Destination I Do Magazine - Winter 2021 Issue

Page 1

WINTER 2021

DECOR IDEAS FOR YOUR

TROPICAL WEDDING MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE:

ITALY

REAL DESTINATION WEDDINGS DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2022

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

25

UNFORGETTABLE

WEDDING DESTINATIONS


Wedding Bliss

on The Dominican Republic’s Caribbean Coast

There is nothing quite like a wedding surrounded by sparkling ocean vistas and all-inclusive indulgence. At the beautiful Hilton La Romana, plan an intimate ceremony for two or a grand affair for hundreds. Choose from a selection of unique wedding packages or customize nearly every detail right down to your own signature drink.

Contact Our Wedding Center | 888.659.8767 | HILTONBYPLAYA.COM

Big Day Preview

2-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE STAY FOR TWO FOR ONLY $ 500

$ 500 CREDIT* WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR WEDDING

IT’S LIKE GETTING YOUR PREVIEW FOR FREE!


All-Inclusive Wedding Packages FOR JUST THE TWO OF YOU COMPLIMENTARY WEDDING FOR TWO WITH ONLY A 7-NIGHT STAY!* INTIMATE ELEGANCE COMPLIMENTARY WEDDING FOR THE COUPLE PLUS UP TO 10 GUESTS!* All prices are USD. Applies to new bookings only. Big Day Preview (BDP) applies to US and Canada adult residents only. Credit is valid for minimum $5,000 wedding program. Credit applicable to BDP host hotel only, limit one BDP credit per wedding, not available within 6 months of wedding date, based on ROH room category. Complimentary weddings require minimum room category of Hilton La Romana - Premium Suite Ocean Front. Complimentary weddings are only available Mon-Wed between 9am and 1pm and are only offered during initial booking at least 6 months prior to wedding, not available for previously reserved and/or confirmed weddings. Additional terms and conditions/ restrictionsapply, check with your wedding coordinator for full details. The following promotions are combinable, Leisure Groups Program, Big Day Preview credit. They are not combinable with any other promotion. Holidays or other blackout dates may apply. Offers may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Not responsible for errors or omissions. ©2021 Playa Hotels & Resorts is the owner and exclusive operator of Hilton La Romana, Hilton Playa del Carmen and Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa. All rights reserved. PLA08590921


Customize Your Wedding

Unlimited ways to express your love

Inspired by Love. Created by You. Only at Sandals®Resorts.

Find your

INSPIRATION & Create the Wedding of Your Dreams

Stunning wedding inspirations ignite your imagination to customize your own dream wedding. You can mix and match our tasteful décor options to reflect your personal style. Framed by the sea on a pure white-sand beach or nestled in lush gardens, we’ve styled the ideas, colors, flowers and finishing touches to guide you through the planning journey and bring your vision to life. Our planning team will help you every step of the way. Say “I Do” to Sandals and we'll make your dream wedding a wonderful reality.

MIX& MATCH Endless options, No packages, No themes.

WEDDING & SANDALS FREE* TROPICAL WEDDING WITH A 3-NIGHT STAY OR MORE!

*

HONEYMOON

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


COASTAL LIVING Inspiration

VOTED WORLD’S BEST AT TH E WORLD

25

YEARS IN A ROW TR AVE L AWARDS

SANDALS.COM/WEDDINGS 1-877-SANDALS or call your Travel Advisor @ sandalsresortsweddings JAMAICA • ANTIGUA • SAINT LUCIA • THE BAHAMAS • GRENADA • BARBADOS • CURAÇAO (2022) *Visit www.sandals.com/disclaimers/destinationidowinspri21 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.

MIX & MATCHING Inspirations


CONTENTS WINTER 2021/SPRING 2022 EDITION

features

22

Unexpected Drivable Destinations

Hitting the road for your destination wedding has its perks. You can load up all those DIY details, bring your dog and even stop along the way to take a mini-vacay before the action starts. We’ve curated some unexpected locations for you to tie the knot in Hollywood, California (pg. 23), Scottsdale, Arizona (pg. 24), Seabrook, Washington (pg. 26), Crested Butte, Colorado (pg. 30), Nashville, Tennessee (pg. 32), Southern West Virginia (pg. 34) and the Berkshires, Massachusetts (pg. 36).

Caribbean Queen 58 Antigua – The cerulean blue waters of the Caribbean

are second-to-none. And because you can literally stay over-the-water in Antigua – this alone is reason enough to go.

60

Dominican Republic – All-inclusive resorts are the way to go when getting married in the Caribbean and we’re uncovering five of the best in the Dominican Republic that take full advantage of every beautiful view you could imagine.

TOC - Features

44

Marry Here, Honeymoon There – Rome & Florence

When it comes to marrying and honeymooning in the country of Italy, the romance quotient is off the charts. We explore two nearby cities where you can say “I do” and “I did” with amore!

Honeymoon Hideaways

74

76

Spotlight Destination – Mexico

Heading south of the border brings world-class hospitality, cuisine and more stunning backdrops than you can imagine. We uncover some of the best locations in this magical country. Cancún is highlighted on pg. 44, Punta Mita on pg. 46 and Los Cabos on pg. 48.

78 80

Maldives – A private island paradise with endless beaches and beauty are all a honeymooner needs. Cruise Russia – A luxury river cruise could only be matched by a destination as interesting as Russia. Hop aboard a Viking River Cruise and experience medieval towns and historic haunts. Galapagos – Discover nature’s bounty aboard a 32-passenger yacht and sail through the isolated Galapagos Islands. Tanzania – The ultimate in luxury in the roughest of terrain – only true adventure seekers (who love upscale living) need apply.

Photography by James & Jess Photography

40


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


CONTENTS WINTER 2021/SPRING 2022 EDITION

14

Wedded Wisdom

16

On the Horizon

18

50

Past destination wedding couples share their advice on the best ways to plan your destination wedding.

Stay up-to-speed on recent hotel happenings and wedding and travel trends.

Insider Traveling

No matter the destination, here are some helpful travel products and must-know info.

Caribbean Couture in the Dominican Republic – From the famed shores of Juanillo Beach and an oceanfront terrace overlooking the sea to a sunset garden lawn and a seaside cabana, we bring you five different looks to inspire your wedding away in the Dominican Republic. Choose from sleek and sexy or fun and whimsical. Our vendor team created magic at five all-inclusive Playa Hotels & Resorts and any one of these stunning set-ups is sure to catch your eye.

Guest Book – Take a Seat

No matter the size of your wedding, guests finding their seats in an easy and fun way is important for starting your reception out on the right foot. We arm you with inspired ideas and helpful tips from the pros for both seating charts and escort cards.

90 Ask the Expert – The Do’s and Don’ts

of Seating Your Guests

We’ve enlisted the advice of pro-destination wedding planner Kelly McWilliams to help guests get to their seats unscathed.

92

Adventures in Etiquette

94

Real Destination Weddings

Fashion Forward

Balinese Botanica – Sunlit gardens with romantic enclaves and the most beautiful details can hardly upstage our fun-loving couple. Smiles, neon art, hats and a four-legged furry prop give this photo shoot life and you a little inspiration for your own nuptials.

64

82

Everything from overlooked RSVP deadlines and travel logistics to menu planning and plus-ones is covered in this issue’s Adventures in Etiquette.

Nothing inspires us quite like other couples’ success stories! We are highlighting seven stunning real destination weddings including a fun and fabulous fete in Playa del Carmen (pg. 94), a glistening garden soiree in Maui (pg. 98), a romantic elopement under the Eiffel Tower (pg. 102), classical elegance in Santa Barbara (pg. 106) a tropical stunner in Naples (pg. 110), oceanfront opulence in Cabo San Lucas (pg. 114), and a poolside party in Key West (pg. 118).

Photography by Mike Cassimatis

departments


WHY WALK WHEN YOU CAN

PARADE DOWN THE AISLE!

Let New Orleans & Company, the ultimate New Orleans resource, help make your destination wedding unforgettable! Complimentary hotel, venue and planning assistance for parties of 10 guests or more.

MyWeddingInN ewOr l ean s . c o m • 1- 80 0 -74 8 - 86 9 5


ON THE COVER

EDITOR IN CHIEF / PUBLISHER / OWNER Jennifer Stein

WINTER 2021

OWNER / CEO Carolyn Steere

WEB CONTENT & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Lauren Ertl COPY EDITOR Courtney Kellar

DECOR IDEAS

TROPICAL WEDDING

FOR YOUR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Erin Suwwan

DESIGNER Jaclyn Threadgill

pg. 40

MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE:

NATIONAL ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Mike Walker

SOUTHEAST ADVERTISING MANAGER Dan Tomkiewicz

pg. 94

REAL DESTINATION WEDDINGS

pg. 64

ITALY

DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2022

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

25

UNFORGETTABLE

WEDDING DESTINATIONS

NORTHEAST & CARIBBEAN ADVERTISING MANAGER Diane Homer

Throughout this issue

Winter 2021: On the shores in front of the Thompson Zihuantanejo, models Alex Watson and Laura Persons are stunning in gowns by Watters, hair and makeup by Nicole Samara Iyer of Samara Beauty, planning by Jaime Kostechko of Wild Heart Events and travel/production by Renée Strauss and Pamela Goldman of Wedaways. Image captured by the incomparable Valorie Darling.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Victoria Abbott Riccardi Judy Koutsky Kate Darnell Hope O’Brien Elaine Hilbelink Stacey Marcus Holly V. Kapherr Susan Moynihan Shana Kinnerup John Roark Samantha Ross Melissa Klurman Harmony Walton PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Kristi Blane

EDITORIAL INTERNS Rebecca Mardinkian Izzy Rosales

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Please visit us online at destinationido.com/ subscription or call our toll-free number to order a one-year subscription – 866-359-9855. Domestic and Canadian rates are $19.98 USD per year and foreign $39.98 USD. Additional shipping rates may apply.

SPRING 2022

ADVENTUROUS

HONEYMOON SPOTS

pg. 22

Throughout this issue

ROAD TRIP For Your

FEATURED LOCATIONS

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.

Destination Wedding

DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 2, 2022

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

25

UNEXPECTED LOCATIONS

TO TIE THE KNOT

© 2021/2022 DESTINATION MEDIA, LLC

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.

Throughout this issue

Spring 2022: Cuddling close, models Alaysia Yue and Ray Zeus are radiant. She’s in a gown by Essense of Australia and he’s in a suit and velvet bow tie by Friar Tux. His floral boutonnière is by Green Pumpkin Floral and her accessories are by Jennifer DeMoro Jewelry. Hair and Makeup is by KG Hair and Makeup and this fun-loving shot was captured on set at Botanica the Venue by Jenni Summer Studios and planned by Threshold Event Co.. You can see all the lush details starting on page 50.

10

ON THE COVER

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES

Please contact our corporate office at 480-759-9855 or visit us online at destinationido.com/advertise.

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

DESTINATIONIDO.COM


When e pa ends

the story just begins.

St. Simons Island

Sea Island

Jekyll Island

Little St. Simons Island

Goldenisles.com | (800) 933-2627

The Magic of Jekyll Island Fall for the charms of the Jekyll Island Club Resort’s sweeping live oaks, manicured gardens and gorgeous beaches and let us be the destination elopement or wedding for you on enchanting Jekyll Island.

912-635-5170 jekyllclub.com/georgia-weddings

Brunswick


EDITOR’S LETTER

HURRY UP AND WAIT T

he pent-up celebratory demand that came in 2021 was no joke. I talked to photographers and wedding planners who went from rescheduling events and postponing milestone celebrations (including their own) to scrambling to find just one more date to accommodate a couple who was eager to say “I do.” After a year-and-a-half of paused business and rescheduled weddings, what a welcome restart to life! Or was it? Airports overflowing, surge pricing at properties that usually discount for off-season dates, and delays for passport renewals seemed the norm. Dates that couldn’t happen before were spoken for in an instant. The world seemed prepped like an Indy car at the starting line. Especially in the world of weddings. And who could blame us? Our instinct (and purpose) is to gather in groups and celebrate the beauty of unifying love.

Follow us on social: @destinationido

Getting restarted isn’t always seamless. The frenzied pull of getting back to normal life can have a dizzying effect on all of us. But when it’s your wedding you’ve been waiting to celebrate, patience can truly be a virtue. Dates might be hard to come by. The flowers you were hoping for might no longer be available because growers had to halt production. Maybe your gown is taking longer than you expected or the castle you were hoping to marry in is not yet taking large groups. Whatever the delay or wrinkle you’re faced with, I promise you – you are not alone. The travel and wedding industries ( just like everything else) need a little time to recalibrate and run smoothly again. The people behind the brands and the vendors who are serving you have two things in common: they need your business and they want to provide you with a wonderful experience to celebrate one of the most important days of your life. So, as you hurry up and then wait to get married, focus on the patience in the process. Hone-in on the reason you’re getting married and, as the travel and wedding industries reopen, know that the people behind it truly have your best interest at heart. While you’re at it, flip through this most recent issue and get inspired. Interesting ideas for where to drive for your wedding away can be found in our “Unexpected Drivable Destinations” story on pg. 22. Wondering what other couples did to celebrate (even with fewer guests)? Check out our “Real-Life Weddings” section starting on pg. 94. If you’ve been trying to figure out whether to do a seating chart or escort cards, we give inspired ideas for both in our story called “Take a Seat” on pg. 82. You’ll also find expert advice on how to execute a seamless transition from ceremony to reception in our “Ask the Expert” feature on pg. 90.

12

EDITOR’S LETTER

Cheers to getting back to business and to your reimagined upcoming destination wedding celebration! Yours Truly, Jennifer Stein

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photography by Dennis Kwan Headshots

Search “Destination I Do” anywhere you listen to podcasts!

