Fall 2019

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FALL 2019

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Switzerland, Italy, Thailand & more




Fashion, Floral & Fantasy Unite DISPLAY UNTIL NOVEMBER 5, 2019

30 g rge us DESTINATIONS to Tie the Knot


IN OUR KINGDOM, TOGETHER FOREVER BEGINS YOUR WAY. At the center of every kingdom, stands a palace. One where every bride’s wish is granted. And where the world revolves only around you. You and your entire wedding party will be eligible to receive up to US $1,500 in Resort Credit to use toward the spa, tours, romantic dinners and so much more. Let us help you plan your perfect day. Live the Palace Life. 1.877.725.4933 Weddings.PalaceResorts.com

Customize Your Wedding Unlimited ways to express your love

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

Find your

INSPIRATION & Create the Wedding of Your Dreams

Stunning wedding inspirations ignite your imagination to customize your own dream wedding. You can mix and match our tasteful décor options to reflect your personal style. Enhance your chairs with decorative slip covers and adornments. Create a dazzling table by choosing from a vast array of placemats, chargers, votives and even from glittering candelabras to magnificent centerpieces. Framed by sea on a pure white-sand beach or nestled in lush gardens, we’ve styled the ideas, colors, flowers and finishing touches to guide you through the planning journey and bring your vision to life. Or you can choose a Free* Tropical Wedding at Sandals, the most romantic resorts on earth. Our planning team will help you every step of the way. Say “I do” to Sandals and we'll make your dream wedding a wonderful reality.

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




Sandals Wedding Inspiration COASTAL LIVING




SANDALS.COM/WEDDINGS 1-877-SANDALS or call your Travel Advisor @ sandalsresortsweddings MORE QUALITY INCLUSIONS THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS IN THE WORLD JAMAICA • ANTIGUA • SAINT LUCIA • BAHAMAS • GRENADA • BARBADOS *Visit www.sandals.com/disclaimers/destinationidofallwinter2019 for important terms and conditions.

Sandals Wedding Inspiration SIGNATURE STATEMENT

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 | windjammer-landing.com

Love& Luxury All-Inclusive

on The Dominican Republic’s Caribbean Coast

Big Day Preview





Contact Our Wedding Center | 888.659.8767 | RESORTSBYHILTON.COM All prices are USD. Applies to new bookings only. Offers valid through December 15, 2019. Big Day Preview (BDP) applies to US and Canada adult residents only. Credit is valid for minimum $5,000 wedding program. Credit applicable to BDP host hotel only, limit one BDP credit per wedding, not available within 6 months of wedding date, based on ROH room category. Free weddings require minimum room category of Hilton La Romana - Premium Suite Ocean Front, Hilton Playa del Carmen - Oceanfront and Hilton Rose Hall - Oceanfront. Free weddings are only available Mon–Wed between 9am and 1pm and are only offered during initial booking at least 6 months prior to wedding, not available for previously reserved and/or confirmed weddings. With a Lavish & Opulent package, the couple receives 1 complimentary night when celebrating their one-year anniversary with a minimum 4-night paid stay in the hotel in which they were married. Pick Your Perks applies to Lavish & Opulent or higher wedding packages. Additional terms and conditions/restrictions apply, check with your wedding coordinator for full details. The following promotions are combinable, Leisure Groups Program, Big Day Preview credit, Pick Your Perks. They are not combinable with any other promotion. Holidays or other blackout dates may apply. Offers may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Not responsible for errors or omissions. ©2019 Playa Hotels & Resorts is the owner and exclusive operator of Hilton La Romana, Hilton Playa del Carmen and Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa. All rights reserved. PLA05130519



24 VILLA VOWS Beloved by the rich and famous, renting a luxury villa for your destination wedding has valuable benefits in abundance. Discover our picks in Punta Mita, Mexico (pg. 25) and Guanacaste, Costa Rica (pg. 26). 28 MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE – Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland Our senior editor made her very own “Marry Here, Honeymoon There” dreams come true with nuptials in Scotland (pg. 28) and a road tripping honeymoon in Ireland and Northern Ireland (pg. 30). 33 SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION – Los Cabos, Mexico It’s no secret we “heart” Mexico and few places are thriving like Los Cabos. Our editor-in-chief shares her take on the latest and greatest in this classic spot south of the border.

88 CARIBBEAN If you’re considering the Caribbean for its welcoming culture, tempting cuisine and turquoise waters, then Turks and Caicos should top your list of contenders. HONEYMOON HIDEAWAYS 90 Tuscany – Discover a lesser known region of this classic Italian destination. 92 Switzerland – This mountain-covered country has so much more to offer than just skiing. 94 Thailand – Unearth a trio of Thai delights, from bustling Bangkok and coastal Koh Samui to charming Chiang Rai.


Photo courtesy of: Fern Photography

“I DO” AS THE LOCALS DO 42 Arizona – Scottsdale is in DID’s backyard, so we’re sharing our insider tips on this portion of the Valley of the Sun – including two luxury resort recommendations. 44 Maryland – The Eastern Shore of Maryland has seaside charm in spades, so discover our local’s insight on where to host your wedding away. 46 Texas – Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and for good reason! Our local contributor helps you navigate the latest and greatest.

HISTORICAL COASTAL GETAWAYS 81 Madeira, Portugal – Located between the coasts of Portugal and Africa, this archipelago is steeped in romance. 82 Central Coast, California – This wine-drenched region of California is as varied as it is beautiful. 84 Panama – Currently flying under-the-radar, this Central American country has loads to offer. 86 Catalina Island, California – Uncover this love of California’s historic Hollywood elite.



Live a dream… The Caribbean beach wedding ceremony you‘ve always dreamed of Wedding specialists always happy to help Five wedding packages to choose from: Emerald, Romance Extravaganza, Unforgettable, Sunshine and Free* Three wedding themes: Blue Marine, Vintage and Glamour

For more information visit www.bahia-principe.com or email groups1@bahia-principe.com

Dominican Republic · Mexico · Jamaica *Additional fees apply for services of a judge or minister. Subject to terms and conditions.



FA LL / WI N T E R 201 9


FASHION FORWARD 48 White Out – The most classic of wedding hues takes center stage in this Southern California photo shoot. Enhanced by iridescent accents and geode – white has never looked so fresh. 72 A Riot of Color – What do you get when you blend South Asian and Western wedding trends? This chic, multicultural photo shoot in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

16 WEDDED WISDOM Get the inside scoop and helpful insights on the wedding world. 18 ON THE HORIZON Stay up-to-speed on recent hotel happenings and wedding and travel trends. 20 INSIDER TRAVELING No matter the destination, here are some helpful travel tips and must-know info. 38 ASK THE EXPERT – In Full Bloom: Insight from a Destination Floral Designer Floral designer Steven Boyle shares his professional advice about trends, artistic influences and getting the most out of your event florals.

66 THE HONEYMOONIST – Vintage Honeymoon Spots Reimagined Our resident honeymoon expert is back and sharing classic honeymoon destinations that are experiencing a resurgence – Palm Springs, Honolulu and Niagara Falls. Discover what’s new in these old-school classics. 98 GUEST BOOK – Destination Bachelorette: What’s Your Style? Wedding industry pro and DID contributor Harmony Walton recently planned her own destination bachelorette, which caused her to ask herself, “What’s my bachelorette party style?” Now, she’s sharing her insights. 100 ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE – Navigating RSVPs, Attire, Menus & More We explore some of the mo­st trendy, but tricky questions. Discover the solution to etiquette issues that can arise no matter the destination.


For more inspiration and helpful tips, follow us – @Destinationido!



Photo courtesy of: Jeremy Chou Photography

102 REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS This issue’s real-life weddings section features a sentimental spin – our senior editor (pg. 106) and a former intern (pg. 114) are both featured! You’ll discover a classically romantic event in Santa Ynez, California, castle nuptials in Scotland, a travel-tinged wedding in Los Angeles, California, a family affair in Lake Como, Italy, deep-hued details in Mammoth, California, an ombré confection in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a floral fairy tale in Santa Barbara, California.

PROMISE Make every moment Grand

3850 Wailea Alanui, Wailea, HI 96753 800.888.6100 • WWW.GRANDWAILEA.COM


pg. 90

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SENIOR EDITOR Courtney Kellar

OWNER / CEO Carolyn Steere



DESIGNER Jaclyn Threadgill



Switzerland, Italy, Thailand & more

pg. 33 pg. 38




Fashion, Floral & Fantasy Unite



to Tie the Knot

Throughout this issue


Fall 2019 Cover: The talented folks at Crosby + Jon produced and created “A Riot of Color” photo shoot (pg. 72), along with a talented vendor team. It took place at Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico and was inspired by the resort’s unique architecture contrasted by its wild, jungle setting. Our bride is captivating in a dustyrose gown by Carol Hannah Bridal and her hair and makeup are by Zoë Elizabeth. Her chunni headpiece, earrings and tiara are all courtesy of Untamed Petals. The bride’s Susie Saltzman ring is complemented by her elaborate mehndi by Loto Mehndi. Image captured by Jeremy Chou Photography and special thanks to Grand Velas Project Director Ary Iturralde.

SOUTHEAST ADVERTISING MANAGER Dan Tomkiewicz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Victoria Abbott Riccardi Kinsley Brown Elaine Hilbelink Holly V. Kapherr Shana Kinnerup Melissa Klurman Judy Koutsky

Stacey Marcus Susan Moynihan John Roark Samantha Ross Anthony Stein Kathy Till Harmony Walton




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



Throughout this issue

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

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

in Hawaii, Thailand, Italy & more

pg. 102


from Santa Barbara to Scotland


pg. 98

From Wellness Retreats to Wine Country




DESTINATIONS for Your Wedding Away

Throughout this issue

Winter 2020 Cover: “Real-Life Weddings” couple Jessica and Chase (pg. 122) jump for joy atop a peak at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. The bride is playful and chic in a gown by Alyssa Kristin and Chloé boots. Her floral crown is courtesy of Abigail Hubley, makeup by Jordan Exber and hair by James Fiala. Chase is not to be outdone in a suit from Isaia Beverly Hills and shoes from Moreschi. Image captured by Christina McNeill.



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

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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. fla-keys.com/keylargo 1.800.822.1088




love the phrase, “you do you,” in terms of living out your own individuality…especially when it comes to weddings.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of pleasing others and making sure their needs are met, but truth-be-told, this really is YOUR day. Now, I’m not green-lighting the return of Bride/Groomzilla, but at the heart of the event, your personalities and your values should be front and center.

My cake was a good example of how my husband and I kept true to our personalities, yet made accommodations for the people most important to us. We wanted our event to celebrate our families as well as our union and, therefore, we struck a balance. Speaking of striking balance, our Senior Editor, Courtney Kellar, did just that in her recent destination wedding. It’s not every day one of your own ties the knot. So, it is an incredible honor to have her nuptials included in our Real-Life Weddings section (page 106)! With her position of nine years at the magazine and having looked at thousands of other real destination weddings through the years, I was so excited to see what kind of event she would plan. Would she go all out or do a super understated “Carrie Bradshaw” justice of the peace kind of ceremony? I’m glad to say she stayed true to herself and went for exactly what represented her and her husband – a beautiful balance of the two. To help “you do you,” we have myriad articles in this issue where we discuss making the most of your floral design (pg. 38), tackling tough etiquette conundrums (pg. 100), colorful event ideas (pg. 72) and all-white wedding inspiration (pg. 48).


Sometimes a bit of unsolicited advice is okay, as it may come from a deeper place. For example, when my husband and I were planning our destination wedding in 2005, we really didn’t care to have a cake. Not because we didn’t want to cut one, but because we really didn’t like cake (I’ve since seen the error of my ways people, don’t lose your minds!). The thought of spending money on something we really didn’t care to have seemed silly. But my mom insisted. When I inquired, she explained her wedding reception photos were lost and, as a result, she never got to have that iconic cake-cutting photo and she didn’t want me to miss out on the same thing. Feeling nostalgic on her behalf, but holding true to my “we don’t like cake” mentality, we met her in the middle – let’s have wedding cheesecake! She was thrilled. To take things a step further, on our wedding day I surprised her and my dad with a cake of their own, complete with their smuggled in original wedding cake topper from 1973 (My mom doesn’t throw anything sentimental away!). Our photographer was able to get not only us cutting our “cheesecake,” but also my parents getting a cake cutting do-over 32 years later (see above).

Yours Truly, Jennifer Stein


Photos courtesy of (left to right): Melissa Jill & Dennis Kwan Headshots


Each article is jam-packed with helpful information from vetted wedding professionals to help you get down the aisle with ease and individuality.



Bliss in Bloom collection from Weddings by Palladium


ith fabulous locations across the most beautiful beaches in Mexico (Costa Mujeres, Riviera Maya, and Riviera Nayarit), the Dominican Republic (Punta

Cana and Cap Cana), and Jamaica (Lucea), Weddings by Palladium is beloved by brides, grooms and guests for its five-star luxury experiences and unmatched amenities at Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts and TRS Hotels.

Elegant and comfortable, all-inclusive Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts offer a wide range of activities and varied dining options for you and your wedding guests. TRS Hotels bring a luxurious, sophisticated, and modern all-inclusive experience for adults only, with personalized service, exquisite à la carte dining, and award-winning entertainment for the honeymoon of your dreams. At Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts and TRS Hotels, Weddings by Palladium offers a variety of unique wedding collections designed by celebrity wedding planner and tastemaker Karen Bussen. Whether it’s a barefoot-in-the-sand elopement or a glamorous reception and post-party on the beach, each collection is fabulously flexible and allows for endless customized details. Your dedicated wedding coordinator will work with you so you can focus on enjoying your sweet journey. For more information, contact your travel professional, call 1-888-237-1226, or visit PALLADIUMWEDDINGS.COM.


WISDOM WISE BRIDE TIPS “When planning a destination wedding you have to be okay with the fact that not everyone will be able to attend. Life happens and, whether it’s new babies, financial constraints, lack of work vacation days, etc., you have to plan to be okay with it.” – Shireen, Maui, Hawaii destination wedding bride (shown)

“Let people do things for you. You can make reasonable requests to have things like you envisioned – just be respectful. If you need something done, your team is there to do it and will be happy to do so.” – Kaitlyn, Marco Island, Florida destination wedding bride

“If the bride wears a large gown, spend the money to ship it home if you are doing lots of traveling after your ceremony! My dress was heavy and went to four islands, on four flights and three ferries. I’m surprised it didn’t end up in the Aegean Sea.” – Lacey, Santorini, Greece destination wedding bride



DESTINATION WEDDING TIPS JoAnn Gregoli, of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli, is not only a Master Wedding Planner with the Association of Bridal Consultants, but an expert on destination weddings. Below, she’s sharing insider “wedded wisdom” she’s learned through years of experience planning weddings away.

Liquor Packages: Site Fees:

Know what the site fees are for each and every area you’re considering using for your event.

Noise Restrictions:

Always ask your venue about noise restrictions – you may envision the after party going until 2 a.m., however the property may have a 10 p.m. cut-off. A way around this at a smaller, boutique property would be to consider a buyout.

Never Assume:

Never assume something is going to be included with your site fee. Check if linens, chairs, tables, cutlery, etc. are included in the price.


Hire Experts:


Consider hiring a planner who is a travel specialist in destination weddings. Not everyone is a destination/travel specialist and you would hate to be his-or-her test couple. For more of JoAnn’s helpful destination wedding planning and travel tips, visit destinationido.com/ expert-destination-wedding-tips. destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of (left to right): Tamiz Photography & Dennis Kwan Headshots

You might consider “consumption” as an option for an open bar – if you have a mixed crowd, consumption may work out to cost considerably less per person than a full-price open bar.


• • • • •

Adults-only Luxe all-inclusive Celebrated chefs Indulgent spa Personal butler service


• Breathtaking settings • Complimentary packages • $1,500 Resort Credit for all • Beyond compare











Antioquia, Colombia This 18-room boutique hotel opened in the summer of 2019 and focuses on holistic travel and sustainability. Located on 27-acres in the Valle de San Nicolas, experience pre-Hispanic heritage hiking trails, exotic bird watching expeditions or the on-site spa. cannua.com


Charleston, South Carolina New to the Charleston hotel scene in 2019, the 179-room Hotel Bennett caters to cocktail-loving couples with a rooftop bar overlooking Marion Square and the chic, pink Camellias Champagne bar. hotelbennett.com

Oslo, Norway Located in a 1919, Neo-Baroque building, Amerikalinjen, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, opened in early 2019 with local-friendly public spaces and 122 guest rooms and suites. Cozy-up to your loved one in the converted center courtyard or enjoy Friday night jazz in the basement club. amerikalinjen.com

Sunny Isles Beach, Florida After a property-wide renovation, Solé Miami, a Noble House Resort, reopened in early 2019 with 249 guest rooms and suites. It’s worth the short drive north of Miami-proper for the private beach and state-of-the-art fitness facilities. solemiami.com


Mallorca, Spain Escape to this honeymoon-worthy haven with 25 rooms and suites on 100 acres in the Mallorcan countryside, which opened in May 2019. The island is awash with olive trees, lavender fields and grape vines – most of which can be seen from the Bohemian-style resort. fincaserenamallorca.com

Guanacaste, Costa Rica New to the thriving Peninsula Papagayo scene as of November 2018, this Planet Hollywood resort offers stellar nightly entertainment, bold interiors and “PH Experiences,” which are curated excursions exclusive to resort guests. planethollywoodhotels.com

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Cannúa, Francisco Nogueira, Finca Serena, Modus Photography, Sammy Todd Dyess & Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica



WELLNESS AMENITIES The wellness travel trend has led to an uptick in health-conscious hotels. Cure pre-wedding jitters or get in a honeymoon state-of-mind by considering these unique, in-room wellness amenities.


