Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm a Certified 

Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist !

I'm thrilled to be a Certified WeddingMoons Specialist after completing Sandals' innovative WeddingMoons certification training! 

A WeddingMoon simplifies the expensive wedding/honeymoon planning process by merging the two events to create a relaxing, memorable Caribbean vacation for the bridal couple, their families and friends.

The WeddingMoon couple hosts a group of guests who generally are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses, which at Sandals are all-inclusive -- food, most drinks, watersports and other resort amenites are included. The wedding and honeymoon can both take place at one resort, or the couple can opt to move to a second venue for a more private honeymoon experience.

Gorgeous pool at Sandals Emerald Bay

I loved the training! We learned about trends in Sandals' Destination Wedding options, gathered ideas on wedding planning, island-by-island legal marriage regulations, and insights about new honeymoon and vow renewal options. 

We even joined in a mock wedding rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception to really immerse in the experience! I was also able to meet with many of Sandals' resort managers and wedding coordination staff. This is so important! Now I can pick up the phone to any of Sandals' great staff to personally ensure that my clients are treated as VIPs.

I'm elated to become known as a WeddingMoons Specialist -- thanks to Sandals, their comprehensive training for expert travel agents, and their superb resort facilities that are so easy to sell!

I'll share details of the many perks and extras that bridal couples can enjoy!
or give me a call!


Ellen's travel career spans more than 20 years, 
with dozens of certifications, awards and accolades to her credit.

Read Ellen's story here!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Bridal/Honeymoon Registry at Smiles & Miles Travel!

Smiles and Miles Travel has been honored by Travel Impressions/American Express as one of the country's Top 15 Independent Travel Agents.

We got there by being independent of any one supplier and have built our own brand by providing our clients with unmatched customer service for which we are well-known. See testimonials from just a few of our hundreds of Bridal and Honeymoon couples.

We are delighted to partner with Honeymoon Wishes to offer the convenience of a Bridal/Honeymoon Registry to our website.

In response to client requests, we also now feature Destination Wedding Wear, a selection of resort and special-occasion clothing for bridal couples and their Destination Wedding guests.

Enjoy! And remember to contact Ellen Paderson for a free initial consultation about your upcoming Destination Wedding and/or Honeymoon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lovely Wedding, Happy Couple!

I love weddings!

Leon and I just attended the beautiful wedding of a friend. It's always
gratifying to see the actual wedding day arrive, the bride so excited,
the groom's nerves finally dissipating when he realizes how wonderful
marriage is! With all the Destination Weddings, honeymoons, vow renewals and anniversary celebrations I plan, it's great to get to participate myself!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another happy couple!

My husband John and I decided to have a destination wedding after a few months of planning a traditional wedding. Right before we signed all the contracts, we looked at each other and said, "Let's get married on the beach!"

Since we had no idea how to even begin planning our destination wedding, we decided to take a chance and go to We were lucky enough to get Ellen Paderson as our travel agent. She proved to be absolutely amazing. She contacted us immediately after we inquired about the wedding, and was extremely helpful in choosing our resort. We got married at Sunset at the Palms in Negril, Jamaica.

Just from talking to us over the phone, Ellen knew exactly what we would like! She was extremely helpful in setting up all the arrangements for us and our guests in a timely manner, and was available day and night to talk whenever we had questions. Ellen always made sure, even during and after the wedding, that we were all taken care of.

We had the wedding of our dreams. John and I, and our 24 guests, enjoyed four days and nights of non stop fun at the Sunset at the Palms in Negril. Our wedding coordinator, Charm Reynolds, was so efficient and helpful. The resort had a way of centering many of the activities to be about "the bride!" The atmosphere was so laid back, and the staff was so friendly. Everything came together when we finally had our beautiful ceremony on the beach, under our beautiful arch, in front of our family and friends!

Read many other notes from happy couples who entrusted their
Destination Wedding plans to Ellen!

Thank you so much for everything, Ellen!

Robin and John
Boston, MA
Let Smiles and Miles Travel help make your wedding dream a reality! Contact Ellen now!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday gift from a client couple

What a nice surprise at my door today - a lovely bouquet from an engaged couple whose wedding I'm planning. Their thoughtfulness made my day.

A note accompanied the flowers:
"...thank you very much for all your hard work and your help-
you've created the wedding of our dreams and we really appreciate it."

Read more testimonials from happy clients of Smiles and Miles Travel.

We strive to transform all our brides' wedding dreams into reality!
See our Destination Weddings page for more information or give me a call:

Norwegian Gem is a Jewel!

Norwegian Gem
Last week, Leon and I were invited by Norwegian Cruise Lines to sail on the Norwegian Gem, the newly-launched sister ship of the Pearl.
Here we are on the snowy deck before leaving Boston!
Ellen & Leon Paderson
All I can say is: awesome!
Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Gem
I love this ship, from the giant Wii system and espresso bar in the lobby, to the four-lane bowling alley (an industry first), to the magnificent Garden Villa suites, it's a modern and magical environment for all ages!

My favorite features:

Norwegian Gem* Freestyle Dining:there are 12 dining rooms and specialty restaurants onboard, some have premium-priced menus, others are inclusive in the cruise price - wonderful choice of casual or formal dining, super room service, great buffets, eat when you want - love it.

* Lounges and Entertainment: 11 bars and lounges onboard; the Spinnaker Lounge is a gorgeous place to just hang out in the evening, with nightly entertainment; the bowling alley is amazing.
*Virtual Golf: compete with your golf pals at this giant-screen Wii golf system in the Deck 7 lobby.

Norwegian Gem
Courtyard Villas: Super luxury! These high-end villas are like having your own private yacht...grand piano in the living room, courtyard pool area with retractable roof; they sleep ten and are the ultimate family or group cruise accommodation.

norwegian gem suiteSuites: Perfect for a Honeymoon or Destination Wedding Cruise! These spacious suites offer personalized service and privacy.

There are over 250 adjoining cabins - terrific for families, and excellent facilities and activities for kids. If you want a great vacation to celebrate a second wedding, look no further! Contact me for the best rates and dates!

norwegian gem spaI absolutely love the spa area - plenty of options and great service!

norwegian gem entertainment
The Norwegian Gem - an excellent cruise choice if you want to let loose and explore your playful side!

We love it and so will you! Email me about Destination Weddings and Honeymoon cruise deals on the Norwegian Gem!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Top Five Wedding Planning Tips

OK, you're engaged - now what??
Where to begin making all the important decisions required of a couple before their wedding?
Here are my top five recommendations for getting started:

1. Set a budget. How much can you afford to spend on the wedding and honeymoon? Will you have help from family? Did you know that a Destination Wedding in a beach or resort location may cost much less than a traditional wedding in your hometown?

2. Get a file box...the kind that can hold several folders.
You'll use it to store quotes, contracts, notes from conversations, wedding dress ideas, wedding cake designs, etc. Centralizing your wedding planning materials will keep you sane!

3. Choose a wedding/honeymoon destination. A travel agent with expertise in weddings can be hugely valuable; they won't charge you a fee, and can save you a ton of money.

Read our wedding clients' praise for Smiles and Miles Travel.

4. Set the date: you need to be flexible with the date as some venues book up quickly; your travel counselor can assist with date selection.

5. Start your invitation list; send out a save-the-date notice with a brief outline of your plans.

That's just a start - more details to come!