Destination I Do - Fall 2017

Page 1

posh places


FA L L 2 01 7


& HO N EY M O O N S TO O !



&weddings REAL-LIFE


there are countless reasons to get married here. let’s start with a couple.

Your special day should belong only to you. That’s why our Wedding Day Word of Honor promises that your chosen wedding date will be yours exclusively.

You bring the love. We’ll take care of the rest.

For more details please call 1-877-308-9001 |


Virgin Islands


San Juan St. Thomas


Anguilla St. Barths



Antigua White Plains



Martha’s Vineyard Nantucket

New York



Annapolis Martinique



A N G U I L L A | A N T I G U A | N E V I S | P U E RT O R I C O | S T B A RT H | S T T H O M A S B O S T O N | M A RT H A’ S V I N E YA R D | N A N T U C K E T | N E W Y O R K | S T O W E CONTACT US






Royalton_DestinationIDo_Nov2016.indd 1

All-In LuxuryÂŽ Weddings


Royalton Blue Waters BOOK NOW

Forever Begins at Royalton Luxury Resorts

Royalton Negril

A Royalton wedding is as unique and unforgettable as our resorts. Royalton Luxury Resorts are set on some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, and offer modern amenities which include hand-crafted DreamBed™ mattresses, Royalton signature rain shower, free Wi-Fi resort-wide, and conveniences like 24-hour room service and unlimited, reservation-free luxury dining across a sumptuous selection of à la carte restaurants.

Royalton Saint Lucia

This year, brand new signature Royalton resort experiences are being unveiled to host your special celebration. In Jamaica, Royalton Blue Waters offers Stay at 1 Play at 2 benefits with nearby Royalton Whites Sands, and Royalton Negril with its Hideaway the adults-only oasis is a newcomer to Negril. If a more exotic destination is what you seek, Royalton Saint Lucia offers a luxury ceremony in one of the world’s most romantic islands with the option to escape within Hideaway Saint Lucia, the adjacent 18+ resort.

Opening Early 2017

Opening Early 2017

Hideaway at Royalton Negril Opening Early 2017

Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia Opening Early 2017

Royalton’s Weddings are designed to ensure that you, along with your friends & family enjoy this momentous occasion in paradise complete with All-In Luxury® offerings. With personalized wedding services, beautiful scenery, beach wedding options, and a professional planning team, we can turn your special day into a dream come true. Choose from packages such as Love, Dream, Paradise and Just the Two of Us or inquire about the Free Wedding Package†.

Terms & Conditions: †Free Wedding Package is based on a total combined booking of 35 room nights. Other conditions apply.

2016-12-14 8:03 AM

features DESTINATION i do

FA LL /W I N T E R 2017

28 MEXICO Say “sí” to romance south of the border with Mexico’s first-ever overwater bungalows in Riviera Maya (pg. 28), modern Mayan style in Playa del Carmen (pg. 30) and mountainside magic in Cabo San Lucas (pg. 32).


34 SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION – New Orleans The food, the fun, the history…honestly it’s hard to find something we don’t love about New Orleans! Discover one of our editor in chief’s favorite destinations and get her firsthand insight on all the must-sees.


HIGH-LOW LUXE 37 Maine & Vermont – Revel in more than the fall foliage or summer at the seashore. 38 Lake Tahoe, California – Combine the ultimate in luxury with a laid-back ski town vibe. 40 Sea Island, Georgia – Celebrate what the South does best: heartfelt hospitality. 42 La Quinta, California – One of the original desert hideaways on the perimeter of Palm Springs. 43 Atlanta, Georgia – This thriving Southern hot spot has much more to offer than cold Coca-Cola.

54 THE HONEYMOONIST – Epic Australia The ever omnipotent Honeymoonist is back to share the ultimate Australian itinerary for adventurers and honeymooners alike. 60 TEMPTING TRAVEL ITINERARIES We’ve got you and your destination wedding guests covered with these thorough recommendations in Kauai (pg. 60), Costa Rica (pg. 62) and New Zealand (pg. 64). 82 MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE – Bahamas & Dominican Republic These sunny spots pack a serious one-two punch. Say “I do” on a Bahamian island (pg. 82) before celebrating your union in the Dominican Republic (pg. 84). 86 HONEYMOON HIDEAWAYS Your honeymoon is the perfect opportunity to get off the grid. Discover romantic and amazing alternative destinations in Africa (pg. 86) and Belize (pg. 90).

Looking for other locations? Check out our website to order past issues featuring: celebrity weddings, romantic castles, Thailand, Australia, Europe, the Hawaiian Islands, the Caribbean, Mexico, countless locations in the U.S., the ultimate honeymoon hideaways and much more at

Photo courtesy of: Erika Parker Photography

POSH PLACES TO SAY “I DO” 23 Los Cabos, Mexico – The latest addition to the Grand Velas familia is redefining the all-inclusive. 24 Phoenix, Arizona – Discover this “Jewel of the Desert” in the heart of the city. 26 Rancho Santa Fe, California – Forget the Hollywood Hills and swap it for the rolling “Ranch.”

Your Day, Your Way.

Walk down the aisle along white sand to one of our romantic gazebos and exchange vows against the backdrop of crashing waves. Our wedding specialists will attend to the details while you and your guests indulge in all-inclusive luxury in a chic and refined paradise — exclusively for adults.


BOOK YOUR ADULTS - O N LY WEDDI NG AT H YAT T Z I L A R A™ C A N C U N ■ Elegant and sophisticated adults-only atmosphere featuring all-inclusive amenities ■

Wedding packages ranging from free weddings to completely customizable celebrations

Unlimited dining and drinking at unique venues, each with authentic flavors and decor

Multiple wedding locations including romantic gazebos, beautiful ballrooms or on the beach

C A L L O U R W E D D I N G C E N T E R F O R D E TA I L S | 8 0 0 . 9 3 5 .4 8 1 2 Free weddings only offered during initial booking. Ocean View room categories for both free wedding packages required. For Just the Two of You package is complimentary with purchase of a minimum of 6-night stay and requires purchase of upper category. Intimate Elegance package is complimentary with a minimum of 15 room nights in upper category, or purchased for $1,060. 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. Hyatt Zilara™ and Hyatt Ziva™ trademarks and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation or its affiliates. ©2017 Hyatt Corporation. Playa Hotels & Resorts, an authorized operator and owner of Hyatt Zilara™ and Hyatt Ziva™ resorts in Jamaica and Mexico. All rights reserved. HZLRC-ADULTS-DESTIDO-052017



With one call, your custom-made dream wedding can become a reality. We’ll help you personalize a wedding collection, choose from seven breathtaking locations in Mexico and Jamaica, and get great benefits like resort credits. So you can actually sit back and enjoy being engaged. Imagine that. 1.877.725.4933

departments DESTINATION i do

FA LL / W IN T E R 2 01 7

58 ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE – Top 10 Faux Pas Whether you’re the wedding host or guest, here are 10 common, borderline unforgiveable faux pas to avoid at all costs.

16 WEDDED WISDOM Get the inside scoop and helpful insights on the wedding world. 18 INSIDER TRAVELING No matter the destination, here are some helpful travel tips and must-know info. 20 ON THE HORIZON Stay up-to-speed on recent hotel happenings and wedding and travel trends. 44 GUEST BOOK – Love Your Layover Layovers are often overlooked opportunities. Instead of sitting in the terminal, get out and see the sites. Our travel expert is weighing-in with sample itineraries for four major destinations and airport hubs.


FASHION FORWARD 46 Midnight Garden – For a modern twist on wedding style, discover a moody mix of traditional style and a jeweltoned color palette. 72 Love & Luxury in Mexico – With the goal of redefining the destination beach wedding, this talented group of vendors created a sophisticated mixture of organic details and elegant, polished elements.


68 ASK THE EXPERT – Maximize Your Destination Engagement: A Photographer Takes Her Own Advice What happens when a talented wedding photographer gets engaged in Morocco? Beautiful, amazing images, that’s what! This feature provides stunning visual inspiration and firsthand, expert advice for your own destination engagement photo shoot. 92 TO HAVE & TO HOLD – Give Good Face - A Skin Care Pro’s Tips to Looking Flawless We’ve all heard the expression, “shredding for the wedding,” but what about “perfecting procedures?” Our editor in chief weighs-in on her skin transformation. 94 REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS Our real-life weddings are once again the fanciful finale! Get inspired by the ultimate in country elegance in Solvang, California, a colorful celebration in Maui, Hawaii, quintessential Southern charm in Charleston, South Carolina, a familial affair in Thousand Islands, New York, a forest fantasy in Issaquah, Washington, and soft-hued sophistication in Seaside, Florida.

Visit our blog,, to get frequent updates on products perfect for weddings away, places our traveling editors visit, beauty tips and tricks, gorgeous destination wedding dresses and all things travel, romance or wedding related! Need even more inspiration beyond what graces our gorgeous pages? Discover our oh-so-lovely social media community: @Destinationido.

Photo courtesy of: VUE Photography


You do.

Do you promise to go diving or snorkeling together, try flats fishing and kayaking along pristine mangrove shorelines? Will you take an ecotour, and enjoy breathtaking sunsets while dining on fresh seafood? And will you spend time hand in hand, forging a bond that will last a lifetime? If you commit to all of the above, say I do to Key Largo. 1.800.822.1088

Editor in Chief / Publisher / Owner Owner / CEO Chief Operating Officer Editor Creative Director Designer National Advertising Director Southeast Advertising Managers Contributing Writers

Production Coordinator Editorial Interns

Design Intern

Jennifer Stein Carolyn Steere Gordon Steere Courtney Cox Erin Loukili Jaclyn Threadgill Mike Walker Scott Rickles Dan Tomkiewicz Victoria Abbott Riccardi Sydney Bowen Kinsley Brown Kate Darnell Elaine Hilbelink Holly V. Kapherr Shana Kinnerup Stacey Marcus Susan Moynihan Samantha Payne John Roark Samantha Ross Anthony Stein Kathy Till Harmony Walton Brian Worley Kristi Blane Nicole Dusanek Lindsey McIntosh Melina Zúñiga Riley Warr

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

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Please contact our corporate office at 480-759-9855 or visit us online at

FEATURED LOCATIONS If you would like us to feature your location or wedding, please submit your request via email to or visit

© 2017/2018 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. 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: Blog: Email: Pinterest: Destinationido Instagram: Destinationido Facebook: Destinationidomag Twitter: Destinationido

ON THE COVER posh places


FAL L 2 017

pg. 22



pg. 58


pg. 54

pg. 94


&weddings REAL-LIFE


FALL 2017: These newlyweds exude tranquility thanks to their dream-like setting. She is the epitome of grace in an “Aubriella” tulle Tara LaTour gown, with sunset-worthy hair & makeup by Styling Trio. The soft sands and pastel sky surrounding Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico served as inspiration for her dustyhued bouquet by Moni Junco of Xochitl Botanicals. The couple’s ceremony set-up is courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico. Special thanks to the design team at Crosby + Jon Design. Image captured by Tec Petaja. View the full photo shoot on our website at



love & luxury in mexico

pg. 72

Spanish Wedding Chapel


pg. 94

pg. 54 & 86



Multiple Venues & Ballrooms



pg. 60





Santa Fe Simply Romantic


La Mesita Private Ranch Throughout this issue

WINTER 2018: Classic romantic style combines with a modern beachfront setting with this “Love & Luxury in Mexico” photo shoot. The stunning Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancún played host to our talented team of vendors. Our bride’s chandelier earrings and illusion gown are courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal and her glowing makeup and beach-worthy hair are by Bridal Beauty Chicago. Her organically arranged, jewel-tone bouquet is by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. Special thanks to the photo shoot planners and events designers with Crosby + Jon Design. Image captured by Dana Grant Photography. View the full Fashion Forward photo shoot on pg. 72.

Call our wedding specialist 505.819.2013


MY WEDDING COSTS If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard the comment, “If you say ‘wedding,’ the price for everything automatically doubles,” I would be a very rich person. My brother is currently going through the wedding planning process and these very words came out of his mouth. So, I began really thinking about it. Weddings can definitely be expensive in comparison to other events. But why? What is so different about a wedding versus a birthday party, bar mitzvah or other special event that seemingly automatically drives up the price? I believe there are several answers to this question. 1. A wedding is a milestone event. Couples only plan on getting married once and, as a result, they don’t spare the same expense they would with a birthday party or family reunion. They also invite far more people (on average) to a wedding than they do to a different kind of celebration. 2. Weddings have ALL the trimmings. Invitations, décor, food and alcohol are the staples for most special occasions. A typical wedding has far more. Throw in photography, bridal attire, flowers, a cake, rings, musical entertainment, favors (the list can go on and on) and the investment is clearly going to cost more. 3. Weddings usually require hiring professionals. Photographers, videographers, caterers, florists, DJs, wedding planners, event designers, stationers, calligraphers and gown designers all spend hours creating the event and products or services surrounding it. Keep in mind if you hire a professional, your experience will usually be much better than if you hire a friend or try to do it yourself.


Your first objective is to determine your budget and your priorities. If food and beverage are what is important to you, then by all means – spend a majority of your budget there. But remember that when you’re considering the $40 invitation or the couture gown. Can you have it all? Maybe your budget allows you to. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have the extravagant meal with the invitation to match. But what I’ve learned is even luxury weddings have budgets, so remember what yours is and where you want to allocate the most money. Second, make sure you have done your homework on the vendors you choose. Good vendors typically refer other good vendors. Also, really understand the costs outlined in your contracts before you sign, so there aren’t any surprises. Lastly, remember that Pinterest is inspiration and use it as that. Perhaps it’s the colors of the flowers in the photo you saw that made you take a second glance. Explain that to your florist and let them work within the parameters of your budget. Weddings do cost more than most special occasions, but because of the reasons listed above, not because there’s an entire industry wanting to capitalize on your dreams. The majority of the wedding industry is there to celebrate with you, treat you fairly and make sure your wedding is a day you’ll remember fondly for the rest of your life. Here’s to getting the right mix of great vendors, clear priorities and a bright future for you and your love. Yours truly, Jennifer Stein


5. Pinterest is your biggest ally and your biggest enemy. The weddings shown on Pinterest are often magazine-worthy events great for inspiration, but when you show them to your florist, you might get the financial surprise of your life if you want it recreated. So, what's the solution? Do you need to pay through the nose to get a decent wedding or go into debt? No. Unless, of course, that is what you choose.

Follow Us: Twitter: @DestinationIDo Facebook: Instagram: @DestinationIDo Website and Blog: & Pinterest:

Photo courtesy of: Riley Warr


4. Not all wedding vendors are created equal. Truth be told, there are companies who capitalize on the word “wedding.” They upcharge for things that originally seemed like they were part of the initial agreement or they constantly surprise you with hidden fees. This is the exception, NOT the rule.





Over-the-Water Villas at Sandals® Royal Caribbean




Like your wedding, a honeymoon at Sandals is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. New Over-the-Water Suites with “sea-through” glass floor panels, overwater hammocks and infinity-edge plunge pool are the first of their kind in the Caribbean. Two-story Loft Suites with Tranquility Soaking Tubs ™ for two on coral stone patios, and beachfront Rondovals and Millionaire Suites with




private plunge pools, are the ultimate indulgence. Best of all, everything’s included. Every land and water sport under the sun. Mouthwatering 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 16 restaurants per resort. Limitless pours of premium spirits and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines. Even tips, taxes, and transfers*. It’s the ultimate Luxury Included® honeymoon, and it’s only at Sandals.




*Visit or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions.