No matter your question or need, we’re here for you! From the pages you’ve invested in here to our website, social media community and even our podcast. If there is something you’ve been wanting to know, our inbox is always open (as are our DMs). So, message or email us and we’re happy to help.


Don’t stand on ceremony.

Whether you choose a barefoot wedding or something more reserved, there are oceans of reasons to hold your nuptials in Key Largo. Perfectly situated between the Gulf and the Atlantic, Key Largo boasts water as clear as fine crystal, breezes as gentle as your first caress and, of course, some of the most romantic sunset wedding venues on earth. There’s no better place to take the plunge. fla-keys.com/keylargo 1.800.822.1088 For the latest protocols on health & safety in The Florida Keys, please visit our website.


WEDDED WISDOM

PAST DESTINATION WEDDING COUPLES

SHARE THEIR TIPS PLAN “B” “When you are planning a wedding outside, have a plan ‘B’ that you can live with in case Mother Nature has different plans than you do that day.” — Elizabeth, Naples, Florida – real wedding on pg. 110 KEEP AN OPEN MIND “Be open minded to changes and flexible in case things don’t go quite as planned, and have fun…this is such an amazing part of your life.” — Luisa, Playa del Carmen, Mexico – real wedding on pg. 94 GET THERE EARLY “I think it is a good idea to arrive at least two-to-three days before the wedding just to be prepared for any last minute or missed details.” — Elizabeth, Dominican Republic

BOOK ALL YOUR VENDORS EARLY “With the pent-up demand for wedding services, dates are going fast. Book your vendors (even hair and makeup) as soon as you know your wedding date to get the vendors you really want to work with.” — Jen, San Diego CHASE JOY “Take a step back from planning and ask yourself, ‘If it were just us two, what would we do to celebrate our love?’ Then make sure that those elements are included in your big day.” — India and Hope, Paris, France – real wedding on pg. 102

14

WEDDED WISDOM

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photography by Alina Kolot

CHECK YOUR PASSPORTS “Six months before your wedding, make sure you and all your guests have a passport that will be up-to-date at the time of your destination wedding if you’re traveling outside of the country. It’s amazing how many problems can be created with this one detail if it’s overlooked.” — Joe, Costa Rica


EXPERIENCE

Shows in New York City • Chicago • Washington, D.C.• Miami • Los Angeles

LOG ON TO REGISTER

weddingsalon.com Use code "DESTINATION" for discounted tickets


ON THE HORIZON

KUDA VILLINGILI RESORT

VILLA NAI 3.3

BOTANIC SANCTUARY ANTWERP

AIRELLES CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES, LE GRAND CONTRÔLE

ARIA RETREAT & SPA

JOALI BEING

Maldives On the North Male Atoll, you’ll find the newly opened Kuda Villingili (as of June 2021). This five-star island retreat is luxury at its core. With a beachfront spa, gourmet dining (including lobster and Champagne nights) and sunset music overlooking the ocean, you’ll enjoy a spectacular, “experience-driven” stay in paradise. kudavillingili.com

Versailles, France Within the grounds of the legendary Château de Versailles, the opening of this much-anticipated seventh property by Airelles was worth the wait. Boasting views of the château, Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and l’Orangerie, guests are treated to a feast for the eyes. With 14 rooms and suites, each custom designed with an elegant 18th century style in mind, the rooms feel as authentic as the destination they are in. airelles.com

16

ON THE HORIZON

Žman, Croatia One of the newest hotels to be added to the Leading Hotels of the World, Villa Nai 3.3 would be idyllic for an intimate destination wedding or honeymoon. Opened in June 2021, this property on Dugi Otok Island is ensconced in nature and surrounded by beaches and cliffs. The hotel is small with only eight rooms, but each artfully designed space makes travelers feel at one with their surroundings. villanai.com

Cima di Porlezza, Italy As of August 2021, guests can enjoy a peaceful and secluded property on the shores of Lake Lugano. With acres of subtropical land situated halfway between Lake Como and the city of Lugano, this exclusive 15 suite “architectural masterpiece” offers a private beach, gourmet dining, infinity pool and spacious spa. It’s also one of the newest additions to the Leading Hotels of the World. aria-retreat.it

Antwerp, Belgium Michelin-starred chefs, botanical gardens, luxury accommodations and a 15th century monastery are combined at Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp. Opening September 2021, this member of the Leading Hotels of the World offers sustainability, comfortable contemporary design and historical grandeur to all its guests. With 108 sublimely appointed rooms and dedicated spa suites, you’ll be transported and transformed. botanicantwerp.be

Maldives Opening late 2021, JOALI BEING is a unique well-being retreat located in the Maldives. This boutique, villa-only property has 34 beach villas and 34 water villas situated on the exclusive island of Bodufushi. Guests are treated to a transformative program; leaving them feeling “renewed, uplifted and inspired.” joalibeing.com

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives, Villa Nai 3.3, Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp, Renée Kemps, ARIA Retreat & Spa and JOALI BEING

RECENT HOTEL OPENINGS


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


INSIDER TRAVELING

CASE CLOSED Six top travel bags to get you from “Let’s go!” to “I do!” with style and ease.

Travelpro x Travel + Leisure Drop-Bottom Weekender ($345)

You’ll get so much use out of this double-duty duffel. The bottom shoe section zips off completely, so you can take this roomy bag out to the beach or hotel gym in a snap. travelpro.com

WORDS BY HOLLY V. KAPHERR

Head out to sightsee with just your phone, sunnies, passport, and other small essentials in this waterproof bag with cut-proof strap, RFID-blocking interior and locking zippers. ardencove.com

Delsey St. Tropez 28” Spinner Upright ($520)

Invest in a long lasting suitcase to begin your love story. This upright spinner has a luxe look and is ultra-lightweight (we love the vegan leather accents!) and the lining is removable and machine washable. delsey.com

18

INSIDER TRAVELING

CALPAK Baye Mini ($32)

Channel the vintage hatbox style with this mini bag in the year’s sexiest shape. Store your jewelry in this cutie while you’re traveling, then carry it as a handbag for a romantic evening out. calpaktravel.com

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Travelpro, Delsey, Arden Cove and CALPAK

Arden Cove Mini Crossbody with Chain Strap ($115)


TEST DRIVE YOUR

Hook & Albert Nylon Twill Garment Weekender Bag ($440)

Transport your tux or bring your bridesmaid’s dress in this gorgeous garment duffel bag that’s ultra-durable and beautiful. The entire bag unzips for hanging in the hotel closet. hookandalbert.com

WeddingMoon

®

PREVIEW YOUR WEDDINGMOON ® WITH UP TO 3 NIGHTS IN PARADISE!

Sandals® makes it easy for you to test drive your dream destination wedding and experience our 5-Star Luxury Included ® Resorts first-hand. Be our guest for up to 3 nights starting at a rate of $250 per couple per night and receive up to a $1 ,050 credit when you book your WeddingMoon ® group of 5 rooms or more under a group c o d e o r c o n t r a c t a t S a n d a l s* .

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Hook & Albert and Paravel

SANDALS COM/TESTDRIVE - -SANDALS OR CALL YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR VOTED WORLD’S BEST YEARS IN A ROW AT THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS @sandalsresortsweddings

JAMAICA | ANTIGUA | SAINT LUCIA THE BAHAMAS | GRENADA | BARBADOS CURAÇAO (2022)

KonMari x Paravel Packing Cube Quad ($65)

Does it spark joy? Pack it in these beautiful cubes with a clear vinyl window, so you can see what’s inside without having to unzip. Au revoir, suitcase clutter. shop.konmari.com

WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

* Visit sandals.com/disclaimers/destinationidowinspri2122td or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions. Sandals® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc is an affiliate of UniqueVacations Corp., the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts.

Beachfront Grande Rondoval™ Butler Suite w/Private Pool Sanctuary at Sandals Grande St. Lucian


A Wedding for You. A Celebration for All.

VOTED WORLD’S BEST AT

T H E

WO R L D

23

YEARS IN A ROW T R AV E L AWA R D S


I do.

Say “I do” to a Wedding.

WEDDING & HONEYMOON BEACHES® FREE* TROPICAL WEDDING A THREENIGHT STAY OR MORE!

Free*

*

INVITE FAMILY & FRIENDS AND BOOK MORE ROOMS TO GET MORE PERKS FROM A FREE HONEYMOON SUITE* UPGRADE 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.

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.

We do. Share your love with the ones you love.

More to do. Absolutely everything’s included for your honeymoon.

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.

BEACHES.COM/WEDDINGS 1-877-BEACHES or call your Travel Advisor @beachesresortsweddings

JAMAICA • TURKS & CAICOS

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/destinationidowinspri2122bch 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.


DRIVABLE

DESTINATIONS Nothing is better than a road trip. Good snacks, music and the wind in your hair just feels right. Countless movies have been made about the adventures and fun that happens when you hit the road.

W

hen it comes to road tripping for your wedding, there are countless reasons to consider it. As we navigate our way around gathering restrictions, it allows you to have a bit more control than traveling abroad. Guests are able to come and go as they please and, depending on the distance, it can really save your friends and family money. It also allows you to bring along décor and personalized details without worrying about baggage fees.

22

UNEXPECTED DRIVABLE DESTINATIONS

Regardless of the reason, we’ve identified a few destinations that might not be on your radar – no matter if you’re wanting seaside or mountain top. From the tiny town of Seabrook, Washington and its Norman Rockwell vibe to upscale luxury in the Northeast in the Berkshires, you’ll find something to inspire you to get behind the wheel.

DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of (left to right) ADERO Scottsdale, Lee Shaking, Eleven Experience, Jake Matthews, The Greenbrier and 1Berkshire

UNEXPECTED


Marry Like the Stars in WEST HOLLYWOOD

WORDS BY LAUREN ERTL

I

Photos courtesy of The London West Hollywood

magine cruising down the famous Sunset Boulevard, taking in the sights and sounds of an area many of your favorite movie stars call home. You are with the love of your life on the way to your own exclusive event as the guest of honor. Finally, you arrive at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, ready to say “I do” with an incomparable view of the “City of Angels.” This five-star hotel abounds in luxurious amenities fit for the famous, including the pristine rooftop pool, all-suite accommodations, oversized bathrooms, private balconies and traditional British afternoon tea. It’s no wonder the likes of Chris Pratt, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey have all graced these halls. On your wedding day, however, you get to play the star. Choose from five venue spaces, including an English-style urban garden with downtown Los Angeles in the distance. Perhaps the most favored of the five venues is the award-winning West End Rooftop terrace: 3,800 square-feet of glamorous, private space overlooking iconic Beverly Hills. No matter which venue you select, The London’s team of wedding professionals will be there to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

Fearless leader of The London’s signature restaurant, Boxwood, Executive Chef Anthony Keene works with couples to customize a menu all their own. “I always try to meet the couple to put faces to their names. That makes it personal for me,” says Chef Keene. Whether it’s a stand-up, plated or buffet reception, all foodies can rest assured they will be tasting top-of-the-line cuisine. The best part about getting married here stretches beyond the hotel’s walls. At the crossroads of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, there is so much entertainment

packed into a two-mile radius that there truly is no need to hop in a car. For a genuine Hollywood experience without leaving the property, rent a poolside cabana equipped with a mini fridge, television and bottle service. Fire pits and cozy couches beckon you to relax and soak up the SoCal sun during the day, and be mesmerized by the lights of the city at night. If you love the idea of getting married like a movie star, look no further than The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills. UNEXPECTED DRIVABLE DESTINATIONS

23


Starry Nights and Desert Dreams in SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

T

he sprawling landscape of the desert has become quite popular for destination weddings. The endless sunshine, moderate climate and beauty of the Southwest make for a perfect (and reliable) wedding away. One new kid on the block is ADERO Scottsdale. This Autograph Collection hotel is the only resort in the area located in a “Dark Sky Community,” allowing guests to stargaze without light pollution. On select nights, ADERO invites visitors onto their Stargazing Lawn for canapés and cocktails, while experts from the Star Dudes give guests a firsthand look at the night sky through binoculars and telescopes.

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UNEXPECTED DRIVABLE DESTINATIONS

Destination weddings here are second nature. The culinary and events team have played host to celebs and discerning couples, so you’re in good hands. Plus, the flawless views of the surrounding mountain vistas enable you to allow your surroundings to be your main décor. Attractions like Old Town Scottsdale are only a 20-minute drive, while mountain biking and hiking are available on-site. ADERO has partnered with REI to provide guests of all skilllevels with guided excursions on and around the resort. Golf and spa lovers in your group? You’re covered there too. The on-site spa offers an assortment of treatments just steps from your room and award-winning golf

courses abound in this region, so make sure to pack your clubs. When it comes to accommodations, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy every moment in your modern, minimalist guest room. With oversized windows showcasing the expansive desert landscape and starry night sky, as well as spa-like showers in every bathroom, you’ll feel rested and rejuvenated. The resort is only six stories tall (allowing it to feel like an extension of the destination it’s in), but has a total of 177 rooms and 16 oversized suites, giving everyone in your group room to roam. Scottsdale is an easy drive from many destinations in the West, so when you’re ready to say your destination “I do’s,” hop in the car and caravan with your nearest and dearest to this desert paradise. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of ADERO Scottsdale

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN


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THE TROUBLEFIELD LIFESTYLE

BEAUTY. CREATIVE. CONTENT.