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Hotel Zetta, Velas Resorts, Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts, Sunrise Springs Spa Resort & The Tryall Club

Hotel Zetta, San Francisco, California Located in the SoMa district, Hotel Zetta has partnered with Well + Away to offer five wellness suites that boast Muse™ meditation headbands, Peloton bikes and organic linens. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/zetta


Grand Velas Los Cabos, Los Cabos, Mexico Book a two-floor Wellness Suite at the Grand Velas Los Cabos and you’ll enjoy a private yoga terrace, nutritional consultation, in-suite massage, healthy snack options and aromatherapy kit. grandvelas.com


Swissôtel Chicago, Chicago, Illinois The large Vitality Suite at Swissôtel Chicago caters to health-conscious guests with a Wellbeing Wall that includes personalized workouts, a unique pillow menu that includes Swiss Stone pine shaving and spelt options, and more. swissotel.com/hotels/chicago


Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, Santa Fe, New Mexico Part of the turn down amenity at Sunrise Springs includes a copy of the “Book of Mindfulness.” Guests are also gifted a journal to document their journey on-site and track their sleep habits. sunrisesprings.ojospa.com


The Tryall Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica Inspired by the movie, “Aqua Man,” The Tryall Club’s Aqua Bay villa boasts a private meditation garden, personal gym and spa. You can also book a private, beachfront yoga class via the villa’s private butler. tryallclub.com


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As a result of a heated discussion at the Destination I Do office, here are some of our team’s biggest pet peeves when it comes to traveling. Travelers beware – avoid these common mistakes and faux pas at all costs!


To recline or not to recline? Our general answer is “no” for flights under four hours. If you must recline, remember to be conscious of whether the person behind you is eating their in-flight meal, working on a laptop or are already struggling with legroom.


For U.S. travelers en route to Europe and beyond, London Heathrow (LHR) is a convenient and stress-free stopover. Don’t fuss over your luggage – Excess Baggage Company allows you to pre-book and pre-pay for luggage storage while you see the sights. (I used this service to store my wedding dress while on my honeymoon!) Board the London Underground’s Piccadilly Line and you’ll be in the heart of London in less than an hour. Here are our suggestions of what to do with as little as four hours on the ground.




One of the perks of major international terminals is the sheer abundance of high-end shopping. No time to shop ahead of your honeymoon? At LHR you can book a complimentary personal shopper up to 48-hours in advance of your arrival. They will consult with you ahead of time to learn your needs and budget, then meet you outside security for an expert-assisted, pre-planned shopping spree. boutique.heathrow.com


History nerds, unite! No matter your interests, London offers amazing learning opportunities. Discover worldclass museums and galleries (most of which are free) like the British Museum, Tate Modern and the National Portrait Gallery. Alternative options include oddities like a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour or The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour. Evening layover? Do dinner and a show in the iconic West End Theater District. visitlondon.com


I have a confession – I love open-air bus tours. If it’s your first time in a large city and you’re on a tight schedule, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is crazy convenient. The largest of its kind, Big Bus Tours, is based in London. With just 24 hours to explore London, consider this your mode of transport to get around the city – all while opting in (or out) of the live guide. There are four different routes, which stop at all the big hitters like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Not only will you save on cab fare, but some tickets include passes or discounted tickets into major attractions. Get to know the city while enjoying free, onboard Wi-Fi and make a list of what to see when you come back. Hop-on, hop-off tickets start at €35. bigbustours.com/en/london destinationido.com


Overhead bin space is more valuable than ever, so stick to the rule of keeping one bag under the seat in front of you. Also, avoid storing your carry-on in someone else’s bin space at the front of the plane. There’s nothing worse than sitting at the front of the plane, but being forced to stow your bag in the back. After landing, you’ll have to swim upstream or wait for everyone else to deplane.


Take the time to learn the security restrictions specific to the airports you’ll be traveling through. They can vary vastly and you’ll be glad of your pre-security prep.

5. THE ARMREST CUSTODY BATTLE: If you’re seated on an aisle

or at a window, it’s courtesy to give the middle seat passenger primary custody of the armrest. It’s also perfectly acceptable to prefer the armrest down – this keeps everyone in their own personal space.

6. AVOID CROWDING THE CAROUSAL: It’s common practice in

the U.S. to stand as close to the luggage carousal as humanly possible – short of climbing on and going for a spin. Just imagine if everyone stood a few feet back. Not only would you be able to see your luggage coming, but you would have the space to safely lift it off the carousal.

Photo courtesy of: London & Partners

Love Your Layover: LONDON

This may sound like a joke, but we’re serious as a heart attack! Buying stinky food or wearing lots of strong perfume are major no-gos before boarding a flight. Keep the sensitivities of your fellow travelers in mind.



Paradise Sample Your Wedding Before You Say “I Do” If you’ve thought about a scouting trip for your wedding, but couldn’t justify the cost, consider the “Preview Paradise” program at Le Blanc Spa Resort. Located in Los Cabos, Le Blanc Spa Resort is all-inclusive and adults-only. Indulge in the highest level of service, next-level pampering including butler service, BVLGARI bath amenities, luxurious guestrooms, in-room bar stocked with snacks and libations and don’t forget the exclusive Le Blanc bed and comfort menu.

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos isn’t just the perfect location for your wedding; it’s a luxurious escape you’ll want to return to again and again.

Le Blanc Spa Resort does destination weddings like no one else. With years of experience helping couples make sure their big day is planned to perfection, getting married at Le Blanc is as stressfree and seamless as if you were a guest at your own wedding.


• Complimentary two-night stay at Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos • Complimentary airport transfer • Room upgrade • Special welcome amenity • Site inspection of Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos including Bridal Suite at Blanc Spa • Mini bridal showroom • Lunch reservation at select restaurant • Wedding cake tasting • Dinner reservation at preferred restaurant with a complimentary bottle of upgraded wine If wedding is booked within 15 days of attending a Preview Paradise event with a signed contract and $250 non-refundable deposit, the couple will receive the following: 25-minute back massage for bride and groom at Blanc Spa to enjoy during their honeymoon.*


Luxe guest rooms Butler service on every floor Premium beverages BVLGARI bath amenities Attentive 24-hour room service • Wireless internet

• • • •

Access to hydrotherapy area Haute cuisine $1,500 Resort Credit* Personalized service (nearly one staff per guest) • In-room bar stocked with snacks and libations

• Exclusive Le Blanc bed & comfort menu • Dazzling entertainment • Non-motorized water sports • Unlimited phone calls • All taxes and gratuities

Wedding collections and honeymoon packages are available. More information can be found here: https://weddings.palaceresorts.com/en/offers/preview-paradise Availability varies. *Terms and conditions apply. Information is subject to change. More information is available upon request.

I do.


We do.



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

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





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



More to do.

Absolutely everything’s included for your honeymoon.

@ beachesresortsweddings

BEACHES.COM/WEDDINGS 1-877-BEACHES • or call your Travel Advisor *Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/destinationIdofallwin2019bch or call 1-877-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.


Luxury villa rentals are often the vacation setting of choice by the rich and famous. Beyond the lavish accommodations, they’re ultra-tempting for their privacy, customized service and ability to gather an entire group. All of these perks also happen to be well-suited for destination weddings! We consider it part of our duty here at Destination I Do to aid our readers in thinking outside the box for their wedding away. Therefore, we’re sharing two prime examples of villas that allow you to take over your own piece of paradise in Guanacaste, Costa Rica and Punta Mita, Mexico. destinationido.com

Photo courtesy of: Casa Koko







Design-loving couples will adore the architecturally stunning villa, which mixes natural, boho-chic color palettes and materials with wow-factor furnishings. Opt to settle into either one of the master retreats and spend time soaking in the lava rock bathtubs, each carved from a single giant stone. Every guest room features something special, from sexy open-air outdoor showers to loft bunk beds kids will swoon over.

From October through June, larger fetes of up to 250 guests can take a private catamaran from Puerto Vallarta to Las Caletas, a secluded beachfront complex that’s an entertainment and watersports mecca by day and full-service wedding venue by night. Choose from three beaches for your vows – Macahuita can host up to 250 guests, Las Caletas for up to 150, and


Catletitas for up to 80 revelers – and let the wedding planners, in-house florists, caterers, DJ and beauty experts from Adventure Weddings take the lead for the planning process. After tying the knot, stick around for the most luxurious, bespoke honeymoon ever. The weekly rental of Casa Koko includes a full waitstaff, housekeepers, massage therapists and kitchen staff — complete with a private chef. Before arrival, make meal requests and send a shopping list, and when you arrive, the kitchen will be stocked with your favorite foods. “Our main goal is to fulfill our guests’ every wish with first-class service,” says Maria Isabel Luna, special projects manager and marketing director for The Adventures Group, which owns and operates Casa Koko. “Whatever request our guests may have, we’ll go above and beyond to make it happen.”


Photos courtesy of: Casa Koko

ay “I do” where Ludacris and Chris Rock brought their wives for an ultraluxe, ultra-romantic seaside escape. Casa Koko is a nine-bedroom resort villa on the private Mexican peninsula of Punta Mita, just 45 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport. The villa comes complete with fitness center, spa and a stretch of sand for lazing under the Mexican sun, second-tonone stargazing or roasting s’mores at the firepit with family and friends.

Couples with 30 guests or fewer can exchange vows in front of a sprawling infinity pool under a giant palapa (which houses the main communal living space full of plush chaises and two giant dining tables) overlooking Banderas Bay and the Marietas Islands, where migrating humpback whales are spotted regularly from October through March. Then, sit down to a custom feast fit for foodies, featuring local shrimp, lobster, grilled vegetables and juicy steaks with chimichurri, paired with wine from nearby Baja California wineries like Casa Madero.





ave you ever wanted to celebrate like a celebrity – dance like Beyoncé, tie the knot like Kelly Rowland, vacation like a Kardashian? Villas and private estates around the world are favorites among stars and starlets, in part because of the privacy they offer (a honeymoon must) and for the communal comfort of vacationing with friends and family in a residential environment. A destination wedding brings people together for an extended celebration and doing so in a home that sleeps the majority of your guests means the party never stops.

While the property is perched above the bay, ideal for an intimate outdoor reception on the terrace, the beach club right below gives guests the best of both worlds. But who needs the club when you have access to the villa’s new speedboat


That’s where Villa Manzu on Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo comes in. Like many celebs before you, you can arrive by helicopter if you choose and be greeted by

welcoming staff that cater to your every wedding whim. From a chef who sources local ingredients to the mixologist who you’ll quickly call friend (and who makes a mean pisco sour), your surroundings will feel like the fantasy you’ve dreamed of. The estate is equipped with eight suites impeccably designed down to the last detail with high tech accessories and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors at every turn. The balcony-clad rooms are so inviting it’s hard to leave, but if you must, sunsets on the point where ceremonies are held shouldn’t be missed.


for fishing, whale shark chasing or a stop on the shore for a beach barbecue with lobster, hammocks and shore games in-between courses? The team at Villa Manzu curates the experience as you wish – from wedding day flowers to group activities in the kitchen or kids’ adventures learning about local wildlife. The on-property spa situated under a waterfall is even inclusive when you sleep here (and comes in handy after a long morning hike). From a wine room with bottles for the taking to billiards, pools and bars galore, there’s too much to partake in to make just a weekend of it. So snuggle into the theater for a wedding slideshow and celebrate with your closest friends for a week or more to do it all. You won’t be short of memories at this destination wedding haven.

Photos courtesy of: Villa Manzu





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

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Castle Country & Beyond

Dalhousie Castle Dalhousie Castle

PLAY The Royal Mile begins at Edinburgh Castle and runs the length of the city’s Old Town, which dates back to medieval times. Meander the narrow alleys and explore the myriad shops. If you’re including a traditional Scottish quaich (pronounced: quake) in your wedding ceremony, this is where you’ll want to buy it. Just off the Mile, you’ll discover Victoria Street, a double-decker delight that served as J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley in “Harry Potter.”




“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” These are the infamous words of the wilding character Ygritte from the popular fantasy series, “Game of Thrones.” In a romantic twist, Rose Leslie and Kit Harington, who play Ygritte and Jon Snow respectively, got married in Scotland in 2018. As it turns out, Jon Snow actually knows quite a lot and the actors’ real-life wedding is what led to my own epic Scottish elopement in the United Kingdom. My now-husband and I explored Scotland over the course of a week and exchanged sentimental vows along the way. Here, you’ll discover our actual itinerary and

a route I would heartily recommend to any couple considering a destination wedding in Scotland. To see our Real-Life Weddings feature, turn to pg. 106.


(pronounced: edin-burr-uh) In my opinion, Edinburgh shines like a beacon amongst the capitals of Europe. Volcanic and glacial activity gave the city its iconic hills and craggy center, so pack practical shoes, as Edinburgh is beautifully picturesque and pedestrian-friendly in size. Edinburgh Castle, a medieval fortress, sits atop Castle Rock at the city’s center and is where we began our own grand adventure.


STAY Begin your trip with a stay at Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle – Dalhousie Castle (pronounced: dal-howz-y), located 20 minutes outside the city center. Offering 35 rooms, we booked a Themed Four Poster in one of the castle’s turrets – complete with a circular center. The castle hotel overlooks misty parklands and includes an on-site spa. EAT For a romantic culinary start, dine at Dalhousie Castle’s Dungeon Restaurant. You’ll enjoy fine dining and white-glove service in the castle’s barrel-vaulted dungeon. For city-center eats, BrewDog is a must for any craft beer lover.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Marketing Edinburgh, Dalhousie Castle (2nd & 3rd) and VisitAberdeenshire



Photos courtesy of (left to right): Old Course Hotel, Marketing Edinburgh and Courtney Kellar


Eighty minutes northeast of Edinburgh, you’ll find the seaside town of St Andrews. PLAY This charming coastal city is most famous for St Andrews Links, a.k.a. “The Home of Golf” and the iconic Old Course, where the game was first played 600 years ago. Be sure to book a tee time at least a year in advance or enter into the ballot, which is drawn 48 hours in advance of play. Non-golf fans will enjoy strolling the charming stone streets and University of St Andrews, founded in the 15th century. STAY The 144-room Old Course Hotel is located just off the 17th fairway, so be sure to book one of 35 suites with floorto-ceiling windows and views of the iconic course and West Sands Beach. Also, the on-site Kohler Waters Spa is the first of its kind outside the U.S. EAT Toast to your impending nuptials with one of over 260 whiskys at the Old

Course Hotel’s Road Hole Restaurant. For a post-round pint, swing by St. Andrews Brewing Co., or better yet, sample one of their three amazing gins, paired with flavored tonics made in-house.


Head two hours up the coast from St Andrews to Aberdeenshire, a.k.a. “Castle Country.” PLAY Home to over 260 castles, we’re sharing a few fan favorites. Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since 1852 and is allegedly Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite. Cliffside Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress that has played host to the likes of Sir William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots and me and my husband, for a post-wedding sunrise photo shoot. EAT The seaside town of Stonehaven has charm to spare and boasts the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. In fact, The Bay Fish and Chips’ food truck hosted our wedding dinner!

Old Course Hotel

STAY & “I DO” After a pre-wedding scouting trip, I heartily decided on Drumtochty Castle (pronounced: drum-tock-tee) for our elopement! Available for exclusive hire, the neo-gothic castle can host weddings of up to 120 guests and accommodate 95 on the estate. It was the seasoned staff, historic interiors and surrounding 350 acres of woodland glen that sealedthe-deal for me. My husband and I dated for 12 years before finally saying, “I do,” so I had plenty of time to consider destinations. Scotland’s mind-bending history, kind people and easy affordability all exceeded my wildest expectations.

Discover the other amazing venues I toured (including Kit Harington's!) with my priceless wedding planner, Tartan Weddings, at destinationido.com/ scotland-wedding-venues.

Drumtochty Castle





Epic Irish Road Trip

Sliabh Liag Dunluce Castle

WORDS BY COURTNEY KELLAR After your dream Scottish destination wedding, do as I did and hop a quick, inexpensive flight from Edinburgh to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Rent a car and drive two hours west to begin your honeymoon bliss in Donegal on Ireland’s coast.




