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Blog

Ocean-bred and NYC-based fashion and lifestyle blog.

Filtering by Tag: wedding

Tulum Travel Guide

Tiffany Geiger

Cory & I went to Tulum for our honeymoon last week and couldn't be more obsessed. We both love Mexican food and the beach (I mean, we got married on the beach - read more about that here) so you can imagine how excited we were to check out Tulum. On the plane we started to second guess that we'd built up our expectations too much but you guys, it somehow exceeded our high expectations! I can't wait to go back and am already planning our trip back. If you're looking for your next beach vacation destination. Tulum is it. Ok, so let's get to the travel guide. 

Where to stay: 

  • Encantada - This hotel is directly on the beach with only 8 rooms. It has such an intimate feel. The hotel employees know you by name and start to remember your breakfast order and where you went for dinner last night. It's adorable. They felt like family by the end of our stay and we will definitely return here. The breakfast is included in the room rate & is DELICIOUS. Ask Carlos to make you a Tulum smoothie, it's the best way to start your day. And pink mints by the beach (rosemary, watermelon & tequila)! Ugh I want both of these now. 
  • Casa Malca - Previously Pablo Escobar's mansion and now a hotel with 35 rooms directly on the beach. This is on the south end of the strip (Boca Paila). The hotel is beautiful and so unique and the service is impeccable. The concierge knew our names from the minute we checked in (Hey Jorge & Daniel!) and were ready to assist however they could to make our stay in Tulum perfect. We split our time between here and Encantada because neither hotel was available for our full stay and we loved getting to experience two hotels. 
  • Be Tulum - Luxurious and a little pricier than other options but gorgeous with a beautiful pool and fun rooms. Def a spot to do lunch if you don't stay here. 
  • Ahau Tulum - Super cute hotel right on the beach with a delicious juice bar. 
  • La Zebra - Lively boutique hotel on the beach with a great restaurant and beach scene. 

Where to Eat & Drink: 

  • Arca - Mexican seafood restaurant outside. The best fish we've ever had. Book your reservation in advance by emailing them. They say they're cash only but we were able to pay with a credit card. And order a mezcal cocktail!
  • Hartwood - Sceney farm to table Mexican seafood restaurant. Another one that you have to book 30 days in advance. Their reservations open the previous month for the following month (i.e.: June 1 reservations open for the month of July). We unfortunately didn't get to go here as none of it is under cover so our reservation got rained out but next time we definitely will! This place is cash only. 
  • Casa Jaguar - A great scene for drinks and dinner. We booked a table late on a Thursday night and then hung around after for their weekly Jungle party (every Thursday night). We had & would recommend the pork belly tacos and the whole fish. I'd also suggest making a reservation by emailing them.
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  • Chamicos - Stop here on your drive from Cancun or when you do the cenotes as it's about 40 minutes north from Boca Paila (the main strip on Tulum Beach). It's all outside on the beach so go on a sunny day and wear your bikini. Order the ceviche & a margarita and hang out in the hammocks afterwards. There's an imposter in town so make sure you go to the right location. It's on an unnamed road and on the beach! Google maps first took us to the imposter.
  • Gitano - Didn't have dinner here but the coolest most instagrammable restaurant for after-dinner drinks. They're known for their mezcal cocktails. You can also make a reservation on OpenTable
  • Antojitos la Chiapaneca - A taco stand in town and they don't speak English so break out your best Spanish. Get anything and everything. The best tacos I've ever had. We had 7 different things and it was $2 at the end. They're open until midnight so it's a good after dinner option too if you just can't peel yourself off the beach. Go crazy! 
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  • Nomade Tulum - Sit outside on the beach for lunch. I recommend the ceviche and a spicy margarita. 
  • Be Tulum - Didn't get to eat here but super cute hotel worth checking out. Stop by for lunch if you have time. 
  • Nu - MUST GO. A new restaurant that opened this year across the street from Encantada. Once the word gets out this will be a place that you'll have to book far in advance like Arca and Hartwood. The chef here also is the chef at Encantada during the day. We had life changing grouper carpaccio here. Also the beans & rice are delicious as an appetizer. And the corn dessert! I don't remember what it's called but it's corn ice cream and a corn cake of some sort. I dream of it every night. 
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What to do: 

