Jul 23

Introducing Event & Wedding Planner Tara Melvin

Tara Melvin of Perfect Planning Events

Tara Melvin, a southern girl at heart was born and raised in Elizabethtown, North Carolina and in 1996 transitioned to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.  Before making DC her new home, she began carving her future with her education.   Tara, a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration.  Since graduation, her professional career has spanned in the field of Sales & Marketing within the pharmaceutical, industrial, and hospitality industry.  During her professional career she learned and maintained valuable traits in regards to organizational skills, people management, negotiation skills, management skills, and attention to detail, while maintaining grace under pressure.
Several years later, Tara discovered her passion for wedding and event planning after planning numerous affairs at her home and for her friends.   It was only after planning a spectacular New Year’s Eve event at her home that one of her friends suggested that she should go into business for herself because they felt as if she had the gift and talent to be a successful wedding and event planner. 

In 2004, Tara created Perfect Planning and Signature Concepts, LLC, an event planning and management company that offers a complete array of services to cover all facets of event planning for luxurious weddings, social and corporate events, from start to finish. Services include but not limited to event coordination, vendor management, project plan creation, event itinerary creation, and risk and issue management.  It is her philosophy to deliver exceptional service, a peace of mind, and a memorable celebration for her clients and their guests.  And to be “the key resource” for her clients, as she designs, plans, manages, and produces their celebration.  Since the creation of Perfect Planning, the company has organized numerous lavish events from weddings to retirement celebrations, birthday celebrations to family reunions, corporate events and beyond.  Tara is also active within the wedding community serving as President of the Association of Wedding Professionals of Greater Washington, DC, 2014 WeddingWire Ambassador, and former member of the Association of Bridal Consultants.
As the creative engine and leader of Perfect Planning, Tara is excited to offer her clients a highly personalized experience resulting in an extraordinary memorable and stress free affair.  Her remarkable attention to detail and exceptional ability to capture the vision of her Clients has made Tara a valuable asset within the industry.  With her expertise, creativeness, passion, managerial aptitude, compassion for her work, and bodacious style-her weddings and special events are those of flawless distinction.  Allow Perfect Planning to offer your next event a personal style that will rise to a level of sophistication and will leave you and your guest in awe!

Perfect Planning and Signature Concepts is celebrating 10 years in business this year serving clients in the DC metro area and beyond, we have not restrictions on geographical locations. Their average wedding guest size is around 150 persons; they have done weddings up to 350 persons. In Tara’s spare time she enjoyswatching movies and playing with my pooch Deuce. Her secret passion is that she is an amateur mixologist – she loves making cocktails. 

Finally, a few words of wisdom from Tara she would like to share with brides and grooms.

·        Remember to love each other always during the planning process

·        As a couple, come to an agreeable and mutual understanding of all decisions

·        Be realistic and wise about your budget, and do not go into debt to have a wedding

·        Determine what is important to you

·        Relax and set guidelines to keep yourself on track

Contact information for Tara Melvin at Perfect Planning Events

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website:  www.perfectplanningbytara.com

Invitations:  www.perfectplanning.carlsoncraft.com

Blog:  www.perfectplanningbytara-blog.com

Video Blog:  www.yourecordiallyinvitedblog.com


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Jul 21

Skip hours of internet research & book with Honeymoon Islands

Amanda and Ben Chando

I traveled extensively before getting married, and for our honeymoon, figured planning a trip to Moorea and Bora Bora would be no different.  That was not the case!  After reading extensive reviews, we decided it would be best to get help, so we could really relax and not worry about travel details after all of the hard work and stress that comes with planning a wedding.  I contacted Teresa and could not be happier we did!  She really listened to what we were looking for, weighed our options until we were comfortable, and made sure everything was very easy and carefree for us along the way. 

St. Regis Bora Bora

Teresa's responsiveness was something that stuck out to me from our initial contact.  This added to the level of comfort we already had with her and knew that when we booked with her, she would be available before, during, and after our travels.  We did have a few questions (about flight upgrades) while we were away, and she got back to us immediately.  That was huge for us because you already feel like you're lacking resources while traveling abroad and Teresa really went above and beyond to make us feel that extra level of comfort.  Aside from comfort, she provided fantastic restaurant and activity recommendations based on what we were looking for in the trip. 

We were ecstatic because she had traveled to both spots, been to the places she was recommending, and experienced the spots from different angles so she was well-versed in the area and provided thorough recommendations. We felt so good about booking with Honeymoon Islands, that we had them book another trip for us in January before we even left for our honeymoon!  As you can see, we were very happy with our trip and who we used to book it. Moving forward, I will skip the hours of internet research and book with Honeymoon Islands - we are confident in all of their services.

Ben & Amanda Chando

Amanda & Benjamin Chando, Virginia USA - Tahiti Honeymoon

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Jul 15

Trip Review by the Ferrari Family – Curtain Bluff in Antigua

What will you remember?

