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WEDDINGS, HONEYMOONS & ROMANCE TRAVEL

honeymoon

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PICTUREPERFECT

wedding LOCATIONS

LIKE HOLLYWOOD IN BORA BORA

get inspired!

REAL DESTINATION WEDDINGS FROM COLORADO TO CABO DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 7, 2019

latin america IS FOR LOVERS:

destinationido.com

EXPLORE MEXICO, BELIZE & COSTA RICA


IN MY KINGDOM, EVEN SCIENTISTS AGREE, THE EARTH REVOLVES AROUND ME. 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


T H E

WORLD’S O N L Y

F I V E - S T A R

★★★★★

LUXURY I N C L U D E D®

H O N E Y M O O N

Over-the-Water Private Island Butler Villa with Infinity Pool at Sandals® Royal Caribbean

T H E P E R F E C T STA R T TO T H E P E R F E C T M A R R I A G E LOV E I S A L L YO U N E E D

UP TO 16 RESTAURANTS INCLUDED PER RESORT

MASTERS OF EXCELLENCE IN THE CULINARY ARTS

More Quality Inclusions Than Any Other Resorts On The Planet


Every desire. Every temptation. Every indulgence you could imagine is waiting for you at Sandals Resorts—where you’ll find the world’s only 5-Star Luxury Included ® Honeymoon. From our exotic and decadently romantic Love Nest Butler Suites® with everything from infinity-edge plunge pools and private Tranquility Soaking Tubs ™ for two, on your balcony or patio, to endless land and water sports including daily scuba diving for certified divers (ranked in the top five dive operations in the Western Hemisphere by PADI , or premium spirits served at up to 11 bars and 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 16 extraordinary restaurants. Even tips, taxes, and Sandals transfers* are included. When you choose to start your new life together at Sandals, you’ll find that you really can have it all because it’s all inclusive, all the time, anytime. ®

WEDDING

& HONEYMOON

SANDALS FREE* WEDDING WITH A THREE-NIGHT STAY OR MORE! INVITE FAMILY & FRIENDS AND BOOK MORE ROOMS TO GET MORE PERKS FROM A FREE HONEYMOON WITH A HONEYMOON SUITE* TO A LOBSTER DINNER RECEPTION*

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

@ sandalsresortsweddings

JAMAICA • ANTIGUA • SAINT LUCIA • BAHAMAS • GRENADA • BARBADOS *Visit www.sandals.com/disclaimers/destinationidospringsummer2019 or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions.

VOTE D WORLD’S BEST

AT T H E W O R L D

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YE ARS IN A ROW

T R AV E L AWA R D S


features SPRIN G/ S U MME R 201 9

24 PACIFIC NORTHWEST GEMS If misty mountains and chilly lakeshores are more your wedded cup of tea than warm, white sand beaches, then you might consider the Pacific Northwest. We’re highlighting popular options like Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta (pg. 24), Golden, British Columbia (pg. 25) and Seattle, Washington (pg. 26). 28 MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE Denver, Breckenridge & Vail Celebrate mile-high in the Colorado clouds by choosing to say “I do” in Denver (pg. 28), before heading up to your skyhigh honeymoon in Breckenridge and Vail (pg. 30).

70 SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION – Upstate New York Non-East Coast residents are often hyper focused on New York City. However, New York state has much more to offer than skyscrapers. Discover the beautiful Upstate region with the Finger Lakes (pg. 70) and Adirondak Mountains (pg. 75). 80 HONEYMOON HIDEAWAYS Tetiaroa & Bora Bora Discover the secluded island paradise of Tetiaroa that swept our editor in chief off her feet (pg. 80). Followed by a partner property with views that will take your breath away in Bora Bora (pg. 83).

ROMANTIC ISLAND INSIDER 32 Bora Bora – This French Polynesian stunner puts a luxury spin on the destination with its private island setting. 34 Maui – Set in a classic wedding destination, this resort strives to meet and exceed previously held expectations for nuptial bliss. 36 Grand Cayman – No island round-up would be complete without the Caribbean and this Cayman property hits the mark for romance. LATIN AMERICA IS FOR LOVERS 42 Costa Rica – Chic modernism meets a jungle setting at this Peninsula Papagayo beauty. 44 Belize – This home-away-from-home in Ambergris Cay has something for everyone. 47 Playa del Carmen – In a surprisingly quiet setting, enjoy thatched-roof palapas amongst the palms. 48 Tulum – It’s worth the effort to reach this truly boutique resort set in a protected biosphere.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

60 CASTLES, CRUISES & COASTLINES Whether you dream of a warm-weather wedding or historic honeymoon, one of these three options will fit the bill. A castle with ties to royalty in Ireland (pg. 60), a cruise through the Northern Cyclades in Greece (pg. 62) or a coastline stunner in Italy (pg. 64).

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66 WINE COUNTRY WITH A TWIST Gone are the days of pricey tastings and inaccessible resort accommodations. Wine country is starting to cater to the younger generation, with prime examples in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley (pg. 66), Napa (pg. 68) and Sonoma (pg. 69).

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Photo courtesy of: Danielle Coons Photography

DESTINATION i do


Test the Waters

Preview your wedding for free* and explore all-inclusive luxury from venues to cakes at adults-only Hyatt Zilara™ Rose Hall or all-ages Hyatt Ziva™ Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

HYATT ZILARA ROSE HALL SWIM-UP SUITES

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

500 CREDIT* WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR WEDDING $

A N A L L- I N C L U S I V E E X P E R I E N C E b y H YAT T C A LL OUR WED DI NG CE NTE R F O R D ETA I L S | 87 7. 8 49. 5 4 3 2 | R ESO RTS BYH YAT T.CO M ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS IN CANCUN | CAP CANA (COMING FALL 2019) | LOS CABOS | MONTEGO BAY | PUERTO VALLARTA * Big Day Preview applies to US and Canada adult residents only. Credit is valid for minimum $5,000 wedding program. Limit one Big Day Preview credit per wedding. Credit can only be applied towards a wedding booked at the Big Day Preview host hotel. Best room availability suite category restrictions may apply. Applies to new bookings only. Offer is valid through December 15, 2019. Blackout dates and restrictions may apply. Offers may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Additional terms and conditions may apply, see our website for full details. Hyatt Zilara™ and Hyatt Ziva™ trademarks and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation or its affiliates. ©2019 Hyatt Corporation. ©2019 Playa Hotels & Resorts is the owner and exclusive operator of Hyatt Zilara™ and Hyatt Ziva™ resorts in Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. All rights reserved. PLA06871118


THE MOMENT YOU ARRIVE, YOU DEPART. Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos

• Adults-only • Luxe all-inclusive • Celebrated chefs leblancsparesorts.com/loscabos

• Indulgent spa • Personal butler service • Beyond compare 1.800.635.1836


departments S PR I N G / S UM M ER 201 9

14 EDITOR’S LETTER 16 WEDDED WISDOM Get the inside scoop and helpful insights on the wedding world. 18 INSIDER TRAVELING No matter the destination, here are some helpful travel tips and must-know info. 20 ON THE HORIZON Stay up-to-speed on recent hotel happenings and wedding and travel trends.

58 GUEST BOOK – The Art of the Playlist: Advice from a Destination DJ Nothing affects a wedding’s atmosphere quite like the music. It can be the heartbeat of the action or the “Debbie” to the reception “downer.” Here, a celebrity DJ weighs-in on the pros and cons of different music options. 76 THE HONEYMOONIST – Scout-Out Santorini Our resident honeymoon expert is back and sharing a refined tour of a honeymoon classic. The Southern Cyclades and Santorini are comprised of countless romantic spots, so let her aid you in deciding where to start.

38 ASK THE EXPERT – How to Create a Floral Fantasy Industry expert Karen Tran shares how to make your floral dreams come to life – at any budget and in any destination.

84 ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE – Repeat Offenders We explore some of the mo­st pervasive and important questions. Discover the solution to etiquette issues that arise year after year.

FASHION FORWARD 50 Plush & Pressed - A Textured Love Story – Add a touch of classic romance to your destination wedding with this photo shoot highlighting velvet fabrics and pressed florals. 86 An Affair of the Heart: Croatia – This current “it” destination is the inspiration and setting for this photo shoot dedicated to Croatian scenery and seaside style.

94 REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS The pièce de résistance of every issue, these real-life weddings are sure to impress. Discover a purple-tinged paradise in California, mountaintop majesty in Colorado, beautiful boho style in Maui, a contrast of colors in South Carolina, a fuchsia fantasy in Maui, a touching family affair in Thailand and beachfront elegance in Los Cabos.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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Photo courtesy of: Daniel Kim Photography

DESTINATION i do


PROMISE Make every moment Grand.

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


ON THE COVER THE TRAVEL PUBLICATION FOR ENGAGED COUPLES & ROMANCE TRAVELERS

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SPRING 2 019

wedding

& H O NE Y MO O NS TO O !

pg. 80

National Park WEDDING TIPS pg. 94

PICTUREPERFECT

Throughout this issue

LOCATIONS

honeymoon

EDITOR IN CHIEF / PUBLISHER / OWNER Jennifer Stein

EDITOR Courtney Cox

OWNER / CEO Carolyn Steere

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Gordon Steere

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Erin Loukili

DESIGNER Jaclyn Threadgill

NATIONAL ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Mike Walker

NORTHEAST & CARIBBEAN ADVERTISING MANAGER Diane Homer

LIKE HOLLYWOOD IN BORA BORA

get inspired!

REAL DESTINATION WEDDINGS FROM COLORADO TO CABO

latin america

DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 7, 2019

IS FOR LOVERS:

pg. 42

EXPLORE MEXICO, BELIZE & COSTA RICA

destinationido.com

Spring 2019 Cover: Aboard the 75 foot sailboat Tu Enamorado, our model, Lauren Ray Morris, is stunning in a two piece gown by Rminé. Her soft and natural hair and makeup was done by Zoë Elizabeth and the photo shoot creative direction and production was courtesy of Crosby + Jon and Grand Velas Project Director, Ary Iturralde. Jeremy Chou shot this on location with the help of Carlos Hernandez, directly in front of the newly opened Grand Velas Los Cabos (also shown here). Full photo shoot and video by Robert Michael can be found on our website at destinationido.com/los-cabos-wedding.

SOUTHEAST ADVERTISING MANAGERS Scott Rickles Dan Tomkiewicz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Victoria Abbott Riccardi Kinsley Brown Kate Darnell Elaine Hilbelink Holly V. Kapherr Shana Kinnerup Melissa Klurman

Judy Koutsky Susan Moynihan John Roark Samantha Ross Anthony Stein Kathy Till Harmony Walton

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Kristi Blane

EDITORIAL INTERNS Emily Garcia Brianna Williams

SUBSCRIPTIONS

THE TRAVEL PUBLICATION FOR ENGAGED COUPLES & ROMANCE TRAVELERS

SUMMER 2019

wine country WEDDINGS

pg. 66

IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

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.

& HONEYMOONS TOO!

Throughout this issue

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES

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

unique IDEAS FOR your

FEATURED LOCATIONS

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

“I DO’S”

pg. 80

honeymoon LIKE HOLLYWOOD IN BORA BORA DISPLAY UNTIL AUGUST 7, 2019

destinationido.com

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AWE-INSPIRING

destinations

© 2019 DESTINATION MEDIA, LLC

Throughout this issue

FOR YOUR WEDDING AWAY

Summer 2019 Cover: Gazing into the stunning sunset are our equally stunning bride and bridesmaids. Shot on location at Klentner Ranch in Carpinteria, California, our bevy of beauties are sheathed in on-trend gowns by Jenny Yoo Collection and bridal gown by Tara Lauren. Hair and makeup by Page Beauty and floral bouquet by Coco Rose Design. The gorgeous image was captured by Rebecca Theresa Photography and the full Fashion Forward photo shoot can be found starting on pg. 50. Production for the “Plush & Pressed – A Textured Love Story” photo shoot by Be Inspired PR.

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

Contact Us

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


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


weddingVendor orFriendor?

The person who captured our very first cover, Melissa Jill, now has her own destination nuptials featured in this issue (pg. 98). She photographed my destination wedding, my son’s newborn photos and my brother’s hometown wedding. She’s been a vital part of the magazine and has participated in photo shoots, editorial and an assortment of things through the years. We’ve forged a friendship and have supported each other in our businesses and personal lives.

EDITOR’S LETTER

Another dear friend and collaborator, Harmony Walton (she’s the owner of Bridal Bar and JetFete.com, as well as a contributing writer to every issue of Destination I Do – stories found on pg. 38 & pg. 42), was just engaged and will be celebrating her own wedding in the coming year. It’s fun to see one of our “own” tie the knot and to see how our industry celebrates alongside her and rallies to ensure she has a great experience. It just goes to show the number of truly wonderful individuals who make up this community of wedding professionals.

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As a whole, our entire industry is very much this way. I like to think that the wedding and travel industries are filled with truly good people who love what

they do and make friends with other vendors (we even lovingly call them “friendors”) – without even thinking about it. It’s a natural occurrence. I never imagined that I’d end up with so many people I consider friends when we started this magazine. I started it because I loved publishing, destination weddings and romance travel. Who knew I’d meet some of my closest friends while at work? So, how does this affect you?

You’re planning your wedding day. Not just a party, but an event you have probably dreamed about for many years. You’ve imagined your vows, what you will wear or even how you’d feel when you were about to walk down the aisle. This is an important experience and you want to work with people who truly love what they do. You want to hire individuals you like and know you can trust. You want to work with “friendors,” not just vendors. You might not have that kind of connection with every person you work with, but I’m sure one or two people (possibly your photographer or wedding planner) will turn out to be your sounding board and someone you lean on through your planning process. My wish for you, as you plan your own wedding away, is that you find your

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perfect list of “friendors” and you rely on their expertise, so you can relax and enjoy your planning process, stress free. We have lots of great stories in this issue to help you do just that. This edition features more destinations than ever before. And you can rest assured; every property you see in these pages has been vetted. We don’t just take the PR person’s word for it, we visit in person to ensure your wedding is as perfect as they say it will be. Consider us your “inside friendor.” Yours Truly, Jennifer Stein

P.S. Harmony, my hope is that your wedding day will be as special as you and your handsome fiancé. You deserve the world, my dear friend! Melissa, thank you for sharing your wedding day with us…I’m thrilled that you met the man of your dreams and are living the life you always envisioned!

Photo courtesy of: Dennis Kwan Headshots

We’re just starting our 15th year in business and while planning this issue, I was struck by how things have truly come full circle.


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

An elegant chapel, a terrace by the sea, lush green gardens. Wherever your journey brings you, Palladium Hotel Group has the destination you’ve always dreamed of. Happily ever afters begin here.

Discover us. SPAIN ǀ ITALY ǀ MEXICO ǀ DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ǀ JAMAICA ǀ BRAZIL

PALLADIUMWEDDINGS.COM

1-888-237-1226

/PalladiumWeddings


WEDDED

WISDOM

WISE BRIDE TIPS “There is so much pressure on couples to plan flawless, picture-perfect weddings nowadays, but in reality all of the stressful details that seem so important during the planning process will feel insignificant compared to the overwhelming excitement that you’ll experience the day-of.” – Jennifer, Paso Robles, California destination wedding bride (shown).

“Read every review if you’re really considering a specific vendor, as neurotic as that sounds! Imagine that the worst comment there happened to you and consider your choices carefully.”

A Convenient & Natural

JEWELRY CLEANER You’ll want to show off your wedding ring long after the engagement period ends, so keep it camera-ready with the Bling Brush® by Baublerella. This convenient brush erases build-up that can accumulate from lotion, hairspray, makeup and everyday wear. The built-in cleaner is all-natural and safe to use on all types of jewelry stones. The Bling Brush® retails for $19 and is good for up to 100 uses; just twist, clean and polish! baublerella.com

“Instagram was an excellent tool…I would search the location and then do some digging to find other brides who had held weddings at our venue. From there, I was able to liaise with them and we could share tips and ideas.” – Kate, Palm Springs, California destination wedding bride.

A CURE for High Heel Discomfort

WEDDED WISDOM

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN I had my doubts about this product, but after using it for a night out, I’m convinced. After applying it exactly as directed, I donned my three-inch strappy heels and hit the town. The first hour of standing and walking usually make my feet sore enough I need to take a break, but Still Standing dulled the sensation. I was able to walk around in my heels for several hours with no fatigue or blisters! I’m not sure the science behind it, but I’m a believer. Pricing starts at $29.99. stillstandingspray.com

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destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Krista Marie Photography, Baublerella & Still Standing Spray

– Kyann, Austin, Texas destination wedding bride.


Don’t stand on ceremony.

