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SPECIAL D I G I TA L EDITION

wedding ROAD TRIP IDEAS

10ways to

KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON

TIPS TO PLAN YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING RIGHT NOW


THE WORLD’S ONLY

★★★

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Italian Swim-up Bi-Level 1 Bdrm. Butler Suite w/Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub at Sandals® Grenada

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Why shouldn’t your honeymoon be as spectacular as your wedding day? At Sandals Resorts, you’ll experience all the indulgences of the world’s only five-star Luxury Included ® honeymoon—from our exotic and romantic Love Nest Butler Suites®, every land and water sport including waterskiing and daily scuba diving for certified divers, to premium liquors and 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 16 extraordinary restaurants. When you choose to start your new life together at Sandals, you’ll find that you really can have it all—and it’s all-inclusive, even taxes, tips and Sandals transfers.*

WEDDING

& HONEYMOON

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SANDALS.COM / WEDDINGS • 1-877-SANDALS OR CALL YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR

@ sandalsresortsweddings

JAMAICA • ANTIGUA • SAINT LUCIA • BAHAMAS • GRENADA • BARBADOS *Visit www.sandals.com/disclaimers/destinationidosprsum2020 or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions. Sandals® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is an affiliate of Unique Travel Corp., the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts.

VOTE D WORLD’S BEST

AT T H E W O R L D

24

YEARS IN A ROW

T R AV E L AWA R D S



TAKE LOVE UP ANOTHER OCTAVE. .

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CONTENTS 2020 SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION

14

Wedded Wisdom

18

Road Trip Destinations

Wedding experts share their advice on the best and safest ways to plan your destination wedding right now.

No matter where you live, a road trip wedding might be the perfect way to wed. Hop in the car and check out destinations in the Southwest, Northwest, South and Northeast.

32

Meet Me at The Altar

Regardless of if your wedding is a few of you or just the two of you, the ceremony design sets the stage to forever. Get inspired and find your perfect match.

38

Ask the Expert - Q & A with the Creator of The Gathering Guide

46

10 Ways to Stay Calm and Marry On

48

Fashion Forward: A Floral Fantasy in Palm Springs

COVID-19 may have thrown your plans into a tailspin as it has for many, but these ten tips will help you get down the destination wedding planning aisle with ease.

Indulge your inner floral fanatic with this stunning photo shoot in Palm Springs showcasing never before seen gowns perfect for your wedding away.

54

Adventures in Etiquette: Communicating with Your Guests

It’s no doubt one of the biggest things keeping you up at night as you plan (or re-plan) your wedding in the year 2020 is your guest list. We have some helpful answers to your burning guest list questions.

Expert event planner, wedding designer and thought leader, Annie Lee from Daughter of Design and Ask Plannie, guides us through the best ways to handle your event changes and safeguard your guests.

42

Spotlight Destination: Mayakoba Mexico

Photo courtesy of TRK Photography

Riviera Maya, Mexico is known for its white sandy beaches and stunning backdrops. Get acquainted with one of our favorite resort communities in this stunning area.

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You tie the knot. We’ll pull the strings.

From barefoot beachfront ceremonies to formal black-tie affairs to everything in-between, Key Largo is an extraordinary place to begin your lives together. And no matter which venue you choose – from beach to ballroom – you’ll fi nd professional wedding coordinators here to tie up all the loose ends. fla-keys.com/keylargo 1.800.822.1088 For the latest on health & safety protocols in The Florida Keys, please visit our website.


I do.

Say “I do” to a Free* Tropical Wedding. WEDDING & HONEYMOON BEACHES® FREE* TROPICAL WEDDING WITH A THREENIGHT STAY OR MORE!

*

INVITE FAMILY & FRIENDS & BOOK MORE ROOMS TO GET MORE PERKS FROM A FREE* HONEYMOON IN A HONEYMOON SUITE TO A LOBSTER* DINNER RECEPTION

CUSTOMIZABLE WEDDINGS Beaches Resorts also offers a fully customizable destination wedding, where you can have all the romantic touches of a traditional wedding in the most spectacular settings in the Caribbean. Choose from endless options to mix and match and create your own dream wedding.

We do.

Share your love with the ones you love. At Beaches Resorts, you can have it all—your dream wedding surrounded by the people who mean the most to you. And while you’re off having the honeymoon of a lifetime, they’ll have their own incredible vacation, with unlimited land and water sports, 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 21 restaurants per resort, and entertaining options for adults and kids. With more quality inclusions than any other resorts in the world, it really is a celebration everyone can enjoy. VOTED WORLD’S BEST AT TH E WOR LD

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PLUS YOUR BEACHES HONEYMOON INCLUDES*: A Bubbly Welcome A bottle of chilled sparkling wine elegantly arranged in your room upon arrival to toast your future. A Romantic Gesture A special turndown service on the first evening of your honeymoon. Wake Up To Wedded Bliss Delight in a delivery of fresh flowers and a decadent breakfast in bed one morning of your choice.

MORE QUALITY INCLUSIONS THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS IN THE WORLD

JAMAICA • TURKS & CAICOS


More to do.

Absolutely everything’s included for your honeymoon.

@ beachesresortsweddings

BEACHES.COM/WEDDINGS 1-877-BEACHES • or call your Travel Advisor *Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/destinationidosprsum20bch or call 1-877-BEACHES for important terms and conditions. Beaches® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is an affiliate of Unique Travel Corp., the worldwide representative of Beaches Resorts.


ON THE COVER

SPECIAL D I G I TA L EDITION

pg. 18

wedding ROAD TRIP IDEAS

pg. 46

10ways to

KEEP CALM MARRY ON

AND

EDITOR IN CHIEF / PUBLISHER/ OWNER

OWNER / CEO

Carolyn Steere

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Gordon Steere

SENIOR EDITOR

Courtney Kellar

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

WEB CONTENT MANAGER

Jennifer Stein

Erin Suwwan Lauren Ertl

DESIGNER

Jaclyn Threadgill

NATIONAL ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Mike Walker

SOUTHEAST ADVERTISING MANAGERS

NORTHEAST & CARIBBEAN ADVERTISING MANAGER

Dan Tomkiewicz Diane Homer

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Victoria Abbott Riccardi Kinsley Brown Kate Darnell Elaine Hilbelink Holly V. Kapherr Shana Kinnerup Melissa Klurman Judy Koutsky Stacey Marcus Susan Moynihan John Roark Samantha Ross Harmony Walton

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

Kristi Blane

EDITORIAL INTERN

Katy Anderson

SUBSCRIPTIONS

TIPS TO PLAN YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING RIGHT NOW

Please visit us online at destinationido.com/subscribe or call our toll free number to order a one-year subscription – 866-359-9855. Domestic and Canadian rates are $13.90 USD per year, and foreign $29.90 USD. Additional shipping rates may apply.

