A Wedding to Remember

  • montageLagunaMontage Laguna
  • montageLagunaMontage Laguna
  • One&OnlyPalmilla5One & Only Palmilla — Los Cabos, Mexico
  • One&OnlyPalmilla5One & Only Palmilla — Los Cabos, Mexico
  • One&OnlyPalmilla5One & Only Palmilla — Los Cabos, Mexico
  • One&OnlyPalmilla5One & Only Palmilla — Los Cabos, Mexico
  • napaNapa Valley
  • napaNapa Valley
  • villaDeste11Villa D’Este

Most people want to make their “big day” a memorable experience. A destination wedding allows you to choose from the most romantic and exotic locations in the world. Perhaps a scenic mountain peak, an enchanting castle, a beautiful sandy beach or an Italian Villa…the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

In the past, marrying away from home usually meant eloping. Today, a growing number of couples are foregoing a traditional ceremony for an intimate affair at a romantic getaway. It is a trend that has been growing for the past 10 years or so and is forecast to get bigger. It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of all weddings take place in unusual locales such as a Caribbean island, California’sWine country or even Disney World. The destination wedding has become more accessible to couples seeking an “exotic twist” to their ceremony.

Properly planned, a destination wedding can save you significant money; but it also provides a vacation for you and your guests. Since the guest list is often considerably smaller, you can avoid inviting and paying for the masses of people you may feel obligated to invite to a local wedding. Compared to a traditional wedding in a big city that can easily skyrocket to more than $100,000, a couple could throw a lavish wedding in a spectacular setting for a fraction of the cost. It also makes sense for couples whose families and friends are scattered around the world to choose a location that is appealing to everyone for a mini-vacation but also is not cost prohibitive.

The affordability of a destination wedding is not the only appeal of choosing a non-traditional venue.

It can also be simpler and faster to plan than a traditional wedding. Many properties have full-time wedding coordinators on staff who are familiar with that country’s marriage license requirements and who offer wedding packages that take care of all the ceremony essentials such as the flowers, photographer, cake and even minister. You simply choose the location, make your flight arrangements and the rest is taken care of. Some resorts will even provide a complimentary “honeymoon” package as an incentive for booking your wedding package.

Some of the more memorable trips that I have planned for clients have been weddings. One in particular stands out. It was an adorable couple, Amanda and Stanley, who wanted a more intimate ceremony to share with their friends and family. After considering the many properties and factors that go into selecting the perfect setting, they chose an exquisite property called “Montage’ situated on the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.

Not only did it serve as the perfect backdrop for the gorgeous bride, but also it truly was a wedding that the guests, including myself, will never forget. Besides the day of the beautiful ceremony, the guests enjoyed a few days in Laguna Beach soaking up the atmosphere and mingling with other guests in this great setting.

After the festivities, the glamorous couple jetted off to the “One & Only Palmilla” in Cabo San Lucas for their honeymoon.

Another destination wedding that was unforgettable was a special couple who had met in college and who wanted a location that would reunite their college friends and both of their families, all of whom were scattered worldwide. Ben and Bridget chose a beautiful chapel in Beaver Creek, Colo., for their summer wedding, complete with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. Needless to say, it was hard for anyone to refuse an invitation to Colorado in the summertime, and for many it was a vacation of a lifetime. People came from all over the world to be a part of this elegant ceremony that took place in a breathtaking setting.

Most couples want the experience to be unique with a ceremony and location that reflect their true colors.

Some couples that are getting married for the second or third time choose destination weddings because they’re simple and private.

When deciding where to go, you want to be sure that there are plenty of exciting things to do. You need to decide whether to explore an exotic location outside of the United States or something domestic. The possibilities are endless!

Some of the more popular sites domestically include Las Vegas, New York, Disneyland and the CaliforniaWine Country—imagine a ceremony that could take place outdoors in a natural setting and then have everyone move into a romantically lit reception room in the main winery building. Not only can guests enjoy the union of two special people, but they can also sample some local bubbly as well. And Hawaii always is one of the more popular choices with some unbelievable backdrops for that special day.

There are no shortage of jaw-dropping places to say “I Do” at many of the Caribbean Islands and Mexican resorts. Whether a couple is exchanging their vows on a sandy beach during a gorgeous sunset or having the ceremony in a century-old church, the choice is theirs to make. From a secluded beach in the British Virgin Islands to a complete takeover at a small hotel in St Barth’s…anything is possible. How romantic would it be to be married in a fourteenth century Augustinian cloister that overlooks Nassau Harbour followed by a moonlit reception on the beach?

Imagine exchanging vows in Paris, a most romantic and captivating city, and having the ceremony on the edge of the beautiful Seine River, or in a quaint park with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Or perhaps a centuryold Italian Villa located on the banks of Lake Como with an Italian feast prepared by the locals. The entire villa could be rented to accommodate the family and wedding party and provide the perfect setting for the couple to exchange their vows.

Couples are choosing cruise ship wedding packages over the traditional hometown wedding in greater numbers today than ever before. Cruise weddings allow you to plan a beautiful wedding at a fraction of the cost of a traditional land wedding. You can combine your ceremony and reception with a cruise honeymoon, and offer the option of your family and friends to join you on the vacation. Cruise ship weddings range in price from very economical to extremely exclusive, depending on the amenities you choose or the ports to which you sail.

Most of the ceremonies take place while the ship is in port, as many locations require the ship to be docked to hold a legal ceremony. This also allows friends and family members that are not sailing to join in the ceremony.

Planned right, a destination wedding is truly the most unique way to commemorate your special union.

We have found that wedding couples are surprised at the number of friends and family who are willing to travel to the chosen spot. A destination wedding is the perfect choice for a bride and groom who want to make their big day a memorable experience.