Ferrari Family at Curtain Bluff Antigua

Honeymoon Islands recently planned a family vacation for the Ferrari family (Steve, Chrissie and their daughters Danielle and Jessie) to Curtain Bluff in Antigua.  Post travel I asked one simple question “What will you remember…?”  I hope you enjoy reading their response to that question.

Speed Boat Curtain Bluff

We loved Curtain Bluff!!  Can’t say enough about what a wonderful week we had!  Great staff, great food, awesome activities… beautiful all the way around!  Thank you so much (Teresa at Honeymoon Islands) for leading us in the right direction again and setting it all up for us.  We WILL be going back!!  We met the owner at dinner and told her that you had sent us there.  Her house is absolutely breath taking!

Curtain Bluff fishing

Some of the highlights in a nutshell:

  • Our favorite…getting to know the staff and some of their stories… just amazing, genuinely good people, made us feel special every minute but also took the time to get to know us and ask how things were going
  • Opening our eyes every morning to the postcard photo outside our sliding glass doors. 
  • Slept every night with only the screens lulled by the waves rolling outside our doors.
  • Water activities, WOW!  Amazing snorkeling trips with Lanroy to Cades Reef… lots of beautiful fish and two amazing rays!  Always great explanations and attention to our safety and interests.

Steve fishing in Curtain Bluff

  • Steve went deep sea fishing he loved it and even caught a barracuda.

Curtain Bluff Antigua paddle boarding

  • We all paddle boarded, kayaked, and floated on the rafts.

Lunch at Curtain Bluff

  • Leon took good care of us on the beach everyday… our new favorite drink is the Caribbean Fantasy!
  • We watched two World Cup games in the upstairs TV room with an international group… fun and an amazing life experience.
  • Met so many nice people, many of whom were repeat guests… just a friendly atmosphere.  Met people from Canada, Britain, South Africa, NY, Arizona, Michigan.
  • Cocktails at the Bluff House was so wonderful.  Breathtaking views and we felt so welcomed.

  • Spent one day on a boat circumnavigating the island and getting a historical lesson on Antigua.  Adventure Antigua’s “Extreme Adventure” was in fact a day we will never forget.  Great guys who love their island and do a great job sharing so much history!
  • Swam with the rays and “Henry” the barracuda at Stingray City.  Jessie’s favorite memory of the whole week was when she held the stingray.  Danielle overcame her anxiety and joined us!

Steal Band Curtain Bluff Antigua

  • Live music every night… every band was fantastic!  Especially enjoyed the group who played Rhianna songs and some old 80’s music.
  • Talking with the bartenders before dinner, sharing stories back and forth
  • And then there was the food… three delicious and healthy meals a day.  What a treat to enjoy such good food and company.  Loved that Lana, the pastry chef, was doing so well in her career and so young!  Read about her in one of the magazines on the island.  Also, Chelle (the owner) visiting tables at dinnertime was a special treat! 

Danielle and Jessie Ferrari

  • Our daughter Jessie (an athlete) used the workout room every morning to keep up with her summer training schedule.  Equipped well enough to please a D1 soccer player.
  • And the WiFi pleased Danielle since she could keep in touch with her friends!

Drinking Coconut Water at Curtain Bluff Antigua

  • We enjoyed learning ALL ABOUT coconuts from Smooth.  They were delicious!
  • Our greeting at the airport in Antigua was amazing… right to the front of the line and through to our ride in no time.  That was sweet!

Curtain Bluff Hammock

Curtain Bluff is a beautiful all-inclusive resort that sits by itself on a bluff with ocean on both sides boasting 2 separate beaches- One is great for body surfing the waves which roll into the shore, the other is great for snorkeling, water sports and children. Every accommodation has a stunning view of the ocean. You could hear the ocean crashing onto the beach about 40 steps from the patio. The bathroom has double vanity, with a walk in shower, large tub and separate water closet. They have plenty of connecting rooms and suites for any family size from 1 Bedroom to 4 Bedroom. One of the beauties of staying here is there are no phones or TV’s in the rooms. Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the property. They will stock your fridge with certain drinks if you let them know your preferences. They also offer laundry service for a fee.

Curtain Bluff sailing

The great thing about this resort is there are tons of things to do while you’re there. About 10 minutes from the resort there is a zip line course. On property they have a championship tennis center, a fully equipped water sports center offering scuba, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, waterskiing, Hobie Cats and kayaks, a squash court and fitness center. They also have daily snorkeling trips to Cades Reef. The owner Chelle and the General Manager Rob are always present and very personable.

When you take your next vacation ask yourself...."What will you remember...?"