Unlike Scotland, I had visited Ireland a handful of times before our epic wedding and honeymoon adventure. Therefore, I can say with confidence that Donegal (dun-e-gaul) is a hidden treasure – with the iconic Irish coastline and countryside you’d expect and none of the crowds. STAY The five-star castle hotel Lough Eske (pronounced: lock esk) was our first honeymoon home. After a week hustling around Scotland, this lakeside getaway was just what we needed. Be destinationido.com

sure to book a Castle Suite for a fabulous four-poster or a Garden Suite for more privacy. EAT Donegal Town is just 10 minutes from Lough Eske and has quintessential small town, Irish charm. At The Olde Castle Bar and Restaurant, cozy-up in a corner for a Guinness and life-altering seafood chowder and brown bread. For a more formal option, Lough Eske’s Cedars Restaurant doesn’t disappoint. PLAY The Sliabh Liag (pronounced: slieve league) cliffs are an hour’s drive west and an absolute can’t-miss. They blow the Cliffs of Moher out-of-the-water, in my opinion. A coastal driving route leads to the sea cliffs and to what feels like the edge of the world. You might just be the only two within sight, as the crowds here are few and far between.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Courtney Kellar (1st & 4th), Ghorm Studio and Tourism Northern Ireland

Lough Eske



STAY Back in Belfast, book yourself into the Titanic Hotel Belfast in the heart of the city’s Titanic Quarter. If Lough Eske was a classy Irish aunt, Titanic Hotel Belfast is its hipster cousin. First opened in September 2017, the hotel is located in the former Harland & Wolff Headquarters and Drawing Offices (the shipbuilders behind the infamous Titanic). The historic building dates back to the 1880s and priceless artifacts are peppered throughout – including the office where the Titanic’s first distress signal was received back on that fateful night in 1912. The ship’s original slip can be seen from most rooms and eerie blue lights outline the ship’s actual dimensions.

PLAY Hugging the Atlantic, the Coastal Causeway Route can be done in a day, if you’re willing to be particular with your pit stops. Must-sees include the 14th century ruins of Dunluce Castle, Old Bushmill’s Distillery dating back to 1608, and the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway. Northern Ireland was also the primary filming location for HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” so be sure to research those sights ahead of time, if interested. Located directly next to the Titanic Hotel Belfast is the Titanic Belfast Museum. Designed to resemble an edgy iceberg, the museum is dedicated to Belfast’s maritime heritage and, of course, the building of the ill-fated ship.

Titanic Hotel Belfast

EAT Belfast is a friendly city on the edge of entering the mainstream travel scene. Nowhere is this more apparent than the city’s Cathedral Quarter. Home to a bustling bar and culinary scene, this is the place to go for live music and the perfect pint of Guinness. Located in two of Belfast’s oldest buildings, The Dirty Onion boasts a large beer garden and cozy peat fire, and Kelly’s Cellars is a two-story pub dating back to 1720 (watch your head!). After a Jon Snow-inspired Scottish destination wedding, our trip came full-circle in Northern Ireland. We unknowingly booked our Belfast honeymoon hotel across the street from “Game of Thrones’” filming studio. Whether inspired by a fantasy series or not, Ireland and Northern Ireland provide a picture-perfect backdrop for your own epic love story.

Titanic Hotel Belfast


Photos courtesy of (left to right): Tourism Northern Ireland and Peter Carvill

After our Donegal decampment, we headed back to Belfast via Northern Ireland’s iconic Coastal Causeway Route.




or d n spble y he t




Photo courtesy of: Montage Los Cabos

Los Cabos has become synonymous with luxury. Many affluent golfers and vacationers alike flock to the sands and the sand traps of this portion of Mexico for good reason. This resort area is located on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula and is filled with incredible dining, accommodations and activities – think whale watching from a private yacht or dining al fresco at a cliffside restaurant as fireworks explode in the distance.

Therefore, it’s no surprise engaged couples are also putting this destination high on their list of places to consider when tying the knot. During a recent visit to the area, I had the distinct pleasure of exploring some tried-and-true property mainstays, as well as some “new kids on the Cabo block.” All are equally luxurious, but offer something different from each other.

Montage Los Cabos




GRand VeLAs LOs Cabos This is quickly becoming one of my favorite gourmet all-inclusive brands. And don’t get hung up on the term “all-inclusive.” You will receive premium service, dining and accommodations, and the fact that it’s all-inclusive only works to your advantage. The lavish, oversized suites are outfitted with the usual suspects you’d find at a high-end resort – plush robes, rain showers, ocean-views, willowy-soft linens and beautifully appointed rooms, while the resort itself is complete with stunning grounds and negative-edge pools. The feather in their cap is far and away the culinary scene. Seven gourmet restaurants (one of which, Cocina de Autor, is led by a two Michelin Star Chef, Sidney Schutte) all hit the foodie mark in one way or another. As for their wedding spaces – you’ve got an abundance of options. From rooftop terraces to event palapas, you’ll be saying your vows with the backdrop of the Sea of Cortez in the distance. Accommodates groups of up to 600.


Just a few steps away from Grand Velas Los Cabos is a much smaller, boutique property that feels like a home-awayfrom-home. The redesigned property has nooks and spaces that all feel special, but with a modern spin on Mexican décor. Think tile accent walls ideal for Instagram backdrops and covered terraces begging you to sip a margarita with your newly betrothed.


Each suite is sizable and boldly appointed with fun splashes of color and exquisite, locally created furnishings.


If you’re considering having your wedding here or next door at Grand Velas, know that your menu will be expertly crafted and your event will be tailored to your exact needs. Accommodates groups of up to 120. destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of: 4 Eyes Photography

Mar DEl Cabo


The Resort at Pedregal Celebrating ten years of offering impeccable service in a spectacular setting, The Resort at Pedregal is a must visit. Expect personalized touches such as a margarita when you arrive, guacamole and cerveza delivered to your door each day and your own devoted personal concierge. The resort has its own private tunnel leading to the property, so just getting there is an adventure. Once on property, you’ll note the resort feels as if it’s an extension of the rock face it’s built into. This design element is carried over in every way – from the spa to the rooms themselves. One major stand out – and a place you should visit regardless of where you choose to marry or honeymoon in Cabo – is their cliffside restaurant, El Farallon. Built into the rock face and directly over the sea, this outdoor culinary adventure provides views you’ll never forget, ambiance that exudes romance and a menu that will delight your taste buds. Accommodates groups of up to 150. CELEBRITY-LEVEL STYLE WITH A VIEW

EspeRAnza Boasting the only private beach in Los Cabos, Esperanza is a playground for couples and celebrities alike for good reason – the nirvana-like atmosphere. The views are unparalleled, the service is on point and the resort grounds are perfection.

Each room class is designed to surround you with laid-back luxury and calm your senses. No matter if you splurge for your own private villa or opt for an ocean-view casita, you won’t be disappointed – every inch of this special place is as beautiful as the next. And when it comes to hosting your wedding, the location can’t be beat. Perched on the cliffs of Punta Ballena, Esperanza offers panoramic views paired with exceptional service.


Photos courtesy of: 4 Eyes Photography

Indulge in the ultimate Mexican getaway with a visit to their world-renowned spa. Take in the sounds of the desert from your open-air spa suite as you’re transported to ultimate bliss for both your mind and body.

Accommodates groups of up to 180. FALL & WINTER 2019




A Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos The minute you drive off of Highway 1 and on to the Solaz Los Cabos property, you are transported to an architectural showpiece. Its angular design is captured through almost every aspect of the resort, from the low-set furniture to the waterfall stone reception area. Magazines and websites have hailed this property as a “modern marvel,” and they’re right. Apart from the impressive design and local art set-off by stark stone walkways and buildings, the excellent service is what really makes this property shine. Staff is at the ready to serve your every need – no matter if you’re a couple planning your wedding day or are celebrating your honeymoon. Accommodates groups of up to 500. LUXURY BAYSIDE ABODE


ChiLeno Bay

Resort & Residences


Cool, chic and convivial are the words I would use to describe this Mexican paradise. With contemporary design elements fused with the relaxed vibe that envelops this part of the world, Chileno Bay earns some serious style points. The resort also offers a family-friendly option without sacrificing panache.


One of the newer additions to the area is Montage Los Cabos. With one of the best swimmable beaches in the region, Montage offers beauty, impeccable service and style in a stunning setting. Although the property spans 39 acres, everything feels intimate, yet not intrusive. Enjoy private pool cabanas, fine dining, luxurious indoor-outdoor living and exceptional cuisine – all with a magnificent view of Santa Maria Bay. The guest rooms boast upgraded outdoor showers and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open out to your private terrace overlooking the beautiful desert destination.

The wedding venue backdrops and accommodation types are numerous. Almost anyone could find something to suit their needs.

For those who are after private residences, you’re in luck. Plus, they come complete with full access to the resort and spa.

Accommodates groups of up to 125.

Accommodates groups of up to 400.

No matter where you choose for your destination vows, you can’t go wrong with Los Cabos. The people, surroundings and surreal location emanate romance and warm hospitality, mixed with approachable sophistication – a perfect recipe for the start of a lifetime. destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Marriott International, Montage Los Cabos and 4 Eyes Photography

Montage LOs Cabos



Full Bloom Insight from a Destination Floral Designer





teven Boyle is no stranger to celebrity events or celebrations for the uber-wealthy from many cultures and destinations. With over twenty years in the business, Steven has seen and created it all. His start began as a “fluke,” but turned into an international business that has elevated events and weddings to new heights. Beginning in L.A., he had a friend who had a designer unable to fill an order, so his friend asked him to step in. “I immersed myself in the L.A. floral market. I walked around, asked a lot of questions and created my first event. In the end, the client loved the designs and the caterer asked if I would continue creating with them. Thus, a new business blossomed.” No pun intended.


Steven describes his aesthetic as “eclectic, rich, full designs with stunning color combinations.” Having lived in Hawaii for the past 10 years as a dream fulfilled, location plays a role in his inspiration, but read on to learn a bit more about his approach and helpful tips you can take away for your big day. DID: How does your home destination of Hawaii influence your design? SBD: A wedding, no matter where it takes place, is driven by the sensibilities of the couple. The settings in Hawaii are gorgeous and they add to the experience. However, we usually see the strongest “Hawaiian” influence in rehearsal dinners where we emphasize tropical looks and designs. DID: What is one of the biggest mistakes you see couples make today with regards to flowers?


SBD: There are things we have experience with that they don’t, such as knowing the humidity in Hawaii is beneficial to many flowers and harmful to others. I don’t often see our couples make mistakes when they work with us, because we gently direct them in finalizing their selections.



DID: What is your opinion regarding current floral and décor trends? SBD: Trends are often a pitfall. I think each couple needs to work with [their floral designer] to create a design that fits their personality. But, insofar as trends are concerned, we pride ourselves on designing everything from minimal effects to over-the-top glamorous settings. DID: What is the number one thing that inspires you in your design? SBD: Cultures inspire me and we love weaving a feeling of location into the design. We have worked with some incredible budgets and have designed so many wonderful and beautiful weddings. DID: What was your favorite wedding event to design and what made it so great?


SBD: There are so many! I loved working with Ed Libby, Bob Conti and Nefi on an Indonesian wedding at the Four Seasons Oahu. It had so many gorgeous elements over multiple days and the collaboration was effortless.



I also love creating Indian weddings where the pageantry, colors and traditions are stunning. A few years ago, in Jeddah, we created a wedding that was out of this world and a dream to create. Imagine a Plexiglas stage over the Red Sea and a 200-foot water wall that separated the reception tent from the food tent. DID: If you could pick any destination in the world (other than Hawaii) where you could design your dream event, where would it be and why? SBD: I have been fortunate enough to create weddings and events in many locations throughout the world. I love the influences in European design and the history of the various locations. My bottom line? Any place that is architecturally stunning drives my dreams.


Photo courtesy of: Mountain Shadows


I Do” “Locals


Mountain Shadows

as the


A major piece of advice we give destination wedding couples is to make the most of resources and experts who are local to the destination you have chosen. After all, they’re living in that special place, why wouldn’t you want their expertise? We don’t feature a destination or property in Destination I Do that someone from our team hasn’t visited firsthand. So, we decided to take it one step further and have some of our team share their local insight on how to “‘I Do’ as the Locals Do” in Scottsdale, Austin and Annapolis. Visit destinationido.com/ do-as-the-locals-do for all their recommendations.




I The Scott

f you’re considering a destination wedding and are after sunny skies, miles of golf course options, temperate weather (at least in the fall-spring months), hiking, spa and really amazing food, Scottsdale, Arizona should top your list. Sure, it lacks an ocean, but it more than makes up for it with beautiful sunsets and a bevy of gorgeous resorts.

The property has a rich history and underwent a $100-million rebuild in 2018 and a full revamp of the state’s only 18-hole, par-3 golf course locals are known to frequent. The new accommodations are modern, sleek and airy. Every corner of the resort is softened by the beautiful light pouring through the floorto-ceiling windows and the stark white walls are brightened by the stunning artwork and interesting furnishings.

The Scott

Their signature restaurant, Hearth ’61, offers spectacular food morning, noon and night. Led by Chef Charles Wiley, the


Another newly re-imagined property is The Scott Resort & Spa. Located just down the road from “Old Town” (the “it” place to dine, shop and play in Scottsdale), The Scott feels like a throwback to simpler times. Modeled after Spanish Revival-style architecture with a nod to 1960s Havana, the open spaces feel at one with the outdoors. Every nook and cranny of the resort is thoughtfully designed, encouraging guest engagement and relaxation. From tucked away enclaves to private dining areas, you can get away from it all right in the heart of Scottsdale. The entire resort (from guest rooms to common areas) has been remodeled, but with touches of the traditional elements that harken to the property’s 50 years of history. Enjoy a meal at The Canal Club, offering a blended menu of American classics and Caribbean flare. Most evenings they’ll be showing a classic film outside where you can pull up a chair and enjoy the romantic ambiance. No matter where you choose in Scottsdale – great food, beautiful landscapes and ideal weather combine to create a space as special as the love you’re celebrating.


Photos courtesy of: The Scott Resort & Spa

One famed landmark is Camelback Mountain; known for its hiking and interesting shape (it does look like a camel from almost any vantage point). For the destination wedding couple, the abundance of great resorts flanking the mountain allows for a picturesque and unforgettable event. One such property is Mountain Shadows, which sits on the north side of Camelback Mountain.

menu offers seasonal, simple plates with a fresh, interesting take on ingredients.



WORDS BY SUSAN MOYNIHAN aryland’s Eastern Shore is one of the country’s best kept secrets. This wide expanse of land between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic is home to rolling farmland, colonial-era port towns and myriad waterways inviting you to explore; be it by sailboat, powerboat or kayak. Cuisine is centered around the bay – think blue crabs, oysters, rockfish and plenty of Old Bay Seasoning. It’s all driveable from East Coast capitals; 90 minutes from Washington D.C., two hours from Philadelphia or three hours from New York City. All of this makes this unique region an ideal spot for weddings, whether you choose a venue that’s something old or embrace something new. The Tidewater Inn in Easton has been the region’s grande dame for special events since 1947. The stately red-brick inn sits in the center of town, with 92 guest rooms and multiple event spaces. Hold your ceremony under the stars in the flagstone courtyard, ideal for smaller groups, or go grand in the Gold Ballroom, with its vintage-style bar that recalls the 1920s “Gatsby” era. Larger parties (up to 220) can spill out into a connecting courtyard, where a unique sailcloth tent protects from the elements and two gas fireplaces add ambiance in a one-of-a-kind event space. The hotel is set in the historic heart of downtown Easton, a charming small town with Victorian-era buildings, quaint shops and a surprisingly diverse restaurant scene. This makes Tidewater Inn ideal for guests who like to wander and for walkable off-site gatherings, from happy hour to rehearsal dinners. Make sure you plan at least one meal at on-site Hunters’ Tavern, a clubby restaurant that puts a creative spin on local ingredients and has one of the best crab cakes around.


If you’re all about the water, the region’s top waterside venue is the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. This beautiful, multi-faceted event space sits on the west-facing shore of Kent Island, looking out directly over the Bay Bridge. It was designed from an event planner’s perspective, so everything is arranged for maximum beauty and efficiency; from placement of built-in bars to multiple outdoor spaces that offer different Instagram moments. Their three on-site venues appeal to



Photo courtesy of: Maryland Office of Tourism

Maryland’s Eastern Shore


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): The Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club (1st & 2nd), Tidewater Inn/Amelia Johnson and The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club/Amanda Adams

different reception styles. The cottagestyle Tavern Ballroom features a vaulted ceiling and rooftop deck overlooking the water – ideal for couples with a nautical theme. The Beach House Ballroom offers minimalist elegance for formal affairs, with cherry hardwood floors, wrought iron chandeliers and a sunken garden at the water’s edge. It was designed with ceremonies in mind, but is also a gorgeous spot for cocktails and canapés. Guests can all stay just down the road at The Inn at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, a new resort that recalls Napa with its cottage-chic style (done in partnership with Restoration Hardware) and on-site organic garden. There is additional venue space here, including a charming courtyard and a bespoke barn ideal for rehearsal dinners. The spa is the best in the area, recently expanded to include two outdoor pools along with a host of treatments. It’s also a great place to pick up coveted skin care products from Waxing Kara, a local company that makes natural balms, scrubs and candles from Eastern Shore honey. The large flagstone patio outside of Knoxie’s Table will become a favorite hangout spot for guests thanks to rattan couches, rocking chairs and a welcoming fire pit. If you find yourself in this East Coast treasure, you won’t be disappointed.

The Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club The Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Tidewater Inn



“I Do” Deep in the Heart of




t seems everywhere you turn these days, Austin, Texas, is making headlines. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin also boasts barbecue to die for and gorgeous weather throughout the majority of the year. It’s no wonder so many couples are choosing this dynamic city to host their destination wedding. If you’re thinking of planning your big day in Austin, two downtown venues are definitely worth your consideration.


Because of its history, every room, event space and suite at The Driskill is unique. Boasting both bakery and grill in-house, each detail of your wedding is handcrafted and curated with meaning and Southern hospitality. Experience Afternoon Tea, an institution at the hotel (and hugely popular with wedding parties), where you can dine on three courses of classic French pastries and sip premium loose-leaf tea and sparkling wine. Pinkies out! Not to be outdone, and located just steps away, the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin hotel impresses. The Stephen F. Austin has been an Austin landmark for almost a century and a mainstay for

The Driskill

InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

VIPs and celebrities visiting the city. For a couple who relates to Austin’s unique and quirky culture, but doesn’t want to sacrifice extravagance, this is the venue for you. Highlights include a balcony that overlooks the famous Paramount Theater, a low-key speak-easy with killer, handcrafted cocktails that can be rented for private events, and a 3,800 square-foot ballroom. Every detail, even down to the color of your ambient lighting, is taken destinationido.com

care of. From the main lobby, you can dine at one of the city’s premier restaurants, The Roaring Fork, and once again, you and your party are just steps from the city’s best nightlife and entertainment. The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but it’s a sure bet none of those stars will shine as beautifully as your love, when you say “I do” in fabulous Austin.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): The Driskill (1st & 3rd) and Julia Keim


The first hotel to be built in Austin in 1886, The Driskill easily encapsulates the history and tradition of Texas, while also offering luxurious accommodations and event spaces for beautiful, modern weddings. A wedding at The Driskill means having an entire floor of space to create your dream wedding. Included in this arrangement are five guestroom suites to accommodate family and friends. And at The Driskill, the presidential suite really means presidential. President Lyndon B. Johnson and First Lady Claudia “Ladybird” Johnson have their own designated suite. It’s decorated in pure Texas style and frequently inhabited by current and past presidents visiting the state capital. With stunning stained glass windows, it’s no wonder this is the room most couples choose as their own.

St. Simons Island

Sea Island

Jekyll Island

Little St. Simons Island

Goldenisles.com | (800) 933-2627



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Photographer: Koman Photography Planning: Plan This! Productions Venue: The Nursery by Southwinds Special Thanks: Be Inspired PR

It’s always a nice day for a white wedding. The most classic of wedding hues takes center stage in this Southern California fashion photo shoot. Our talented team of vendors came together to prove a white palette doesn’t beget basic. Enhanced by iridescent accents and geode – white has never looked so fresh.


1 & 2: Basking in the verdant surroundings of The Nursery by Southwinds in Orange County, our bride is glowing in the “Verdelle 2.0” gown by Grace Loves Lace. Her accessories are courtesy of Styled by TC and her hair and makeup are by Veiled Vanity Artistry. The bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere are both by Wisteria Lane Flowers. Our groom’s traditional black suit is courtesy of Generation Tux.



3 & 5: Our bride and her bridesmaids are cheery and awash in white. Their hair and makeup is by Veiled Vanity Artistry, their accessories courtesy of Styled by TC and their bouquets by Wisteria Lane Flowers. The bride is wearing the “Verdelle 2.0” gown by Grace Loves Lace and her bridesmaids’ dresses are courtesy of Styled by TC.


4: This chic, monotone stationery suite by Azure is sealed in silver. The geode and calligraphy are by Prim and Pixie and surrounding accessories are courtesy of Styled by TC. 6 & 7: This sweet ceremony is elevated by greenery and pops of metallic. The rentals are courtesy of Theoni Collection and the ladies’ hair and makeup is by Veiled Vanity Artistry. The bride is ready to celebrate in the “Edie” gown by Grace Loves Lace and a pair of Liliana Shoes heels. The men’s suits are from Generation Tux.










8 8 & 10: Chic simplicity reigns supreme in this reception set-up. The floral centerpieces are designed by Wisteria Lane Flowers, the table and furniture rentals are from Theoni Collection, the calligraphy geode place settings are by Prim and Pixie and the stationery is by Azure. The lacy linens are courtesy of La Tavola Linen.



9: Our groom is gorgeous in a suit from Generation Tux and boutonniere by Wisteria Lane Flowers.






11 & 13: “Cheers” to happily ever after and metallic accents! This reception set-up features floral centerpieces designed by Wisteria Lane Flowers, rentals from Theoni Collection and linens courtesy of La Tavola Linen. The delightful dessert station features rentals also courtesy of Theoni Collection and sweets by Beverly’s Bakery. These ladies are skipping lunch and going straight to dessert in bridesmaids’ dresses courtesy of Styled by TC and the “Verdelle 2.0” gown by Grace Loves Lace. Their accessories are also courtesy of Styled by TC and their hair and makeup are by Veiled Vanity Artistry. The gentlemen are not to be outdone in suits from Generation Tux.


12: Accessories courtesy of Styled by TC add a touch of rose gold shimmer to these bridal looks.

VENDORS: Photographer: Koman Photography, komanphotography.com, Planning: Plan This! Productions, planthisproductions.com, Venue: The Nursery by Southwinds, thenurserybysouthwinds.com, Floral Design: Wisteria Lane Flowers, wisterialaneflowers.com, Rentals: Theoni Collection, theonicollection.com, Bridal Gowns: “Verdelle 2.0” and “Edie” by Grace Loves Lace, graceloveslace.com, Bridesmaid Dresses & Accessories: Styled by TC, styledbytc.com, Bride’s Shoes: Liliana Shoes, lilianashoes.com, Suits: Generation Tux, generationtux.com, Hair & Makeup: Veiled Vanity Artistry, veiledvanityartistry.com, Linens: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Cake & Desserts: Beverly’s Bakery, beverlysbakery.com, Stationery: Azure, helloazure.com, Calligraphy: Prim & Pixie, primandpixie.com, Bride: Kerry Graydon, kerrygraydon.com, Groom: Sean Ledesma, brandtalent.net, Bridesmaids: Jamie Driver, Chelsie Engstrom, weekendblonde.com, and Esther Lane & Groomsman: Max Phelan










Preferred Paradise

Ideal Destinations Around the World

When it comes to selecting the perfect place to tie the knot, the world truly is your oyster. Narrowing down your options can be harrowing, so we’re here to help you select the perfect locale for your destination wedding. From the beaches of the Pacific, Atlantic or the Caribbean, to sparkling city landscapes or something a little in-between, each one of our Preferred Hotels & Resorts properties offers something a little different, yet something for everyone.



1 THE WIGWAM – An Intimate Retreat with Big Spirit

2 THE LORENZO – Artistic Elegance, Deep in the Heart of Texas

The storied past of an iconic Arizona property can be the backdrop for the beginning of your own love story. While you make your commitment to the one you love, imagine quaint courtyards set in lush gardens as the golden sun is setting over a charming hacienda.



This intimate, desert retreat lacks nothing in celebration space. With 55,000 square-feet of outdoor venue options set on 440 acres, it caters to groups large and small. Paired with your own dedicated wedding specialist, you’ll be stress free and feeling like a guest at your own wedding. With more than 90 years of hosting fairy tale weddings, they’re determined to make each couple’s one-of-a-kind dream come true in an idyllic desert oasis.

Remove any prior notions of Texas when you think of The Lorenzo. This art-forward boutique resort is located in the Cedars area of downtown Dallas, but is far from cliché “Texas.” What is big here is the art. Over 600 original pieces can be found throughout the property, as well as kitschy Shakespearean quotes and a myriad of murals. If your goal is a hip and lively event, complete with colorful, interesting décor, delectable food and over 10,000 squarefeet of event space, then The Lorenzo is the perfect backdrop for your big day.


3 the ART, a hotel – A Modern Marvel in Denver

You’ll find a hotel with a mirrored exterior, unusual lines and an enchanting amount of art in the heart of Denver. Pair that with the sparkling city lights and mountain views out every window and creative romantics will rejoice. The common areas, such as the rooftop FIRE Terrace, allow for wedding guests to mingle, cocktail in hand under the starry skies of Colorado. Accommodations are a modern mix of classic minimalism with high-end touches such as marble bathtubs and private balconies. You and your art-savvy guests can take advantage of a complimentary art tour and get a full picture of the number of museum quality paintings and sculptures throughout the hotel, as well as stroll around the corner to the Denver Art Museum.

Florida ESCAPES 4



4 EAU PALM BEACH RESORT & SPA – A Colorful Coastal Escape


6 HYDE RESORT & RESIDENCES – Intimate Weddings in Paradise

Palm Beach is known for luxury. Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa takes that notion to the next level. From cabana hosts indulging your every need as you bask in the sun and wedding guests dining on farm-to-fork cuisine to hitting the greens at their world-class golf course, they deliver the exceptional treatment Palm Beach is iconic for.

Head to the Gulf of Mexico to find an island respite with AAA Four Diamond ratings and immaculate reviews. The property can host up to 150 guests and offers groups exceptional service in a luxury setting.

Think oceanfront infinity pools, an award-winning spa, golden sunsets, world-class scuba diving, high-end accommodations and a prime location – all for your wedding away. Hyde Resort & Residences offers all of this along with the option to rent a private residence for your wedding party or entire guest list.

With countless wedding backdrops to choose from, Eau Palm Beach can accommodate groups large (up to 600) and small. There’s no end to the type of wedding you could celebrate here or the level of service you would enjoy.


Situated on pristine Hollywood South Central Beach (only 20 miles from Miami), this modern, ocean view property offers convenient amenities such as in-suite washer and dryers, openplan living areas and fine dining, all in beachside elegance. Regardless if you’re planning an intimate wedding for two or ten or thinking of this as your honeymoon oasis, Hyde Resort & Residences offers a relaxing retreat in the heart of paradise.


With one of just 48 spas in the world with a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating, don’t pass up the opportunity to pamper yourself and your bridal party.

This all-suite property boasts one, two and three bedroom suites complete with fully-equipped kitchens, living rooms and private balconies or terraces to enjoy a sunset cocktail or morning coffee. Wedding guests will love the spacious, home-away-from-home feeling along with the myriad activities offered just steps from the resort. Work with concierge services to book an afternoon activity such as paragliding, tennis, golf or stay on-site and indulge in a pampering spa treatment or bask in the sun.



8 7 GRAND ISLE RESORT & SPA – Beachfront Indulgence in the Bahamas

8 NIZUC RESORT & SPA – Secluded Modern Elegance in Mexico

Grand Isle Resort & Spa offers a homeaway-from-home in tropical paradise. Their 58 coastal-inspired villas offer private balconies with endless ocean views, full kitchens and up to four-bedroom luxury configurations. When traveling for a destination wedding with groups and families, having residence-style accommodations is paramount.

Perched on the edge of the cerulean blue Caribbean waters is NIZUC Resort & Spa – a tropical oasis set in paradise.

Select from up to five different event spaces for your destination wedding, hosting up to 100 people. From swimming with pigs and indulging in a Thalassotherapy spa treatment at their world-renowned Seastar Spa to playing a round at Emerald Reef Golf Club and ending the day with a private meal under the stars you will start your marriage off right.

Oversized, stylish suites and private villas complete with plunge pools and luxurious amenities beg you to linger, but the warm ocean air and pristine grounds entice you to get out and experience all the activities the property has to offer. From kayaking on still waters to sailing on a luxury yacht or taking a class on sushi making, you and your guests will enjoy every moment of your destination wedding. With over 274 suites, five pools and residence-style suites, groups of up to 150 will be well taken care of.



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9 HAVEN RIVIERA CANCUN – Your Own Piece of Mexican Paradise

10 CONDADO VANDERBILT HOTEL – Puerto Rico Oceanfront Opulence

11 SANTARENA HOTEL – Boutique Costa Rican Getaway

As you sink your toes in the powdersoft sand overlooking the breathtaking Caribbean waters that grace the beaches of Haven Riviera Cancun, saying “I do,” is as natural as the environment you’re in.

History meets modern luxury in Puerto Rico at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. This legendary icon was first constructed in 1919, but has been refurbished for the 21st century. Enjoy the stunning views of San Juan and Condado while lounging by the pool, take in a salsa class or unwind at their relaxing spa.

With 45 guest rooms and flats, Santarena Hotel offers a luxurious getaway in total seclusion. The town of Las Catalinas, where the property is located, doesn’t allow cars, enhancing the feel of being one with nature in a truly spectacular setting.

For wedding groups, this adults-only, all-inclusive property exudes style and sophistication. With three pools to choose from, a 15,700 square-foot spa, multiple restaurants and 333 total guest rooms (all with ocean views and 88 swim-out suites), you’ve found your slice of heaven.

If you want a grand, sophisticated event, Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is a perfect match. White glove service, sleek, stunning backdrops and the beauty of the ocean all come together for an unforgettable fairy tale destination wedding.


Accommodations are built for couples or big destination wedding groups with families, so there is something for everyone, regardless of the length of your stay. Just steps away from the resort, enjoy hiking, biking, shopping, kayaking or bask in the gorgeous Costa Rican sun. This sustainable hotel offers the comforts of home with the convenience of resort living.


Wedding groups and honeymoons are a perfect match for this resort. From nearby shopping and exploring in Playa del Carmen to boat excursions to Cozumel and myriad on-site activities (such as water spin classes and yoga), everyone will have something to look forward to.

Wedding guests will have plenty to do with the proximity to San Juan, water activities and complimentary wine and hor d’oeuvres served nightly.


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12 CARNEROS RESORT & SPA – Sip, Savor and Celebrate

13 THE HUNTINGTON HOTEL – History Meets Luxury in Nob Hill

14 HOTEL CALIFORNIAN – Where the City Meets the Sea

Surrounded by rolling vineyards, Carneros Resort and Spa is luxury and relaxation in a modern, farm-inspired setting. Offering high-end, cottage-style accommodations paired with fine dining and sumptuous varietals, this property is as special as it is romantic.

San Francisco exudes romance and The Huntington Hotel encapsulates the history and panache of famed Nob Hill. Once a luxury apartment building in 1924, this historic landmark is now a modern icon offering couples a stylish retreat. With an unparalleled location, The Huntington Hotel overlooks Grace Cathedral, Huntington Park and the city skyline.

Sandwiched between the sandy beaches and quaint downtown of Santa Barbara is Hotel Californian. This historic (yet recently renovated) property boast 123 guest rooms each with ocean, garden or mountain views. Built in 1925, the property has been reimagined by celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard with a cool, Moroccan-inspired vibe. The sophisticated color palette and vibrant patterns found throughout the property’s three buildings lend themselves to gorgeous wedding celebrations.


Alfresco showers, private gardens, poolside panoramic views of the nearby vineyards and exclusive dining selections offer guests an unparalleled experience in the heart of Napa. Enjoy an intimate ceremony or an event of up to 210 people with an unforgettable backdrop either indoors or out. The perfect balance of rustic charm and modern luxury, weddings at Carneros Resort and Spa are sophisticated, understated and tailored to your taste and personality.

The elegant, oversized guest rooms and three-story penthouse, on-site luxury spa and relaxation pool provide couples and guests respite from wedding planning and sightseeing. Indulge in a meal at the iconic Big 4 Restaurant and Lounge (named after the big railroad tycoons who developed the Southwest) where live music and delectable dinner options unite.


Choose from beautifully appointed ballrooms (for up to 285 guests), a rooftop terrace overlooking the Pacific or other outdoor venue spaces for your destination wedding.

15 SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH – Coastal Chic in Southern California


If you envision a lively beach wedding with the Santa Monica Pier in the distance, a secluded location and fivestar service for your guests, Shutters on the Beach might be your perfect homeaway-from-home for your wedding. Situated in the heart of Santa Monica you’ll find a quintessential Southern California hotel that’s iconic for its nod to Cape Cod’s architecture. Enjoy all the area has to offer along with the welcoming residence-style Shutters on the Beach is so well known for. Gather around oversized fireplaces in the lobby or back in your upgraded room, surrounded by your wrap-around deck as the sun sets over the Pacific.

16 HOTEL CASA DEL MAR – Seaside Serenity in Santa Monica

One of only two hotels on the sand in Los Angeles, Hotel Casa Del Mar is a marriage between Renaissance splendor and modern luxury. The Mediterranean-inspired historic property offers panoramic ocean views, 129 indulgently appointed guest rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, on-site spa and Palm Terrace Pool – all overlooking the sand and sea. Imagine getting wedding-day ready in one of their two-story penthouse suites, offering the ultimate in seaside luxury. Saying “I do” on property is a dream come true with their sweeping staircase for the ultimate of entrances, seriously glamorous ballroom or outdoor terrace, allowing you and your guests to enjoy dinner under the stars after watching the sun slip below the horizon.


