Wedding dress designer Alana Groenewald took some time off from creating dream wedding dresses and went on a romantic babymoon to Italy. She shared some photos and tips with us!
Tell us about your family
Jan and I met each other in high-school and I always knew that there was something about that tall, funny, cricket-loving guy! We started dating when we were 22 and 26 respectively and tied the knot on the 1st of May 2014. Dawid, our precious little boy, was welcomed into the world almost exactly a year later. 🙂 We’re still settling into the roles of new parents, but family time is what keeps us going! We LOVE spending every possible moment together, whether it means a walk on the beach, visiting a local market, going for a picnic or just spending a lazy morning under the covers.
What do you do for a living?
I am a fashion designer specialising in wedding gowns and Jan heads the design department of a commercial printing company.
You and your husband went on a babymoon to Italy – tell us more!
We are really passionate about traveling! Experiencing the heartbeat of a different culture is what inspires us. So we knew that we would have to fit in one last destination before little Dawid arrives, a romantic break-away for just the two of us. For me there has always been something so terribly romantic about Europe in winter, and with Jan’s brother being married into an Italian family the choice was fairly simple – Italy over Christmas and New Year!
Where did you go and for how long?
We spent Christmas with the Italian in-laws in Rome and went on to see Florence, San Gimignano (which is a small Medieval town in the heart of the Tuscan country side) and Venice on our own. The trip lasted three weeks in total.
How many months were you along?
I was exactly halfway through my pregnancy – 20 weeks.
What precautions did you take as a pregnant mama before travelling?
I discussed our trip with my doctor beforehand and he assured me that I have nothing to worry about. In fact, he mentioned that the amount of walking we’d be doing (as one does in a foreign country) and hours spent outside in fresh air would actually be very beneficial. We were traveling to a first world country after all, and with the necessary medical insurance in place, we were all set!
What are the negatives (no wine being one off course!)
There weren’t much negatives to be honest. Naturally the pace at which we were travelling were slightly slower than usual, because a pregnant mama needs her rest! We did most of the hectic walking and sight-seeing in the mornings, and then lazed about at local trattorias or coffee shops in the afternoon, took naps or just strolled around and did some shopping. But there’s very little a pregnant mama can’t do in Italy, I even climbed the 400 steps up the Dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica! Admittedly, I was a little sad not being able to have a glass of Italian Red every now and again. 🙂
Any tips for pregnant mamas thinking of a babymoon?
Choose your destination wisely. Maybe opt for countries or places with good health care facilities that are easily accessible. Areas that are very remote or rural might not be the wisest choice. Travel before you reach the 6 month mark. In my opinion the second trimester is the best for traveling. Make sure you have an awesome travel buddy who will carry around your heavy luggage!
Pack list: three essentials to take with when pregnant?
- A travel cushion – for your neck or bum 🙂
- Your preggie vitamins & Gavison! (I had quite heavy heartburn at that stage, but every pregnant mama’s symptoms will differ).
- Comfortable shoes for walking!
What was your absolute highlight of the trip? Any recommendations?
I love art, so my highlight was without a doubt standing in the Sistine Chapel admiring the magnitude of Michelangelo’s work. And of course seeing the David in real life – what an amazing statue! (To be honest I think that might have influenced the decision for our baba’s name a little.) My husband on the other hand is a real foodie, so he researched all the restaurants and food spots beforehand and made sure we had the full Italian experience – from truly authentic Italian pizza’s and pastas, to the most amazing Gelateria with over 150 flavours of ice cream to choose from and even a few delicious home-cooked dinners. Italy is such a rich experience, with something for everyone’s liking – art, history, food, coffee, scenery, architecture, people-gazing, shopping – it’s almost too much to take in. So my advice would be to do your research beforehand, know what you want to see and make some bookings in advance because some of the popular sights had literally thousands of people queuing to get in.
Would you recommend a babymoon and why?
Absolutely! Travelling together re-ignites a certain spark in our relationship. We feel like little kids in a candy store, the pure excitement reconnecting us again. It inspires us to live full lives and makes for a whole bunch of new memories and conversations. What better time to do all this than in preparation for the life-changing event of becoming parents together!
Now that baba Dawid is here – how did motherhood change you?
I’ve only had a little over two months experience, but what a journey! It has forced me to focus on what matters, to just be in the moment, to stop worrying about the future and to really cherish every minute, because like all mamas would know: it just goes by SO fast!
Favourite destination: Santorini
Favourite book to read on the plane: Icarus (Deon Meyer)
Favourite place to shop for baba: Cotton On Kids
Favourite child-friendly restaurant: Cafe Black De Noir @ Brenaissance
Favourite Baby book: Koester jou Baba’ by Megan Faure & Ann Richardson
Alana is currently on maternity leve but you can see her wonderful designs here: Alana – Made with Love