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

Kona Kai Resort, Gallery and Botanic Gardens Unique private botanic gardens on the Florida Bay within our 13 guest room, all-adult resort. 800-365-7829 konakairesort.com

Key Largo Cottages Bay Front Sunset Cove FREE with Cottage: SUP, kayak, sail, bike, fish, snorkel, learn to sail, eco trips and more. 305-451-3438 keylargocottages.com

Key Largo Chocolates & Ice Cream

The best chocolates & ice cream in the Keys! Wedding favors & Key Lime Pie Bars. 305-453-6613 keylargochocolates.com


INSIDER

TRAVELING WORDS BY COURTNEY COX

Historic Highway 1: A MUST-SEE Most high-end resorts have a spa on-site, but hardly any boast a Miraval spa. The Miraval Life in Balance Spa has all the signature treatments the brand is known for, as well as state-of-the-art fitness classes like aerial yoga and cardio drumming. A reservation at the on-site steakhouse by Michael Mina is a must. When the highly trained folks at Bourbon Steak found out we were celebrating, an epic smorgasbord of culinary delights ensued. We had heard reports about the Lobster Pot Pie from the bellman at check-in, but each course was worthy of the rumor mill. I’ve eaten at countless high-end restaurants

over the years, but Bourbon Steak is a distinct standout and 100 percent worthy of the most celebratory of meals. The resort itself would make a gorgeous and accommodating setting for your destination wedding or honeymoon. The grounds are extensive with immaculate gardens and a beautiful beach. monarchbeachresort.com

INSIDER TRAVELING

TRAVEL-FRIENDLY Rings

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As much as you might want to wear your wedding rings 24/7, it’s not always wise or practical. Gym rats and travel addicts alike know what I’m talking about. Silicon rings have been steadily growing in popularity and we’ve found one brand that’s a standout. Groove Life rings are made of flexible silicon that ensures airflow to your finger. They’re so comfortable, you won’t even notice you’re wearing it. After getting engaged, I wore my Groove ring while working out, but the brand’s designs are so cute, I’ve started wearing it on my right-hand. Groove Life regularly launches new ring collections with different finishes, designs and textures, so there’s something for everyone. Every ring is backed by a lifetime guarantee and pricing starts at $29.95. groovelife.com

destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Monarch Beach Resort (1st & 2nd) and Hannah Kik Photography (3rd)

On a recent road trip up California’s famous Pacific Coast Highway, I made it a point to stop and visit the AAA Five-Diamond Monarch Beach Resort in Orange County. It was a special occasion and I had heard amazing things about Dana Point and the resort. Thankfully, the style, service and cuisine did not disappoint. Pulling up to the porte-cochère is an experience in itself. I challenge you not to ogle the myriad of luxury cars on display (think Bentleys, Maseratis and Lamborghinis). Don’t be intimidated…the staff are kind and the views sweeping. If you find yourself driving up the PCH, here is what you can expect from Monarch Beach Resort:


Stay on the HEALTHY TRACK Abroad Here at DID, we’re firmly aboard the “KETO train.” For various health reasons, we’ve found ourselves adhering to strict dietary restrictions. Unfortunately, this isn’t always conducive to travel, but we’ve found a solution to staying on track while traveling for your destination wedding or honeymoon. Nutraholics has a line of powdered “daily essentials,” like Bone Broth Protein and Collagen Peptides, which help to undo any naughty food choices. Best of all, the powders are travel friendly. I tried the MCT Oil Powder, which is made with 100 percent organic coconut oil, and the Keto Exogenous Ketones Powder, which is 100 percent non-GMO and Kosher certified. I prefer the water-soluble powders over the oily liquid alternatives. Nutraholics’ products will help you keep healthy habits on track while away from home, as well as boost energy and digestive health. What’s not to love? Pricing starts at $34.95. nutraholicshealth.com

TEE-UP Your Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Nutraholics (1st) and Happiest Tee (2nd-4th)

“Happy Place”

The destination you choose for your wedding away will hold special significance. Thankfully, there’s a brand of eco-friendly shirts that help you celebrate your “happy place.” Happiest Tees highlight iconic destinations and would make a cute and comfy addition to your destination wedding or honeymoon wardrobe. I plan on wearing my supersoft “Happiest in Love” sweatshirt on the flight to my own destination wedding! Pricing for both men and women’s styles start at $65. happiesttee.com

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

TEST DRIVE YOUR

WeddingMoon

®

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

Sandals® makes it easy for you to test drive your dream destination wedding and experience our 5-Star Luxury Included® Resorts first-hand. Be our guest for up to 3 nights starting at a rate of $250 per night* and receive up to a $1,050 credit* when you book your WeddingMoon® group of 5 rooms or more under a group code or contract at Sandals. Certain restrictions apply.

®

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED EVERYTHING ELSE IS INCLUDED

WWW.SANDALS.COM/TESTDRIVE @sandalsresortsweddings *Visit www.sandals.com/disclaimers/ destinationidospringsummer2019testdrive or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions.

Sandals Emerald Bay


ON THE

HORIZON

HOTEL AMAPA

ISLAS SECAS RESERVE & LODGE

BANK HOTEL

GATHER GREENE

CHABLÉ MAROMA

TRS CORAL HOTEL

ON THE HORIZON

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico This Design Hotels™ property is striving to become a beacon of design and a cultural hub for this Mexican hot spot. Hotel Amapa first opened in November 2018 and represents a fusion of traditional Mexican aesthetic with contemporary styling. Beyond the beauty, Hotel Amapa boasts a prime location in Puerto Vallarta’s old town. hotelamapa.com

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Hudson Valley, New York Having opened in the fall of 2018, this “glamping” nature retreat is beautifully sandwiched between the Catskill and Berkshire Mountains. The 17 modern, minimalistic cabins will serve as your home-away-from-home, while an open-air pavilion can host weddings of up to 250 guests. Gather Greene’s 100 acres are located two hours north of NYC. gathergreene.com

Islas Secas, Panama Designed as an “elevated outpost of adventure” off the Pacific coast of Panama, this lodge is spread across 14 islands and can accommodate up to 18 guests. Its mission of sustainability aims to preserve the worldclass diving available off shore. Each private casita has its own pool and thatch-roofed “bohio.” Opening January 2019. islassecas.com

Riviera Maya, Mexico Chablé Maroma first swung its swanky doors wide in September 2018. A wellness resort first-and-foremost, the vivid jungle setting plays host to a 17,000 square-foot spa and private beach. If you want to live like Maya royalty for your wedding or honeymoon, Chablé Maroma and its luxury casitas are for you. chablemaroma.com

destinationido.com

Stockholm, Sweden This boutique hotel is located in a historic building on the city’s waterfront. Beyond its chic design, the Bank Hotel kept charming original details like an atrium glass ceiling and massive, bronze front doors. It’s new to the scene having opened in August 2018, but it’s already making a splash. bankhotel.se

Costa Mujeres, Mexico A new addition to the Palladium Hotel Group as of November 2018, this adultsonly hotel is conveniently located just outside Cancún. TRS Coral Hotel is a high-end all-inclusive that offers stateof-the-art amenities and “VIP treatment” for each and every guest. Be sure to book one of the swim-up suites for your romantic visit. palladiumhotelgroup.com

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Hotel Amapa, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge, Bank Hotel, Kelsey Ann Rose, Chablé Maroma & Palladium Hotel Group

Recent Hotel RENOS & HAPPENINGS


Brilliant Earth x Lela Rose

COLLABORATION It’s always exciting when two beloved companies join forces. Brilliant Earth, a leader in ethically sourced and lab-created diamonds, has teamed-up with bridal designer Lela Rose, to create a custom collection of wedding and engagement rings. The Brilliant Earth x Lela Rose Collection draws inspiration from the designer’s gowns featuring floral embroideries, delicate beadwork and elegant silhouettes. The special, but timeless pieces are meant to personify modern femininity. The collection includes both engagement rings and wedding bands in 14K rose gold, 18K yellow gold, 18K white gold and platinum. Settings start at $2,190. brilliantearth.com/lela-rose-collection

CUSTOM SUNGLASSES

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Brilliant Earth & Warby Parker

for Wedding Favors

Warby Parker led the way when it came to affordable prescription glasses and an at-home, try-on program. Now, they’re getting ahead of the curve again with customized, bulk orders. As a “thank you” to your destination wedding guests, gift them high-end Warby Parker sunglasses. For bulk orders of 50 pairs or more, you can include a custom lens cloth for free. Their team will work directly with you to design it, whether it includes a custom monogram or your wedding date and destination. Sunglasses range from $95-$195. warbyparker.com


STAY WEDDING & HONEYMOON BEACHES FREE* WEDDING WITH A THREE-NIGHT STAY OR MORE!

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

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 an 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.

ENJOY A

dream

HONEYM N where EVERYTHING’S INCLUDED!

At Beaches® Resorts you can celebrate the most special time of your life with the people who mean the most to you. Best of all, after your magical wedding day, the two of you can slip off to a private honeymoon in some of the most romantic suites in the Caribbean. Enjoy every land and water sport under the sun, including a scuba program* voted Top 5 in the Western Hemisphere by PADI®. Indulge in 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 21 exceptional restaurants serving unlimited pours of premium spirits. Even the tips, taxes, and Beaches transfers* are included. So while you celebrate your love, your loved ones will enjoy their own unforgettable celebration, too!

JAMAICA • TURKS & CAICOS

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

MORE QUALITY INCLUSIONS THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS IN THE WORLD VOTE D WO R LD ’ S B E ST

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Y E A R S I N A R O W AT T H E W O R L D T R AV E L AWA R D S *Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/destinationidospringsummer2019bch or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.


A HONEYMOON FOR YOU, A CELEBRATION FOR

everyone Up to 21 Restaurants per Resort


Lake Louise

Bucketlister in Banff Springs WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

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If warm weather and sunshine aren’t prerequisites for wedding success, then the world is truly your oyster! While known for wide-ranging weather, the Pacific Northwest region of North America has plenty to offer in the way of stunning backdrops and destination wedding options. Discover the coastal and mountain wonders of these Pacific Northwest Gems.

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Banff National Park spans over 2,500 square miles of alpine forest, mountainous territory and glaciers. Being that the area is so large, and we only have a limited amount of room to discuss it, I’m sharing the highlights.

Photo courtesy of: Cameron & Kelly Studio

PACIFIC NORTHWEST GEMS

c i f i c a P st e w h t r o N Gems

Just on the edge of what’s considered the Pacific Northwest, is one of the most exquisite places in North America – Banff National Park. It’s home to one of the most photographed locations in the world and a section of landscape that nearly brought me to tears – Lake Louise. This destination is so picturesque, even your iPhone will capture images worthy of making it into your at-home gallery.


Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Banff Springs has a large footprint at the intersection of the Bow and Spray Rivers. This “Castle in the Rockies” was built in 1888 and has been wowing tourists, couples and families alike for over 130 years. As you drive into town, the towering hotel soars high above the tree line for all to see. In the 1970s, the property became a year-round escape for adventurers and luxury seekers who wanted something a little off the beaten path. In the 1990s the government of Canada named the expansive retreat a national historic site.

A little over 30 minutes away (without traffic) is Lake Louise. The shimmering lake, with its implausibly blue water, is a hot spot for tourists for good reason. Your eyes might not believe what they are seeing – it’s that beautiful. Victoria Glacier is sandwiched between two sharply carved mountains and is the background to this turquoise treasure. Another Fairmont property (Fairmont Lake Louise) is located on the banks of the lake and is absolutely worth a stay, as you’ll want to linger here. If you’ve never made it to the Canadian Rockies, put this one high on your bucket list. It has earned its place at the top in more ways than one.

Day Trip: Golden, British Columbia WORDS BY SHANA KINNERUP

If you find yourself on the Trans-Canada Highway, do not simply get lost in the majesty of the peaks and turquoise water of Banff. Take a turn off the highway into this little nugget of a town called Golden. Located in British Columbia and within proximity to six of the most scenic National Parks, Golden is a small, mountain town filled with history and culture and is quietly making a run for mainstream.  Disguised as sleepy, Golden is working towards developing a culinary reputation with dining offerings that rival some of the larger B.C. towns. For a fast stop in town with your wedding party, consider Eleven22, which offers a modern, personal dining experience in a historic building with patio views of Golden Mountain. Downtown, Whitetooth Mountain Bistro is open all day and touts an atmosphere that is both contemporary SPRING & SUMMER 2019

and casual. They can accommodate larger parties and their downtown location is more central to entertainment, making them a top choice in Golden for a more active wedding party experience. If you’ve got a bit more time, consider a quick drive up Golden Mountain to the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, where you can catch the gondola to the mountain’s peak for a meal in the clouds at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. This is not standard ski lodge dining. Eagle’s Eye offers regional cuisine prepared using classic French techniques. Mountaintop private suites, as well as reception space, are available, making this one of the most unforgettable venue options in B.C.. Summer weather affords a clear and endless view of the Canadian Rockies, with the most rugged and awe-inspiring panoramic locations to say “I do.”

PACIFIC NORTHWEST GEMS

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Cameron & Kelly Studio and Amy Barrett Photography

As a wedding destination, Fairmont Banff Springs has backdrops in spades. From sprawling event lawns overlooking the powerful rivers and mountains in the distance to indoor ballrooms that feel like a set out of “Game of Thrones,” couples will find

a myriad of options fit for royalty. All finished with the modern, luxury amenities the Fairmont brand and this historic hotel are known for.

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Discover Nuptial Success in Seattle For foodies, urban explorers and, of course, coffee-loving couples, Seattle is the ticket. This seaport is undergoing a renaissance, thanks to a new generation of entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, chefs, students and educators. “With a booming job market and a reputation as one of the most desirable areas of the country, Seattle boasts a diverse community of residents all dedicated to a thriving future for our city, while preserving its natural beauty and history,” says Amanda Parsons, general manager of Thompson Seattle, a new city boutique hotel and favored hotspot. Against the backdrop of Puget Sound and the mighty Mount Ranier, you’ll find a wealth of dining, nightlife and entertainment options. Summer marks the city’s high season, but we love September through October when the crowds are leaving and temperatures are still perfect for exploring.

STAY

PACIFIC NORTHWEST GEMS

Thompson Seattle is a boutique hotel with an urban-chic vibe beating with the pulse of the city. Named one of the 75 most exciting hotels in the world on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Hot List, this contemporary getaway boasts floor-toceiling waterfront views and is within

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walking distance of restaurants, galleries, shopping and nightlife. The hotel’s rooftop terrace bar, The Nest, is a perfect perch for parties and receptions, while Scout PNW serves up farm-to-table fare presented without pretense. Its private dining space, The Cabin, can host up to 20 guests for an intimate and unforgettable rehearsal dinner.

EXPLORE

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair to symbolize America’s space-age aspirations, Seattle’s most iconic landmark, the Space Needle, has recently undergone a multiyear renovation, which includes new open-air observation decks with glass benches and a rotating glass floor, new dining experiences and access to areas never before seen by the public. Soaring 605 feet in the air with 360-degree views of downtown Seattle, Mount Ranier, Puget Sound and more, the Space Needle is a must-see on your visit.

PLAY

Enter the seductive world of the Can Can Culinary Cabaret and experience a fusion of dance, theater, comedy, food and drink. While weekend matinees guarantee family-friendly fun, irreverent after-dark shows are for adults only. A great find for bachelor and bachelorette party outings.

Photos courtesy of: Thompson Seattle

WORDS BY JOHN ROARK


E E N Y.

M E E N Y.

MINEY.

MORE. MORE DESIGNERS. MORE CHOICES. MORE YOU.

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


MARRY HERE DENVER

Your [Wedding] Night at the

Museum

W MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE

hen it comes to love and fine art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t marvel at the beauty inside the ART, a hotel, the newest luxury hotel located in the center of Denver’s cultural district.

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A stay at the ART, a hotel is like a night at the museum. Your experience is curated from the moment you step in the door. The couple looking for a ceremony defined by urban elegance should look no further than The Museum Residence Terrace. This intimate space can accommodate up to 125 guests and allows the celebration to transition from indoor to outdoor or vice versa. The ART’s open-air terrace offers beautiful city views and a fire pit where your guests have easy

access to cocktails at the on-property bar and restaurant, FIRE. Outside of the hotel’s stylish confines, the iconic and vibrant city of Denver welcomes all and leaves no room for disappointment. The Denver Art Museum is just steps from the hotel’s front doors or you can peddle a rented bike to nearby attractions that all go by trendy nicknames. Check out LoDo (Lower Downtown Historic District), RiNo (River North Art District) or Cap Hill (Capitol Hill), just to name a few. For a remarkable and unforgettable experience, round up your wedding party and head to Bigsby’s Folly. This winery and restaurant is both breathtakingly cool and uniquely founded. If there’s one thing you can’t miss at this full-production destinationido.com

urban winery, it’s a custom blending session. Become a “winemaker for the day” and create a blend that is suited perfectly to your tastes. Take home a bottle or order cases of your personally-crafted wine to serve on your big day (with custom labels, of course). The ART’s ‘brush strokes’ of genius are apparent in every guest room, down every hallway and on every wall in the hotel. Their intentional location in the vivacious city of Denver is just another component of the artistic vision. Your wedding celebration, when left in the capable hands of the hotel’s wedding coordinators, will produce an end result that even stubborn art critics will love and a masterpiece of memories you and your guests will hold in your hearts – and in your picture frames – for years to come.

