Festive Destination Wedding in Las Vegas

Tamara and Karol opted for a festive Las Vegas destination wedding, one where they embraced all the city has to offer couples.  This wasn’t a quickie Vegas wedding however, the lovebirds selected the city for the special meaning it had right from the start of their relationship.  The newlyweds shared their story (and their wedding planning advice) with us!

Las Vegas held a special place in our hearts.  It was our first trip together as a couple, I proposed to Tamara in Vegas on New Years Eve 2014, and we had such great memories from all our trips to Vegas that it was just a natural perfect fit to be married in Vegas.

A favorite moment from the day for the groom?  When Robert our photographer set Tamara and I back to back where we then turned around to see each other for the first time that day.  Seeing Tamara in her dress was an emotional wonderful moment that I will remember forever and Robert captured it for us magically. 

Our photo stop at the Neon Sign Museum was really cool and was a great backdrop to capture some iconic and unique photos with our wedding party.

  

We wanted a fun environment with a great strip view for our guests to enjoy.  The Hard Rock Cafe had this cool vibe and a good location on the strip.  We had a lot of family coming in from overseas and many North American guests were coming to Vegas for the first time so we wanted their first Vegas experience to be memorable.  Our Hard Rock Cafe coordinator Christy was amazing and very detailed oriented and patient.  She connected us with a great décor designer from Naakiti Floral Design that helped create the vision we had for the floor space at the Hard Rock.   

The couple’s destination wedding planning advice, now that they are newlyweds?

Communicate with each other through the process.  A local professional wedding coordinator is a good idea when trying to plan an elaborate wedding.  We coordinated everything ourselves but we now have a whole new respect for what wedding coordinators do. 

You will go over budget no matter how stringent you are.  Be ready to spend more than you planned for.

However, if there is one tip we can give anyone planning a destination wedding is to spend the money on the best photographer and videographer you can.  They will help capture and create memories that will make you smile every time you look at your photos or videos.  Robert Evans and Jeff Berlin were our dream team and we cannot thank them enough for their efforts, patience, and amazing eye to capture these memories on our special day.

To see more of this Las Vegas destination wedding, check out the video highlights here!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Robert Evans Studios

Wedding Vendors: Bride + Wedding Coordinator/Designer: Karol & Tamara Warminiec, Wedding Location, Venue Coordinator, Food + Beverage: Hard Rock Café Las Vegas Strip (Christy Rasmussen), Florist & Décor Designer: Naakiti Floral Design, Officiant: Angie Kelly, Videography: Robert Evans Studios, Cake: The Gourmet Cake Factory, Desserts (cupcake tower and chocolate covered strawberries): Retro Bakery, Wedding Dress: Valencienne Bridal, Hair and Makeup: Perfect Hair And Makeup

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Desert Wedding Photos You’ll Flip For

Alex and Austin wanted something a bit different for their wedding photos. This cute couple opted to drive six hours in the rain to a destination that would lend itself to picture-perfect images and a day these two won’t ever forget. Their photographer, Jenna Noelle Photography, shared how this day came to be.

After throwing the wedding day plans out the window, they were stoked to have an opportunity to capture beautiful photos out in the middle of nowhere with no stress of planning or wrangling family! This couple was a joy to work with not only because of their flexibility and willingness to drive 6 hours through the rain to our destination, but because their story is so amazing.

Austin is a Columbine survivor who became addicted to the drugs prescribed to him to treat his wounds. After a decade of struggling to cope, he went sober, met Alex, and started managing an addiction recovery center in Steamboat, where he has been able to be a voice for those who fall victim to over prescription of pain medications. You would never guess, meeting this couple, that they have been through so much, but it’s clear that their bond is unique. They are effortlessly a gorgeous couple and it was truly a privilege not only to work with them, but to have such a beautiful location to do it in.

The bride-to-be, Alex, also shared with us special moments from the day and their experience.

This was our engagement photo shoot. I wore my wedding dress for two reasons, the first being more logistical, in that we weren’t sure when, where or whom would be attending the wedding and I wanted some professional photos in my dress just in case we decided to elope. The second reason was that I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to have a wedding portrait in a place as beautiful as the dunes! 

The shoot at the Sand Dunes was what I had envisioned from the beginning, and when Jenna actually agreed to it I was over the moon! We were extremely lucky to have found such an adventurous and talented photographer – she captured it better than I ever imagined. 

The day was really such a blast with so many funny memories, which are always my favorite. It was all unknown territory and quite the adventure – Austin and I had never met Jenna in person until we arrived at the Sand Dunes, which we had never visited prior to this trip. However, through all the unknowns, it fell together perfectly, all thanks to Jenna and her boyfriend, Raymond. I felt like we were all old friends by the time we left the shoot, which is a priceless memory in itself. 

 

Austin and I planned very little for this particular event, as we do with most events, and it was absolutely perfect. I’m sure more planning would have made certain things easier, but we wouldn’t have these funny little memories that made it so special. My advice is to not take things too seriously and go with the flow – don’t let the little things ruin beautiful moments. 

Congratulations to the nearly-weds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Jenna Noelle Photography

Location: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Wedding Dress: The Altar Bride

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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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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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