@ weddingmoons




lonely planet’s

THE HONEYMOON HANDBOOK Lonely Planet, the brand known for its travel guide books, recently burst onto the romance scene with The Honeymoon Handbook. The travel planning tool features over 25 locations ideal for couples and starts with a quiz to help you and your new spouse narrow down your options. It also includes cool features like budget breakdowns and alternative destinations, as well as an LGBT-friendly indicator for same-sex couples. You can also discover dream honeymoon options based on various themes like safari, island and luxury getaways. $17.99,

for your registry

Registering for your wedding can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Sheets and towels are nice, but your registry is the perfect time to let your loved ones treat you and your new spouse to fancy gadgets and gizmos. The ECOVACS ROBOTICS DEEBOT MINI floor-cleaning robot is one-such example. It works on non-carpeted floors and can be set to clean automatically – saving you the time and trouble. It has smart features like anti-collision sensors and the ability to automatically go back to its charging dock when the battery is low. Price starts at $150.

wise bride TIPS

“Planning a wedding will only be as stressful as you make it! Pick three things that are most important to you and keep those as your focus. Don’t sweat the other details, because it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole and you’ll eventually hit decision fatigue.” – Crystal, Maui destination wedding bride (shown)

“When having a destination wedding, it is so important to embrace the destination. Don’t force anything on the location that doesn’t belong there.” – Dasha, Mexico destination wedding bride

a charming spin on WEDDED WISDOM



With Blingsting, there’s a way to ensure you and your bridesmaids are both stylish and safe! Show your girls you care by gifting them a super-cute pepper spray, personal alarm or first aid kit. Hear us out – this might sound boring, but us girls have got to stick together and these cute key chains and kits serve a serious double purpose. Plus, packing one of Blingsting’s rose gold First-Aid Clutches for your destination wedding is a no-brainer. Products start at $22.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): ECOVACS U.S., Lonely Planet, Aihara Visuals &


Beautiful PLACES. Smiling faces.










exquisite coastal and historic resorts Find your perfect match from our distinctive waterfront collection of hotels and resorts—from Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts down to the Florida Keys, and from New York’s Adirondack mountains to the picturesque coast of Maine. We offer beautiful settings, luxurious accommodations, exemplary service and unique venues that will truly make you smile...all in places where you want be. 855.998.9799


TRAVELING One of the pillars of the romantic honeymoon (no pun intended), the overwater bungalow is celebrating its 50th anniversary. We’ve experienced the magic these thatched-roof lodgings can produce firsthand, so to mark the milestone, we’re sharing some of our favorite bungalow-bearing resorts from across the globe. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora This French-Polynesian staple is also celebrating the overwater bungalow’s birthday with its “50th Anniversary Package.” With a stay of six or more nights, you will receive a €1,967 resort credit that’s good toward resort perks like dining, activities and spa treatments. El Dorado Maroma In Playa del Carmen, the first overwater bungalows in all of Mexico hit the scene (see pg. 28). In addition to the typical bungalow luxuries, the allinclusive El Dorado Maroma’s “Palafitos Overwater Suites” boast large decks and luxurious outdoor showers. Milaidhoo Island Maldives After French Polynesia, it’s most often the Maldives that come to mind when people think of overwater bungalows. Each of the thatchedroof villas at the Milaidhoo Island Maldives has an infinity pool and a 24-hour “island host.”


Conrad Bora Bora Nui The Conrad Bora Bora Nui is the new kid on the block as of April 2017 and is the first five-star resort to debut in Bora Bora in ten years. Aside from being fresh-faced, the resort offers the only two-story overwater bungalows in the area – taking the overwater bungalow to the next level… literally.


Sandals Royal Caribbean This seasoned all-inclusive brand brought the first overwater bungalows to the Caribbean in late 2016. The resort’s overwater villas feature soaking tubs and over-the-water hammocks for two. The all-inclusive approach can offer a more affordable option for honeymooners looking to partake in the overwater bungalow experience.

WINGS when

you want them

FlyOtto, dubbed the “black car service in the sky,” is a new way to skip the stress of commercial air travel. It’s an on-demand booking service for private flights and would be a luxurious addition to your destination wedding or honeymoon. There’s no membership required, you simply hop online to select a pick-up location and destination. You can choose from private planes, helicopters and seaplanes and, depending on the number of passengers, FlyOtto can be less expensive than flying commercial. Not only is the plane and pilot entirely at your disposal, but you skip the hassle of baggage check and airport security. If you’re flying with extra luggage (almost a guarantee with a wedding) or with kids or pets, the convenience is unparalleled. Plus, as an added bonus, you can be picked up planeside at your destination. It’s hard to imagine a more posh way to begin your honeymoon or wedding weekend. Flights begin at $1,200 one-way.



Depending on how exotic you’ve opted to go with your honeymoon, clean, safe water isn’t always a guarantee and can lead to upset stomachs. Water purification systems are readily available for your home and now there’s a traveler-friendly version! The GoPure Pod is roughly the size of a wine cork and uses patented technology to turn tap water into fresh, great tasting water – wherever you are! The eco-friendly pod continually attracts and absorbs impurities, balances pH and releases beneficial minerals. Aside from improving up to 264 gallons of drinking water, the GoPure Pod also replaces approximately 2,000 plastic water bottles. You can rest easy knowing your water is safe and you’re helping out Mother Nature in the process. $24.95,

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Courtney Cox, John Russo, Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Milaidhoo Island Maldives, Conrad Bora Bora Nui, Sandals Resorts & GoPure Pod









Oahu, Hawaii With an iconic location overlooking Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, the resort is reentering the market in fall 2017 after a $115 million redevelopment project. Formerly known as the Pacific Beach Hotel, the new ‘Alohilani Resort will include two new restaurants by celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto and an epic lobby featuring a 280,000-gallon oceanarium. Rates start at $235 USD per night.


recent hotel RENOS & OPENINGS

Provence, France Opened in May 2017 in Saint-Raphaël on the Côte d’Azur, this hotel is the epitome of French Riviera chic with a white color palette and Mid-Century Modern design. A five-star member of the Les Hôtels d’en Haut group, Hôtel Les Roches Rouges is truly a honeymoonworthy setting complete with a seawater pool, Mediterranean garden and open-air cinema. Rates start at €355 per night.

Santa Barbara, California Located just a block from the Pacific Ocean, this 121-room boutique hotel embraces its 1925 Spanish Revival architecture, but with a modern Moorish vibe. It’s fresh on the scene as of summer 2017 and its standouts include a Turkish-inspired spa and a rooftop pool with an event deck and 360-degree views of the coastline and Santa Ynez Mountains. Rates start at $550 USD per night.

Rome, Italy After an 18-month restoration project, this Roman staple reopened its doors in April 2017. A member of the distinguished Dorchester Collection, the Hotel Eden reduced its room count from 121 rooms and suites to just 98 – ensuring more posh space. Other additions include its first urban spa and blow-dry bar, which are perfect for destination wedding or honeymoon couples. Rates start at €730 per night, before taxes.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming Don’t be put-off by the word “motel.” Relaunching in May 2017, MMM is turning the small hotel experience on its head with “frontier flare” style and “wise guide” employees who specialize in different local attractions (i.e. ask the Fly Guy for the area’s best fishing streams). The industrial rooms are inspired by the great outdoors and include gear walls for hiking boots, skis and more, and kitschy additions like chalkboard wall word searches. Rates start at $215 USD per night.

Riviera Maya, Mexico This adults-only all-inclusive is the new cool kid on the block in Riviera Maya. UNICO burst onto the scene in March 2017 with rooms that offer a modern twist on historic haciendas and Anfitrións – personalized local hosts available to you 24/7. The hotel is keeping things fresh with a rotating chef program at its Cueva Siete restaurant and culturally themed pop-up events. Rates start at $600 USD per night.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, Rouse Photography, Mountain Modern Motel,, Dorchester Collection & UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya


lovely destination

WEDDING DRESSES We’re longtime fans of Jules Bly’s wedding dress creations and the New Zealand designer’s spring/summer 2017 collection, “Floating on a Dream,” is no exception. The collection embodies the brand’s signature fluidity, but with a modern twist on today’s trends. Our favorite dress in the collection is “Newly Web,” with hand loomed French lace, silk lining and illusion detailing. Once you’ve selected your dream dress, it will be custom cut and hand crafted to fit you perfectly – a trademark of the designer’s unparalleled work ethic.

Tie the knot with us. Tie the knot with us.

207 633 2494 207 633 2494

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Alana Dresner Photography & Abby Sparks Jewelry

groundbreaking “LOANER RING” program Getting engaged can be exhilarating – both for the person proposing and the person being asked. It’s an intricate dance of managing expectations, making dreams come true and pulling off the surprise of a lifetime. No pressure, right? Thankfully, Abby Sparks Jewelry out of Denver, Colorado has come up with an ingenious solution. This jeweler recently introduced “The Loaner Ring” package, perfect for those who need to propose “like yesterday” or who want their partner to be part of the ring design process.

Purchase “The Loaner Ring” package and you can propose with a beautiful ring without worrying whether you picked her dream design or waiting for your custom ring to be finished. After she says “yes,” the fun really begins as you both work with Abby Sparks’ signature concierge service to design an engagement ring. The cost of the package goes toward your final ring purchase and you’ll also receive bonus goodies and an informational packet for your soon-to-be Mrs. Package cost: $500. Custom engagement rings start at $5,000.


Say it seaside. Say it seaside.

207 633 5242

N E WAG E N S E A S I D E I N N . C O M 207 633 5242 N E WAG E N S E A S I D E I N N . C O M

Grand Velas Los Cabos




Your destination wedding is a special experience that will forge meaningful relationships and memories to last a lifetime. The destination and, equally important, the venue, will lay the foundation for your nuptial success. If it’s a high-end experience you’re after, these three “Posh Places to Say ‘I Do’” are more than capable of playing a starring role come W-day. Whether it’s breathtaking luxury in Los Cabos, Mexico, an architectural treasure in Phoenix, Arizona or a Mediterranean-style resort in Rancho Santa Fe, California – these special settings will make the perfect addition to your wedding vision.

Photo courtesy of: Velas Resorts





Los Cabos


ettled on prime Pacific beachfront, the luxury all-inclusive property of Grand Velas Los Cabos, in Mexico, is among the newest and sexiest properties in the area. There is no lack of romantic inspiration along the shorelines in Los Cabos, situated on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. It is a rare property that offers complete sunrise and sunset views.

The Grand Velas Los Cabos sits easily at the top of the all-inclusive family, with topshelf offerings and fine dining options that are redefining expectations for the region. Dining is elegant with fine wines and liquor that many all-inclusives exclude. Allow the property to do the work for you, giving you more time to enjoy your nuptial vacation with friends and family. There are four distinct fine dining restaurants, each of which could host any of your wedding event needs such as a welcome dinner, rehearsal or even a farewell celebration.

But the beauty of the Grand Velas Los Cabos is the exceptional wedding planning services offered to its guests. While many properties will provide an event contact, the Grand Velas Los Cabos provides an on-site personal wedding coordinator to help button-up every detail of your big day. They can help you choose your perfect indoor or outdoor ceremony space, create an exceptional menu, plan an unforgettable night of entertainment for you and your guests and even ensure transportation needs are taken care of. For your destination wedding indulgence, enjoy your guests, spoil yourself on property and let the romance of Grand Velas Los Cabos seal your wedded bliss.


Photos courtesy of: Velas Resorts

The Grand Velas Los Cabos complements the surrounding natural beauty with a property that is sleek and fresh, accommodations that are overly spacious and service that is effortless. Just a quick plane ride from many southern and western airports, Los Cabos has

quickly gained popularity with the rich and famous, as well as a younger generation of travelers seeking a luxury destination that is both easy on their wallets and their busy schedules. These niceties also make it an ideal destination wedding hot spot.






ndless sunshine and breathtaking mountain vistas make Phoenix a hot spot for destination weddings. It’s also a reasonable drive from several cities and a vacation getaway for many around the country.


Nestled in the valley just south of Piestewa Peak is the storied Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Inspired by Frank Llyod Wright’s designs, one of the famed architect’s former students and protégé, Albert Chase McArthur, created this one-of-a-kind sprawling property. Couples come to the Arizona Biltmore from all over for destination weddings and to experience the world-renowned

service. Past guests have included Michael Phelps, who married Nicole Johnson during a New Year’s Eve wedding; and who could forget the star-studded guest list coming from Hollywood and Washington D.C. such as Marilyn Monroe, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra and many others. The unmistakable architecture paired with glamorous décor in such places as the Gold Room (the steps leading up to the room are shallow and wide, so when brides ascend the stairs, they appear as if they are floating) provide couples the exceptional wedding experience only a Waldorf Astoria can give. Dining here is exquisite and Wright’s at the Biltmore is a stand-out. Tables are flanked

by floor-to-ceiling windows, giving an outdoor patio experience with the fidelity of indoor temperatures. The cuisine is a fusion of local and native traditions using ingredients such as mesquite, corn, poblano and chile. The best part of the meal and a can’t-miss is the freshly made fry bread. Accommodations were redone in 2014 and offer a sophisticated, yet comfortable stay. A mixture of textures, patterns and woods combine to give a modern, upscale feel with the historic ambiance the Arizona Biltmore is famous for. Consider a visit to the Spa Biltmore to relax and unwind before or after the big day. A myriad of traditional spa offerings can be found, as well as salon and skin care treatments. Whatever your reason for celebrating – honeymoon or destination wedding – the Arizona Biltmore provides excellent service in a warm and inviting atmosphere. A perfect combination, just like the two of you.

Photos courtesy of: Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort



Happily ever after starts here.

Celebrate your love with the ones you love.




by Sanda ls


The day you’ve dreamt of your entire life should be shared with the people who mean the most to you, and at Beaches®, your dreams come true. After you say “I do,” you get the honeymoon of a lifetime while your guests enjoy their own vacation, with every land and water sport, waterparks, and 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 20 restaurants. Begin your new life together at Beaches, because when everything is included, anything is possible.


BEACHES.COM/WEDDINGMOONS • 1-877-BEACHES • or call your Travel Professional M O R E Q U A L I T Y I N C L U S I O N S T H A N A N Y O T H E R R E S O RT S I N T H E W O R L D

Vote d Wor ld’s Bes t



Y ears In A R ow

*Visit or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.




outhern California – known for sunny days, spectacular sunsets, sandy beaches and rolling hills dotted with orange groves and colorful hibiscus, may be the perfect location for your destination wedding.

After arriving in San Diego, a scenic drive along the dramatic California coast brings you to the chic seaside towns of La Jolla and Del Mar and the exclusive resort of Rancho Valencia. You know you have arrived somewhere special as you drive through the entrance to the resort and are warmly greeted by the staff. Spanish-style haciendas are nestled within 45 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds with each of the 49 bungalow suites boasting Mediterranean-inspired furnishings and hand-painted tiles.

The chefs at Rancho Valencia practice a farm-to-table philosophy at the resort’s outstanding and unique restaurants. Each of the dining spaces double for events, so when planning a destination wedding there are plenty of options to choose from. Greet the morning with a sumptuous breakfast in the Sunrise Room, which accommodates up to 200 guests when coupled with the outside terrace. The brick


Start each day by enjoying the fresh squeezed juice and newspaper awaiting you at the door of your casita.

There are new activities offered every day of the week including tennis, yoga in the open-air Serenity Yoga Pavilion, croquet on one of the expansive lawns and guided walking tours through olive groves to a hidden waterfall, just to name a few. The setting alone is serene enough, but if you want to “up” the relaxation quotient, be sure to unwind at the spa with a Vitality Ritual designed to invigorate your body and relax your mind. Or, detox and take a few years off of your skin with a CitrusA-Peel or White Diamond facial.


walls, soft lighting and leather touches of the Wine Cave provide a totally different ambiance, making it perfect for an intimate rehearsal dinner or small reception. Before dinner, we recommend you gather your guests on the patio overlooking the croquet lawn, order one of the bartender’s signature cocktails and watch the sunset. For casual dining, the Western-inspired Pony Room is the hub of the resort. Al fresco or indoor seating, craft beer, a tequila menu and locally inspired dishes are all part of the experience. Veladora is the resort’s signature restaurant, serving “coastal ranch” cuisine created by Chef Jarrod Moiles using locally sourced ingredients including produce from nearby Chino Farm. Chilly California evenings are not a problem when you can gather with your guests around a cozy fire roasting marshmallows. The talented wedding professionals at Rancho Valencia take pride in turning your vision into reality. They know all the secret “tucked away settings” for your ceremony, the best vendors in the area and tips for making your event flawless so you can relax and focus on what’s most important.