Photos courtesy of: the ART, a hotel

WORDS BY SAMANTHA ROSS


WHY WALK WHEN YOU CAN

PARADE DOWN THE AISLE!

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

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


Honeymoon

on Top of

World

WORDS BY MELISSA KLURMAN

M

One Ski Hill Place

aybe it’s the location, soaring to over 10,000 feet high, the stunning mountain views or the way you’re surrounded by nature and closer to the sun here. Up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the air seems clearer, the sky brighter and the scenery more beautiful than anywhere else in the world. While Breckenridge and Vail, two iconic getaways for adventure lovers, make you feel like you’ve traveled to the romantic foreign Alps, it’s just a two-hour flight from Los Angeles and a four hour flight from New York to reach Denver International Airport (DIA), which serves as the gateway to the incredible Rockies.

MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE

The Lodge at Vail

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destinationido.com

Vail

To elevate your honeymoon with these sky-high views you don’t necessarily need to visit during winter powder season, although snow fans will definitely love to shred here. Vail and Breckenridge offer luxurious getaways and gorgeous scenery year-round with adventures on the mountains, beautiful backdrops and lodges perfect for cozying up by the fireplace or gazing up at the stars from a steamy hot tub any time of the year. “Summer in particular is a hidden gem for both destinations, with abundant wildflowers, ideal daytime temperatures and endless events and activities,” says Sarah Franzese of Vail Resorts.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Jack Affleck for Vail Resorts (1st) and Vail Resorts (2nd-3rd).

the


HONEYMOON THERE BRECKENRIDGE/VAIL

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Jack Affleck for Vail Resorts (1st & 3rd) and Vail Resorts (2nd)

BRECKENRIDGE

Charming Breckenridge was once a Victorian mining town and there’s still a sense of small-town friendliness here with craft breweries, indie boutiques, small farm-to-table dining spots and local art galleries. To fully enjoy the laidback destination in honeymoon style, luxuriate in an apartment-style suite at One Ski Hill Place, a Rock Resort, that comes with sleek kitchens (go ahead and fill the fridge with Champagne and strawberries), fireplaces and even decadent steam showers. Peak 8 is right outside the hotel’s back door for effortless access to adrenaline-revving hiking and biking trails and ski-in/ski-out slope access, not to mention seasonal ziplining and ATV and Jeep tours that explore the forest of aspens as they become a golden wave of foliage in autumn. Just want to cozy up indoors? The resort has an indoor pool, spa, cocktail lounge and even a two-lane bowling alley (The Mine Shaft) you can rent for private pin play.

VAIL

Known for its great nightlife, trendy boutiques, delicious eateries and fun bars, Vail is one of the most scenic and stylish towns in the West. The Lodge at Vail, a Rock Resort, was the original property in the swanky mountainside resort and has an unparalleled location right in the heart of Vail Village’s

Vail

epicenter, with easy access to Gondola 1 to soar to the top of the mountain. The spa here is definitely the spot for the two of you to indulge in a massage in a luxurious couple’s room that includes a fireside soaking tub for two. If you can drag yourself away from the hotel’s firepit, open-air hot tub and heated pool, winter fun ranges from dog sledding to skating (in addition to skiing and boarding) and summer in Vail brings fantastic outdoor arts festivals, live music and a mile of delicious farmers’ market finds every Sunday. Don’t miss a truly top-of-the-world dining experience at Game Creek. It’s an adventure just getting to this foodie hideaway: The Lodge at Vail

first, take in the views as you whoosh up Eagle Bahn Gondola to Eagle’s Nest slope; from there, you’ll then be whisked over the mountain top to the hidden ski chalet restaurant, where the only thing more impressive than the multi-course meals featuring wild game, are the stellar unimpeded views. Want to really feel like you’re hidden away from the world? Stay at the romantic chalet next door to the restaurant; it comes complete with a private chef and personal mountain guide. Best of all, it’s just the two of you and a sea of stars that seem close enough to touch from your perch at the peak of the Rockies.

Vail

MARRY HERE, HONEYMOON THERE

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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Romantic Island Insider

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Photos courtesy of: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

ROMANTIC ISLAND INSIDER

The concept of romance travel often conjures images of white sand beaches, swaying palms and turquoise waters. As humans, we’re blessed with a bounty of beautiful options when it comes to island getaways. Here are a few of our choice picks that span the globe – Bora Bora, Maui and Grand Cayman.


RENOVATE MIND AND BODY

IN BORA BORA

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN When I was recently invited to visit the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, I just said “yes,” without an ounce of hesitation. I’d heard good things – not only about Bora Bora (Um, overwater bungalows galore? Yes, please.), but about the newly renovated Conrad, as well. This island retreat not only delivered on all my preexisting expectations, but it blew them away. In order to get to Bora Bora, you must fly into Papeete, Tahiti and take a smaller plane to Bora Bora. Then, once you land in paradise, you (and your luggage) are whisked away via boat to the entrance of the resort – an oversized, overwater bungalow with a large dock. “La ora na,” meaning “good day” is sung in the native Tahitian language as you’re greeted with genuine smiles and fragrant heis (also known as leis). What’s different about the Conrad versus other properties in the same luxury category is the fact that the resort is located on a private island – Motu To’opua. Your viewpoint is nothing but turquoise lagoon and ocean as far as the eye can see.

Photos courtesy of: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

There are no cars, so your mode of transportation can be found in your feet, a bicycle, golf cart, kayak, boat, outrigger, stand up paddle board or canoe. This slower pace allows for you to truly take in the beauty surrounding you. It’s postcard perfect from every angle, so taking your time is part of the charm. Breakfast is included in the nightly rates, but don’t think you’ll be getting gipped in this department. This became my favorite part of every day. Fresh squeezed juices, scratch-made chocolate croissants, made-to-order omelets or brioche French toast with caramelized bananas graced the menu. There are a total of six restaurants and lounges, ranging from traditional French cuisine to an overwater sushi and wine lounge (with a glass floor to see the sea life as you sip your Chardonnay). You can also venture off property via water taxi, but make sure you contact the concierge, so they can make you a reservation – you won’t be able to get into any of the restaurants without one. To do a wedding here would be a dream come true. Imagine saying “I do” in nirvana with your closest friends and family by your side. They will thank you for giving them the excuse to visit and celebrate in such a special place. The Conrad can host weddings up to 250 people on the beach or in the hilltop chapel overlooking the lagoon. From things to do and the quality of cuisine to the accommodations and destination itself, this is one of my dearly beloved destinations without any reservation. I have no doubt it will become one of yours as well.

travel tip: Getting to this part of the world may require quite a bit of travel and possibly a red-eye flight. I highly recommend rejuvenating your minds and bodies by checking into Conrad’s Hina Spa for a couple’s treatment. Located at the top of the hill, the couple’s villa has a Jacuzzi tub for two with a bird’s eye view of the island. Not a bad way to begin your journey in paradise.

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

ROMANTIC ISLAND INSIDER

Settling into your private overwater bungalow is an easy (and blissful) transition. The recently renovated resort gives an unspoiled respite from the real world. The king-size bed is ideally situated in the middle of the room facing the private deck and celestial seawater; giving you a magnificent view to wake up to. Each villa is immaculately updated with upscale touches such as an oversized floating tub, retractable sliding doors (maximizing your views and the ocean breezes) and a private terrace with direct lagoon access and floating hammocks

built in, so you can hang directly over the water.

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WORDS BY CAROLYN STEERE Aloha, Maui! This beautiful Hawaiian island is a popular destination for weddings, honeymoons, romance and family travel. Maui is a place where swimsuit season never ends.

ROMANTIC ISLAND INSIDER

There are many choices for your destination wedding, but one to consider is the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, situated on the southwest shore. The Grand Wailea checks all the boxes – expansive lawns and manicured gardens, contemporary luxury, lavish accommodations, island activities galore and inspired cuisine are all part of the experience.

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One challenge you will encounter is choosing from the many options for your wedding ceremony and reception. There are secluded gardens adjacent to the ocean, a magnificent 28,000 square foot ballroom and terraces with unobstructed views of the ocean. My favorite ceremony site is the New England-style seaside chapel where you can enjoy the traditional walk down the aisle surrounded by exquisite stained-glass

IN MAUI

murals depicting scenes of traditional Hawaiian life, with Murano glass chandeliers sparkling overhead.

helicopter to explore inaccessible areas of Maui and Molokai, is only 17 miles from the Grand Wailea.

A priority for most couples in choosing a location for a destination wedding is the experience for their guests. At the Grand Wailea, whether your guests want to break a sweat or bask in the sun, their desires are easily met. The Grand Wailea Hibiscus Pool is a quiet retreat for adults, while the Activity Pool and Wailea Canyon are perfect for entertaining families. Tennis, golf and every watersport one can imagine are readily accessible on or near the property.

One “not to miss” experience is the 50,000 square foot Spa Grande, which features the unique Healing Waters of Maui terme hydrotherapy, which includes cascading waterfalls, Swiss-jet showers, a Japanese furo and five specialty baths. Each amazing spa treatment includes a complementary loofah scrub.

The surrounding Kihei/Wailea area has more than 30 restaurants to choose from and your guests can stroll, shop and dine within walking distance at the nearby Shops at Wailea. Favorite excursions from Maui are snorkel tours and whale watching (from mid-December to mid-May), which leave from nearby Maalaea Harbor and the Maui Ocean Center (an outstanding Hawaiian aquarium only 25 minutes away). The airport, where you can whisk away on a destinationido.com

There is a cocktail of exciting eats on property including a “floating” seafood restaurant named after Hawaii’s official state fish, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. We can boast that we mastered the pronunciation by the end of our meal and they can boast inspired, locally-sourced cuisine. The Grand Wailea, located on Maui’s sunniest shore and adjacent to one of the world’s top beaches, is an amazing property for a fun-filled and relaxing destination wedding. Vows will be exchanged, a new life as a married couple will begin and memories for a lifetime will be made. Aloha, Maui!

Photo courtesy of: Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

BEGIN A GRAND MARRIAGE


Photos courtesy of: Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

ROMANTIC ISLAND INSIDER

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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DISCOVER BEAUTY IN

ROMANTIC ISLAND INSIDER

WORDS BY KATHY TILL

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With every wedding destination, my eyes are always wandering to find what makes a property unique. Walking into The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa, I was immediately greeted with the beauty of Cayman. With all the resort’s major renovations, the entire lobby carries the awe-inspiring Caribbean waters right to your feet. Everyone expects to see the alluring beach with calm, crystal clear water, but what you don’t expect are the millions of white butterflies gracefully flying across the white sand in springtime. The Westin Grand Cayman offers amazing surprises everywhere you turn. Almost all 343 guest rooms offer balconies with an ocean view. The

temperature is rarely below 63 degrees and the island is just south of Cuba and approximately 120 miles from Jamaica. The resort delivers everything from great cuisine, seclusion, family activities, fireworks and amazing spa treatments. Red Sail Sports is located on property and they are dedicated to helping everyone have fun and to make the most of your vacation, whether you are a novice or an experienced water sports aficionado. I have never snorkeled or driven a WaveRunner, yet everyone was patient as I found my way around the wonders of the Caribbean. October through the end of April is considered high season in the Caymans; I was there in June and couldn’t imagine a more spectacular time of year. Every destinationido.com

sunset provides another surprise and is the optimum time to exchange vows due to the captivating colors of the sky over the ocean. There are picturesque photo opportunities everywhere you turn and the rich, vivid colors of the water and the sky do not disappoint. Take your experience up a notch with Cobalt Custom Charters. This luxury charter boat comes complete with an experienced staff and first-class amenities. All to ensure your day is filled with memories you will never forget, like swimming with and being kissed by a stingray. Here, everyone is on vacation and far away from day-to-day work, making it easy to embrace “island time” and enjoy the beauty of Cayman.

Photos courtesy of: Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa

GRAND CAYMAN


St. Simons Island

Sea Island

Jekyll Island

Little St. Simons Island

Goldenisles.com | (800) 933-2627

Brunswick


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Photo courtesy of: Sylvia Guardia Destination Wedding Photography

ASK THE EXPERT

ASK THE EXPERT

e t a e r C o t w o H

y s a t n a F l a r o l F

destinationido.com

a


INTERVIEW BY HARMONY WALTON

I

Photos courtesy of: Sylvia Guardia Destination Wedding Photography

nternational event designer, Karen Tran is known for her over-the-top, jaw-dropping style of abundance and creativity. Sought after by couples around the world, this floral architect not only designs destination weddings, but teaches a professional master class, The Floral Experience, in exotic locales fit to tie the knot in. On the heels of a recent class at Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, we asked Karen to share her secrets to designing a destination wedding. What should couples know before planning their floral design when getting married abroad? Couples need to know what flowers are available at their destination. That’s very, very important. Certain types of flowers are banned from import in some countries. It is best to check with the local florist on availability first. Couples also need to know what to expect from a wedding designer, as well as the level of expertise of the wedding designers at the destination where they’re getting married. If the skill level and expertise does not align with their expectations or needs, then they will need to bring in an international wedding designer.

“Consider

creating a canopy of florals…”

What questions should couples ask their florist when interviewing someone in a destination? Some florists focus solely on flowers and do not feel comfortable going beyond providing flowers. A floral designer takes everything into consideration to create the vision and design for your wedding. It is best to ask each florist how involved he or she will be with the florals and beyond for your wedding and make sure that aligns with how involved you want him or her to be. Also, make sure to ask what each florist’s style of design is, because one is unique in how they arrange and design. You want that uniqueness to coalesce with your style preference.

ASK THE EXPERT

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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Want more? Make the ExperienceYours

4 Unique Indoor and Outdoor Reception Venues to Choose From! www.stellaplantation.com

AT HOME OR ON THE GO YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW US ON: Instagram: @DestinationIDo Facebook: facebook.com/destinationidomag Twitter: @DestinationIDo Pinterest: pinterest.com/destinationido Website and Blog: destinationido.com and destinationido.com/blog

D E S T I N AT I O N I D O. C O M


Photo courtesy of: Sylvia Guardia Destination Wedding Photography

You’re known for over-the-top design. Are there ways couples can achieve that “wow” factor on a limited floral budget? Perhaps you cannot have an abundance of florals everywhere, but you can create a statement piece. Consider creating a canopy of florals, rather than using drapery, or adding towering, cascading floral pieces to your tablescapes. A vibrant floral backdrop for photos can create a striking accent piece and exudes a fun and playful aesthetic. When you have a limited floral budget, you can also use color to create a timeless, elegant and romantic ambiance where your love story can unfold. Consider using hues of white in your color palette. White is an intrinsically striking and elegant color. When you use pure white, cream, ivory, egg shell and other white hues you can delight and awe your guests. What should you not skimp on in destination wedding décor? Perhaps I am bias, but flowers of course! Destination weddings have the innate luxury of having access to some of the most remarkable and divine flowers and

View our 2019 Wedding Packages at www.sirenishotels.com/weddings

foliage that we do not always see at weddings in our home countries. Do not skimp on using native florals. Where do you find your inspiration? Second to flowers, travel is my passion and I get inspiration from everywhere I go. From the majestic, tropical flora and fauna in Costa Rica to the beautiful wineries and dolce vita flair in Italy, I gather inspirational treasures in every place I visit. What trends have you spotted in 2019 destination wedding décor? I truly believe weddings are a classic occasion and everything must remain classic, timeless and elegant. However, I am seeing more couples trending toward using more flowers. Not only more flowers, but an abundance of flowers and that makes me very happy. I also see more couples using flowers in unexpected locations, such as growing from the ground or on the ceiling. For more info on saying “I do” in Costa Rica, turn to pg. 43 and for more information on Karen Tran Floral Designs, visit karentran.com.


Latin America is for

Photo courtesy of: Peninsula Papagayo

Lovers

LATIN AMERICA IS FOR LOVERS

One of the best parts about your honeymoon or hosting a destination wedding is the opportunity to experience new cultures and discover new destinations. Latin America has seemingly endless tempting and culturally immersive locations. We’re highlighting some of our favorites with Costa Rica, Belize and Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Mexico.