  • Ride bikes - Most hotels offer bikes to borrow included in your rate. There is a main strip with all the hotels and restaurants and biking is the best easiest way to get around. It was also super fun to just ride up and down the street throughout the day and pop into shops or bars for drinks and snacks. 
  • Cenotes - Cenotes are natural sinkholes and absolutely gorgeous. It's such a cool thing to check out! Wear your bikini for swimming. We did Cenote Calaveras it's $5 per person. It's small and beautiful and wasn't very crowded when we went. Also heard Sac Actun and Gran Cenote are great! They're bigger and about $35 each. This was a great rainy day activity since you're already planning to swim anyway.
  • Tulum Ruins - Go first thing in the morning (opens at 8a) before it gets busy and you can head to the Cenotes from here. I don't remember how much it cost to enter but it was less than $10. It was beautiful but it started pouring while we were here so we ran through it very quickly. 
  • Yoga - Tulum is known for yoga. Most hotels offer classes daily including: Sanara, Be Tulum and Casa Malca. 
  • Beach - Spend the day(s) at the beach. This is why you're really in Tulum. Beach days! The beach is beautiful. There is a lot of seaweed but the hotels do a good job at clearing it daily. A few of our favorite beach clubs were: Coco Tulum (do it for the insta), Ahau Tulum and La Zebra. We also loved spending the day at the beach at Encantada (super small and not much to attract you here unless you're a guest) and Casa Malca (the service is impeccable - an attendant offered to clean my sunglasses!) but not sure if Casa Malca allows non-hotel guests.

Travel Tips:

  • Get pesos before you go - lots of places are cash only and the ATMs there have had trouble with skimming. Plus the exchange rate will be better from your bank. All the hotels take credit card but lots of restaurants are cash only. 
  • Read everything about your hotel before you book. Tulum is very eco-friendly so some don't have AC or only have AC available at certain times of day. Some don't have showers. Some have shared bathrooms. Just do your research so you get what you want and aren't surprised if you show up and have a shared bathroom. 
  • Rent a car - Tulum is about 2 hours from Cancun. You can book a car for $100ish each way but we were able to rent a car for our whole trip for $55 for 6 days including gas! And it was great to have to drive into town for tacos or drive to the cenotes. The rental car place will try to sell you insurance (that's where they make their money) but you can refuse it. We rented from Hertz and I'd recommend doing the same. Book your car with your credit card that includes insurance (we used our Amex but I know Chase Sapphire and other major travel cards offer it also). 
  • Wear sunscreen - Cory and I are from Florida so we're familiar with some serious sun but Mexico is another level. If you're outside, just wear sunscreen. Gross but real talk - Cory's whole body is currently molting from a sunburn he got in 2 hours on our first beach day. I love SunBum, it's lightweight, not greasy & smells like bananas!
  • Drink the tequila, the mezcal, eat the local fish and produce - The food here is incredible. It's all so fresh and everything we had was amazing. Try new things! If you don't usually drink Mezcal, try it. You're in Mexico!

Tulum is one of our favorite places in the whole world now and my absolute favorite beach town. We will certainly make it an annual trip for years to come and hope to get it in twice this year by returning for our first anniversary this November. Any great Tulum spots I missed!? Let me know in the comments! We definitely want to spend some more time in town next trip. 

a fairytale wedding

Tiffany Geiger

This past weekend Cory and I attended his cousin's wedding in Pennsylvania. It was a fairytale wedding at the bride's parents house on lots of green land and an adorable pond with twinkle lights and a row boat straight out of the Notebook. I had a hard time finding a dress I loved and am so glad I ended up picking the one I did as it fit perfectly with the theme of the day. 

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This dress was super soft and comfy and is an easy little wrap dress. I dressed it up for this wedding but could see myself dressing it down too. Revolve is my favorite store especially for wedding guest dresses and because they have free 2-day shipping and free returns in case it doesn't fit right. 

SHOP MY LOOK

Picking a Honeymoon Destination

Tiffany Geiger

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Cory and I decided to delay our honeymoon and take our time planning it. Below are my tips for planning your honeymoon. 

1 - Decide what you're looking for in your honeymoon. 

We wanted to go somewhere where we could spend our days on the beach and relax but also have an adventure and we wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been. That narrowed it down immediately. 

2 - Set a budget.

Set a rough budget for how much you're willing to spend and how long you want to go and narrow your list down from there. Having a budget will immediately eliminate some destinations for you based on cost of airfare or how expensive a country is.

3 - Make a list.

We thought long and hard and took our time deciding where to go. We made a list of potential places we'd like to go and narrowed it down further from there. 