Photos courtesy of: Rouse Photography


Discover how GRAND love can be.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Begin your life together in total harmony at IBEROSTAR Grand Collection Hotels. These opulent, adults-only destinations combine breathtaking settings and endless pampering to create a wedding made in paradise. It should come as no surprise that these remarkable hotels are recognized among the top all-inclusives in the world. At all three, personal wedding coordinators take care of every detail. And with only one wedding per day, you’re ensured your moment in the spotlight is truly your own.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso, Riviera Maya, Mexico IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Contact your favorite travel professional or visit MEXICO • JAMAICA • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC



iviera Maya is home to a wealth of luxury resorts, glittering like jewels along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The destination embodies the perfect international, romantic getaway: unmatched beauty that feels a world away, but is easily accessible with direct flights from most major U.S. cities. In September 2016, a game-changer debuted on the scene. Karisma Hotels & Resorts unveiled Palafitos – Mexico’s first overwater bungalows. It seems incredible that in such a spectacular setting, Palafitos is the first of its kind. Part of the award-winning, all-inclusive, adults-only El Dorado Maroma resort, Palafitos (which means “stilt house” in Spanish) comprises 30 luxury beachfront bungalows hovering above the crystal sea. Surrounded by the immaculate Maroma Beach – named “Mexico’s Most Exclusive Beach” by the Travel Channel – Palafitos is redefining luxury in Riviera Maya.


From the moment you step onto the glass-floor entryway with the ocean shimmering beneath your feet, you know you’ve arrived at a one-of-a-kind romantic destination. The bungalows are spacious and entirely private, with soaring ceilings, 180-degree ocean views and top-of-the-line amenities inside and out.


For starters, each bungalow includes a glass-floor shower and in-room Jacuzzi for two. You’ll also enjoy a completely enclosed outdoor couple’s shower and private infinity pool, oversized wraparound deck for lounging and stairs leading to a private

dock where you can dangle your feet in the warm water or hop right into the crystal-clear lagoon. INDULGE Using native techniques and herbal elements found only in the Caribbean, Palafitos’ overwater Náay Spa offers a full line of signature indoor and outdoor treatments incorporating the ancient magic of the Mayan civilization. PLAY The Riviera Maya is also a paradise for adventurers. Plan excursions on land or sea – including parasailing, snorkeling, camel safaris and ATV treks – with Maroma Adventures, located just steps away from Palafitos. DINE As if the decadence of Palafitos wasn’t enough, the resort’s Overwater Ocean Grill & Wine Bar dazzles both the eye and the palate. The gourmet, ocean-inspired menu will introduce you to delicacies you’ve never imagined. For breakfast, don’t miss the pork belly BLT. SAY “I DO” Whether you exchange vows right on the beach or in the onsite chapel, it’s a given your setting will be spectacular. Planning your wedding at Palafitos is surprisingly effortless with the resort’s website, which enables you to personalize everything from décor to menus to music. You can even send save-the-date announcements through the site with the click of a mouse.

Photo courtesy of: Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Mexico’s First Overwater Bungalows


riviera maya

Photos courtesy of: Karisma Hotels & Resorts

A promise for the future in a place called paradise.

(808) 662-6620 K A PA L U A B AY | B E V E R LY H I L L S D E E R VA L L E Y | L A G U N A B E A C H PA L M E T T O B L U F F L O S C A B O S (Opening Late 2018)


playacarmen del Modern Mayan Style in


exico is full of wedding-friendly destinations and Playa del Carmen is no exception. When I think of the Cancún and Riviera Maya area, large all-inclusives located right off the main road come to mind. These types of hotels are amazing for destination weddings, but if you’re looking for a more off-the-beatenpath feel, then Playa del Carmen might be for you. The Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort would make an excellent choice for a couple looking to say “I do” in a chic setting. Neither boutique hotel nor large all-inclusive, the Grand Hyatt represents a unique, luxurious middle ground.


Located only steps from Fifth Avenue (the “Rodeo Drive” of Playa del Carmen), the Grand Hyatt is in an area that is pedestrian friendly with lots of shopping, restaurants and cozy spots to listen to live music with a margarita in hand. While there is a lot to do in the area, you might not want to leave the hotel with its pretty pools, lively beach and lots of on-site activities including paddleboard yoga and Pilates. The real on-site stunner is the Cenote Spa. Set aside at least half a day to dedicate to this pampering paradise complete with a cave-inspired pool and extensive hydrotherapy circuit. For that signature W-day glow, be sure to book the Paakal Body Delight and Instant Radiance Facial treatments. Incorporating Vitamin C, relax as your body


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort (1st & 2nd) & Courtney Cox (3rd)


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort (1st & 3rd) & Courtney Cox (2nd)

A promise for the future in a place called paradise.

is seemingly massaged with sunshine and your face is spritzed with the scent of fresh citrus. Your guests will easily find their fit when it comes to accommodations with 314 rooms in 20 different categories, ranging from swim-up suites to the Grand Club level. As with the rest of the property, the décor is a modern Mayan mash-up with clean architectural lines contrasted by natural, local stone and wood. The Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort considers weddings their main business and even the most discerning couple will walk away impressed. Exchange vows under the architectural “bridge” that frames the ocean before celebrating closer to the sand on one of two massive decks that provide a sand-free, beachfront setting. One of the best things about Mexico is the food and the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort more than delivers. Munch on fresh ceviche and guacamole at La Cocina by day and delight in surf and turf at The Grill at 1 26 by night. No matter how you choose to say “I do,” be sure to stick around post-sunset. It’s after dark that the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort really comes alive. The vivid lighting accentuates the dramatic overhead architecture of the resort, while the cocktails cool off and the live music heats up.

(808) 662-6620 K A PA L U A B AY | B E V E R LY H I L L S D E E R VA L L E Y | L A G U N A B E A C H PA L M E T T O B L U F F L O S C A B O S (Opening Late 2018)

cabo san lucas Discover Love at Land's End




hen considering the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa for your destination event, consider this: sunset strolls down white sand beaches, turquoise seas where whales breach and dolphins make regular appearances, and exorbitant accommodations with breathtaking views. Plus, beds that make it nearly impossible to get up if you didn’t know that on the shore, mere steps from your room, you might find baby turtles scooting their little shells to the sea. If that isn’t enough to convince you, here’s one more thing: guava crème brûlée.


Grow closer to your wedding party with an authentic Temazcal experience at the Playa Grande Resort and Grand Spa, a sister property of Grand Solmar. A healing ceremony that combines the four elements – earth, fire, water and air – a Temazcal treatment settles and strengthens the heart, mind and body. It’s the perfect way to de-stress with those closest to you before the celebration begins. It’s a unique and authentic experience no one will soon forget.


Of the five Solmar properties in Cabo San Lucas and the dreamy event spaces, it is nearly guaranteed you’ll find the perfect venue for your Cabo destination wedding. If not, you’ll have even more to choose from when the Solmar opens their newest installment, Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort in December 2017.

Photos courtesy of: Solmar Hotels & Resorts

Whether you choose to celebrate on the rooftop high above the bay or recite your vows on the sand, the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa does not abide a mediocre view. What’s more, if you take your love to any of the Grand Solmar destination resorts in Cabo San Lucas, you’re guaranteed to spread that love just a little further. Each stay at the resort results in a donation to the Solmar Foundation, which actively and wholeheartedly supports 30 foundations in the greater Cabo San Lucas area. The foundation helps to end homelessness, support childrens’ education and aid the country’s elderly (among many other worthy causes).

Want more?

A promise for the future in a place called paradise.

AT HOME OR ON THE GO YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW US ON: Instagram: @DestinationIDo Facebook: Twitter: @DestinationIDo Pinterest: Website and Blog: and

(808) 662-6620 K A PA L U A B AY | B E V E R LY H I L L S D E E R VA L L E Y | L A G U N A B E A C H PA L M E T T O B L U F F L O S C A B O S (Opening Late 2018)


four days

Napoleon House

New Orleans in

Ace Hotel




here are a few ways to experience one of the most eclectic, yet stunning and hip cities in the United States. New Orleans can be treated as a tourist trap with frequent visits to Bourbon Street and debauchery abounding (fun for the bachelor/bachelorette type of trip), or it can be enjoyed the way the locals do it. Imagine instead jaunts to hot spots like Frenchmen Street for live music and reservations at the most sumptuous dining available.

Windsor Court Hotel

On a recent visit to New Orleans, one of my absolute favorite cities in the U.S., I was shown firsthand what a couple can experience.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Napoleon House, Ace Hotel (2nd) & Windsor Court Hotel (3rd & 4th)


Ace Hotel Napoleon House

DAY 1: Cozy up at Ace Hotel

Afternoon: Enjoy craft libations and an uber hip atmosphere at the Lobby Bar. Available at happy hour, signature drinks like a Sazerac or Old Fashioned are a must. Evening: Walk over to experience Seaworthy, the property’s oyster bar. Enjoy locally and U.S. sourced oysters and pop a bottle of bubby to get the party started right. Late Evening: Head to Frenchmen Street for live music and a dose of local culture. Experience everything from live jazz, reggae, popular cover bands and bluegrass as you hop from one music club to another.

DAY 2: Sightseeing the Non-

touristy, Touristy Way Morning: Enjoy scratch-made breakfast offerings at Josephine Estelle at Ace Hotel. Local flavors combine with old-school hip surroundings for a perfect start to the day. Mid-Morning: Jump on a bike and experience the three-hour “Creole & Crescent” tour in the heart of the French Quarter courtesy of FreeWheelin’. Learn the multifarious and fascinating history of the area while taking in the sights, sounds and sensations that make up this incredible destination.

Mid-Day: Head back with your group to Ace Hotel for a gorgeous, top floor view and a scrumptious lunch at Alto. This rooftop garden bar and restaurant is also home to the hotel pool and is nothing short of magnificent in both service and cuisine. Evening: Enjoy dinner at the Napoleon House. This 200 year-old landmark’s history is as juicy as the Pimm’s Cup they serve. Bring your entire group here for a gathering of muffulettas, charcuterie and Sazeracs in the haunted courtyard or in one of their private dining rooms upstairs.

Windsor Court Hotel

With a belly full of NOLA traditions, head back to Ace Hotel and enjoy live music at their on-site music venue – Three Keys.

DAY 3: Say “I Do” the NOLA Way

Morning: Primp and prepare in your junior suite as you go over your vows one last time. Relax, breathe and ENJOY this moment! Afternoon: Tie the knot inside Ace Hotel in any one of their fabulous venues, courtyards or common areas. See a full list on our website ( Evening: Party the night away, NOLA style!

DAY 4: Send-Off in Style

Morning: Sleep in and then head over to Windsor Court Hotel to check in for a total change of pace. This luxury hotel is opulent in all the right ways. Vintage furnishings and live piano music greet you as you walk through the marble-floor lobby filled with fresh flowers. Mid-Morning: Head down to the Spa at Windsor Court for a day of pampering FALL & WINTER 2017

and wellness. This gorgeous and traditional spa is well appointed and has a long list of services to choose from. Afternoon: Get those pinkies up at Le Salon, located inside the Windsor Court Hotel, with afternoon tea service. Enjoy scratch-made scones, tartlets, an assortment of English tea sandwiches and endless other intricately prepared items. Evening: End your visit at Tujague’s, one of the area’s oldest and most notable restaurants. Enjoy fine dining while throwing it back to a bygone era. The service, ambiance and food will make you feel like you’re in the New Orleans of old – in a good way.


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Ace Hotel (1st & 3rd), Napoleon House (2nd) & Windsor Court Hotel (4th)

New Orleans Ace Hotel is by far, one of the coolest hotels in the area. Just outside of the French Quarter in the Warehouse District and new as of March 2016, this property offers chic accommodations, thoughtful common areas and an on-site music venue with outstanding food options.


Stowe Mountain Lodge





Thankfully, planning a wedding is much the same and will prepare you for the road ahead. When it comes to deciding on a destination for your wedding away, there are lots of factors to take into account. You could drive to the nearest big city hot spot or board a plane to paradise. No doubt there will be pros and cons to pretty much everywhere, but thankfully, we’ve discovered five places that boast the best of both worlds – luxury accommodations in a budget-friendly setting. Read on for “High-Low Luxe” options in Maine, Vermont, Georgia and California.

Photo courtesy of: Stowe Mountain Lodge, A Destination Hotel


Cliff House Maine



Cliff House Maine

Cliff House Maine

Stowe Mountain Lodge



ew places match the quaint, historical charm of New England with its unique sights, smells and tastes – the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coastline, the sweetness of lobster and the smell of salty air. New England is a destination that is always worth the trip. VERMONT The magical mountain community of Stowe, Vermont is a destination where you can experience the perfect blend of old and new, relaxation and adventure, romance and family time. From the nearest airport in Burlington it is a scenic 50-minute drive to the Stowe Mountain Lodge, our home for a few days. Meandering through the picturesque Vermont countryside, we were in awe of the charming family farms and adorable villages filled with quaint antique shops and galleries that begged us to come in. The Stowe Mountain Lodge, a Destination Hotel, has long been known as a ski destination, but we discovered that

skiing is just the tip of the iceberg. At this luxurious alpine resort, every season provides opportunity for fun activities, making it an ideal location to gather family and friends to celebrate your nuptials. The year-round, state-of-the-art Adventure Center is the hub of activity for all ages and the world-class spa is the perfect place to relax and soothe aching muscles after a day of skiing, skating, snowboarding, hiking, biking, golfing, fly fishing or sailing down the mountain on one of the continent’s longest zip lines. With a vast number of unique settings for all of the events you may want to include in your wedding weekend, it is not necessary to go “off property.” The Great Room and patio at Spruce Camp Base Lodge features gorgeous alpine architecture with a massive native stone fireplace inside and an outdoor patio that is the perfect setting for both ceremony and cocktail receptions. Dramatic views are the calling card for Stowe Mountain Lodge, perched on the side of Vermont’s highest peak at an elevation of 3,625 feet. The Cottage offers mountain charm FALL & WINTER 2017

MAINE If the salty sea air calls you, the historic, newly renovated Cliff House Maine may fit the bill. As its name implies, this Destination Hotel is situated on a rocky bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of southern Maine. It’s just over one hour north of Boston and minutes from the quaint town of Ogunquit. From the moment you step into the modern, nautical-style lobby, the jaw dropping view draws your eyes to the sea. As one who loves the ocean, the experience of drifting off to sleep to the sound of the ocean waves and waking up to see the sunrise over the Atlantic was truly a highlight. It is easy to understand why visitors returned year after year even before the remarkable transformation of this highly regarded resort in 2016. Romantic and tranquil describe this cliffside getaway, making it ideal for a low-key destination wedding or intimate getaway for two. The luxury spa made its debut in the fall of 2016 and is an amazing oasis where talented therapists pamper you with one of the locally inspired therapeutic skin and body rituals. The culinary scene, comprised of three on-site restaurants, features local selections including barrel aged cocktails and craft beers, truffle essence risotto with foraged local mushrooms, signature lobster rolls with homemade butter and seared Atlantic halibut. The magnificent ocean backdrop is one constant within all of the venues available for your welcome party, wedding ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch. From an intimate dinner to a gathering of up to 250 guests, the Cliff House Maine takes pride in seeing to all the details. Just relax and enjoy a flawless event and create memories that will last a lifetime with those you love.


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Cliff House Maine (1st, 2nd & 4th) & Stowe Mountain Lodge, A Destination Hotel (3rd, 5th & 6th)

Stowe Mountain Lodge

and stunning views and is perfect for small weddings of up to 40 guests. The Mansfield Ballroom, the Terrace Garden, the brand new Pavilion and the Mountain Chapel round out the venue options open to you for your destination wedding.


Photos courtesy of: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe





ouples longing to celebrate their love at the highest level will hear their hearts pitter patter as they ascend to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. The luxury property, located mid-mountain in the Northstar California Ski Resort, offers a celestial setting for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts painted in real-time high definition color and beauty. The resort is a 45-minute drive from the Reno, Nevada airport where direct flights are available from major U.S. cities including New York (6.5 hours) and Los Angeles (1.5 hours).


While the property boasts two beautiful ballrooms with private foyers, and outdoor spaces with sweeping views of Martis Valley and the surrounding Sierra Nevadas, it is the three outdoor ceremony locations that illuminate the resort’s unique location. “It’s an honor creating memorable events in one of the most beautiful yearround destinations in the world,” says Catering Sales Manager, Amber Kijanka. “In the winter, the resort

offers a stunning winter wonderland destination where couples can exchange vows high above the treetops, in the midst of the most magnificent snow-capped mountains in the country. Based on the size of the wedding, couples will soon have the opportunity to host private cocktail events at the resort’s new Lake Club, which offers an exquisite backdrop.”

