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Q&A with Lena Katz
Lena Katz is Celebrations.com’s travel expert and she knows all the hot places to vacation and explore. She hooked up some lucky folks from I Do Over with dream do over honeymoons and she took a few secs out of her globetrotting life to give us some answers to our travel and show questions.
What was your favorite memory from filming?
There were a few, of course. I loved Diann Valentine’s entire staff as well as the I Do Over crew. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and really made me feel like a part of things from the first time I met them. Another experience that really stands out was walking on to the rooftop of the LA Athletic Club when it had been fully set up for the reception. It was breathtaking. I’d lived in LA for 10 years, and never would I have imagined I would step into this magical shimmering scene in downtown, of all places!
Have you ever done a wedding for television before? What made it different from other events you’ve planned travel for?
Not for television, no, though I’ve done tons of honeymoon and wedding travel features and consulting work. The big difference is obviously that a wedding is the most momentous occasion in many people’s lives. To borrow a bit of business lingo, working on one is “high risk/high reward.” You want to get everything absolutely right for the couple, because so much emotion is riding on it.
What advice would you give couples looking to book a special trip?
Don’t over-plan what you’re going to do when you get there. Of course, having a couple must-dos on the schedule gives each day a focal point. But when you fill up every day and night with activities and appointments, your getaway becomes just as stressful as “real life” and you might even miss out on the “us time” that is supposed to be the biggest perk of a romantic getaway. I recommend you officially designate at least one or two “do nothing” days where you have no plans whatsoever except to relax and spend time together.
What are your top honeymoon no-no’s?
I would say, make 100% sure you’ve booked lodgings that are romantic, quiet and grown up. While a party-hardy all-inclusive resort might work for some couples, I would avoid any places that advertise “nightly shows and club themed nights” or 8 all-inclusive restaurants and buffets because those places specialize in quantity, not quality–and they draw families and big college-aged groups, who tend to be loud and rowdy and totally disruptive to a romantic occasion.
What’s the most incredible honeymoon you’ve ever heard of?
I planned one that was multi-leg and included a stay on one of the Hamilton Islands in Australia, on the Great Barrier Reef, then a jaunt over to New Zealand to stay in this little 4-cabin lodge on a river. Then a week in a private-island resort in Fiji, winding up with a week at one of the Four Season resorts in Hawaii. The couple I planned it for had all the money in the world. So this was a once-in-a-lifetime PikAMix of honeymoons.