4 - Do your research. 

Watch airfare sales, check out the time of year to, consider going in the off season, there's lots of ways you can slim down your budget based on these things. 

5 - Don't get caught up on calling it your honeymoon.

This is the most important tip! We found what was causing us the most delay in picking a place was calling it our honeymoon. Inherently that made it feel like it needed to be grand, lavish, once in a lifetime trip. But it doesn't. Finally we decided to ignore the title and just book a trip to where we want to go right now. You have your whole life with your spouse and plenty of time to go on lavish vacations. Just book a trip wherever you want to go and enjoy! 

So, to Tulum Mexico we go! The minute we let go of the title it made it so easy to pick a destination and we couldn't be more excited to eat tacos and drink margaritas on the beach for a week in May. And we're starting to plan a trip to Asia for later this year without worrying about the grandiose that comes with the honeymoon title. We're just doing us. 

What's catching you up planning your honeymoon? What did you find was the most helpful for you in deciding where to go?

120 Days of Marriage

Tiffany Geiger

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Cory & I got married 4 months ago and time has FLOWN! There are a few things I have learned in our first 120 days as husband and wife. You know after the gifts have stopped, the photos are in and you've watched your wedding video 10x and once you're just like... married. Plus, I need another excuse to post all my favorite wedding photos (HOLLA at my fave girl & insane photographer, Finding Light Photography!). 

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1. Husband and wife

We really had to try to remember to call each other fiance when we were engaged and not just boyfriend and girlfriend but the transition to husband and wife was pretty easy. It's bizarre and the words themselves make us feel older for some reason like it clearly must be time to really adult if I have a husband!? But there's also this unexpected sense of pride with calling Cory my husband like you got promoted at work or something and now are CEO. Does that make any sense? Prob not but that's sort of how it feels. 

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2. Mrs. Chaplin

I changed my name, almost immediately honestly. And it was so much easier than I expected, you don't need Hitchswitch. Sorry, it's just so much easier than that and this list on the Knot was super helpful to make sure I'd remembered everywhere to change it. It is an adjustment though. I'd been Tiffany Geiger for 27 years and then I wasn't. I love my new name don't get me wrong but it's one of the things I'm still adjusting to. Though I do also love being a Chaplin now like "yeah, we have the same last name. we're married and stuff." Again, sort of that weird sense of pride for some reason. 

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3. The honeymoon phase is real.

Cory and I had been together 16 years before we got married. I know, if you haven't read our story you can do so here. And had lived together for 3 before so I felt like we knew all the things about each other and had been through pretty much everything together. But that post-wedding glow is real. It's just incredible and your relationship is just SO GOOD right after. Sex-wise. Happiness-wise. Life-wise. It's just INCREDIBLE. 

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4. Combining bank accounts/talking money is weird.

We've lived together for 3+ years now so we've been talking about money for a while now but now that you're legally married it literally means mine is his and his is mine so suddenly everything matters more financially. Because your spouse is literally invested in everything you are - good and bad. So talk about the money, preferably before marriage but the conversation continues after and it's something we're working on - ok, I'm working on getting comfortable with still. I like to shop and go out for dinner and it's expensive to get my hair colored, eyebrows done - you know the work us girls do to feel pretty - and some of that Cory doesn't understand but he's trying to and I'm trying to keep the conversation open. And vice versa one day I saw an email on his phone that he'd bought Bitcoin or one of those currencies for like $5k and YOU DID WHAT?! suddenly a $5k purchase felt like something I should know about. Anyway, be ready for it and stay open to it and you'll find your groove. 

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5. You'll never regret the money you spent on your wedding (or prob not your honeymoon.. but I wouldn't know yet). 

We paid for our wedding and guys.. it's expensive! But it was the best day of our lives and I'm not saying do the ridiculous and get everything you want but get the important things to you because you won't regret it. I have such great memories (and photos) of that day, I ask Cory at least once a week if we can do it again. Worth every penny. 

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6. Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Hell, do both. Post-wedding depression is real. For months/years you've been planning this day and then the day comes and it's beyond and then it goes and you're left wondering like now what!? Let's go back. And it's sad for a while.. I still get sad sometimes but def less so. I'd say the "severe" post-party depression was like the first 60ish days because within that time frame you're in your relationship honeymoon phase and photos are coming in and your videos are coming in and then all that ends and it kind of becomes normal. 

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7. Marriage life is the same. 