Within a 15-minute drive of Lake Tahoe and the historic town of Truckee, the year-round destination resort includes 170 guest rooms and suites with in-room fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests can enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities in Lake Tahoe or Northstar California. However, they will be perfectly content to stay on property and get pampered in the 17,000 square-foot, slope-side spa or enjoy elevated cuisine in one of the multiple dining options. Perfecting the fine art of creating a sumptuous s’more is the resort’s signature activity. “Marshmology” embodies the essence of celebrating love at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe...delicious and full of joy!

From beautiful beachfronts to picturesque peaks, celebrate love in exquisite detail.

Worldwide Events

South Asian Weddings

— Photo Creidt

Katherine Stinnett

James and Schulze

Phil Chester

Destination Weddings



or me, visiting the South is a continuous adventure. I always look forward to the change of climate and atmosphere, as it is so different from the dry desert I call home. But, nothing could have prepared me for the luxurious hospitality I experienced during a visit to Sea Island. When I entered the sprawling landscape, teeming with hundred-year-old oak trees covered in Spanish moss, I felt as if I’d stepped onto a movie set. One of the four Golden Isles of Georgia, Sea Island feels like a world all its own. The community is tight-knit and the resort feels as if everyone who works there is working alongside their own family. When you’re welcomed to the property, you immediately become part of that very family.




When it comes to saying “I do,” Sea Island has venues in spades. From their adorable on-site Cloister Chapel, which opens up to Spanish moss-covered oaks and gardens, to their riverside Rainbow Island on the Black Banks River, any wedding day would be the ultimate fairy tale. Owned by The Broadmoor Sea Island Company, the assortment of backdrops both here in Georgia and at their sister property in Colorado, are perfect for any wedding away.


The hospitality, accommodations, food, venue options and overall experience found at Sea Island is unparalleled in luxury and Southern refinement…what a perfect way to start a life together.

Photos courtesy of: Sea Island Company


There are several types of accommodations to choose from at Sea Island – The Cloister, The Lodge, The Inn, the Cottages or even Broadfield (an 18-person private residence allowing guests to really get away from it all). Each selection offers something unique, so when it comes to the saying, “they have something for everyone,” Sea Island truly does. For hunting enthusiasts, Broadfield is a perfect fit. For those looking for a little golf, Sea Island offers three championship, 18-hole golf courses. From fishing trips, kayaking expeditions, sailing, lounging by the pool, unwinding in the award-winning spa or taking-in the famed Avenue of the Oaks via beach cruiser, there isn’t a person in your group who won’t get just what they need.



Imagine your wedding in a spectacular winter setting more magical than you could ever dream. At The Broadmoor, holiday weddings are uniquely stunning. We have everything you need to make the happiest day of your life absolute bliss. With endless luxurious spaces to suit your tastes and amenities that will delight every one of your guests. It’s no wonder The Broadmoor has become such a popular destination to celebrate that truly special day.





Res rt



or most, when they think of throwing a destination wedding in the desert, Palm Springs is typically the go-to. However, if you are willing to venture 20 miles east, nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains is the original desert hideaway, La Quinta Resort and Club.


La Quinta Resort and Club opened its doors in 1926 and the resort has expanded over the years. However, the charm and nostalgia that drew Hollywood stars and world travelers for so many years still exists.


As you and your guests enter the resort, the breathtaking mountains encase the property and the driveway is lined with stunning greenery and flowers. Set on 45 lush acres, the perfectly manicured lawns invite guests to meander through the adobe casitas surrounded by various citrus trees and blooming flora. For the couple that chooses to say “I do” on the stunning grounds at La Quinta, there are a few options where the ceremony and reception can take place,

each with their own unique vibe and personality. These options allow for weddings of different sizes to happen, all while still keeping things intimate. If the grounds are not enough to tip the scales for a destination wedding at La Quinta, the cuisine is sure to tickle your taste buds. A new executive chef and director of catering have waltzed onto the property and made big changes by vamping up the menus and stirring the pot. For the engaged couple, there are few more melodious words you can hear than those from Nicole Benvenutti, Director of Catering who says, “We never say no, unless it is illegal!” All menus are customizable to a couple’s wants and desires so your guests will absolutely rave about their meal. La Quinta Resort and Club feels like a quaint Spanish village, but with five championship golf courses, 41 swimming pools, tennis courts, the spa, seven restaurants, luxury shopping and a dream oasis in which to relax and unwind. You and your guests will have the perfect escape where you can feel the magic of making all your dreams come true.

Photos courtesy of: La Quinta Resort & Club




osting a destination wedding doesn’t have to mean grabbing your passport and hitting the friendly skies to cross the big blue. For example, Atlanta is thriving – the commercial development is evident in the ever-changing skyline, it’s home to the world’s busiest airport and it is even challenging Los Angeles as a mecca of the film industry.

St. Regis boasts beautiful outdoor space – a rarity in downtown Atlanta. The Grand Terrace is a clean slate for your ceremony with sophisticated landscaping and lovely architecture. After your “I do’s,” move downstairs to the Astor Ballroom and enjoy another large patio, chic carpets and dramatic crystal chandeliers. The hotel only hosts one wedding a day, so you’ll have the entire wing to yourself, complete with private restrooms and a coat check. As an added bonus, with the hotel just blocks from famous shopping on Peachtree Road and some of the hottest

Hosting your destination wedding at the high-end St. Regis Atlanta comes at a price, but there’s invaluable benefit to the social scene, amazing location and endless city activities.

When it comes to accommodations, be sure to book one of the airy St. Regis Suites, complete with oversized bathrooms and living rooms – ideal for bustling bridesmaids. For your wedding, the


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): St. Regis Atlanta (1st-4th) & Courtney Cox (5th)

For couples considering saying their “I do’s” in the ATL, we can’t say enough about the 151-room, AAA Five Diamond St. Regis Atlanta. Thirty minutes from the airport and located in the uber-chic neighborhood of Buckhead, the St. Regis has all the luxe you would expect of the brand, but with a hip nightlife to boot. The St. Regis Bar is the place to see and be seen and you’ll find a packed patio full of young, stylish locals enjoying a Saturday night under the stars. To kickoff your wedding weekend, the Jazz Legends series on Thursday nights is a can’t-miss. Sip on a signature St. Regis Bloody Mary (Atlanta’s version includes pickled okra) and listen to soulful Jazz as guests buzz about who’s on-site tonight (Freddy Cole, Nat King Cole’s brother, was in attendance during my visit).


restaurants in town, your guests can leave their cars with the friendly valet indefinitely. After enjoying the St. Regis’ famous Afternoon Tea, ride your caffeine high and hit the town to explore all that this Southern city has to offer. Head down to Centennial Olympic Park and you’ll find the Georgia Aquarium (don’t miss the whale sharks!), World of Coca-Cola, the College Football Hall of Fame and the Center for Civil and Human Rights all within walking distance. To encourage your guests to explore, you would be wise to recommend an Atlanta CityPass, which grants admission to lots of the major attractions at a discounted price.




Guest Book





Long layovers don’t have to be a drag. Hit up all the romantic places in these four stopover spots and check another city (or country!) off your travel-together list. Unless you live in or near a major city, your honeymoon travel plans probably include a layover. Bummer, right? Not necessarily. An extended layover can mean the opportunity to explore romantic spots in a bonus destination. Whether your stopover is four, eight, 12 or 24 hours, here are four cities where you can make the most of your peripatetic pause.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Clifford Alejos (1st-3rd) & Choose Chicago

Los Angeles


Airport code:


Riverside Romance

Paris Chicago

Book your trip on TAP Portugal Airlines and take advantage of their Portugal Stopover program. With this option, you can stay over in Portugal for 24, 48 or 72 hours on your way to one of the airline’s 28 other destination countries. Sun-drenched Lisbon is crowned by a medieval Moorish castle on a hill and encrusted with colorful tiles everywhere you look. Check into the Solar do Castelo hotel, a boutique lodge within the castle walls. Yellow trams traverse the city’s steep hills and are the easiest way to get acquainted with Lisbon’s charms. Exit at the main square, Praça do Comércio, and spend an hour tasting Portuguese wines at ViniPortugal. Once the sun starts to set, cross the street and take the elevator and stairs to the top of the Arco da Rua Augusta. You’ll want to snap plenty of smooching sunset selfies. Make your way back up the hill via funicular and dine at the artist colony and circus school, Chapitô à Mesa. Score a table for two near the window upstairs for a panoramic view of the twinkling city lights.

Photo courtesy of: Westfield


Airport code:


City of (High)Lights

Chicago FALL & WINTER 2017

Airport code:



Beaches, Burritos & Boardwalks

Flights to the South Pacific and Asia generally leave in the evening, so a day enjoying one of Los Angeles' beaches is essential. Try one of 20 variations of French Toast at 26 Beach in Venice Beach before renting a couple of beach cruisers for celeb-spotting. Drive up to Santa Monica Pier for a couple rounds of Skee-Ball with your main squeeze. Cuddle up on the Ferris wheel and take in 360-degree coastal views. Sip on gigantic mango margaritas at Mariasol Restaurant while you watch the surfers wipe out, and you won’t want to miss a late lunch at Tacos Por Favor about a mile from the boardwalk, before heading back to the airport.



Airport code:


Second City, First-Rate Food

Four hours isn’t much time to take the Blue Line to Millennium Park, but it’s plenty of time for a self-guided food tour around O’Hare’s top-notch nosheries. Chef Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera in Terminals 1, 3 and 5, is a smaller sandwich-counter version of his Frontera Grill. Order a smoked pork mollete to share, then take a to-go margarita to your next stop, Gold Coast Dogs in Terminal 5. Order your hotdog fully dressed in neon relish, onions, mustard, pickle wedge and sport peppers – but respect the anti-ketchup tradition. Snack on classic pork and cabbage dumplings at Wow Bao Hot Asian Buns in Terminal 5, or if you’re ready for something sweet, a coconut-custard-filled steamed bun. Once you’ve had your fill, stroll hand-in-hand through Terminal 3’s indoor “aeroponic” garden, which supplies some of the airport’s restaurants with the freshest organic produce.


Flying to Europe from the East Coast? You’ll probably land in Paris early in the morning. A couple of croissants and café au laits should put vite in your feet. The Metro ride from CDG will take about 40 minutes and the train stops right in front of the major landmarks for a self-paced three-hour tour: Notre-Dame Cathedral (metro stop Cité), the Arc de Triomphe (metro stop Charles de Gaulle - Étoile) and the Eiffel Tower (metro stop Champs de Mars/Tour Eiffel). Your one-day Metro pass includes a trip up the funicular to Montmartre, where you can hear the choir practice at the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Lunch at Amélie’s favorite spot, Café des Deux Moulins, and have crème brûlée. After lunch, do the Louvre’s welcome tour where you’ll see the museum’s essentials in a whirlwind romp through its endless galleries. Treat yourselves to a dinner with history at Hemingway’s favorite spot, Brasserie Lipp.








Traditional, soft wedding color palettes are as popular as ever, but for this Fall/Winter issue we wanted to celebrate a bold alternative. “Midnight Garden” is for the destination couple who isn’t afraid of color, getting a little moody (at least when it comes to décor) and wants to make a memorable floral statement. While dramatic and deep-hued florals were at the heart of this photo shoot design, they were complemented by edgy details in inky and dusty shades. This talented vendor team added depth to the concept with elements such as an Edison bulb installation, hand-died silk ribbons and carefully curated furnishings. We hope this dramatic, jewel-toned wedding inspiration will prompt you to take a unique path when it comes to your own destination wedding design. 3. 1 & 2: Our joyous couple is ready to say “I do” at the beautiful Rancho Las Lomas in Orange County, California. The bride’s bountiful bouquet is the perfect complement to the ceremony site’s dramatic, floral-draped gate, both of which were designed by Precious & Blooming. Determined not to be outdone by the stunning florals, our bride opted for bold hair and makeup by PAGE Beauty. She’s wearing the “Dale” dress from Azazie and the “Emily” hairpiece by Ariel Jennifer Taub. Our groom is wearing a boutonniere by Precious & Blooming. FASHION FORWARD

3: A dramatic stationery suite can set the stage for your event and this moody collection from The Paper Mint Press does just that. The on-trend calligraphy is by Red Letter Day and it’s all framed by lovely, handdied silk ribbons courtesy of A Good Affair. FALL & WINTER 2017






4 & 5: Choosing the right furnishings for your destination wedding events can be incredibly impactful when it comes to executing a theme. For this modern, edgy concept, Found Vintage Rentals provided the dining table and chairs, as well as the sofa, coffee table and accessories for this welcoming seating area. With a dramatic light installation illuminating the scene, our reception tablescape needed to be worthy of the attention. Borrowed BLU provided the layered tablescape elements and Precious & Blooming designed the floral centerpieces and hanging greenery. The uber-cool hanging light installation is courtesy of Elevated Pulse Productions.

6: Only an out-of-the-box custom cake design would do for this unique and daring wedding. This gold leaf confection is courtesy of Cakes by Colin. 7: The gorgeous bouquet design didn’t stop with our bride. Her bridesmaids were also treated to colorful, organic blooms by Precious & Blooming wrapped in silk, handdied ribbons courtesy of A Good Affair. Our bridesmaids are in the “Cora” and “Hillary” dresses by Azazie in Cabernet and the bride is wearing the “Dale” dress by Azazie.

6. 7.







8: Our bride’s loose, fishtail braid and deep shade of lipstick are an ode to her organic, colorful bouquet by Precious & Blooming. Her hair and makeup by PAGE Beauty are accented by the “Emily” hairpiece by Ariel Jennifer Taub. The “Dale” dress by Azazie is the perfect choice for a dreamy, garden wedding.


9: The breathtaking Rancho Las Lomas in Orange County, California served as the backdrop for our “Midnight Garden” photo shoot.


10: Floral centerpieces by Precious & Blooming are surrounded by jewel-toned goblets, candles and gold details like photo frames and servingware courtesy of Borrowed BLU. The golden rams are courtesy of A Good Affair. The Paper Mint Press created the menu cards and table numbers in thunderous shades of purple and gray. The table itself is courtesy of Found Vintage Rentals and the colorful napkins from Wildflower Linen complete the look. 10. FALL & WINTER 2017






11, 12 & 13: Between his striking bride and this gorgeous reception set-up, our groom has plenty to smile about. He’s wearing a boutonniere created by Precious & Blooming. No wedding is complete without a beautiful bar and these vintage crystal goblets from Borrowed BLU are the perfect accoutrement. Pretty cocktail in hand, this tablescape will be a welcome sight. The table and chairs are courtesy of Found Vintage Rentals, the centerpieces are by Precious & Blooming, the hanging light installation is courtesy of Elevated Pulse Productions and the tablescape details are all courtesy of Borrowed BLU. 14: It’s that time – time to say “I do,” and this antique gate at Rancho Las Lomas provides the perfect backdrop. It’s decorated with a climbing floral display by Precious & Blooming. Our bridesmaids are lovely in the “Cora” and “Hillary” dresses in Cabernet from Azazie. All of the ladies’ hair and makeup is by PAGE Beauty and their bouquets are courtesy of Precious & Blooming.

14. FALL & WINTER 2017



VENDORS: Photographer: Jenny Quicksall,, Event Designer: A Good Affair, Wedding & Event Production,, Venue: Rancho Las Lomas in Orange County, California,, Floral Designer: Precious & Blooming,, Wholesale Flowers: Fifty Flowers, fiftyflowers. com, Stationery: The Paper Mint Press,, Calligraphy: Red Letter Day,, Furniture Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals,, Tabletop Rentals: Borrowed BLU,, Cocktail Napkins: ForYourParty,, Napkins: Wildflower Linen,, Ribbons: A Good Affair, Lighting Installation: Elevated Pulse Productions,, Cake: Cakes by Colin, cakesbycolin. com, Hairstyling: Juree Martinez for PAGE Beauty,, Makeup: Barbie Laurino for PAGE Beauty,, Bridal Dress: “Dale” by Azazie,, Bridesmaid Dresses: “Cora” and “Hillary” by Azazie,, Veil & Jewelry: “Emily” hairpiece by Ariel Jennifer Taub,, Models: Jackson Marshall and Kat Nelson of O Models Agency & Juliana Kincannon-Crews and Mackenzie Dole,





Photo courtesy of: Longitude 131°


Epic Australia

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Park Hyatt Sydney (1st-4th) & Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (5th-7th)

Park Hyatt Sydney


ustralia is a big country – it’s the sixth largest, as a matter of fact, with landscape that varies from watery wonderland to arid Outback. To get the most from your honeymoon there, you want to pick a hotel that embraces its locale and offers unique ways to enjoy it. Here are my five favorite stops for exceptional only-in-Oz experiences.


