Riviera Maya Wedding Location: Banyan Tree

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If you’re seeking a swanky destination wedding spot, one with a ceremony site on the sand, exquisite food from the region and beyond, and suites or villas that are possibly better than anywhere you might call home, then take a look at the beautiful Banyan Tree Mayakoba for your wedding in Mexico.

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What stands out most in this idyllic spot isn’t its breathtaking beachfront or even its grand entry and lobby, open on all sides and complete with a boat dock for departures, but the suites that you stay in when you wed or honeymoon here.

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When you check in to this paradise, you find yourself in a villa oasis complete with a full size swimming pool, jacuzzi, set of beach cruiser bikes, and floor to ceiling walls that open up to the great outdoors within your absolutely private compound.  That’s right, each guest or family stays within their own private walls which protect a garden or a rooftop pool, and even secluded views of the mangroves.  Life doesn’t get much better than this when you’re tucked into your home at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

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If and when you decide to emerge from your villa, which is actually hard to do since it’s so special, you’ll find modern event spaces, world-class cuisine and even cooking classes for families who like to experience the culture they find themselves surrounded by.

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For your reception, this stunning beach palapa in a rustic white style just steps from the sand makes for a great party site for up to 350 of your closest friends and family.

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You might even consider the nearby Catholic Church in El Pueblito for a religious event before you’re ushered back to the beach to celebrate.

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No matter how you choose to wed at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, this is how you’ll retire at the end of the night, and even entertain, should a family BBQ in your villa be on the menu.

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If a full size private pool, jacuzzi and even romantic outdoor bathtub is your style, then honeymooning here is the way to go too.  Even with friends and family on property, you’ll feel a sense of privacy that allows you to unwind – just for two.

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Just be sure to make time for their famous Thai massages in the spa and award-winning restaurants.  Once you set foot at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, you’ll never have to leave…and you certainly won’t want to!

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New Wedding Location in Riviera Maya: Andaz Mayakoba

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Today we’re sharing a “fake wedding” from a brand new destination wedding location in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  The swanky, modern resort, Andaz Mayakoba (part of the Mayakoba compound in Playa Del Carmen), was home to this fantastic fake fete where we got a sneak peek at what weddings at this beautiful property will be like.

Some of the best and brightest wedding talents of the region got together for the Mayakoba Casar, produced by the talented Just Moments Events, to showcase everything Mayakoba has to offer brides and grooms and the finale was this spectacular evening under the stars!

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To kick it off, famed designer, Gabi Lavor and her team at Canteiro Weddings created this posh rose gold wedding ceremony on the Andaz wedding lawn.

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As night began to fall, guests moved to one of the Andaz’s pool decks surrounded by jungle and a perfect fit for a celebration with bold, bright colors and even a few fireworks too!

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During dinner, guests dined on delicious mushroom soup and other of chef’s specialities, all while enjoying the floral beauty by the lovely ladies at Blossom Cancun.

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Overall the venue is the picture-perfect place to party and at the end of the night, you simply walk or catch a golf cart back to your room to retire.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

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The service at the Andaz Mayakoba was wonderful, and the food was exceptional.  But I think the most standout moment to me was when they brought out hard plastic sippy cups for guests on the dance floor.  Once the party got underway, cocktails were served up in dance floor-safe cups so no spills occurred!  So smart and such a fun way to brand your after party!

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Be sure to check out the brand new Andaz Mayakoba for your destination wedding in Riviera Maya and don’t forget to call on all the wonderful talents (listed below) that helped make magic happen at this ‘fake’ wedding!