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES

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FEATURED LOCATIONS

Throughout this issue

If you would like us to feature your location or wedding, please submit your request via email to info@destinationido.com or visit destinationido.com/submission-guidelines

© 2020/2021 DESTINATION MEDIA, LLC

Real-life bride Taya, stands on the beaches of Thailand holding a magnificent tropical bouquet designed by IAMFLOWER. Her destination wedding happened at Baba Beach Club in Hua Hin and was a feast for the senses. Stay tuned for the print feature of this stunner coming out in 2021. Photographed by the one and only Ken Tan Photo and planned by The Wedding Bliss Thailand, this wedding will be worth waiting for. Taya's gown was designed by Amore Thailand.

All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this periodical, in whole or in part, must be approved and awarded written consent from Destination I Do Magazine. Please note that Destination I Do Magazine provides this information only as a general guide. Opinions expressed by writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Destination I Do Magazine is published twice annually with a quarterly cover change. If you have purchased the same issue twice, please contact our customer service department at 480-759-9855 and we will either issue you a full refund or send you the next scheduled issue.

CONTACT US phone: 480.759.9855 toll free: 866.359.9855 web: destinationido.com blog: destinationido.com/blog email: info@destinationido.com pinterest: Destinationido instagram: Destinationido facebook: Destinationidomag twitter: Destinationido

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WHY WALK WHEN YOU CAN

PARADE DOWN THE AISLE!

Let New Orleans & Company, the official destination authority, help make your New Orleans wedding unforgettable! For complimentary hotel, venue and planning assistance, contact us today!

MyWeddi n gIn New O r le a n s . c o m • 1- 80 0 -74 8 - 86 9 5


EDITOR’S LETTER

Review of 2020 (would not recommend)

T

he Year of the Dumpster Fire. Toilet Paper Apocalypse. The Year of Disappointments. The Boring 20’s. The Pivot Period.

These are just a few monikers that come to mind for 2020. And, if you’re one of the unlucky few who had to postpone, cancel or reschedule your wedding three times, I’m sure a four-letter word might accompany some of these descriptions. Sure, there is always something good that comes out of the bad, light out of the dark and all that – but I think there was much more anxiety, stress and frustration this year over most. For those of you in the group that had to reschedule your dream day or shorten your guest list – I can only imagine your disappointment. Weddings are something that couples dream about, plan towards and save for. Getting married is a milestone event that brings loved ones together for a joyous celebration. There might now be a guest list that looks far different than what you had in mind. So let’s just take that in for a moment. Process those emotions and even marinate in them so that we can collectively move forward. You good? We good? Okay, now, what next? Follow us on social: @destinationido

It’s time to put one foot in front of the other and create a game plan. And we’re here to help. This issue is devoted to those of you who have had to shift your event and are trying to figure out what your new wedding celebration might look like. This issue is also for the newly engaged who want to understand what the best (and safest) path forward is. From guest etiquette (page 54) and sage advice from the pros (page 14) to the best road trip destinations for your wedding (page 18) and getting down the micro-wedding aisle in style (page 32), this issue is just for you. In 15 years we’ve never released a special digital edition, but I think this year demands it, don’t you? This issue is jam-packed with helpful information and advice so that navigating the planning process can go back to being fun and exciting – as it should be. And, once you’re done clicking through this magazine, check out our podcast. Season 2 is hitting the airwaves and we’ve got several great episodes that piggyback on what you’ll find here. Just search for “Destination I Do Podcast” wherever you listen (Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, etc.).

Photo courtesy of: Dennis Kwan Headshots

We’re here for you – and we’d love to hear from you if you have burning questions that still aren’t answered. Our inbox is always open – info(at)destinationido.com or DM us on social anytime. In the meantime, keep calm and marry on. Yours truly, Jennifer Stein

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EDITOR'S LETTER

DESTINATIONIDO.COM


T h e b i g d ay i s c o m i n g

An elegant chapel, a terrace by the sea, lush green gardens. Wherever your journey takes you, Palladium Hotel Group has the destination you’ve always dreamed of. Happily ever afters begin here. For more information, please contact your travel professional, visit

PALLADIUMWEDDINGS.COM MEXICO | DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | JAMAICA

or call 1.888.237.1226


WEDDED WISDOM

TIPS FROM THE PROS ON PLANNING AROUND COVID-19

Under normal circumstances, planning can be tricky and planning a destination wedding during a global pandemic can be downright anxiety inducing. So we pulled some sage advice from some of the wedding industry’s finest to help you navigate yourself down the aisle with ease.

“A lot more people will be looking closely at their wedding contracts and deposits they have paid. I do think it’s a time for couples to engage with all their wedding vendors, no matter what stage in the planning process they are at.” — Tara Fay, Tara Fay Events

Call your venue first.

Venues are doing their best to work with couples to make sure their events can happen when they want. “We are being very flexible with our policies, helping clients to find the perfect date to reschedule within the year with no extra charge to change. Basically, their wedding is still exactly as they dreamed it, just on a different date.” — Ana Tiznado, Wedding Specialist at Velas Resorts

Do your gown shopping from home.

Many companies have try-at-home programs for brides. “Ladies can try-on different styles and sizes before ordering their dress from home. Otherwise, our online assortment of bridesmaid and wedding dresses on kleinfeldbridalparty.com are returnable and if a style does not work – the customer can return and/or exchange for a different style.” — Jennette Kruszka, Kleinfeld Bridal

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WEDDED WISDOM

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos in this spread courtesy of Gertrude & Mabel and designed by Amy Nichols

Engage with your wedding vendors.


Stream your wedding.

“We know the hardest part of planning your wedding during COVID-19 is choosing between getting married and not having some very importantly people in your lives there due to pre-existing conditions or being high risk. One solution we’ve found is streaming the event to loved ones back home so they can feel involved.” — Aimee Monihan, Founder of Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions

Think outside the box with invitations.

In addition to your printed invites, safeguard yourself by creating a digital version that can change in case of emergency. “Have your stationer also prepare a digital graphic that you can share with guests via email, text or social. As for a PNG or JPEG file, they are easy to send and show quickly in any mobile or web browser.” — Kaleigh Wiese, MELDEEN

Book your vendors ASAP.

“Regardless if you’re planning now or if you had to postpone your wedding to 2021, book your vendors right now or at least six months out. If you wait too long to reserve your hair and make up artists, florists, photographers, planners etc., there won’t be many qualified artists left.” — Katelyn McCullough, Elwynn + Cass

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

WEDDED WISDOM

15


Create a “COVID Comfort Station.”

“Having a ‘COVID Comfort Station’ has been a huge hit. As guests arrive we have a station with masks for all, hand sanitizer and a collection of bracelets that are different colors. Each bracelet color indicates the guests comfort level. One bracelet color might indicate they are okay with hugs and sharing space, where another shows they are keeping their distance.” — Aimee Monihan, Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions

Want a big wedding? Push your date as far as possible.

If you have your heart set on a large event, that’s okay. Just make sure you set your dates for as far out as possible to ensure you won’t have to postpone anything. You’re probably safe to go for late 2021 or early 2022. The bonus? You have a lot of time to plan and save.” — Jennifer Stein, Destination I Do Magazine

Play up your décor.

“People often believe that because they are traveling somewhere for their wedding or because the guest list is more intimate they feel their event doesn’t necessarily need to be designed. I love when my destination clients have a cohesive vision and we can create something really layered and experiential.” — Michelle Durpetti, Michelle Durpetti Events

Cross items off your wedding “to-do” list.