Australia’s largest city is arguably one of the prettiest in the world and most top hotels take advantage of it with sky-high lookouts over the Sydney Harbor. But Park Hyatt takes a different approach, with a waterfront setting that puts you at eye level with the iconic Sydney Opera House. The 155-room hotel spans a long, five-story footprint between the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, with the best rooms featuring open terraces with Opera or harbor views. For Extra Credit: A behind-the-scenes tour of the Opera House gives you insight into the building’s history and architecture, as well as a peek at the lives of the people who perform there.


Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is a luxury lodge just a three-hour drive (or 45-minute heli ride) from Sydney, and set on 7,000 pristine acres bordering the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Whether you do a horseback trek, a bike ride through the bush or an evening Jeep safari, you’re guaranteed up-close sightings of kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and wallaroos. When you want to chill, the 40 stand-alone cottages offer the best in carbon-neutral luxury, with a cushy king bed, fireplace, wet bar and your own private swimming pool and solarium. Up by the striking, wood-beamed main lodge is the gorgeous infinity pool and stand-alone spa, as well as the main restaurant and bar. For Extra Credit: Set up a picnic lunch at one of the covered decks scattered around the property. The driver unpacks the goodies and leaves you to enjoy the views in private – except for the ‘roos, of course.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley




GREAT BARRIER REEF SOUTH: FOR SEA LOVERS GREAT BARRIER REEF NORTH: FOR THE ROMANTIC DIVERS The Whitsunday Islands are the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Qualia is an exclusive resort which sits on the northernmost tip of the main island of Hamilton. Once you enter the gated enclave, 60 stand-alone one-bedroom pavilions scream romance with airy interiors, walls of windows and private plunge pools overlooking the sea. When you get the urge to mingle, take your golf cart and explore the adorable island. You can shop and hit the pub in town, play a round at Australia’s only championship island golf course or pose with Bobby the koala at the Wild Life Hamilton Island park.

If you want to immerse yourselves in nothing but sand, sea and each other, Lizard Island is a romantic, private-island resort and is just the spot. The northernmost beach resort in Australia, it has just 40 suites on a 1,000-acre footprint of protected land. Take a dip from one of the island’s 24 private beaches, some edged by reefs for easy snorkeling. The main Great Barrier Reef system itself is a short boat ride away, offering easy day excursions for snorkelers and divers alike. All-inclusive pricing covers meals, wine and many extras.

For Extra Credit: Heli to the GBR first thing in the morning and snorkel before the ferry crowd arrives. On the way back, touch down for a swim at remote Whitehaven Beach, one of the top beaches in the world.

For Extra Credit: Head out on the resort’s private dive boat, MV Serranidae, for a half or full-day dive tour on the GBR, including stops at famous sites like Cod Hole.


Lizard Island


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): qualia (1st5th) & Lizard Island (6th-8th)


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Longitude 131° (1st3rd & 6th-8th), Carla Ten Eyck Photography (4th) & Lizard Island (5th)

Longitude 131º


Central Australia is home to one of the most unique landscapes on earth: a vibrant-hued desert marked by the two-mile-wide rock monolith, Uluru, which climbs 348 meters above the desert floor. Longitude 131° is a sumptuous tented camp situated in the middle of this wilderness. The 16 private tents have all the comforts of a luxury hotel (think A/C, ensuite bathrooms with solar-heated showers and organic linen-draped beds) with a sliding-glass wall and terrace overlooking Uluru. After a day spent exploring, hit the Dune House pool to rinse off the dust before joining other guests for drinks and dinner at the main lodge, all included in your stay. For Extra Credit: Uluru is considered sacred to the native Aboriginal people, so climbing is discouraged. Instead, walk around the base with a guide who can explain its significance, then do a trip to Cave Hill to see indigenous rock art.


Longitude 131º


Lizard Island FALL & WINTER 2017



Faux Pas Wedding


A faux pas is defined as a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners or conduct. Both wedding hosts and guests can be guilty of taking a tumble in the social realm that can cause others to raise their eyebrows, shake their heads or comment on a situation being inappropriate. Here are a few ‘faux pas’ questions that frequently arise for destination wedding participants:

Illustration courtesy of:







I’ve already written lots of thank you notes for my bridal shower. Do I need to write my destination wedding guests a thank you note if they don’t give us a gift?


Expressing gratitude in a written form is always appropriate. Whether a gift was received or not, you can express how much you appreciate your friends and family taking time from their jobs to travel and share your special day with you. Writing a note is the gracious thing to do.

With all of the colors in the rainbow to choose from, why would you want to choose white and potentially conflict with the bride? If you feel you must choose white, make sure you accessorize with plenty of color.


My fiancé and I have already maxed-out our budget with our destination wedding ceremony and reception. Is it okay if we don’t provide any welcome amenities or prewedding events for our guests? Making your guests feel welcomed at your venue does not have to be a costly endeavor. Guests might find a ‘goodie bag’ in their hotel room with homemade cookies, water, granola bars, candy and a printed list of what to see and do in the area. Use your imagination and creativity to make your friends and family feel welcome and to create opportunities for them to informally gather. Being together is what is important!


I considered registering for my wedding, but my fiancé and I have been living together for years. We really don’t need any of the traditional registry items. Is it okay to request money from any guests who ask what we want? There are many non-traditional registries available that you might explore if you don’t need the typical household items. It is never appropriate to put any registry or gift ‘requests’ on the printed wedding invitation. If people verbally inquire, you might share your preferences. It would be a social snafu to put in print anywhere, “We have everything, we just want money!”


One of my bridesmaids really can’t afford her flight to attend my wedding. Is it acceptable for me to help her out if I’m not paying for the rest of my wedding party’s travel? It is never appropriate to help one attendant in your wedding party if you are not helping all of them in a like manner. Word will travel between your friends and you will risk offending all of your other attendants. If someone is asked to be part of your wedding party and they know they will not be able to afford the expense of the clothing, the parties, the gifts and the travel, they should decline the honor. Weddings have become more and more expensive for all of the stakeholders and sometimes choices need to be made.


Our parents are helping us pay for our destination wedding, but they’re also very opinionated about how we spend the money. We want to determine our own priorities and budget, but they’re pushing back. What’s the correct way to handle this?


I recently RSVP’d for a destination wedding later this year and the invitation didn’t mention a plus one. Since I’m traveling to be there, I think I should be allowed to bring a guest. Is this acceptable? If a plus one is not mentioned on the invitation, you should not assume it is acceptable to bring a guest just because you are traveling. Typically a plus one guest is included on the invitation if you are engaged or in a significant relationship.


I’ve attended several weddings recently that are “phonefree,” why is this? I’d like to take photos with my phone to commemorate the day and post them to social media, but don’t want to upset the couple. I’m probably not going to get photos of the wedding otherwise. What’s proper protocol if the couple says “no phones?” If the couple says “no phones,” then you should respect their wishes. Couples may not want their special event broadcast on social media. You need to honor their request for privacy. It can be very distracting in a ceremony to have many people playing photographer, both to the couple and to other guests. Also, the hired photographer probably would not appreciate having guests interrupting or getting in the way of a photo op. After the wedding, the couple may post their own pictures and then you can access what they have shared.


My husband and I recently got invited to the destination wedding of one of our closest friends, but the invitation says “adults only.” I don’t think it’s fair for our friends to expect us to leave our kids at home. What is proper etiquette when it comes to kids? If the invitation says ‘adults only,’ then it is not a venue or an event that is conducive to children and you should adhere to the wishes of your hosts. If the destination wedding is being held in a locale that you would like to combine with a family vacation, then you may bring your children and provide your own childcare during all of the events that are ‘adult only.’ It would be a definite faux pas to bring your children along and expect them to attend.


I recently got an invitation to a “dry” wedding. The couple’s parents are very conservative, so they’ve opted not to have a cocktail hour or bar at the reception. As a guest, is there any way around this? It is respectful to honor the wishes of your hosts. Arriving sloshed from a pre-party, smuggling alcohol into the event or dashing back and forth to a nearby bar might all be construed as rude and inappropriate…a definite faux pas! If you choose to attend, try to enjoy a few alcohol-free hours.



Communication at the onset of planning an event is always a wise decision, so the money being contributed by families and the wedding couple can be determined. Many times parents are happy to say, “Here is your budget and do with it what you wish.” If you are already in the throes of planning, calm communication is still the sensible route to take. Find out how much they wish to contribute and what their priorities are. Determine what your contribution is, prioritize what is important to you and your fiancé and plan accordingly.

I’m attending a destination wedding in Mexico and I’m planning my attire. Since it’s a beach wedding and a bit more casual, is it okay to wear white?



A 360° Tour of

Kauai Ko’a Kea Hotel

60 Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Grand Hyatt Kauai (1st), The St. Regis Princeville Resort (2nd), Courtney Cox (3rd & 4th) & Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach (5th)

Grand Hyatt Kauai



f you’re considering Hawaii for your destination wedding or honeymoon, it can be difficult deciding which island to visit. Asking friends and family, “What’s your favorite island?” is hardly helpful because everyone has a different, passionate response. The truth is, there is no wrong answer – so rest easy! But, if you’re looking for quintessential “Hawaiian” landscapes and lots of options when it comes to restaurants and accommodations, Kauai is the island for you. I was fortunate enough on a recent visit to get a thorough tour of the island, so here is my recommended “360° Tour of Kauai.”

North Photo courtesy of: Courtney Cox

The St. Regis Princeville Resort

The St. Regis Princeville Resort Start your destination wedding or honeymoon off right at The St. Regis Princeville Resort. Set into a ridge overlooking Hanalei Bay, the views are some of the best on the island. The beach is truly breathtaking, so be sure to set aside some serious sunbathing time. If you can drag yourself away from the sand, the Halele’a Spa at The St. Regis Princeville Resort is well worth it. Take some time for you and your loved one by booking a couple’s Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage. According to Don Chock, Director of Sales and Marketing, roughly 85 percent of guests at the St. Regis Princeville Resort are celebrating a special occasion. It’s no surprise as this is one special place. Princeville Makai Golf Club Recently ranked one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest, zip around the course in style by renting a GolfBoard. “Surf the earth” on one of these electric boards that are the brainchild of big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton. After you’ve hung-up your clubs, stick around for the Sunset Golf Club Tour. Take in the sunset with a romantic spin around the course to some of the most scenic spots.


Princeville Makai Golf Club

Kilohana Plantation In addition to being a popular wedding venue on the island, Kilohana Plantation FALL & WINTER 2017


Grand Hyatt Kauai The pool scene at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu can’t be beat! It’s an endless maze of lava-rock lined lazy rivers, waterfalls, secret caves and even a water slide. They also have a sandy-bottom, saltwater lagoon. For your “I do’s,” the Grand Lawn Gazebo is breathtaking. To celebrate, be sure to make a reservation at the hotel’s signature Tidepools restaurant. Commonly considered the most romantic restaurant on-island, you’ll enjoy contemporary Hawaiian cuisine and craft cocktails. Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach If it’s a boutique hotel with a super relaxed atmosphere you’re after, then Ko’a Kea Hotel in Poipu is for you. Their onsite restaurant, Red Salt, will no doubt be a highlight of your trip with cheat-mealworthy dishes like Kona Lobster Gnocchi and the Red Salt Burger, which is topped with lobster and foie gras!


Capt. Andy’s Sailing Adventures & Raft Expeditions You can’t come to Kauai and not see the Nāpali Coast – and Capt. Andy’s is the way to go. You can hike, sail or raft, but we recommend the Nāpali Snorkel Picnic Sail. There’s a catch, though. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you might want to keep your feet on solid ground or opt for a helicopter tour instead. Also, be sure to book the early morning sail – it will be cooler and the waters will be calmer. Hanapēpē Town After you’ve seen the wonder that is Nāpali, swing by Hanapēpē Town for OnoPops or fresh ahi poke from one of the local markets. No matter what Hawaiian island you choose for your destination wedding or honeymoon, you won’t be disappointed. But, we have to admit, we sure have a soft spot for Kauai.


Kapa’a Town Stroll the friendly streets for a food truck lunch or shopping. More importantly, run – don’t walk – to Wailua Shave Ice. Don’t let the sweet faces of the adorable teens running the place fool you. With flavors like Lilikoi Cream and Uala Niu (sweet potato), this shave ice is no joke.

also offers historic train tours that are sure to be a hit – especially with the kiddos! While the little ones are on the tour, stroll next door to the Kōloa Rum Company for a free tasting of their award-winning rums and be sure to try the Koloa Kauai Coffee rum! If you’re considering treating yourselves or your guests to a traditional Hawaiian lu’au, Kilohana’s Lu’au Kalamaku takes it to the next level. Be sure to make a reservation and request a private section for your wedding party.


Guanacaste, Monkeys and Matrimony in



ocated in the upper northeast corner of Costa Rica’s North Guanacaste region, The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal is a tropical wonderland all its own. Draped in the kind of magical flora that would put The Jungle Book to shame, The Westin provides couples with a myriad of backdrops for a storybook wedding. Your guests can join you barefoot on the white sand beach and enjoy cocktails at a poolside reception. Or, you may choose to say your vows high above the crashing waves and under looping banyan trees with views of the meticulously groomed rolling hills of the resort’s 71-par, world-class golf course. If this is the case, be prepared for some unexpected visitors. As a registered wildlife reserve, the resort is home to a roaming troupe of white-headed capuchin monkeys that often steal the show.

Costa Rica



Photos courtesy of: Starwood

With more than a dozen all-inclusive restaurants, seven pools, countless outdoor activities, and even some healthy nightlife on property, you may feel completely satisfied to never leave the resort during your time in Costa Rica. However, just 10 miles from your stay at The Westin is the quaint and touristy beach town of Tamarindo. Known for excellent surfing (and shopping) conditions, Tamarindo will entertain everyone in the family. Be sure to visit the brand-new Volcano Brewing Company for the delicious Gato Malo Dark Ale. Hankering for some of that famous Costa Rican coffee? The Waffle Monkey will knock your socks off. Just a little farther and you’ll find wildlife and zipline tours awaiting you in the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park. In Costa Rica, every day you’ll be met with adventure, which makes returning to your room at The Westin Golf Resort and Spa, Playa Conchal each evening even more special. It feels like coming home. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to leave Costa Rica without making plans to return. Thankfully, the resort will make every visit, including anniversary trips, as incredible as the first.

Photos courtesy of: Starwood






The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Matakauri Lodge (1st & 3rd) & The Farm at Cape Kidnappers (2nd & 4th)

Romantic Stops in

New Zealand Matakauri Lodge



ew Zealand is slightly larger than Oregon, but don’t let its small size fool you. The narrow, two-island nation spans 990 miles in length with a landscape comprising of black sand beaches, dense rainforest, alpine slopes and geothermal pools – meaning there’s a lot to see! The superb Air New Zealand makes it easy to get around, but you still need to plan wisely. I suggest three stops, with a minimum of three nights in each, for a trip that is exciting and relaxing. Here’s one way to approach it.

Start In Northland

Located on the northern tip of North Island is the Bay of Islands, a subtropical region with 140 isles. The region is loved for all things water: beaching, kayaking, surfing and especially sailing. It’s also New Zealand’s warmest region and a great place to start your trip.

Matakauri Lodge

Where to Stay: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs This luxury lodge is set on a working ranch that abuts Matauri Bay. The 22 stand-alone cottages offer a preppy take on country life with in-room amenities like gas fireplaces, soaking tubs and ocean-view terraces. The oceanfront golf course draws players from around the world, including the PGA Challenge Tour. Dinner is a lively affair as guests gather to chat over cocktails on the veranda before indulging in a gourmet meal of seasonal fare, accompanied by a great selection of local wines.

Signature Experience Cape Kidnappers is an active supporter of national efforts to repopulate the endangered kiwi bird. Join a tracker as they do their day job, walking the grounds to locate the geotagged birds that nest around the property. If you’re lucky, the tracker will catch and hold one so you can get an up-close introduction to the fluffy bird before it’s re-released back into its grassy den. Great Day Trip Biking and wine-tasting go hand-in-hand, and the flat topography and great bike trails make this the ideal place to pedal. Wineries vary in terms of style, from chic Black Barn (with stellar dining and a store that will make you wish you brought an extra suitcase) to Mission Estate, the region’s oldest winery with an on-site museum devoted to wine making.