THETROUBLEFIELDLIFESTYLE.COM


Cliffside Charm in

SEABROOK, WASHINGTON

WORDS BY HARMONY WALTON f a destination wedding on an expansive beach sounds idyllic, you don’t have to head out of the country to enjoy gorgeous wedding day views, seaside town charm, and the communal feeling of a family reunion with loved ones just steps away. Seabrook, Washington is the Pacific Northwest’s up-and-coming walkable community on the water. A three-hour drive from Seattle, this cliffside community is unique – you won’t find any hotels or Airbnb’s, but a centralized reservation system for private homes ranging from charming farmhouses to expansive beach houses. Every guest, no matter their budget or family size, will experience the same level of standardized quality, giving your group the freedom to book what fits and peace of mind knowing your wedding weekend will be special for all. For the coastal town’s best ceremony spots, Crescent Park could take the cake. Ideal for larger weddings, the lush green park is hugged by cedars, giving you the privacy your ceremony calls for. The park also comes complete with two large fire pits and a landing ideal for tents, dinner or dancing. Book

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Horseshoe Park and rent the houses surrounding it for what will feel like a private hotel buyout, complete with volleyball, bonfires, and your “I do’s.” For something extra special, plan a wedding parade through town as you make your way to your reception. There’s even a Town Hall that can act as a catering kitchen for groups who prefer to travel with their own culinary team. For groups who embrace the outdoors, there’s a famous surf beach nearby,

cultural guided hikes, kayaking trips, fishing, tennis, pickleball and more. Koko’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar offers an unforgettable brunch for the morning after the big day and a visit to The Sweet Life ice cream and candy shop is a must-visit for a nostalgic kickoff to your wedding weekend. Bookend your adventure outside the city with a stay in Seattle and you’ve got a destination wedding and mini-moon planned to perfection. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Seabrook, seabrookwa.com

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Photos courtesy of Seabrook, seabrookwa.com (top and bottom left), Lee Shaking (bottom right)



Love HARD Play

HARD

From arrival to first look and every golden hour in between, allow us the honor of placing your love center stage. Add a little edge, unrivaled hospitality and a whole lot of music to your celebration of forever.

1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL 33314 I 800.937.0156 HardRockHolly.com


Taylor River Lodge

Photos courtesy of Eleven Experiences

Taylor River Lodge

Scarp Ridge Lodge


Wed in the Wildflowers

CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO WORDS BY HARMONY WALTON

C

olorado is no stranger to destination weddings and domestic honeymoons, but the Rocky Mountains are seeing their share of overcrowding lately…unless you know where to look. If you love the rustic luxury of the Rockies, but seek a spot a little less traveled, then consider Crested Butte, Colorado. It’s known as the Wildflower Capital of the state, making it a beautiful natural backdrop for a destination “I do.” A short drive from Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (and four-plus hours from Denver), the small-town charm of this old mining village is ideal for groups who want to stroll down a historic main street and settle into a swanky, BBQ-style rehearsal dinner.

Photos courtesy of Eleven Experiences

Public House

Sopris House

The big day could take place in the expansive surroundings or an intimate courtyard at Sopris House. For a buyout stay great for small groups, Scarp Ridge Lodge by Eleven Experience (sleeps 20) means living like you’re in a posh hotel within the communal surroundings of a loved one’s home. What was once the Croatian Hall where miners drank and danced, is now an ultra-luxurious boutique hotel offering inclusive adventures like snowcat skiing, guided hikes and ice climbing. If you want to get out in nature on wheels, then your group can enjoy the largest single track trail system in the U.S. for mountain bikes. Or you can paddle board down the river and then stroll into town for live music at Public House. On the other hand, you could hang in the indoor saltwater pool or fan-favorite rooftop Jacuzzi at Scarp Ridge Lodge and watch the stars (a must after all that exercise). Entry into this elevation will be a breeze with their oxygen-enriched air system and heated floors. But the best part is the great outdoors – with over 1,000 exclusive back acres for cat skiing in winter. Once you’ve tied the knot, let the honeymoon begin! For unforgettable quality time with friends and family, no matter the season, consider taking your group to Crested Butte for a little old-fashion fun, combined with the all the modern luxuries your wedding deserves. UNEXPECTED DRIVABLE DESTINATIONS

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Photos courtesy of (top to bottom) Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. (1st and 2nd), Dream Nashville (3rd)

Making Music in

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

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rom its wild guitar jams to honky-tonk nightlife, Nashville’s a magnet for music fans. But the city attracts plenty of honeymooners and destination wedding couples, too. Aside from crazy good food (barbecue anyone?), the city has tons of hip neighborhoods overflowing with cafés, artist-run boutiques and sites to explore. There are fantastic museums, including the new National Museum of African American Music, and crowd-clapping bars where you can sway to the beat of country, jazz, pop and rock. Add parks for running and biking and a warm Southern spirit, and it’s no wonder Tennessee’s capital has become a hotspot for celebrating one’s nuptials and saying, “I do.” One of the city’s coolest hotels is Dream Nashville, nestled in two historic buildings in Printer’s Alley, known for its nightlife. The hotel has 168 art deco-inspired rooms and suites, many outfitted with Turkish rugs and birch-wood closets. Perfect for newlyweds, the Guest House boasts 1,400 square-feet of room to stretch out overlooking the Cumberland River Basin. The furnishings are plush and the suite comes with unique amenities such as Dream’s custom “Printer’s Abbey” brew on tap and a combo dining room-ping pong table. Another luxurious option is the Terrace Suite, outfitted with an outdoor grill and an optional BBQ Butler on call. For wedding couples, both rooms offer snazzy spaces for cocktails or even an intimate rehearsal dinner. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It tells the history of country music from its origins to today and then dives deeper with various temporary exhibits. For an added fee, you can tour Historic RCA Studio B, where legends like Dolly Parton and Elvis recorded their soon-to-be hits. Once the sun goes down, head to lower Broadway, packed with honkytonk bars. Locals love the quality gigs at Acme Feed & Seed and Tootsies Orchid Lounge, circa 1960. The Ryman Auditorium features big-wigs like Keith

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UNEXPECTED DRIVABLE DESTINATIONS

Gaylord Opryland

Urban, while the Grand Ole Opry is a live country music stage concert that has been broadcast weekly on the radio since 1925. Call ahead for tickets. No trip to Nashville is complete without BBQ and some of the best comes from Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, which slowroasts whole hogs for their signature pork dishes. Rolf and Daughters serves standout locavore fare, like rigatoni with heritage pork ragu, while Lockeland Table excels in Southern specialties, like grilled fish with cheesy grits. Want to splurge? The Catbird Seat has hyper-seasonal tasting menus and Yolan inside The Joseph Hotel serves refined Italian fare. For sheer fun, visit Pinewood, a mash-up restaurant, cocktail lounge, bowling alley and pool. Also, check out Justin Timberlake’s new, multi-level lounge, bar and restaurant, The Twelve Thirty Club. Newcomers Tennessee Brew Works has live music and Assembly Food Hall dishes up everything from homemade doughnuts to pad thai. In many ways, Nashville is like a neverending party with endless things to see, do and taste. Know that whatever you miss this time around, you can save for an anniversary visit.

Laura Turner Concert Hall Stateside Kitchen


Honky Tonk Highway

Dreams Nashville Vatos Tacos

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) Jake Matthews (top), Dream Nashville (bottom two)


The Greenbrier The Greenbrier

General Lewis Inn

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) The Greenbrier (1st and 5th), Molly Carr (2nd), Adventures on the Gorge (3rd), Greenbrier County Convention & Visitors Bureau (4th)

The Greenbrier


Three Ways to Tie the Knot in

WEST VIRGINIA

Ceremony and reception: You want a venue that takes in the epic scenery and the wooden Ceremony Deck delivers. It was purpose-built for events, overlooking the woods and the gorge beyond. Then move into the timber-frame Smokey’s for dinner and dancing, while a bluegrass trio adds the sound of Appalachia. Group outings: The New River is one of the world’s top whitewater rafting spots and guests can try it by comfort level. For a different adrenaline rush, tether up for the Bridge Walk, which takes you across the catwalk beneath the iconic New River Gorge Bridge.

FOR FOODIES: GENERAL LEWIS INN New River Gorge National Park

WORDS BY SUSAN MOYNIHAN

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f you think you know West Virginia, think again. The Mountain State is rugged and diverse; home to charming small towns, world-class outdoor adventure, and one of the country’s most famous resorts. Here are three ways to approach tying the knot in southern West Virginia, whatever your wedding style.

Photo courtesy of Adventures on the Gorge

FOR THE TRADITIONALISTS: THE GREENBRIER

Resorts don’t get much more classic than The Greenbrier. It dates to the 1770s, when vacationers first came to this valley to soak in the waters of White Sulphur Springs. Those humble beginnings have grown into an Old-World hotel with glorious common spaces, historic cottages and 700-plus rooms. Ceremony and reception: A property this size has loads of options, with ballrooms, flagstone patios, off-site lodges and a hunting club. But for the classic Greenbrier experience, swap vows in the white clapboard chapel with its WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

stained-glass windows and a coppertopped steeple. The curved Chesapeake Terrace and adjacent Chesapeake Bay ballroom are ideal for indoor-outdoor receptions, while the elegant, pink-andgold Cameo Room is a showstopper year-round. Group bonding: Spa days and golf scrambles are easily arranged, but for something different, take over the bowling alley, go geocaching, or puzzle your way out of the Titanic-themed escape room.

FOR THE OUTDOORSY: ADVENTURES ON THE GORGE

Kick off your new life together at our nation’s newest national park, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. The river cuts a deep canyon through the Appalachian Mountains and Adventures on the Gorge near Fayetteville is the perfect base camp. With lodging options from luxury homes to comfy cabins and even tent and RV sites, there’s something for every budget.

Living up to its reputation as “America’s Coolest Small Town,” Lewisburg combines a thriving food scene with easy access to the outdoors. The historic General Lewis Inn is a 24-room boutique hotel located just a block up the hill from the heart of downtown, so guests can leave their cars and wander the shops, galleries and eateries downtown with minimal effort. Ceremony and reception: The inn’s owners, who wed at the General Lewis five years before buying it, deliver with a gorgeous back garden that easily transforms into a wedding venue. Retreat a few steps down for cocktail hour on the patio, and then do dinner and dancing under a marquee tent, or indoors in the historic Dining Room. The setting is historic, but their approach to food and drink is modern. Group bonding: Tell your guests to bring their appetites, because there are plenty of places to sate them. Set up a welcome dinner at Stardust Café, known for fantastic housemade pastas, or get a taste of Europe at The French Goat, which puts a twist on classic bistro ingredients. Want something more spirited? Hire a driver for a boozy tasting tour. UNEXPECTED DRIVABLE DESTINATIONS

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THE BERKSHIRES WORDS BY STACEY MARCUS

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ast Coast couples seeking a destination that blends natural beauty with history and fine dining will fall in love with the Berkshires. Nestled between New York and Boston, the Berkshires is a true gem, with six towns spread across rolling hills and wildflower fields. Your guests will be welcomed by farm-to-table fare, a bounty of art and cultural experiences, and an opportunity to renew your body, mind and soul. Whether you tie the knot in a Gilded Age mansion, honeymoon in a restorative haven or enjoy a romantic weekend in a quintessential New England town, you’ll find bliss in the Berkshires. Couples who dream of hosting a fairytale wedding will have their wish granted at Blantyre, one of only 12 remaining Gilded Age mansions in the Berkshires. The Relais & Châteaux property’s European vibe exudes a classic elegance reminiscent of the late 19th century. Blantyre’s bespoke settings include a light-filled music room, covered terraces and 110 acres of lush lawns. The Blantyre team is eager to curate custom experiences for your guests, including pastry and cooking classes and bonfires. Blantyre’s 24 elegant accommodations, housed in the Manor House, Carriage House, and four expansive cottages are perfect for buyouts. Couples looking to renew their minds and bodies post-wedding will discover a slice of nirvana at Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa. The restorative haven features dynamic wellness programs including golf, fitness, yoga, meditation, culinary, equine, nutrition and art. Whether spending time in the stables enjoying equine therapy, kayaking on a local lake or following footbridges through forests, Miraval will take your breath away. A highlight of the property is the Miraval Berkshires’ Life in Balance Spa featuring 29,000 square-feet and 28 treatment rooms. The Williams Inn in Williamstown is a sweet spot to spend a romantic weekend in a classic New England college town. The stone and wood inn feels like a New

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Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa

England farmhouse. Art lovers can walk to the Clark Art Institute, while golf fans can hit the greens at Taconic Golf Club. The Berkshires is an ideal destination for couples who relish elevating their senses. Listen to the music at iconic spots like Tanglewood, taste the local flavors, smell the sweet scent of nature and fall in love all over again in the Berkshires.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom) James Baigrie (top), Miraval Berkshires Resort and Spa (middle), Ogden Gigli (bottom)

Discover Wedded Bliss in


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) 1Berkshire (1st), Blantyre (2nd), James Baigrie (3rd and 4th)

The Williams Inn

Blantyre

Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa

Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa


anything to get the

shot @keymomentfilms


MIKKEL PAIGE PHOTOGRAPHY mikkelpaige.com | @mikkelpaige


M A R RY H E R E , H O N E YM O O N T H E R E

ROME & FLORENCE


Romance, culture, history, beauty, diversity and charcuterie unite in this paradise for lovers.”

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

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ream of rolling, verdant hills alive with grapevines ripe for picking. A restored medieval village overlooking vast landscapes, which appear as if an artist has painted them is your backdrop. You’re in a bustling, ancient city lined with cobblestoned streets and handsome men on Vespas yelling something delicious in an unfamiliar language as you sip your Brunello and wait for the sun to set. Only, this isn’t a dream. This is Italy.

Photos in this spread courtesy of La Posta Vecchia Hotel

Romance, culture, history, beauty, diversity and charcuterie unite in this paradise for lovers. The food is outstanding, the people and customs alone are worth coming for, and the accommodations rival anything you’ll find around the world. If you’ve contemplated celebrating your wedding or your honeymoon here – you would be in good hands. The Italians are experts in love. The benefit of both Rome and Tuscany is that you can easily get married and honeymoon in either destination. Our suggestion is to marry in Rome and head to Tuscany for your honeymoon, but if you want to do just the opposite, you really can’t go wrong.

