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Destination Wedding Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Hawaii, the Caribbean, Fiji, Mexico and Europe! Which of These Top Five Destination Wedding Locations Are Right for You?

 Destination Wedding, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings  Comments Off on Hawaii, the Caribbean, Fiji, Mexico and Europe! Which of These Top Five Destination Wedding Locations Are Right for You?
Nov 112013

Once you start dreaming about a destination wedding, the possibilities can quickly go from endless to overwhelming. We've gathered some important details about the most popular spots—from the the Caribbean to Europe— to help you decide which far-flung location is best suited for you and your sweetie. Here, our favorite destination wedding locals, why you'll love them, and what to consider when booking your destination wedding.

Why you'll love it: Hello, luau rehearsal dinner! Along with jungly waterfalls and surf-tastic beaches, you can put Hawaii's resorts and unique Polynesian culture in the plus column. And we all know how good a lei looks with a wedding dress.
Keep in mind: Got more than a few party animals in your bridal party? Head to Honolulu—the rest of Hawaii isn't known for its nightlife.

The Caribbean
Why you'll love it: Think white sands, azure waters, steel-drum bands, and rum punch—the Caribbean is a full-on tropical paradise within a few hours' flight from the East Coast.
Keep in mind: Getting to some of the more remote islands (Anguilla, St. Barts) can mean multiple flights. Marriage laws vary from island to island, so study up in advance.

The South Pacific
Why you'll love it: You mean besides the sheer sexiness of saying "I do" on a private isle in Fiji or bunking in an overwater bungalow in Tahiti? Both make marriage easy—no blood tests, no residency restrictions.
Keep in mind: It takes about a day to get here, which may deter the less gung ho of
your gang.

Why you'll love it: The people are some of the friendliest we've met. Many of the all-inclusives have delicious food (and great prices). And the Mexican landscape? Pure gorgeousness from the Pacific to the Caribbean coasts.
Keep in mind: You'll need your birth certificates translated by the Mexican consulate as well as local blood tests and X-rays.

Why you'll love it: Because there are castles. And chateaus. And Mediterranean islands. From Scotland to Santorini, this continent is swimming in history and romance.
Keep in mind: The euro and the pound are stronger than the dollar. Also, many nations (Ireland, France, England) have super-stringent residency requirements for tying the knot.

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Destination Wedding Logistics: How To Pick a Planner, Venue, and Vendors Abroad

 Destination Wedding, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings  Comments Off on Destination Wedding Logistics: How To Pick a Planner, Venue, and Vendors Abroad
Oct 302013
Destination Wedding How to Pick Vendors

Photo: Warm Pears

If you're planning on throwing a destination wedding, when you marry can be just as important as where you marry. In the Caribbean, for example, the weather is best—and prices are highest—December through April, while hurricane season brings major bargains June through November. One strategy? Set your date during the shoulder season (the weeks before and after the high season), when the weather is still good but prices are lower (P.S. To avoid a kid-packed pool, don't book during school holidays).

See More: The Best Things to Do After Getting Engaged

You'll also want to get to know the 'hood. Scout a few venues before putting a deposit down. Some resorts will host you for a night if you express interest in marrying there later. If you can't swing a visit, scour the Web (try TripAdvisor, Yelp, and, of course, Brides.com) for user reviews. Then, hire a planner. You'll need help from someone who knows the local vendors and customs. Many resorts offer a (free!) on-site coordinator. If you go with someone who's not based at your destination, ask her how many events she's planned there to make sure she's up to the task.

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As for vendors, hotel planners will have recommendations, but it's best to meet them in person to make sure they understand your vision. Can't make the journey? "Skype will help you connect on a more personal level than email," says Melina Glavas, director of events at the Little Nell, in Aspen, Colorado, which hosts about 75 destination I do's a year. If it's in your budget, you can also fly VIP vendors (a hairstylist, a photographer) from home; you can often arrange to pay for their flight and room in lieu of their regular rate.