People frequently ask "how's married life?" and it's the same. The only change I could really expect some people may go through is if they didn't live together before because then that's definitely an adjustment. But we did so married life is the same we're just legally bound now. 

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8. The Honeymoon

I couldn't handle mentally planning a wedding and a big honeymoon and let's be honest, neither could our bank accounts. So we went down to Miami right after for a few days (which were incredible! You should def do something right after the wedding just you and your spouse for a night at least and really basque in the post-wedding glory) and delayed our honeymoon. But even if you choose to delay it, make it a priority to plan it! It's not something you want to inadvertently skip because you just never got around to planning. Cory and I just got back from a trip with our friends to Europe and now that we're through that we're focusing on figuring out where we want to go on our Honeymoon and when. 

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9. Priorize your spouse and your marriage.

You're busy. And if you live in NYC somehow you're even busier. It's easy for it to drop down the list. You work, you work late, you get happy hour with friends, you go to the gym, you get your hair colored. It's easy to move through the week without spending time with your spouse. It's important to prioritize time together and plan date nights. It's easy amidst planning and reaching for big goals (a trip, a house, whatever it is) to skip date night. But you have to find a way to make it a priority at the same time - cook at home together and sit down to dinner without phones and TV, that counts. We've recently gotten back into going out every week or so and date nights are the best. We come home like "Wow! That was so fun!" So plan dates just the two of you & go on them! You need the time to connect with your spouse. 

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10. Remember your wedding day is just the beginning of many dreams.

Wedding day was the best. I will say it over and over again. And the post-party depression was real. But it's just the first of so many of our dreams together! There will be buying our first house, vacations, babies, career moves and so many more things to focus on and be excited for your future together! Wedding day is just the beginning. 

Wedding Day Recap: Getting Ready

Tiffany Geiger

Everyone says it and it's true - our wedding was the best day of my life. It's such an amazing feeling to be surrounded by all your favorite people there to celebrate you and your spouse. I can't put it into words but it's truly magical. I was going to do one big post on the day but it's SO much, I decided to drag it out a little more. So today we're talking getting ready day of.. 

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ROMPER: Lovers & Friends | ROBE: In Bloom | BRA: Free People

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SUIT JACKET: JCrew | SUIT PANTS: JCrew | SHIRT: Custom by Proper Cloth | SANDALS: Rainbows

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GIRLS ROMPERS: Custom by LJC Designs

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TOP: Needle & Thread | SKIRT: Needle & Thread | SHOES: Elina Linardaki | BRACELETS: David Yurman, David Yurman, old Tiffany & Co, something borrowed & blue (my mom's bracelet) & something old (Cory's grandmother's bracelet)

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Photography: Finding Light Photography

SHOP THE POST

Getting ready is so fun! TBH I started the day hung over and my sister (and MOH) had to come up to my room to drag me out of bed. Cory had already left that morning to head home to meet the boys to watch the Arsenal game and I was getting every last ounce of sleep possible. Yes, Cory and I chose to stay together the night before our wedding. We already live together and I sleep better and am just more comfortable when he's there. We got to kiss good morning and part ways shortly after. 

Then down to the bridal suite. All festivities were on property at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort. It was so great because we slept there the night before, got ready there all day, the wedding ceremony & reception were there and then we headed upstairs to bed after. It was so fun and convenient having everything in one place. BRIDE TIP: Having everything in one location made it so much easier for our photographer and videographer to catch as much as possible and not waste time commuting between locations. The day was SO MUCH FUN! Hanging out with my best friends all day, getting our hair and makeup done and sipping champagne. It was such a happy, exciting day for everyone! 

I did a first look with my mom on wedding day so my sister helped me get dressed. The videographer and photographer were there as we got ready to ceremoniously zip up the back of my skirt. And then the zipper wouldn't work. My sister had a silent meltdown doing her best not to alarm me (and she didn't!) as she tried over and over again before finally admitting defeat. Then we called in back up. My friend Nikki (aka The Layered Appeal) came in as I knew she'd just gotten married herself so was experienced with these finicky zippers and would stay calm. It zipped then opened and then by some wedding miracle we got me zipped in. Once successful, my adorable sister cried hysterically - she was so nervous we weren't going to be able to get me zipped in. But it made for some adorable pictures! Plus wedding snafus make for great memories (well, at least when they end up ok in the end). 

Next week will be the big wedding finale! I'll discuss ceremony & reception and share my wedding video!