MARRY HERE: ROME

Roma La Posta Vecchia Hotel is located just outside of Rome and is situated on the Lazio Coast. This 17th century home (once owned by American oil tycoon, WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

J. Paul Getty), turned luxury villa rental is the definition of Italian refinement. With a sea-view terrace and fastidiously manicured gardens, you could get lost in the endless beauty (and history) of this special place. The home is so special in fact; it’s thought Mr. Getty never truly left and still roams the halls. Because each of the 15 rooms are luxuriously appointed with artwork from around the world, unique décor and soaring ceilings, you and your guests

could spend days just relishing what’s inside. However, the twinkling sea views by day and the moon’s reflection by night beg for you to spend the majority of your time on the grounds and terrace. Also available for rent, this private, legendary villa by the sea has sprawling lawns and spaces for your guests to gather. Inquire for more details on current number of guests allowed on property, as restrictions may apply based on current regulations. MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE

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Castiglioncello del Trinoro About a 90-minute drive from Florence and atop the medieval village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, you’ll stumble upon Monteverdi Tuscany, a boutique hotel and collection of restored 12th century villas. The property is so well integrated into the façade of the village, you may miss it completely if you don’t know where to look. Once there, you will realize the rare and unrivaled gift you have been given in visiting this one-of-a-kind gem. What’s lacking is the typical property signage and grand entrance of marble, pomp and circumstance. What is not lacking: personality, charm, heart and an effortless elegance, like a fine Super Tuscan wine.

En route from Florence to Castiglioncello del Trinoro, consider a luxury shopping side-trip to The Mall - Luxury Outlets boasting Prada, Gucci, Tom Ford and many other high-end brands.” 42

MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE

The gravel roads meandering through the village are lined with unassuming entrances that house the common areas of the property, although these areas are anything but “common.” The décor throughout the villas and hotel are a happy marriage between contemporary design elements and ancient architecture. Every décor decision from the linens (oh, the linens!) to the bathtubs are pure perfection. Each room at Monteverdi gives you the feeling that DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Monteverdi Tuscany (captured by Cheryl Ungar)

HONEYMOON THERE: FLORENCE


Photos courtesy of Monteverdi Tuscany (top and middle images captured by Bernard Touillon, bottom captured by Cheryl Ungar)

you’re stepping into a modern art gallery, surrounded by the vestiges of what history meant to leave behind. Oreade is the restaurant on property and offers sumptuous cuisine to delight even the pickiest of palates. Monteverdi’s stellar culinary team is lead by Chef Giancarla Bodoni, who firmly believes in a farm-to-table concept. The views from Monteverdi give a visual representation of how far the food has traveled, making it a truly “locally sourced” dining experience. A honeymoon at Monteverdi Tuscany will give you seclusion, relaxation and romance in abundance. And if you choose to marry here, don’t stress as they host many grand events on property.

DON’T MISS • Enjoy a cooking class at Monteverdi and learn from the master herself, then dine alfresco on your creation with Val d’Orcia in the distance. • Wine tasting in this region is a given. We suggest Tenuta di Trinoro (a well-known Super Tuscan producer) and Casanova di Neri (awarded “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator and “97 points” by Decanter). • Shopping in nearby Montepulciano is a must for fine Italian leather and keepsakes.


S P OT L I G H T D E ST I N AT I O N - M E X I C O

MODERN MARVEL IN

CANCÚN

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

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the many other properties in the area on customer service alone.

The hard decision is narrowing down where to stay in this sprawling country. One of my favorite areas is Cancún and Riviera Maya. The Caribbean Sea and white sand beaches never disappoint and properties like NIZUC Resort & Spa ensure your event is not only luxurious, but flawless.

Reflecting pools, ancient Mayan customs and stunning design make for one of the most sumptuous experiences one can expect from this region. The resort is spread over 29-acres of winding lagoons and pristine oceanfront property. With 274 private suites and villas decked out in contemporary décor, private soaking tubs, oversized showers and some of the best service you’ll find south of the border, any wedding group would be lingering here come check-out time.

This modern property has a strong Mayan influence and stands apart from

Don’t be concerned with the size of the property and getting around. First, you

exico’s coastlines offer an array of options these days. From modernluxe properties to quaint haciendas, the friendliness of the locals and the outstanding food beg for this destination to make it to the top of your wedding or honeymoon list.

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may never want to leave your room, but when you do, there is always a golf cart within view to pick you up and take you anywhere you need to go. The warm ocean air and pristine grounds entice you to get out and experience all the activities the property has to offer. From kayaking on still waters and sailing on a luxury yacht to taking a class on sushi making, you and your guests will enjoy every moment of your destination wedding. When it comes to saying “I do” or “we did,” traveling to this modern marvel will be well worth the investment. NIZUC Resort & Spa offers something unique and unparalleled, much like the very love you’re celebrating… DESTINATIONIDO.COM


Photos courtesy of NIZUC Resort & Spa

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S P OT L I G H T D E ST I N AT I O N - M E X I C O

A

MEXICAN PARADISE IN

PUNTA MITA


WORDS BY JOHN ROARK

Photos in this spread courtesy of W Punta de Mita

D

escribed as “the Puerto Vallarta of 25 years ago,” the community of Punta Mita is an ideal destination for those longing for an authentic, laid-back Mexican vibe and a best-kept-secret cachet usually reserved for those strictly in-the-know.

offers the intimacy of a private escape completely in sync with its heritage. Accommodations feature lake, jungle and oceanfront settings with private plunge pools. Guest rooms are fun, colorful, Bohemian and funky, featuring works by local indigenous artists.

Located 10 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita encompasses 1,500 acres of private peninsula surrounded on three sides by the waves of the Pacific Ocean gently lapping white-sand beaches. What awaits you is a scattering of resorts and private estates peeking through lush tropical flora. What you won’t contend with is the hustle, bustle and tourist traps often found in resort towns. Should you find yourself needing a fix of people-watching, surfer-spying and souvenir shopping, the colorful and friendly town of Sayulita Nayarit is a short 20-minute drive away.

Five on-site restaurants proffer everything from Mexican fare to Silk Road-inspired cuisine. Don’t miss Chevychería, a beachfront, thatched-roof converted 1950s Chevrolet truck serving a varied menu of catch-of-the-day ceviches. One taste and it will be hard to pull yourselves away.

For couples seeking an authentic Mexico experience, the W Punta de Mita WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

Centered on a private island in a spring-fed lake and accessible by steppingstones that disappear once guests are seated, Mesa1 is a singular gastronomic event; seven-course private dining for as many as 12 guests at a table crafted from a massive, historic tree trunk. By candlelight, it’s an

unforgettably stunning dining experience perfect for a rehearsal dinner or post-vow feast. The 460-foot-long “Camino Huichol” mosaic walkway (the W’s signature feature) was painstakingly crafted from nearly one million individual tiles and stretches from the resort’s entrance, through the lobby and across the sand to an ocean-view perch. Talk about making an epic wedding entrance. Easily accessible from the U.S., Mexico is a popular romantic travel destination because of the variety of locations to suit virtually any taste, from serenely understated to party-centric. What can get lost along the way is the truly Mexican celebration that takes unabashed pride in its people, history and culture. For couples drawn to immersing in the real deal, the almost-undiscovered Punta Mita is ready to welcome you with that magic that can only be found south of the border. SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION

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S P OT L I G H T D E ST I N AT I O N - M E X I C O

DISCOVER NATURE’S PLAYGROUND IN

LOS CABOS

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ountains, desert and ocean collide in Los Cabos, Mexico, making it one of the most desired vacation destinations in North America. For those looking for the perfect location to wake up to gentle crashing waves, taste ancient culinary traditions with a modern Mexican twist, and discover tranquility at every turn – Montage Los Cabos is a must-visit. Every element of the extensive property is centered around wellness and indoor-outdoor living in this desert destination. Guest rooms come equipped with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors leading to a private terrace and your very own outdoor shower, so you never have to leave your private oasis. Spa Montage Los Cabos, inspired by the historic Torote tree found at the resort’s entrance, offers everything needed to

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achieve personal well-being. Getting married on property? Trust the talented staff to get you wedding day ready from head-to-toe, including full bridal makeup and hair services.

Twin Dolphin Trail. Don’t leave without taking part in a mezcal tasting where guests learn about the history of the Mexican drink and the bountiful agave plant it comes from.

Enjoy a relaxing day and reserve a private cabana at the main pool or on the beach with a personal butler at your service. Golf lovers will swoon over the Twin Dolphin Club, boasting a 19-hole course designed by none other than Masters Champion and member of the Golf Hall of Fame, Fred Couples. The Santa Maria Bay offers practically endless entertainment; from kayaking and snorkeling to surfing and sport fishing, the only trouble you’ll have is deciding what activity to start with. For family-friendly fun, try it all and collect Montage Merit Badges for participating in different outdoor experiences, like visiting the famous El Arco or hiking the

Perfect for privately hosting small wedding groups, the Montage accommodations include houses with up to five bedrooms – each complete with open concept living rooms, dining rooms and fully-equipped kitchens. A fair warning, however, couples and wedding guests alike have been known to never want to leave this desert sanctuary by the ocean. Whether you choose this idyllic location to celebrate your nuptials in style or to soak up the first days as a married couple – the Montage Los Cabos provides unmatched experiences. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos in this spread courtesy of Montage Los Cabos

WORDS BY LAUREN ERTL


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BALINESE

Botanica


Photography by Jenni Summer Studios Event Planning by Threshold Event Co.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. For this photo shoot, the team was inspired by Bali. The foliage, tropical elements and relaxed vibe all played a role in this stunning photo essay. “Our team put together a Bali-inspired wedding right here in San Diego, CA. Without traveling amidst a pandemic, we could bring Bali’s look and feel to us,” says Jenni Summer of Jenni Summer Studios.

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1. Our gorgeous couple Alaysia and Ray are radiant with a backdrop of palms, rattan, pampas grasses and a circular arch framing their smiles. Floral design by Green Pumpkin Floral. Alaysia is in a gown by Essense of Australia and Ray is wearing a mustard-hued suit with green velvet bow tie by Friar Tux.

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2 & 4. Snuggling in close and accompanied by a cute-as-can-be corgi named Beignet, Alaysia is a vision with hair and makeup by KG Hair and Makeup and Ray is the definition of dapper in a hat by Friends of Friends Hat Co.. The bouquet and ceremony set-up was created by Green Pumpkin Floral. 3. A simply scrumptious cake by Elegance on Display is adorned with greenery and surrounded by vintage suitcases and driftwood.

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5 5. A beautiful bouquet of roses, palm and anemone designed by Green Pumpkin Floral sits on a bamboo chair from TBD Events. 6. Cheers to love! Those smiles say it all and in case it’s not clear, a fun neon sign from Howdy Dudey Neon spells it out.

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7. Alaysia is radiant with her bouquet from Green Pumpkin Floral, jewelry from Jennifer DeMoro Jewelry and hair and makeup by KG Hair and Makeup. 8. A close-up of the stunning wood table shows off a rattan charger topped with calligrapher-designed placards with a green tassel detail by Lavender and Sea, golden flatware and green stemware from Witty Rentals. 9. Oversized rattan sweetheart chairs perfectly frame our fun-loving couple. Peacock chairs from Botanica the Venue. 10. Foraged foliage hangs over this picture perfect table for eight. A true collaboration of talent shows how you can bring Bali home – or at least to San Diego!

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SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR TALENTED VENDOR TEAM event planner: Threshold Event Co, thresholdeventco.com, photographer: Jenni Summer Studios, jennisummerstudios.com, venue: Botanica the Venue, trademarkvenues. com/botanica, floral designer: Green Pumpkin Floral, greenpumpkinfloral.com, tabletop rentals: TBD Events, tbdsandiego.com, videographer: Wanderland Media, wanderlandmedia.co, cake designer: Elegance on Display, eleganceondisplay.com, signage: Howdy Dudey Neon, howdydudeyneon.com, hair & makeup: KG Hair and Makeup, kghairandmakeup.com, furniture rentals: Witty Rentals, wittyrentals.com, calligrapher: Lavender and Sea, lavenderandsea.com, jewelry: Jennifer DeMoro Jewelry, jenniferdemoro.com, male model: Ray Zeus, female model: Alaysia Yue, tux and Accessories : Friar Tux, friartux. com, dress designer: Essense of Australia, dress store: Archive Bridal, archivebridal.com, silk on bouquet: Silk & Willow, silkandwillow.com. hats: Friends of Friends Hat Co., friendsoffriendshat.co

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CA R I B B E A N Q U E E N

Antigua WORDS BY STACEY MARCUS

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ooking to launch your life on a tiny island brimming with luscious emerald rainforests and bountiful beaches in the heart of the Caribbean? Why not swing in a hammock on the beach or marvel at the sea show in the glass-bottom floors of Royalton Antigua’s Chairman Overwater Bungalows? The six wooden floating suites, Antigua’s first and only overwater bungalows, offer the perfect spot for couples to celebrate their wedding night or honeymoon. The adults-only bungalows on Deep Bay Beach boast a front seat to the shimmering Caribbean Sea and elevated amenities and services. Each bungalow features a master bedroom with a

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king-size bed and sitting area, dining room, swim-out infinity plunge pool and glass floor. Plus, there are niceties like a choice of aromatherapy to perfume your space, on-call butler service, complimentary romantic dinner, a mixologist on your terrace at sunset, and personalized yoga or fitness services. Get hitched in one of the Royalton Antigua’s wedding venues including the lovely beachfront or Sky Terrace overlooking the aquamarine water. Spend your wedding night in one of the overwater bungalows or reserve one for a heavenly honeymoon. You will have access to the resort’s five restaurants and can enjoy perks including unlimited dining and drinks, water sports, pools, snorkeling and romantic sunsets.

