Breaking Away: Preparing for a Restful Vacation




Everybody looks forward to vacation and the anticipation of a trip to the beach, the mountains or a different country. Vacations are important to our health and mental well-being. You need time away from the daily stresses of work and family life. Getting the rest and relaxation you need depends to a great extent on how thoroughly you prepare for that big trip. Failing to do so means you’ll probably carry work concerns along with you and spend precious vacation time worrying about what you didn’t get done before you left. 

It’ll be there when you return

There’s a tendency among some people to work furiously in the days leading up to vacation, trying to do too much and ramping up your pre-vacation stress to unhealthy levels. No matter how hard you try, the work’s always there waiting for you when you get back. It’ll pile up while you’re gone whether you’ve tried to work ahead or not. Try focusing on deadlines and the most pressing items on your to do list. Leave the stuff that can wait for when you get back. If all goes well, you’ll be rejuvenated and in a good productive state when you re-enter. Taking advantage of your time off will increase your productivity when you get back.

Set the contact ground rules

Remember, you’re going on vacation to relax and have a good time. Try to avoid checking with the office while you’re gone. And let your colleagues know that the only reason they should call you on vacation is if there’s a full-blown emergency. Avoid falling into the trap of exchanging emails, texts or calls every day you’re gone. That’s an invitation to get pulled into the very thing you need time away from. It’ll be impossible to relax and enjoy yourself if you’re worried every day about situations that can be resolved by co-workers. Set ground rules before you leave so your superiors and colleagues don’t get the impression you’ll be available every day.

Manage expectations

It’s natural and part of the fun to get excited about vacation as it gets closer. Anticipation is definitely part of the fun. But be careful not to overdo it with expectations that everything will go as you’d hoped. Anytime travel is involved, something can go wrong. A flight may be late, or you might miss a connection. Your car could break down, or you could get a flat tire. The weather may prevent you from going on that coveted fishing trip. Learn to roll with the punches by focusing on other activities if something falls through. Anyway, the important thing is to relax and unwind. 

Don’t squeeze in too much stuff

Avoid scheduling too many activities on vacation. You could end up wearing yourself out trying to keep up with your own schedule, or worse, not feel like you had a break at all. Arrange a few fun activities but work in plenty of down time as well. You might decide you like doing nothing so much that you’ll cancel your plans or redo your schedule. In fact, it’s been found that those who take breaks seriously are more productive overall.

Slowing your mind and body after months of chaos at work can be really difficult for many people. Try preparing yourself to make the mental switch to vacation mode starting a couple of days before you leave. Imagine yourself lying on the beach with a book and a cold drink, or doing some body surfing. Getting ready for vacation takes place in the mind as well.

Pack early

Avoid packing at the last minute, which is the perfect way to forget something important. Pack your camera, an extra pair of glasses and other important belongings days before your departure. Don’t forget to make arrangements to board your pets well ahead of time; many pet shelters book up weeks in advance. If that doesn’t work, try sweet-talking a friend or relative into watching your furry friend while you’re gone.

Vacation is important to your overall well-being, something that everyone needs. There’s a definite correlation between time off and productivity, so taking vacation will make you a better employee. It’s your reward for all that hard work.


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Hear from the pros, tips for a destination wedding and a couple of our photos featured by Travel Channel!

Winter is right around the corner. If you are thinking about doing a destination wedding to get away to a warmer location, check out these two Travel Channel articles, “Expert Tips for Destination Weddings” and “What to Pack for Your Destination Wedding”, where two of our photos are featured. The articles include some ideas that you might not have had the chance to think about. 

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Soft & Romantic, Kim & Matt’s Brittland Estates Wedding featured on the Rustic Weddings Blog

See our photos of Kim & Matt’s beautiful wedding at the Brittland Estates in Chestertown, MD featured on Rustic Weddings Blog. The couple added personalized touches that made their wedding unique and the most memorable. Even their photogenic dog, Walter, posed for the camera!

A “Cross between San Diego and Nantucket”, see why everyone, including me, thinks Annapolis is the ultimate wedding destination!

Breathtaking venues, picturesque scenery, and an all around fun time, this is why Annapolis is a top location for a wedding. The Baltimore Sun quotes Mike B. in the article, "Annapolis named best 'under-the-radar' destination wedding location". See full article here

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Wedding Registry Ideas for the Non-Chefs

Some of the most popular wedding registry items are slow cookers, glassware sets, standing mixers and gourmet knife sets. I love to cook, and at times consider myself a chef in training, I realize, many couples prefer to order takeout than test their abilities in the kitchen. Buying gifts for someone like me is easy but, for couples who do not spend hours recreating Food Network recipes, here are some wedding registry items that will make great gifts!

1.   Tool Kit

Many couples buy their first homes around the time that they get married. For this reason, many couples have been able to rely on maintenance men, property managers or landlords to make repairs and do not have their own tool kits. Cordless sets like these are a practical, relatively inexpensive registry item that you and your spouse will put to good use for years to come. 

2.   Soft Sheets 

If you get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, you are spending ⅓ of your life in bed. Because of this, you and your soon-to-be spouse should invest in sheets with a high thread count so that you are excited to go to bed together every night. Registering for soft sheets will also ensure that you two start your married life with at least one fully-matching bedding set. 