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destinationido.com


Pura Vida Say “I Do” to

in Costa Rica

WORDS BY HARMONY WALTON

Just under six hours fly time from Los Angeles, the resort is perched in a monkey-filled forest above two of Papagayo’s three beautiful beaches on the Pacific Ocean. With several indoor-outdoor restaurants and event spaces to choose from (each uniquely designed to perfection for the destination), picking the exact place to wed may be your toughest decision. The Andaz Beach House, located ten minutes away by shuttle (or a quick beach-to-beach boat ride), is a private destination in itself. Large ceremonies and receptions under the stars and trees that line the still waters of the bay are magical here. For smaller group settings, follow the volcanic rock staircase to the outdoor wedding pavilion that encases couples SPRING & SUMMER 2019

Before and after the big day, Andaz Costa Rica keeps you busy. With the Papagayo Explorers Club, an Arnold Palmer 18-hole championship signature golf course and Onda Spa, there’s something for everyone. Watersports such as paddle boarding and kayaking are complimentary on property and ziplining is just a short distance away. Maria Victoria Gomez, assistant director of sales, marketing and events, describes the adventure that awaits, including night walks, mountain biking and even a barista experience. “The finest Costa Rican coffee, chocolate and loose leaf teas from Asia can be enjoyed as part of a unique culinary experience…our Master Barista Class takes guests on a journey of coffee discovery, learning the techniques for making the perfect cup of coffee, in addition to comparing different coffee making methods from around the world.” Chao Pescao Small Plates and Bar hosts locally-inspired mixology classes, ideal for family bonding time, and Ostra sets the scene for more formal family gatherings. When a destination wedding is more than just a day, Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo delivers pura vida in spades.

LATIN AMERICA IS FOR LOVERS

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Peninsula Papagayo (1st) and Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo (2nd)

Getting married amidst the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest is one romantic beginning! If you love the beach, crave adventure and relish the beauty of nature, then Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo is idyllic for your destination wedding.

and loved ones in lush greenery. It also houses a massive art structure ideal for ceremonial decorating.

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Belize WORDS BY SHANA KINNERUP

Anchored firmly in the Caribbean Sea lies Ambergris Caye, the largest island off the coast of Belize. This long, narrow island is one of the more developed cayes, offering sophisticated options for wedding parties.

LATIN AMERICA IS FOR LOVERS

You’ll feel the welcome of Mahogany Bay Resort and Beach Club as you drive down the long dirt path to the Great House. Its luxurious, plantation style has a warmth to match the welcome. The Guest House is the heartbeat of the property, where guests can gather and socialize. The upper levels have expansive decks with million-dollar views; the perfect stage for unforgettable “I do’s.”

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The Mahogany Bay Resort boasts some of the most varied accommodations on the island, with the ability to accommodate couples and large groups alike. Rentals include a cottage for two or villas for parties of 10 or more with a private pool and boat dock. They paid particular attention to using local hardwoods in each room, which all include outdoor seating spaces. This convergence of the indoors and out sets the stage for relaxation that the Caribbean is known for. The property is vast, the views abundant and privacy tangible. It is arranged

as its own private community with spa amenities, a freestanding coffee shop and a vendors’ row offering local flavors and snacks, all complementing the full service dining options on property. For a destination wedding, this makes the Mahogany Bay Resort your singular Belizean island choice. The beauty of Ambergris Caye is not Mahogany Bay Resort’s alone. The Belize Barrier Reef, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, is one of the biggest draws to the island. For guests who wish to keep their feet aground, the property has its own private beach club.

Don’t forget:

• Golf carts are the main mode of island transportation, so you’ll want one for you and your guests to move around the property, as well as for excursions throughout the caye. • A spa day! The full service spa includes not just wellness and relaxation, but also hair and nail services to get you and your wedding party ready. • Flights to Ambergris Caye leave every 30 minutes to and from Belize City, making this island an easy destination for travelers. • Charter a boat for a day-diving trip to Shark Ray Alley or the infamous Great Blue Hole. destinationido.com

Photos courtesy of: Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club

Feel the Welcome of


A DREA M DESTINATION WEDDING WI TH OUR SUMME R & FA L L S PE C IA L

Celebrate your wedding between June and October 2019 and receive our best rates, along with special privileges exclusive for the couple, including a complementary upgrade to Spa Pool villa, $30 gift certificate at the Banyan Tree Spa for your guests, complimentary rental fee for the wedding venue and more.

Sanctuary for the Senses All concessions are valid with a minimum amount of villas, based on the number of the wedding attendees, for 3 nights. Other restriction may apply. Please contact us for more details.

+52 984.877.3688 | carolina.moreno@banyantree.com

banyantree.com


Get Married in Scotland Scottish Castle Weddings & Events

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


Mexico Magical Mahekal in Colorful

WORDS BY CAROLYN STEERE

Playa del Carmen is often associated with expansive high-rise resorts, but Mahekal Beach Resort stands alone in that you will never need an elevator. The palm trees are the tallest things on property and the feeling is one of a jungle escape. So, pack your flip-flops and beach gear and join me at this amazing Mexican resort. Mahekal’s history dates back 50 years and started with a few thatched-roof palapas. Now, it is a Mexican retreat that does not skimp on the luxury amenities, ranging from the four crystal-clear pools to the details found in the accommodations including some with private plunge

Finding and featuring the unique is something we love to do and Mahekal Beach Resort offered us two experiences you can’t miss. First, is the Maya Culinary Casita where an intimate jungle garden sets the stage for an epicurean journey. Mahekal’s culinary team prepare an authentic Maya lunch in a thatchedroof hut with an earthen fire pit. Sipping xtabentún, an authentic Mexican liqueur, and savoring the flavors of Fish Tikin Xik and traditional lime and chicken soup were memorable to say the least. Mahekal also takes “fish to fork” to a new level. Twice each week, local fishermen pull their boats right on to Fuego Beach SPRING & SUMMER 2019

where Chef Nerey chooses his menu items moments after being plucked from the sea. It doesn’t get any fresher! Whether for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or beachside destination wedding, Mahekal Beach Resort provides a perfect blend of relaxation and play, nature and culture in a setting of romance and luxury.

LATIN AMERICA IS FOR LOVERS

Photos courtesy of: Mahekal Beach Resort

Mariachi music, vivid colors, beachside palapas, vibrant bougainvillea and tequila all come to mind when you think of Mexico. It is a place where you can immerse yourself in culture as you savor the rich flavors of Maya cuisine and feel the beat of Latin music.

pools and outdoor showers. To ensure you get unplugged, you won’t find TVs in the guest rooms, but there is plenty to do with local shops, bars and restaurants along nearby Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) and the on-site Revive Spa, where you can indulge in a culturally inspired treatment to balance your mind, body and spirit.

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Tulum A Private Piece of Paradise in

LATIN AMERICA IS FOR LOVERS

For some destination wedding couples, accessibility is key. But for others, spending the extra time necessary to arrive at a remote location is worth the effort. Mukan Resort is the definition of remote – with only one road in and out and a distance of 20 miles to the nearest town. What makes Mukan’s location extra special is that it’s the only resort set in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Yucatán Peninsula. Guests typically fly into Cancún International Airport, take a two-hour drive to the trendy beachfront town of Tulum and finally board a private boat transfer to Mukan.

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Our longstanding love affair with Mexico is a badly kept secret and Mukan epitomizes what we love most – stellar service and fresh ceviche. It’s a paradise of privacy carved amongst a lush landscape of mangroves and jungle… capped-off with 200 yards of white sand beach. With just 10 rooms, the on-site staff stands at-the-ready to cater to every whim. A maximum of 20 guests are accommodated between rooms in the main villa and beach bungalows

peppered throughout the property. It’s hard to imagine a place better suited for a destination wedding buy-out. A nuptial takeover would feel like enjoying a sprawling, private estate vs staying at a traditional resort. Due to its unique location within the biosphere, Mukan’s creators kept to strict building restrictions and eco-conscious guidelines, so you can sun tan with peace of mind. Another symptom of the setting is that everything is planned with purpose – including meals. Being unable to just run out to the store, Mukan’s chefs rely on only the freshest local ingredients and strive to minimize waste wherever possible. The menu changes daily, but there’s always ceviche and a variety of Mexican wines to choose from. Weddings here are a cinch, since the resort’s resources and grounds are entirely at your disposal. We envision a sunset ceremony on the dock, rooftop cocktails and a bonfire, beachfront reception under the stars. For pre- or post-wedding plans, be sure to charter a boat to explore the biosphere and its distinct and varied wildlife, including manatees, crocodiles and stingrays. destinationido.com

Imagine swinging open your screen door every morning to a view of the Caribbean Sea and a fresh cup of coffee or cooled coconut on the porch and at-the-ready. Here, seclusion and luxury converge – paradise found!

Photos courtesy of: Mukan Resort

WORDS BY COURTNEY COX


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FASHION FORWARD

Nothing brings the “wow� factor to a wedding like stunning florals and intermixing textures. Interesting pressed flower details are all the rage at the moment, along with a resurgence of velvet. The deep colors and intriguing opacity add both depth and dimension to any occasion. For this Fashion Forward photo shoot, our talented vendor team combined wedding classics like lace and greenery with popular textures like velvet and pressed flowers.

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h s & u l P d e s s e Pr A TEXTURED LOVE STORY destinationido.com


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“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – GÉRARD DE NERVAL

Photographer: Rebecca Theresa Photography Design: Detailed Touch Events Production: Be Inspired PR Location: Klentner Ranch in Carpinteria, California 1 & 2: Our bride is on-trend with her Tara Lauren gown featuring an illusion neckline, chic chignon by Teddi Prior for Page Beauty and floral detail in her hair and bouquet by Coco Rose Design. Her groom seals the deal with a kiss in a suit from Generation Tux. Klentner Ranch in Carpinteria, California is a weddingworthy backdrop for a stunning floral and greenery arch by Coco Rose Design.


3 & 4: Lori A. Stern proves that desserts are the perfect place to make a style statement with these gorgeous pressed flower macaroons. They’re a colorful complement to a reception set-up designed by Detailed Touch Events and featuring rentals by Theoni Collection, floral centerpieces by Coco Rose Design, linens by La Tavola Linen and stationery by Jen Simpson Design.

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FASHION FORWARD

5: These beautiful bridesmaids came camera ready in various dresses from the Jenny Yoo Collection. The mix of floral pattern, mauve and plush velvet dresses are a lively combination. Hairstyling by Teddi Prior and makeup by Tanya Bures, both from Page Beauty. Coco Rose Design created both the ceremony arch and bridesmaids’ bouquets.

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FASHION FORWARD

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FASHION FORWARD

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9 10 6-7 & 10: A traditional color palette and classic setting are given a punch of pizazz with purple-hued velvet chairs, brought to life by floral centerpieces courtesy of Coco Rose Design. The rentals from Theoni Collection, such as scalloped plates and crystal goblets, are complemented by linens from La Tavola Linen. The stationery is by Jen Simpson Design and catering courtesy of Contemporary Catering.

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FASHION FORWARD

8 & 9: Our bridal party is ready to toast to love with drinks provided by Contemporary Catering and rentals from Theoni Collection. The floral centerpiece and bridal bouquet are both by Coco Rose Design. The ladies’ hairstyling is by Teddi Prior and makeup by Tanya Bures, both from Page Beauty. The bridesmaids’ dresses are by Jenny Yoo Collection. Our bride and groom are equally breathtaking in a gown by Tara Lauren and suit from Generation Tux.

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FASHION FORWARD

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11: Both the cake and cocktails are an ideal way to incorporate our theme of pressed flowers. The cake is by Sweet & Saucy Shop and the cocktails are crafted by Contemporary Catering. The cake table is courtesy of Theoni Collection, linen by La Tavola Linen, bouquet by Coco Rose Design, gown by Tara Lauren and suit by Generation Tux.

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VENDOR LIST: Photography: Rebecca Theresa Photography, rebeccatheresa.com, Design: Detailed Touch Events, detailedtouchevents.com, Production: Be Inspired PR, beinspiredpr.com, Venue: Klentner Ranch in Carpinteria, California, klentnerranch.com, Floral Design: Coco Rose Design, cocorosedesign.com, Rentals: Theoni Collection, theonicollection.com, Stationery: Jen Simpson Design, jensimpsondesign.com, Bridal Gown: Tara Lauren, tara-lauren.com, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection, jennyyoo.com, Groom’s Attire: Generation Tux, generationtux.com, Groom’s Ring: Jordan Jack, jordanjack.com, Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop, sweetandsaucyshop.com, Linens: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Catering: Contemporary Catering, contemporarycatering.com, Hairstyling: Teddi Prior for Page Beauty, pagebeauty.com, Makeup: Tanya Bures for Page Beauty, pagebeauty.com, Perfume: The Wedding Perfume by Coulombe Perfume, coulombeperfume.com, Assorted Desserts: The Wild Posy, thewildposy.com, Pressed Flower Cookies: Lori A. Stern, loriastern.com, Bridal Model: Ashley Torres of Everyday Pursuits, everydaypursuits.com, Groom Model: Andy Fisher & Bridesmaid Models: Kaila Lim, Sandra Vega and Nikki Anne Spahn

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12 & 13: These Coco Rose Design bouquets are wedding worthy, as are our bridesmaids’ dresses by Jenny Yoo Collection and the bride’s Tara Lauren gown. Hairstyling is by Teddi Prior and makeup by Tanya Bures, both from Page Beauty.

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GUEST BOOK

Art Playlist

The

of the

GUEST BOOK

INTERVIEW BY JENNIFER STEIN

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Music at a wedding is like icing on a cake. It just wouldn’t be the same without it. It can also make or break your event. Investing in the right kind of music is key to creating proper flow, ambiance and ensuring guests (as well as yourselves) have the best experience.

We enlisted the help of one of the best in the biz to lead us on a musical prelude for your wedding day. DJ Brian B has created mix-sets for the likes of Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, Jim Carrey and even Elton John (to name a few) and performs for events that run the gamut. Everything from Hollywood gigs and weddings to bar mitzvahs and corporate events, DJ Brian B has engaged a myriad of guests. “I love taking my audience on a musical journey of ‘highs and lows,’ until you get to that crescendo of music and they are right there with you the whole time.” Who better than DJ Brian B to advise in creating the ultimate musical interlude for your most important of milestone events? Read on to have your playlist dreams met. Q. When someone is trying to decide between hiring a disc jockey and a live band, what advice can you give them in making their decision? A. They both have their pros and cons, but I think one of the most overlooked factors is the number of guests. A small guest list would be overwhelmed by a large band and, conversely, a

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Photo courtesy of: www.123rf.com/profile_wideonet

Advice From a Destination DJ


Q. Does being a “destination” DJ add a lot of cost when someone decides to hire you? A. It really depends on where the event is taking place. For instance, if it’s in a major city, the ability to rent gear is easy and affordable, so you’re looking at just transportation and accommodations beyond the standard performance fee. However, if it’s in a remote location, it can add to the cost just as it would for any vendor. That said, the couples who choose an obscure location understand that type of cost comes with the territory. Yet, there are advantages to a destination DJ, cost-wise. They can cover other events for you if they’re already there. I recently worked with a wedding client in Highlands, North Carolina and I was there from Thursday through Sunday. I played the “welcome party,” put on a playlist and handled the A/V for speeches with the rehearsal dinner, did the same for the ceremony, headlined the cocktail hour/reception and then played the brunch music the day after the wedding. To deal with only one vendor for all those events is a huge weight off a client’s shoulders. It also allows me to build rapport with the client, as well as their guests and I’m definitely willing to work out better pricing with all those elements and events.   Q. Many couples say, “I’m going to make my own Spotify or iTunes playlist,” in order to save money. What are the risks with this choice and how can it impact a wedding event? A. So many things can impact the day – the weather, how long the guests have been there, how much they’ve had to drink, etc. and that all plays a part in deciding which songs can work best. Even as a DJ, I may have a general idea of what I’m going to play going in, but I never pre-plan my exact sets. I want it to feel a bit fluid and organic. The dangers are that the pre-mix may not fit the vibe of the event, the songs aren’t mixed together, long intros or awkward fade-outs, etc. This doesn’t even take into account the MC element. Having someone “host” the event is critical. A great DJ also has a keen awareness of how to direct the event without being cheesy or making the event about themselves by over-talking. Even a fantastic playlist will not be able to Band-Aid that missing element.   Q. How does the destination you’re performing in impact your playlists? Do you highlight local artists or allow the destination to inspire your mix-sets? A. I absolutely incorporate the destination into my music selections. I tend to think of it like programming a holiday party. No one wants to hear nothing but holiday music at a holiday party…they’ve been listening to it all month. Similarly, you don’t want to dominate the destination wedding with music just from that area. But to have zero of it seems like a missed opportunity to create a unique experience. 

