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This past weekend marked another royal wedding: the nuptials of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and American financier Christopher O’Neill. The much-buzzed-about royal wedding took place at the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Stockholm, followed by a reception at Drottingholm Palace, where the Princess was born.

Princess Madeline met her husband-to-be while living in New York, and Mr. O’Neill has declined a royal title so he can keep his US citizenship and continue his banking career.

Well-wishers lined the cobblestoned streets in Stockholm on Saturday as the royal couple traveled in a horse-drawn carriage through Gamia Stan, the medieval old town. The newly wed couple then set sail from Stockholm Harbor on a royal barge to Drottingham Palace for a lavish reception, with royals and celebrities from all over the world in attendance.

A royal wedding isn’t the only reason Stockholm is on our radar this month. Weather-wise this Scandinavian gem shines in June … quite literally. On June 21, thousands of tourists will flock to Sweden to see the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon when the sun shines for a full 24 hours around the summer solstice.

If you’re more of royal watcher than a sun gazer, there’s another big event to look forward to this summer: the much-anticipated arrival of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s baby. Kate’s 8-month baby bump is getting bigger and bigger every day, as seen at the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation last week. The royal baby is due mid-July and the world is abuzz with speculation, rumors and bets: Will the royal heir be a boy or a girl? And what will be the baby’s name and title?

Our bets are on Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth’s middle name. What do you think?

 

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Rain on your wedding day isn’t ironic, despite what Alanis Morrisette says. It’s just plain gloomy.

You can plan everything for your Big Day — the location, the food, the guests, the music — but you can’t plan the weather. June is the biggest month for weddings, and with that in mind, the meteorologists at weathertrends360 have gathered the best — and worst — places around the country to exchange vows this month.

And if the skies aren’t sunny on the Big Day, don’t worry — we hear rain on your wedding day is good luck.

Top 5 June 2013 Wedding Spots:

Bar Harbor, ME:  Scenic Bar Harbor will be an excellent location for a wedding this June, with the warmest temperatures in 5 years. Last year, June was on the wet side, but this year the rainfall should be much lower.
Best Time: June 21-30

Orlando, FL (Disneyworld):  Sunnier and warmer weather this June will grace the grounds that Mickey and Minnie call home. Last year, 2 tropical systems brought flooding to Florida, but luckily, this year will see less tropical activity — making it a great time to get hitched in the Magic Kingdom.
Best Time: June 1-8

New York City, NY:  For city-dwellers looking to the tie the knot or for those who want to add a little chic to their ceremony, what better place to get married than the Big Apple? The weather is an added bonus this year, it’s predicted to be the warmest June in 3 years.
Best Time: June 21-30

Napa Valley, CA:  If vino is your passion, Napa Valley is the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony. The picturesque rolling hills of the valley add a romantic touch to any ceremony, and this year, the weather forecast is also something to love! Temperatures are expected to be warmer than last year with very little rain predicted.
Best Time: June 9-16

San Francisco, CA:  The City By the Bay offers brides and grooms-to-be endless options for romantic venues. June 2013 will be the warmest and driest in 3 years offering couples a better chance for the perfect outdoor wedding.
Best Time: June 10-17

Worst 5 June 2013 Wedding Spots:

Smoky Mountains, TN: You’ll run the risk of a rained-out wedding ceremony or reception if you book an outdoor wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains this June. Rainfall is expected to be the highest in at least 4 years.

Ozarks, AR: Wetter and colder weather than previous years will make this a dreary place for a wedding in June 2013. But if your heart is set on an outdoor Ozarks wedding, plan on ponying up the dough for a tent to keep you and your guests dry and comfortable.

Yellowstone National Park, WY: Last year’s dry weather made it a great time to get hitched among some of the most amazing scenery the United States has to offer. Unfortunately, this year there’s a greater chance of a gloomy-day wedding with much wetter weather.

Santa Fe, NM: A much cooler June this year means there’s an increased risk of a less-than-fairytale Santa Fe wedding day. Although it doesn’t rain all that much in Santa Fe in June, don’t be surprised if you run across a stray shower, especially if you plan a wedding during the second half of the month.

New Orleans, LA: This June is expected to be the coolest in 5 years, and rainfall will be the highest in 3 years. So what does that mean? Renting a tent for an outdoor wedding is definitely a wise investment. Although there isn’t expected to be any tropical activity this month, if a system does develop, the Gulf Coast is the likely target … just another reason to avoid getting married in the Big Easy.

For more short and long-term weather forecasts, use weathertrends360′s forecast tool.

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Ok, so you’ve finally been inspired to book a Spring Fling. Now, you just need to answer the age-old question: “What do I pack?!” We’re here to help.

Spring Fling Packing List

1. Snap a few pics of your Spring Fling with this super-hip (and super tiny) vintage-looking Pentax digital camera. Be sure to invest in the old-school leather strap for it!