North American ESCAPES 17



17 HOTEL DU PONT – Delaware’s Gilded Age Hotel

18 INN AT PERRY CABIN – Laid-Back Coastal Luxury

19 NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT – Personalization In Pennsylvania

Weddings and celebrations at Hotel Du Pont are a thing of magic. The storied past of this elegant hotel and the people who have graced the halls are interesting enough, but this 1913 hotel has kept its sophistication and grandeur intact all these years.

Off the banks of the Miles River on Maryland’s east coast, you’ll find fivestar luxury paired with historic colonial charm. The Inn at Perry Cabin is near Washington D.C. and has become a popular respite for many.

Located in Pennsylvania, an assortment of accommodations can be found at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Select from traditional hotel guest rooms, suites and even residences with different types of décor. From Parisian inspired surroundings with marble clad bathrooms to rustic-chic lodges, any guest will find a perfect backdrop for their personal tastes.


Enjoy five-star amenities in decadent surroundings while sipping tea in the beautifully appointed grand lobby or take in high-end shopping, world-class museums and the nightlife of downtown Wilmington. Wedding guests will enjoy a sumptuous meal and impeccable service all inside the opulent Gold Room adorned with stunning chandeliers and a gilded ceiling.

Relax in this secluded 26-acre nirvana, complete with lush manicured gardens, a tranquil infinity pool, on-site spa and 78 beautifully appointed rooms. Tying the knot here is as idyllic as the setting it’s in. To exchange vows, choose from a waterfront event, their grand ballroom or a storybook garden. It is no surprise this resort has been rated the best and most beautiful hotel in Maryland by both Condé Nast Traveler and Architectural Digest.


Weddings at Nemacolin are only limited by imagination. They have their own certified event designers dedicated to making your destination wedding totally customized to you. Take advantage of their on-site ThemeWorks department, offering a large supply of décor elements and floral creations. No matter what type of wedding you envision – high-end and swanky or low key and casual – their goal is to create the perfect celebration just for you.



20 PACIFIC GATEWAY HOTEL – Quaint Convenience

21 RIVER ROCK CASINO RESORT – Riverside Gaming Glamour

Complete with dramatic views of the Coast Mountains and Fraser River, the Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport is an idyllic combination of convenience, modern amenities, posh accommodations and style.

If playing your hand at love has paid off, why not consider the River Rock Casino Resort in British Columbia for your wedding away?

Destination wedding guests will love the 24/7 complimentary shuttle, heated outdoor pool, plush accommodations and waterfront dining.

Take in a show at the on-site theater or try Cantonese cuisine at River Rock Casino Resorts’ acclaimed Sea Harbour restaurant. Give your guests the gift of the unexpected. Between your ceremony and reception, instead of just enjoying cocktail hour, let them try their luck on one of the 1,100 slot machines, at a table or in the dedicated poker room.



Unlike most airport hotels, Pacific Gateway offers more than just expediency. This four-star, resort-style hotel provides lush gardens, panoramic views, sumptuous dining and a multitude of backdrops for your big day. Saying “I do” at this waterfront property (with its own marina) provides you with stress-free planning – all in proximity of downtown Vancouver and the wilderness of beautiful British Columbia.

Situated on the banks of the Fraser River, River Rock Casino Resort offers a AAA Four Diamond experience combined with the thrill of gaming, gorgeous accommodations and world-class entertainment, all in a stunning riverside location.



22 HOTEL NAPOLEAN – Classic Elegance in Paris

When you dream of visiting Paris, location has got to be the number-one factor in where you stay. Hotel Napoleon Paris offers not only a one-minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe, Place de I’Etoile and Avenue des Champs-Élysées, but also impeccable service, magnificent five-star accommodations and modern, renovated rooms with a touch of classic elegance for your destination wedding or honeymoon. With a 100 out of 100 walking score on TripAdvisor, you’ll be able to take in the romance of Paris with ease at this high-end hotel.


23 IL CASTELFALFI – Get Tucked Away in Tuscany

Imagine saying “I do” in your own medieval Tuscan village. Il Castelfafi offers three different types of luxury accommodations for your wedding guests in the enchanting setting of rolling hills filled with olive groves and vineyards. Select from Il Castelfalfi, a five-star hotel providing modern amenities and brand new accommodations, La Tabaccaia Hotel, a boutique hotel set in a repurposed historic tobacco factory and lastly, Castelfalfi’s own luxury private villas and apartments – all marrying modern life with Italian pace.


Like their website says, you’ll willingly leave your laptop and iPhone at home as you delight in the surreal surroundings.

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26 OLD COURSE HOTEL GOLF RESORT & SPA – History Meets Luxury in Scotland

24 ALCHYMIST GRAND HOTEL & SPA – Old World Opulance in Prague

History buffs unite in this five-century-old boutique hotel in the heart of Prague’s Old Town. Having won awards by Forbes Travel Guide, Condé Nast Traveler, TripAdvisor and more, it’s no wonder their reviews are flawless.

A destination wedding in Monte-Carlo is what dreams are made of. With multiple venues to choose from, 334 luxury rooms (including 22 suites) and an on-site casino all situated on the French Riviera, your wedding at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort would be the envy of all. The resort offers everything from private sundecks and a sandy-bottomed lagoon to a one-Michelin star restaurant (Blue Bay) and views as far as the eye can see. Indulge at the on-site spa for a perfect culmination of your destination wedding dreams come true.


Beyond golf, this property offers five-star accommodations in a gorgeous, traditional Scottish setting. Enjoy their “quietly confident” service and views of both the Scottish coastline and rolling hills of the golf course. A wedding away steeped in tradition will set your married life off right.


The central location (close to both Prague Castle and Charles Bridge) makes it a honeymooner’s paradise and a wedding group’s best bet. Pair that with the on-site luxury Indonesian spa and daily treats such as homemade pralines at turn down and fruit delivered to your door, honeymooners and destination wedding groups might want to linger a little longer.

25 MONTE-CARLO BAY HOTEL & RESORT – Get Married in Monaco

Located in the town of St Andrews, Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa is the perfect destination wedding locale for golf enthusiasts. Bordering the famed “Road Hole” of the Old Course (the oldest golf course in the world), the property blends a 15th century tradition with unparalleled service and sophistication.


Vintage honeymoon spots imagined


Anyone who knows me knows I have a deep love for all things vintage. Things just have more meaning when they’ve stood the test of time and have proven lasting power – be it a piece of heirloom jewelry or a personal love story. The same idea goes for travel. Certain destinations have drawn generations of couples, all looking for a special place to start their lives together. But, just because the destination has a long history doesn’t mean it’s passé or outdated, as evidenced by these three romantic classics offering just as much beauty and service to modern couples as they did to generations past. destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor Johnson



Honolulu, HAwAii


Waikiki put Hawaii on the world stage and there’s no better view of its iconic sweeping curve than at Halekulani, the luxury hotel perched on the beach’s north end. Book a Diamond Head Suite and you can see all the way to Diamond Head crater from your balcony. Le Mer is the island’s premier fine-dining spot and, when you wander, you’re just steps from restaurants, shops, surf lessons and everything else Honolulu has to offer.


Pearl Harbor is a must for first-time visitors, either as a formal tour or on a DIY basis (For the latter, tickets sell out, so get there early!). Rent a car for a day to circumnavigate the island; the drive is about 120 miles with stops at North Shore surf breaks or hiking spots like Diamond Head. Snorkelers will love Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, located on the island’s eastern tip. And there is no better place to take a surf lesson than Waikiki, where surf legend Duke Kahanamoku made the sport famous. Halekulani


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor Johnson, Halekulani, Hawaii Tourism Authority/AJ Feducia and Hawaii Tourism Authority

There’s no doubt about it, Hawaii is having a moment. This collection of islands was glamourous back in the 1930s, when visitors would arrive by steamship and stay for months and the Hawaii Calls radio show beamed from Waikiki Beach to households all across America, putting it on the top of every couple’s dream honeymoon list. Those qualities that first lured mainlanders are still in place. Namely, gorgeous natural beauty with iconic places like Waikiki Beach and a gentle aloha vibe personified by lei greetings, ukulele music and gracious hospitality. The island of Oahu showcases all aspects of the state’s beauty, from bustling Honolulu to the serene North Shore.



Niagara Falls CANAdA

This epic natural wonder has been a popular honeymoon spot since the Victorian era. It has a beloved place in popular culture, as well, from the Marilyn Monroe movie “Niagara” to “The Office’s” Jim and Pam, who wed on a Falls’ boat tour. While the views are considered most epic from the U.S. side, the lodging there is limited, with much of it having seen better days. So, bring your passport and check in to the Canadian side, in the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Thanks to its lakefront location, tree-lined streets and lost-in-time vibe, it’s been named the “Prettiest Town in Canada.” Bonus: there’s also a great wine scene.


Established in 1864, the Prince of Wales Hotel recalls the glory days of the Victorian era, with brocade wallpaper, vintage-style furnishing and a cozy book-filled library. Check into a Premium Guestroom, which combine old-world canopy beds and fireplaces with thoroughly modern jetted tubs and ensuite espresso machines. Afternoon tea in the Drawing Room is a must, as is a dip in the indoor pool.



Photo courtesy of: istockphoto.com/portfolio/ImagineGolf

Boat tours have been ferrying people out into the mists of Horsehoe Falls since the 1840s. On the Canadian side, Hornblower Cruises take you out into the rapids, allowing you to feel the power and mist of Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Come evening, book a table at Fallsview Dining or head up to the rotating restaurant at Skylon Tower for epic, two-country views. When you’ve had your fill of falls, fill up on wine; Niagara is one of Canada’s top wine regions, with more than 50 wineries. Inniskillin is renowned for their ice wine, while Peller Estates wows with their wine and cheese pairings and tasting room made from ice.



Photos courtesy of: Niagara Falls Tourism






Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Korakia Pensione (1st & 4th) and VisitPalmSprings.com (2nd & 3rd)


Palm Springs CAliForNiA

Once upon a time, there was no cooler place to be than Palm Springs, California. This desert enclave drew in the Hollywood elite, from Golden Age-era stars like Douglas Fairbanks and Greta Garbo to Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack in the 1950s and 60s; they all came here to kick back – away from the eyes of the press. The city has undergone a major rebirth in the past decade as a treasure trove of mid-century modern architecture, with amazing private homes and quirky, design-centric boutique hotels that lure in a new generation of celebrities (and not just for Coachella, which takes place down the road). Add in maximum days of sunshine and the stern beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains and you have a honeymoon spot like no other.


It doesn’t get more romantic than Korakia Pensione, a beloved 28-room hotel tucked in a quiet, residential neighborhood at the base of the mountains, but just blocks from the shops and restaurants along Palm Canyon Drive. Select your private villa by style – either airy Mediterranean with timbered ceilings, marble floors and whitewashed walls, or minimalist Moroccan with iron woodwork, Persian rugs and natural materials. Every room has a private patio to soak up the sun and, come evening, guests gather poolside to watch vintage movies screened under the stars.


Design aficionados will love the Palm Springs Modern Tour, which takes you into stunning houses by mid-century modern superstars including Albert Frey and Richard Neutra. Take the Aerial Tramway for the two-mile ride up to San Jacinto State Park, home to an observation deck, restaurant and 50 miles of hiking trails. Shopping is a feast for the eyes, from designer clothing to vintage stores filled with one-of-a-kind finds. Think Eames chairs, spaghetti poodle figurines and Bakelite jewelry. When you want to mingle, hit the hip pool scene at Ace Hotel (day passes are available for those not staying on property) or go old school with a romantic meal at Melvyn’s Restaurant and Lounge, a favorite of Sinatra’s. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HONEYMOONIST, SUSAN MOYNIHAN (a.k.a. TRAVELER-IN-CHIEF),


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Carla Ten Eyck and VisitPalmSprings.com






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A Riot of Color 2

Photographer: Jeremy Chou Photography Producer & Creative Director: Crosby + Jon Venue: Grand Velas Riviera Maya

A talented team of vendors was inspired by the architecture and lush landscape of Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico. So much so, they put together this colorful, multicultural wedding photo shoot. Crosby + Jon led the way both in producing and directing the shoot. “We united Indian and Western backgrounds by blending unique cultural elements and rituals,” says Regina Atkins and Krista Jon of Crosby + Jon. “The result? A stunning vision for couples who want to embrace their ancestry and combine it with modern flair.” 1: The reception set-up was a sea of contrasting colors and textures, with blue velvet linens from La Tavola Linen and hanging, corded lanterns courtesy of Alquimia Events. The florals and remaining rentals are also courtesy of Alquimia Events, and the stationery is by Moe Paper Co.



2: This couple is regal as they make their way to their ceremony on a horse adorned in red and gold tack. The groom is wearing a slim, black suit and a floral jaimala by Alquimia Events. The bride’s dusty pink gown is by Carol Hannah Bridal, her jewelry by Untamed Petals, and her hair and makeup were done by Zoë Elizabeth. Her dramatic, tasseled umbrella is courtesy of Alquimia Events.






“ The idyllic location offered an exotic jungle to contrast our elaborate and colorful designs.”


3 & 5: In a stroke of brilliance, the bride’s elaborate mehndi by Loto Mehndi is inspired by the pattern present on the stationery by Moe Paper Co. The bride’s gold accessories by Untamed Petals and heels by Bella Belle Shoes are perfectly complemented by a custom Susie Saltzman ring in a velvet box from The Mrs Box. 4: Ornante, white chairs are placed beneath a traditional mandap for the couple’s ceremony in which they exchange jaimala garlands of red roses. All of the rentals and florals are courtesy of Alquimia Events and our bride is lovely in her Carol Hannah Bridal gown and crown by Untamed Petals.


6 & 7 (next page): Vibrant red hues equate to romance in this tropical, poolside setting. “Florist Alquimia Events brought depth to the tablescape with centerpieces of vibrant red florals in brass containers of varied heights,” says Regina Atkins and Krista Jon of Crosby + Jon. Our bride is captivating in her crown by Untamed Petals, gown by Carol Hannah Bridal and hair and makeup by Zoë Elizabeth.








“ Our design process began with emphasis on lavish clothing and accessories for our bride and her bridesmaids.�









11 destinationido.com

8 & 9: “Amber goblets added the perfect contrast to the lavish palette,” says Regina Atkins and Krista Jon of Crosby + Jon. Rentals were courtesy of Alquimia Events, while the pale blue linens are from La Tavola Linen and the stationery is by Moe Paper Co. Bridesmaids wearing traditional, gold gilded saris are the perfect complement to our couple. 10: The ceremony set-up features a floor lounge of embellished rugs, pillows and poufs from Alquimia Events. The mandap pavilion, also by Alquimia Events, was constructed with rose gold curved beams on a wood platform – all laced with vibrant red garlands. 11 & 12: Our bride is truly a vision in her groom’s eyes. She is carrying a bouquet by Alquimia Events and her hair and makeup were expertly done by Zoë Elizabeth. “We chose this untraditional gown [by Carol Hanna Bridal] because of the embroidered Italian organza and gold beading…saris are typically adorned with gold embroidery to symbolize commitment and spirituality. We [bejeweled] her with a chunni headpiece and tiara by Untamed Petals,” says Regina Atkins and Krista Jon of Crosby + Jon.


VENDORS: Photographer: Jeremy Chou Photography, jeremychou.com, Producer & Creative Director: Crosby + Jon, crosbyandjon.com, Venue: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, grandvelas.com, Grand Velas Project Director: Ary Iturralde, grandvelas.com, Videographer: Robert Michael Films and Photography, robertmichaelfilms.com, Florals & Rentals: Alquimia Events, alquimiaevents.com, Linens: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Hair & Makeup: Zoë Elizabeth Ashley-Smith, zoeelizabethmakeup.com, Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah Bridal, carol-hannah.com, Bridal Jewelry: Untamed Petals, untamedpetals.com, Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes, bellabelleshoes.com, Cake: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, grandvelas.com, Paper Goods: Moe Paper Co, moepaperco.com, Ring Box: The Mrs Box, themrsbox.com, Ring: Susie Saltzman, susiesaltzman.com, Entertainment: Musi-K Entertainment Mexico, facebook.com/ musikentertainmentmx, Henna Artist: Loto Mehndi, instagram.com/lotomehndi & Photo Assistant: Lauren Renee Photo, laurenreneedesigns.com

12 FALL & WINTER 2019



Catalina Island

Coastal settings not only provide a dramatic backdrop for any celebration, but offer a diverse opportunity for exploration. The four destinations in this feature section are different from one another, but one thing they have in common is their topography. When you visit any one of the locations we’ve uncovered – the Central Coast of California, Catalina Island, Panama or Madeira – you’ll find unforgettable experiences unique to that location, but with the key characteristic of coastal beauty. destinationido.com

Photo courtesy of: Catalina Island Company


Historical Coastal Getaways

Toasting Madeira’s Magic WORDS BY STACEY MARCUS


The mountains, sea and valleys offer an endless array of al fresco activities including watching the sunrise from Maderia’s third highest peak, Pico de Arieiro, delighting in the flora and fauna of the archipelago, hanging out with dolphins and whales on a pontoon boat or canyoning down a waterfall. Did we mention the sumptuous seafood, tropical fruits and yes, the sweet and sultry Madeira wine? Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw and members of the royal family

Enjoy afternoon tea on the terrace, a guided tour of the majestic gardens, scrumptious dining or a Madeira wine tasting. Sprawl out on a picnic blanket or sit on the sundeck and see the cruise ships dock at Funchal. The service at Belmond Reid’s Palace is top-notch with niceties like being served pineapple skewers while you lounge in the sun. Be sure to pack good walking and/ or hiking shoes for discovering the islands. Breathtaking walks include Levada walks, strolling through Madeira Botanical Garden with over 2,000 plants, and meandering around the


exotic Monte Palace Tropical Garden. A city tour through Funchal is a fabulous way to see the city’s architecture, enjoy the cable car, take a ride in a wicker toboggan or sample poncha, the signature island drink. A wine tasting will reveal why George Washington celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence with the vintage. You can easily fly to Madeira with a stopover in Lisbon or Porto from New York, Boston and Miami. TAP Air Portugal recently launched flights from Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Be sure to check for promotions like enjoying up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto en route to Funchal for no additional airfare. A honeymoon or destination wedding in Maderia will showcase how the rich soil makes everything grow in this paradise, including affection.