I do a couple things to determine what to play. Shazam allows you to research what is most “shazamed” in a location. I also have connections with DJs from around the world that I will ask. Music research is important and one of my favorite elements of my prep for a destination wedding.   Q. Many hotels and venues have noise curfews for amplified music. Do you have advice for couples who want to keep the party going late into the night? A. One option is to see if the venue has an “indoor” space they can transition to. They may be willing to work with you on this, because they’d rather you spend all your money with them than source out a new venue. An alternative is a “silent-disco.” It is a fantastic option for noise ordinance locations and it is a blast. Guests are given wireless headphones and the DJ’s music is transmitted to them. As someone who has seen it without headphones, it’s hilarious to watch because guests are singing and dancing, but with no music being amplified. It makes for some great pictures and an unforgettable experience for everyone.    Q. As a professional DJ, what tips do you have to keep a dance party going?  A. Programming and timing are the major factors. Knowing what music to play when is critical. By timing, I’m referring to when things are scheduled. I know some clients who will say they have the best party crowd ever and yet the party never reaches its true potential because the agenda isn’t organized in a way to allow guests to let loose.   Other factors that can affect the party are lighting and room design. A huge space with a small guest count is a death sentence for most parties, as is no dynamics with the lighting (i.e. lights on all night). Having those elements right can really take a party to the next level and keep people dancing a lot longer.   Q. In your opinion, what’s the best way to get people dancing – alcohol or a good play list? A. In a perfect world, both. But honestly, programming will trump everything. You can get away without lighting or alcohol if a DJ can read a room well.   Q. You have played for a lot of big names – what is your favorite type of event to DJ and why? Celebrity? Corporate? Wedding? A. Gosh, that’s like asking, “Who’s your favorite child?” I guess the best answer I can give is I love them ALL (including nightlife, fashion and non-profit events). It keeps my programming fresh and allows me to feel re-energized when I do an event type I haven’t done in a while. For more on DJ Brian B, as well as some sample original playlists he’s created to take you from getting ready to “I do,” check out destinationido.com/djbrianb

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GUEST BOOK

Photo courtesy of: Dear Wesleyann Photography

large event with a DJ on a large stage might feel inadequate. There are those rare entertainers who can thrive no matter the guest count, but that’s a good place to start. Other things you should consider when deciding between the two:  • What does the band’s playlist look like? Are they willing to learn songs for your event? Do they take breaks? If so, how long? • Does the DJ actually “mix” songs or do they just “fade in, fade out?” Is he/she cheesy? Will they take requests? • Would either be open to incorporating the other? For example, the band handles the primary music duties while the DJ handles the “break” music and all of the MC work.

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Beyond our obvious amorous affair of alliteration, there’s plenty of appeal when it comes to castles, cruises and coastlines (see what we did there?). There’s truly something for everyone amongst these honeymoon and destination wedding locations. Whether you’re considering a castle in Ireland, the Italian coastline or a cruise through Greece, prepare yourself for lovely options galore.

Photo courtesy of: Courtney Cox

CASTLES, CRUISES & COASTLINES

CASTLES, CRUISES COASTLINES

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IRELAND:

Celebrate in a Regal Castle

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WORDS BY COURTNEY COX

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f you’re considering an Ireland castle wedding or honeymoon, it isn’t a matter of “why,” but a matter of “where.” The logic is sound (A romantic, historic backdrop? Yes, please!), but narrowing down your options can seem like a daunting task. There are some big-time heavy hitters that a lot of couples will come across at first glance, but take the time to explore the other high-end options in the way of castle accommodations. One such example is the five-star Dromoland Castle Hotel. It recently completed a 20 million-euro renovation, bringing the 16th century country estate firmly into the 21st century. While it boasts all the modern conveniences you might want for your destination wedding or honeymoon, it maintains its charming castle feel with stone walls, grand staircases and a quirky layout.

In terms of entertainment, all 450-acres are at your leisure. Exit through Dromoland’s original front doors, which date back to 1480, and traverse the grounds in search of Ireland’s oldest trees – some are over 300 years-old. For guests, there’s a complimentary activity every day, ranging from golf lessons and falconry to historic carriage rides and garden tours. As a special treat, be sure to book the River Shannon and Lough Derg Experience through the hotel’s concierge. Explore the countryside by land, air or sea and travel back in time to learn about key periods in Ireland’s history – all while being hosted by local history enthusiasts. Dromoland’s lineage has links to a king, so you can surely expect the royal treatment.

With 97 rooms to choose from, there’s something to suit every guest; from large rooms for families and odd-shaped options with turreted corners, to the Brian Boru Suite (one of the last High Kings of Ireland) with its luxurious furnishings and four-poster bed. For your wedding weekend events, kick things off with welcome cocktails in the bar (formerly the family library) and enjoy live music, complemented by Frank the singing bartender. Say “I do” in the castle’s walled gardens, before shifting into celebratory gear for a Medieval banquet reception in the Brian Boru Gallery.

CASTLES, CRUISES & COASTLINES

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Dromoland Castle (1st) and Courtney Cox (2nd & 3rd)

What sets Dromoland apart from its competitors, is that it remained privately owned until the 1960s. As a result, it provides a dramatic setting, but with a familial comfort and attitude – perfect for celebrating special occasions. “Dromoland feels lived in and you can tell it was a home,” says Marie Chawke, director of business development. “There’s a great camaraderie and family feel here. Most employees have been here for over 20 years.”

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Greek Islands

CASTLES, CRUISES & COASTLINES

to the

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ecluded islands filled with hidden coves and private beaches, seaside cafés facing aqua Mediterranean panoramas, gorgeous coastlines and fabulous ports – it’s hard to imagine a more picturesque honeymoon destination than the Greek islands. For adventurous couples who love the water, few travel options can match the romance of setting sail on a tall-masted sailboat cruise with Star Clippers around the Aegean Sea. The closest alternative to a private yacht experience, sailing on Star Clippers’ small ship (170 people max) allowed us to visit sexy ports like Patmos and hidden gem Amorgos – spots that big cruises can’t reach. We hopped off the ship to visit the sun-kissed ports, then came back on board in time to watch the sails unfurl. At night, the wind and water rocked us to sleep in our cozy cabin.

Island Highlights

We set sail around the Northern Cyclades, an itinerary made for romance. Here are a few port highlights:

PATMOS The chicest Greek island you’ve never heard of and a wellkept secret of the rich and famous (George Clooney, Naomi destinationido.com

Photo courtesy of: Star Clippers

Sail Away

WORDS BY MELISSA KLURMAN


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Campbell and Julia Roberts all have homes here). Follow the locals’ lead and stroll the flower lined, white washed passageways, then explore the chic shops down by the port before ducking into beachside tavernas and cafés. After lunch, plunge into the crystal sea or rev-up the adrenaline by renting an ATV to explore the upper reaches of the island, including a gilded mountaintop monastery.

AMORGOS

This postcard perfect town is known throughout the world as the trendy heart of the Greek islands, but there is also plenty of romance found in twisting alleys and tiny shops for the two of you to get lost in. Rent a car to head out to the beach party scene on the southern side of the island. The ship won’t set sail until 11 p.m. at this popular port, so you have plenty of time to kick back.

Star Clippers

The barefoot luxury of a small ship with thousands of people less than a big cruise ship also means you can eat without crowds and tender to shore without waiting for hours. When

Staterooms on long, narrow clipper ships are cozy by necessity, although you’ll still have twice daily housekeeping and a comfortable, roomy bed. For the most spacious options, book category one or two staterooms; the two aft suites that open onto the back deck are perfectly located for private stargazing. Adventurous couples shouldn’t miss climbing the rigging up to the crow’s nest and lying out over the sea together on the bowsprit netting.

Getting There

To sail the Greek islands with Star Clippers, fly into Athens; cruises deport from Piraeus, about a 30-minute ride from the airport. Direct flights from New York take approximately 10 hours (United, Alitalia, Emirates/JetBlue and Delta/AirFrance all offer nonstop options). From California, you’ll need to connect, a few easy options include Lufthansa with a stop in Munich, Alitalia with a layover in Rome and Swiss Air with a change in Zurich. For insight on Santorini, Italy, in the Southern Cyclades, check out The Honeymoonist article on pg. 76.

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CASTLES, CRUISES & COASTLINES

Photos courtesy of: Star Clippers

This tiny port feels like a hidden treasure not yet discovered by Grecian island explorers; it’s all small beaches and lovely spots to eat fresh fish pulled directly from the sea. Walk along the seaside or hop on a moped to leave the last bits of civilization behind and find the perfect secluded spot for a romantic selfie.

the ship is docked, it’s easy to get off at the gorgeous ports and sample the local cuisine. Don’t miss the fresh fish, creamy feta, ripe tomatoes and frothy iced coffee frappes. The “sail away ceremony” when the ship hoists its sails, the wind fills the canvas, music soars and the ship sets off quietly under the night sky is a romantic chance to clink Champagne flutes.

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Celebrate Romance

Amalfi Coast WORDS BY CAROLYN STEERE

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ome dreams are best experienced awake, and winding along the Amalfi Coast of Italy was a dream come true. It has long been on my bucket list and there was not one moment when I experienced disappointment. Each morning, the rising sun would burn off the fog to reveal dramatic cliffs that seemed to disappear into the clear blue Mediterranean waters and every evening we would retire to the terrace to take in the warm hues of the Amalfi sunset. It doesn’t get more romantic.

CASTLES, CRUISES & COASTLINES

Our home for our Italian getaway was the exclusive boutique resort, Casa Angelina in the small coastal town of Praiano, located between Positano and Amalfi. The resort is tucked away down a winding driveway and, once you arrive, it feels like you have entered an oasis of tranquility.

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Light, airy and inviting best describe this unique property. Washed in stark Mediterranean white, there are pops of color throughout, such as whimsical Venetian glass sculptures inspired by Cuban artist Alfredo Sosabravo and the work of other contemporary artists. The dramatic sea views from almost every vantage point of the resort are awe-inspiring, including the elevator! Casa Angelina affectionately refers to itself as a “lifestyle” where “relaxation is effortless, design is a given and style and elegance are omnipresent.” Nestled on a seaside cliff, this romantic 39 room, adult-only boutique hotel is a hideaway where the staff pride themselves in pampering their guests, allowing them to escape the everyday. The concierge services were amazing, right from the start. Even before our arrival, we were provided a concierge guide who assisted with everything from recommendations for transportation

to and from the airport to every activity we might consider during our visit. The white-on-white décor of the guest rooms and comfy beds dressed in pristine white Etro cotton sheets may entice you to spend your time inside, but you would not want to risk missing all the region has to offer. Easy excursions include strolling the narrow passageways and shopping in the quaint shops of nearby Positano, sailing over to the island of Capri or soaking up the sun at La Gavitella Beach. The Campania region is definitely for “foodies.” It is the birthplace of pizza, of which we indulged frequently and enjoyed immensely, but the region is also known for Amalfi lemons and specialties such as mozzarella di bufala, capers and all manner of seafood. We seemed to eat our way through the day, starting with strong European coffee and a scrumptious breakfast on the terrace where we could take in the amazing views and plan our day (and next meal). Of course, dinner was a highlight when Chef Leopoldo Elefante provided inspired, locally sourced cuisine in Casa Angelina’s fine dining restaurant, Un Piano Nel Cielo, which translates as “a floor in the sky.” The views are awe inspiring and it is “love at first bite” to the last sweet taste as you experience the rich flavors of the Mediterranean region. Peak season on the Amalfi Coast is June through mid-September, but I would highly recommend visiting in the fall and spring when the temperatures are still pleasantly warm, but there are fewer visitors sharing the narrow, windy roads. Tailormade for romance, Casa Angelina is a truly unique place to unlock romance with an unforgettable proposal, destination wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway.

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Photo courtesy of: Casa Angelina

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Photos courtesy of: Casa Angelina

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t s i w T

WINE COUNTRY WITH A

Kelowna Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort

WINE COUNTRY WITH A TWIST

Hotel Eldorado

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WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

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oneymooning or getting hitched in wine country often brings to mind California’s Napa or Sonoma valleys. While both are gorgeous spots with plenty to offer, an alternative destination with standout wineries, a locavore food scene, luxurious resorts and tons of outdoor activities is British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Stretching 124 miles north from the border of Washington state, the Okanagan Valley has nearly 200 wineries, multiple lakes and the dynamic city of Kelowna. Perched on the sandy shores of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is perfect for swimming, boating, water-skiing and windsurfing. Parks and woodland trails around the valley provide picturesque hiking and a youthful population adds a creative buzz and lively vibe. Depending upon your travel style, you can rent a car at the Kelowna International Airport to explore the area’s five wine regions, handily mapped out in Kelowna’s Wine Trails guide. Alternatively, numerous outfitters provide guided winery tours, such as Kelowna Concierge, whose private or day tours can include VIP access or an added focus on area breweries, distilleries, cideries or food. For lavish downtown digs, Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort reigns supreme. Overlooking Okanagan Lake, the property has waterfront suites, an indulgent spa and Oak + Cru Social Kitchen & Wine Bar featuring inventive, farm-centric dishes. For a smaller, boutique-style hotel, consider Hotel Eldorado. Built in 1926 on Okanagan Lake, the property has a warm, family feel and a porch-like waterfront restaurant serving seasonal bounty from area vineyards and farms. British Columbia’s wine industry, most of which comes from the Okanagan Valley, has rocketed from just 17 wineries in 1990 to almost 300 today. New wineries are opening all the time

and range from mom-and-pop vineyards to upscale operations like Mission Hill Family Estate, founded in 1981 by Anthony von Mandl, who modeled his winery after that of his mentor, Robert Mondavi. Mission Hill Family Estate offers numerous winery tours and tastings, including a private sommelier-guided tour, which you can cap off with an alfresco lunch at Terrace Restaurant with suggested pairings from the winery’s cellar. Other great wineries to visit include Meyer Family Vineyards for French-style Burgundy, Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards for bubblies, Kitsch Wines for Pinot Noir and Tantalus Vineyards for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a delectable, strawberryhued sparkler. Given the valley’s excellent wines, it’s no surprise you’ll find stellar restaurants, particularly in Kelowna. A few to consider include Waterfront Café for superb coffee, pastries and hearty pre-wine tasting breakfasts, like the crispy shredded potato cake topped with gruyere, bacon, poached eggs and white pepper gravy. Salt & Brick offers excellent wines to pair with comforting bites like mushroom-egg toasts and house-made charcuterie, while Micro Bar & Bites, a snug spot with a central bar, tantalizes with tapas like branzino crudo and duck crostini (don’t miss the duck fat popcorn). Waterfront Restaurant channels the current season with specialties like halibut with lentil gnocchi and Bouchons Bistro serves classic French favorites like cassoulet and steak tartare. Celebrating your union in the Okanagan Valley offers you and your beloved a chance to explore a unique and strikingly beautiful part of the world. You’ll find outdoor adventure, fabulous food and endless opportunities to fill your glass with superb wines to toast your new life together.

tip: Kelowna International Airport offers easy nonstop access from such hubs as Toronto and Seattle, Washington.

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WINE COUNTRY WITH A TWIST

LEFT PAGE: Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Tourism Kelowna / Shawn Talbot Photography (1st), Tourism Kelowna / Callum Snape (2nd), Tourism Kelowna (3rd & 4th) & Tourism Kelowna / Heaton Photography (5th)

Canadian

Explore Wine Country

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Sip, Savor and Socialize in N WORDS BY JOHN ROARK

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ong regarded as one of the world’s ultimate destinations for wine lovers, in recent years Napa has seen a resurgence and revitalization that is attracting a younger demographic. Beyond the to-be-expected stellar vino, California-fresh food and miles of truly stunning wine country hills, today’s Napa is also home to craft breweries, taprooms, a burgeoning music scene and an innovative arts district. Only 30 miles long and five miles wide, the Napa Valley offers you an open invitation to hop in a convertible, put the top down and explore. Redefining the traditional Napa experience, Vista Collina Resort is one of the valley’s favorite new destinations, both for visitors and locals. Featuring 145 casually sophisticated guest rooms and suites with fully equipped kitchens, the pet-friendly property is a standout thanks to its centerpiece, The Village.

It flanks an expansive lawn perfect for weddings, receptions or a decadent picnic pour deux presented by your own dedicated lawn butler. The Village also includes a food and wine center with cooking classes led by guest chefs and bakers that will delight gourmands of all levels, an artisanal market and nine tasting rooms showcasing the best local boutique wines and microbrews. “We wanted to capture the style and charm of Napa in an understated way,” says the resort’s general manager, Dave Elcon. “There’s a casual sophistication to the property that’s reflective of the region. Our focus is on our guests, creating memorable experiences that allow them to discover their own version of Napa’s best.” Vista Collina’s tasting rooms have embraced the paradigm shift started by other local wineries. Today’s venues are laid-back, casually hip hangouts designed for friends and guests to linger and visit with vintners and growers. Wines are paired with food in homey, relaxed environments. Drop on in, sip, savor, socialize and stay awhile. With the credo of “the best of Napa, all in one place,” Vista Collina welcomes you to relax on-site and also offers the opportunity to explore the incomparable Napa Valley. The resort’s experts are happy to curate your personalized wine and/or foodie tour, hot-air balloon excursion and vineyard visits.

WINE COUNTRY WITH A TWIST

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Marshall Williams (1st & 3rd) and Jim Bartsch (2nd & 4th)

tip: When booking your travel, we recommend flying into Sacramento International Airport (SMF), rather than more congested options. The drive time from SMF to Vista Collina is approximately 45 minutes.