With destination wedding planning, you need to think ahead. Reserve room blocks for guests at least 10 months ahead. You'll be competing with other travelers, so do it the moment you've set your date. Send save-the-dates at least six months out and invites two to three months ahead. Arrive three to four days before the wedding to relax and prep for everyone's arrival.

Even though guests are paying for plane tickets, people will still want to shower you with gifts. But if you're throwing a destination wedding , do include lots of reasonably priced options in your registry so no one feels stuck buying you the $500 mixer.

Lastly, when narrowing down your vendors you'll want to eat, drink, and be merry—locally. When in Rome—or anywhere else—using a local band and local food and booze gives guests a sense of why you picked your magical location in the first place. Caviar and bubbly make sense for a French soiree; at a Mexican fiesta, a salsa bar and local tequila are less expensive and más festive.

—Sarah Z. Wexler

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Oct 282013
Destination Wedding Logistics Tips

Photo: KT Merry

As if wedding planning wasn't already complicated, planning a destination wedding tacks on a few added layers of logistics that can get tricky for any bride or groom-to-be.

Most sticky wedding planning aspect of all? Who pays for what—especially when you have friends and family throwing down a large sum to see you tie the knot in some foreign locale.

So, how do you sort out the costs?

You definitely want to pay for the rehearsal dinner and/or welcome bash for all the guests, not just the bridal party. You'll also want to cover the costs of the wedding (obviously), the day-after brunch (again, for all guests), and transportation to any wedding-related events.

Your guests, on the other hand, should shell out for their own flights. It's also appropriate to ask them to pay for their hotel room, though you should negotiate a group rate and room block for everyone, taking into account various budgets. Lastly, they'll need to cover their own incidentals. You're 100 percent not responsible if Uncle Phil racks up a $200 bar tab by the pool.

While your attendees should definitely cover their travel, stay, and incidentals, you might want to consider covering extras like your bridesmaids' hair and makeup—and maybe even their dresses. It's a nice gesture, since they're spending extra to travel. Another nice gesture? The groomsmen's gear if it's not something they'd wear again and an excursion for all the guests or even just the bridal party. Sailing or snorkeling is a cool way for both sides to mingle.

Lastly, the most important logistic to coordinate is how to get the gorgeous wedding gown you purchased across state—even national!—lines!

"Hand-carry your dress on the plane. Do not check it or send it ahead. I've seen gowns damaged, lost, or held up in customs for weeks," says New York City-based planner Karen Bussen. Ask flight attendants to hang your garment bag in first class. After the I do's, have a trusted bridesmaid bring your gown home so you won't have to deal on your honeymoon.

—Sarah Z. Wexler

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A Destination Wedding at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

 Beach, Destination Wedding, Hawaii, Monique Lhuillier, Real Weddings, Romantic  Comments Off on A Destination Wedding at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Aug 022013

Photo: Ashley Camper

Matthew caught Jessica's eye as he zoomed past her at break-neck speed on a Las Vegas race track. The love between the professional race car driver and public relations maven took off just as fast—Matthew proposed two year's later on the couple's couch, presenting Jessica with a bouquet of flowers and a diamond ring "right before he had to leave the next day for a race across the sea," the bride now recalls.

With 70 guests coming from across the world for the couple's March wedding, Hawaii's Maui island "seemed like the perfect place for everyone to meet," Jessica says. "We wanted our guests to feel as though they were on vacation and enjoy themselves—to remember the weekend as fondly as we will."

The couple selected Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea as the venue to host both ceremony and reception. As guests arrived at the waterfront resort, they were greeted with welcome bags filled with pineapple candy, candles, snacks, coconut water, baseball hats, flips flops and more.

Silver Jimmy Choo Bridal Heels

Photo: Ashley Camper

The bride chose silver peep-toe Jimmy Choo pumps for the big day.

Sweetheart Lace Wedding Dress

Photo: Ashley Camper

Jessica's lace Monique Lhuillier gown had a delicate, scalloped halter top and ever-so-slight train.

