Like every professional in the wedding industry, we think a vacation is needed to recoup from a busy season. This industry is fast paced, demanding, and never stops, but it’s okay to slow down for a bit and work to tend to yourself. So, in early September, that’s exactly what the Detailed I Do’s team did. With this being our yearly team retreat, we had plans to walk on the beach, relax at the spa at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island and not much else mattered.
Earlier this year we met Whitney and Alex, the wedding sales managers at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, and hit it off immediately. These two are so easy to chat with and we felt like we’d known them for years after our lunch date in Atlanta. Later on in the year, they generously offered to host us at their property for our team retreat! Our team was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to make the trip down for a few days of rest and relaxation. However, we had no idea the kind of hospitality we were about to encounter.
We invited our friend Katie of KVC Photography to join us on our adventure. Katie photographs weddings but also shoots for bloggers. If you haven’t been to her website follow the link above! And you have to check her out on Instagram at @kvcphotography because she’s hilarious! Now, we are by no means travel bloggers but let me tell you, Katie sure made us look that way!
Upon arrival, we were greeted by gifts that The Ritz team had wrapped up for Danielle after she shipped them down. We got some fun beach essentials, plus a a face mask and lip scrub which we planned on trying out together after retiring to our room.
Our first order of business, which was not really business at all but rather hanging out with Whitney and Alex, was a tour of the hotel. We walked the grounds, chatted about logistics, and got a great feel for the property. There are so many options for ceremony and reception spaces. Each has its own unique feel and some have a panoramic view of the sea. After the tour we decided we needed an up close view of the water and so down the boardwalk we went.
It was off with our shoes and into the waves. I’m obsessed with all things salt water and love the feeling of it in my hair, so naturally in I went. We searched for seashells, pointed out seagulls, and enjoyed the salty air. We headed back up to the resort to meet Alex and Whitney for a sushi dinner.
Our sushi feast also included craft cocktails and a visit from the chef. We laughed the night away, and then headed out to the fire pit they set up for us. We were so relaxed and so so glad to be at the Ritz.
We woke up, ordered room service, and put our shades on, naturally. We actually had a specific vision for the photos that morning and Katie helped us pull it off perfectly. And the food was as scrumptious as it looks! We lounged out on the balcony after eating and got ready for day two.
Alex and Whitney so graciously setup a poolside cabana for our team. But, before our time by the pool began, we visited the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island spa for massages. When we entered the spa we were instantly inhaling the fresh scent of eucalyptus. We changed into the softest robes and made our way over to the steam room before our appointments. After soaking up all the steam, we headed to the relaxation room before our masseuses came to get us. So luxurious right?! We haven’t been that relaxed since.
Then, it was off to the cabana for more lounging. We had snacks and a mini fridge stocked with refreshments that truly came in handy. What more could 4 women need? We laid out, got some sun, strolled on the beach again, and headed up to the room to get ready for dinner.
So refreshed, we got ready for another evening of fine dining with Whitney and Alex at one of the Ritz’s restaurants in property, Salt. During our tour we spotted a gorgeous hallway with tons of natural light. Whitney and Alex said quite a few First Looks are done in this exact spot every year. After seeing the light and colors, Katie wanted to take some group shots and solos of each of us before dinner.
As we sat down we all made a toast to the past few days and how thankful we are for their kindness and generosity. These two ladies made this trip happen for us with all the little details that made us feel special.
A theme throughout the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island is salt because of the property’s ocean influence. The restaurant, Salt, is a high end steak house. The shrimp and grits pictured below come on a wooden tray with a glass lid. The lid traps in the smoke to further accentuate the flavors. Our server pulled off the lid in front of us for the full effect. What a way to dine!
Since we had to start our trek back to Atlanta, we spent the morning eating breakfast, and then took a last stroll on the beach. The bonding that took place amongst our team was so needed, and will forever be cherished. Whitney and Alex, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your hospitality and friendship. Our time spent at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island was magical. We can’t wait to work with you in the future and are hopeful that our next visit down will be for a wedding.
And thank you to the sweet and hilarious Katie for accompanying us. Without you our trip would have been filled with way less laughter and all photos would have been captured by our poor iPhone skills. We love you girl! And thank you for these lovely photos and video so we can cherish the memories.
Photo + Video: KVC Photography
Venue: Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
Written By: Rachel Hegner