It’s easy to get to Antigua with plenty of non-stop flights from major U.S. hubs. While Antigua is only 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, the island has all the elements that newlywed couples crave. Inviting, lush rainforests, 365 beaches, and a rich history provide lots of fun activities like zip-lining, sailing, Jeep rides, hiking and hanging around with some of the nicest people on the planet. Sail around North Sound on a catamaran or catch a sunset or fish fry at Shirley Heights. You can also visit a 17th-century sugar plantation, pop by a donkey sanctuary, explore the rich history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Nelson’s Dockyard, or meander through the markets in St. John’s and enjoy local fruits and crafts. If you have extra time, pop over to Antigua’s sister island, Barbuda, located about 38 miles away and home to the largest colony of Frigate Birds in the world. The island is brimming with wildlife, lagoons and beaches. Whether you explore Antigua’s treasures or make your magic at Royalton Antigua’s Chairman Overwater Bungalows, you will love writing the first chapter of your love story in Antigua. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos in this spread courtesy of Royalton Antigua

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Sanctuary Cap Cana

Dominican Republic WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

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f you envision white sand beaches, cerulean blue waters and warm hospitality on your wedding day, then consider the Dominican Republic. This tropical destination is on one of the largest islands in the Caribbean and is only a two-hour flight from Miami. Swaying palm trees line powdery beaches and gentle breezes allow for a perfect climate at sunset. The country, known for its beauty and culture, is a sure bet when tying the knot. There is no shortage of vendors who can accommodate your every destination wedding desire, and the number of stunning resorts to make your marriage official are plentiful. All-inclusive properties are truly the way to go when it comes to a destination

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wedding in the Caribbean. It simplifies the entire experience for you and your guests. Here are five all-inclusive properties in the Dominican Republic to ensure your wedding away is a dream come true.

LA ROMANA Hilton has two new all-inclusive properties in La Romana, which are directly next door to one another. The difference? One is family-friendly and offers all kinds of kid-friendly activities perfect for the little ones, where the other is adult-only, allowing couples to relax in seclusion and quiet. Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Resort offers sophisticated common areas and modern amenities. With ten on-site restaurants and 24-hour room service, nightlife and swim-up bars, guests will find themselves indulging DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Playa Hotels & Resorts

in The

5 WAYS to SAY “I DO”


Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Resort Aroma Cafe at Hilton La Romana

from sun up to sun down. Upgrading to a Premium Club Suite gives you full access to perks like a VIP lounge, private beach area, personalized concierge service, private pool area and even a pillow menu. You don’t have to venture far to Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort, as the two properties are directly connected. This allows for your guests with kids and guests without to co-mingle when they want, without the hard choice that usually comes with the “adult-only decision.” The family-friendly side has a similar feel, but with a bit more whimsy and all-age appeal. Spacious rooms and suites are still modern and stylish like their adult-only neighbor, but child-friendly amenities such as a water park, on-site games and activities will keep the little ones entertained all day, every day.

Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort

Photos courtesy of Playa Hotels & Resorts

Both resorts give guests the flexibility of dining at any of the ten restaurants without a reservation and have so many options to choose from, it would be hard to try them all. The weddings department at Hilton La Romana will ensure your dream wedding goes off without a hitch – no matter which property you are at. Select from their pristine private beach, sunset garden east or sunset garden west – all providing panoramic views of the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. For more on these properties and to see how your own wedding could look, flip to pages 64 and 66. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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Sanctuary Cap Cana

Sanctuary Cap Cana

CAP CANA About 20 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport is a resort town called Cap Cana. One of the most popular attractions in the area is Juanillo Beach – arguably the most beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic and shockingly, crowd-free. On the shores of Juanillo Beach, you will find Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, an all-inclusive adult resort. With 375 colorful, yet sophisticated living spaces, your guests can take advantage of sweeping views of the ocean or indulge in the backdrop of the resort’s stunning pools and gardens.

Directly next door (a similar set-up to the aforementioned La Romana properties) is the all-ages, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana. Navigating from one resort to the other is seamless as spaces are directly connected and just a five-minute walk will get you from one to the other. Hyatt Ziva offers the same polished feel as its adult-only counterpart, but with an all-ages approach. Kids of all ages can get in on the fun and partake in countless water activities such as snorkeling and an on-site water park. Wedding backdrops are endless at both properties. Choose from their Santo Domingo Terrace (perfect for gatherings where you want to be outdoors and fully shaded), the gazebo (ideal for an DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Playa Hotels & Resorts

Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana

If you’re ready to explore culinary options, this is the place to come. With 12 restaurants and 13 bars and lounges, you won’t have to venture far to find something delicious. For the ultimate in romance, book a private dining experience on the beach or in one of their gazebos overlooking the sea.


oceanfront ceremony) or the powder sand beach surrounded by swaying palm trees. For a peek into what a wedding on the beach or terrace could look like, flip to pages 68 and 70. A few minutes away is our last stop: Sanctuary Cap Cana, an adult only, all-inclusive luxury resort. When you arrive on property, you’re invited into a Spanish Colonial-inspired village and totally transported. The limestone walls, hand-carved wooden doorways and cobblestone streets give you an old-world feeling, but the modern, oversized rooms and villas treat you to the contemporary amenities only found at a true luxury resort.

Photos courtesy of Playa Hotels & Resorts

Each of the five restaurants on property are upscale and delicious. Choose from fresh sushi and teppanyaki at Wok, indulgent Northern Italian cuisine at Capriccio, the finest cut of beef at The Steakhouse, seafood by the seaside at Blue Marlin or a little something for everyone at Casabella, the property’s international buffet. The weddings department at Sanctuary Cap Cana can anticipate your every need and desire. From private, intimate weddings to large and upscale, they not only have beautiful backdrops, but stellar service. For a glimpse into what your own wedding there could be like, flip to page 72. No matter which of these five resorts you decide upon for your wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway, you’re in good hands. For more about these resorts and more from Playa Hotels and Resorts, visit playaresorts.com WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana


CARIBBEAN COUTURE

Dominican Republic in the

Swaying palm trees, powder white sand and the iconic Caribbean waters beckon couples from all over the globe. With backdrops as stunning as this, it’s no wonder the destination is as popular as it is. Consider the following pages our love letter to the Dominican Republic and get inspired for your own wedding away.

Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Resort has a sleek and sexy vibe, that influenced our table design and fashion. Dried and fresh palm, paired with all white vases by Mercaflor, gave the table a modern twist on tropical. Stationery from Minted complemented our look, picking up the gold from the flatware and greens from the cork-topped glass favors. The white-washed table and bistro chairs from Creative Punta Cana were the perfect, casual accompaniment to the beach backdrop. Our models, Alex and Alejandro, are relaxed and ready for anything. Alex is wearing “Song” by Grace Loves Lace and her Maria Elena headpiece and earrings set off her soft, beachy waves and dewy makeup by Davee Troublefield. Alejandro’s linen suit and tropical print tie and pocket square are by Friar Tux. VENDOR TEAM locations: Playa Hotels & Resorts, photography: Mikkel Paige Photography, videography: Key Moment Films, styling: The Troublefield Lifestyle, production: The Bridal Bar, floral: Mercaflor, rentals: Creative Punta Cana, paper goods: Minted, men’s fashion: Friar Tux, gowns: Grace Loves Lace, accessories: Maria Elena Headpieces


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Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort is a playground for the senses. Set in sunset garden west, we kept the tropical feel and added some pops of color in the painted palm, mixed colored anthurium, and pink garden roses (by Mercaflor). The rose goblets, bamboo chairs and golden flatware from Creative Punta Cana gave the whimsical look a touch of elegance, while the passport stationery from Minted added a bit of playfulness. Alex is wearing “River” by Grace Loves Lace and her Maria Elena earrings pair beautifully with her floral headpiece and updo created by Davee Troublefield. Alejandro’s rose-hued jacket lends even more color, and paired with his gray pants and vest by Friar Tux, give a relaxed, yet modern feel. VENDOR TEAM photography: Mikkel Paige Photography, videography: Key Moment Films, styling: The Troublefield Lifestyle, production: The Bridal Bar, floral: Mercaflor, rentals: Creative Punta Cana, paper goods: Minted, men’s fashion: Friar Tux, gowns: Grace Loves Lace, accessories: Maria Elena Headpieces


Cap Cana is a resort town and home to Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, All-Inclusive Adult Resort. This polished, tropical paradise begged for a little whimsy and a lot of design elements set on their Santo Domingo Terrace. The rustic, oversized table is grounded by black dining chairs, black goblets and rattan chargers by Creative Punta Cana. The floral runner, bouquet and adorned bar by Creative Punta Cana, are overflowing with garden roses, fern, palm, hydrangeas and hot pink ginger from Mercaflor. Striped napkins, mint green plates and gold flatware set off the elegant stationery by Minted. Alex is stunning in “Sol” by Grace Loves Lace, headpiece and earrings by Maria Elena and hair, makeup and styling by Davee Troublefield. Alejandro is wearing a black tuxedo by Friar Tux. VENDOR TEAM photography: Mikkel Paige Photography, videography: Key Moment Films, styling: The Troublefield Lifestyle, production: The Bridal Bar, floral: Mercaflor, rentals: Creative Punta Cana, paper goods: Minted, men’s fashion: Friar Tux, gowns: Grace Loves Lace, accessories: Maria Elena Headpieces

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On the shores of Juanillo Beach, and directly next door to Hyatt Zilara, is Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, an all-inclusive, all ages resort. For this look, we pulled inspiration from the local foliage of heliconia, lupine, veronica and red bird of paradise. The pops of orange play out in the signature drink, as well as the modern menu cards by Minted. The oversized table for ten is complete with wooden bistro chairs, rattan chargers and two-toned flatware by Creative Punta Cana. The floral arrangements and glass candle sticks by Mercaflor brighten up the space. A pop of confetti from Thimblepress makes this even more of a party paired with the stationery from Minted. Alex is effervescent in the “Verdelle 2.0” gown by Grace Loves Lace and floral headpiece by Davee Troublefield. Alejandro is dapper in a blue suit and bow tie by Friar Tux. VENDOR TEAM photography: Mikkel Paige Photography, videography: Key Moment Films, styling: The Troublefield Lifestyle, production: The Bridal Bar, floral: Mercaflor, rentals: Creative Punta Cana, paper goods: Minted, men’s fashion: Friar Tux, gowns: Grace Loves Lace, accessories: Maria Elena Headpieces, confetti popper: Thimblepress


Sanctuary Cap Cana is home to our final look and what a showstopper it is. The limestone walls and selenite fixtures throughout the resort were our muse and baseline for our color palette. Set on the Ocean Club Terrace, a mandap adorned with hanging rattan lanterns, acrylic-backed Louis XIV chairs, and gray silk napkins by Creative Punta Cana were complemented beautifully by the ranunculus, rose and dianthus in gold, square vases and hurricane candles by Mercaflor. Alex is channeling her inner mermaid in the “Willow” gown by Grace Loves Lace with headpiece by Maria Elena, styling, hair and makeup by Davee Troublefield and bouquet by Mercaflor. Alejandro is in a perfectly tailored gray suit, light gray tie and shoes by Friar Tux. A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE MOST AMAZING VENDOR TEAM: locations: Playa Hotels & Resorts: playaresorts.com, photography: Mikkel Paige Photography, mikkelpaige.com, videography: Key Moment Films, keymomentfilms.com, styling, makeup and hair: The Troublefield Lifestyle, thetroublefieldlifestyle.com, floral: Mercaflor, instagram.com/mercaflor_rd, rentals: Creative Punta Cana, creativepuntacana.com, paper goods: Minted, minted.com, production: The Bridal Bar, bridalbar.com, men’s fashion: Friar Tux, friartux.com, gowns: Grace Loves Lace, graceloveslace.com, accessories: Maria Elena Headpieces, mariaelenaheadpieces.com, confetti poppers: Thimblepress, thimblepress.com


Scan this QR code to view the videos of each of these looks from the Dominican Republic.

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PLAN YOUR HONEYMOON in the

MALDIVES WORDS BY JUDY KOUTSKY

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Chicago, Dallas and other U.S. hubs). Once in the Maldives, you don’t have to test again until you leave (unless you’re staying at more than one resort).

As of June 2021, travelers need to present a negative COVID test before getting on a flight to the Maldives (Qatar Airways offers flights from New York,

WHY THE MALDIVES What makes the Maldives unique compared to other destinations is that 99% of the country is covered by water, so travelers are surrounded by beaches, gorgeous water and sun. The population is small – little more than half a million people. Plus, while there are roughly 156 resorts in the Maldives, each one is on its own island. The one-island-one-resort concept is great from a COVID perspective, as each resort is self-contained, so you’re in your own little bubble.

oing on a honeymoon during a global pandemic is not easy, but certain places make it easier. Enter the Maldives. This country, located in the Indian Ocean, is made up of approximately 1,190 islands, 200 of which are inhabited. It has been reopened for visitors since July 2020 and has been incredibly successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 with both testing and an extensive vaccine roll-out.