End In Queenstown

Great Day Trip Charter a yacht and sail through the islands, taking in playful bottlenose dolphins and orcas along the way. Many charters depart from the quaint town of Russell, whose tidy downtown recalls its origins as a 19th-century whaling port.

You can’t go to New Zealand and miss Queenstown. This mountain town is the adventure capital of the country, the birthplace of bungy jumping and a popular ski resort in the winter. It’s picture perfect, located on a lake surrounded by alpine mountains. It’s also a lively, walkable town with great restaurants and nightlife, reflecting the melting pot of nationalities who live and play here.

New Zealand has multiple wine-growing regions, mostly centered in the middle of the country. Located on the southeast coast of North Island, Hawke’s Bay is the oldest, with 72 wineries and counting. This coastal community has a mellow beach vibe and rolling landscape ideal

Where to Stay: Matakauri Super romantic and intimate, Matakauri is equal parts remote (set on the edge of Lake Wakatipu) and convenient ( just a 10-minute taxi ride into town). The 12-room lodge offers stand-alone suites with private terraces, gas fireplaces and walls of windows.

Next: Hit Wine Country The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Where to Stay: Farm at Cape Kidnappers Nature meets luxury in the best possible way at this 22-suite lodge, which spans 6,000 acres of dramatic beachfront, coastal cliffs and a top-notch golf course with ocean views. Get an overview with a ride through the property, cruising up and down steep cliffs past resident herds of sheep and cattle. Back at the chic Craftsman-style lodge, suites come with plush king beds and soaking tubs with epic views. Dining is an event at the glass-walled atrium and the heated pool is an ideal spot to retreat after a day of activity.



Photo courtesy of: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Signature Experience Kauri Cliffs has three on-site beaches. Enjoy a stroll and shelling at aptly named Pink Beach, or get some alone time at the tiny, cliff-shaded Takou. Waiaua is the resort’s largest beach and a great spot for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and beach picnics.

for hiking or biking. The town of Napier has the largest collection of Art Deco architecture outside of Miami’s South Beach, adding to the charm.


The lodge’s meals-included pricing includes dinner on-site as well as the option to visit Rata in town, run by kiwi celeb chef, Josh Emett. Signature Experience New Zealand puts an adventurous spin on every sport, even golf! Over the Top Helicopters will pick you up in a meadow and fly you over Lake Wakatipu to the top of a mountain ridge, where you’ll land and hit golf balls off their private putting green. Champagne and snacks finish off the unforgettable venture.

Have even more time? Check out for more ideas on what to do on a dream New Zealand honeymoon.

Matakauri Lodge The Farm at Cape Kidnappers


The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs


The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Matakauri Lodge (1st), The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs (2nd & 5th) & The Farm at Cape Kidnappers (3rd & 4th)

Great Day Trip Queenstown is a gateway to Milford Sound, the highlight of Fjordland National Park. There are multiple ways to see the region; our fave is to take a seaplane ride over the glacier, land on the sound and enjoy another perspective with a boat cruise into the canyon.

Winston Wedding Group Event Design Planning Production


Q Hamptons

New York


A classic in the making... be there for the debut.


Register today with code DESTINATION at














A Professional Photographer Takes Her Own Advice




It’s not every day the photographer becomes the photographed. But one magical vacation-turnedproposal created just that opportunity. Professional wedding photographer, Sarah Natasha Horowitz, set off on a Moroccan journey and ended up with a fairy tale engagement story for the history books. She not only shares her story with us, but also her advice as a wedding photographer on how to capture your engagement and make the most out of your destination.

local Moroccan tribesmen under the starry night sky. Such a perfect moment…I wanted to bask in its warmth and swim in it until our fingers got all prune-y. At the top of one of the nearest dunes, a couple sat at a bistro table. Their silhouette was perfectly cast by the rising moon coming up behind them. “What a marvelous opportunity for an epic photo,” I thought as I dashed into the tent to grab my photography gear.

Q: During your trip to Morocco, how did your fiancé propose and how did you end up with such incredible photos? Did you have any idea he had planned something so elaborate? A: After fourty minutes of slow motion camel walking, we arrived at our dreamlike glamping tent hotel in the middle of the northern Sahara Desert.

Following dinner, our eclectic crew cozied up on Berber pillows around a campfire to enjoy the voices of a few

I raced up the hill to my love for our mini photo shoot where I was expecting to pose holding his hand or kissing him for the sake of the silhouette, but he had something else in mind. “How should we pose?” I asked. “How about we do this pro-pose instead?” he said excitedly as he got out the ring and sunk one knee into the sand. Click! FALL & WINTER 2017

A: Focus on each other’s eyes, get lost in the moment. Think about the first time you met. What did you love about them first? What funny things did you say to each other? Your feelings for the person will be written all over your face and will show through your body language. Just think happy thoughts, it works every time! Q: Is it different being the bride instead of the person behind the lens? A: It is so weird being a bride and not a photographer for the first time in my life. At first, I found myself forgetting all the helpful things I’ve learned or taught others in regards to wedding planning and I had an even worse time being in front of the camera. “What do I do with my hands?” “Where do I look?” “How do I pose?” It was so bizarre how the expert was suddenly clueless. But, after receiving some coaching from my peers and talking with other couples, I quickly found my happy place again.


Unbeknownst to me, my soon-to-be fiancé had the engagement ring in his pocket all evening – he was waiting for just the right moment.

I set up my tripod and camera and framed the image just right: with us in one corner and the glowing tent in the other. With the stars above, all anyone had to do was push the button. My boyfriend was already waiting for me at the top of the hill, so I approached our nearest neighbors and kindly asked if they would give us a hand. Little did I know they were about to capture the most special moment of all moments.

Q: A lot of couples, especially grooms, aren’t used to being in front of a camera. What advice do you give your clients to help them relax and look natural in their photos?


Q: What do you recommend for your clients’ engagement photos when it comes to hair, makeup and attire? Is it the bolder the better or is everyday cool the way to go? A: There are a million ways to go. Spend time checking out what other couples have done to get a sense of your style preference. Choose the style you are most excited about or isn’t too difficult to achieve. Have fun with it, but don’t break the bank – remember you have a wedding to pay for! Q: Based on your own travel and photography experience, how can couples make the most of their chosen destination? A: Ask questions to as many knowledgeable folks as you can and study-up on the location you want to visit via the Web and social media. Instagram is actually a great tool to see what’s trending in that area. It might give you some extra info you won’t be able to find elsewhere.


Q: In your opinion, should a couple go with a local photographer for their engagement shoot instead of their chosen wedding photographer?


A: I’m a firm believer in doing an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer prior to the wedding. You can learn many things during this exclusive session, like how to streamline collaborating with your photographer and they can learn how to work with you. You can also find out preferences about how you like to be photographed. For example, “I don’t like my left side,” or “my nose looks better from this angle.” These are important tips for your photographer to know, so come wedding day they are prepared to capture images for you in the best possible way. You don’t get a do-over and practice makes perfect.










For our “Love & Luxury in Mexico” photo shoot, a group of talented wedding vendors got together to redefine a beach wedding south of the border. The planning and event design company, Crosby + Jon, were especially excited to mix juxtaposed elements such as “a delicate crystal chandelier set against the rough-hewn wood of the pier.” The Mexico destination of Nizuc Resort & Spa was a perfect fit. 1: Nizuc Resort & Spa’s edgy Mayan style was the perfect backdrop for this sultry take on a Mexican beach wedding. Our glamorous bride is ready for the runway with hair and makeup by Bridal Beauty Chicago, chandelier earrings and a gown courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal, and a dramatic bouquet by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals.


3. FALL & WINTER 2017

3: This stationery suite by Shannon Kirsten Studio is the perfect blend of organic elements and trendy calligraphy. There’s no doubt these lovelies would garner plenty of RSVP’s.


2: Our couple is happy to make a lifelong promise beneath a driftwood arch draped with soft fabric from Crosby + Jon Design and adorned with floral arrangements by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. The decorative lanterns and driftwood arch are both courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico. Our groom is beach chic in a shirt and slacks from Banana Republic and our bride is seaside glam in a dress courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal.



4. 5 & 6: What’s a wedding without excellent food and drink? An elegant bar cart, courtesy of Nizuc Resort & Spa, is an impactful alternative to a full bar. The sexy color palette of the day makes its way onto a simple, but beautiful cake by El Dia Que me Quieras.


4: Our bride gets ready for her close-up with hair and makeup by Bridal Beauty Chicago, a dress courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal and Jimmy Choo heels.



7: This dramatic, but delicate sweetheart table makes the most of a gorgeous view. The vintage table, candlesticks and chairs are all courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico. The gorgeous floral centerpiece by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals is set atop traditional lace linens from Silk and Willow.

“We continued the theme by using refined, tufted linen furniture set amid coarse ocean rock formations…” – Regina Atkins and Krista Jon of Crosby + Jon Design


7. FALL & WINTER 2017








8 & 9: Our bride surveys the scene in a dress courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal. She’s surrounded by gorgeous blooms by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals and a cake by El Dia Que me Quieras. The theme of contrasting luxury details with rugged surroundings continues with these ceremony and seating set-ups. Nizuc Resort & Spa’s dock is dressed up with a crystal chandelier, tufted benches and a greenery garland by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. 10 & 11: The comfort and conversation flow with the sofa, pillows, chairs and coffee table, all furniture courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico, and florals courtesy of Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. The elegance continues outdoors with a lovely tablescape made up of a centerpiece by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals, candlesticks, goblets and servingware courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico, and a lovely lace table runner from Silk and Willow.




12: Our bride is truly ready for her close-up in chandelier earrings and a beaded bodice gown courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal. Her ethereal, natural makeup and hair are by Bridal Beauty Chicago.


13: Nizuc Resort & Spa’s surrounding mangroves and foliage played an integral part in the inspiration for this photo shoot. Here, our bride makes the most of Mother Nature in a dress courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal, hair and makeup by Bridal Beauty Chicago and a bouquet by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. 14, 15 & 16: Our bride struts her stuff around the modern Nizuc Resort & Spa’s beachfront. She’s seaside glam in a dress and chandelier earrings courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal and her makeup by Bridal Beauty Chicago gives her that lovely W-day glow. The vintage wooden ceremony pews are courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico and her dramatic bouquet is by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. Her gold wedding set with an emerald center stone is by Claire Pettibone for Trumpet & Horn and is the perfect complement to her jeweltoned bouquet.







17: A simple and chic cake by Pasteleria El Dia Que me Quieras is a complement, not competition, to the gorgeous florals by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals. 18: Nizuc Resort & Spa’s dock plays humble host to this elegant ceremony setup complete with an antique chandelier courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico. The bouquet by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals and our bride’s dress and chandelier earrings courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal pop against the ocean beyond.

19: The sun is setting on this gorgeous scene. The ceremony arch, lanterns and wooden pews are courtesy of Archive Rentals Mexico. The dramatic floral additions are designed by Krista Jon for Archive Rentals and the fabric draping is courtesy of Crosby + Jon Design.


VENDORS: Photographer: Dana Grant Photography,, Planning and Event Designer: Crosby + Jon Design,, Venue: Nizuc Resort & Spa,, Rentals: Archive Rentals Mexico,, Florals: Krista Jon for Archive Rentals,, Stationery: Shannon Kirsten Studio,, Linens: Silk and Willow,, Hair & Makeup: Bridal Beauty Chicago,, Bride’s Dress & Jewelry: Courtesy of Maggie Louise Bridal,, Groom’s Apparel: Banana Republic,, Cake: Pasteleria El Dia Que me Quieras, Video Production: Perryfield Films,, Gold and Emerald Wedding Set: Claire Pettibone for Trumpet & Horn,






Escape to the



f you are looking for the perfect destination for intimate nuptials, you need not look too far. Located just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, Bimini is the closest Bahamian island to the United States, making it an easy and quick journey.


A small fishing island, Bimini is seven miles long with a population of just 3,000 people and is surrounded by the translucent turquoise waters that trademark the Bahamas. What the island lacks in size, it more than makes up for in tropical splendor. Bimini would play perfect host to a destination wedding group.

Photos courtesy of: Resorts World Bimini


The beauty of a destination wedding is creating your own experience. While many couples find they want to share the destination and experience with a larger bridal party and group of friends, there are many who choose just the opposite.


Where to Stay: The largest property on the island, Resorts World Bimini, provides luxury hotel accommodations, villa and residential rentals, four spectacular pools, nine dining options and a full casino experience. With all the offerings on property, your wedding group need not leave the resort. How to Get There: For budget conscious couples, catch the ferry out of Miami for less than $100, arriving in just two hours. There are also flight options via numerous regional carriers in and out of Miami and the surrounding area. What to Do: Take advantage of the excursions you can book right on property. Don’t miss the nature trail tour, open sea snorkel at the Sapona shipwreck or completely unplug on any of the miles of sandy beachline. If you want to take in the culture of the island, shuttles run throughout the day from the property into the three neighboring villages. Return to the resort for dinner and an evening at the casino. How to Say “I Do:” With an expanse of raw beach and the intimacy of a small group affair, you are free to claim your perfect sunset spot on the island. If you’d prefer not to forge your own path, there are on-property facilities such as lush gardens, piers floating on glassy water and beach gazebos that would play eager host to your event.

Photos courtesy of: Resorts World Bimini




Fresh & Hip in the



f your ideal honeymoon includes Caribbean breezes in a hip, urban setting teeming with history, high-end hotels, restaurants, shopping and nightclubs, consider Santo Domingo. It’s the capital of the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Founded in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’ brother, Bartholomew, Santo Domingo has a charming cobbled old quarter packed with important monuments, such as the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Santo Domingo also boasts cafés, shops and sun-dappled squares. It has a chic business district, where the newly-open InterContinental Real hotel can serve as your base. Sleek, creamy-white and dripping with glamour, it has ultraluxurious rooms and suites with panoramic views over the city. It also sports a roofdeck infinity pool that rivals almost any beach, with pitchers of fruity sangria and luscious Blu Bar nibbles at your fingertips.

Photos courtesy of: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts




The hotel has a full gym and pampering spa which offers scrubs, massages, facials and a sweet treatment for chocolate lovers complete with mouthwatering cocoa-based scrubs and lotions. To taste the real thing, stop by Kah Kow in the old quarter. It’s a museum, chocolate store and café where you can learn the history of chocolate, tour the on-site chocolate factory and indulge in scrumptious Dominican Republic chocolate bonbons and sweets.

A short walk from the hotel brings you to the BlueMall, featuring designer brands ranging from Cartier to Longchamp. More stores, bars and fancy restaurants surround the InterContinental, which has its own sweet little gift shop in the lobby.

There you can treat yourselves to baubles made from larimar, a baby blue stone only found in the Dominican Republic, that can mark the start of your new life together in a memorable and beautiful way. No matter how you choose to spend your time in Santo Domingo – hanging out by the hotel’s infinity pool, strolling the historic streets arm-in-arm or savoring sunsets over sparkling cocktails – the destination of Santa Domingo offers authentic scenery with an urban vibe. Add plenty of sun, luscious food, romance and fun and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a memorable honeymoon.


Photos courtesy of: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

Back at the InterContinental, dining options abound, including Factory Steak

and Lobster. The Market restaurant offers more casual fare, including craftyour-own pastas, salads and burgers. To get your sushi fix, head to the trendy Nau Lounge, where a DJ spins tunes every night. There is also the hushed Van Gogh Lobby Bar, specializing in cocktails and Spanish tapas, like ceviche and serrano ham.




Rwanda Uganda


Virunga Lodge



wanda is known as “the land of a thousand hills” and it’s easy to see why after witnessing the rolling, lush landscape. However, I would like to propose an alternative nickname: “the land of a thousand welcomes.” I’ve traveled extensively and have never felt so affected by a local culture and its people. Rwanda’s neighbor to the north, Uganda, was much the same – beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife and locals who kept me smiling from ear-to-ear.


capital. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is not only a place for remembrance and reflection; it’s also a respectful way to begin your journey. While hauntingly impactful, the memorial will bring to light the country’s progress and the resilience of its people.