“Work on your song list for your DJ or band and your shot list for your photographer. These items always come up quickly, so it’s a great idea to start working on them now while you have more time at home together.” — Ali Phillips, Engaging Events by Ali

When it comes to downsizing your guest list, make sure you know how it affects your budget. “With a smaller guest list, you should have many expenses that are lower, due to a smaller guest count. Certain costs (flowers, food & beverage) will be substantially lower if your guest count has shrunk. Other costs however, (your planner, venue, photographer) may stay the same regardless of your wedding size. Take a look at your contracts and talk to your creative team to learn how their fees might adjust based on a more intimate celebration.” — Amy Nichols, Amy Nichols Special Events and Intimate I Dos

Get your group tested.

“Request that all your guests get tested before attending your event as it is a great safety measure. It will put you at ease knowing your guests are not at risk of spreading the virus at your event. A bonus: you can hug the people you love on this incredibly important day.” — Aimee Monihan, Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions

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WEDDED WISDOM

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photo courtesy of Gertrude & Mabel and designed by Amy Nichols

Double-check your contracts.



ROAD TRIP

destinations

h

opping on a flight might sound a little ominous for some during COVID-19, and we don’t blame them. For those of you who have shifted gears and are taking your wedding stateside and want an easy destination you can hop in the car for, we’ve got you covered. In the following pages, we’re featuring all four corners of the United States, so no matter where you live, there’s a location right for you. From the sunny beaches of Southern California and the undulating hills of wine country to the craggy shores of New England and the balmy tropical weather in the south, couples tying the knot with small groups can have their socially distanced wedding dreams come true.

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ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photo courtesy of This Modern Romance

Take Your Destination Wedding on The Road


SOUTHWEST

ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

stunner

A SoCal

a

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

Photos courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

n average of 65% of couples consider an oceanfront destination for their wedding away. What’s not to love? Sandy beaches, ocean breezes and crashing waves all conjure up vacation memories and relaxing vibes. One of our favorite destinations that checks off all the aforementioned “boxes” and also offers guests a luxurious atmosphere and safe environment is Hotel del Coronado. A perfect road-trip distance for many further up the coast in California or just a half a day drive from Arizona and Nevada, the iconic Hotel del Coronado is serving up unforgettable experiences for weddings with safety as their focus. If you were dreaming of that long weekend wedding packed with beach experiences, fine dining, spa treatments and pampering, but are concerned about moving forward with a safe event, The Del might be your perfect fit. The Del has adopted the EventReady with CleanStay program by Hilton, which is designed to ensure all events are clean, safe and socially responsible. This program isn’t limited to only touch points at check-in, mask wearing and social distancing at the pool. Everything from your food and beverage to your event space and rooms are creatively reimagined so you (and your guests) don’t have to worry about anything besides having fun.

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

This spacious resort is spread out over 28 beachfront acres, has 679 guestrooms and suites and is even pet friendly, so you can bring your four-legged guests along as well. Just minutes from San Diego International Airport, this Coronado Island resort is even convenient for those loved ones who choose to fly. For those couples looking for a “home-away-from-home” experience, Beach Village at The Del might be just the ticket. Their 78 cottages and villas offer beachfront and ocean views with gourmet kitchens, fireplaces, and some with a private day-tub or fire pit on their ocean view patios. The personalized VIP service will take all the guess (and guest) work out of the equation, ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

19


SOUTHWEST

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom) Hotel Del Coronado - 1st and 2nd, Sara Knobel - 3rd

ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

guaranteeing a relaxed experienced for you and your soonto-be spouse. Activities abound at The Del, no matter if your guests are feeling lazy, sporty or adventurous, there is something for everyone. Choose either a beach or pool cabana for the beach bum guest, painting by the sea or a visit to the spa for the more low key visitor, and if adventure or fitness is up their ally – spin or yoga on the beach and even surf lessons are a perfect fit. Crowd pleasing fun like a beach cruiser rental, downtown San Diego pub crawl or a walk to Orange Avenue for an outdoor patio dining experience or shopping are also options. Hotel del Coronado has a storied past and is known for events. Couples who want to arrive and feel like a guest at their own wedding are in good hands here with their experienced and talented staff. The Del has been throwing celebrations for over a century and romantic memories come naturally in a setting such as this.

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ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

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Fairytale Weddings on a Legendary Beach. Sun, sea, time and love come together to make your personal California wedding dream come true.

H OT E L D E L . CO M 8 0 0 - H OT E L D E L


ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

SOUTHWEST

wine country w

Northern California WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

One of the area’s best kept secrets is Healdsburg, nestled in Sonoma County on the lush banks of the Russian River. Only 90 minutes by car from San Francisco, the city centers around a 19th century plaza lined with galleries, eclectic boutiques, seasonal restaurants, like Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen, and over 30 tasting rooms. Healdsburg also has several luxurious inns and hotels, including SingleThread Farms, a small Japanese-style inn with a 3-star Michelin restaurant, the design-centric Harmon Guest House and romantic Honor Mansion. Harmon Guest House, with its funky, slatted wood exterior, speaks to couples looking for luxury with an artsy edge. The light-filled, balconied rooms have French oak floors, custombuilt furniture and homespun furnishings. In-room spirits, mixers, snacks and bathroom products hail from local producers and,

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ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

although the property has no restaurant, over 20 eateries lie within walking distance. More traditional couples will love Honor Mansion, an AAA Four Diamond property set on four acres of beautifully landscaped lawn, which makes an intimate setting for an outside ceremony. The property has 13 uniquely designed rooms and vineyard suites with private patios and hot tubs for two. All rooms come with a full gourmet breakfast, afternoon refreshments and evening wine and cheese. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Jordan Vineyard & Winery

hether you’re planning a honeymoon or destination wedding, California wine country checks all the boxes. It has sweeping vineyard views, plenty of outdoor activities, scrumptious, farm-fresh food and, of course, superb wines.


Healdsburg abounds with wineries to visit, including the beautiful, ivy-clad Jordan Vineyard & Winery known for its award-winning sparkling wine, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, which you can enjoy during a seated wine tasting and food pairing featuring fruits and herbs from the winery’s garden. J Vineyards & Winery has gained fame for its sparklers and offers a five-course luncheon paired with wine in the property’s Bubble Room.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Jordan Vineyard & Winery - 1st, Honor Mansion - 2nd

For honeymooners or wedding couples eager for a charming, less-discovered West Coast destination, Healdsburg has it all – picturesque views, magnificent accommodations and wedding venues, California fresh cuisine and superb wines to toast your new life together.