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Sonoma:

WORDS BY COURTNEY COX

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t only took one visit to Sonoma County to turn me into a NorCal convert. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the rugged coastline of Northern California, your destination wedding or honeymoon is the perfect time to discover this unique and breathtaking stretch of land. The misty coastal setting not only creates picturesque backdrops for your big day, but unique wines, as well. Any lover of California varietals, who wants to skip potential wine country pretentiousness, should consider the Jenner area of Sonoma County. To maximize the landscape and event planning potential, check-out Timber Cove Resort. Located in Jenner, just off historic Highway 1, this bluff-based hotel will serve as a hip host. Located roughly an hour from Sonoma County Airport and 90 minutes from San Francisco International Airport, it’s a bit of a hike to reach. But, navigating the narrow and winding roads of Highway 1 will set the scene for an epic wine country getaway. Timber Cove first swung its swanky doors wide in 1963 and recently underwent a head-to-toe renovation; bringing its unique, mod-style into the modern age. The 46 rooms boast high beamed ceilings, sweeping views of the Pacific, cozy fireplaces and cool touches like retro kitchenettes and record players. Timber Cove’s bold vibe is infectious and even the geekiest guest will feel cool by association.

When it comes to your wedding day, say “I do” with up to 120 guests in the shade of wind-swept cypress trees on the events lawn. Host your reception on the Ansel Adams redwood deck and encourage your guests to keep their eyes peeled for Western Gulls (who mate for life) surfing the coastal breezes. After ogling the views from Timber Cove, you’ll be itching to get out and see the sights. Drive through nearby towns like Healdsburg to enjoy tiny shops and calendar-worthy houses surrounded by foggy farmland. The rocky cliffs and chilly beaches aren’t conducive for swimming, but make up for it in the ambiance department. A visit to Salt Point State Park is an absolute must. It will bring to mind an episode of “Planet Earth” as you spot swaths of wildflowers, gray whales and their calves just off shore, along with octopus-wrestling seals and even a stray orca or two. Area tasting room standouts include Flowers Vineyards and Winery (known for their Chardonnay) and Eric Ross Winery (known for its Russian River Pinot). Let Mother Nature play host at your wedding in Sonoma County. She’ll not only bring the wine, but will also provide the entertainment and décor. tip: Upon arrival, head straight to the bar in the cavernous and cool communal lobby for a post-commute cocktail.

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WINE COUNTRY WITH A TWIST

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Courtney Cox (1st-2nd) & Timber Cove Resort (3rd)

Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea

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New Park Retreat

Weddings in the Finger Lakes

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Photo courtesy of: Kelly Kazmierzcak Photography

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Treman Center

WORDS BY CAROLYN STEERE

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here is a Native American legend that the Great Spirit laid his hand upon the land to bless it and when the hand lifted, the imprints left behind formed the impressions of the five Finger Lakes. The region certainly is blessed with unspoiled beauty, warm hospitality, lively farm-to-table restaurants, outdoor activities galore and wineries, breweries and distilleries around every corner…all in America’s backyard. Rochester, New York is the “front door” of the Finger Lakes region and is where we started our journey. History seemed to surround us as we drove down streets lined with century old trees and magnificent Victorian mansions. Our first stop was the Strathallan Rochester, where we found a tale of two centuries. The City View Ballroom is modern and elegant, with a sophisticated vibe and 360-degree views of the city. Just across the street is the Century Club, built in 1892, with a more intimate feel. Just down the street is the beautiful Eastman Museum, the estate of George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman

Kodak Company. Built between 1902 and 1905, this historic mansion provides a perfect backdrop for wedding ceremonies with its stunning staircase, light and airy conservatory and manicured gardens. It is no surprise it’s also a favorite place for wedding photographers to capture a “first look.”

Pleasant Valley Inn

One of the more noted wedding venues in the region is Belhurst Castle and Winery, which was voted number three in USA TODAY’S 10 Best Wine Country Hotels in 2018. Located on the shores of beautiful Seneca Lake, the large lawn is a favorite ceremony location, followed by a castle reception fit for a prince or princess. With three hotels, two restaurants, a winery, spa and salon, you can create the wedding of your dreams all in one place. Located in the charming village of Aurora on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake is the Aurora Inn. During the summer months, weddings are held on an expansive stone terrace overlooking the lake. Steeped in history, nineteenth century elegance coupled with modern convenience make the Aurora Inn an inviting location for hosting your wedding events and accommodating your guests.

Heron Hill

Belhurst Castle and Winery

Strathallan Rochester

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Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Inns of Aurora (1st), Leslie Carrère (2nd), Copyright 2018 Bill Hutches (3rd), Mann and Wife Photography (4th), Tory Williams Photography (5th) & Mylee Dondiz (6th)

Aurora Inn

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In contrast, after a little tire crunching outside of Ithaca, New York, we came upon some hidden gems. At Gratitude and Grace, we fell in love with the contrast of a stunning country barn with an elegant Italian chandelier, twinkle lights and tulle. This is a wedding venue where you and your guests can enjoy the property for the weekend and the celebration can go on for as long as you like. There is also a beautiful Victorian house on property where you and 14 of your family and friends can stay.

Letchworth State Park

Another amazing country venue in the Ithaca area is the Treman Center. It features a three-story event space created from local stone and wood salvaged from an 1870s hay barn, a serene Tuscan courtyard with circular firepit and a beautiful outdoor tent sourced from Africa.

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Century Club

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There are over 100 wineries in the Finger Lakes region. Heron Hill Winery in Hammondsport undoubtedly has one of the most spectacular views of Keuka Lake. A beautiful, landscaped lawn overlooking the lake is the setting for warm weather ceremonies, followed by a tent reception featuring some of their premier wines carefully chosen to accompany the wedding menu. For a comfy place to lay your head and enjoy an outstanding meal in Hammondsport, check out the Pleasant Valley Inn. Our last stop was Letchworth State Park, often known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” with three major waterfalls, lush forests and dramatic cliffs. Couples can reserve any number of overlooks for no cost on a first-come-first-served basis for ceremonies. Glen Iris Inn, which was formerly a country estate, is also a popular site for ceremonies and receptions in the park. The wedding site for the Inn overlooks Middle Falls, an amazing backdrop.

Eastman Museum

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At Destination I Do, we are always in search of up-and-coming destination wedding locations. The Finger Lakes region of New York provided us with one surprise after another, where the value was amazing without sacrificing quality.

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Jim Vallee, Mylee Dondiz & Natalie Sinisgalli Photography

“Whimsical” best describes New Park Retreat, a bed and breakfast and event center on beautiful grounds just outside of Ithaca. This is a wedding venue where creativity is encouraged and the staff takes pride in making your vision come true. Whether it is a circus themed wedding or dining in the forest, New Park Retreat can make it happen.


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

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A Luxury Upstate

Private Camp

WORDS BY VICTORIA ABBOTT RICCARDI

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eep in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains overlooking the shimmering waters of Saranac Lake, paradise awaits at The Point Resort. This all-inclusive Gilded Age getaway is where one comes to celebrate some of life’s grandest moments, like your wedding or honeymoon. With only 11 rooms, both in cushy log cabins and in the main house, this former William Avery Rockefeller “Great Camp” offers an intimate escape into nature. Here, you and your beloved can reserve the entire property to hold a deeply personal ceremony with friends and family or celebrate your union in a luxurious locale drenched in balsam-rich air.

Warmer months center around The Boathouse, which has a stylish, nautically decorated private suite, complete with a wraparound deck offering breathtaking sunsets over Saranac Lake. After a leisurely gourmet breakfast, paddle a canoe, kayak or rowboat to a nearby island, or steer one of the resort’s mahogany, electric inboards for two around the lake with a luncheon picnic and fine wine. Come sundown, step aboard the antique green and red painted Elco launch for a spin around the lake, complete with cocktails and hot hors d’oeuvres. Or, savor drinks and dinner at any of The Point’s private oasis – a cabin in the woods, alfresco overlooking the lake or in the privacy of your room.

in Paris, turns local and specialty ingredients into sumptuous, seasonal fare, all paired with exquisite wines. Cap off the night with coffee, cognac or a stroll under the stars, where the galaxy unfolds before you in a way that feels as infinite as your love for one another.

TRAVEL TIP: The easiest way to travel to The Point from major East Coast cities is to fly Cape Air, the only commercial airline that flies to Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake, New York. Staff from The Point will then greet you and drive you to the property.

SPOTLIGHT DESTINATION

Photos courtesy of: The Point

The first Relais & Châteaux property in North America and the only Forbes FiveStar property in Upstate New York, The Point Resort is the sort of place where chilled Champagne awaits at every turn, guests don black tie for multicourse weekend dinners and evenings conclude with port and homemade s’mores around a crackling fire.

The Great Hall, with its massive fireplaces, mounted elk heads and cozy, wooden cupola ceiling, is also where couples or a wedding party can gather for meals. Executive Chef Loic Leperlier, a veteran of the Michelin star restaurant Lucas Carton SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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Katikies Santorini

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Photo courtesy of: Katikies Santorini

THE HONEYMOONIST

WORDS BY SUSAN MOYNIHAN


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Brechenmacher and Baumann for Design Hotels™ (1st & 2nd), Katikies Santorini (3rd) and Dimitra Bratika (4th)

Istoria Hotel

Is there a more Instagrammable honeymoon spot on the planet than Santorini, Greece? Small wonder it’s at the top of so many travel wish lists, either as a solo stop or combined with other islands. Whether you’re going for a day or a week, here’s how to do it right. Santorini is in the Southern Cyclades, accessible by flight or ferry from Athens. What makes the island so stunning is its topography. Way back in the late Bronze Age, the island suffered a volcanic eruption that literally blew it apart, leaving the main island and two adjacent isles ringed concentrically around a crater lagoon. I’ve been all over the world and have seen a lot of beautiful places, but still, my first glimpse of this beautiful island took my breath away.

Of course, the price of beauty is steep and, in Santorini’s case, that means cost (it has the highest hotel rates in Greece) and crowds (tour buses on narrow roads, long lines at taxi stands and people snapping photos around every turn). So, bring your patience and make it a point to get away from the crater from time to time. Santorini’s charms are all over the island and, if you just stick to the cliffs, you’ll miss part of what makes this island so special.

WHAT NOT TO MISS:

Watch the sunset spectacle. It’s the number one must-do and with good reason. Sitting on a western-facing terrace, sipping wine while the sun makes her slow tumble into the sea is mesmerizing. Historic Oia is on the northwestern tip of the island and the photographic star, with a gorgeous maze of narrow streets. Bustling Fira is the island’s capital, with loads of shops, bars and restaurants and is an ideal sunset position above the cruise port. Imerovigli is smaller and

Katikies Santorini

Vedema

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less crowded, just north of Fira and has the highest crater cliffs. Whichever town you choose, know all have loads of restaurants with terraces overlooking the caldera. They all get packed in the hour before the show starts, so get there early to find your perch. Wine is a must. Santorini’s wine industry is one of the most unique in the world. The star grape is Assyrtiko, which makes citrusy whites with great minerality. Gaia Wines is set in an old brick factory with an alfresco tasting room overlooking Kamari Beach, plus resident cats and tasty rosé. Venetsanos Winery is located on a cliff near the town of Megalochori, with a small on-site museum and a gorgeous flagstone terrace that overlooks the sea. On a tour with Santorini Wine Roads, you’ll visit at least three wineries for tastings. Cruise the crater. As fantastic as the view is from the cliffs, it’s also amazing to view the island from the sea. Sign up for a catamaran cruise that includes stops for hot springs and snorkeling, along with lunch.

Katikies Santorini

Or, do a shorter sunset sail with wine and cheese to accompany your views. Sunset Oia Sailing Cruises has small group excursions and private charters you can customize for two. Hit the beach. Don’t resist the chance to swim in the crystal waters of the Aegean; just know that the beaches are dark-hued and pebbly, reflecting the island’s volcanic roots. Perissa Beach is the prettiest black strand, lined with open-air beach clubs. Aptly named Red Beach sits in a cove just below the ancient town of Akrotiri, reachable via a steep, somewhat treacherous path. Vlichada Beach is off the beaten path, thanks to its lack of services, which means it’s also a good spot to avoid crowds. Bring an extra bag. White cotton and linen clothing are the top buy here in the form of floaty dresses and coverups for her and airy button-down shirts and pants for him. But, you’ll also find great jewelry from top Greek designers, every style of Grecian sandal imaginable,

Istoria Hotel

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Istoria Hotel

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Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Katikies Santorini (1st-3rd) and Brechenmacher and Baumann for Design Hotels™ (4th & 5th)

Katikies Santorini


Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Nige Levanterman (1st), George Fakaros (2nd & 5th-6th), Carla Ten Eyck (3rd) and Dimitra Bratika (4th)

Vedema

Vedema

colorful silk caftans and local artwork galore. Bibliophiles will love popping into the cavernous Atlantis Books in Oia.

section of beach. Every room has a terrace overlooking the sea; the best have plunge pools or Jacuzzis, as well.

WHERE TO STAY:

Inland. Located in the tiny village of Megalochori, Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, feels like a respite from the island’s bustle. Every room is unique, with separate living rooms, oversize tubs and outdoor space. It’s small (46 rooms), but has all of the resort amenities you’d want, including a fitness center, spa, two restaurants and free shuttles to Fira and the beach. Alati restaurant is a standout, set in a 400-year-old wine cellar.

On the crater. Set in beautiful Oia, Katikies Hotel has 31 sumptuous suites carved into the cliffside. Enjoy two infinity pools, an oh-so-romantic restaurant, a Champagne bar and fantastic service that earns “world’s best” raves year after year. The honeymoon suites come with open-air jetted tubs overlooking the sea, so you can enjoy the sunset without the crowds, then pop up to explore town when the urge hits. At the beach. Istoria Hotel opened in 2018 to acclaim as the island’s first Design Hotels™ property, with a minimalist, mid-century vibe that recalls Palm Beach mod, only alongside a black-sand beach. The 12-suite hotel has a stunning infinity lap pool, sand-bottom restaurant and beach chairs and food service on a reserved

Vedema

Vedema

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HONEYMOONIST, SUSAN MOYNIHAN (a.k.a. TRAVELER IN CHIEF), AT THEHONEYMOONIST.COM

Vedema

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Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): Tim McKenna (1st) and The Brando (2nd-4th)

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H O N E Y M O O N H I D E A W AY S

A French Polynesian Paradise Like No Other

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WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

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It’s exclusive, but for good reason. The resort is located about 74 kilometers from Tahiti and is accessible only by private jet (the property boasts their own airline – Air Tetiaroa). Situated on a private atoll, the resort is remote, secluded, exclusive and supremely breathtaking.

Most widely known as Marlon Brando’s sustainable resort (he discovered the location while shooting a movie and purchased it in 1967), it is not only eco-friendly, but also forward thinking in its mission. They have created an environmentally sound bird and sea life sanctuary with award-winning accommodations that satisfies every indulgence, in the middle of nowhere. Impressive? Undoubtedly. Each of the one, two or three-bedroom villas is equipped with private pool, beach access (and by access, I mean it’s 40 feet from your private deck), alfresco bathtub, decadent king-sized bed (or beds), private dining bungalow, den area and beach cruisers to sightsee or get to SPRING & SUMMER 2019

the spa in record speed. If you opt for the all-inclusive package (which you would be smart to do), all your food and beverages are included (with the exception of a few over-the-top offerings) along with a 50-minute daily spa treatment. The Varua Te Ora Polynesia Spa alone is worth the visit. Tucked into the heart of the atoll, the spa overlooks a tranquil pond and is ensconced by tropical wildlife. This veiled oasis should be part of your daily schedule as one visit is just not enough. If this is your honeymoon or destination wedding celebration, I highly recommend the “fare manu,” a three-hour exclusive couple’s experience located in its own treatment room, six meters above the ground called the “bird’s house.” Settle in with your beloved as you unwind in the ultimate of atmospheres. This indulgent couple’s treatment begins with a welcome ceremony on the private deck. Relax as your therapist uses acupressure to your head and feet while you two take in the panoramic view. Next, you’re guided

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Photo courtesy of: The Brando

f you’ve heard of The Brando, chances are you conjure up visions of the type of paradise the world’s elite could travel to. And you’d be right. Lagoon water in 50 shades of aqua, white powder sand beaches, sunsets that set the sky aflame and gentle tropical breezes will greet you every day. Understandably, the worlds’ most affluent along with A-list celebrities – including Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio and even former President, Barack Obama – have graced the beaches of Tetiaroa, French Polynesia, where The Brando is located.

What makes The Brando so special has little to do with how much it costs to stay (or even get here) and yes, this place is about as luxurious as it gets. It has everything to do with the people, the culture, the history and the environmental sanctuary they have created.