Volcanoes Safaris served as my gracious hosts for the “6-Day Gahinga & Virunga Safari.” The company specializes in honeymoon-worthy luxury safaris and eco-friendly lodges with three lodges in Uganda (Mount Gahinga Lodge, Bwindi Lodge and Kyambura Gorge Lodge) and one in Rwanda (Virunga Lodge).

MOUNT GAHINGA LODGE After Kigali, hop aboard your Volcanoes Safaris’ Land Rover and head for the hills of Uganda. Located at the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, you’ll discover Mount Gahinga Lodge. En route, you’ll enjoy what I lovingly refer to as “Mother Nature’s massage” – a.k.a. one heck of a bumpy ride. It’s well worth the whiplash once you step foot in your private “banda” (imagine a thatched-roof bungalow). Mount Gahinga Lodge accommodates 18 people across six bandas, and the papyrus-thatched main lodge with its central fireplace is the comfy, social center.

KIGALI Before setting off on your first adventure, I highly recommend a day in the Rwandan

MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK Within walking distance of the lodge is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – home to

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Volcanoes Safaris & Courtney Cox


the endangered golden monkey. There’s roughly a 50 percent chance you will get to see these endangered beauties, so pack light (or hire a porter for 15 USD) and prepare for a potentially long hike. My group was lucky, we got the best trackers in the biz and spent one exciting hour amongst the elusive monkeys. VIRUNGA LODGE Back across the border and into Rwanda was our next stop: Virunga Lodge. Aside from the customary “you are most welcome,” we were met with breathtaking 360-degree views. This luxury lodge features 10 bandas – five facing twin lakes and five facing the Virunga Volcanoes. For your honeymoon, be sure to book one of the two deluxe bandas. Virunga Lodge has a unique aura about it…you feel like you’re truly on top of the world. After a good night’s rest atop the clouds, I rose early for the day we had all been waiting for – our gorilla trek. As I watched the sun rise over

the lake and dormant volcanoes in the distance, I knew it was going to be a day to remember. VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK As we drove toward the jagged peaks of Mount Sabyinyo, the excitement was palpable. Note: excitement, not fear. One of the most common misconceptions in the animal kingdom is that gorillas are inherently dangerous. The stereotype has been perpetuated over the years and given these gentle giants a bad reputation. So bad, in fact, that the mountain gorilla was nearly hunted to extinction. Now, through concerted conservation efforts by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are roughly 900 mountain gorillas in existence. Following in the footsteps of the park’s trackers, we headed into the heart of the jungle in search of our assigned, habituated gorilla family. The hiking can be hard work, but the journey through the bush FALL & WINTER 2017

Virunga Lodge


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Volcanoes Safaris (1st & 2nd), Alexandra Avila (3rd) & Courtney Cox (4th & 5th)

Bwindi Lodge


Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge

Bwindi Lodge


is part of the experience. Thankfully, long sleeves and pants helped to protect me from the infamous stinging nettles. Our guide cleared a path by hacking through the dense vegetation with a machete. After 90 minutes, we were told that we were finally approaching the gorillas.


My adrenaline kicked in and I kept confusing the sound of creaking bamboo with the grunts of gorillas. Suddenly, the pace slowed and our guide began grunting as he cleared away the overgrowth. Then, just like that, I was face-to-face with Gahinga, the group’s dominant silverback. Thus began the quickest hour of my life. I expected to view the gorillas from a distance as they peacefully posed. What I got was dramatically different and so much better! The 20-member group went about their business with nary a glance. I tried to stay out of their way and was even approached by a two

month-old baby gorilla. After an hour of weaving through the bamboo captivated by these wondrous animals, it was time to say goodbye. Teary-eyed and tingling, Gahinga saw us off by noshing on our nemesis: stinging nettles. As we hiked back through swaying fields of chrysanthemums and eucalyptus, we were met with the chorus of children’s voices shouting “hall-oh!” Once back at Virunga Lodge, we were encouraged to schedule a complimentary massage (a Volcanoes Safaris staple) before enjoying a performance by the local Intore Dance troupe. As the sun began to set, these amazing performers celebrated their Rwandese culture and I too felt like dancing. What a day! Eastern Africa most likely doesn’t come to mind when you think “honeymoon,” but I can’t imagine a better way to start

a life together. I was completely captivated by the raw countryside, beautifully spirited people and rare wildlife. Booking an itinerary via a company like Volcanoes Safaris is an absolute must. The all-inclusive pricing includes accommodations, meals, transportation and guides. Perhaps most importantly, all your park permits are taken care of ahead of your arrival. Rwanda and Uganda are countries comprised of contrast: immense beauty and amazing people, but there’s still work to be done. You can honeymoon with pride via Volcanoes Safaris, since community philanthropy and wildlife conservation are at the heart of what they do. You’ll walk away from the experience with a fresh perspective on life, a new appreciation for each other and a positive outlook for your married life ahead. Trust me when I say, “you are most welcome.”

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Volcanoes Safaris (1st, 5th & 6th), Courtney Cox (2nd & 4th) & Alexandra Avila (3rd)

Gahinga Lodge


EXCEPTIONAL TRAVEL PLANNING FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS We specialize in destination weddings, honeymoons and luxury escapes. Where it's not just a trip, it's an event.




entral America has emerged in recent years as serious honeymoon competition for big hitters like Mexico and the Caribbean. It has beautiful beaches, friendly people and plenty of sunshine – minus a lot of the touristy kitsch. Belize has long been known throughout the adventure and romance travel-sphere, and for good reason! The country attracts all types of travelers thanks to its varied topography, which includes crystalline cayes and the Cloud Forest of the Maya Mountains. Plus, getting here is a breeze with direct flights into Belize City from eight major U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Newark, Chicago and Miami. Ambergris Caye is perhaps the most popular destination in Belize, but it’s Placencia that has captured our imagination. The peninsula is 16 miles of paradise and a quick 35-minute flight from Belize City via Tropic Air. Placencia Village is beyond stroll-worthy with quaint shops and plenty of laid-back beach bars like the infamous Tipsy Tuna. The exchange rate is approximately 2 BZD


to 1 USD, so your money will go far here and, since the official language is English, it will be easy to strike up a conversation with the friendly Belizean local sitting next to you at the bar. STAY Naïa Resort and Spa This Placencia resort boasts 35 gorgeous beach houses, some of which include private pools. They are truly honeymoon-worthy with outdoor showers, serene décor and charismatic local artwork. The beach houses range from studios to three bedrooms, but all come with kitchens that can be pre-stocked upon request. EAT Rumfish y Vino & Tutti Frutti Gelateria Located across the street from the local cricket stadium, Rumfish y Vino is a family-owned restaurant that boasts an extensive wine list and is serving up scrumptious Belizean-fusion fare like conch ceviche and red curry snapper. Save room for dessert because the area’s best gelato, Tutti Fruttis, is located on the first floor. The quality and taste rivals any Italian gelateria!

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Naia Resort and Spa & Courtney Cox


MARRY Naïa Resort and Spa happily hosts weddings and a buy-out is not only wise, but entirely feasible. There are lots of set-up options throughout the 19-acre property, but we recommend exchanging vows with up to 60 guests at Naïa Spa overlooking the lagoon before moving the party to the 1981 Restaurant for delish, fancy cocktails and good eats. PLAY Naïa Spa Set amongst natural lagoons, cross a series of bridges before entering the spa lobby with the signature Citrus Nectar scent wafting in the air. The 10,000 square-foot spa is the largest

in Placencia and is worthy of a full day of your time. The six bungalow-style treatment rooms were built around the lagoons and offer peaceful, waterfront patios. In addition to a private pool, Naïa Spa also includes a gorgeous Yoga and Movement Studio. Begin your day with a fitness class before enjoying a healthy lunch at the Reflections Spa Café and a series of spa treatments. Oceanic Options Belize is a water-lover’s paradise with iconic diving opportunities and extenFALL & WINTER 2017

sive wildlife. The world’s second-largest coral reef runs along the Belizean coast, so pack your snorkel mask and book a boat through Sunny Side Tours. Visit in June and July to swim with whale sharks or December-February to spot an orca. Also, keep your goggles peeled for sea turtles, lionfish, manta rays and dolphins, among endless others. Whether you’re looking to spend your honeymoon basking in your newlywed glow at the spa or submerged in the sea filling your day with adventure, Belize is more than a safe bet.


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Alexandra Avila (1st, 2nd & 4th), Courtney Cox (3rd & 5th) & Naia Resort and Spa (6th)

Ixcacao Chocolate If you haven’t tried Maya Belizean chocolate, then you haven’t lived! The ancient Mayans discovered the cacao bean thousands of years ago and Juan Cho and his wife Abelina (a.k.a. The Chocolate Queen) are carrying on the cacao family tradition. Their chocolate is organic and fair trade certified, and each bar is handmade on-site. Book your visit through Taste Belize and enjoy a lunch cooked by the Chocolate Queen herself.


e v i G A Skin Care Pro’s Tips to Looking Flawless


Photo courtesy of, damircudic



e c F d Goo God did not bless me with beautiful skin. I found my first pimple at age 12 and it became an uphill battle from that point until now. Dermatologist appointments resulted in everything from antibiotic prescriptions to Accutane and nothing seemed to truly help. Now on the eve of my 40th birthday, I’m in a new phase. My problematic, acne-prone skin began showing the signs of aging, so the problem became two fold – how to simultaneously treat sensitive skin while fighting Father Time?

Enter Brandie Barclay.


n eighteen-year veteran in the skin care profession, aesthetician, certified laser technician and, dare I say, skin care savant, Barclay is part of the renowned team at Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, Arizona. I recently sought her out to finally rid myself of my skin care woes.

Q: What is the difference between seeing a dermatologist to work out your skin issues versus working with an aesthetician at a plastic surgeon’s office? A: It really depends on the skin care issues. Having an aesthetician to guide you is a great starting point. I will always

Q: What are some of the best “quick fixes” and procedures that make the biggest impact with the least amount of downtime? A: This is an exciting time for aesthetics because our options are endless. For visible changes in the skin, some downtime may be necessary, but most treatments can be done and pass the “I can still go to Target” test. Meeting the parents tonight? Get a killer facial! I suggest a clarifying treatment that includes a dermaplane exfoliation with a purifying mask, vitamin infusion, stem cell moisturizer, topped with skin tightening retinol. You will glow! The best part is, the anti-aging benefits long outlast the weekend. Big party in two weeks? Botox, baby! Q: Are there any red flags a patient should be aware of when they’re working with a cosmetic skin care professional for the first time? A: You want an experienced provider who does an extensive consultation. Steer clear of a “one size fits all” approach. I want to know EVERYTHING first, so I can FALL & WINTER 2017

Q: What’s the best procedure someone could do for $500? $1000? $5000? A: This is a hard question because a twenty-eight-year-old’s needs will not be the same as a sixty-eight-year-old. For $500 – refresh your look at any age with a peel or micro-needle and build your home care arsenal. For $1000 – add some neurotoxin to relax frown lines, lift your brow and soften/prevent crows feet. For $5,000 – restore lost facial volume with dermal fillers or tighten and restore skin texture with several fractional laser treatments. Q: Currently, what is your favorite skin care line you use on your clients? A: Living in Arizona, the most common issues I see are premature aging from the sun and sensitivity. For sun-damaged skin, I love the serious improvement I get from the Obagi Nu-Derm Systems. They just don’t disappoint! We carry products from seven different top lines that address everything from extreme sensitivity to anti-aging super-serums. This means, I WILL find you an SPF you love…no excuses! I am a true believer that each face needs its own specialty cocktail.



Photo courtesy of: Gary Helland

In the few visits I’ve had with Brandie Barclay, I’ve seen improvements in my skin I didn’t think possible. She began with a chemical peel to clear up current breakouts, started me on a new skin care line and gave me a solid plan of what was ahead: micro-needling treatments, dermaplane exfoliation, facials and top-of-theline skin care products. Not only was she confident the process would clear up active breakouts, but it would also prevent and even treat my damaged, discolored and aging skin. She was right. Impressed and convinced is an understatement, so I felt compelled to share some of her knowledge with you, in the hopes you too can “give good face” on your wedding day and every day thereafter!

refer to a dermatologist if anything on the skin looks suspicious, cancerous or out of my scope of care. Using aggressive treatments or antibiotics may or may not be necessary, but aestheticians are trained to know the difference.

make the best choices for you. What are your daily habits? Home care? Skin care goals? I like patients to leave with a “plan of attack.” Timeframe and budget also play a big part in getting fantastic results.





Words by Kinsley Brown Images by Feather & Stone Wedding Planning, Design & Production by A Good Affair, Wedding & Event Production



essa and Ryan’s Solvang destination wedding radiates romance, and it’s no wonder, considering their love story is something straight out of a fairy tale. Tessa was good friends with Ryan’s sister growing up. Fast forward nine years and fate stepped in on Independence Day. “[Newport Beach] gets so crowded that in some areas, your cell phones don’t work. I was hanging out with some friends [and Ryan] happened to also be at the beach celebrating with his friends.” After getting separated from her group, Tessa discovered Ryan and “the rest was history.” Tessa had a clear vision of what her dream day would look like; she just needed to find someone to make that dream come alive. “Honestly, I had

never actually thought about doing a destination wedding. But when I explained my style and vision to my wedding planner, she suggested a beautiful ranch-style venue that she thought would be what I was envisioning…” The couple was initially anxious to ask their 150 guests to make the three-hour drive, but as soon as the bride stepped foot on Whispering Rose Ranch, there was no going back. With their planner, Natalie Good, in charge, the couple put their “full faith” in her and “let her do her thing.” The bride had three main goals when it came to the big day: that the guests had fun, the atmosphere feel casual and the country wedding looked soft and elegant.





“Everything was just like a fairly tale,” reminisces the bride. “When the [guests’] bus entered the ranch, they drove down a mile-long driveway bordered by beautiful red rose gardens and sweet grazing horses.” The venue had such beautiful natural scenery, the couple didn’t want to take away from the setting. Instead, they complemented it with elements of greenery, natural wood and a soft cream and blush color palette.


As for advice, Tessa can’t stress enough the importance of hiring a wedding planner you trust. “I was able to enjoy every single second of my wedding and never knew if anything went wrong! I really got to experience the day like a guest and there were certain things that my planner even surprised me with!”

VENDORS: Photographer: Feather & Stone, featherandstone. co, Wedding Planning Design & Production: Natalie Good with A Good Affair, Wedding & Event Production,, Ceremony & Reception Site: Whispering Rose Ranch,, Videographer: Nineteen Studios,, Florist: Blue Magnolia,, Stationery: Paper Plane Paperie,, Gown Designer: Monique Lhuillier,, Beauty: TEAM Hair & Makeup,, Catering: 24 Carrots Catering,, Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, The Tent Merchant & Otis & Pearl,, thetentmerchant. com &, Lighting: SPARK Creative Events,, Bakery: MJB Cakes,, Photo Booth: ShutterBooth,, Ceremony Musicians: The Aurora Ensemble,, Guitarist: Kurt Hunter,, DJ: Patrick Butler Entertainment,, Transportation: Jump On The School Bus,, Security: Triumph Protection Group,

Congrats! “YES!”

Photography by Kurt Boomer,

You said

HAVE A QUESTION? WE’RE HERE TO HELP! Get instant feedback or answers to your questions for us via email or social media. Simply email or follow us for inspiration and helpful advice.

INSTAGRAM: @DestinationIDo PINTEREST: @DestinationIDo FACEBOOK: DestinationIDoMag TWITTER: @DestinationIDo SNAPCHAT: @DestinationIDo

DIDO_2010_BC_FINALE.indd 10

10/12/10 9:58 AM


JOSH + NATALIE Words by Melina Zúñiga Images by Dmitri & Sandra Wedding Planning by Belle Destination Weddings and Events




eeting your soul mate on behalf of mutual friends happens once in a blue moon; marrying them only happens once in a lifetime. Luckily for Josh and Natalie, their best friends got it right. With dreams of walking barefoot on the grass in a small, intimate wedding, the couple knew their destination wedding could only be in Maui, Hawaii. The couple got to share their love for Maui with 60 guests, complete with a quintessential island vibe, beautiful views and

endless glasses of popsicle-adorned Champagne. “Everyone was just so excited we were getting married, they didn’t care where it was,” the couple says. “We chose Maui because we are a laid-back couple and so is Maui.” A pre-wedding, private catamaran cruise with live music and an open bar for the lovebirds and their guests was only one

take off LET'S



of the activities the couple planned during their wedding weekend. “I fondly remember picking everyone up from the beach and seeing their faces as they jumped and cheered as we approached was truly priceless,” says Natalie. “Everyone really appreciated that we didn’t overwhelm them with activities and they were given the freedom to do what they wanted.”


