A Burlap-Clad Destination Wedding in Maui

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Audrey and Matt hosted a truly global affair for their destination wedding in Maui. Each from different parts of the world, it was important to them that they find a place that worked for all of their loved ones. And today they share their special story with us! “We selected Maui because the Hawaiian Islands are almost exactly halfway between our two hometowns in Florida and Australia.  We only wanted to have one wedding- so we needed to make it as fair as possible for friends and family on both sides!  We wanted our wedding to be fun, non-stuffy, and reflect our unique styles and personalities.  We envisioned everyone laughing, drinking, and dancing- on holiday in one the most beautiful locations in the world.  Since travel has been a huge part of our lives and relationship, and always will be, it made sense to do a travel themed wedding, which inspired our guests and the décor.”

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 “My dress was a simple, sweetheart-neckline, strapless tulle dress with Swiss dot overlay, a crossover bodice, and medium train. It fit like a glove, but I could still easily eat and dance in it, which was crucial to me. I loved how soft and light it felt- perfect for a breezy beach wedding. I also wore a birdcage veil, large dangling blue crystal vintage style earrings, and sandals. Matt wore grey suit trousers & vest, white button down, and leather flip-flops. It actually looked great and was exactly his style! No closed toes shoes at the beach! And just under the surface, the groom’s party had personalized undergarments (groom, best man, and more!).”

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“Held outside on a grassy lawn adjacent to a long, white, sandy beach, attendees looked out over the water and islands off Maui.  The ceremony was a very intimate, special, family affair, with every family member involved.”  

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“Our flower girl was Matt’s Japanese step-grandmother, Yoshie, who designed and made her own hot pink dress.  Yoshie, the 3 groomsmen, 3 bridesmaids, Matt and his parents all walked out to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of God Only Knows.  I walked out with both of my parents to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of Hallelujah, the first song Matt ever heard me sing.” 

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“My grandfather performed my parents’ wedding, and my father wanted to follow by creating a new family tradition.  He got certified online and served as our officiant, which was a real treat.  My younger brother Vince wrote and sang an original song for us, while Matt’s brother James accompanied him on the keyboard.  His sister read the Hands Ceremony, and we gave each other our own, personalized vows.”

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Destination weddings are not always predictable, but luckily for these two, weather proved not to be a problem. “The weather forecasted a hurricane that day, but fortunately it never arrived and you would never know about the forecast from looking at the photos.” 

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“Vintage suitcases decorated the space, and our ‘guest book’ was an antique globe. Everyone wrote messages to us over their home country and state- something we will keep forever!”

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“We went with a vintage travel theme, with the main colors of mint and peach which gently reflected the colors of the tropics.  Family and tradition are very important for Matt and I, and we had antique picture frames with old pictures (one on each dinner table) of the weddings of our family members.  The large crystal chandelier hanging over our dinner table just glowed as the sun set over the Pacific.” 

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“We went in for the first dances and Matt and I danced to Meiko’s Stuck on You, while my dad and I danced to Free Fallin, our favorite song when I was little. We heard some hilarious speeches from our very international bridal party and everyone hit the dance floor. There were ‘shout out’ songs from the DJ for lots of our guests- music we picked specifically for them. Another funny thing was the groomsmen dropped their trousers just enough to show their printed “groomsmen” boxers, linking arms and backing it up across the dance floor! We also had a surprise video that our friend put together, with little video messages from friends and family abroad who couldn’t make it. Then we had cake, more dancing, and a big sparkler exit.”

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“The day itself was absolutely perfect- clear, blue and sunny- a huge relief since a hurricane had been forecast for that day!  I just remember being so completely happy and excited, I couldn’t stop laughing or smiling long enough for the makeup artist to do my lipstick.  Everything ended up being exactly as we had hoped, and it felt so amazing to be marrying Matt and to know that we have so many wonderful friends and family who would travel around the world to be there for us!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Aubrey Hord Photography