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

23


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Go Rustic Chic in

montana

r

NORTHWEST

ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

Photos courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

WORDS BY HARMONY WALTON oad trips conjure up visions of mountains, national parks, and a casual vibe mixed with a little adventure. Montana fits that vision and then some. What might surprise you is the level of luxury that can be found in this rustic destination. Montana is arguably one of the most pristine parts of the U.S. and The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg has mastered the art of maintaining that beauty – with luxury rivaling the world’s best. Kate Bosworth picked a hillside perch for her big day on this 6600-acre property. With a lodge housing nine bedrooms, individual residences and a glamping section, there’s a little something for every type of wedding guest and ensure social distancing. For the honeymooners or the couple who plans to

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

elope, Trapper Cabin even comes complete with an outdoor cedar-soaking tub for two! What makes this destination truly memorable are the activities around the main event. From horse drawn wagon rides and survival skills challenges to group activities for the guys and gals, guests are guaranteed to have fun. For the wedding, host your reception outdoors under the night’s sky, celebrate late night in the bowling alley, and wake up with a summer wagon ride to your post-wedding cowboy breakfast in the wilderness. Your wildest Western wish is their command. ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

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ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

SOUTH

n

WORDS BY KATE DARNELL

The Ace Hotel is by far one of the coolest hotels in the area. Just outside of the French Quarter in the Warehouse District, this property offers chic accommodations, thoughtful private areas ideal for small weddings and outstanding food options. For a rooftop setting, The Ace has a gorgeous view of the city and their restaurant, Alto, serves up fresh, interesting cuisine. Open only to hotel guests, you’ll need to snag a room and a reservation for your small group. This rooftop garden bar and restaurant is also home to their pool and is nothing short of magnificent in both service and style. For a group less than 20 and interested in a full buy-out, check into the Audubon Cottages. These historic cottages combine to offer seven one-and-two-bedroom suites all centered around a courtyard with the oldest pool in New Orleans. The outdoor, brick covered courtyard is as quintessential to NOLA as a beignet or a muffuletta. These secluded spaces are everywhere in the French Quarter and one of our favorites for micro-weddings is at Bourbon Orleans Hotel. The Saint Ann Cottage is a real must-see for weddings and features its own private entrance and two elegant rooms surrounding a central courtyard for weddings up to 50 guests. When it comes to socially responsible activities in New Orleans, the outdoors is your best bet. Groups can embark on a threehour “Creole & Crescent” bike tour courtesy of Free Wheelin’ in the heart of The French Quarter. Learn the multifarious and fascinating history of the area while taking in the sights, sounds and the sensation that is this incredible destination. Walking tours are also an option for those who prefer. No matter what you see or do, New Orleans is a great destination for weddings and ideal for couples wanting to elope or keep their group intimate.

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DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Bourbon Orleans Hotel - 1st and Ace Hotel 2nd & 3rd

new orleans No One Does it Like

ew Orleans is far more than Bourbon Street and debauchery. For intimate weddings where social distancing is the priority, there are countless properties perfect for saying “I do.” From rooftop restaurants to charming outdoor courtyards, NOLA might be the perfect road trip destination for your wedding away.


St. Simons Island

Sea Island

Jekyll Island

Little St. Simons Island

Goldenisles.com | (800) 933-2627

Brunswick


ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

SOUTHEAST

Tropical Sophistication

florida Photo courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach

in

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Photo courtesy of Lindsey Boluyt Photography

d

WORDS BY HARMONY WALTON

estination weddings don’t have to require a passport or fall into a specific season. Florida’s coastal beauty is a year-round option for couples tying the knot. The destination is a reasonable drive for many and comes complete with white sandy beaches, scrumptious dining options and an abundance of things to see and do. If you’re in search of a breathtaking beach destination, but prefer to keep your toes in your heels, then The Breakers

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

Palm Beach is exactly what you’ve envisioned. This regal structure sits on the white sands of posh Palm Beach, Florida and grand interiors rich in history lend a royal-like backdrop for your reception. With several outdoor spaces to choose from for your intimate wedding or elopement, filling an entire destination wedding weekend on property is easy to do. And with the finest food around, you won’t want for variety when you stay for your honeymoon. From individual ice sculptures dripping in fresh seafood at your seat to ice cream sundaes legends are made of, The Breakers is among the best-of-the-best.

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NORTHEAST

seaside romance

w

in Rhode Island WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

ant to get hitched or honeymoon in a ritzy East Coast destination, but with a beachy, carefree feel? Check out Newport, Rhode Island. Perched on Aquidneck Island, this “City By The Sea” is famous for its gorgeous, Gilded Age mansions built for some of America’s wealthiest families.

One of the most posh places to say, “I do” or honeymoon is Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property on a 40-acre peninsula surrounded by Narragansett Bay. “We do only one wedding per day and the season is May through October,” says Sales Manager, Emily DiBello, noting that actress Grace Kelly filmed “High Society” on the property in the 1950s. Whether couples buy out the entire 33-room property or simply enjoy it for the ceremony and reception, they can wed and savor cocktails on the lower lawn overlooking the water, followed by dinner and dancing under the property’s white, sail cloth tent. Another enchanting spot to marry or honeymoon in Newport is The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a privately owned, 1873 mansion overlooking Easton’s Beach. It has 20 uniquely decorated period rooms, including the Renaissance Room – often requested by honeymooners and couples due to its richly-designed French blue décor, ornate furniture and lavish soaking tub.

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Outdoor weddings run from April through October and couples can wed on an upper lawn, then descend to the waterfront lawn for cocktails with dinner on the terrace. Be sure to stroll the Cliff Walk, a gorgeous paved path that begins at The Chanler at Cliff Walk and winds its way along the coast past many of the area’s Gilded Age mansions. Blending opulence with a flip-flop casualness, Newport offers a chic New England destination in which to honeymoon or wed. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of The Chanler at Cliff Walk

“A lot of couples choose Newport because it’s in-between Boston and New York,” says Rhode Island event planner Stephanie Frazier Grimm, owner of Couture Parties. “What’s so nice about Newport is that we have a laid-back island feel, yet we can also be over-the-top with that Great Gatsby opulence, combined with old New England charm.”


reconnect in Connecticut

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WORDS BY STACEY MARCUS alling all couples whose weddings were slated for 2020. Whether you postponed your nuptials, pivoted to an alternate plan or planned a party for two, you are probably in need of a (large) dose of rejuvenation. Connecticut is a great destination to renew your mind and body.

Photos courtesy of Mayflower Inn & Spa

Looking to escape to an idyllic country retreat, amble across 58 acres of lush landscaped gardens and woodlands and rest your head on a plump pillow on a four-poster bed? Check out the luxurious Mayflower Inn and Resort in Connecticut where you will find 35 unique guest rooms in four charming buildings and a 20,000 square foot world-class spa that was recently reimagined by designer Celerie Kemble. Kemble infused Mayflower’s historic interiors with a floral palette, complex patterns and color, Gustavian antiques and contemporary art. Just two hours from New York, this Auberge Resort is known for luxury and seclusion and is a perfect drive to tie the knot or just recharge. Having a small wedding in their formal Shakespeare Gardens is a great way to keep guests safe while living out your fairytale wedding fantasies. The Mayflower Inn & Spa has been transformed into a discrete country retreat, offering guests an elevated experience where modern science meets ancient wisdom in a lavish and lush New England setting. 2020 SPECIAL EDITION

ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS

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G U E ST B O O K

Meet Me at The Altar Stylish Ideas for Your Ceremony

No matter where you decide to tie the destination knot, your ceremony backdrop should embrace the location you’re in. If you’ve chosen a tropical destination, a bright pop of color and exotic flowers can enhance that tropical feel that attracted you to the destination. If you’re getting married in a place like Italy, soft colors and lush greens can feel more organic. Wherever you’ve decided to say “I do,” let the destination inspire and guide your choices. The following pages showcase beautiful backdrops that we hope will inspire your own walk down the destination aisle.