Photo courtesy of Belmond Management Limited

adeira is flowering with curiosities. How is it that this subtropical nirvana brimming with botanical beauty and natural wonders has not been on the radar of honeymoon couples ripe for romance? This autonomous region of Portugal is a hidden gem deep in the Atlantic Ocean 440 miles off the coast of Africa.

knew where to unwind when visiting the islands. Belmond Reid’s Palace is perfectly perched on a cliffside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Funchal Harbour. Any one of the 158 rooms, including 47 suites, boast stunning views of the island dotted with red roofs and curvy, mountain roads.


California’s Central Coast:

The Perfect Blend


f you and your significant other picture yourselves exchanging vows under a beautiful flower arbor in wine country, then consider the Central Coast of California. Rolling hills lined with row after row of grapevines, blue skies and magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean take you in as you venture along Highway 1. The sights, smells and tastes you discover along the way are quite intoxicating (Be careful – there are over 300 wineries!), as are the diverse settings for a truly unique destination wedding. Cradled within 20 acres of orchards, gardens and vineyards in Paso Robles is Allegretto Vineyard Resort, a Mediterranean-inspired property with every amenity one can imagine for you and your guests. A luxury spa, farm-to-table cuisine,

William Randolph Hearst once said, “I would rather spend a month here than any place in the world.” He was referring to the amazing Hearst Castle on a hill that he dreamed of and then constructed in San Simeon, on the California coast. He entertained the rich and famous in the 1920s and it is still where you can entertain your family and friends for an over-the-top wedding. If your style is a bit more understated, the Summerwood Winery and Inn in Allegretto Vineyard Resort


Hearst Castle

private label wine tasting, well-appointed guest suites and central location provide a good start, but then you can add in some unique venue settings. A favorite for us was the French-inspired Abbey for an intimate ceremony or seated rehearsal dinner. Larger celebrations are also possible in the Veneto Ballroom or numerous outdoor courtyard or garden settings.



Paso Robles offers some amazing wines (we didn’t taste one we didn’t like) and a picturesque setting for a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception. We made another unique discovery at Sextant Wines, which is near the authentic historic town of Edna, complete with a restored blacksmith shop. It’s been converted into a quaint location for a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner…your photographer’s creative juices will go into high gear in this totally fun setting. Here’s our recipe for a perfect day: start with a morning stroll on the beach, then on to a bit of wine tasting, followed by pampering at the spa at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach and top it off with a tasty dinner at a seaside restaurant. The Central Coast of California boasts the perfect blend of wine and fun. Photos courtesy of (left to right): 123rf.com/profile_unitysphere and Allegretto Vineyard Resort


Photo courtesy of: Allegretto Vineyard Resort


Allegretto Vineyard Resort



The Santa Maria Hotel

84 Buenaventura Resort


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort (1st & 3rd) and The Santa Maria Hotel & Golf Resort



The Crossroads of the Americas



efore traveling to a new destination, I always try to do some background research. However, before my visit to Panama, I was unable to study the destination in advance. What resulted was an eye-opening experience I didn’t see coming. I had been to Central America twice before, and loved it, so I had high expectations, but Panama still surprised me. It’s important to know the geographic location of Panama, as its topography and placement have largely influenced its history. Panama is the thin, curving connection between Central and South America. The country not only connects two continents, but also separates two oceans – all of which leads to a massive convergence of cultures and wildlife found nowhere else in the world. This “bridge of life” was created over three million years ago and resulted in a staggering 30 thousand species of plants and animals – much more than its neighboring countries. The building and maintenance of the Panama Canal has also contributed to a fascinating political history.

If it is wide-open spaces you’re seeking, then head two hours southwest of Panama City to The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection. Along the way, be sure to set aside time to visit the Miraflores Visitor Center of the Panama Canal. You can also get up-close and personal with some of the country’s wildlife by booking a canal boat tour via EcoCircuitos Panama. Our guide, Fabio, was a veritable fountain of knowledge and us writers were determined to come up with a question he couldn’t answer (we never did). I’ve done lots of wildlife tours in my day and this one blew everything else out of the water…no pun intended. In just


a few hours exploring the canal’s watershed (a result of the damned waterways used to create the canal), I saw crocodiles, four different types of monkeys, a sloth and much more. Check into The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort post-exploration for a one-stop-shop resort experience. The Buenaventura development is massive, but the resort itself is a modest 114 rooms and four villas. This offers you the best of both worlds – unbelievable amenities, without crowds of guests. Among other things, the private Buenaventura golf and beach community boasts a wildlife center, award-winning Jack Nicklausdesigned golf course, state-of-the-art sports complex and three-and-a-half miles of private beach. The Buenaventura resort is modeled after a Spanish hacienda, with rooms spread across three floors in a central building. The resort is awash in shaded courtyards with trickling tile fountains – perfect for sitting and reading a book or writing your vows. Speaking of which, the resort is also an easy option for weddings. There’s a beautiful on-site chapel off Palms Plaza, the main courtyard that sits in the shadow of a massive corotu tree. String-up some lights and you’ll feel as if you’ve taken over your own Spanish town for your destination wedding. By reading this article, you’re already more in-the-know about Panama than I was before my visit. However, I’m confident that the “panama-rama” of culture and wildlife in this small, Central American country will still surprise you.


I saw two very different sides of the country – a posh golf resort on the outskirts of Panama City and a coastal retreat with space to spare. Both are designed to serve as escapes from the everyday hustle and bustle and thus, well suited to special occasions. December to mid-April is the best time of year to visit, making Panama a solid option for winter-worn travelers.

The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort, Panama City is a spa-like oasis from the sprawling metropolitan city nearby. The resort opened in February 2018 and successfully hosted a 1,000-person wedding just three days after opening. If that’s not a testament to their wedding planning abilities, then I don’t know what is! Whether staying for your destination wedding or honeymoon, consider booking the Santa Maria’s Master Suite. It’s the only one of the 182 rooms that boasts a large patio – perfect for watching the sun go down and sipping on a traditional chichita cocktail with your sweetie. Golfers will love the on-site Jack Nicklaus-designed course and, for those wanting more playful pursuits, downtown is only 10 minutes away. If you’re looking to gain a bit of perspective, I highly recommend a walking tour of old town Casco Viejo. The architecture is uniquely varied and is a glimpse into the country’s complex past.


Catalina California’s Island Getaway WORDS BY CAROLYN STEERE


or an island experience and urban escape, conveniently located just off the coast of California, Catalina Island may just be the perfect fit. One hour on the Catalina Express ferry whisks you from the mainland to the main port of Avalon where you immediately get the vacation “feel.” Avalon cove has the same vibe as a “mini” Monte-Carlo, except the yachts are replaced by small sailboats and the casino is used for events – not gambling.

The Wrigley family (of chewing gum fame) first visited Catalina in 1919, fell in love with its beauty and began purchasing interest in the island. The Wrigley’s beloved Chicago Cubs held their spring training on Catalina for 30 years and the island has served as the backdrop for over 500 movies, TV shows, documentaries and commercials. Our home for our visit was Mt. Ada, where history surrounds you at every turn. Perched high on a hilltop, this bed and breakfast was the former island escape for William Wrigley Jr. and his wife Ada. The inn is tastefully decorated in 1920s décor and the views of Avalon Bay from the wrap-around deck are amazing. Our quest was to check out Catalina Island as a location for a destination wedding and it did not disappoint. In Avalon, the four venues that caught our eye were the Catalina Casino, Catalina Country Club, Catherine’s Terrace at Descanso Beach Club and Overlook

Hall; each being distinctly different. The art deco casino, with the largest circular ballroom in the country, has sea views from every vantage-point and should be the choice for a large wedding (300plus). The setting of the Catalina Country Club (the original Cubs clubhouse) has a distinct Spanish flavor with its cozy courtyard draped in twinkle lights and adjacent ballroom with a large, majestic fireplace. The location and airy décor of Catherine’s Terrace is ideal for those looking for a casual, beachside wedding and reception. Historic Overlook Hall, with its brick façade and tall, beamed ceilings has been renovated and is perfect for a small, intimate wedding. A cocktail of exciting eats can be found at the Avalon Grille, The Lobster Trap and Bluewater Avalon. When it is time to play, there is kayaking, zip lining, land and ocean tours, basking on the beach or indulging at the spa. The best part is, Catalina has an island experience without the lengthy sea journey.

Mt. Ada


Photos courtesy of: Catalina Island Company

Catalina Country Club



Make the ExperienceYours Tie the knot with us.

4 Unique Indoor and Outdoor Reception Venues to Choose From! www.stellaplantation.com 207 633 2494 linekinbayresort.com

Say it seaside.

207 633 5242


Turks Caicos


Promises in Paradise WORDS BY SAMANTHA ROSS

C The Shore Club

Located on idyllic Long Bay Beach, The Shore Club Turks and Caicos is a secluded oasis of beauty and tranquility. The property offers guests a range of lavish suites and accommodations, but their crowning jewels are the Shore Club Villas. Each villa boasts four-to-six stylish, opulent bedrooms and leaves nothing to be desired. With beautiful views, a large state-of-the-art kitchen, private pool, sauna, courtyard, and access to the sparkling, white sand beach, your guests will fall in love. Further customize your stay with a personal butler, pre-stocked refrigerator or private chef.


The Shore Club



Photos courtesy of: The Shore Club Turks & Caicos

lose your eyes. What do you imagine when you dream of your ideal wedding? Do you see sand the color of snow, aquamarine water, your white dress blowing lightly in the sea breeze and sunsets that create the perfect ceremonial backdrop? If this is your fantasy, there is no other place for you than Turks and Caicos.

The Shore Club

The Villas at The Shore Club

The Palms

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): The Palms Turks & Caicos, The Shore Club Turks & Caicos and Paradise Photography

At the Shore Club, there is no wish too grand. Creating the wedding event of your dreams is their priority. No matter where you stay at The Shore Club, you’ll never feel less-than-luxurious. Take your wedding experience to another level by incorporating The Shore Club’s sister-resort, The Palms Turks and Caicos. Another breathtaking destination, The Palms, is located on pristine Grace Bay Beach and offers a premium spa experience – perfect for the couple who could use a little alone time before the main event. Some couples have been known to arrive to the island early, indulge in a “pre-mini-moon” at The Palms and then join their guests at The Shore Club for the ceremony and celebration. When it’s time to say “I do,” let the sands of the island be your aisle as you walk down to your forever love and let your ‘something blue’ be the sparkling Caribbean waters. There is no such thing as a bad view in Turks and Caicos. Decorations need not apply.

Photos courtesy of: Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa

HoNEy MooN




What constitutes a dream honeymoon depends on who you ask, but one thing’s for sure – a stunning setting is a must. Whether you opt to relax lakeside in Switzerland, explore Medieval villages in Tuscany or walk with rescue elephants in Thailand, each of these destinations are guaranteed to provide a memorable backdrop for romance. Your honeymoon represents the start of your married life together, so you better “go big or go home!”


LesserKnown Love in



uscany is known for its beautiful landscapes, wealth of vineyards and, of course, its culinary scene. The area has been attracting honeymooners for decades. But, instead of heading to the well-known (and tourist-heavy) Siena or Florence, try the lesser-known (and less crowded) province of Lucca. This area northwest of Florence gives couples a real, authentic taste of Tuscany, which is why it’s one of the country’s best kept secrets.

In Barga, a historic medieval town, sits the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa. Located atop an expansive hilltop overlooking the mountainous Serchio Valley, the property is nestled between the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The hotel is home to many destination weddings, as well as honeymoon getaways. Rooms have outdoor balconies that overlook the countryside. The property also boasts an award-winning spa, where couples can indulge in a variety of luxurious treatments including the Herbal Pindas Massage, which contains Tuscan herbs soaked in warm oils.


Spend the days relaxing, hiking through the property’s massive grounds or exploring the town of Lucca, a beautiful medieval spot chock-full of piazzas (Italian squares), churches and tasty gelato shops. Rent a bike and explore this walled city, cycling along the top of the fortress wall, and be sure to stop for a meal – a good spot is the Gli Orti di Via Elisa restaurant. Other highlights of this region include visiting the Grotta del Vento (the “Wind Cave”), which is considered to be one of the most unique caves in Europe and exploring castles, fortresses and historic sites in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Barga, many dating back to the 18th century. Exploring this under-the-radar part of Tuscany means you’ll see many of these sights and attractions without crowds and the restaurants won’t be packed. It’s an authentic part of Italy well worth a visit – especially on a romantic honeymoon.


In addition to the spa, another highlight of the property is the private cooking classes couples can take. Start in the local market where the chef will show you the best way to buy the freshest cheeses, vegetables and meats – all made locally.

You’ll meet shopkeepers and make small talk with various vendors in order to find the perfect ingredients. Then, head back to the hotel’s kitchen where the chef will give personalized instruction; you’ll be side-by-side in the kitchen stirring sauces, hand-making pastas and cutting fresh vegetables. Lastly, enjoy the fruits of your labor as you sit down to a romantic, threecourse meal with local wine.







re you seeking a European honeymoon that offers the peacefulness of nature, the fine dining of big cities, and exotic spa experiences from around the world? Then book your honeymoon at the Giardino Group resorts in Switzerland and take a tour of one spectacular country. Touch down in Zurich (a non-stop destination from many major U.S. cities) and spend a few days exploring the sights. Dine on the world’s finest cheeses and experience the art (and deliciousness) of raclette or enjoy a romantic dinner of fondue before strolling along Lake Zurich. Shop in season at the world-famous Christmas Market or year-round for world-class chocolate at local artisanal


chocolatiers. Explore the famous Great Minister church in Old Towne or hike up the hilltop of Uetliberg Mountain for panoramic views. Then retire at the base of the trail in the royal residence of Atlantis by Giardino, where you can take over the entire top floor when you stay in one of Europe’s largest hotel suites. With a shisha lounge, private chef and butler, hallways lined with bedrooms, and a terrace worthy of a wedding reception, you’ll feel like royalty (and sleep where some have). After getting a taste of the city sights, take the popular Swiss Railway to Ascona, a small lakeside village on the Swiss side of Lake Maggiore. Here you’ll check into Giardino Ascona for Ayurvedic-style cuisine and a bit of detox, if needed, to start your newly-wedded

Photo courtesy of: Giardino Hotels


Say “I Do” to a Swanky A

Giardino Ascona Giardino Lago

For a little more action, grab a complimentary bike and head into town for cocktails in the grottos, a stroll through the local farmers market and views of the famous lake. If water sports are more your speed, spend a day on the hotel’s private yacht and anchor on Brissago Islands for a relaxing afternoon in the gardens of the botanical park and palazzo. Or take a cable car to the top of the nearby mountain to see Switzerland’s tallest peak and lowest point all at once.

Then return to the lily pad-clad property and dine at Ecco, a two Michelin star restaurant with a delectable tasting menu designed for a romantic night out. Tour up the hillside in Ticino and stop at regional highlight, Cantina Helvetica di Daniel D’Andrea winery. One call from Giardino Ascona’s superb head concierge, Claudio Caser, and you just might dine on the family’s locally caught wild boar and homemade cheese while you taste their four varietals of delightful wines. If this honeymoon is part of a destination wedding in Switzerland, consider Giardino Lago for a rooftop deck ceremony overlooking the Italian and Swiss waters of Lake Maggiore, a reception in the popular Lago restaurant and a room block every guest will appreciate for the


price. Just ten minutes from the center of Ascona you have two completely different experiences for a wedding and honeymoon and two fantastic options for all types of travelers in your group. And finally, if a ski season honeymoon has caught your eye, you could even add a few days at Hotel Giardino Mountain near St. Moritz and enjoy an adventurous vacation for two on the slopes. Switzerland’s natural beauty, charming towns, outdoor adventures and design-centric cities offer different cultural experiences in every region and the ease of a well-oiled transportation system between them. For a honeymoon experience that has it all, head to Switzerland and the Giardino resorts.