Wedding Vendors: Location, Wedding Coordinator, Catering + Cake: Sugar Beach Events, Videographer: IMF Visions, Florist: Maui Floral, Hair: Amanda Nigbur of Maui Modern Hair, Makeup: Dacia Waller of Spa Lotus, Officiant: Bride’s father, Larry Schueren, Ceremony Musicians: Brother of the Bride, Vince Schueren and Brother of the Groom, James Edwards, Rentals: Hawaiian Style Events RentalsRio Event Design, Signature Event Rentals, DJ: Liam Grist

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Palm Desert Destination Weddings at Omni Rancho Las Palmas

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If you’re looking for a beautiful destination wedding venue in Southern California that’s kid-friendly, oodles of fun with plenty of event location options, then look no further than to Palm Desert at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa.  We had the recent pleasure of checking out the property firsthand and oh what fun!  The resort has over 465 rooms and suites to service your large (or small) party and several spectacular sites for your ceremony and reception (like this lawn overlooking a pond and the golf course).

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Or perhaps perch your party atop the roof for a view of the mountains and the resort below as you dance under the stars and celebrate in total privacy!

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The resort is just 20 minutes from the airport and about 20 minutes from the town of Palm Springs – for those of your guests who want to get out and explore the city, nightlife and shopping.  Of course, it’s not far from amazing shopping in Palm Desert too with great restaurants like the Tommy Bahama Restaurant to host your rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch if you want to get off property.

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But there’s really no reason to leave!  The Omni Rancho Las Palmas has a lovely spa with a variety of amenities and services to treat you and your bridal party before and on your big day (we recommend spending the afternoon lounging at the spa pool for a little more R&R and privacy away from the other guests).

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There’s also the entertaining Splashtopia waterpark on property for the kids and kids in all of you who want to float down a lazy river or splash on a few slides in the sun.  If your group has children, ask for rooms near this part of the resort.  For adults only, opt to be closer to the spa and lobby areas (which have great curb appeal and outdoor fire pits to enjoy at night with a glass of wine as you reflect on your wedding weekend).

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Needless to say, the resort really has it all for a destination wedding group.  But it’s actually the team behind it all that gives this place that something extra.  Pam Olson, the resort’s Catering Sales Manager is your go-to gal for all things wedding at the resort and we promise you’ll fall in love with her too as she dedicates herself wholeheartedly to making your big day the best it can be.  You get the sense that the entire staff lives like this – with open arms, warmth, kindness and dedication to your event so no detail is left undone and no guest leaves without feeling like they’re leaving home.

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For more information for your honeymoon or destination wedding, be sure to check out the Omni Rancho Las Palmas.

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Getting Married at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida

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The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida is one of the country’s premier luxury resorts (and home to destination weddings from around the world). We checked out this property firsthand and found that whether you’re hosting an event for 50 or 500 friends and loved ones, you’ll certainly be well cared for by this incredible oasis and its team. We recently chatted with Joan Bever, Director of Food and Beverage – Event Sales and Services, who shared with us a bit about getting married in the area and all the recently renovated 140-acre property has to offer! Located just 15 minutes from the Palm Beach International Airport, The Breakers Palm Beach is easy to get to for your guests, makes your legal domestic destination wedding a breeze, and with eight restaurants and bars and 540 rooms and suites, they have everything you could need and more during your vacation of a lifetime!

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Image: Amy Hill Photography

JF: What are some of the benefits of getting married at a grand resort?

JB: The Breakers Palm Beach is one of America’s premier destinations for magnificent weddings and celebrations. A one-of-a-kind oceanfront destination resort, the bride and groom and their guests never have to leave property. Every need or want is just a stroll away. 

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Image: Alain Martinez Photography

JF: Why is this a great option for destination couples?

JB: It’s a tropical paradise! From the great weather to the stunning ocean and the beautiful blue skies, Palm Beach offers the perfect environment and backdrop for a destination wedding. The Breakers also offers a fusion of old world tradition with modern luxury, giving couples the chance to get married in front of the Atlantic Ocean and celebrate inside a Renaissance-inspired palace – all without a passport required.

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JF: If a couple is planning a wedding at The Breakers, what creative ideas and events can couples plan to enhance the ceremony or reception?

JB: Planning an incredible celebration is all about the details, and a spectacular wedding features customized elements that reflect the couple’s personal styles and tastes.

