Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Disney does up Fairytale/ Royal Weddings in Style

  Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words!

If you want a fairytale wedding, give me a call. You can get married like Cinderella (and dress up some ugly step-sisters/ cousins to boot).  I can work with Disney to get your regal affairs in order, and give you a fairytale wedding.


May 12, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment

Holiday like Wills & Kate in the Seychelles

Rumours abound that William and Catherine have escaped to the Seychelles for their honeymoon.

Want to holiday like royalty?  How about a trip to this piece of paradise?

Fregate Island Private is one of our Virtuoso partners. So I can negotiate special amenities on behalf of my clients when they stay at one of their villas – amenities such as

Virtuoso guests may receive:
Daily full breakfast included in rates
Complimentary Snorkeling excursion (1 1/2 Hours), Value 100 EUR per couple
Spa Credit of 100 EUR per person, per stay.

Don’t you deserve to “live the life of Riley” and holiday like Royalty?

May 11, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Destinations, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment

Wills & Kate tie the knot

I rose at 4 am this morning with my two young daughters to watch the festivities. Chocolate eclairs in hand, and perrier water, we toasted new beginnings. It’s fun to watch the pomp and pageantry. And the Globe & Mail quickly got the best snaps in a slide show for all to see. London looked as beautiful as the bride, and bursting with pride at the display.

Course, this T-Mobile Royal Wedding mock entrance is worth a second look – so funny with the lookalikes.

Did you watch the wedding?  In honor of the big wedding, tell me your royal wedding guest name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Post yours here.


Lady Monica Snoopy-Dale

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Destinations, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment

Michelle VanDenBosch – Artificial flowers ease Destination Weddings

Today is guest blog Monday, and I have my friend, and local florist extraordinaire, sharing her thoughts (and photos of some creations) about how artificial flowers can ease your destination wedding planning.

Michelle’s contact details are at the end.


Having a destination wedding does not have to mean leaving the flowers up to the local florist.

Chose artificial flowers and bring them with you!

Synthetic blossoms have come along way in their evolution and look amazingly real. From beautiful callas that look real to the eyes and the touch to a more garden style of a handful of peonies, you could easily travel with your bouquet and not have to worry about coordinating that once you have landed for your destination wedding. Having your designer arrange them creatively will create a keepsake you will enjoy for a long time. provided the wedding dresses and is the photographer

Michelle VanDenBosch

P:  613-304-9046


T: @mvpetals

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Guest Bloggers, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment

Guest blog:new bride Charlene Simms shares destination wedding stories

I’m honoured today to have my client, Charlene Simms, share her experiences about her destination wedding. As you can see from the photos, Charlene and her new husband, Rob Fanning, had an awesome wedding in Punta Cana late last year.

I asked Charlene if she’d be so kind to share some tips with me so I could pass on to newly engaged couples who are considering a destination wedding – asking her to focus on the things that surprised her, and that she wished she’d known about in advance.  Charlene shared the following.

Sit back, savour the beautiful photos of their Punta Cana wedding, and heed her words of advice – particularly the mantra.

Thank you kindly, Charlene and Rob, for being so willing to share your experiences with others! I really appreciate it.


On November 17, 2010 Rob & I shared our wedding vows at Dreams Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, DR. Our families and friends were thrilled that we decided to do a destination wedding .

Our families would  have had to travel by air anyways and travelling somewhere warmer than Ottawa seemed a better option.

When we were researching our destination wedding travel package, we had several criteria. The price of travel package for our guests and us, wedding itself and the resort amenities. Also, we had to decide that no matter what, we were going to go through with  the destination wedding idea.

For example, some people dear to us were unable to attend because we chose this option. It was disappointing, nonetheless we decided that since our immediate families were on board we would be okay.

Then the real work began. Sheila helped us plow through the endless books. It was harder for us since we had 3 departure airports to consider when choosing a destination. 

Once that was done, it got easier. Now, the fun begins.

Looking through the resort’s website and deciding which wedding package to choose. We chose the most expensive because we wanted everything. Plus, if we had to pay for all these items in Canada we would have paid dearly. It was the best decision for us, since we wanted a wedding to remember. The only troubling thing was the resort didn’t explain that the $500 deposit would not be charged to our credit card…it was for holding of the wedding day.

Finally we saw the resort in real life. It was beautiful! Everyone immediately said we made a great choice! That made us feel better and less nervous!