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Mixing Tradition

When combining cultures at your destination wedding, giving a nod to tradition in a modern way is always a win. Ornate, white chairs are placed beneath a traditional mandap for the couple’s ceremony in which they exchange Jaimala garlands of red roses. The ceremony set-up features a floor lounge of embellished rugs, pillows and poufs while the mandap was constructed with modern, rose gold curved beams on a wood platform – all laced with vibrant red garlands. VENDORS – Photography: Jeremy Chou Photography, jeremychou.com, Producer & Creative Director: Crosby + Jon, crosbyandjon.com, Venue: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, grandvelas.com, Grand Velas Project Director: Ary Iturralde, grandvelas.com, Florals & Rentals: Alquimia Events, alquimiaevents.com, Hair & Makeup: Zoë Elizabeth Ashley-Smith, zoeelizabethmakeup.com, Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah Bridal, carol-hannah.com, Bridal Jewelry: Untamed Petals, untamedpetals.com, Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes, bellabelleshoes.com, Henna Artist: Loto Mehndi, instagram.com/lotomehndi & Photo Assistant: Lauren Renee Photo, laurenreneedesigns.com

Edgy Inspiration

The geometric design of this arch is repeated in the flower petal design surrounding the couple. The softness of the floral installation gives some lightness and romance to the overall design. Set in Palm Springs, California, the bright white and green shades allow for the architecture of the buildings to shine through. VENDORS – Photography: James X Schulze, jamesandschulze.com, Event Planning & Design: BrownHot Events, brownhotevents.com, Venue: Colony Palms Hotel, colonypalmshotel.com, Produced By: The Bridal Bar, bridalbar.com, Floral Design: Isari Flower Studio + Event Design, isariflowerstudio.com, Ceremony Structure: Enticing Tables, enticingtables. com, Hair: Davee Troublefield of The Troublefield Lifestyle, facebook.com/davee.troublefield, Makeup: Gabriella Shpirt of The Troublefield Lifestyle, facebook.com/davee.troublefield, Hair Combs & Earrings: Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories, mariaelenaheadpieces.com, Cuff Bracelets: Haute Bride, hautebride.com, Wedding Dresses & Styling: Lazaro by JLM Couture, jlmcouture.com/lazaro, Ceremony Menswear: Friar Tux, friartux.com, Female Model: Brittny Ward & Male Model: Kodi Baker, kodibaker.com

GUEST BOOK

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Traditional And Romantic

Although this property is in California, it feels like Italy with the cypress trees and stone stairway. The traditional look of the arch, paired with the airy, monochromatic feel of the floral design lends itself perfectly to the destination. VENDORS – Photography: Rebecca Theresa Photography, rebeccatheresa.com, Design: Detailed Touch Events, detailedtouchevents.com, Production: Be Inspired PR, beinspiredpr.com, Venue: Klentner Ranch in Carpinteria, California, klentnerranch.com, Floral Design: Coco Rose Design, cocorosedesign.com, Rentals: Theoni Collection, theonicollection. com, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection, jennyyoo.com, Hairstyling: Teddi Prior for Page Beauty, pagebeauty.com, Makeup: Tanya Bures for Page Beauty, pagebeauty.com & Bridesmaid Models: Kaila Lim, Sandra Vega and Nikki Anne Spahn

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Barefoot And Black-Tie

Nothing says “nautical” like driftwood, but what elevates this to elegance are the stunning blooms, which appear to be growing out of it. The one-sided arch is a unique take on tradition. VENDORS – Photography: Sanaz Photography, sanazphotography.com, Planning & Design: Onyx + Redwood, onyxandredwood.com, Production: Be Inspired PR, beinspiredpr.com, Floral Design: Precious & Blooming, preciousandblooming.com, Wholesale Flowers: FiftyFlowers, fiftyflowers.com & Rentals: Archive Rentals, archiverentals.com

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Colorful In Cancún

This rainbow inspired, asymmetric arch gives a simple, yet impactful visual to this wedding. On the beaches of Riviera Maya, Mexico, this fun and romantic set-up is a perfect fit for the tropical backdrop of Cancún. VENDORS – Photography: Bohemia Photography, bohemia-photography.com, Design & Planning: Best Bride, Venue Sourcing & Travel Logistics: Wedaways, wedaways.com, Florist: La Distribuidora CDMX, ladistribuidorafloristas.com, Venue: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, rivieramaya.grandvelas.com, Hair & Makeup: Isaac Marquez & Heryk Corpus, isaacmarquez. mx and Instagram.com/herykcorpus and Headpieces & Tiaras: Dominique Tiaras & Ellee Couture Boutique, instagram.com/dominiquetiaras and elleecoutureboutique.com

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GUEST BOOK

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Draping Floral

Utilizing your destination’s local fauna is always a brilliant idea. In Hawaii, orchids and anthurium grow in abundance, so not only is the look opulent and stunning, it also evokes a tropical, authentic feel to the destination it’s captured in. VENDORS – Photography: Schyne Photography, schyne.com, Coordination: Say I Do by Karisa, sayidobykarisa.com, Florals: Su-V Expressions, flowersbysuvexpressions.com & Venue: Hawaii Kai Private Estate

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

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ASK THE EXPERT

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Photo courtesy of Belathee Photography


A S K T H E E X P E RT

Q&A WITH

THE CREATOR OF THE GATHERING GUIDE Arguably the biggest obstacle facing wedding plans and events at this moment is how to gather in a safe and responsible manner. Without direction or understanding of restrictions set in place, couples and groups are left scrambling to figure out how to move forward. Restrictions are changing country-to-country, state-to-state and even county-to-county.

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hought leader, educator, author, principal planner of Daughter of Design and founder of Plannie.com, Annie Lee, has trail blazed a solution and created a helpful global directory of event guidelines. This “Gathering Guide” includes essential information such as travel restrictions, mask mandates, guest maximums and more. It’s a free resource to help educate the public and the event industry as a whole. She has crowdsourced over 150 event professionals to curate this list and is doing it to help communities, couples and event professionals “respond, recuperate and reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Not only has Annie created this timely and profoundly relevant guide for the world, but she was also willing to answer some burning questions on the ins and outs of planning right now. Read on for some helpful advice from the problem-solver herself.

Q

What is the biggest mistake couples are making right now with regard to their wedding plans?

A

The biggest mistake some couples are making is hesitating to start planning. Many 2020 clients have pushed their events to 2021. If you mix in newly engaged couples we end up with a scarcity of dates on our hands for next year. There are obvious reasons why couples are feeling uncertain about securing their venues right now, but with the right contract wording and insurance, couples should feel protected to proceed. I’m already finding spring and summer of 2022 booking up!

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

Q

What is the most valuable resource available to couples right now?

