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I’m getting married in less than three weeks [hold for applause]. It’s a destination wedding, which probably merits its own blog post at some point. However, since wedding planning has rendered me unable to put together a string of coherent thoughts, it’s best if I focus on the honeymoon in this post since, well, that’s way less stressful.
Selecting a honeymoon destination requires looking at the trip from several different angles. As you begin to discuss where to decompress after months spent selecting tablecloths and entrée choices, you want to make sure you reach the decision that makes both of you happy. Ultimately, there are only three types of honeymoons. Once you pick which is right for you, the decisions get a lot easier. Read more
Ever thought of escaping to Puerto Rico for your magical day, soaking up the sunshine and unspoiled ocean views in five-star luxury? Hilton Worldwide has just debuted its new ‘Bride Whisperers’ program in five of its properties across the country, complementing an already impressive array of services provided to its guests.
If you’re reading this and just beginning to plan your wedding (it is, after all, not only holiday season, but also “engagement season”), you should take a look at Villa Aquamare on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. I stayed here for a few days earlier this year and know that this intimate and luxurious three-villa enclave, which is set above a private beach park with stunning sea and sunset views, makes an ideal spot to exchange vows in front of close family and friends (see wedding set-up at left, courtesy of Melissa Barlow) and keep the party going for days to come.
Rentable by the week (although 3-4 day periods may also be available at certain times of the year), Villa Aquamare’s three five-bedroom villas (shown at right, courtesy of Villa Aquamare) feature 30-foot vaulted ceilings and 24,000-square-feet of living space accommodating up to 36 people (12 people in each villa, including children). With their contemporary décor, spacious living areas/lanais overlooking an infinity pool and the shimmering blue Drake Channel, and light-filled bedrooms with large terrace, deep soaking tub, and outdoor rain shower, they welcome guests with every luxury imaginable.
Is there a more romantic fantasy than saying, “I do” on a white-sand beach beside a tranquil blue lagoon in Bora Bora? Dream no more as Tahiti has legalized destination-wedding ceremonies for U.S. and Canadian couples (in fact, for any overseas visitors over the age of 18 who are not French citizens – with the exception of same-sex couples). Here’s the scoop:
Requirements: If you want to wed legally in Tahiti you will need to start the process at least six months in advance (you can also marry stateside and enjoy ceremonial-only vows in Tahiti with far less paperwork). There are about six detailed documents that need to be translated and filed, including a “Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia” document; a letter signed and dated by both spouses and addressed to the mayor of the commune where the wedding will take place; proof of identities (copies of both spouses passports); a certified copy of both spouses’ birth certificates issued less than six months prior to the wedding date, authenticated with an “Apostile,” translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate; a “Certificate of Non-Marital Status” signed by a lawyer, translated into French and legalized by the French Consulate; and proof of residency for both spouses (such as utility bills). For complete details, visit Tahiti Tourisme’s dedicated weddings page (www.Tahiti-Tourisme.com/Weddings).
Want to get married surrounded by 12-million-year-old rock formations, perched 1,100 feet above the Caribbean’s most photogenic peaks or standing in a vine-draped 700-year-old cloister? You can. With destination weddings accounting for about 16 percent of all marriages, many of the world’s leading resorts are now making their most unique and picturesque settings available for ceremonies and receptions. Here are three visually breathtaking places to utter “I do.”
Paradise Pavilion at Ladera, St. Lucia The stunning view of this Caribbean island’s iconic twin Piton peaks hasn’t changed since this serene, 32-room resort opened, but the recent addition of this 1,200-square-foot, open-air (yet sheltered) wedding venue means couples and their guests can enjoy it in private. Set along the same rainforest ridge as Ladera’s romantic plunge-pool suites, with unobstructed panoramic views of the Pitons and the sea, Paradise Pavilion (see photo, above) accommodates up to 100 people for a sunset ceremony and reception – catered by award-winning chef Orlando Satchell of Ladera’s Dasheene restaurant – and guarantees memorable wedding photos. It is linked via landscaped stone pathway to Hilltop Dream Suite #X8, which serves both as a bridal party dressing room and post-party honeymoon suite. For a wedding of approximately 80 guests, couples can take over the entire resort. Rooms from $380; for Wedding Packages and Paradise Pavilion rental rates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
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