European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Guide: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Apr 18, 2014

Entry No. 43: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Last year, J&I spent a long weekend roadtripping from our small German village to another small German village - Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is pretty well-known for being so little. It's a near-perfectly preserved medieval town with its rampart walls still intact, a bell tower you can climb for a bird's eye view of the town and tons of charming little homes, taverns and restaurants. Hello, magical honeymoon!

View of the town square from the top of the bell tower

I think I most enjoyed just walking around the cobblestone streets and snapping photos of the shuttered windows with overflowing flower baskets and the sweet doorways that looked like they were from the pages of fairy tales. I had visited this little town once before when I was a child with my parents so revisiting with my husband was a fun and surreal experience.

"Zur Holl" or "In Hell" ... we totally had lunch here just so we could say we ate lunch "in hell" ;)

Behold Schneeballen ... I definitely remembered these from the last time I had visited when I was 8 or 9. The word literally means 'snowball' and they are a regional pastry of fried dough that come in a huge variety of different flavors. I don't remember which I tried last year but I have to say, I only took a bite or two. I love the idea of eating a snowball but mine just wasn't that tasty. :-/ That's okay, though, because I later found a dark beer that was more to my liking. ;)

Probably the most famous shot of Rothenburg odT - maybe you recognize it now? ;)
Climbing the bell tower...
Loved the views from the tippy top of the bell tower!
And here's a glimpse of the crazy creaky old stairs we had to climb to get to the top of the bell tower ... they just kept getting more and more narrow ... and finally, at the very top, you had to climb a little ladder through a little hole - yikes! ... But worth it! ;)

CB's Top Tips for Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

- Where to stay. We booked our hotel at the Hotel Schwarzer Adler but when we arrived we learned that they had overbooked and had already made arrangements to send us to another hotel - which was actually closer to the town center and we received an upgrade to a suite ... which was sweet. ;) So even though I can't say how the Hotel Schwarzer Adler was, I will say their customer service was wonderful and we really enjoyed the Hotel we ended up staying at: Hotel Zum Bären. However, it looks like Zum Bären is no longer open ... which I hope is only temporary because it was a truly wonderful + romantic hotel. Info: Hotel Zum Bären, Hofbronnengasse 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber / Hotel Schwarzer Adler: Klingengasse 12, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 91541Germany

Here's a few photos of Hotel Zum Bären and the suite we stayed in:

- Driving + Parking. Personally, I think driving would be the easiest way to reach Rothenburg odT. I'm sure you could take a train to a nearby village, as well, but we really enjoyed having our car with us so I highly recommend getting a rental. There is limited parking inside the walled village but there's an enormous parking lot right outside the town walls and that's where we parked for the few days we were there.

- Schneeballen. As I said in the post, it's the the thing to try here so just get one and give it a try. ;)

- Torture Museum. While this may not be the most romantic outing for a honeymoon, it's a pretty interesting museum and I remember being amazed as a little kid so J&I had to revisit. While there are some atrocious torture devices in the museum, there are also a few silly devices spotlighted that were used for the town gossips, etc. :)

- The Nightwatchman Tour. I think this tour happens every Saturday and Sunday but you might want to double check that. The tour is free {although it's nice to make a donation at the end} and you can join in at any time. Just look for the guy in a cloak with a lantern and people clustered around him. ;)

- Walk the ramparts and/or climb the bell tower. If you can, do both - you'll get a neat perspective on the town buildings and probably some beautiful photos.

- Last but not least, make sure you're headed to the right Rothenburg - there are two in Germany. So if you're using a GPS, make sure you're headed to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. ;)

If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Hope you enjoyed the second installment of the European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal! Happy Honeymooning!

Did you miss the other entries of CB's Travel Journal? Click here to catch up! ;o)

Images by moi.