2. This vegan-approved “Ultrabalm” from Lush is perfect for those who prefer to travel light — use this multi-purpose moisturizing wonder anywhere — chapped lips, fly-away hair and dry skin.

3. Throw your sunglasses, sunblock and a beach read into your SeaBag, made from reclaimed sails.

4. Keep the sun off your face with a peachy-hued fedora.

5. Ensure no one tells you “you smell!” while on the road with this aptly-named paper soap.

6. Don’t worry boys, we didn’t forget about you. Pack up your made-in-America Filson Travel Bag — the perfect size for an overnight rendezvous — and take that special someone away for a quick spring getaway.

7. Pack a picnic and fire up this (teenie-tiny) City Boy Grill.

8. Will your spring fling be hot enough for a bikini? Take a dip in one of these super-cute (and reasonably priced) suits designed by Diane von Furstenberg for Roxy.

9. The perfect complement to spring’s bright-colored crops is a black-and-white printed blouse.

10. Take the show on the road with this handy, portable pocket projector for iPhone 4 and 4S that can project up to a 50” image.

11. The sun’s out and it’s time for some new shades. Visit Warby Parker’s website, and get 5 pairs to try on at home for free before picking the perfect set of sunnies.

12. Get that springy look, even when it’s a little chilly, with bright-colored cropped pants.

13. Keep that beloved iPad protected while on the road with a new minty-green, multicolored case.

14. See a new side of an old city with a pocket-sized Herb Lester travel guide.

Every dream wedding needs a dream honeymoon to follow. After the Big Day has come and gone, where will you start your happily-ever-after? Every couple’s idea of a perfect honeymoon is different — some dream of lounging on a private stretch of sand, some dream of exploring a foreign city hand-in-hand. From a secluded island getaway to a romantic city escape, here are some unforgettable honeymoon spots.

Your Own Private Paradise in the Maldives

Start your happily-ever-after basking in the beauty of this romantic archipelago with crystal-clear water and pristine white beaches. You’ll find that many of the tiny islands have been converted into luxury resorts with private overwater bungalows. For a honeymoon that includes equal parts paradise and pampering, stay at Komandoo Maldives Island Resort.  In this adults-only resort, you’ll be in a world of your own with the ocean on your doorstep. For perhaps the most romantic meal of your life, enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach with just your and your new hubbie or wife. Watch the sunset while you dine on a meal chef-tailored just for you.

Say Aloha to Romance in Hawaii

Hawaii has always been a popular honeymoon destination … and for good reason. It may still be in the US, but with its beautiful beaches, active volcanoes and lush rainforests, it seems a world away. And with 8 major islands, there’s something for every type of couple — from the beach bums to the adventurers.  For the couples who want to enjoy secluded beaches and adventure activities, Oahu’s Turtle Bay Resort offers it all.  The only resort on Oahu’s famed North Shore, Turtle Bay offers a secluded location far from Waikiki’s crowds with breathtaking ocean views and 5 miles of pristine beaches. There’s no shortage of outdoor adventures on this 880-acre paradise: Go horseback riding, snorkeling, standup paddle boarding or hiking. Plus, the North Shore is one of the best surf spots in the world — so perhaps you can learn to hang 10 as a couple on the islands where surfing was invented.

Old World Charm Meets Modern Luxury in Portugal

Portugal has recently topped the list as a popular honeymoon destination.  Brimming with Old World charm and traditions, Portugal is the perfect European escape for newlyweds who crave culture.  You can’t spend your entire honeymoon sightseeing — most couples want to relax after the wedding is over. For a mix of modern luxury and historic charm, honeymoon at the The Yeatman hotel, a luxurious wine-spa hotel located on the banks of the River Douro in Porto. After a day of port wine tasting (this is where port comes from, after all) and taking in the classic architecture of one of the oldest European cities, you can relax in hotel’s infinity pool, in-suite Jacuzzi or on your private terrace.  With a glass of world-class port wine, of course.

For more inspiration for planning your dream honeymoon, check out our picks for the Top Honeymoon Hotspots and 2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations.

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Before you jet off on your Spring Fling, you’ll need to book a sexy hotel. We’ve got you covered, whether you’re planning to spend most of your trip at the spa, the bar … or in bed.

Sexy Hotels

1. Slip under the crisp, white sheets of your 4-poster bed at Jamaica’s Round Hill Hotel, where the rooms were designed by Ralph Lauren. Like what you see? This is just one of the many Sexy Hotel Beds we’ve come across.

 

2. Cozy up with a good read at New York’s book-themed Library Hotel, one of America’s Most Romantic Hotels.

 

3. Looking for a great hotel for a one-night stand? Your in-room private “love tub” at the Dominican Republic’s Tortuga Bay Hotel will put you in the right mood.

 

4. The spa at the LA’s Terranea Resort is a whopping 50,000 square feet and has 25 treatment rooms as well as its own pool and outdoor hot tubs, making it one of Oyster.com’s picks for the Sexiest Hotel Spas.