Photos courtesy of: Giardino Hotels

life out right. Opt into their Ayurvedic consultation and learn how to best treat your individual body. Indulgences such as sound massages, yoga in a heated outdoor tent, healthy cooking classes and swimming (indoors and out) show you the way at this peaceful paradise.

Atlantis by Giardino


Thailand A Romantic Trio


very honeymoon should have a basic recipe for success: an exciting setting, amazing food and once-in-alifetime experiences. Thailand has this combination down pat. I recently visited and was hosted by two of Minor Hotels’ signature brands – Anantara and AVANI. My Thai travels took me to three distinct destinations – each of which would make a wonderful option for a honeymoon. Visit just one or any combination of the three and your travel taste buds will be left tingling.




This city is buzzing with intensity in all the right ways. Rather than feel overwhelmed, you’ll be energized by Bangkok’s feverish pace and world-famous street food scene. As soon as the sun sets, hit the bricks and head to Chinatown. The city’s street food vendors take over and alleyways that were previously packed with cars are now brimming with locals and tourists alike delighting in everything from Thai green curry and satay skewers to Yaowarat toasted milk buns. Bangkok has some of the most famous Michelinrated street food vendors in the world, so be sure to do your research in advance, as opening times and locations can vary. To escape the heat, head to Teens of Thailand – a hip bar with a gin and tonic that will knock your sweaty socks off. Once you’ve successfully eaten your way into a food coma, head to Anantara

AVANI+ Samui

Siam Bangkok Hotel, AVANI+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel or Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. The accommodations and service at each are stellar – it’s the locations and style that set them apart. The Anantara Bangkok Siam is located on the Golden Mile, near the Chatuchak Weekend Market (one of the largest open air markets in the world), the skytrain and upscale shopping. The Anantara Siam is swanky and known for its gilded silk mural that dominates the lobby. Both the AVANI+ Riverside and Anantara Riverside are located – you guessed it – by the Chao Phraya River and boast breathtaking views of the Bangkok skyline.

KOH SAMUI An hour’s flight south of Bangkok takes you to Koh Samui. The AVANI+ Samui is new to the scene and is a private escape set along the Gulf of Thailand. The beach leaves a bit to be desired, but the food and accommodations are outstanding. Be sure to book a pool villa for a private plunge whenever the urge strikes you. For a day trip, book a traditional Thai longtail boat and discover the island of Koh Matdsum for stunning sand and a charming shack serving up ice cold cocktails.

CHIANG RAI Just an hour’s flight north of Bangkok, you can escape to the (slightly) cooler temps and jungle setting of Northern Thailand and the Golden Triangle. Chiang Rai is located in this region.


AVANI+ Samui

Photos courtesy of: Avani Hotels & Resorts


AVANI+ Riverside Bangkok

Photos courtesy of (left to right): Avani Hotels & Resorts and Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

Anantara Golden Triangle

AVANI+ Samui



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



In Southeast Asia, the Golden Triangle is where the borders of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort has a widespread reputation for excellence, so I checked-in with high expectations. From the moment you step into the open-air lobby, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. Sip a signature welcome cocktail in the Elephant Bar…and just like that, you’re relaxed.

Each night booked at Anantara Golden Triangle includes a complimentary activity like spa treatments, cooking classes or Muay Thai kickboxing lessons. The most popular options will bring you up-close-and-personal with the resort’s rescue elephants. I recommend the Walking with Giants experience, which allows you to follow in the footsteps of these gentle creatures as they go about their big business.

Anantara Golden Triangle

Anantara Golden Triangle

A honeymoon symbolizes starting your married life together and should be a time of celebration. Experiencing this unique moment in time is made that much sweeter when doing it in a magical place like Thailand.

Anantara Golden Triangle



Photos courtesy of: Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

In case the misty jungle and winding rivers aren’t enough to capture your imagination, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. As the name suggests, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort is home to 20-plus Asian rescue elephants. Upon checking into my spacious room, I got lost on my balcony. No, not literally, but spiritually. As I looked out over the hazy hills, I saw elephants swaying to-and-fro in the distance and a herd of Burmese water buffalo crossing the river from Myanmar. March and April are crop-burning season in Laos, so ideally you would avoid this time of year, as Chiang Rai can be super smoky. However, during my visit the smoke added to the mystique. I got up early and watched as a misty dawn rose pink from a blood red sun.






What’s Your Style?


Bachelorette parties have become bucket list destination experiences in themselves! But, where to go and what to do? We’ve broken down destination recommendations based on what kind of bride and tribe you are. No matter your bridal style, bacheloretting away is a wonderful way to spend a little extra time with the ladies you love most before your big day. destinationido.com

Photo courtesy of: SLS Baha Mar


Adventurette If the great outdoors is your idea of luxury, then celebrate your upcoming walk down the aisle with a walk (or ATV ride) in nature. From ax- throwing to cross-country skiing, there’s a level of adventure for everyone. WHERE TO GO: Book any one of the Eleven Experience properties and your daily excursions

will be part of the group experience. Taylor River Lodge in Colorado teaches fly fishing and serves specialty cocktails by the indoor pool. In the evenings, guests retire to luxury cabins (complete with heated floors) and roast gourmet s’mores by the campfire.

from white water rafting to mountain biking, hiking, archery and more. WHAT TO GIFT: Matching flannels for a photo op, a themed survival kit or accessories to survive the weather (think beanies and gloves) make great gifts for your favorite gal pals.

WHAT TO INDULGE IN: Let the destination guide you,

Wellness Warrior Disconnect while you zen out and tone-up before the big day on a spa getaway. WHERE TO GO: Cal-A-Vie Health Spa in San Diego offers three-night packages including all calorie-conscious meals, meditation and exercise classes, and even indulgences like daily spa treatments.

De-stress and unwind together before the big day. And not to worry, they have their own winery, so it doesn’t have to be a purely healthy holiday. WHAT TO INDULGE IN: From pre-wedding day beauty prep to mindful meditation classes and morning hikes, take in every moment (and the

self-improvement opportunity) with your favorite friends. WHAT TO GIFT: Matching monogrammed spa robes, of course. Then grab some picture-perfect moments poolside.

For ladies who love their grapes, wine countries around the world offer a sophisticated way to celebrate. WHERE TO GO: Check into The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa and enjoy nightly complimentary wine tastings, comfy cabin-like rooms and suites,

and a prime location close to town. Book the bachelorette package and your group will get a “bottles and besties” class to make your own wine cork art, paired with local wines. WHAT TO INDULGE IN: Splurge on air travel and fly private or semi-private with JetSuite and JetSuiteX. And

when you touch down, take a tour on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley, no designated driver needed. WHAT TO GIFT: Customize a wine label with the help of Zazzle or even blend your own bottle at Judd’s Hill Bottle Blending Day Camp in Napa.

THE PARTY-GOING GROUP If a traditional bachelorette is more your style, there are plenty of party options to choose from. From Las Vegas to cruising in Cabo, day and night clubs await! WHERE TO GO: For a beach party with posh nightclubs and a “Sisterhood’s Latest Sin” package, head to the new SLS Baha Mar in the Bahamas. You’ll

also find a private island available for the ultimate in luxury and privacy. For a dance party and a show or two, party it up at The Palazzo at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas or dine in style in Miami at EAST, Miami. WHAT TO INDULGE IN: How about drunken donuts? Celebrate at the W Scottsdale and wake up to a sweet and

spiked bachelorette treat, complete with injectable shooters delivered to your door via bar cart. WHAT TO GIFT: Boohoo bridal party bathing suits for the bride and her tribe. Perfect for the beach or poolside at the all-inclusive Grand Velas Los Cabos. Let it be known that the party has arrived.



Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Taylor River Lodge, Cal-A-Vie Health Spa, JetSuite and W Scottsdale

Sophisticated Wine-O



Navigating RSVPs, Attire, Menus More WORDS BY ELAINE HILBELINK


Photo courtesy of: 123rf.com/profile_tabitazn

Everything from not hearing if your guest is a “yay” or “nay” and travel logistics to overtly flirtatious groomsmen and attire outrage is covered in this issue’s Adventures in Etiquette. We’re unpacking how to navigate these sometimes treacherous situations and make it down the aisle unscathed and just a little bit wiser.



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My RSVP deadline has come and gone and I still haven’t heard from quite a few invited guests. Should I assume they are all a “no?” What is the most polite way to proceed? Any couple can sympathize when guests don’t respond to your invitation. When you get radio silence to your invite, you absolutely should follow up rather than assuming it’s a “no.” Partly because if they do plan to attend and just forgot to send in the response card, you could be left with an awkward situation at the wedding when they show and you are short a seat and a meal. The best way to proceed is to follow up with a personal phone call or even a friendly text message. If some of the remiss responders are friends of your parents or future in-laws, you might delegate those phone calls to them. You will need to turn in accurate counts and meal choices to your venue and wedding planner, so you want to be certain about your numbers.


My fiancé and I are trying to finalize our wedding menu and aren’t sure how many options we should give guests. So many people nowadays have dietary restrictions – what’s the best way to handle this?

A groomsman in our wedding party keeps making unprovoked advances toward one of my bridesmaids. It’s been an ongoing issue at wedding-related events. What’s the best way to let him know she’s not interested, without making future interactions awkward? The most forthright way to deal with the ‘lecherous groomsman,’ would be to have your bridesmaid directly tell him that she is not interested. Directness is the only way to really squash the situation. Unfortunately, future interactions may become awkward, but the important thing is that this bridesmaid feels safe and that she doesn’t have to put up with being hit on at every turn. If she’s uncomfortable with the idea of confronting him or if, even after she tries to shut him down, he persists, your fiancé should speak to him.


My fiancé and I are working through the travel logistics for our destination wedding guests. Under what circumstances is it appropriate or expected for the wedding couple to provide transportation for their guests? Traditional etiquette dictates that it is the responsibility of guests and the wedding party to finance their own travel expenses in regards to airfare or getting to the main destination. Keep in mind, if you choose to help one attendant or family member and not another, word will get out and you could be faced with drama. Hosted ground transportation for group excursions, on the other hand, can really help ensure a seamless transition for guests and can help subsidize costs for your loved ones. It’s not expected per se, but is a genuinely appreciated gesture if provided. Many tour operators or travel


agents can assist in finding affordable group transportation, so check with either your agent or wedding planner. When it comes to group transportation to/from the ceremony and reception, that should be hosted by the couple and clearly communicated to guests before the day of the event.


I had a guest RSVP with a plus one, when they weren’t originally granted a guest. Should I just let it slide or tell them they can’t bring anyone? How you respond to the unwanted plus one depends upon a variety of circumstances. If finances and the venue can accommodate the additional guest, you might just let it slide. If you have constraints, you might call the guest and explain that your numbers cannot accommodate an extra. However, if a guest has a ‘significant other,’ it is customary to include that person on the invitation.


My best man has complained that my fiancé and I are being too controlling about what the wedding party can and can’t wear on the wedding day. It’s going to be on the beach and we’ve told everyone they can’t wear sunglasses. Are we being unreasonable? This is your wedding, so you and your fiancé determine what you would like your wedding party to wear. Simply explain to the wedding party that they will be photographed not only for posed photos, but also during the ceremony and reception, so due to this – you would prefer if they kept their sunglasses off. Sometimes just the explanation is all they need so they understand you’re not being dismissive of their needs, but protective of the photos that will be with you for years to come.


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




Real Wedding Santa Barbara




Words by: Victoria Hill Images by: Birds of a Feather Wedding Designer & Planner: Onyx + Redwood


Guests were supportive of the pair’s decision for a California wedding, but because many family members lived FALL & WINTER 2019


udslides from the California wildfires left Randolph and Katrina scrambling for a last minute venue. Thankfully, with the help of their wedding planner, these newlyweds were still able to have a dream Santa Barbara destination wedding. “Mother Nature presented us with some unique obstacles,” they say. “But Jessica and her team at Onyx + Redwood made it a breeze. Whether by FaceTime, Aisle Planner, social media, email, text or phone calls, we felt like we were there.”


“Our reception was an absolute dream, held outdoors at a private estate in the mountains of Santa Barbara with a view of the ocean.”


on the East Coast, they were initially hesitant. “Our New York family members were slightly more stressed about it,” the bride and groom say. “They think destination weddings are a ‘generational’ thing.” Ultimately, however, loved ones were excited to travel somewhere new and celebrate with the happy couple. Upon arriving the day before the wedding, guests attended a welcome reception on the beach to enjoy the sunny location and eat delicious food. “We had tacos, Mexican-themed cupcake flights, a Spanish guitarist and lots of tequila,” Randolph and Katrina say.


The next day, the couple held their traditional Catholic ceremony at the historic Old Mission Santa Monica. One unique aspect they planned was the incorporation of classical compositions into the ceremony. “Our view was that, too often, couples gloss over the actual wedding and devote all their attention and resources to the party,” Randolph and Katrina say. “As a result, we spent almost as much time planning our ceremony as our reception, as we considered that to be the most important event of the weekend.” Afterwards, guests were taken to the reception, which took place outdoors at a private estate in the mountains with stunning ocean views. Because the destinationido.com

newlyweds got engaged in Jordan, they strived to incorporate Mediterranean elements into their celebration. “In terms of the aesthetic, it was a fairy tale,” the bride and groom say. “The first dance was a traditional Jordanian song in which every guest surrounded us, took turns dancing with us and threw money in the air to symbolize a ‘prosperous’ marriage. It was so much fun and set the tone for an entire night of dancing and merriment.”

VENDORS: Photographer: Birds of a Feather, birdsofafeatherphotos.com, Wedding Planner: Onyx + Redwood, onyxandredwood.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Old Mission Santa Barbara, santabarbaraca.com/ businesses/old-mission-santa-barbara, Florist: Precious and Blooming Floral Design, preciousandblooming.com, Stationery: Lazaro Press, lazaropress.com, Gown Designer: Romona Keveza, romonakeveza.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Ermenegildo Zegna, zegna.us/us-en/ home.html, Rentals: Town & Country Rentals, tacer.biz & Dish Wish, dishwishevents.com, Event Designer: Revelry Event Designers, revelryeventdesigners.com, Catering: Urban Plate, urbanpalate.com & Amazebowls, amazebowls.com, Hair & Makeup: Team Hair & Makeup, teamhairandmakeup.com, Transportation: Santa Barbara Airbus, sbairbus.com, Restrooms: MarBorg Industries, marborg.com, Bar Services: Liquid Cult, liquidcult.com, Linens: ModMix Studio, modmixstudio.com & La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Lighting: Bella Vista Designs Inc, bellavistadesigns.com, DJ: DJ Reprise, djreprise.com & Cupcakes: Enjoy Cupcakes, enjoycupcakes.com


e r i h s n e e d r e b A REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS




Words by: Jennifer Stein Images by: Fern Photography Wedding Planner: Tartan Weddings


hat happens when the senior editor of a national destination wedding magazine gets engaged after twelve years of dating? She elopes to a castle in Scotland, naturally. “Having worked and traveled for Destination I Do for nine years, a hometown wedding was never in the cards for me. Over the years, Zach has gotten to travel with me and agreed we should start our married life together in a new and exciting part of the world,” says Courtney. Having dreamed of her wedding day for a while, she didn’t want to deal with the countless particulars and trappings of a traditional wedding. “I was also eager to get the show on the road, so-to-speak, and selected a wedding date only six months away. An elopement made this short time frame much more manageable,” says Courtney. Family and friends were “amazingly supportive” and gave them the freedom to pursue the event that reflected Courtney and Zach’s desires. “Obviously our friends and family, especially our moms, would have loved to visit Scotland and stay in a castle, but understood our reasoning and supported our plan. They knew how long we had waited for this day and wanted it to be everything we had always dreamed of.” Apparently, Jon Snow does know a thing or two. Courtney was following the “Game of Thrones” actor’s real-life wedding to his costar and discovered Aberdeenshire. “Once I started




Get Married in Scotland Scottish Castle Weddings & Events

( 917) 538-4365 lisa@tartanweddings.com www.tartanweddings.com Photo Credit: Fern Photography

researching the ‘Castle Country of Scotland,’ I was sold,” recalls the bride. Her single worry about eloping was not having loved ones around leading up to and on the wedding day. “This was another reason why I suggested Scotland as our destination. I wanted to make sure we were surrounded by vendors who we could rely on and felt more like friends than business associates. I knew in my heart that the Scottish people would be warm, welcoming and make us feel right at home. This was exactly the case.”