For more information about Curtain Bluff please contact Honeymoon Islands This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 703.753.8115

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Jun 15

Real Honeymoon - Bora Bora

We literally took a couple thousand pictures of our recent trip to Bora Bora…I can’t stop thinking about the experience that we had (nor looking at all our photos).  It truly was a dream vacation to paradise.  Words cannot describe the combination of beauty, remoteness, luxury, and nature that we experienced.   If anybody wants a truly exotic tropical destination, they should stop thinking about it and check this one off of their bucket list immediately.  We will definitely be back in the future.

The staff at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa were very attentive to all of our needs the entirety of our stay.  We definitely received the VIP treatment, beginning with our boat transfer to the resort and check-in process.   We received a day room to freshen up while our room was prepared.  Shortly afterwards we were whisked away to our bungalow to find our bags already delivered from the airport.  It was worth the wait, because later after touring the rest of the resort it was obvious that we had received the best bungalow in our category.  Very private, perfect unobstructed views of the horizon, and near the very end of the pier.  This was the first trip in my life where I spent more time in my room (or rather outside on my private decks) than around the resort.

The bungalow itself, besides its premium location, was well appointed inside and very clean and functional.  It was truly our home away from home, and we loved spending time in it.  Nothing beat waking up in the morning only to jump directly off our deck into our private slice of the magnificent lagoon.

We also received several bottles of complimentary champagne, beach towels, wraps, t-shirts, bracelets…little accoutrements of paradise to enjoy there and at home.  Everything we needed was a quick phone call and golf cart delivery to our bungalow away.   In addition, the concierge helped arrange taxis, and called to remind us to make reservations on busy nights when entertainment was offered.  At one point prior to a busy dinner show, we were even moved from an already fantastic front row table to an even better one closer to the action that was actually reserved for us initially.


The experience of booking was very easy through Honeymoon Islands.  I had confidence that we were receiving the best value during booking, and after leaving I am positive that we received better service during our stay for having done so through your company.  I fully endorse the island of Bora Bora, the InterContinental Thalasso, you as an agent (Teresa Belcher), and your company.   You will have repeat customers in the future and we will be referring our friends and family!

Bob & Jia Ameen

Bob & Jia, Reston Virginia, USA

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Jun 12

Real Honeymoon – Costa Rica – Mr. & Mrs. Rogers

Our honeymoon to Costa Rica was great! Both hotels (El Silencio and Four Seasons Costa Rica) were amazing, totally different, but a great compliment if you're looking to see a little of both sides of Costa Rica. 

El Silencio Costa Rica

El Silencio

El Silencio was so relaxing, and I think we were one of only a few couples there for the first few days so it was also very quiet and private.  Since it wasn't crowded when we got there, they made sure that we got one of the rooms with the best view.  The food there was amazing; we could have eaten the trout tartar for every meal of the trip!  Since it was the start of rainy season (June), we tried to do most of the activities in the day and then we would just hang out around the room reading or go to the spa in the afternoon.  The rain usually didn't start until after 1:00 or 2:00 though. 

Costa Rica Thermal Springs

The hotel and the grounds were amazing; I don't think we've ever seen so many trees in one place.  The hiking trails were also nice, and they even put in zip lines so we were able to do that also.  We squeezed in a few excursions while we were there, we did a coffee tour one morning and a trip to Arenal and the hot springs another day.  All of the excursions we did were basically private, so you had an English speaking driver to customize it based on what you're looking for.  Both were great and we learned a lot about the area since we had someone to ask questions to on the way there and back (one guide even did several monkey calls for us on the visit to Arenal to help us find some monkeys on the hike - and it worked).  Everyone at the hotel was so helpful and accommodating, and on the last night they even treated us to a complimentary private dinner at the spa (on their yoga deck) with a private chef who cooked for us table side.  It was a great end to the stay there. 

Four Seasons Costa Rica Beach

Four Seasons Costa Rica

Since El Silencio was pretty quiet (hence the name) we were excited to get to the Four Seasons for the second half of the trip and have a little more action and stuff going on around us.  I'd say the order of where we went first was perfect though considering how tired we were after the wedding.  We loved the Four Seasons as expected!  The service was great and there were so many different things spread out on the property.  I don't think I've ever been treated so well laying out by the pool either!  We mostly laid out and enjoyed the sunny weather there, we didn't get too much rain there which was nice.  I did make a trip to the spa which was great, and even took a spinning class with a view of the beach one day.  We did one excursion on a catamaran and went to some private beaches and did some snorkeling.  The excursion wasn't completely private but it was just us and one family on the boat so it was pretty close to it.

Four Seasons Costa Rica Golf

We aren't golfers so we also took a tour of the golf course on golf carts and I'd recommend this to anyone who goes there and doesn't golf.  The course was beautiful and we saw so many monkeys, some even walked right up to the carts at the beginning of the course. Thanks Honeymoon Islands for planning this for us!

Randy and Stephanie Rogers

Randy and Stephanie Rogers - Chicago, IL USA

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Travel Inforrmation:  info@honeymoonislands.com
Teresa Belcher: teresa@honeymoonislands.com

Telephone: (703) 753-8115