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Mayakoba Casar Wedding Professionals: Curator Event: Ary Iturralde & Just Moments Events, Event Design: Bernardo Negrete,  Ceremony Design: Canteiro Weddings, Furniture Team: Moor RentalsPrimoresElements (LOVE Letters), Alquimia EventsEW Events, Floral Team: Blossom Cancun, Photographer: Del Sol Photography, Music Ceremony: Luis Gaviola – Scenic Music Shows, Lighting: Encore, PhotoBooth: La Cabina, FireWorks: Pyrotech, Location + Food + Beverage: Andaz Mayakoba

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City Chic Destination Wedding in South Carolina

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Bryan and Adea’s city chic destination wedding took place in Greenville, South Carolina, where the couple traveled from Memphis to reunite with loved ones on their big day. The bride shared with us some of her favorite moments and memories throughout the planning process and their beautiful big day.

We chose the Hyatt because of the hotel atmosphere being downtown Greenville and there studio 220 view where we had our reception.

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My best memory of the wedding was when the door opens and I say Bryan on the stage waiting for me at the end and I took my last walk as Adea Jackson with my Dad and my brother.

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Another favorite moment? The poet and the violinist performance during the ceremony.

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My wedding dress is very breathtaking! It was not a traditional dress, but it brought out my personality and displayed a beautiful bling design in the front and also in the back. My shopping experience took place with my brother at J. Andrews Bridal and Formal in Peachtree, Georgia. I wanted him to be with me to pick my dress because my Mom passed away and he has been beside me throughout everything. He was a great help because he knows me and gave his honest opinion and that was the only opinion I wanted. When he saw my dress when I tried it on he kept saying that’s it you don’t have to try on anymore. He said this is not a normal wedding dress and it looks good on you. I wanted it but wasn’t 100% sure this was the first wedding dress shopping experience. I tried on more dresses and they just didn’t do anything for me and wasn’t my vision. My entire wedding key word was different and my dress was definitely that, so I purchase the dress that day and been in loved with it ever since.

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Our first dance was elegant and different. We love “Real Love” by Eric Benet and dancing to it really made it more loving.

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We wanted just a pop of color with elegance and “different” from other weddings. The yellow really made it pop.

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The exit send off with sparklers held by guest was exciting and fun while they cheered us on as husband and wife.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: FamZing Photography

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony Venue: Hyatt Regency Greenville, Reception Venue + Catering: Studio 220 Hyatt Regency Greenville, First Dance Choreography: Fred Astaire Dance Studio Memphis, DJ: DJ Exclusive, Florist: Carolina Event Services, Rentals: Carolina Event Services, Cake Designer: Couture Cakes, Hair Stylist/MUA: Kesha Brown, Videographer: FamZing, Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas, Dress Designer/Bridal Salon: Allure Bridal/ J. Andrews Bridal and Formal, Groom tux/suit: Miguel Wilson Collection

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Laguna Beach Wedding Location – Pacific Edge Hotel

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I recently got a little staycation in over the weekend in posh Laguna Beach, CA at a boutique hotel you may not have heard about, but needs to be on your radar.  The Pacific Edge Hotel, standing right on the Southern California sand, is home to 39 oceanfront rooms, a happening restaurant scene, and beach bungalows for day use that might be the best kept secret in So Cal!  And of course you can get married here too!  If you’re looking for an oceanfront wedding venue for an intimate event, this spot is super unique to say “I do” at.

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You can get married on the sand in front of the Pacific Edge Hotel, a surprisingly rare opportunity in Southern California!  You can even opt for dinner outdoors too, alongside the beach bungalows that are a must-do for any wedding weekend (but more on that later).

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Or you can go inside into one of their intimate event spaces, all still overlooking the ocean of course.  The Villa is a newly renovated private beach home on property that opens up to the outdoors with French doors and delights guests inside with hardwood flooring, a stone fireplace and beach decor that sets the perfect mood for a wedding of 40 guests or less.

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For a small property, there’s lots to choose from for your wedding (and other events like rehearsal and post-brunch) so you never have to leave!  The Deck is a fantastic outdoor restaurant, also available for a buyout and otherwise bustling on a Friday night.  Or checkout Driftwood Kitchen for more amazing views and some seriously good food too.