Crystal Belt Lace Wedding Dress

Photo: Ashley Camper

The bride bedazzled the dress' otherwise understated bodice with a crystal embellished belt. Her aunt gifted her blue earrings, while the bride's "something borrowed" was a diamond cuff bracelet.

Short Orange Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo: Ashley Camper

Bridesmaids donned three styles of coral knee-length dresses. The dresses' soft silk "blew perfectly in the Hawaiian breeze," the bride recalls. Single stems of protea—a tropical flower native to Hawaii—made up the girls' bouquets.

White Rose and Stock Bouquet

Photo: Ashley Camper

Jessica carried a round, white bouquet of lilies and orchids.

Mismatched Groomsmen Ties

Photo: Ashley Camper

While the groom donned a deep gray Dolce & Gabbana suit, groomsmen took their look a few shades lighter in complementing J. Crew attire. To their lapels, the men pinned New Zealand-grown silver ferns.

Fans For Ceremony

Photo: Ashley Camper

Fans in hues of lime, fuchsia and tangerine awaited guests on bamboo Chiavari chairs set up for the the couple's outdoor ceremony in the resort's fragrant plumeria garden.

Mother And Father Walk The Bride Down Aisle

Photo: Ashley Camper

Escorted by both her parents, the bride descended the aisle on a bed of white lilies and orchids—the same blooms found in her bouquet—as a violinist played the classic Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Flower Girl Pink Hair Bow

Photo: Ashley Camper

Moments before, Jessica's three-year-old goddaughter and flower girl wore a soft pink bow and big smile as she dropped the flowers onto the grass aisle. "She melted everyone's heart with her sassy personality and adorable smile," the bride says.

Special Dance Bride and Groom

Photo: Ashley Camper

The couple exchanged their vows beneath a bamboo huppah draped in sheer fabric that swayed with the ocean's gentle breeze.

Blanket Guest Favors

Photo: Ashley Camper

Pink and blue paisley-patterned pashminas awaited guests on their Chiavari chairs at the couple's reception. While the wedding's color palette was soft—white, cream and coral were the couple's main colors—the pashminas and even the bridesmaids' bouquets brought in pops of color throughout the day.

Sand Dollar Escort Cards

Photo: Ashley Camper

Guests found their seat assignments on sand dollars stuck into sandboxes. Their names and table numbers were scrolled across the shells in coral-colored calligraphy.

Blanket Wedding Guest Favors

Photo: Ashley Camper

Florist Bella Bloom Floral Boutique decorated long wooden tabletops with glass vases that held white hydrangea and giant elephant ear leaves. "Common themes and symbols our wedding were the beach, candlelight, stars, energy, love, and friends and family," the bride says. "Our wedding combined the island flare of New Zealand with the chic Upper East Side of New York, creating a romantic, intimate soiree."

Monogrammed Table Runner

Photo: Ashley Camper

Cream-colored, monogrammed table runners topped the tables. Modern white dishware was placed at each setting.

Leaves Centerpieces

Photo: Ashley Camper

Though the couple's reception was set up on the resort's ocean-front lawn, when rain threatened the outdoor event, "we had to make a last minute call," Jessica says. "The Four Seasons team had to bring everything inside and re-set up the entire reception." The indoor site provided a more intimate, candlelit setting for the couple's event.

White Orchid Wedding Cake

Photo: Ashley Camper

The couple's decadent, three-tier cake contained layers of hazelnut filling and was adorned with fresh flowers.

Floral Chair Decor

Photo: Ashley Camper

The bride and groom marked their chairs with traditional Hawaiian leis, For dinner, guests enjoyed a fresh sushi bar, salads made from locally-grown greens and fruits, and short rib and sea bass entrees.

Unique Candy Buffet

Photo: Ashley Camper

Guests could also indulge in a candy buffet that offered up pink and red sweets in glass apothecary jars and open dishes.

Father and Daughter Dance At Wedding

Photo: Ashley Camper

When Jessica took to the dance floor with her father, it "was a very special moment in my life," she says. "We're very close, and being able to share that time with him in front of our family and friends meant a lot to me."