After the couple said their destination “I do’s,” they enjoyed a first dance and cake cutting. They then headed out to the fish and chips truck their wedding planner had arranged along with a Prosecco van. Drumtochty Castle is only available for buyouts, so the couple and their vendors had the castle to themselves. “We spent our wedding night sitting around the fire drinking whisky, playing pool and taking photos.” One unexpected add-on Courtney insisted on was a sunrise photo shoot the morning after the wedding. “All our vendors were a bit shocked when I


suggested it, but I thought watching the sunrise over 15th century castle ruins on the Scottish coast would be an amazing way to start our married life!” VENDORS: Photographer: Fern Photography, fernphotography.co.uk, Wedding Planner: Lisa Bauer with Tartan Weddings, tartanweddings.com, Reception/ Ceremony Site: Drumtochty Castle, drumtochtycastle.com, Videographer: Olive & Thistle, oliveandthistle.co.uk, Florist: Hay’s Flowers, haysflowers.co.uk, Humanist Celebrant: Halde Pottinger, facebook.com/humanisthalde, Hair & Makeup: Tiphanie Duncan, instagram.com/ tiphanieduncanmua, Bagpiper & Ceremony Music: Rich Gordon, rgpiper.co.uk, Food Truck: The Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven, thebayfishandchips.co.uk, Prosecco Cart: Juniper & Grape, facebook.com/juniperandgrape, Cake: Vicky Irvine with For The Love O Cakes, facebook. com/fortheloveocakes, Vintage Car: Eagle Wedding Cars, weddingcarsaberdeen.co.uk, Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana from Marieé Bridal, essensedesigns.com/martina-liana & marieegallery.com, Scottish Tartan Wrap: Joyce Young, joyceyoungcollections.co.uk, Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka, badgleymischka.com, Bride’s Hair Vine: Twigs & Honey, twigsandhoney.com, Bride’s Bracelet: “Morning Dew” from BHLDN, bhldn.com & Bride’s Earrings: Ayajewellery from Etsy, etsy.com/shop/ayajewellery


“Outside of the ceremony, I got the most emotional saying ‘goodbye’ to Lisa [our wedding planner]. How do you properly thank someone who helped make all of your dreams come true?”

With her hand-selected wedding vendors in place, Drumtochty Castle as their backdrop, a dream-like floral ensconced aisle to float down, a bag piper serenading and a Humanist officiant uniting them, Courtney and Zach made their commitment to each other official. Their ceremony was a true reflection of them with an emphasis on a partnership based on mutual respect with a desire to live a compassionate life together.


“My favorite memory is our choreographed first dance. The faces of my best friends at the head table as we busted out our dance moves will forever be imprinted in my mind.”


KATIE + TIM Words by: Kinsley Brown Images by: Brandon Kidd Photography Wedding Designer & Planner: Intertwined Weddings & Events


atie and Tim are kindred spirits who met while volunteering at a camp for children and adults with special needs.


Fast forward 18 years and the couple hosted a symbolic church ceremony in front of their campers before heading off to Mammoth Lakes, California, for a destination wedding. A hometown event in Orange County was never in the cards for the bride because of her profession. “As a wedding planner, I wanted to make sure I did something really different than what I help create for my brides on a day-to-day basis. I knew I wouldn’t be able to turn off ‘work mode’ and enjoy our wedding at a local venue…”


Luckily, Mammoth Lakes was a convenient location for their 183 guests. “Once we told them all the fun things we had in store, such as a gondola ride to the welcome party, a ceremony by the lake and a weekend away from their kids, everyone was on board,” says Katie. “We only had a 10 percent decline rate on our invite list, which is unheard of for a destination wedding!”





When it came to the planning, Katie and her team went to work. “I found that if I was willing to trust the vendors, it was easy! If I was someone who had to micromanage details, it would have been very difficult.” Speaking of details, the bride stresses the importance of not getting bogged down in the planning process. “Remember the reason you are getting married,” advises the bride. “I’m a thousand percent all about the details – it’s my job. But, I kept telling myself to live in the moment and remember whatever happened, all I really cared about was getting married to the love of my life. Having that peace of mind really allowed me to sit back, be present and enjoy every minute.” Beyond the sunny lakeside ceremony and dance-filled reception, the couple looks back most fondly on their day-after celebrations. “Our favorite day is ‘Sunday Funday,’ because I am usually working a wedding on Saturdays,” says the bride. “We held a Sunday Funday at a local dive bar, where we were able to relax, eat fried food and recap all the fun we had the previous day.”


VENDORS: Photographer: Brandon Kidd Photography, brandonkidd.net, Wedding Designer & Planner: Intertwined Weddings & Events, intertwinedevents.com, Ceremony/ Reception Site: Convict Lake Resort, convictlake.com, Florist: Art With Nature Design, artwithnaturedesign.com, Stationery: River and Bridge, riverandbridge.com, Gown Designer: Ines Di Santo, inesdisanto.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Friar Tux, friartux.com, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nordstrom, nordstrom.com, Bride’s Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes, bellabelleshoes.com, Groom’s Shoes: Adidas, adidas.com, Chairs, Dance Floor & Lighting: Chiavari Chair Rentals, chiavarichairrentals.com, Settee & Cake Table: Found Rentals, foundrentals.com, DJ: Honored Occasions, honoredoccasions.com, Chargers: Theoni Collection, theonicollection.com, Linens: BBJ Linen, bbjlinen.com, Hair & Makeup: Design Visage, designvisage.com, Videographer: Hoo Films, hoofilms.com, Glassware & Flatware: Signature Party Rentals, signatureparty.com, Calligraphy Place Cards & Custom Wine Glasses: Heidi Davidson Design, heididavidsondesign.com, Bar: Rummage Girl Weddings, facebook.com/therummagegirl, Candelabras: Baker Party Rentals, bakerpartyrentals.com & Escort Card Scroll & Custom Signs: Alexandria Manson, alexandriamanson.com



E E N Y.

M E E N Y.



ARIZONA | CALIFORNIA | TEXAS | WASHINGTON www.robbinsbrothers.com | 800.295.1543 skus: 0399725, 0399726, 0385563, 0385564, 0406406, 0414399





Words by: Courtney Kellar Images by: Jarrod J. Photo Wedding Designer & Planner: Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli


aylor (a former intern of DID’s) is an Arizona girl through-and-through. Thus, she never imagined having a farflung destination wedding. “Growing up my entire life in the same neighborhood in Phoenix…I had always dreamed of a large, local wedding,” says the bride. When it came to finding a local venue – within budget – that could accommodate their large guest list, Taylor and Chase struck out. So, about six months into the planning process, the couple shifted gears. The bride had visited Lake Como a few years earlier and fell in love with Villa Regina Teodolinda. “The more we talked about it and tried to find the perfect [local] venue, the idea of going to Italy became more and more appealing,” says Taylor. When reflecting back on her time writing about other couples’ destination weddings, Taylor remembered couples stressing how special it was to have extended, quality time with their loved ones. “That was ultimately the reason we chose to get married in Italy – we felt it would be such a special experience for whoever could make it…it was the best decision we ever made!”


“Words could never express how much it meant to us to have that many people share our special day in such a breathtaking, magical place.”



“We feel so blessed and full of joy to be able to receive this gift of the celebration of our love. This is a wonderful organization that reminds you that there are so many people with huge hearts that just want to help. We will never forget our wedding day and how amazingly beautiful it turned out to be. We truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” ~ Craig & Deena, Wish Recipients

A MOMENT, FOREVER YOURS. 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 WishUponAWedding.org

© 2017 Wish Upon A Wedding

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“The most special aspect was the fact that Chase’s grandfather married us. It was a beautiful, simple and intimate ceremony centered around family – something we have always treasured.”

Chase and Taylor were most nervous to share their updated plans with Chase’s grandfather, who had agreed to marry the couple. He had been excited about the wedding for months and the couple was worried he wouldn’t be up for the trip. After breaking the news to him at his eightieth birthday party, he heartily signed on! In the end, 65 guests joined Taylor and Chase in the destination of their dreams. The couple wanted to let their beautiful setting take the spotlight, so they settled on a few important aspects of the wedding day: music, food and drinks and overall vibe. “Our dinner playlist and the sparkly lights in the trees set the mood perfectly,” says Taylor. “Everything combined and created the most magical, whimsical ambiance at our little villa on the lake. It was such a dreamy evening!” Even though the couple loved every moment of their wedding day, it was actually the extended time with their guests that they cherish most. “As magical as our wedding day was, the day after [exploring the lake by boat] was hands-down the best day ever!” says Taylor. “There was no pressure for everything to be perfect, no expectations, and we were just able to enjoy the time we had with our friends and family.”


VENDORS: Photographer: Jarrod J. Photo, jarrodjphoto.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli, elegantoccasionsbyjoanngregoli.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Villa Regina Teodolinda, villareginateodolinda.com, Florist: Barbara Botta Fiori, barbarabottafiori.com, Bride’s Gown: Allure Bridals, allurebridals.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Kenneth Cole, kennethcole.com, Bridesmaids’ Dress Designer: Hayley Paige, jlmcouture.com/hayley-paige, Catering: Sunlake Catering, sunlakecatering.com, Painted Favors: Coley Kuyper, coleykuyper.com & DJ: Blunotte Eventi, blunotteventi.com








“Because we were asking family and friends to travel to celebrate with us, it was really important that the wedding not take place in a nondescript, indoor location that could be anywhere.”

Words by: Kinsley Brown Images by: Rebecca Yale Photography Wedding Designer & Planner: RMBO Collective “


he lovely is in the details,” or at least that’s what came to mind when we scrolled through the photos from Katherine and Ryan’s Santa Ynez, California, destination wedding. The L.A. couple

searched the California coastline for the perfect wedding venue and settled on Kestrel Park. “We knew we wanted to get married in a unique, scenic outdoor setting and we loved how the venue allowed us a lot of outdoor space, while still being accessible from all that Santa Barbara has to offer,” reflects the bride. “Because we were asking family and friends to travel to celebrate with us, it

was really important that the wedding not take place in a nondescript, indoor location that could be anywhere,” Katherine continues. “We wanted to show off California and Santa Ynez was the perfect place to do that!” The couple got their wish as their wedding day was awash with sunshine – highlighting the venue’s 17th century-style barn, lavender garden and towering sycamore trees.





“Make the effort to spend the whole time together. It can be easy to get separated and pulled in different directions…”


The couple said “I do” in front of rustic doors covered in flowers, which perfectly framed the venue’s Sycamore Alée. Following the sentimental ceremony, reception guests were treated to bespoke details like monogrammed macaroon favors, a Champagne tower and stunning floral displays. A bountiful feast beneath bistro lights was capped-off with a sparkler exit. Katherine and Ryan credit RMBO Collective for helping them achieve the California destination wedding of their dreams. “We relied heavily on our wedding planner for her design skills, logistical coordination and relationships with vendors.” As for advice the newlyweds would share with other couples planning a destination wedding: “Make the effort to spend the whole time together. It can be easy to get separated and pulled in different directions, but we loved having a shared experience of our wedding day.”


VENDORS: Photographer: Rebecca Yale Photography, rebeccayalephotography.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: RMBO Collective, rmbocollective.com, Ceremony/ Reception Site: Kestrel Park, kestrelpark.com, Florist: Moon Canyon, mooncanyondesign.com, Videography: NP Films, npfilms.com, Save the Dates: Minted, minted.com, Invitations & Event Day Paper Goods: Prim & Pixie, primandpixie.com, Bridal Gown: Angel Rivera from Kinsley James, angelriveracouture.com and kinsleyjames.com, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids, jennyyoo.com and bellabridesmaids.com, Groom’s Clothing: Ermenegildo Zegna, zegna.us, Flower Girl Attire: Isabel Garretón, isabelgarreton.com, Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup, teamhairandmakeup.com, Catering: Omni Catering, omnicateringsb.com, Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Jason Sulkin Music, jasonsulkin.com, Reception Music: West Coast Music, westcoastmusic.com, Officiant: Joe LaBrie, Landscaping Rentals: Marina Landscape Services, marinalandscape.org, Tabletop Rentals: Borrowed BLU, borrowedblu.com, Linens: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Furniture Rentals: Bright Event Rentals, bright.com, Additional Rentals: The Tent Merchant, thetentmerchant.com, Lighting: SPARK Creative Events, sparkcreativeevents.com, Getaway Car: Winning Makes, winningmakes.com, Guest Transportation: Santa Barbara Airbus, sbairbus.com & Restrooms: Luxury Flush LLC, portableluxuryrestrooms.com


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








Words by: Kinsley Brown Images by: Christina McNeill Wedding Designer & Planner: Simply Grand Events


essica wanted a change of scenery from her floral business in Las Vegas, so she and her groom opted for the mountains of the Teton Range in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Like the couple, many of their loved ones live in big cities, so a back-to-nature vibe was essential. “We really created a weekend getaway for all of the guests,” says the bride. “From a river rafting trip to a cowboy casual rehearsal dinner, we submerged our guests into the elements of Jackson Hole that we love so much.” Jessica and Chase set themselves a lofty task to plan their dream destination wedding in just four months. “It took a lot of work, planning and a few rushed items to make it happen,” explains the couple. “People thought it was crazy, but the date and location were available, so we figured no better time than now!” The bride believes their wedding planner was essential for success. “[She] helped in finding specific vendors, organizing the permits needed and the logistics of getting everything to the top of the mountain,” says Jessica.






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“Use as many local vendors as you can, they’ve done these events, know the details that are important and will help point you in directions that will be helpful for the planning process.” On the big day, the couple was joined by 200 guests on a terrace at the top of Bridger Gondola. Attendees were met at the base of the mountain with a glass of Champagne for the ride up to the ceremony. Smoke from wildfires in California gave the mountain views a foggy appearance, but ultimately created a dramatic backdrop for the couple’s Jewish ceremony. The florist bride looks back on the set-up with fondness. “Every moment was special. Our chuppah was bright and colorful, saturated with colors of pinks, burnt oranges, yellows and local greenery.” Not surprisingly, Jessica also has passionate prose about the reception décor. “Once guests walked into the room, it was a sea of color. Every velvet table linen was a different color and we printed our paper goods to match. The deep plum tones, vibrant magentas and pops of golden yellows made the room come alive.” Beyond the vibrant wedding day, the couple was thoroughly successful in creating a special weekend for their guests from start-to-finish. Their advice: “Stick with your gut and make sure you provide all things necessary for your guests to be comfortable.”


VENDORS: Photographer: Christina McNeill, christinamcneill.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: Kendra with Simply Grand Events, simplygrandevent.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, jacksonhole.com, Florist: Abigail Hubley, instagram.com/ abigailhubley, Stationery: XOWYO Paper and Press, xowyo.com, Gown Designer: Alyssa Kristin from Grey Pearl Bridal, alyssakristin.com & greypearlbridal.com, Bride’s Shoes: Chloé, chloe.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Isaia Beverly Hills, us.isaia.it, Groom’s Shoes: Moreschi, moreschi.it, Makeup: Jordan Exber, instagram.com/ jojoexber & Hair: James Fiala




s e l e g n Los A




“It was incredible having the people we love from separate continents coming together to celebrate the joining of our two families.”


Words by: Victoria Hill Images by: Jessica Grazia Mangia Photography Wedding Designer & Planner: Wheat & Honey Events


fter meeting one another on a backpacking adventure through South America, Kirby and Oliver knew they wanted to be together long after the trip. Despite living in different countries, the couple dated long-distance for over a year before getting engaged. They wanted to have a destination wedding in a place all of their loved ones would be excited to visit, so it wasn’t long before they chose the sunny city of Los Angeles. “Choosing Kirby’s hometown of Los Angeles meant both her grandmothers could attend and share in the celebration of our special day,” the groom says. While Kirby and Oliver’s guests were supportive of their decision to tie the knot on the West Coast, the newlyweds admit planning a destination wedding from separate locations was not an easy task. However, knowing helpful, reliable people in the area eased a lot of pressure. “The biggest things that helped us were hiring a wedding planner local to the venue, as well as having Kirby’s mom in Los Angeles helping every step of the way,” says Oliver. Aside from the gorgeous California weather, the couple’s ceremony and reception site at Union Station contributed to an overall unforgettable experience. The ceremony was held




outdoors in a brick-lined patio where guests were surrounded by beautiful trees and garden hedges. The celebration then moved indoors for the reception in the historic ticketing hall of Union Station. “Our favorite elements of the space were the art deco detailing, light fixtures, ceramic tiles decorating the walls and beautiful woodwork of the ceilings and ticket booths,” the newlyweds say. They spent the night in this gorgeous space dancing away to their favorite songs performed by a live band. Following the wedding, the newlyweds decided to spend a few days relaxing by the beach with close friends and family. Sun, sand and the company of loved ones contributed to making this wedding just as the couple had originally envisioned. “After the wedding we traveled to Orange County,” they say. “It was the perfect way to spend time together before heading back home.”


VENDORS: Photographer: Jessica Grazia Mangia Photography, jessica-grazia-mangia.it, Wedding Designer & Planner: Wheat & Honey Events, wheatandhoneyevents.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Union Station Los Angeles, unionstationla.com, Florist: Santa Barbara Flowers, instagram.com/flowersandweddings, Stationery: Oliver (Groom), Gown Designer: Pronovias, pronovias.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, calvinklein.us, Hair & Makeup: Cheek to Cheek Artistry, bookcheektocheek.com, Bridesmaids’ Clothing Designer: White by Vera Wang, davidsbridal.com/wedding-dresses/ white-by-vera-wang, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, calvinklein.us, Catering: Command Performance Catering, cpcatering.com, Cake: Fantasy Frostings, fantasyfrostings.com, Rentals: A Rental Connection, arentalconnection.com & Band: Ben Mallare Events & Entertainment, benmallare.com




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