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If you’re concerned about not being able to get off-property dining, not to worry, the restaurant options here beg to be revisited. Les Mutinés by Guy Martin is their fine-dining option and you’ll discover a gastronomy adventure set in an intimate, elegantly adorned private venue. Led by Chef Guy Martin of two-star Michelin restaurant Le Grand Véfour in Paris, each decadent morsel will transport you to culinary heaven. There’s also the casual Beachcomber Café, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. But don’t be fooled by the laidback name. This was our most visited of the restaurant options as they hit every taste bud’s sweet spot. The servers have strong opinions on what they love the most on the menu and you’d be wise to take their suggestions. Not once did we disagree.

If dining in the privacy of your own villa piques your interest, you’re covered here too. Indulge in a romantic dinner for two under the stars, a secluded picnic lunch on your private beach or breakfast in bed. In-villa dining is popular and perfect for honeymooners. If the culinary delights don’t wow you enough, just dip your toes into the water and embark on an ultimate tour of the lagoon. Expert naturalists from the Tetiaroa Society (a non-profit, conservation program located on-island) will guide you through the wildlife and nature that surrounds the lagoon. They’ll point out stingrays, sharks, parrotfish, endangered birds and giant coconut crabs as you explore both on and off shore. A highlight will be a stop over at Queen’s Bath, a serene and shallow part of the lagoon where you can float on the surface of the warm water with nothing under you but soft white sand and an occasional fish. The color of the water looks like most backyard pools, but I assure you, it’s real and worth an extension of your time. If you’re considering spending the extra dollar to make your way to The Brando and the nirvana-esque island of Tetiaroa for your wedding or honeymoon, you won’t be disappointed. It was number one on my bucket list and is now number one on my “must return as soon as possible” list.

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The newly opened, eight-seat Nami teppanyaki, offers an intimate dining experience allowing you to mingle with other guests or your own wedding party.

Sit back and sip your sake as expert Japanese Chef, Kaito Nakamura, sears and sautés you into submission.

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Photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right): The Brando (1st-3rd) and Romeo Balancourt (4th)

inside for a full body scrub made of coconut and black sand. A traditional Polynesian massage, focused on deep relaxation is then followed by a 100 percent sustainable facial using Tetiaroa honey and virgin coconut oil. The threehour treatment ends with the queen’s “sacred bath.” The outdoor, oversized tub, suspended high above the trees and totally secluded from view, is filled with fresh flowers and infused with vanilla and ylang ylang, putting the proverbial crown on this royal of treatments.


Overwater Opulence in

WORDS BY JENNIFER STEIN

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ora Bora has topped the charts as one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit for good reason. It has natural good looks in spades. But, beyond its phenomenal physique, it has a culture and history that are unparalleled. Honeymooners and wedding couples travel from all over the planet to catch a glimpse of this paradise and often return over and over, as it leaves a piece of itself with you long after you leave. Mount Otemanu is a recognizable landmark and the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa holds prime real estate overlooking this majestic mountain.

Every one of the overwater bungalows has a view of either Mount Otemanu, the sparkling aqua lagoon or the main island of Bora Bora, so no matter your perspective, you’ll be enjoying something spectacular. The newest additions to the property are The Brando Suites, which give a taste of the luxury you’ll find at The Brando Resort on Tetiaroa (see the full story on pg. 80). These overwater, oversized bungalows boast one or two bedrooms with private deck pools, a dining table for up to six people and an outdoor shower. The secluded bungalow, paired with unadulterated views of Mount Otemanu and the lagoon, will have you extending your stay.

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Make sure to book a diving or snorkeling excursion while you’re here. It’s a great way to see the islands and experience the stunning sea life of the South Pacific. We used Romantic Tour Bora Bora and our guides, Will and Vairea, made sure our intimate group of four got to see and do it all in our three-hour lagoon tour. From swimming with octopus, sharks, stingrays, manta rays and schools of brightly colored fish to traveling over 26 miles by boat to enjoy a private Tahitian-style beach barbeque, you’ll get a sense of local-flavor in more ways than one. When visiting Bora Bora, be prepared for the overwhelming sadness you’ll feel when it’s time to depart. This place will make its mark on your new marriage and on your hearts.

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Photos courtesy of: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Bora Bora

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ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE

Repeat Offenders WORDS BY ELAINE HILBELINK

Q

Instead of inviting our large extended families, my fiancĂŠ and I have decided to invite only a few close friends to our destination wedding. What is the best way to explain our decision to our families without hurting their feelings?

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Illustration courtesy of: 123rf.com/profile_ollalya

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It is important to involve your parents in the discussion of how to best keep harmony in your respective families if you choose not to include them in the destination ceremony. An at-home reception, planned shortly after your ceremony, is certainly a common option that many choose as a way to include those not participating. This can be as formal or informal as you choose to make it and will help family members feel as if they are an important part of celebrating your marriage.


There are a handful of special occasions in life that tend to bring out the “crazy” in people – weddings being one of them! Whether it’s you, your family or your guests who are acting nuttier than a fruitcake, etiquette issues are bound to arise. We’re sharing some of the questions we at Destination I Do find ourselves addressing again and again.

Q

My fiancé and I are both celebrating our second weddings. What is the proper number of guests to invite? Is it okay to do all of the traditions you would include at a first wedding?

A

The size of your wedding is totally up to you and your fiancé. It can be small and intimate, as many destination weddings are, or you may opt for a larger more traditional wedding. You may include customs and traditions typical of first weddings if you choose, but omitting what does not suit your style or destination venue may also be appropriate.

Q

I recently attended a wedding where the couple asked guests not to use their cell phones during the ceremony and reception, but I also attended a wedding where the couple created their own social media hashtag. How do I know if the couple is okay with my taking pictures and sharing them via social media?

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Before using your cell phone to photograph and share on social media, ask the host or wedding coordinator what the couple’s wishes are.

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Q

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

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

ADVENTURES IN ETIQUETTE

Q

My husband and I were recently invited to a destination wedding and the invitation said “adults only.” Does this mean just the wedding or do we have to leave our children home altogether? Is there a polite way to bring this up to the couple if it is not possible to leave our children at home?

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If it is your desire to turn the destination wedding into a family vacation, I would check with the venue to see if they have any resources for childcare during the activities that are “adults only.” You could also check with the hosts to see what is being planned for the wedding weekend. If the whole event is “adults only,” you should respect the wishes of the hosts and either not attend or arrange for childcare during the times you wish to be included in the pre-planned wedding activities.

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AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART:

FASHION FORWARD

CROATIA

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Photography: Danielle Coons Photography Stationery, Art Direction & Styling: Momental Designs Planner & Designer: Mango Muse Events On-Site Planner: Adriatic Weddings Croatia Location: Ražnjevića Dvori A.D. 1307

Living jewelry, delicate leather details, soft golden light and foraged floral bouquets amidst meandering cherry groves, olive trees and poppy fields can only elicit a feeling of freedom and romance. And what better place to put all of these elements together than Croatia? Stationer, art director and stylist, Kristy Rice of Momental Designs, decided to chart her own course to a small town about four hours outside of Dubrovnik for this Fashion Forward photo shoot. What resulted was pure magic. Beautiful and interesting details culminated in a stunning destination.

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1: On the shores of Polača village, our bride is fabulous in a Carol Hannah gown accented by a leather fringe necklace and a hand-tied bouquet by Floranita. Our groom is dapper in his JL Style suit. Hair and makeup also by JL Style.

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2 & 5: The bride’s Carol Hannah gown, leather fringe necklace and perfectly coiffed hair and makeup by JL Style is only enhanced by the living floral ring on her left hand (created by Floranita) and Sara Tiara fascinator adorned with a hand painted leaf by Momental Designs. The groom’s vest, slacks and other attire are courtesy of JL Style.

FASHION FORWARD

3 & 4: “Invites were crafted on walnut wood veneer and luxe cottony letterpress stock,” says Kristy Rice, and “a cigar box save-the-date featured the likeness of a traditional Croatian window.” Stationery by Momental Designs and calligraphy by Flourish & Grace Calligraphy.

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“Untouched beauty of long ago and a certain authenticity – that the highly trafficked tourist spots lacked – became our muse.” – KRISTY RICE, MOMENTAL DESIGNS

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6-9: Our team of talented vendors thoughtfully curated each style element. “A rustic ceremony spot was flanked by oversized urns of foraged greens and blooms,” says Kristy Rice. “Red became a subtle accent in bouquets and the stationery was inspired by the property’s cherry groves.” Calligraphy by Flourish & Grace Calligraphy, tableware provided by Ražnjevića Dvori A.D. 1307 and Adriatic Weddings, linen courtesy of La Tavola Linen, gown and leather fringe necklace by Carol Hannah, groom’s attire by JL Style, flowers by Floranita and event boat courtesy of Ilirija Biograd.

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10&11: “Our couple married on land, but they partied on a yacht,” says Kristy Rice of Momental Designs. The couple’s honeymoon look was perfectly curated by JL Style and yacht provided by Ilirija Biograd.

FASHION FORWARD

VENDOR LIST: Photography: Danielle Coons Photography, daniellecoons.com, Stationery, Art Direction & Styling: Momental Designs, momentaldesigns.com, Planner & Designer: Mango Muse Events, mangomuseevents.com, On-Site Planner: Adriatic Weddings Croatia, adriaticweddings-croatia.com, Location: Ražnjevića Dvori A.D. 1307, ilirijabiograd.com, Hair & Makeup: JL Style, jlstyleagency.com, Floral Designer: Floranita, floranita.hr, Videographer: Mihoci, mihoci.com/2017, Event Yacht: Ilirija Biograd, ilirijabiograd.com, Models: Luna Valas & Damajn Lebos, Cake: Choco Point, info@chocopoint.hr, Linen: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Gown & Leather Fringe Necklace: Carol Hannah, carol-hannah.com, Honeymoon & Groom’s Attire: JL Style, jlstyleagency.com, Tableware: Ražnjevića Dvori A.D. 1307 and Adriatic Weddings Croatia, ilirijabiograd.com & adriaticweddings-croatia.com, Fascinators: Sara Tiara, saratiara.com, Calligraphy: Flourish Grace Calligraphy, flourishgrace@yahoo.com & Pressed Flower Charms: Flora-Ly, flora-ly.com

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“If you sail with me, we will find the sea. We will find our love, over again.”

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– STEVE WARINER, SAILS


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CALIFORNIA

BRIANNA + BRENNAN Words by: Brianna Williams Images by: Brandon Kidd Photography Wedding Designer & Planner: A Good Affair

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rianna and Brennan’s relationship started off as puppy love in the sixth grade. They didn’t officially start dating until junior year of high school, but when college rolled around, the couple didn’t think it would be realistic to stay together and parted ways. “I always felt like we were meant to be together,” says the bride. “Around November of freshman year, he came crawling back (as I like to say) and we have been together ever since.” A year prior to their engagement, Brianna attended a wedding at the Ojai Valley Inn in California. “I thought it was such a fabulous location for a wedding,” says the bride. When it was time to plan their own event, the couple considered a beach venue in San Diego or Newport Beach. “It just didn’t feel right at each of these locations and I kept thinking about Ojai.” The couple returned to the Ojai Valley Inn together and there was no looking back.

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“[Planning] was easier than you would think,” says Brianna. “I would do Internet searches almost every day looking for ideas and then I would go back to my wedding planner to see if these ideas could be brought to life for my wedding.” Guests initially had some reservations about travel and costs for attending a destination wedding, but the couple reassured their loved ones. “We wanted to make sure our friends and family really enjoyed themselves and felt they had a mini-vacation of their own.”

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The couple had a picturesque ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Each was destinationido.com


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Congrats! “YES!”

Photography by Kurt Boomer, kurtboomer.com

You said

HAVE A QUESTION? WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

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“The design was immaculate with every detail making it magnificently beautiful. All of my guests could not stop talking about [the reception] and still tell me how amazingly beautiful it was!” decorated and complemented by stunning greenery, white flowers and purple accents that guests couldn’t stop raving about. Right behind exchanging “I do’s,” the bride’s favorite memory from the wedding day was their choreographed dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” “I really enjoyed so many amazing moments with my new husband, family and friends,” says Brianna. “I wish I hadn’t stressed as much as I did, because it all works out in the end and [it will be] the best moment of your life…”

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VENDOR LIST: Photographer: Brandon Kidd Photography, brandonkidd.net, Wedding Designer & Planner: Anna Nguyen and Natalie Good with A Good Affair, agoodaffair.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Ojai Valley Inn, ojaivalleyinn.com, Florist: The Hidden Garden, hiddengardenflowers.com, Stationery: East Six Invitations, eastsix.com, Gown Designer: Ines Di Santo, inesdisanto.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: John Varvatos, johnvarvatos.com, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier, moniquelhuillier.com, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Vera Wang Tuxedos, verawang.com, Cake: SusieCakes, susiecakes.com, Videographer: 618 Studios, 618studios.net, Band & DJ: DeBois Entertainment, deboisproductions.com, Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup, teamhairandmakeup.com & Catering: Ojai Valley Inn, ojaivalleyinn.com SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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y b n Gr COLORADO

BRUCE + MELISSA

Words by: Jennifer Stein Images by: Daniel Kim Photography

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Wedding Designer & Planner: Some Like it Classic

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aiting is hard. But to wait for the love of your life to show up, especially when you’re a professional wedding photographer for over 15 years, now that is hard. What got Melissa through it? Her faith in God and an unrelenting trust that someone like Bruce would eventually come into her life. Online dating hadn’t worked, meeting friends-of-friends turned out to be a bust and being an entrepreneur doesn’t exactly produce a huge workplace dating pool. So, when she took a leap destinationido.com

of faith and got on Christian Mingle, it turned out to be a game changer. To say their love story was fast and furious is an understatement. Bruce had written a letter to his future wife on his online profile, drawing interest from Melissa immediately. A few bits of correspondence sparked “a two-and-a-half week marathon of phone calls and video exchanges,” until he flew out to Phoenix to meet her in person. “We planned to spend three days together and I cleared my calendar,


Several months later, Bruce popped the question on a favorite hiking trail in Scottsdale. The couple resided in two different states and Melissa’s busy season for her

business is during the nicest weather in Arizona, so a summer wedding in Colorado fit the bill perfectly. Every year, Melissa attends an event with Forge Ministry called Deep Camp in Colorado, so the couple made sure to schedule the wedding around the event. In part, to make sure their ministry friends could attend and also so some of their guests could attend the camp with them post W-day. “Yep, we spent our first week of married life at a camp with our family and friends! It was an incredible way to SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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despite it being the middle of busy season,” recalls Melissa. That three-day trip was stretched out to a week, then another and then another! “Those three weeks were amazing and helpful to me in discovering his heart and what he is about.”

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


get extra quality time with loved ones,” recalls Melissa. One hundred and twenty guests traveled to Granby Ranch in Colorado to witness a touching, personal vow exchange, officiated by friend and Forge founder, Dwight Robertson. “During the ceremony, our bridal party and immediate families prayed over us. I just loved that moment,” says Melissa. After the tear-jerking ceremony, guests headed back down the mountain via

chairlift to a dinner under the open sky. During the reception, a few sprinkles and a sudden storm rolled in. It lasted only a few minutes, but resulted in a gorgeous, full rainbow. Isn’t that just a perfect metaphor for marriage and life? Without the storms, we wouldn’t have the rainbows. For more information about this couple, and what made this an extra special wedding day, flip back to my Editor’s Letter on pg. 14.

“I chose to include a fine art film print that I shot of the landscape in Colorado within every invitation to set the tone for the beautiful views our guests could expect at our mountain wedding.”

VENDOR LIST: Photographer: Daniel Kim, danielkimphoto.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: Kayla with Some Like It Classic, somelikeitclassic.com, Venue: Granby Ranch, granbyranch.com, Florist/Décor: Sarah’s Garden Wedding and Event Floral, sarahsweddinggarden.com, Bridal Dress & Veil Boutique: Emma and Grace Bridal, emmaandgracebridal.com, Bridesmaids’ Dress Designer: Jenny Yoo, jennyyoo.com, Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Bella Bridesmaids Scottsdale, bellabridesmaids.com, Hair: Emily Hughes, hairbyemilyhughes.com, Makeup: Arielle Rondeau, instagram.com/cremedelamakeup, Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar, plumprettysugar.com, Groom’s Suit: Magro Clothing, magroclothing.com, Groomsmen’s Suits: The Black Tux, theblacktux.com, Ties: vKnit, etsy.com/shop/vKnit, Stationery: Electric Dreams Design, electricdreamsdesign.com, and Roots and Rain Creative, rootsandraincreative.com, Musicians: Mountain City Music, mountaincitymusic.com, Officiant: Dwight Robertson with Forge, forgeforward.org/ speakers/dwight-robertson, Vow Booklets: Art + Alexander, artandalexander.com, Rentals & Lighting: Event Rents, eventrents.net, Linens: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com, Cake: Megan Joy Cakes, meganjoycakes.com, S’mores: Růže Cake House, ruzecakehouse.com, Videographer: Sula Studios, instagram.com/sulastudios, Photo Booth: Rendezbooth, rendezbooth.com & Ribbons: FrouFrou Chic, froufrouchic.com

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i u M HAWAII

Words by: Brianna Williams Images by: Tamiz Photography Wedding Designer & Planner: Opihi Love

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AMANDA + BENJAMIN

manda and Ben met in 2013 at the University of Colorado Hospital while Ben was finishing his internal medicine residency and Amanda was working as a registered nurse. Amanda asked Ben out on a date after the two had bonded during long shifts at the hospital. From then on, there was a lot of moving around and the couple faced the hard task of maintaining a long-distance relationship. Eventually, the couple moved to Hawaii together, where Ben proposed. “We wanted to have a destination wedding to show off a place that had special meaning to us,” the bride says. “Ben and I lived on the island of Oahu for a couple years before getting engaged and, during that time, developed a deep appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii.”