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WHERE TO STAY & WHAT TO DO If you’re looking for a luxurious boutique property, stay at LUX* North Malé Atoll, a high-end resort with only 67 rooms. Each room has its own personal butler service, which is convenient for planning excursions and romantic dinners. This property has both beach and overwater bungalows and the vibe is chic and contemporary. The diving here is truly exceptional; it’s not uncommon to see sharks, rays, turtles and a variety of colorful fish. This property is known for its extremely spacious villas. There’s a large bedroom, separate living room, massive bathroom (with an oversize bathtub and both indoor and outdoor showers) and a huge outdoor patio area with a private plunge pool. Each villa has its own private rooftop area that’s great for watching the sunrise and sunset as well as watching movies (your private butler can arrange the movie, popcorn, drinks and other refreshments). The spa is equally amazing. Be sure to book one of the overwater bungalow treatment rooms and experience a DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photo courtesy of Kuramathi Maldives

H O N E YM O O N H I D E AWAYS


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) Lux North Male Atoll Resort and Villas (1st and 2nd) Kuramathi Maldives (3rd and 4th)

massage while listening to the sound of the waves. If you’re interested in cooking, the resort offers private culinary classes with their amazing head chef. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive spot, the Robinson Club Maldives is a good option. Located about 45 minutes via seaplane from Malé (the capital city and the spot where international flights land), the property has 121 rooms. The property’s main restaurant is a buffet (open for all three meals), with a teppanyaki restaurant available for special bookings at an additional cost. There were plenty of activities offered at Robinson WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

including snorkeling, diving, SUP, kayaking and yoga. If you’re looking for a bigger resort, Kuramathi has 360 rooms, nine different specialty, à la carte restaurants, and three buffet options. There are numerous pools, cozy beach spots and a gorgeous sand bank that is stunning at sunset. When booking your honeymoon, keep in mind that each resort offers its own unique dining options and activities. Since each resort is on its own island, it’s onestop-shopping for excursions and meals.

Discover unique experiences for honeymooners at these resorts. UNDERWATER SPA Huvafen Fushi UNDERWATER BAR Niyama Private Island Maldives UNDERWATER BEDROOM Conrad Maldives Rangali Island UNDERWATER RESTAURANTS Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Niyama Private Island, Anantara Kihavah Maldives, Hurawalhi Island Resort, Ozen Life Maadhoo and Cocoon Maldives HONEYMOOON HIDEAWAYS

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WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

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or an exotic and wildly romantic honeymoon, consider a river cruise through Russia – the storied land of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago,” and the James Bond film, “From Russia with Love.” Your Viking River Cruise adventure begins in Moscow, where you’ll soak up the city’s sites, including the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum at Red Square and the candy-colored St. Basil’s Cathedral. Then, you’ll set sail on the Moskva River to discover Russia’s Golden Ring, a forested crescent of medieval towns brimming with historic architecture and old-world traditions. This Russian region, once known as Zalesye, or “beyond the forest,” includes several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Your elegant cruise ship holds 200 passengers and offers luxury from bow to stern. Pale wood and cream interiors give the vessel a bright, airy feel and plush staterooms have comfortable beds, bathrooms with soaking tubs, and flatscreen TVs. Each suite also has a private veranda, perfect for savoring intimate moments as you drift past small villages dotted with gingerbread houses, elk-filled forests and locals fishing, picnicking and embracing on the embankment. As your ship glides down various rivers, you can tour ancient towns like Uglich, perched on the Volga River and famous for its fresco-filled churches and monasteries. In Mandrogi on the Svri River, you’ll see artisans in their studios making traditional arts, like brightly painted Russian nesting dolls, a great keepsake to bring home. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos courtesy of Viking Cruises (top) Mary Quincy (bottom)

RUSSIAN RIVER CRUISE


Photos courtesy of Mary Quincy (top left and right) and Viking Cruises (middle and bottom)

Back on the boat, you can chill out in your suite or find a secluded oasis on deck to sip Champagne and savor blinis topped with Russian caviar while the sun dips down over the horizon. In the white-cloth dining room, you can feast on the chef’s gourmet creations, including Russian specialties like velvety borscht, herring salad and beef stroganoff, paired with wines from Russia or elsewhere. After dinner, dance to live music or simply get cozy in your stateroom. Your cruise ends in the gorgeous city of Saint Petersburg that founder Peter the Great filled with palaces, opulent cathedrals, and Europeaninspired buildings. You’ll visit the State Hermitage Museum, housing over three million works of art, including gifts to the tsars from dignitaries. One evening you’ll attend the Russian Ballet and another night you’ll see Russian folk dancing. Finally, it’s time to head home, where you and yours can begin your new life together, your heads and hearts filled with beauty, passion and the spirit of Russia. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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SET SAIL FOR ADVENTURE in the

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

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olcanic islands beckon with shining ebony stone, ruby-hued crabs sparkle like jewels, and fantastical blue footed birds strut nearby. Giant sea turtles slowly swim in aqua, vitrine waters, nibble seaweed just feet from where you’re floating. A sugar white beach hosts playful sea lions that frolic in the surf, tumbling and circling, eventually coming nose-tonose to see if you’ll join in the fun. For couples who love adventure, a cruise through the isolated Galapagos Islands located off the coast of Ecuador offer natural wonders big and small, unparalleled access to wildlife, and a unique opportunity to discover a destination completely off-the-beaten path…the perfect combination for an epic and memorable honeymoon. And instead of simply watching wildlife from a distance, on Quasar Expeditions, newlyweds can interact with indigenous

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marine life; snorkeling with sea turtles, kayaking with sea lions, and walking among nesting birds and sleeping iguanas. All while accompanied by some of the most knowledgeable guides in the islands – or anywhere. HOW TO TRAVEL: QUASAR EXPEDITIONS Quasar Evolution is a yacht, but the nearly 200-foot, low slung ship isn’t a stuffy Champagne and caviar affair. Instead, it offers adventure tours, taking passengers on intimate week-long itineraries to remote islands in comfort and style. When we sailed on the 32-person ship, we were wowed by the personalized attention from the 20-plus staff members, including housekeeping every time we left the ship (to, say, snorkel with hammerhead sharks) and culinary treats such as molten chocolate cake at dinner. Modern rooms are wonderfully spacious (including some of the largest

bathrooms we’ve seen at sea); choose one of the three A-level, top deck cabins to feel like you have a private yacht for two (especially A3, the only room on the port side). Here you can step outside your door for midnight star gazing and Southern Cross spotting on your way to a soak in the hot tub. GETTING THERE To sail around the Galapagos, you’ll first fly into Quito, the capitol of Ecuador, about a four hour flight from Miami. From there, Quasar will arrange your three hour flight to the Galapagos the following day. Before or after your one-week cruise, explore charming colonial Quito. The perfect romantic perch in the church filled city? Casa Gangotena – a historic mansion turned Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel. Settle into one of the sumptuous rooms, then head to the rooftop for sweeping views of surrounding old town and a cocktail toast to your great Galapagos adventure. DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos in this spread courtesy of Quasar Expeditions

WORDS BY MELISSA KLURMAN


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TANZANIA WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

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o celebrate life’s biggest events, like tying the knot, you can’t rival a luxury Tanzanian honeymoon. From touchdown to takeoff, travel in style on an intimate journey for two with the leisure outfitter, andBeyond. After flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport, you’ll be whisked off to Arusha Coffee Lodge, nestled in the lush heart of one of Tanzania’s

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largest coffee plantations. There, you’ll relax in your elegant suite, complete with a linen-draped, four-poster bed, lounge area and private veranda, before dining on gourmet locavore specialties. The next day, you’ll fly to Lake Manyara National Park to cocoon yourself in a mahogany forest at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. In-between game drives to see tree-climbing lions and elephant herds, you’ll savor sunsets from the veranda of your treehouse suite and pampering massages at the

spa, followed by candlelit dinners for two under the stars. Next, you’ll journey to the Ngorongoro Crater, housing over 25,000 protected animals including lions, black rhino and masses of pink flamingos. After sipping Champagne on the forested crater’s edge, you’ll retire at the sumptuous Ngorongoro Crater Lodge overlooking the verdant woodlands of the Maasai and Hadzabe tribes. Your rustic, yet sophisticated grass roof suite comes with a personal butler who can prepare a rose petal bath for two. Natural wonders await at Serengeti National Park, known for its annual “great migration,” an event when animals, like wildebeest and zebra, head north from their grassy breeding grounds in the southern plains to seek new pastures, dodging danger along the way. The park teems with millions of creatures DESTINATIONIDO.COM

Photos in this spread courtesy of andBeyond.com

PACK YOUR BAG FOR THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME in


– mating, eating, birthing and, yes, becoming someone else’s dinner. It’s breathtaking and taps into the very heart of what it means to be alive and in love. Your tented suite at Serengeti Under Canvas comes with a private butler, hot bucket showers and beautifully prepared meals featuring crystal, silver and fine china. On daily game drives you’ll see vast herds of zebra and wildebeests, along with lions, cheetah and leopards – all of which you can spy on a sunrise hot air balloon ride, followed by a breakfast buffet on the Serengeti plains. On your ninth and final day, you’ll bid farewell to the animals on an early morning game drive, followed by a full breakfast and departing hugs from the staff. And as your plane lifts off from Kilimanjaro International Airport, you can revel in having taken a honeymoon as romantic and magnificent as the love you share. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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G U E ST B O O K

Take a Seat

Seating Charts and Escort Card Displays You’ll Love No matter the size of your wedding, guests finding their seats in an easy and fun way is important for starting your reception out on the right foot. The following pages are filled with inspired ideas and helpful tips from the pros for both seating charts and escort cards.

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Homage to Ombre Personality and pizazz take center stage with these details: ombre escort cards and colorful, geometric stationery by GubbaGumma Studio with calligraphy by Twinkle & Toast and wooden place cards by Delovely Details. VENDORS – Photography: Caroline Tran, Planner: All You Need Is Love Events, Floral Design: The Hidden Garden, Stationery: GubbaGumma Studio, Calligraphy: Twinkle & Toast, Wooden Place Cards: Delovely Details

Myriad Mirrors Assorted rattan mirrors with simple calligraphy are the perfect way to seat your guests. And what’s even better? Once your wedding is over, take them home and create a gallery wall as a permanent keepsake to reflect on every day. VENDORS – Wedding Design and Production: Wild Heart Events, Photography: Jenna Bechtholt Photography, Calligraphy: Sophia Loves Letters WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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Flower Power

Using fresh flowers on your escort cards provides an upscale feel for your event and helps repeat the colors and floral design in your reception decor, making everything feel cohesive. This design by Kelly McWilliams gives a modern feel paired with a colorful, classy look. VENDORS – Planning/Design: Kelly McWilliams, Photography: Maria Glassford Photography, Floral: Signature Florals



Elemental Details For smaller, more intimate weddings, allowing your escort cards to double as place cards is always a budget friendly move. The geode and calligraphy by Prim & Pixie elevate this monochromatic color palette. VENDORS – Photography: Koman Photography, Planning: Plan This! Productions, Floral Design: Wisteria Lane Flowers, Rentals: Theoni Collection, Accessories: Styled by TC, Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen, Stationery: Azure, Calligraphy: Prim & Pixie

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Faux Favors Embrace both the destination and the guest. “This unique idea came together for a Texasinspired wedding. These name tags were something that guests could use after the event was over as a keychain, house décor or even attached to their car mirror,” says Naomi Bennett, of Bowties & Bouquets. VENDORS – Event Planner & Designer: Bowties & Bouquets, Photography: Amy Golding Photography & Erica Streelman Photographer, Calligraphy: The Paper Mint Press, Rentals: Archive Rentals, Florals: Jovial Floral Co.


Do Them a Favor

Susan Dunne of Weddings by Susan Dunne found out her couple loved to spend their time playing cards, so she created an escort card display that doubled as a favor station. “We thought a fun and unique way to show this was by designing the escort cards to look like playing cards. Our title was, ‘All you need is two hearts and a diamond.’” VENDORS – Photography: Ether & Smith, Event Planner: Weddings by Susan Dunne, Florist: Mulberry & Moss, Stationery Designer: Heidi Davidson Design


Sip and Be Seated Get the party started from the start by using Champagne (or even a signature drink) as your escort card. Simply include a tag with the guest’s name tied to the base of the glass. VENDORS – Wedding Planner: Cruz Coordination, Photography: Dana Cubbage Weddings, Rentals: EventWorks and Ooh! Events, Florist: Pretty Petals of Charleston, Catering: B. Gourmet Catering

For expert tips on escort card displays and seating charts for your destination wedding, flip the page for our “Ask the Expert - The Do’s and Don’ts of Seating Your Guests.” WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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A S K T H E E X P E RT

Do’s and Don’ts of Seating Your Guests The

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN PHOTO BY STELLA PASCHALL PHOTO

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eating your guests is often an afterthought. It’s something that is necessary and considered only when

the seating chart is created. If it’s done right, it can help your loved ones easily find their way, but if done incorrectly, it can create confusion and undue stress. Seating charts and escort tables can offer fun design details and allow for personalization at the start of your reception.

We’ve enlisted the advice of Kelly McWilliams, a Florida native who specializes in destination weddings in Southwest Florida, Nevis, Mexico and even the West Indies. She’s a leader in the destination wedding community and has been planning celebrations since 2002. She even has her own podcast called “This vs That,” helping engaged couples make decisions during their wedding planning. Who better to take on the task of getting guests to their seats unscathed?

DO:

GO ALPHABETICAL: Arrange your guests alphabetically by last name. You will find that this is the most time effective for your guests as they’re looking through the names. SEAT BY COUPLE OR FAMILY: Consider listing guests as couples and families. This can also prove to be cost effective, whether it be with calligraphy on a chart WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

or with cards or favors guests take with them to their seat. DOUBLE DUTY: Consider having an escort card that doubles as a place card. It can help stretch your budget and your time. HAVE MORE THAN ONE SEATING CHART: Have at least two seating charts if you have a large guest count and place them opposite of each other, so it doesn’t create a traffic jam for your guests. GIVE GOOD LIGHT: Have appropriate lighting on the cards or seating chart. It’s amazing how often this gets overlooked. MEET AND GREET: Have reception greeters who can welcome guests at cocktail hour and let them know where to find their cards. To really step it up a notch, have the host let them know in advance what table they are at and where to find it in the room.