Keeping the ceremony officiating sweet and simple, followed by a beautifully arranged dinner and reception, the couple’s wedding day was an all-around celebration. Describing the reception as a dance party, the event was a breeze thanks to their wedding planner, Jessie. After using Pinterest and Instagram as inspiration for the flower arch, the uniquely designed table settings and the flower arrangements, the bride said watching all her visions come together was one of her favorite wedding moments. We asked the bride to share some advice for other couples planning their own destination weddings. “I would recom-


mend doing a rehearsal dinner with all of your guests,” Natalie says. “[Ours] was so much fun, because it gave us more time to spend with everyone and it’s great practice for the wedding day, too!” VENDORS: Photographer: Dmitri & Sandra,, Wedding Planner and Designer: Belle Destination Weddings and Events,, Ceremony/Reception Site: Sugarman Estate, Videography: Sunlit Films,, Florist: Mandy Grace Designs,, Invitations: Erica Keuter Designs,, Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy,, Tableware Rentals: SET Maui,, Cakes: Cake Fanatics,, Bar: Garnish Events Cocktail Catering,, Other Rentals: Hawaiian Style Event Rentals,, Gown Designer: Fame and Partners,, Hair & Makeup: MeiLi Autumn Beauty,, Shoes: Chinese Laundry and Steve Madden, &, Groom’s Clothing: Men’s Wearhouse,, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Show Me Your Mumu and Revolve Clothing, &, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Volcom and Matix, &, Ceremony Entertainment: Barefoot Minded,, DJ: Maui DJ Services,, Catamaran Cruise: Sail Trilogy,, Childcare: Island Angel Care,




h a u Issaq WASHINGTON


Words by Melina Zúñiga Images by Crozier Photography



birthday weekend, sassy flirting and perfect timing is all Alexandria and Luís needed to make their destination wedding dreams come true. When they first met on Alexandria’s birthday a year prior to their wedding, Alexandria was in town for a friend’s wedding and Luís had just gotten back from being deployed in Iraq. Both had no clue in a year’s time they would be saying their “I do’s.” With a deep love for nature and the Pacific Northwest, TreeHouse Point proved to be the intimate fairy tale setting they both wanted. Lodges that had a treehouse feel, grassy meadows and tall, moss-adorned trees were enjoyed by the couple and their 26 guests.


“We didn’t want a long engagement and needed a venue where we could get everything planned and ready within 90 days,” the couple says. “A destination wedding was perfect for us.” Despite being nervous about having to plan a destination wedding from afar, everything turned out to be beyond what the couple could have imagined – thanks to the bride’s mother who doubled as a wedding planner. Losing some traditional wedding elements and incorporating a combination of religious and spiritual components added to the celebration. A pair of birds bought by the groom while the couple were dating long distance were set on top of the cake to represent their union. A hand washing ceremony, which symbolized forgiveness and opening the door to a loving and compassionate marriage, was also incorporated into their ceremony.




With a personalized ceremony followed by a cocktail hour and dinner, the couple enjoyed the relaxed feel of their special day. A long table that seated the entire wedding party and wood rounds handcrafted by the bride enabled the couple to sit and enjoy dinner and their guests’ company without having to rush off. Happy with the laid-back feel of their event, the bride offers some advice to any couple looking to plan their own wedding away. “There are so many traditions and customs that it can be overwhelming, but choose the ones that are important to you and toss the rest,” Alexandria says. “If a tradition doesn’t work for you – change it!”


VENDORS: Photographer: Crozier Photography, crozierphotography. com, Ceremony/Reception Site: TreeHouse Point, treehousepoint. com, Florist: Down to Earth Flowers,, Stationery: Invitations from Wedding Paper Divas & Custom Stamps from Zazzle, &, Catering: Green Apple Events and Catering,, Gown Designer: David Tutera,, Groom’s Clothing Designer: United States Army Service Uniform, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: United States Army Service Uniform, Officiant: Kent Buttars from A Heavenly Ceremony,


The Confetti Foundation is a non profit organization that provides birthday parties to hospitalized children nationwide

d n a s Thosulands I NEW YORK


Words by Kinsley Brown Images by Erika Parker Photography Day-of Coordination by Soirée! NNY



modern intrusions away, so it has a timeless serenity.” The destination also holds sentimental value, as Jonathan’s family has vacationed there since the early 1900s when the groom’s great-grandfather first purchased an island home. With the bride planning the wedding herself, she underwent the task with precise focus. “I wanted to have a unique vision for the weekend that honored and celebrated our loved ones and made them feel like treasured guests. Aesthetically,


hannon and Jonathan first connected over coffee as “skeptical online daters,” but it turns-out that their being a 99% match was 100% true! Once engaged, there was only one place the Philadelphia couple considered to host their wedding. “The Thousand Islands is a stunningly romantic and atmospheric place for a wedding – with majestic sunsets, a wonderland of islands to explore, vintage wooden boats and otherworldly beauty everywhere you look,” says the bride. “Its relative seclusion keeps many


I wanted the natural beauty of the island to be the central idea that everything else complemented.” This concept came to fruition come W-day in the form of wooden chairs, stone place markers and terracotta floral urns. What makes Shannon and Jonathan’s wedding particularly spectacular is the way it was crafted by the bride and the couple’s many family and friends. “The amazing thing was how much [our guests] gifted us with their unique talents and contributions during the weekend… nothing warmed my heart more than to see my favorite people loving us by adding to our creative vision. Guys climbed trees and hung twinkling lights for our sunset candlelit dinner, my bridesmaids made the most unique floral crowns that suited their personalities and style, endless boat driving by our uncles, and many hands laboring in the kitchen all weekend. We will never forget all the thoughtful details that came together because of the kindness of our friends and family.” The bride maintained her sentimental approach when it came to her bouquet. She worked over the summer to grow Dinnerplate Dahlias that were added to handpicked perennial blooms planted on the island decades ago by the groom’s grandmother. For the ceremony, the two exchanged vows in front of 140 guests at sunset in a meadow memorializing Jonathan’s grandfather.


After such an amazing day, emotions reached their peak at the couple’s reception. “Entering the grove filled with candles and twinkling lights for our sunset dinner was such a special moment. The scene was so gorgeous and, as bride and planner, I was so happy to see my vision come to life.” VENDORS: Photographer: Erika Parker Photography,, Day-of Coordinator: Soirée! NNY,, Ceremony/Reception Site: Private Residence on Owatonna Island, NY,, Florist: Bouquets & Floral Crowns by Bride & Boutonnieres by Kristyna Hulland, Stationery Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Clare Roos, Gown Designer: “Briar Rose” gown by Willowby & from BHDLN, watters. com/willowby &, Bride’s Reception Look: “Elsa” Tulle Skirt by Theia & from BHLDN and White Top from Forever21,, &, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Angelo Rossi Tuxedo, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Blush Gowns & Earrings from Rent the Runway,, Officiant: Pastor Sherwin Kwon






n o t s e l Char KRISTEN + JAMES

Words by Lindsey McIntosh Images by Dana Cubbage Weddings Wedding Planning by Margaret McKenzie Weddings


fter finishing grad school, Kristen moved to Houston, Texas. She was unfamiliar with the city and hardly knew anyone. Luckily, through mutual friends, she met James who was more than happy to show her around his hometown. From that moment on, their love story began. When it came to planning their wedding away, they knew Charleston, South Carolina would give them the sweet, Southern charm they were looking for. “Kristen is originally from South Carolina and had always loved Charleston,” says the groom. They visited the city together and instantly fell in love with the idea of having their wedding there. Thankfully, the couple’s guests were also excited to travel. Most of them used the wedding as an excuse to vacation on the East Coast. The groom says, “The Texas side was excited to see and visit Charleston because some of them had never been.” One hundred and fifty guests witnessed the precious moment when the couple vowed to spend the rest of their lives together.


Come W-day, the ceremony took place on the lawn of the Old Wide Awake Plantation. There, the couple wanted to focus on their faith and love for one another. “Kristen’s father built a cross and our florists hung beautiful flowers that stood behind the pastor,” says James. After kissing for the first time as Mr. and Mrs., the band went into highgear to get the party started. When the


night came to an end, the newlyweds made their exit with waves and kisses as their guests held sparklers to light up their path. Kristen says, “It all went by too fast!”


The couple’s planning experience had its expected bumps in the road, but no major problems arose. Magazines and personal experience from attending other weddings made it easier for the bride to envision her dream wedding. “We were [also] fortunate that Kristen’s parents and maid of honor live in South Carolina and were located not far from the venue,” explains the groom. Kristen and James loved every minute of their sweet Southern wedding. “The kiss at the end of the ceremony was the FALL & WINTER 2017


best. There was a pond located behind the ceremony location…right as we kissed for the first time the fountain came on behind us,” says the couple.


VENDORS: Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings,, Wedding Planner: Margaret McKenzie Weddings, Ceremony/Reception: Old Wide Awake Plantation,, Florist: OK Florist,, Stationery: Vera Wang,, Gown: Essense of Australia,, Groom’s Clothing: Kenneth Cole,, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses,, Groomsmen’s Suits: Kenneth Cole Suits,, Caterer: SERVE Charleston Catering,, Rentals: Snyder Events,, Bar Service: Mix Charleston,, Lighting: East Bay Event Lighting,, Band: Bobby & The Aristocats from East Coast Entertainment,, Transportation: Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle,, Hair & Makeup: Lashes & Lace,, Cake: Sablee Desserts,, Lighting: Innovative Event Services, iesproductions. com & East Bay Event Lighting,, Music: Chris Crosby,, Music Rentals: Bunn DJ Company,


“Wish Upon a Wedding gave us more than an amazing wedding. They gave us a day filled with memories and happiness. They gave us a day that is perfect and a day that is ours... forever ours.” Ana and Mark, Wish Recipient

A MOMENT, FOREVER YOURS. Wish Upon a Wedding is a nonprofit organization granting weddings and vow renewals for couples facing serious illness or a life-altering

circumstance. By bringing together leading event industry professionals, we provide couples the chance to celebrate their love.

Help wonderful couples enjoy the celebration they deserve. Learn more at

© 2015 Wish Upon A Wedding

Follow Wish Upon A Wedding:

e d i s Sea FLORIDA



Words by Lindsey McIntosh Images by VUE Photography Wedding Planning by It’s a Shore Thing



arol Ann and Alex first locked eyes in elementary school, unaware they were each other’s soul mate. As friendship slowly turned into romance, the two began dating their senior year of high school. From then on, their relationship only grew stronger and the two knew spending the rest of their lives together was a sure thing. When it came to planning their destination wedding, the couple knew they wanted to wed in Seaside, Florida. “There wasn’t a place in Atlanta that felt special to me,” says the bride. Growing up, Carol Ann and her family visited Seaside annually for family vacations. It was also the location where her two cousins and sister held their wedding ceremonies, so Seaside was always very special to her.

The couple’s friends and family were very excited to travel to Florida for Carol Ann and Alex’s destination wedding. They were able to share their special day with 150 guests in total. With help from the bride’s mother and a wedding planner, the couple had a picture-perfect ceremony and reception. The Seaside Interfaith Chapel was covered in elegant floral arrangements, creating the perfect ambiance for the bride to float gracefully down the aisle to her future husband. “A bagpiper led me in and led us out and there were petals thrown as we exited the chapel,” says the bride. The reception on Alys Beach had an amazing live band that got everyone up and out of their seats to dance. The couple also had a retro photo booth in an Airstream trailer that added character to the location.






“It was surreal, nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time,” says the bride. Besides dancing with everyone at the reception, seeing Alex’s face as she walked down the aisle was Carol Ann’s favorite part of the day. We asked the bride to share advice for future couples planning a destination wedding. “Take every moment in. I recommend getting a videographer and an amazing photographer so you can relive those precious moments.”

VENDORS: Photographer: Vue Photography, vuephotographyonline. com, Wedding Planner: It’s a Shore Thing,, Ceremony: Seaside Interfaith Chapel,, Reception: Kelly Green in Alys Beach,, Videographer: Sixpence Productions,, Florist: Florals by the Sea,, Stationery: Simply Put Paper & Gift,, Calligraphy Artist: Bella Figura,, Gown Designer: Monique Lhuillier,, Bride’s Shoes: Alexandre Birman,, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Suit Supply,, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Joanna August,, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: The Black Tux,, Caterer: Townsend Catering,, Cake: Confections on the Coast,, Band: Papa Sol Band,, Hair: Johnathan Doria, johnathandoriahair, Makeup: The Perfect Makeup, The-Perfect-Makeup-117355888294943/, Photo Booth: Epic Photo Co.,

Joy is contagious! Help us share it. The Birthday Party Project hosts monthly birthday parties at homeless shelters and transitional living facilities, spreading JOY! volunteer • donate • share your birthday follow us! @bdayenthusiast #joychangeslives

y a w Gal IRELAND


Words by Kinsley Brown Images by Iris and Light Wedding Planning by Aislinn Events


s a professional photographer, Kristen has had the opportunity to shoot weddings all over the world. But, when it came time to design her own day, she initially envisioned hometown nuptials. “Andrew loved the simplicity and relaxed vibe of the destination weddings he had accompanied me on and was the one who actually suggested [the idea].” Once the two decided to wed away from home, there was no question about the destination. “We went on our first big trip together to Ireland,” says the bride. “We fell madly in love with its people, landscapes, castles and warm and fuzzy feel. It was the only option for us!” The couple’s guests were in love with the idea. “I thought they would think we were crazy, but surprisingly they were all for it from the very start!” says the bride. “They all continue to tell us how it was a life changing experience for them.”



Come W-day, not even potential rain and an initial backup plan could dampen the high school sweethearts’ spirits. “We were just about to get started and move forward with the indoor ceremony, when someone noticed that the rain had stopped…and I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ We went ahead with a standing ceremony [in a pretty little corner of the castle courtyard]. Although it was not the original plan, I loved the intimacy of our loved ones standing around us!” reminisces Kristen.


Cloghan Castle’s Banquet Hall is what drew the couple to the castle and they made the most of the unique setting. “I loved the medieval feel of the stone interiors,” says Kristen. “I wanted the room fully lit by ambient light sources for a romantic vibe, so we filled the place with string lights and tons of candles. We honestly did not expect a huge party atmosphere with only 30-ish people, but my hubby had the idea of hiring an Irish pub-style band and once they got started, things went wild!”


Kristen has some wise words of advice for other couples considering a destination wedding. “Do what you can leading up to the [wedding]…but the minute you board that plane, let it all go. That is the beauty of a destination wedding. You get to be on vacation. Don’t ruin a moment of your trip fretting over minute details that are out of your hands.”



VENDORS: Photography: Iris and Light,, Wedding Planning: Aislinn Events,, Wedding Venue: Cloghan Castle,, Videographer: Nate Puhr (photo + cinema),, Florist: Fleur Weddings,, Stationery: Social Savvy,, Gown Designer: Custom made by Dikici Bridal,, Bride’s Shoes: Bella Belle,, Bride’s Crown: Be Something New,, Veil: Love Sparkle Pretty,, Vintage Robe & Nightgown: Chariot Marie,, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse,, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Lulus,, Hair: Bliss Bridal Hair Styling, blissbridalhairstyling, Makeup: C Beauty with Fiona,, Flower Girl Dress: RenzRags,, Vow Book: Wedding Story Writer,, Vintage Rentals: Historic Interiors,, Napkins & Chargers: FrogPrince Wedding and Events,, Gold Cutlery: Gold Cutlery for Hire,, Caterer: BBQ Joe’s,, Cake: Carol’s Cakes Galway,



“Lately with this state I’m in I can’t help myself but spin. I wish you’d come over, send me spinning closer to you.” — ADELE, “CRAZY FOR YOU”


Photo courtesy of: Dmitri & Sandra


With the help of your very own Certified Destination Wedding Specialist, explore over 2,000 hotels and resorts in 42 countries to make your dream wedding a reality! Trust the experts who have created amazing destination celebrations for over a decade.

Photography by: Shannon Skloss

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.