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One of my favorite parts of the Pacific Edge Hotel are their beach bungalows, small (10 people or less) indoor event and day-use spaces with decks sitting right on the ocean’s edge.  Take over one or all of them (each uniquely designed by local celebrity designers and surf brands) and your wedding party will have the most fun pre or post-wedding day at the beach!  You can order in fresh fish tacos, poke, ceviche and so much more and you’ll be treated like kings and queens as you get ready for or recover from the big day.

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If you’re planning a bachelorette weekend in Southern California, this is a fantastic idea too!  And at the end of the night, you and your guests just go right upstairs to your rooms to retire until tomorrow.

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The oceanfront rooms at the Pacific Edge Hotel are charming, the food is fantastic, and the sunsets and surf views simply can’t be beat.  For an intimate destination wedding or a weekend away before the big day, be sure to check out the bungalows, The Deck, and so much more at this hidden gem in Laguna Beach.

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Incredible Destination Wedding Resort: Sea Island, Georgia

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Today I want to tell you a little bit about an amazing spot for destination weddings and even domestic honeymoons too!  I recently had the chance to stay at The Cloister at Sea Island during the Engage!16: Sea Island wedding industry summit and I was delighted to discover a sweet southern property ideal for destination weddings.  You can see all the parties they put on throughout the conference featured in our stories earlier in the week – their catering department sure knows how to give every guest a great time!

The hotel, The Cloister, is part of a larger resort, one that encompasses the small island it sits on – complete with a sister lodge property, golf, shopping and fine dinning and lots of natural wonders to explore.  Located in the south east of Georgia, on the Atlantic Ocean, the property boasts a big beautiful beach, a dock overlooking the marsh lands and epic sunsets every night.

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For couples tying the knot, there’s a beautiful ivy-clad chapel on property to host your ceremony within.  Surrounded by small pathways and old, inviting trees, this spot is idyllic to say “I do” in.  Every turn at The Cloister, indoors and out, has a romance to it that can only be found in this part of the world, and their wedding spaces have it in spades!

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We also had the rare chance to celebrate in the lobby of the hotel, this beautiful two-story space was perfect for cocktail hour, following a would-be ceremony.

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But my favorite part of the property wasn’t the actual hotel itself, though my residence suite was spectacular!  The natural surroundings of The Cloister at Sea Island were absolutely breathtaking.  The serenity around you finds its way within you as a feeling of peace falls over everyone who steps foot on the island.  Nature walks, romantic sunset strolls, and even a kids club to get the little ones in your group out into nature are some of the delightful activities you’ll experience here.  And for groups who like a little more action, there’s also biking, boating, beach and water sports at the beach club, hunting, horseback riding, and fishing too!  The outdoor activities at Sea Island are endless; your group will certainly have a great time, no matter their speed.

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Despite all the modern amenities, the hotel has a nostalgic feeling to it, one rich in tradition (past presidents have stayed here) and an air of formality that is effortless, not stuffy.  The top-notch service, superb food and beverage program, formal (and not-so formal) restaurants give you the opportunity to experience incredible luxury with any style, from pool-side drinks to black tie dinners, and of course outdoor adventure in between.

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But the hotel rooms are so delightful, you might find yourself skipping the expansive spa and fine dinning and ordering in instead!  My residence came complete with a full kitchen, fireplace-clad living room, wrap around balcony, two full bathrooms and possibly the most delightful and cozy hotel room bed I’ve ever slept in.  The rooms at The Cloister at Sea Island are so inviting, you really don’t ever want to (or need to) leave! …But when you do, you’ll find details, like these monogrammed loaves of bread, that really do dazzle you throughout your stay.  Sea Island may not be the traditional barefoot in the sand destination wedding, but we like it that way.

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Photography: Laura Dee Photography, John Cain Photography, Love Life Images, Joel Callaway Photography, Carla Ten Eyck, Paul Morse Photographs, Genevieve De Manio Photography

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