Classic Bride Style File: Wearing TWO Gowns (FTW)

Apr 17, 2014

On Monday, I shared a gorgeous California wedding where the bride wore two gowns on her big day: one for the ceremony and one for the reception:

I cannot tell you how much I love this idea and I'm going to go off on a little side tangent right now so bear with me ... Do you guys ever watch Something Borrowed, Something New on TLC? If you're not familiar, it's show where the bride has to choose between wearing her mother's wedding dress {which is updated by a designer} and a new wedding dress {of the bride's choosing}. I'm addicted to the show and I almost always root for the bride to choose her mother's updated dress and it always makes me so sad when she chooses the new dress. And then I always wonder why she has to choose ... couldn't she wear both? I think it would be so beautiful to wear your mom's dress for the ceremony and then your dress for the reception - an amazing mixture of old and new!

What do you think - would you entertain the idea of two dresses for your wedding? Or wearing your mom's for the ceremony? I'd love to hear your thoughts! ;)

Images by Christine Chang.

How To Use Antiques in Your Wedding: French Champagne Buckets as Vases (for sale!)

Apr 16, 2014

As part of my antiquing series, I've been sharing some of my favorite ways to incorporate antiques in your wedding. I've shared how to use vintage French enamel pitchers and watering cans as vases ... and today, I'm going to share one of my absolute favorites: Vintage French Champagne Buckets! Just like last week's watering cans, these are incredibly easy to style - you literally just need to make a trip to your local floral market and pick up a bunch of your favorite blooms to drop in. I'm using hydrangeas but I think a cluster of white tulips mixed with ranunculus would be jaw-droppingly gorge. All of the champagne buckets are for sale and were privately sourced by me all throughout France. The items will soon be placed in my CB Vintage shop so if you're interested in a piece {or would like more info/measurements/photos}, just e-mail me at! I have close to 20 and am happy to work a bundle deal, too! I think they'd look lovely lining a long table at a reception!

Again, if you're interested in a piece {or would like more info/measurements/photos}, 
just e-mail me at!

And if you missed my series on flea marketing for your wedding, catch up here!

All images by moi.

Classic Bridal Beauty Files: Oil Pulling

Apr 15, 2014

Have you guys heard about oil pulling? I feel like everyone has been talking about it and after staying up too late one night a few weeks ago, reading countless articles and watching one-too-many YouTube videos {this was my favorite - I'm really addicted to her YT now!}, I was convinced of the many benefits oil pulling offers and decided to try it out.

via my Instagram - are you following me? ;)
It basically consists of taking a teaspoon of coconut oil {you can also use sesame or sunflower oil} and swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes when you first wake up and then spitting it out. The process is supposed to pull toxins from your mouth - it's also said to freshen your breath, whiten your teeth, detoxify, help with digestion and a myriad of other positive things. It's supposedly an ancient Indian ritual and I really couldn't wait to try it out.

When I woke up the next morning, the idea of swishing a clump of oil around in my mouth seemed way less fun and enjoyable but I took a small spoonful of organic coconut oil and started swishing. I really did not enjoy having a lump of oil in my mouth but once it melted it wasn't as bad. It immediately seemed to start growing by leaps and bounds and I felt like I had chipmunk cheeks after only 2-3 minutes of swishing. After 4 minutes, I was done - I spit it out in the trash {don't spit in the sink - the oil will harden and clog your drain} and rinsed my mouth out with warm water and brushed my teeth. I will say my mouth felt really clean afterwards and while I didn't really enjoy the "process," I'm hooked enough to give it a go a few more times to see what happens.

I love that it's a natural way of detoxifying and whitening teeth and {if it works}, it would be a great bride-to-be beauty regime!

What do you think? What are your thoughts on oil pulling? Have you tried it yet? Do tell! ;)

Classic Summer California Wedding {with two gowns!}

Apr 14, 2014

Catherine and Peter wed in June at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Oja, Calif. The bride donned different gowns for the ceremony and reception - both stunning and an idea I absolutely love! Wouldn't it be fun to have two dresses? Oh, and there's a Love Actually -inspired 'scene' during the ceremony - too cute for words! / Photos by Christine Chang.