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I swear I’m not saying this just because I’m a planner, but a planner. Beyond the normal duties of finding vendors, designing and organizing logistics in today’s pandemic era, planners are your guide to navigating COVID-19 since we have all lived through several worst-case scenarios in 2020. Planners have valuable relationships with vendors that can benefit client’s events creating better outcomes than if they did it alone. For those who don’t need a full-service planner but still would like some guidance, try Plannie, where you can work with an event planner by the hour on an as-needed basis.

Q

How are you handling your own events?

A

With patience and grace. For the majority of our rescheduled events, we are currently in a holding pattern. The planning on these events were largely complete, so all we can do is wait, see what happens, and enact plan A, B or C depending on health advisories and government regulations as we get closer. I remind all my event colleagues that our actions and policies now will be on our permanent record after we move on from this time, so as best as we can, we need to conduct ourselves with grace in what can feel like a desperate situation.

ASK THE EXPERT

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Q

How has this pandemic shifted your business and the way you will approach events in the future?

Q

Can you tell us a little bit about the Gathering Guide and what inspired you to create it?

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Post-pandemic we’ll definitely be focusing more on having planners paid for their time.

A

The Gathering Guide is a resource created by Plannie that lists current COVID-19 gathering rules by each area.

Event planners differ from a lot of the other vendors in that we actively provide our services during the lead up to the date of the event. If an event doesn’t happen, we still invested significant amounts of time, so I think it’s important to make sure that is understood and to differentiate planners especially when it comes to a force majeure and refunds. It’s like if your attorney worked on your case but then you didn’t go to court, you still owe her for her billable time. As you know I created Plannie, which is great for both clients who want to pay a planner only for the time they use, and for planners who want to be paid for their time spent. I see shifts like this where both sides are looking for more cautious compensation models that are more incremental.

Q

Do you think destination weddings are safer or riskier for the couple and guests?

A

I think what determines how safe or risky any location, whether their own backyard or a destination, is completely reliant on the couples attitude toward safety and precautions. Through Plannie we have also been offering certified COVID-19 Compliance Officers at events and can see a huge difference when you know the hosts are taking health measures seriously versus those who are very lax. It sets the tone for how the vendors and guests conduct themselves. I try to remind couples that your guests are going to be a mix bag when it comes to their level of health concern but you must always make sure those who are very conservative or are highrisk feel safe.

Q

If someone is going to plan a destination wedding right now, what would be your number one piece of advice?

A

It’s actually the same advice I normally give: Make sure your nearest and dearest are onboard with the idea of a destination wedding. Even before COVID-19, I had clients whose grandmothers wanted to be by an American hospital, or whose best friend could not take the days off work to go to Bali and back. Whatever the reason, before you select a destination make sure your core people are as excited about the idea as you are.

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ASK THE EXPERT

As we started to inch our way out of the March 2020 lockdowns, it was clear that event regulations across the country and world were hard to decipher. On top of that I could start to see the misinformation spreading with some people believing masks are optional when they weren’t in some states and so on. So I thought, there should be a resource with all the different gathering rules in one spot so people can reference it.

Q

How do you curate your information that is included in the guide?

A

Plannie has a global network of event planners so we started by reaching out to local professionals to report on their current gathering laws. As laws change so frequently we’re always sure to add a link to the government site so anyone can double-check for more recent updates. I have to give a very special thanks to my hospitality school volunteers who have been the small army helping to gather and fact-check the incoming information. Special shout out to the UCF, Rosen College of Hospitality Management that has sent me so many great superstars.

Q

What is your goal with the Gathering Guide?

A

I want everyone to know what is legally required in their area. There is what can be done to best support actual safety and then there is what is legally required. Though the public seems to have so many differing opinions on safety protocol, we should all be obeying the local laws, particularly venues and planners as they have more liability. The key to less safety friction is communication. We need to make sure clients know what is permitted and expected and then in turn, make sure vendors and guests know in advance what the terms of their participation is at the event.

Q

Is it a work in progress and something that’s always changing/evolving or is it a fully finished project at this point?

A

Until all pandemic related gathering laws are lifted, Gathering Guide will be updated with the latest regulations.

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PLANNIE.COM/GATHERING-GUIDE

CURRENT GLOBAL COVID-RELATED EVENT RULES AND REGULATIONS Gathering Guide is an expert crowdsourced directory of current Covid-19 rules and regulations for events in cities around the world. Our mission is to provide clear and current information about hosting events to promote safety by event professionals and clients alike.


S P OT L I G H T D E ST I N AT I O N

Marry in Mayakoba

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exico es mi amor. I’ve loved it since the first time I stepped onto its sandy beaches and sipped my first “real” margarita. What I love about this illustrious destination goes far beyond the cuisine and beautiful sunsets. It has everything to do with the culture, the people and the hospitality. In the era of Covid-19, Mexico is doing a phenomenal job of making travelers feel comfortable and is doing all they can to ensure your guest’s safety from the moment they arrive all through their stay. From disinfecting luggage and taking temperatures when you land to touch-less check-in and

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SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION: MAYAKOBA, MEXICO

sterilized rooms, every measure is in place to make sure your entire visit is thought through to make sure you and your loved ones don’t have to stress. In an area, just 50 minutes drive from Cancun airport, fit for any wedding away is Mayakoba. This sprawling 590-acre destination is connected by mangrove-lined waterways. Consider Mayakoba the “Venice of Mexico,” as you can travel from one hotel property to another via their interconnecting canals. What makes Mayakoba even more special are the four distinct properties that stretch from one end of the area to the other. From the modern lines of the Andaz and traditional feel of the Fairmont to the luxury Rosewood is known for to the Thai DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos in this spread courtesy of Banyan Tree Mayakoba

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN


influence at Banyan tree, no matter what your style or your price range; one of the four resorts will fit your needs. True to its Thai roots, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba feels like a fusion between south of the border and Southeast Asia. The architecture is jaw-dropping, yet feels entirely indigenous to the area. With private villas and personal plunge pools for all, luxury and exclusivity go hand-in-hand. Weddings here are second nature: effortless and totally stressfree. Choose from sprawling, white sand beaches overlooking the Caribbean Sea, poolside or fireside, gardens and terraces, no matter what you desire, paradise is found. 2020 SPECIAL EDITION

SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION: MAYAKOBA, MEXICO

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The most recent update to Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s venue line up is MK Blue. With a high-pitched white palapa-style structure, offset by the deep greens of the surrounding forest and oversized wooden deck, the space is large, but the white billowing curtains make it feel intimate.

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SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION: MAYAKOBA, MEXICO

In 2021, the five-diamond resort will add 40 new accommodations including overwater pool villas and beachfront suites. Their beach club, swimming pools, kid programs and dining options are expanding as well. If you’re considering going to visit our amazing neighbors to the south – Banyan Tree Mayakoba is the place to stay and celebrate your future. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Banyan Tree Mayakoba

The biggest selling point at MK Blue is the noise curfew. There isn’t one. Most resorts have a nine or 10PM noise curfew forcing groups to go indoors into a ballroom or private area. Not here. You can literally party the night away under the stars in paradise – perfect for social distancing and ideal for celebrating your union.


A DR EA M DE STI N ATION W E DDI NG W I T H O U R S UM M E R & FA L L S PE C I A L

Celebrate your wedding between June and October and receive our best rates, along with special privileges exclusive for the couple, including a complementary upgrade to Spa Pool villa, $30 gift certificate at the Banyan Tree Spa for your guests and more.

