Wedding - February 21, 2020

Our Honeymoon Recap & Some Tips on Planning Your Own

brighton keller honeymoon turks and caicos 1

I’ve gotten several questions about our honeymoon so I thought it might be helpful to put together a blog post outlining the trip for those of you planning your own. Also if you have any questions I didn’t address, feel free to leave a comment below and I can do my best to answer!

We knew we wanted to do it right after the wedding so that we could decompress after all the craziness that is wedding planning. I know some people do it later, but this worked best for us and I’m so glad we did!

brighton and duncan honeymoon aymara
brighton and duncan honeymoon
brighton and duncan honeymoon rainbow striped day dress
Outfit Details: Dress (wearing size XS) // Sandals

Where We Went & Stayed

You might have seen on Instagram or maybe you caught my recent post sharing all my honeymoon outfits, but if you didn’t, I’ll fill you in.

We went to Turks & Caicos and stayed at Amanyara. I know there are lots of wonderful resorts in Turks, but based on our experience, I truly couldn’t recommend this resort more! We had such a wonderful time and have talked about visiting again in the future. We got a pavilion with a pool and stayed for 5 nights.

I’ll be honest with you, though; this resort is not cheap. It’s one of the most expensive places either of us have ever stayed, but we truly felt like it was worth it 100% and would even do it again. We knew we wanted to splurge on our honeymoon and celebrate all that God has done in both of our lives.

brighton and duncan honeymoon
brighton and duncan honeymoon
brighton and duncan honeymoon 1

How We Decided Where To Go

In a dream world, I would have loved to have 2 weeks to go explore Italy with Duncan (he’s never been to Europe!). He had just started a new job and taking more than a week off wasn’t really an option, though. But even if it was, January isn’t really the best time to visit Italy anyway (trust me, I looked into it lol).

That being said, we knew we wanted to go somewhere with minimal travel headaches. In other words, we wanted to vacation somewhere that was relatively easy to get to. Since our wedding was in Austin, we knew a direct flight would be tricky, so we knew we’d have some sort of layover. We decided the Caribbean would be the best bet since we knew we wanted a beach and to relax.

After looking at the options in the Caribbean, we had narrowed it down to St. Lucia, Anguilla, and Turks & Caicos. Not only did all of these destinations look GORGEOUS, but we wanted to go somewhere we *might* not visit again or that isn’t a typical destination for us.

Also, I’d been wanting to go to an Aman property for over 10 years because I’d heard such amazing things about the brand from one of my Dad’s best friends who’s obsessed and has been to several of their properties in Asia. After showing the Aman property in Turks to Duncan, it was pretty much a done deal – we wanted to check it out!

I love the Asian influence and how focused on wellness their resorts are. It seemed like the perfect, relaxing getaway we both were craving. Then I talked to one of my best friends who also honeymooned there and I was SOLD, so we booked it! I used my friend Hutton, a travel agent, to book it. She highly recommended the property as well, so we felt great about our decision.

brighton keller traveling to honeymoon mrs butler suede jacket
Outfit Details: Suede jacket

Our Travel Experience + What We’d Do Differently

I think it’s common to take the super early flight Sunday after your wedding to get to your destination and be able to enjoy at least part of the day, but I said absolutely NO to waking up earlier than 8 the day after the wedding (ha!). That being said, we considered our options and how to make the most of our time.

We decided to take the later-ish flight from Austin to Miami on Sunday (we left at 11 AM) and then spend the day/night in Miami, taking the early flight to Turks Monday morning. We figured it would be nice to spend the day in Miami and not be traveling all day on Sunday.

But we learned from experience that we’d probably do it differently if we could do it again. It was kind of a hassle to STOP while traveling and spend the day/night in Miami. If we could do it again, we’d stay in Austin for the entire day on Sunday and then leave for Turks EARLY Monday morning.

Honestly, it’s kind of tricky because either way, you lose time traveling. But at least this way, we’d be able to relax at the resort on Monday and get everything in order before heading off out of the country. What did you do travel-wise for your honeymoon?

brighton and duncan honeymoon oceanside dinner
Outfit by Tiare Hawaii.
brighton and duncan honeymoon aymara pool
brighton and duncan honeymoon
Outfit Details: Dress (wearing size XS) // Earrings and Duncan is wearing this shirt with these pants
brighton and duncan honeymoon
Outfit Details: Swimsuit // Sunglasses

What We Did

We knew we wanted to spend most of our time relaxing, so we didn’t really plan too many activities. There’s lots to do at the property and you can get really into the wellness aspect of it all if you want to – Pilates, meditation classes, yoga, etc. We both got a couple of massages and they were AMAZING. We spent most of our days at the pool or the beach and honestly, eating a lot (ha!). We went snorkeling one day and that was fun!

Obvioulsy every couple is different, though I will say not planning *too much* is definitely something I suggest doing. After all, you’re getting off of the wedding planning craziness and there aren’t many times in life you can feel totally relaxed. If you’re a couple who likes being busy, I’d suggest planning something each day but also leaving time for doing nothing (or taking naps, laying around, etc.) I’m really glad we booked a place that supported relaxation and not doing a whole lot because we definitely needed it.

Duncan also talked me into putting away my cell phone for most of the trip which I HIGHLY recommend! Y’all know I’m usually on my phone a lot (it’s my job but also I have a hard time separating myself since it’s second natural) so at first this was HARD but man, it felt good once I got settled into it. I know there’s a lot of wedding stuff to look at after the wedding but if you can, I do suggest leaving your phone in the hotel/house for some of your time away.

brighton and duncan honeymoon
brighton and duncan honeymoon

Each night we did a different dining experience and I think some of these were our favorite parts of the trip! One night, we did a private dinner on the beach which was REALLY special and a memory I’ll always cherish. Duncan was intentional about our conversation that night which was very special – we talked about our goals for life and marriage and the future.

Another night we did a sunset experience in a cabana (so beautiful!). We spent the other nights alternating between the beach club and their main restaurant. We got to know some of the staff and we LOVED that part – the people who work here are AMAZING.

brighton and duncan honeymoon swimsuit and coverup and linen shirt
Details: Swimsuit Top // Swimsuit Bottom // Swim Coverup

What We Packed

I’ll be honest, we did LOTS of shopping before our honeymoon. In other words, we spent a lot of time looking, but didn’t find much! I didn’t anticipate how little supply of resort wear there would be in January.

If I could do it again, I’d start collecting pieces after engagement for the honeymoon to spread the shopping out a little. Of course, I brought some things I already owned too, but I just wanted to find new pieces for such a special occasion.

I did an entire blog post of all the outfits I packed (including a packing list if you’re planning yours), but I think it really just depends on what kind of honeymoon you have. We obviously brought a bunch of beach and hang out clothes because we knew we’d be doing lots of sitting around and sunbathing.

We also brought workout clothes because we went on walks around the resort and at the gym every day. Duncan loves to be active and walking is his favorite, so I made sure to prioritize that throughout our trip. Frankly, it was amazing because on the days when he wanted to go to the gym, I’d throw on a podcast and walk on the treadmill. It was a nice way to start our days before eating a big, yummy lunch or laying by the pool the rest of the day!

I got Duncan a linen shirt for the trip and it’s one of my favorite beach-y things he has! We looked all over but I ended up grabbing the one from Tommy Bahamas best. For our next beach trip, I want to get him some linen pants – I LOVE that look!

brighton and duncan honeymoon
brighton and duncan honeymoon beachside dinner
Outfit Details: Dress