We encourage our couples to consider incorporating a piece of home (a menu item with local flare), sharing something special to them with their gusts (a specialty cocktail that represents what they sipped on their first date) or by including a personalized element from their family’s heritage (a song or special dance).

Speaking to the menu, a few of the unique and fun items popular today include our Local Fresh Florida Stone Crab Claw First Course, Individual Ice-carved Raw Bar, Signature Giant Martini Sundae and interactive food stations. For dessert, try a pie bar, whoopee pie station or homemade cookie bar and for a new take on the cake, pass bite-sized monogramed petits fours.

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Image: Nancy Cohn Photography

JF: What about activities that aren’t event driven?

JB: Beyond the classic resort amenities offered, guests can also enjoy poolside relaxation in our luxury Bungalows, take a bicycle tour of Palm Beach, delight in beachside Yoga or Pilates (we even offer Paddleboard Yoga!), discover deep sea fishing, scuba diving or snorkeling at The Breakers Reef, and, of course, spend a truly relaxing day at The Spa.

Our team can also help arrange private golf lessons or shotgun golf, tennis or croquet tournaments as well as beach volleyball and private fitness classes.

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Right: Donna Newman Photography, Left: Anthony Vazquez Photography 

JF: What can guests and couples experience at and around The Breakers when coming in for a destination wedding?

JB: The resort’s amenities include four oceanfront swimming pools and five whirlpool spas, a new, spectacular 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor Ocean Fitness center, 25 luxury Bungalows for daytime-rentals, half-mile of private beach, an oceanfront luxury spa, 11 exclusive specialty shops, two 18-hole championship golf courses and 10 Har-Tru lighted tennis courts. The Breakers also features a collection of eight distinctive bars and restaurants.

If guests choose to explore the area, world-class shopping, unique entertainment, and captivating museums are located just around the corner. Guests can browse the designer boutiques on Worth Avenue, spend a leisurely afternoon shopping at CityPlace or take in a bit of history at the Henry Flagler Museum – all within minutes of The Breakers.

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Image: Ambrosio Photography

JF: Can couples have a beach-inspired wedding or a black tie wedding?  Tell us about the diversity of the property and who it’s ideal for.

JB: Whether indoors or outdoors‚ The Breakers has myriad of breathtaking locations to suit every couple’s personal taste. From stunning oceanfront settings and lush gardens to magnificent ballrooms‚ we can accommodate ceremonies and receptions for 50 to 500 guests. Our one–of–a–kind venues set the perfect stage for a once–in–a–lifetime celebration. 

A few of our favorites include….

The Ocean Lawn: The Ocean Lawn has a breathtaking direct view of the Atlantic Ocean and provides the relaxed feel of a beachside wedding. Framed by palm trees, the Lawn is a favorite locale for stunning ceremonies. This outdoor paradise can be used for ceremonies, welcome and rehearsal dinners, and brunch. The Lawn accommodates 100 to 500 guests.

Venetian Ballroom: With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the stunning Atlantic Ocean, the Venetian Ballroom is one of The Breakers’ largest ballrooms. This majestic room accommodates up to 550 guests.

The Circle Ballroom: Ideal for an unforgettable ceremony or a gorgeous reception, The Circle boasts spectacular ocean views and a soaring fresco-painted ceiling. The Circle accommodates up to 200 guests.

Mediterranean Ballroom: The Romanesque Mediterranean Ballroom features views of the Mediterranean Courtyard and fresco-painted renaissance ceilings. The Mediterranean Ballroom accommodates up to 250 guests.

Mediterranean Courtyard: The Renaissance-inspired courtyard is a dazzling spot for an outdoor cocktail hour or can be transformed for a romantic ceremony. The Courtyard accommodates 75 to 500 guests.

For more information on getting married at The Breakers Palm Beach, be sure to check them out online and follow them on your favorite social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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A Tropical Wedding in Kona, Hawaii

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Trina and Chris said “I do” on the Big Island of Hawaii, at the Fairmont Orchid in Kona. But this big day was almost derailed by a natural disaster; luckily however the weather (and the surf) was perfect for the outdoor ceremony and reception overlooking the ocean.