Sanctuary for the Senses All concessions are valid with a minimum amount of villas, based on the number of the wedding attendees, for 3 nights. Other restriction may apply. Please contact us for more details. +52 984.877.3688 | carolina.moreno@banyantree.com

banyantree.com


10 TIPS TO

KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON

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ouples far and wide are finding it hard to keep their stress levels and anxiety at bay. It’s no wonder with what’s going on in this world right now. So how do you “keep calm and marry on?” These ten tips are meant to help you not only plan your wedding with a little less stress, but also ways to combat the anxious thoughts and feelings as they arise. I’m a stress case by nature, so many of these are tried and true tips from a fellow ball of anxiety.

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HIRE A PLANNER If elementary school teachers and wedding planners haven’t proven their worth in the year 2020, I’m not sure when they will.

10 TIPS TO KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON

Wedding planners are saints sent from heaven above (well, good ones are anyway). Some of the reasons you may want to hire one (even if you’re convinced you can do it all on your own): • They are responsible for working with ALL your vendors and coordinating with them – ensuring they can be there if your date changes. • Destination weddings often include multiple events and therefore, multiple vendors. Depending on their scope of work – your planner will handle everything these additional events require. • They can handle any and every disaster imaginable so you don’t have to. • You will end up feeling like a guest at your own wedding. • They know event guidelines in different destinations to help ensure guests are safe and all precautions are thought through. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photo courtesy of Kurt Boomer Photography

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN


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CALL YOUR VENUE If, for some reason, you don’t hire a wedding planner, the first call you should make is to your venue. Find someone who will be your point of contact, and then find out who might be his or her second in line. A lot of changes have happened this year at hotels and venues, so it’s helpful to have more than one person on-site to communicate with. If your guest list shrinks or grows, if you have questions on protocols on social distancing or God forbid, you need to change your date – this is the first call you should make. UNPLUG Get off your computer, away from Pinterest and disengage from social media. Regularly. This is going to help your anxiety and if adopted long term, can be a lifelong solution to battling uncertainty and that mental hamster wheel. Get into nature, take a hike, a walk, a bike ride, do some yoga, read a novel, meditate, listen to music or maybe even take a bath. Whatever it is that gives you joy and helps your overactive mind to take a moment and calm down. This much needed break is good for everyone and falls under my routine of selfcare.

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HAVE FUN PINNING I know I just said, get away from Pinterest, but I really meant, just take a break from it. When you’ve completed your selfcare mentioned above, Pinterest is going to be a great way to have fun and get creative. Getting your imagination flowing and feeling like you’re crushing that to-do list can work wonders for stress. Pinning your bouquet ideas or table scape inspiration will help get you excited for your big day. But once you’ve landed on a design and handed it off to your vendors – don’t go second guessing yourself. Second guessing anything (especially your gown) is a slippery slope and will only add to your stress level. Chances are, your first instinct was the right one anyway.

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WRITE IT DOWN When things are swimming around your mind and your to-do list is one of them, a good method to handle this is to keep a note pad with you at all times. Next to your bed, in your purse, on your desk and even your car can help get those thoughts and questions out of your mind and into a safe place. This allows you to come back to it when you have the time to work on it and feel confident you’re not forgetting anything. If you’re not a paper person – starting a “note” on your iPhone is a good way of keeping your racing mind accounted for in one central place.

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WORK IT OUT Find a good workout regimen. I know this seems like an obvious one for some and an annoying reminder for others, but I promise – it really helps. I can see a distinct change in my moods and energy levels when I fall off the workout wagon. Really tune into the kind of workouts you like and you’ll be more successful at it. I used to love running until I injured myself and now the thought of donning running shoes makes me want to cringe. Instead I 2020 SPECIAL EDITION

find barre, yoga, weight lifting and high intensity training to be a good mix for me. Keep trying new things so you don’t get bored or in a rut. By finding a solid fitness plan, you’ll not only reduce stress, but also your waistline…and both of those will make you feel your best.

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START A FACEBOOK GROUP Most of you should already have your wedding website set up – and that’s going to be crucial in helping update your guests in a more formal way outside of your invitations. One way to stay in touch and communicate with your loved ones on a regular and informal basis is a private Facebook group. Most people (young and old) are on Facebook and this option allows guests to communicate with one another as well as with you in a very casual setting. I’ve seen helpful information shared in this manner as well as an abundance of support heaped onto the couple. And let’s be honest, you probably need that right about now. It also allows guests to share in the excitement for your wedding away. Lastly, it’s free and could be a really beneficial tool in your communication arsenal.

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DECIDE TO GO WITH THE FLOW Life is full of ups and downs. If this year hasn’t proven that, I don’t know what will. One thing that will help your wedding come together in a stress-free manner is if you go with the flow. There will be problems that arise as you plan, and if you try to control every last detail, you’ll likely drive yourself (and your fiancé) a little crazy in the process. If you decide ahead of time to roll with these challenges instead of fighting them, your trip down the aisle will be a lot easier on everyone, especially you. PROCESS THE EMOTIONS Many couples are being thrown some serious curveballs this year as they plan. With that comes disappointment, anger and frustration. Deciding to go with the flow as mentioned above, doesn’t mean that you can’t have feelings about what’s happening around your wedding plans. The healthiest way to handle this is to acknowledge your emotions, don’t stuff them. If there are tears or anger - that’s okay and completely understandable. However, don’t hold it in or it will fester. Experience the emotion when it comes, recognize it, experience it and then let it go to move forward.

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LEAN IN TO YOUR PARTNER This is your chance to work together for a common cause – your wedding! Take time together to work through some of the challenges you’re facing. Remember your soon-to-be spouse is on your side and your common goal is to have a wonderful wedding that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Work together to make that happen and communicate often. At the end of the day, remember what’s behind that wedding – the two of you vowing to spend your lives together. That’s what really matters… what doesn’t matter in the scheme of life: if the caterer has your choice of salmon preparation or if peonies will still be in season. 10 TIPS TO KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON

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FLORAL FANTASY PALM SPRINGS A

in

WORDS BY LAUREN ERTL PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAURA MURRAY PHOTOGRAPHY PLANNING + DESIGN BY ALY ANN EVENTS FLORAL DESIGN BY NATIVE POPPY

Surrounded by six acres of botanical gardens with backdrops of both the San Jacinto Mountains and the Indian Canyons, boutique hotel Colony 29 typically attracts couples looking to have a bohemian aesthetic to their wedding. However, a team of talented vendors decided to take a different approach to this stunning Palm Springs styled shoot. 1. Designer Aly of Aly Ann Events created a European feel, transforming the property’s wedding spaces. Native Poppy’s floral ceremony arch brings an air of softness and texture to the lush greenery of the rose garden. 2. The groom looks sharp in a ritzy Friar Tux suit featuring diamond-shaped divots and silver rhinestones. The bride’s gown carries on the sophisticated style while adding a touch of whimsical beauty. In fact, Galia Lahav’s exquisite Seraphina gown with voluminous pleated lantern sleeves was just released in October of 2020, and this photo shoot is the first place it appears outside of the official Galia Lahav marketing campaign. 2020 SPECIAL EDITION

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3 & 5. The floral theme is carried over from the ceremony set up to the reception flawlessly. The floral linens pick up the colors and softness of the centerpieces while the neutral chairs balance the design perfectly. 4 & 6. Our Couple is joyous and vibrant on this sunny day in Palm Springs. The plunging illusion of the bride’s Galia Lahav gown gives just the right amount of sexiness with the fullness of her skirt. The embellished tuxedo jacket on our groom allows for this look to feel polished yet trendy.