Our bridal consultation with Jennifer had a few surprises. She had sent us pictures of the beach ceremonial area and cake pictures. Our package did not include exactly as in pictures. They were considered upgrades from packages. She accomodated us when she realized I was disappointed. What she offered was not exactly as was shown in pictues but I  accepted it. I realized that I was not in Canada so things are run differently here. I had go with the flow. I realized quickly this had to be our mantra.

The wedding day had a few glitches, (what wedding doesn’t) but it all worked out in the end . Our goal was to make  this wedding a wonderful memorable experience for all our guests. The day was perfect in weather, in flowers (they were the most beautiful flower arrangements I had ever seen-I wanted to bring them home) and reception.  Everyone said we met this goal! 

Would I suggest a destination wedding! Yes, but make sure you and your fiancée discuss who is on the required guest list, budget and have a “go with the flow” mantra!

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Guest Bloggers, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | 3 Comments

Honeymoon Travel Registries, when you already have a toaster!

The Globe & Mail featured an article today, “Cash please, we’re getting married.”

Engaged couples these days are rarely in need of toasters, linens, and bed sheets.  What they do want is to get away on a special honeymoon.  

Vision 2000 Travel Group has a honeymoon travel registry that will allow the bride and groom to set up a special account with us. And we’ll even customize a website for you so that you can tell your Aunt Martha in Abbotsford and your Uncle Joe in Benoit’s Cove all about your dream honeymoon plans. Then, you can wing them the url link so they can learn all about it, and maybe give the gift you truly want!

sgh v2k Honeymoon Gift Registry

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | 1 Comment

Guest blog:Brian Hargreaves-Destination Weddings: a Photographer’s Perspective

It’s guest blog Monday, and today I’m fortunate to have Ottawa photographer, Brian Hargreaves of BH Photography, share his wisdom (and beautiful photos) with us on photographing destination weddings.

If you’re interested in connecting with Brian and his wife Ivy, their contact details are at the end of the post.


In looking through the vast amount of advertising material available for couples planning their dream day, destination weddings seem like an elegant, easy and care free wedding experience. They are, in fact a lot more work than one would expect. When searching through options, there are a lot of resorts who offer wedding packages that are all inclusive; they provide the venue, meals, flowers, cake, hair & makeup for the bride, and even a photographer!

However, unlike having your wedding at home, you are unable to see the venue in person, meet with your florist, or photographer. Most couples have a vision in their mind of their destination wedding being on a gorgeous, private beach with the relaxing sound of the ocean in the background. The reality is that your wedding may end up right in the middle of the resort’s beach, complete with onlookers sporting bikinis and Speedos rather than something more appropriate.  On the other hand, if you decide to host your event offsite, finding out that the private beach is right beside a busy highway or airport, or that the ceremony music you spent hours deciding on comes from a boombox can really have an effect on the ambiance of your day.

Hiring a travel agent specializing in destination weddings is your best bet to have the wedding of your dreams. As each individual destination has their own customs and culture, they will help you pick the destination that best suits your style and dreams. A destination travel agent will also be able suggest options or things to consider that you may not have thought of—a growing trend lately is to take both a professional photographer and hair stylist / makeup artist with you for part or all of your trip.

Taking a photographer with you has many advantages. Most resort photographers only cover the ceremony, and provide you with roughly 30 small printed images within a day or two. Often, you won’t be able to order more, print a large photo for your home, or create an album, and most of the time there is very little editing done by the resort photographer. A destination wedding photographer will provide you with coverage of your preparations, the ceremony, formal photos, and photos of your dinner / reception. Your photographer is one of the people who are around you for most of the wedding; what if you don’t get along with the one provided by the resort, or they aren’t as professional as you had expected? Your wedding day is not the best time to find this out!

If you are having a reception upon your return for family and friends who couldn’t make the trip, you will be able to hire the same photographer for every part of your wedding. Some photographers will even include a day after, or trash the dress session to maximize the variety of your wedding photos while away. 

Ultimately, your wedding photos are the only thing you have left after the wedding is over. Investing in a quality photographer is only a fraction of the total investment you and your guests are making, and the family heirlooms created by a professional will be treasured by your children and grandchildren for years to come.


Brian J. Hargreaves
BH Photography
Ottawa: 613.282.3852
Montreal: 514.400.8495 | |

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Guest Bloggers, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment

“Gift of Travel” Honeymoon Registry

When you plan your destination wedding or honeymoon with Vision 2000, we offer to build you a customized website with which you have the option to include an online gift of travel wedding registry.