Says Catherine, "The best advice I got as I was planning our wedding was simply 'pick what you like' and 'don’t overthink it,' which seems ridiculously obvious in hindsight. But after you get engaged and you finally choose a date, everyone starts asking you, 'What is your vision?' I wasn’t the kind of girl who grew up fantasizing about every detail of her wedding so I had no idea! And after looking at hundreds of gorgeous photos of other people’s weddings, I couldn't decide what my 'style' was. So, I started by focusing on the feelings I wanted to have present during my wedding weekend: joy, romance, and fun. My fiancé and I wanted everyone to feel like a huge part of the experience, to connect with each other and to relish in the overflowing love we have for each other and them!

Basically, I realized it wasn’t the details people would remember, but the feeling of the weekend. From there, we decided that our venue would have to be a great location for an easy getaway so our guests would feel like they were on a mini-vacation and be encouraged to hang out for the whole weekend. We decided on the stunning Ojai Valley Inn because the event areas were absolutely beautiful and they offered so much for everyone to enjoy from the pools to hiking, golf, and an adorable downtown area just minutes away. We kept all the weekend’s activities 'on-campus' so everyone could easily attend, mix and mingle, including our Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Reception, Wedding, and Brunch. It also helped to make planning easier since their stellar catering staff helped to streamline the process.

Once we had decided on the venue, we let the location and time of year of the wedding guide the process. The ceremony was held in an intimate courtyard overlooking the valley, so a simple arch covered in greens and a sprinkling of flowers under the oak tree helped enhance the natural beauty of the setting.

Says Vikki Marsee, the wedding coordinator, "This was one of the BEST moments of the whole wedding. The bride is a huge fan of the movie Love Actually and so the groom planned it that during the ceremony, one of their friends was to say a reading, but in fact, he did it all with signs. It started with the same music that was playing during that part in the movie (thats the "go with it" sign) and he showed the rest of the signs, basically saying a very similar thing to the movie (to me, they are perfect vs to me, you are perfect). She cried like a baby and it was amazing!"

Golf carts waited for the guests after the ceremony for the short ride down the path to the Cocktail Hour at the Herb Garden where they served 'Pink Moment' cocktails and Cucumber Mint Jalapeno Margaritas that made even the drinks colorful and bright and gave a nod to the specialness of the location (Ojai has a daily 'pink moment' during the sunset over the mountain).

The reception was on the Herb Garden lawn, so by selecting seasonal flowers in bright but varied colors, incorporating fresh herbs, and using varied containers and votives provided by our incredible florist, we captured a feeling of a romantic, yet unfussy straight-from-the-garden arrangements. Tables were named after places that were significant to our relationship, including where we met! Since we were outdoors we wanted to protect our guests from the sun, but not block out the beauty of our surroundings. 

Our dinner was served 'Family Style' to encourage interaction among our guests and Peter and I had a few surprises throughout the night to make for an exciting event. I serenaded Peter during my speech, backed up by my bridesmaids and friends with a guitar, tambourines and homemade signs for our guests to sing along. For dessert, we brought in a froyo truck as an unexpected summer treat where guests could add their own topping, which added a whimsical touch.

Together with our rental company, we designed a tent that felt open, festive and romantic using fabric and market lights. We got a great boost from Mother Nature since we were celebrating under a Super Full Moon! 

My husband is Korean, and I’m half, so we had treat bags filled with Korean candies as our 'Thank You' favors that were given out before the end of the night when we had a 'Sparkler Send Off' grand exit.

The most incredible moment of the night came when right after we had made it through the pathway created by our guests with sparklers, our wedding coordinator ran up and told me to look to my left, and BOOM!! My husband surprised us all with an incredible fireworks display to cap off the most romantic and fun day of our life!"

Thanks so much to Vikki Marsee, of All You Need is Love Events, for submitting this beautiful wedding and big congrats to Catherine and Peter! xx.

Credits: Venue: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Oja, Calif. / Coordinator: Vikki Marsee, of All You Need is Love Events / Photographer: Christine Chang / Rentals and Lighting: Town and County / Music: Scratch Weddings / Video: Cinevent Production / Floral: Twig and Twine

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