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9 7 & 10: What bride wouldn’t want two looks on her wedding day? The flutter sleeves and lace soften the plunging neckline and fitted silhouette in this Galia Lahav gown. 8. The table scape shown here could work perfectly for almost any season. The taupe accents in the linens, ivory plates and wood details offset the mixed florals and bright sunny destination perfectly. 9. The “first look” of our couple nestled in the rose-lined pathway at Colony 29 just takes your breath away.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR VENDORS: Photography: Laura Murray Photography; Venue: Colony 29; Planning and Design: Aly Ann Events; Floral Design: Native Poppy; Videography: Sam Eng Films; Paper Goods: Model Paper; Jewelry: Lindsay Marie Designs; Hair and Makeup: Chiali Meng Artistry; Tabletop: Catalog Atelier; Specialty Rentals: Adore Folklore; Fine Linen: La Tavola; Gowns: Alexandra Grecco & Galia Lahav; Groom’s Attire: Friar Tux; Models: Danee Almond and Tiffany Renee

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A DVE N T U R E S I N E T I Q U E TT E

HOW TO COMMUNICATE

CHANGING PLANS WITH YOUR GUESTS WORDS BY KATE DARNELL

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t’s no doubt one of the biggest things keeping you up at night as you plan (or re-plan) your wedding in the year 2020 is your guest list. The questions that are likely haunting you: Whom do you invite, how you should communicate, what you should communicate and when? Never fear, we have some helpful answers to your burning guest list questions.

Q

Our original date was in April this year and we were forced to postpone and now are only feeling comfortable with a small guest list in the spring of 2021. We initially had 150 guests and now are only having 25. How do we communicate to the people who were originally invited that now are not?

A

First of all, take a deep breath. Your story is, unfortunately, pretty common and many other couples were faced with the same devastating decision. But, keep a few things in mind. The 125 guests you plan on “uninviting” will likely be relieved of your news, if you communicate it properly. It’s not a secret that the world is in the midst of a pandemic and large weddings have been featured in the news media as “super spreader events.” Countless people have contracted COVID-19 due to these irresponsible celebrations and yay for you not wanting to add to that headcount!

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ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE

Photo courtesy of Dana Cubbage Photography

Now, how do you communicate your un-invitation to guests without hurting feelings or making them feel like they are on the D-list? Personalized contact. Sending a letter or getting on the phone are a couple of ways to let them know that you plan to marry with a small group and they’re not on the list. Simply saying, “out of an abundance of caution for our loved ones (and you’re one of them!), we’re going to do a really intimate wedding with only immediate family,” should suffice. This will take care of the majority of your guest list, but there will be a few people that might be a little harder to break the news to – people who you’re close to and you want there, but if you invite that person, then another person needs to get the invite or you offend them (you know, the domino guest list effect). In those cases, use the same approach as outlined above, but perhaps give them an option to celebrate separately with you. Setting up a time with them to look at the photos or video with you when the wedding is over might be a good option. Or, you could even have them on Facetime with a guest at the wedding so they can view it virtually. The goal is to make them feel included even if they aren’t physically there. You can’t do this with everyone; so only offer this option up to those that you’re closest to. You DESTINATIONIDO.COM


might be surprised how understanding people will be about your decision. Just be honest, loving and firm in your decision and your guests will likely be loving and kind in their responses. Another option is to host a celebration later on for the guests who weren’t at the small, rescheduled event. This “marry now, celebrate later” approach has been adopted by many and is a great excuse to wear your wedding attire again and be with your entire extended guest list at a fun, casual party. Show your wedding video and recreate your wedding cake to give guests a little taste (no pun intended) of what your wedding day was like.

Q

We have gotten lots of wedding gifts from people, but have had to postpone our event twice and now plan to elope because it’s just too daunting to go through it all again. Do we send gifts back to people now that we’re not planning on the original event?

A

Receiving a wedding gift isn’t like getting a payment for services not rendered. You don’t have to “refund” them. What you might want to do is alert your guests of your plans so they know you’re not going to reschedule again. You can do this a few ways – either via email, phone calls (depending on how large or small your list is) or via letter. Then, you’ll want to make sure you send a hand-written thank you note for the gift. The only reason someone should be offended is if you fail to send a thank you note or acknowledge the gift they sent.

Q

What is the best way to let guests know that we’ve changed dates without paying to redo our invitations and send them all out again?

A

Ask your stationer or invitation designer to send you a digital version of your original design that allows you to alter the date, time or destination and then send that information out via email and put it on your personalized wedding website. If you don’t have a stationer or invitation designer and you ordered your invites online through Minted or another online retailer, contact the company you purchased them through and see if they can get you a digital (editable) version of it. So many businesses are doing all they can to help consumers right now; you might be surprised what people are willing to do for you!

Q

We get so many questions from guests about our upcoming destination wedding and back and forth decisions on if they are coming or not. Many people are not RSVP’ing even though we’re trying to book room blocks and such. What do we do and how do we get them to make a decision with so much uncertainty right now? We only have 35 guests, but it’s starting to get overwhelming.

A

That sounds overwhelming. You sound like you need a good bottle of wine and some chocolate. Go get those and come back to read on. I’ll wait… Got it? Okay good. Even with a group of 35, you’re going to have some people who aren’t sure if they should travel or not. My suggestion would be to find out what it is holding them back. Are they worried about it being cancelled and losing their deposit or airline ticket? If that’s their concern, let them figure out their own travel plans and communicate that you’re not trying to pressure them into making a decision because things do seem uncertain, but that you need to know no later than XYZ date in order to keep things on time. Just be firm in that but also understanding to what they may be going through. Perhaps they have a loved one they live with who is really high risk or they just don’t feel comfortable getting on a plane or driving the distance to your wedding. At this point, understanding and love will be your biggest ally. Lead with that. If they still don’t let you know by your deadline, lovingly let them know that you absolutely have to move on without them in order to keep things rolling. Then let it go. It’s on them. 2020 SPECIAL EDITION

ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE

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“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” –OPRAH WINFREY PHOTO BY KEN TAN PHOTO

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DESTINATIONIDO.COM


Edging the blissful waters of Los Cabos, the Mexican Pacific, and Riviera Maya, our hotels and resorts take your wedding to a new level of magic and enchantment. Given that you’re so special to us, we only hold one wedding per day and schedule an appointment to tailor your event as you’ve always imagined. There’re onsite Wedding Planners certified in South Asian, LGBT and Jewish ceremonies; and you get a certificate to return and celebrate your first anniversary with us. Providing attention to detail, our properties go above and beyond your expectations to create the wedding of your dreams.