3.   Vacuum

Many cleaning products for our homes can contain carcinogens, and it is very important to be mindful of what chemicals you and your spouse are using to clean your home. A way to keep your home clean without increasing your risk of inhaling or ingesting toxins is to vacuum regularly. Registering for a vacuum you and your spouse both like will encourage you both to complete chores at home. 

4.   Lighting

Light fixtures usually come with a home, but they are also one of the most telltale ways that a home is older than you may think or that it is falling into disrepair. Registering for new lighting for your house or apartment will instantly give any room a facelift and can easily add an air of luxury to a previously bland space. 

5.   Photo Prints

One of the easiest way to turn a blank wall into a reflection of your life and your love is to display photos in your living spaces. With The Wedding Photo Registry, you can register to have your wedding guests gift you and your new spouse with professional prints from your wedding or engagement photo sessions. 

Pay attention to the writings on the wall while you and your guests fall in love with your wedding day

I'm sure there is a lot to say about about each special wedding day couple. features our photo in the article, “Creative Calligraphy Signs You Haven’t Already Seen all over Pinterest”. Check out these creative ideas for wedding signage that might inspire you, while possibly creating a photo op at the same time. The possibilities are endless! See full article here

Let's Get Personal! See our featured photo and how unique items can add a personal touch for your memorable day.

Huffpost features one of our photos in the article, “Easy Ways to Add Even More Personal Touches to Your DIY Wedding”. Some of the best favors are things that mean something special to the couple. Sometimes that may be difficult to determine. If you need some ideas on how to make your wedding feel personal, check out this article here.

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Thinking about a royal wedding? Us too. See a couple of our photos featured on InStyle.

Two of our photos were featured in InStyles article, “How to Plan a Whirlwind Wedding Like a Royal”. Click here to see the photos and read more on how to make your wedding more royal.

Winter is for weddings in the New Year!

Our photos of Sarah and Ryan’s winter wedding at The National Harbor were featured on the United With Love blog. Check out the photos here and see how this couple kept cozy with detail at their winter wonderland wedding.

Great gift ideas for your groomsmen!

Having witnessed hundreds of weddings over the last ten years, I have noticed that it is surprisingly difficult for grooms to pick gifts for their groomsmen. Most often, the go-to seems to be liquor, sunglasses, or watches. All of these are fine choices; but for those guys who want to step up their gifting game with something more unique, I suggest checking out Groovy Guy Gifts. They sent me a a sample of their personalized, wood handled razor (see picture below) along with a very cool personalized case. Their website is full of stuff like this ­–– flasks with faces, bottle bullets, knife and flask sets, decanters, suit sets, whisky stones, etc. They are all customizable, affordable, and perfect for any guy who wants to keep his gifts traditional but unique. Check them out here:

Annapolis takes #1 for “Under the Radar Destination Wedding Locations for 2017”! See why I think Annapolis is so special.

One of our photos was featured in Popsugar. Popsugar rates, “Under-the-Radar Destination Wedding Locations for 2017.” See why Annapolis is #1 on that list and why Mike B. thinks Annapolis is one of the greatest spots for a destination wedding. Click here to see full article. 

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Mike B is featured in United with Love, Offering Special Photographer Advice for DC weddings

We caught up with one of my favorite blogs, United with Love, to share some advice and tips for navigating wedding day photos in the DC area. To see what advice I have to give and to see some of our special DC wedding photos, click here.

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Proud Contributor of The International wedding trend report 2018!

The wedding trends report is created by the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning. It is put together by professionals from all over the world to help planners, brides and industry experts for future wedding planning. Some of the biggest names around the world in the wedding industry contribute to this report. The information is extremely valuable to those planning a wedding. Mike B was honored to contribute and to be featured in the International Wedding Trends report for the third year in a row. To access the full 2018 report, click here

Summer Wedding Themes, Which is Your Favorite? See what the professionals have to say in All Seated where one of our photos was featured!

AllSeated has featured one of our photos in their blog post, “Wedding Pros Spill on Their Favorite Summer Wedding Themes”. AllSeated asks wedding professionals what stands out most to them at weddings. These professionals might spark some ideas for your summer 2018 weddings. See the full article here

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Holiday Flare for this Cozy Winter Wedding Affair!

Planning a winter wedding? Borrowed & Blue has featured our photos from Sarah and Stephens winter wedding to inspire you for this year’s winter weddings. Check out the photos here.

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Elegance, Tradition and Maritime Decoration, see Our Featured Photos from this Seafaring Wedding!

One of our favorite summer weddings was featured on the United with Love blog. Newlyweds Sarah and Matt had a traditional naval wedding at the Maritime Museum. Unique décor included Annapolitian themed invitations, illustrated wedding signs, custom menus and more. Take a look at what inspired this beautiful wedding and how the lovely couple made this dream a reality here

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Our Photos featured in Mountainside Bride. Read Q&A from one of our favorite Fall Brides!

Fall is here, check out what one of our favorite fall brides had to say about her “Romantic Golden Barn Wedding in the Allegheny Mountains” last fall. She might have even answered some questions you have about planning a fall wedding. See Rob and Brits wedding here

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