Bride and Groom Cut Wedding Cake

Photo: Ashley Camper

As guests danced to popular hits played by world-renowned DJ Lora, the couple sliced into their white wedding cake. "Play a huge part in planning your own wedding," Jessica advises brides-to-be. "It makes it so much more personal and special to see everything that you imagined come together in the end."

Last Dance

Photo: Ashley Camper

The weeks after Jessica and Matt's wedding "have been a bit of a blur," the bride says, " as it's the most exciting time in our lives. Having friends and family from across the globe all seeing you come down from the excitement is a tremendous feeling of happiness and exhaustion all at the same time. We feel so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Ophihi Love || Ceremony Venue: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea || Reception Venue: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride's Veil: Panache Bridal || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Bride's Accessories: XIV Karats Ltd. || Bride's Wedding Ring: XIV Karats Ltd. || Groom's Tux: Dolce & Gabbana || Groom's Wedding Ring: XIV Karats Ltd. || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alvin Valley || Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Donald Deal || Flower Girl Dress: Fleurisse & Leon || Florist: Bella Bloom Floral Boutique || Caterer: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea || Stationery: Janice's Invites || Cake Baker: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea || Favors: Zico coconut water, Popchips, Ecoya candles, Bovary & Butterfly baseball hats, Knock Knock sticky notes, Joico shampoo and conditioner, and Laura Mercier lotion || Rentals: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea || Entertainment: DJ Lora || Photography: Ashley Camper

Celebrity Wedding Planner Yifat Oren is Teaming Up with Capella Pedregal Resort to Offer Dream Destination Weddings

 Destination Wedding, Wedding News  Comments Off on Celebrity Wedding Planner Yifat Oren is Teaming Up with Capella Pedregal Resort to Offer Dream Destination Weddings
May 222013
Yifat Oren for Capella Pedregal Resort

Photo: Courtesy of Yifat Oren

Do you dream of a luxurious destination wedding with as little stress and planning as possible? You're in luck: Yifat Oren—the sought-after wedding planning mastermind behind Anne Hathaway, Drew Barrymore, and Natalie Portman's weddings—is teaming up with exclusive Cabo San Lucas resort Capella Pedregal. Their new partnership allows husband and wife-to-be to work directly with Oren's all-star team. The result? A completely bespoke affair on the breathtaking resort's grounds. "The stunning resort of Capella Pedregal provides a natural canvas from which to create magnificent weddings," said Oren, founder and principal, Yifat Oren & Associates. "We are looking forward to developing events that will capture the beauty of Baja, highlight the well-appointed grounds of Capella Pedregal and create enduring memories for brides and grooms."

Want a sneak peak at the resort's spectacular grounds? Take a look, below!

Capella Pedregal Farralon Seaside Grill Capella Pedregal Beach Bonfire Capella Pedregal Auriga Spa Pool

Photos: Courtesy of Capella Pedregal Resort

—Lauren Frankfort

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Apr 262013
Rafe NY beach wedding clutch

Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

This ocean-inspired mother-of-pearl clutch by Rafé New York is as seaside-chic as they come. Worn with an airy chiffon gown, it will be perfect for a beachside wedding. It's big enough to tote outdoor beauty essentials. (Think oil-blotting sheets, a mini bottle of hairspray, and a natural lip stain.) Functional and fashionable makes this one a keeper.

Rafé New York mother-of-pearl clutch, $395, available at Nordstrom

—Elizabeth Swanson

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Apr 192013
Kayu woven straw wedding clutch

Photo: Courtesy of Kayu

Looking for a handbag to carry for an outdoor wedding? Try Kayu's woven straw clutch. It's understated with a feminine, outdoorsy feel (note the shell bow clasp) and will look amazing with a breezy chiffon gown. Tote it in white for a classic look, or add a touch of color with the blush or yellow options. (Think yellow if you're leaning toward preppy décor and pink for a soft, romantic theme.)

Woven straw clutch, $180, Kayu

—Elizabeth Swanson

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