 

5. The 1970s-inspired lounge at the Dream in South Beach, Miami, is complete with a rooftop infinity pool and sexy seating arrangements, making it one of our picks for the Sexiest Hotel Bars.

 

6. The Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur, CA, makes our list of hotels with the Hottest Amenities. Take advantage of their free yoga classes, discovery walks and afternoon wine and cheese. Plus, one of their pools is clothing optional. Now that’s sexy!

Courtesy of Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa

On this week’s episode of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe and his potential soul mates traveled to the beautiful Trang province of Thailand for a series of romantic dates to some of the area’s best-kept secrets. The “hunky” bachelor and his ladies stayed at one of country’s most luxurious beachfront resorts, the Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa. The hotel offered the couples easy access to fairytale islands, mangrove reserves, rainforests and stunning waterfalls — surely making it all the more difficult for Sean to only hand out 2 roses!

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How is the rest of the world celebrating Valentine’s Day? While we might think of Valentine’s Day as an American holiday, it’s celebrated (or protested) around the world with the same vigor as it is here. And in some places, it’s celebrated with a twist.

Japan’s Twisted Tradition

Men have it easy on Valentine’s Day in Japan – it’s the women who are expected to give chocolates on this day. And the chocolate giving is not limited to just significant others. “Obligation chocolate” is given to coworkers, friends and family in Japan. But the object of the ladies’ affection gets a more expensive or elaborate chocolate-themed gift. One of the latest trends is for Japanese ladies to give a chocolate mold of their face to their beau.  Don’t worry, the men get their turn to reciprocate the love on March 15, White Day.

Love Locks Banned

From China to Venice, you’ll the see the tradition of love locks adorning bridges, especially around this time of year. All around the world, couples show their adoration by linking a padlock with their lover’s name on it to a bridge. How sweet, right? But the sentiment isn’t always shared by the authorities of these romantic places, who have starting fining and even banning love locks from their cities. Authorities in Rome have banned love locks from the Ponte Milvio, a famous bridge on the Tiber River. And we thought all Italians were romantics.

Valentine’s Day Under Attack

And, no, we’re not referring to bitter singletons attacking Valentine’s Day. While Valentine’s Day is openly celebrated in some Muslim countries like the United Arab Emirates, in others it is met with heavy resistance. Conservatives in Pakistan are demanding a boycott of Valentine’s Day, saying it’s a Western holiday that’s spreading vulgarity around the country. Similarly, in Indonesia, government officials are urging young people to skip this day as well, saying it’s an “excuse for couples to have forbidden sex.” But romantics in these countries are still finding ways to show their love on this day, with what else, but heart-shaped balloons and flowers.

 

Need your own ideas on how to celebrate? Check out all our Valentine’s Day ideas.

Love is in the air, and we’re celebrating all things Valentines Day here at Travel Channel. Whether you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate with your sweetie, or all this talk of Cupid has inspired you to pop the question – we’ve got you covered.

Valentine's Day

1) Forget the red roses and prix fixe dinners – this Valentine’s Day, celebrate with an adrenaline-filled adventure.

2) Nothing says romance quite like a rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth artisan chocolate. Get a taste with our picks for the World’s Most Decadent Chocolate Tours.

3) Relax by your private outdoor plunge pool, or fall asleep to the sound of water lapping below your overwater bungalow – splurge on a trip to one of our picks for 2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations.

4) It’s a story you’ll tell for the rest of the life, so you’d better make it a good one! Consider popping the question at one of these Most Memorable Places to Propose.

5) Need to spice things up a little?  Get out of town with a Sexy Weekend Getaway.

6) Imagine you’re Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, and exchange vows with your own Matthew Crawley in a Romantic Castle Wedding.

7) Cuddle close to your sweetheart, and watch the sky bloom with reds, yellows and purples at one of the world’s Most Romantic Places to Watch the Sunset.

8) Hiding the ring in a slice of cake is so last year … or, a few years ago, actually. Get inspired with these new Proposal-Popping Trends.

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Love is in the air as February approaches, and what could be more romantic than a trip to paradise? Travel + Leisure has just released a list of the world’s most romantic islands — here are some of our favorites, and a few we think they missed.

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Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Lodge

Like it or not, V-Day is right around the corner (just a month away, to be exact). So, if you really want to impress your sweetie, it would be a good idea to start planning now.  But if you’re still in the dark about what to get that special someone, there’s a good chance they only want to spend some quality time with you.

Sex and the City Zoo 4: Sexy Beast
Say what? Stay with us for a second. The Los Angeles Zoo is holding an “adults-only affair” on Feb. 9  with an enlightening talk by actress and interpretive naturalist of zoology Joleen Lutz. a reception featuring desserts and wines, “animal walk-abouts,” (including chats with keepers and the chance to observe small animals up close) and an optional 4-course dinner at Reggie’s Bistro inside the Zoo.

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