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A destination wedding meant the couple’s friends and family would have a good excuse to visit them in Hawaii. “Most had hinted we should have a Hawaiian wedding before we were even engaged,” says Amanda. The Oahu couple narrowed their search for the perfect venue to the island of Maui. They decided to go with Olowalu Plantation House. “It’s a fabulous ‘blank slate’ for any style of wedding and is well equipped for events,” says the bride. The couple was also drawn to the additional house on the property. They were able to rent and use it for not only the bridal party to get ready in, but the Sunday morning “recovery brunch” and for the couple’s honeymoon.

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With the help of their wedding planner, they had an easy time creating their bohemian-style Hawaiian wedding. They incorporated tropical flowers, foods and drinks that are native to the Hawaiian Islands. “My goal was to include as many unique details in our wedding as possible and create a space that evoked both comfort and elegance,” says the bride. “It was important to us that guests felt relaxed and pampered while they were so far from home.” The celebratory weekend was jam-packed with activities for guests; from traditional Hawaiian dinners to private yoga sessions. But the most memorable moment for Amanda was giving Ben his groom’s gift, which was a choreographed dance Amanda had practiced for six months.

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“My goal was to include as many unique details in our wedding as possible and create a space that evoked both comfort and elegance. It was important to us that guests felt relaxed and pampered while they were so far from home.”

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“Ben and I decided not to have an official wedding party, because we didn’t want anyone to feel left out or stressed about wedding details and obligations. Instead, we told our closest friends to wear a color from our wedding palette and arrive early at the wedding for Champagne and photos.”

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VENDOR LIST: Photographer: Tamiz Photography, tamizphotography.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: Opihi Love, opihilove.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Olowalu Plantation House, olowaluplantationhouse.com, Florist: Lois Hiranaga Floral Design, loismauiflowers.com, Stationery: Celeste Clark, celestecclark.com, Gown Designer: Rue De Seine, ruedeseine.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Banana Republic, bananarepublic.gap.com, Cake: Cake Fanatics, cakefanaticsmaui.com, Calligraphy & Custom Macramé: Alannah Rae Calligraphy, Dinner Menus and Place Cards: The Simple Flourish, thesimpleflourish.com, Vow Books: Jenche Designs, jenchedesigns.com, Bar: Aloha Bars Maui, alohabarsmaui.com, Harpist: Kristine Snyder, mauiharps.com, DJ: The DJ Hawaii, thedjhawaii.com, Place Settings: Set Maui, setmaui.com, Rentals: Rio Event Design, rioeventdesign.com, Catering: The Beast and Spoon, thebeastandspoon.com, Videographer: Ohana Films, ohanafilms.com, Wedding Website: Appy Couple, appycouple.com, Save The Dates: Minted, minted.com, Hair & Makeup: Cynthia of Kipona Aloha, kiponaaloha.com, Officiant: Euta Lightsy & Napkins: Winters Events, wintersevents.com

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SOUTH CAROLINA

n o t s e l Ch r CARA + AARON

Words by: Brianna Williams

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Images by: Dana Cubbage Weddings

“We both agree that in all the excitement of the day, the first look and pictures beforehand, we hadn’t much time to think about the actual ceremony. So, standing up there in front of our closest friends and family felt so surreal and we both were more emotional than we could have ever anticipated.”

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Wedding Designer & Planner: Mac and B Events

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ara and Aaron met as undergrads at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. When the couple got engaged, they concluded that since both of their families would have to travel anyway, a destination wedding made the most sense. They began researching destination weddings and Charleston, South Carolina, kept popping up. “This was a town we had always wanted to visit and thought, ‘What better excuse than for our own wedding?’” says Cara. “The

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venues in Charleston really spoke to us. They were so unique compared to what we were seeing in other locations.” When friends and family found out they would be traveling to South Carolina for the couple’s wedding, they were supportive and encouraging. “We were surprised how open and excited our friends and family were for the idea,” says the bride. “This gave us the last little push we needed.” The bride and groom said planning their Charleston wedding was especially easy. “Once we booked our major vendors and venue, the rest just fell into place,” says Cara. “We relied heavily on our wedding


planner, Amy DeVito. We really trusted in her and she understood our style and elevated what we envisioned.” The couple had an exciting and full weekend with fond memories they shared with their guests. “There were so many great moments, like our first look where it was just us two and we could spend a few moments together or when our four-year-old cocker spaniel, Ollie, joined us,” says the bride. The ceremony took place in a courtyard under trees at the Gadsden House, complemented by box wood wreaths

and a gate covered in greenery and flowers. “The ceremony was short and sweet – just what we wanted, especially so our guests didn’t melt in the Southern summer heat,” says the bride. The cocktail hour and reception served as an ode to the destination’s Southern roots with traditional staples for food and drink such as Moscow mules, mini chicken and waffles, and fried green tomatoes. After the newlyweds danced the night away with their guests, they ended the night with a sparkler send-off and a ride on a pink vintage bus.

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Natchez MISSISSIPPI

Venues,BIG and SMALL, old and new. And the perfect one, just for you!

www.visitnatchez.org 800.647.6724


“While you may have the urge to be in control of every little detail, planning a wedding so far away helped us learn it can be better to let go and trust; trust in people, trust in the process and trust in yourself!” VENDOR LIST: Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings, danacubbageweddings.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: Carri Tanner and Amy DeVito with Mac and B Events, macandbevents.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: The Gadsden House, gadsdenhouse.com, Florist: Out of The Garden, shopoutofhand.com/collections/out-of-the-garden, Stationery: Minted, minted.com, Gown Designer: Matthew Christopher, matthewchristopher.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Indochino, indochino.com, and Brackish Bowtie, brackishbowties.com, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: The Black Tux, theblacktux.com, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: After Six/Dessy Group, dessy.com/bridesmaid-dresses/aftersix, Hair and Makeup: Ash & Co, ashandcobridalhair.com, Transportation: Low Country Valet, lowcountryvalet.com, Catering: King Street Hospitality Group, kingstreethospitalitygroup.com, Entertainment: Darby Events, charlestonweddingdjs.com, Officiant: Richard Burton, weddingsbyrichardburton.com, Rentals: Ooh! Events, oohevents.com, Cake: ABCD Cakes, abcdcakes.com, Hair Vine: Haute Bride, hautebride.com, Veil: Hayley Page, jlmcouture.com/Hayley-Paige, Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka, badgleymischka.com, Engagement Ring and Bands: A.R. Morris Jewelers, armorrisjewelers.com & Dog Collar: Crew LaLa, crewlala.com.

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DANIELLE + CLAY

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Words by: Emily Garcia Images by: Chris J Evans Photography Wedding Designer & Planner: Opihi Love

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hile explaining Tinder to her father, Danielle came across Clay’s profile. “He looks like a nice guy,” her father said. Danielle agreed, swiped right and matched with Clay. After dating and, with a look toward the future, the couple got engaged. They had always enjoyed attending destination weddings as guests. Therefore, they felt it was right for them as they wanted to have the people they love the most all together for multiple days. Clay and Danielle hosted 98 excited guests at Ponomakena Sanctuary in Maui, Hawaii. Makena is Danielle’s favorite place in the world. As a child, she spent a lot of time in Maui visiting family members scattered across the islands and eventually lived there for many years. Clay loves to travel, especially to locations where he gets to be near the ocean. And just like that, the wedding destination was decided! The pair says planning a destination wedding was easier than both of them thought it would be. They visited Maui once beforehand to plan food tastings, hair and makeup trials, book the venue and do an engagement photo shoot.

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“My vision for the reception was a ‘fairy tale wonderland,’ which I feel [our wedding planner] Opihi Love really captured.”

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“The wedding night was a full moon, so I really wanted to pull that magic into the reception with sequin tablecloths to add sparkle and a clear-top tent to see the moon.”

Clay and Danielle’s friends and family witnessed the couple tie the knot in a traditional Jewish ceremony near the ocean under a “whimsical” chuppah draped in roses. Danielle’s dream wedding was a “fairy tale wonderland.” With sequin tablecloths and a clear-top tent, the full moon was fate, pulling in magic from the sky to match the reception’s dark color palette décor and wild flowers. Hosting a destination wedding allowed the newlyweds to take their wedding party on a kayak and snorkel excursion the day before the wedding and to host a rehearsal dinner at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. “All weekend [we] hung out at the Andaz pool and beach with friends and family,” the happy couple says. The bride and groom advise couples planning their own destination wedding to trust their instincts. Family members and friends will weigh-in on different aspects of the wedding and the couple should remember the day is about them and their love story.

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VENDOR LIST: Photography: Chris J Evans Photography, chrisjevans.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: Opihi Love, opihilove.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Ponomakena Sanctuary, ponomakena.com, Florist: Lois Hiranaga Floral Design, loismauiflowers.com, Gown Designer: Sophia Tolli, sophiatolli.co.uk, Groom’s Clothing Designer: High Society Tailor, highsocietytailoring.com, Hair & Makeup: Kipona Aloha, kiponaaloha.com, Ceremony Music: Don V. Lance & Vance Koenig, DJ: Del Sol, mauiweddingdj.com, Caterer: Brian Etheredge of Cutting Edge Catering, cuttingedgecateringmaui.com, Bar: Garnish Craft Cocktail Catering, garnishcocktails.com, Place Settings: Set Maui, setmaui.com, Calligraphy: Alannah Rae Calligraphy, Wedding Cake & Desserts: Sugar Beach Events, sugarbeacheventshawaii.com & Linens and Napkins: La Tavola Linen, latavolalinen.com.

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“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

Follow Wish Upon A Wedding:


i u m S h o K THAILAND

MISSY + JONATHAN

Words by: Emily Garcia Images by: Jenna Lee Pictures Wedding Designer & Planner: The Wedding Bliss Thailand

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REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

issy and Jonathan met in the summer of 2004 in their hometown of Hilo, Hawaii. After dating and once Missy was near the end of her medical residency, Jonathan decided to pop the question. The couple planned a month-long trip to Iceland with their friends, during which Jonathan planned to propose. Due to the unpredictable weather, Jonathan could not plan on a specific day or time. The groom and his friends came up with a code phrase: “There’s a rock in my shoe,” giving his friends a heads-up to start recording and taking pictures.

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On the fifth day, the couple was blessed with sunny weather. While Missy was taking in the sunset over Iceland’s northern coast, Jonathan knew this was his moment. “I have a rock in my shoe,” he said, cuing his friends. Missy said “yes” to the proposal with the Kirkjufell Mountain behind them.

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“Seeing each other for the first time on the roof of the villas, with the backdrop of Koh Samui, time slowed down and we were able to have a moment for ourselves.” REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

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


Thailand has always been on the bride and groom’s bucket list, so having their wedding there was an easy decision. Family and friends responded exactly how the pair hoped. “They packed their bags and jumped on a plane with us!” says the bride and groom.

The ceremony décor was tropical and enchanting with a modern feel. Missy and Jonathan exchanged vows with a breathtaking sunset and beautiful flower wall backdrop.

VENDOR LIST: Photographer: Jenna Lee Pictures, jennaleepictures.com, Videographer: Seeking Films, seekingfilms.com, Wedding Designer & Planner: The Wedding Bliss Thailand, theweddingblissthailand.com, Ceremony/Reception Site: Samujana, samujana.com, Florist: IAMFLOWER, iamflower.co, Gown Designer and Veil: Koa & White Hot Hawaii, whitehothawaii.com, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Tom Ford, tomford.com, Bride & Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Christian Louboutin, us.christianlouboutin.com, Jewelry: Cartier, cartier.com, and Tiffany & Co., tiffany.com, Groom’s Shoes: Magnanni, magnanni.com, Groom’s Watch: Rolex, rolex.com, Groomsmen’s Outfit: Ted Baker, tedbaker.com, Groomsmen’s Shoes: Cole Haan, colehaan.com, Groomsmen’s Bowties: Brackish, brackishbowties.com, Groomsmen’s Watches: Hamilton, hamiltonwatch.com & Bridesmaids’ Dresses: White Hot Hawaii, whitehothawaii.com

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

The newlyweds consider themselves non-traditional and chose to have an intimate destination wedding in Thailand to experience a new culture. The bride and groom chose Samujana, because it allowed them more privacy in addition to its beautiful surroundings. The main objective for their wedding was to show their 40 guests a good time. “Having our family and friends travel so far to share our wedding day made it extra special to us,” the bride says.

“Our night was filled with love, laughter, dancing the night away and just having a good time with the people we love,” Missy says. “The private fireworks show for the finale was amazing!”

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“It honestly blew my mind that it was my wedding! Everything worked out just the way it was supposed to. It truly was the best day ever – one straight from a fairy tale!”

s o b Los C MEXICO

LOURIEL + IAN

Words by: Emily Garcia Images by: Taya Photography Wedding and Travel Design & Planning: Marsha Steeves Destination Weddings

A REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

fter Louriel posted a picture of herself enjoying a baseball game on Facebook, avid baseball fan Ian liked her picture and contacted her to ask her out. The couple’s first date was at a haunted house theme park. The date went so well, they went on two more dates that same weekend and have been together ever since.

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The newlyweds are from Vancouver and wanted their wedding to be somewhere warm, sunny and by the ocean. Mexico held a special place in Ian and Louriel’s hearts, since they traveled there destinationido.com


for their first anniversary. They decided vacationing with their closest friends and family for a week would be the best way to achieve the intimate wedding they wanted. “Our guests were looking forward to being able to go away together as one big group,” the bride says. Ian and Louriel chose Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort and Spa because of its luxurious, natural setting along the beach overlooking the Pacific. Cabo’s pink sunsets and warm light, contrasted with the palm trees and greenery, inspired the couple. Thus, they wanted to include as many natural elements as possible. The ceremony was filled with soft, dreamy, romantic beach vibes. The chuppah was draped with gorgeous ivory and blush

REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

SPRING & SUMMER 2019

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florals with hints of eucalyptus in gold lanterns. The romantic reception was softly lit using candles and twinkling string lights over dinner tables. Louriel says her favorite moment of her wedding day was when she walked down the aisle, saw Ian for the first time and took his hands under the chuppah. “I felt so happy and calm and I just remember looking at him and feeling my heart bursting with love,” she says. The bride describes her wedding as absolutely perfect and she couldn’t believe how beautiful the day was. “From looking out at the ocean and seeing the beginning stages of the wedding set-up to getting ready with my bridesmaids and the gorgeous, heartfelt ceremony…it all honestly blew my mind!”

REAL-LIFE WEDDINGS

VENDOR LIST: Photographer: Taya Photography, tayaphotography.com, Wedding and Travel Design & Planning: Marsha Steeves and Harumi Suzuki with Marsha Steeves Destination Weddings, marshasteevesdestinationweddings.com, Ceremony/ Reception Site: Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort and Spa, dreamsresorts.com, Gown Designer: Tara Keely by Lazaro, jlmcouture.com/Tara-Keely, Florist: Cabo Floral Studio, facebook.com/cabofloral, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Indochino, indochino.com, Bridesmaids’ Clothing Designer: Joanna August, joannaaugust.com, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Indochino, indochino.com, Décor Rentals: The Main Event Cabo, maineventcabo.com, Wedding Officiant: Marco Arechiga, twitter.com/marcoarechiga, Hair & Makeup: Cabo Makeup by Alma Vallejo, almavallejo.com, DJ: Alex DJ Cabo Events, alexdjcaboevents.com, Invitations: Minted, minted.com, Videographer: Carlos Plazola, carlosplazola.com & Love Cookies: Emily Trojanoski (bridesmaid).

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SPRING & SUMMER 2019


“No Keia La, No Keia Po, A Mau Loa From this day, from this night, forever more.” HAWAIIAN LOVE PROVERB

LAST THOUGHTS

Photo courtesy of: Tamiz Photography

LAST THOUGHTS

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Profile for Destination I Do Magazine

Spring 2019  

Whether you’re in the process of planning your destination wedding, honeymoon or simply a romantic getaway for two, this Spring 2019 issue h...

Spring 2019  

Whether you’re in the process of planning your destination wedding, honeymoon or simply a romantic getaway for two, this Spring 2019 issue h...

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