DO THEM A FAVOR: Consider a fun favor that can double as an escort card. Make sure it’s small enough to pack for the trip home. DESIGN OPPORTUNITY: Consider your escort cards or seating chart as an opportunity to create a statement in your overall design. This is essentially the first peek into what is coming.

DON’T:

GO OUT OF ORDER: Don’t have hanging escort cards that cannot be hung in order. Yes, they look beautiful, but they are a pain in the neck to find your card! GET TOO FANCY WITH FONTS: Think about the legibility of the writing. If names are too small or the font is too ornate, finding names can lead to long lines just to find their seat. FORGET BACKUP: Don’t have an edible (or drinkable) escort card without a backup reminder of the table number. LIST BY TABLE NUMBER: Don’t list guests by table numbers unless you have four tables or less. Finding “Tom Smith” amongst 150 names and 18 tables is not fun. FORGET THE LOCATION: If you are outdoors, the wind, rain and lighting must be taken into consideration. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen cards gone with the wind. ASK THE EXPERT

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

Navigating RSVPs, Menus and More


WORDS BY ELAINE HILBELINK

Everything from overlooked RSVP deadlines and travel logistics to menu planning and plus-ones is covered in this issue’s Adventures in Etiquette. Below, we unpack how to navigate these sometimes treacherous situations and make it down the aisle unscathed and a little bit wiser. My RSVP deadline has come and gone and I still haven’t heard from quite a few invited guests. Should I assume they are all a “no?” What is a polite way to proceed?

Q

Everyone can sympathize when guests don’t respond to your invitation. When you get radio silence to your invite, you absolutely should follow-up rather than assuming it’s a “no.” Partly because if they do plan to attend and just forgot to send in the response card, you could be left with an awkward situation, especially when they’re traveling for your event.

A

The best way to proceed is to follow-up with a personal phone call or even a friendly text message. If some of the remiss responders are friends of your parents or future in-laws, you might delegate those phone calls to them. Try to remember that life is getting back to normal and is a little crazier than usual, but a follow-up with your guests is totally okay. My fiancé and I are attempting to finalize our wedding menu and aren’t sure how many options we should give guests. So many people nowadays have dietary restrictions – what’s the best way to handle this?

Q

Typically, three choices of menu options is more than ample. If you offer meat, chicken or fish, and a vegetarian choice, most people will be satisfied. Check with your food and beverage team to see if they provide any gluten-free or dairy-free meals if the need arises, but it is up to the guest to let you know if they require something out of the standard offerings. You can always

A

include a question that asks “Any dietary restrictions?” on your RSVP card to give your guests the opportunity to share what they are. If there are different meals offered or dietary restrictions, make sure you provide place cards so that guests and the venue or caterer know where to deliver each meal. My fiancé and I are working through the travel logistics for our destination wedding guests. Under what circumstances is it appropriate or expected for the wedding couple to provide transportation for their guests?

Q

Traditional etiquette dictates that it is the responsibility of guests and the wedding party to finance their own travel expenses in regards to airfare or getting to the main destination. However, if you choose to help one attendant or family member and not another, word will likely get out and you could be faced with drama.

A

Hosted group ground transportation for excursions or to/from the host hotel, on the other hand, can really help ensure a seamless transition for guests and can help subsidize costs for your loved ones. It’s not expected per se, but a genuinely appreciated gesture if provided. Many tour operators or travel agents can assist in finding affordable group transportation, so check with either your agent or wedding planner. When it comes to group transportation to/from the ceremony and reception, that should be hosted by the couple and clearly communicated to guests before the day of the event.

I had a guest RSVP with a plus-one when they weren’t originally granted a guest. Should I just let it slide or tell them they can’t bring someone?

Q

How you respond to the unwanted plus-one depends upon a variety of circumstances. If finances and the venue can accommodate the additional guest, you might just let it slide. If you have constraints, you might call the guest and explain that your numbers cannot accommodate an extra. However, if a guest has a significant other, it is customary to include that person on the invitation.

A

I’ve been really stressing over what I’m calling the guest list “snowball effect.” I’m concerned if I invite one member of a family unit, then I have to invite all members of that family unit. There are certain people I really want to invite to my wedding, but the numbers quickly get out of control if I invite everyone immediately associated with that person. Is there a proper way to handle this situation?

Q

Guest lists can snowball, but there are acceptable ways to avoid an avalanche! Traditionally, if you invite one aunt and uncle you should invite them all, but you do not need to include all of their family unit. If you invite a cousin, you should include all cousins; if you invite children of one family, you should invite children of all families. Determine how many people you desire to have attend your wedding and begin your guest list with those friends and family members that must be included. Keep in mind the categories listed above. Hurt feelings are imminent if you include some, but not all, in a particular category.

A

One easy and acceptable way of reducing the “snowball effect” is to put an age limit on children. For example, if you set the age limit to no kids under the age of 12, that could reduce your numbers. If you do this, it’s wise to offer on-site childcare parents can take advantage of so they can still attend the event.

VENDORS FOR PHOTO AT LEFT – Photography: Valorie Darling, Wedding Planner: Wild Heart Events, Jaime Kostechko, Travel + Shoot Producer: Wedaways, Renée Strauss, Florist: Pinacate, Josefina Hernandez, Graphic Design: Swell Press, Britt Junod Rohr

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MEXICO

PLAYA DEL CARMEN LUISA + WESTIN


words by: Courtney Kellar images by: Raw Shoots wedding designer & planner: Tropical Occasions

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uisa and Westin didn’t start dating until their mid-twenties, despite meeting when they were 15. Ultimately, it was their shared love of Latin culture and travel that brought them together. Later, it was these same passions that compelled them to say “I do” in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. A destination wedding in the resort town also had some logistical benefits: Mexico required less paperwork than the U.S. for family traveling from Colombia for the festivities. “I am adopted from Colombia, but have always been in contact with my birth mom,” says Luisa. “I wanted my birth mom and sister to be able to attend the wedding, and Mexico is one of the few countries that doesn’t require visas for Colombian citizens.” It was also the couple’s adoration of the Caribbean Ocean that narrowed down the destination. Unfortunately, a hurricane almost waylaid the wedding weekend. Thankfully, the couple’s fast-thinking wedding planner, Aimee Monihan of Tropical Occasions, and accommodating vendors shifted the wedding forward an entire day. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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“We had our first dance under twinkling lights and a gorgeous arrangement of natural woven pendants in the center of the palapa.”


In the end, their talented vendor team pulled off the wedding of Luisa and Westin’s dreams. The couple said “I do” with a ceremony on the sand and their reception took place in a romantic and very practical palapa. Large, boho-inspired arrangements brought beautiful dimension and earthy texture to the entire event. “Our florist had decorated a wooden doorway with gorgeous, romantic bohemian arrangements and that’s where we stood before our closest friends and loved ones to exchange our vows,” recalls the bride.

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“The tables had arrangements of pampas grass, palm leaves and greenery above them, and below, the center of the tables were covered with flowers, local fruit, corals and candles,” says the bride. “The food we had was delicious and we had our first dance under twinkling lights and a gorgeous arrangement of natural woven pendants in the center of the palapa.” Despite the weather forecast, Luisa stayed positive and urges other couples to do the same. “Be open minded to changes and flexible in case things don’t go quite as planned, and have fun…this is such an amazing part of your life.”

VENDORS photography: Raw Shoots, rawshoots.com, wedding designer & planner: Tropical Occasions, tropicaloccasions.com, ceremony/reception site: Blue Venado, bluevenadoweddings.com, hotel: Andaz Mayakoba, hyatt.com, videography: Forever Wedding Films, instagram.com/forever.wf, florals: Vanessa Jaimes Floral Design, vanessajaimes.com, rentals: Archive Rentals & Rebel Bloom Rentals, archiverentals.com & vanessajaimes.com/rebel-bloom, hair: Prep Tulum, prephair.com, cake: Doux Mélange Wedding Cakes, douxmelange.com, photobooth: Style Me Weddings, instagram.com/stylemeweddings, invitations: Acqua and Ink, acquaink.com, stationery: Parwana Paper, etsy.com/shop/parwanapaper, vow books: Shop Kari Winters, etsy.com/shop/shopkariwinters, gown designer: Rue de Seine, ruedeseine.com, bridal salon: Moondance Bridal, moondancebridal.com, hair accessory: Gilded Shadows, etsy.com/shop/gildedshadows, groom’s clothing designer: B Spoke Style, linktr.ee/b.spoke, bride’s ring: Rocos Jewelry, rocosdeal.com, bridesmaids’ dresses: Birdy Grey, birdygrey.com & flower girl dresses: BHLDN, bhldn.com. REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

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HAWAII

MAUI TONI + TOMMIE

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words by: Hope O’Brien images by: Chris J. Evans

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fter 11 years of love and growth, Toni and Tommie, who met while both pursuing careers in nursing, were ready to take the plunge into marriage on the stunning island of Maui, Hawaii. “We knew that our families would be flying from different areas of the country, so it provided an opportunity to go somewhere they had never been,” says the bride. When the couple first started planning their wedding, the date was set for October of 2020. However, as it grew closer, the pair of nurses knew that the pandemic wasn’t calm enough yet, and for the safety of their guests, they postponed it until February, 2021. “COVID impacted our guest list significantly,” the bride says. “Combined with the winter storm that shut half the nation down in February, it made it difficult for guests to re-book flights due to the COVID protocols.”

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With a new guest list of 28, Toni and Tommie set out to rearrange their plans with the help of their venue’s amazing wedding planner. Though later than they had originally planned, the guests, bride, and groom were off to the lush and tropical Hawaiian island. Surrounded by extravagant fireworks and gorgeous floral arrangements designed by Bella Bloom, the couple shared their vows in a ceremony that was a quietly planned surprise for everyone involved. “We wanted everyone to experience the surprise of the details together. We opted for a blend of non-traditional with a light influence of Hawaiian culture,” recalls the bride. Following their vows, the intimate group enjoyed a candlelit, five-course meal specially planned to fit the personalities of the bride and groom. The magical night came to a close as the group danced the night away to a curated playlist of music that reflected the couple’s journey together. As Toni and Tommie wed by the rolling hills of Maui, they learned that sometimes it’s best to ride along with the tide, and shared a wedding they knew was true to themselves. “Haiku [Mill] provided a place for Tommie and I to create an intimate wedding that was a reflection of our personalities, aspirations and the deep love we feel for one another,” the bride says. VENDORS photography/cinema: Chris J. Evans, chrisjevans.com, ceremony/reception/planning: Haiku Mill, haikumill.com, floral design: Bella Bloom, bellabloommaui.com, catering: Cutting Edge Catering Maui, cuttingedgecateringmaui.com, cake: Sugar Beach Events, sugarbeacheventshawaii.com, cocktails: Garnish Craft Cocktails, garnishcocktails.com, dj: Maui DJ Services, mauidjservices.com, officiant: Kanoe Braun, hair & makeup: Maui Makeup Artistry, mauimakeupartistry.com, spark machines: Maui Sparks, mauitunes.com/maui-sparks, wedding music: Maui Harps, mauiharps.com, rentals: Inspiration Events Hawaii, inspirationeventshawaii.com, tabletop rentals: Set Maui, setmaui.com and Table Candy, tablecandyeventrentals.com, linens: BBJ Linens, bbjlinen.com, transportation: Aloha Maui Limo, alohamauilimo.com, stationery: Polka Dot Paper, polkadotpaper.com, calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy, missbcalligraphy.com, gown designer: Maggie Sottero, maggiesottero.com, bride/groom’s shoes: Christian Louboutin, christianlouboutin.com, groom’s suit: Custom - Hall Madden, hallmadden.com, groom’s cuff links: Tiffany & Co., tiffany.com, bridesmaids’ dresses: BHLDN, bhldn.com & groomsmen’s suits: Lords of Wool, lordsofwool.com.

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Haiku [Mill] provided a place for Tommie and I to create an intimate wedding that was a reflection of our personalities, aspirations and the deep love we feel for one another.


FRANCE

PARIS INDIA + HOPE


words by: Jennifer Stein images by: Alina Kolot wedding planner: Katerina Meyvial

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hat’s more modern than finding the love of your life online? Meeting in an Uber on the way to an airport, that’s what. India and Hope’s meet-cute started while the two were attending a retreat and were paired up to share a ride. “Our driver talked the entire 40 minutes to the airport, nonstop!” says the couple. “He was a big over-sharer and we soon realized he wasn’t interested in having a conversation, so we started typing messages in our phones and sliding them across the seat. By the time we got to the airport we knew we’d be friends, so we exchanged numbers and that was the beginning.” With an intimate group of eight guests, India and Hope made the trek to Paris to embark on the start of their love story. “Choosing to marry in Paris was an easy decision. The city is beautiful and utterly romantic. Paris was the perfect way to celebrate our love and kick off our month-long celebration of us.” The couple spent a week in Paris and the rest of the time honeymooning throughout Europe. Although planning a destination wedding in a foreign country was not easy for the couple, they had their planner, Katerina Meyvial to navigate the particulars. “Our wedding planner was a godsend. It was definitely overwhelming at times, but it was all worth it,” recalls the couple. With a personalized ceremony including details like a hand-beaded broom they jumped over, photos of their loved ones, cherished keepsakes on display and an altar made of crystals, Hope and India made sure that every part reflected them. “Every aspect of the ceremony spoke to our values and partnership.”