 Your gifts are loaded into the registry and your guests have the opportunity to purchase a wedding gift for you from the gift of travel gift registry.  A credit card transaction is authorized by your guest via a secure web page and the transaction itself is completed offline to ensure a high level of security.

Contact me for more details, or see

sgh v2k Honeymoon Gift Registry

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | 1 Comment

Destination Weddings – Your Own Personalized Website w. V2K

When you book a destination wedding with Vision 2000, we can build a customized website for the bride and groom.  Some of the awesome features are:

1. A customized web page to feature your wedding or honeymoon details that you can update and modify and include a personal message

2. A Gift of Travel Wedding Registry where your guests can purchase you a wedding gift with simplicity and security

3. An online registration page where your guests can RSVP for your destination wedding

4. An email to your invitees with the destination wedding details and a link to the RSVP page

Let me know if you want more detail!

sgh-v2k Wedding website

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment

Destination Wedding Photography – Guest Blog by Pat Blake

It is guest blog Monday, and today I’m fortunate enough to have Pat Blake, of Blake Photography, write a guest blog to talk about photographing destination weddings.

I know Pat from my business networking group, and he is my family’s photographer. We have portraits proudly hanging in our home, as well as my in-laws’ and mom’s homes, displaying his work; my avatar photo was taken by Pat; and he took photographs of my colleagues and I for a nation-wide recruitment initiative at my former host agency.  Pat is attentive to detail, and really takes the time to get the photos you need and want. He ensures all is done right the first time.  If you need a destination wedding photographer, give Pat a call. His contact details are at the end of the blog post, and a couple of examples of his destination wedding portraits are shown in the guest blog too.


For most people, the most important day of their lives is the day they get married. Many couples choose to head south and avoid the “hassles” of planning a wedding at home, but one of the major mistakes they make is forgetting about the photography. Here are the main reasons you should consider bringing your own photographer to your destination wedding.

If you’re traveling to another country for your wedding, you have four basic options for your photographer: the resort photographer; a local photographer; a friend or family member; you bring your own professional.

I have friends who used a resort photographer for their wedding at a major hotel chain (before I’d met them), and they told me they paid over $2000 for 30 5×7 inkjet prints. I’ve seen them, and believe me, they’re not worth what they paid. Besides the poor quality, they can never re-order additional images as the resort does not archive the photographs. Many resort photographers will continually use the same locations, so every wedding they photograph looks the same; they often don’t have professional camera equipment and lighting, or don’t know how to make the best use of the equipment; and many may not even be trained photographers.

Local photographers may have better equipment and training, but what happens if there’s a problem? You’re in another country, so dealing with your photographer once you get home has the potential to be a headache.  In the case of both the resort and local photographer, you won’t have the chance to really sit down with the person who will be with you all day. What if there’s a personality conflict? Standing at the altar is a bad time to find out you don’t enjoy being with your photographer. This is supposed to be the happiest day of your lives, and you want that to show in your photographs.

Having a friend or relative photograph your wedding can present its own set of problems. I once had a bride call in a panic because her photographer was unavailable on the wedding day. When I called back to confirm that I could help, she told me: “My uncle is photographing my wedding, he has a really good camera”. Being a great photographer takes a lot more than buying the latest camera! If this is your plan for your wedding, STOP! This is a day that cannot be repeated, you can’t go back and do it again! You want a professional who works with couples regularly so that they capture all the important moments of your day. This is especially true of weddings in the Caribbean, as noontime sun on the beach presents many technical challenges for capturing great images. What happens if there’s a problem with the photos? Do you want to risk jeopardizing your relationship with your friend or family member?

At a destination wedding I always include an engagement session with the couple the day before the wedding, full coverage on the wedding day, and a day-after session with the couple for more casual images. The day after is also a great time to do a “trash the dress” session!

Your wedding photographs are, in most cases, the only visual reminder of the wedding. The bride’s dress will stay in the closet and may never come out again; the groom’s clothing my have been rented and returned; the food will have been eaten; the wine is gone. Opening your album, seeing the joy on everyone’s faces and smiling at all the wonderful memories from your wedding are worth the investment of bringing your own photographer to your destination wedding!

Patrick Blake, Owner

Blake Photography

twitter: @blake_photo

P: 613.884.3355 F: 613.835.3759



December 6, 2010 Posted by | Lush Life Guest Bloggers, Lush Life Weddings & Honeymoons | Leave a comment