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The couple came from Washington to the islands to tie the knot and found the Fairmont to be the perfect spot for their size, budget and style. Wedding planner, Erin Lindeman of Lindeman Weddings & Events filled us in on the planning and day’s details. The Fairmont Orchid is great because it carries the brand and service of a Fairmont property but isn’t very big compared to its sister property over on Maui or other surrounding mega hotels on the big island. It almost feels like a boutique hotel and is a perfect size for a smaller wedding group.”

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“The wedding was held just before Christmas so the hotel and surroundings were all decked out for the holidays.  I am so in love with the red poinsettia plants that overwhelm Hawaii during this season. Their colors of deep red-fuchsia and purple were perfect for this time of year in Hawaii.”

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“The wedding day started off a little rocky — without warning there were record breaking waves that day along the Kohala coast and a large wave had crashed into the resort at 6am that morning, flooding the property. The area that they were going to get married on was flooded as were the restaurants closest to the water.  The hotel staff didn’t miss a beat. They started working on the property immediately.  The incredibly high surf continued all day.  It was so spectacular I even saw a chef grab a surfboard and go tear up a few waves during his lunch break.  Gotta love the cowabunga dude attitude of the locals!”

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“As the day went on we needed to make the call whether or not we should do the wedding outside so close to the ocean or move into a ballroom.  This was a very difficult decision for everyone to make, including the hotel for liability purposes.  I am glad the hotel made the right decision and I am glad the bride and groom weren’t scared off by this either.  Let’s just say no one was swept away and they had the most spectacular backdrop to their wedding I’ve probably ever seen. The waves were so massive and loud, you could barely hear the ukulele player during the ceremony.”

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Rain or shine, this darling couple was going to have an amazing wedding day, and that they did!

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As guests enjoyed an amazing sunset, the reception kicked off next to where the ceremony had taken place.  One long purple-clad table was set to get the party started.

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The pair rented chandeliers to add a little drama to the outdoor setting which popped with color otherwise.

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The vibrant color palette was carried throughout the day and night, right down to the tropical wedding cake!

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This picture perfect wedding certainly doesn’t look like it faced a natural disaster that morning!  Luckily all was well!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Fletch Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding + Reception Location: Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Wedding Planner: Lindeman Weddings & Events, Stationery: Nicole Mae Paper Design, Florist: Ainahua Florals, Linens: BBJ Linen, Chandelier Rental: Hawaii Island Events

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Orange + Grey NYC Destination Wedding

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Lauren and Adam had a domestic destination wedding in the Big Apple, where the bride had many ties.  Their wedding photographer, Carly Fuller shared a little insight into this fun-loving couple.  “These two met through work and fell for each others values, playful qualities, laughter, and adventurous spirits while meeting in different cities across the cross country.”

But no distance could keep this couple apart! Lauren moved from New York City to San Francisco to be with Adam. And the two would later return to NY to tie the knot with this fashion-forward, fabulous fete!

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In the spirit of their destination wedding, airline tickets acted as the “boarding passes to the wedding reception.”

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The colors the couple selected were bright and bold – pops of oranges, yellows, and reds paired with these stunning bridesmaid dresses in shades of grey.

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We love that each maid rocked her own signature look and each one looked amazing in their gowns.

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Orange heels tied the party together, as did coordinating bouquets.  What a great look!  We just can’t get enough of the fabulous fashion from this big day!

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Even the ring bearer got in on the fashion action with his orange bow tie and suspenders!

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The traditional Jewish wedding took place at the India House Club in Manhattan.

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And when saying “I do” in the city, a photo session in the streets is certainly on the schedule!

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It’s the personal, little details that are often most remembered by guests and this cake topper is no exception.  With two airplanes going back and forth from SFO and JFK airports, Lauren and Adam’s love story was told at every turn.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Carly Fuller Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Venue: India House Club, Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Hugo Boss, Floral Designer: JR Floral Designs, Caterer: Masterpiece Caterers, Shoes: Stuart Weitzman, Bridal Jewelry: Heirlooms, Rings: Ritz Jewelers of San Francisco, CA, Hair + Makeup Artist: Radiance NY, by Amy Klewitz Beauty, Band: Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music, Hotel Accommodation: Wall Street Inn

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