destination anything is a dream. And with this dream comes a ton of emotions that follow.  I was approached by my friend, Amanda Perna to shoot her destination wedding. Throughout the many months of her planning she changed her destination and venues several times.

I followed her journey and than realized she may not find what she wanted. After several months, she finally made the realization that she wanted to get married at the Four Seasons Firenze, in Florence, Italy. What a dream, right?! The land of gardens, Monet, and good cheese and wine (Although, I’m not  a wine connoisseur I can appreciate a beautiful vineyard 😉 )


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I couldn’t imagine the degree of wedding that this sort of venue would give. We had so many beautiful things that could be presented to us in Florence, Italy. Not only is the architecture extremely gorgeous and beautiful, and bright. But, the actual Four Seasons Firenze, in Florence, Italy, was such a magnificent venue all on it’s own. The chandelier, the cobblestone, the vivid colors, it was all a dream that had just become reality.


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I had only documented weddings that were domestic, and having the opportunity to shoot a wedding over sea’s was not only exciting but daunting at the same time. I usually photograph with my husband, but at this point in time, it was only going to be me taking this trip. I put on my big girl pants, and started to plan not only my execution but my travel needs to photograph this wedding correctly. I was lucky enough to view the venue prior to the actual event, and I could have not been more pleased with the magnitude of the Four Seasons Firenze.  What made the venue that much more special is that we walked to it, from our hotel, and it was almost like a secret place. It literally snuck up on me.  We weaved through side streets and finally reached an alley that shared the garden entrance and the main entrance to this beautiful place.



Amanda’s wedding was not only a destination wedding,  but it was also a true family reunion of sorts. They had chosen 50 of their closes family friends, and immediate family to share on this experience.  When my trip was booked by the bride, she also took in account on how she wanted me to stay and become familiar and comfortable with the guest of the wedding.  This was such a huge deal… Not only did I loose the stress of being alone in a foreign country, but I was able to really photograph her family and friends naturally. At the time of the wedding, they were extremely comfortable with me. I got to be a small fly on the wall when needed, but also a welcomed friend.


I photographed the laughs, the dining, the tours, and the heart of the trip.





It was such an honor to be so welcomed into this inner circle. I felt so blessed for wonderful company, and also for new friends and family that I got be adopted into.



I can only hope that I get to photograph more of these types of weddings. Yes, the experience of being able to photograph something so beautiful and intimate was unreal. But also the ability to have someone trust me alone to photograph not only their wedding, but the moments that they don’t usually have with family and friends.

With this said, capturing the essence of this special place was one of my most proud moments in my photography career.  I am forever grateful to Amanda and Solomon Strul for taking a chance on me, and trusting me to photograph their special wedding in Florence but also inviting me to be more than just a photographer.


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Italy- Destination Photographer- Florence, Italy Photographer

Being a photographer, you get to travel and with that said, I got the most awesome, beautiful, fantastical, whimsical, extraordinary opportunity to photograph a destination wedding, and it so happened to be in……. (can I get a drum roll…………….) ITALY!

Yes, you read it right! I-T-A-L-Y… the land of Pizza, Michaelangelo, the jersey shore pizzeria.. (just kiddin, but seriously, they were there) Oh, and I forgot, Vineyards.. like epic..Vineyeards! 🙂

So, with that said, I was able to go to Florence, Siena, Venice (Oh Venice, be still my heart.. Venice.. was beautiful), and the Papa of all Papa’s, I mean, where the Papa of Catholics lives! ROMA!

My trip was filled with tons of new appreciation for the country I lived in, but also the appreciation of being able to go and see a different part of the world. Little can say, they have flown to the other side of the world, and have seen things that you only see in commercials or read in textbooks.  Not knowing the language was definitely I felt a disrespect by my fault. I am Hispanic and I know Spanish fluently, but Italian is different. And even though they are both Latin languages, it was not enough for me to start a conversation. I understood here and there but unfortunately I would definitely recommend brushing up on your Italian before going.

The food was quite different from our cuisine, more fresh, and less seasoned if that makes sense. Their seasoning I felt was more simple, and less intrusive. Pizza was different at every pizzeria we went to. Some pizza was more doughy in taste, some was more croissanty in taste, not one pizza tasted the same, and I was okay by it.

Gelato, and pastries were definitely on the to eat list. These were not to be missed, and did not disappoint. Just as the pizza was different, these were definitely all different to the region we were in. All different flavors to be offered, and the texture sometimes was more thick and rich in other areas.

The cityscape from region to region is extremely different. Florence is a quaint city, with historic roads, cobblestone lining, religious art hidden in the streets, and gorgeous cathedrals that line the inner most part of the city itself. Siena is a mid evil driven city, while Venice is a water taxi city. The city literally relies on bridges to connect each torso of it’s mean together. We walked Venice, because when we went, the actual festival Historic Regatta was happening! 

And this is what made it a dream. It was a freak accident, that we caught the train to get to Venice on this specified day. Us being there during this grand festival was magical, to hear the trumpets as we crossed the bridge, and watch the races start.. I felt like I was in a movie. It literally brought me to tears to think, that at that point in time, I was in a moment that few would get to do. It made me extremely grateful for my beautiful opportunity.

This feeling did not end in Venice, as we departed from our train, there so happen to be having the festival of the virgin Mary in the heart of Florence. Coincidentally enough, we literally ran into this parade on our walk back to our hotel. We were stopped by a crowd of paper lanterns being released, and chanting and singing by a huge crowd of people.

Needless to say, there was definitely alot of magical that happened during my trip to Italy. My only regret was that I wasn’t there with family, next time, the trip will be complete!















[Wilmington, NC Photographer, Wilmington, NC Wedding Photographer, Wilmington, NC Senior photographer, and Lifestyle; NC wedding photographer] [Florida Commercial Photographer, Florida Lifestyle Photographer, Florida Wedding Photographer, Destination Wedding Photographer, Destination Photographer; Florence, Italy Photographer, Four Seasons Wedding Photographer]


Paula Andrea

Wilmington, North Carolina Portrait Photographer

Specializing in Editorial/Commercial and Portrait work

(Personal Branding Photographer)

-Available for domestic & international travel-