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Hope and India’s favorite moment: “Dancing and singing with our guests under the stars and the lights of the Eiffel Tower.”

On a terrace overlooking the iconic Eiffel Tower, the pair celebrated all night long. “Our reception was full of music, delicious food, dancing, and lots of Champagne! We’ll never forget the effervescent sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower after nightfall. It was the perfect symbol of the magic of our day.” When Hope and India planned their wedding, they relied heavily on online reviews, personal referrals and their planner. “As a Black, queer couple, the last thing we wanted was to select the wrong vendors and end up encountering racism and homophobia. We were very intentional about selecting vendors that had a diverse customer base and a stated commitment to supporting queer couples. We are very grateful that our wedding planner understood the importance of this and made this a top consideration in her research to find us the best vendors.” Katerina Meyvial, the couple’s wedding planner, offers a series of video interviews with French wedding industry experts, where they talk about wedding planning, give helpful tips and visit amazing locations that can be rented for your wedding in France. You can find The French Wedding Series online at katerinameyvial.com/ french-wedding-series. VENDORS photography: Alina Kolot, instagram.com/alinakolot, wedding planner: Katerina Meyvial, katerinameyvial.com, ceremony/reception site: Hôtel Marignan ChampsÉlysées, hotelmarignanelyseesparis.com, florist: Poème Fleuriste, poemefleuriste.com, cake: Sweetness & Cook, sweetnessandcook.com & makeup Artist: Jessica Crater, jessicacrater.com. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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CALIFORNIA

SANTA BARBARA CAMILLE + KEVIN

DESTINATIONIDO.COM


“…we were so lucky that all of our closest family was still able to attend!”

words by: Lauren Ertl images by: James & Jess Photography wedding planner, designer & florals: Tyler Speier Events

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amille was asked to the Navy ROTC Ball by Kevin during their freshman year of college. They remained “just friends” for the next few years, but their senior year, Camille found herself needing a date to her sorority’s event. Kevin’s eagerness after the invite cued Camille to the fact that he probably wanted to be more than just friends. That night the sparks flew and lit an inextinguishable flame that would carry them down the aisle in Santa Barbara, California. “We knew our wedding was going to be a destination for a number of people no matter what,” says Camille. “So, we decided to embrace it and pick a location that was beautiful, easy to get to and would be a great guest experience.” The guests were excited to experience the beautiful Southern California coast, but when COVID-19 hit, many had to make the difficult decision not to attend. “Which was of course very understandable,” says the bride, “but we were so lucky that all of our closest family was still able to attend!” Even though the pandemic caused a decrease in their guest list, Camille and Kevin focused on making each and every detail of their day extra special and intimate. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of their accommodating wedding vendors who worked hard to change the venue just three months before the wedding.

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“It was a much smaller group than originally intended, so it was lovely to have everyone hear the toasts and we could really visit with all of our guests.”

“Even throughout all of the COVID changes of venue, food, guest count and reception style – [our wedding vendors] were so helpful, flexible and comforting that I always knew we were in good hands,” Camille says. Every aspect of the couple’s wedding weekend fit them to a “T,” from the groom opting to wear his Navy uniform down the aisle, to the jaw-dropping details of the rehearsal dinner and reception. Camille and Kevin’s plan included a cocktail-style reception, trading dancing for more speeches. “It was a much smaller group than originally intended, so it was lovely to have everyone hear the toasts and we could really visit with all of our guests.”

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For those planning a destination wedding, Camille and Kevin say, “just be open to lots of different ideas and feel free to craft a day that feels true to who you are as individuals and as a couple!” VENDORS photography: James & Jess Photography, jamesandjess.com, wedding planner/designer & florals: Tyler Speier Events, tylerspeier.com, ceremony/reception site: private estate, rentals: The Tent Merchant Event Rentals, thetentmerchant.com, specialty rentals: Scout Rental Co., scoutrentalco.com, videography: B Studios, bstudios.org, catering: Omni Catering, omnicateringsb.com, mobile bar: The Boozy Bee, theboozybee.com, dessert: Lelé Pâtisserie, lelepatisserie.com, bride’s gown: Pronovias, pronovias.com, hair: Andrea Villa, andreavillahair.com, makeup: 805 Makeup, 805makeup.com, lighting & draping: Bella Vista Designs, bellavistadesigns.com, transportation: EOS Transportation & Next Adventure 805, eossantabarbara.com & nextadventure805.com & band: Jukebox Productions, jukeboxproductions.us. DESTINATIONIDO.COM


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FLORIDA

NAPLES ELIZABETH + TYLER

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words by: Courtney Kellar images by: Mike Cassimatis wedding designer & planner: Kristin Ashley Events

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ith family in the Midwest and an October wedding date, Elizabeth and Tyler went in search of a warmweather destination. “We thought Naples looked beautiful and knew it would be nice, warm weather the time of year we wanted to get married,” says the bride. They took a chance and visited their destination wedding location for the first time when searching for a venue. Fortunately, it was love at first sight and the couple went full-steam ahead with planning. Come their wedding day, the couple was joined by just over 100 guests on the beach for a ceremony at dusk, officiated by the bride’s uncle. The warm, sunset colors were reflected in Elizabeth and Tyler’s tropical décor with bountiful floral arrangements. After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests moved to an elaborately decorated courtyard for dinner. “The reception started in the courtyard of the hotel, which we enjoyed through our salad until it started raining,” recalls Elizabeth. Thankfully, the couple kept their spirits up and everyone pivoted quickly to move the dinner indoors. “We had always planned to come inside for dancing, so after dinner we moved to another room with the band and dance floor,” says the bride. “We had the best time dancing with our guests!” Elizabeth and Tyler took the light showers in stride and channeled the cheery, island-vibe of their décor to see them through. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the bride advises a similar plan for other couples currently planning a destination wedding. “When you are planning a wedding outside, have a plan ‘B’ that you can live with in case Mother Nature has different plans than you do that day.”

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The couple thoughtfully made the most of the wedding weekend for all their guests by hosting a poolside Halloween welcome party the day before the wedding and a farewell brunch by the beach the day after. By hosting their destination wedding on Halloween weekend, the couple’s guests likely expected an exciting and colorful event and Elizabeth and Tyler certainly delivered. VENDORS photography: Mike Cassimatis, mnc-photography.com, wedding designer & planner: Kristin Ashley Events, kristinashleyevents.com, ceremony/reception site: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, ritzcarlton.com, florals: Ashley MacDonald Floral Designs, amfloraldesigns.com, décor: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, ritzcarlton.com, linens: Nüage Designs, nuagedesigns.com, stationery: Cheree Berry Paper & Design, chereeberrypaperdesign.com, gown designer: Alyne by Rita Vinieris, ritavinieris.com, groom’s clothing designer: Jos. A. Bank, josabank.com, bridesmaids’ dresses: Joanna August, joannaaugust.com, groomsmen’s clothing designer: Jos. A. Bank, josabank.com & band: Wiley Entertainment, wileyentertainment.com.

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“We thought Naples looked beautiful and knew it would be nice, warm weather the time of year we wanted to get married.”

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MEXICO

CABO SAN LUCAS OMARI + KELLY


“I will never forget reciting our personal vows with the sun shining down on us, the breeze from the ocean gently blowing, surrounded by our loved ones.”

words by: Hope O’Brien images by: By Julieta event planner: About Love Weddings and Events

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mari was a weekend anchor and Kelly was a reporter when the two met, and almost as if their love had been a perfectly scripted movie, Omari was stationed at the desk behind Kelly. “We had great conversations – I thought he was really funny,” the bride says. “I found myself looking forward to seeing him every day.” Great conversations turned into dates all around Tennessee. “He always knew the best restaurants and secret, exclusive spots to take me,” the bride says. However, the two weren’t always able to see each other within the distance of a desk as they both began to move around the country for their careers. Yet, even with three years of long-distance dating, the couple’s love stood strong and ten years into their story the two decided it was time to say “I do.” The couple’s wedding was just as spectacular as their origin story and they decided to spend their special day together in Cabo San Lucas. Even with busy schedules and a pup to care for, the two were able to visit Cabo once before the big day and plan the elegant and modern wedding of their dreams.

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“I’m a very visual person and our wedding colors of blush, white and rose gold were just what I had envisioned for my wedding day,” the bride says. The intimate wedding consisted of simple décor and a gorgeous view of the ocean behind the ceremony. It was exactly what the bride and groom wanted – to be surrounded by their closest family and friends on their big day. “I will never forget reciting our personal vows with the sun shining down on us, the breeze from the ocean gently blowing, surrounded by our loved ones,” the bride says. “It was so intimate, even though we were out in the open with guests from the hotel watching us from their balconies.”

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Beneath an altar dressed in white and blush flowers and elegantly draped in opaque cloth, the couple promised each other forever as they held hands; now even closer than the desks’ distance that once brought them together. VENDORS photography: By Julieta, byjulieta.com, event planner: About Love Weddings and Events, aboutlovecabo.com, second shooter: Maria Lopez Photo, marialopezphoto.com, reception venue: The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, thompsonhotels.com, floral designer/equipment rentals: Let It Be Events, instagram.com/let_it_be_events, videography: Hart Cinema, hartcinema.com, jewelry: Erica Koesler Wedding Accessories, ericakoesler.com, dress designer: Watters, waters.com, invitation designer: Us Creating, instagram.com/uscreating, dj: DJ Mijares, djmijares.com & officiant: Los Cabos Minister Services, loscabosminister.com.

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FLORIDA

KEY WEST SAMANTHA + MICHAEL


words by: Hope O’Brien images by: Iris Moore Photography wedding planner: Destination Wedding Studio

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f the countless great quotes of Ernest Hemingway, one stands true for many couples promising each other forever; “I love you for all that you are, all that you have been, all that you are yet to be.” Within the same walls that Hemingway once wrote his grand tales, Samantha and Michael penned the newest chapter to their own glorious love story.

After attending countless weddings in their hometown, the couple knew they wanted theirs to be a new adventure not only for themselves, but for their friends and family. What better place than the town they both came to love – Key West, Florida? With the help of their wedding planner Peggy, from Destination Wedding Studio, the couple was able to secure all of the vendors they wanted and create a weekend-long curated experience, while still doubling as travel planners for each of their guests. “Having a vendor team who all know each other and are all friends makes things much easier,” the bride says. The couple, who first met at a gym in New Jersey, began their wedding weekend with a private class at CrossFit Mile Zero with their guests to pay homage to the first chapters of their own love story. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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It filled us with an immense sense of gratitude to be so lucky to be having this special moment and starting our marriage surrounded with love and laughter.

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Between pedestals of monstera leaves and pampas grass arranged by Duarte Floral Design, Samantha and Michael shared vows and poems read by their loved ones. It wasn’t long after the ceremony that the group of 90 attendants began to dine and dance the night away by Hemingway’s pool. Later they all marched in their own personal wedding parade, serenaded by the Caribbean Queen Junkanoo Bahamian line band, to the Green Parrot Bar less than a mile down the road. The night came to a close with the people they loved most in a moment best described as pure happiness. “It filled us with an immense sense of gratitude to be so lucky to be having this special moment and starting our marriage surrounded with love and laughter,” the bride says. VENDORS photography: Iris Moore Photography, irismoorephotography.com, wedding planner: Destination Wedding Studio, destinationweddingstudio.com, ceremony/ reception site: The Hemingway Home & Museum, hemingwayhome.com, florist: Duarte Floral Design, duartefloraldesign.com, stationery: Virginia Brown Art, instagram.com/virginiabrownart, Gown designer: Rue de Seine, ruedeseine.com, Mens’ Suits: Tuxedo Den, tuxden.com, hair & makeup: Bella Luxe Hair and Makeup, bellaluxehairandmakeup.com, videographer: JAG Productions, jag.productions, rentals: Eventfully Yours Rentals, eventfullyyoursrentals.com, DJ: Visualize Entertainment, visualizeent.com, dessert: Cupcake Sushi, cupcakesushi.com, catering: Great Events Catering, greateventscatering.com, signage: Blue Thistle Studio, bluethistlestudio.com, steel drums: Bongo D, steeldrumwedding.com & parade band: Caribbean Queen Junkanoo Band. WINTER 2021 & SPRING 2022

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LAST THOUGHTS

“Marriage is a choice you make every day. You don’t do it because it’s easy. You do it because you believe in it. You believe in the other person.” — MICHELLE OBAMA IMAGE BY RAW SHOOTS



Sneak Peek

Visit adults-only Sanctuary Cap Cana at a discounted rate to get a sneak peek of this stunning, all-inclusive wedding destination in the Dominican Republic.

Big Day Preview Receive a $600 Credit Upon Booking Your Wedding!

• Special suite rate based on seasonal availability

• Hair and makeup consultation (trial is an additional cost)

• Exclusive tour of wedding venues with Sanctuary Wedding Specialist

• Meet with vendors for must-have services

• Menu tasting for two people

• Explore our selection of wedding and honeymoon packages

CONTACT OUR WEDDING CENTER WEDDINGS@SANCTUARYCAPCANA.COM | 855.337.0611 SANCTUARYCAPCANA.COM/WEDDINGS All prices are USD. Applies to new bookings only. Big Day Preview (BDP) applies to US and Canada adult residents only. Credit is valid for minimum $6,000 wedding program. Credit applicable to BDP host hotel only, limit one BDP credit per wedding, not available within 6 months of wedding date, based on ROH room category. Additional terms and conditions/restrictions apply, check with your wedding coordinator for full details. Not combinable with any other promotion. Holidays or other blackout dates may apply. Offers may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Additional terms and conditions may apply, see our website for full details. ©2021 Playa Hotels & Resorts is the exclusive operator of Sanctuary Cap Cana. All rights reserved. PLA08580921