Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

seven mile beach luxury resort Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

There are few beaches on earth more beautiful than Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman – soft white sands, seriously crystal blue still water, sea turtles and coral reef, warm weather and a handful of fabulous places and properties to drop anchor along the shore and stay for a week or two.  This is the epitome of a picturesque honeymoon and destination wedding.  And one of those places to make it so is The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman, a super special luxury resort built right on that white sand.  A place I’ve been many times (I even had a family member wed there), this is one resort I will never get tired of visiting.

luxury resorts grand cayman Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

You won’t see many indoor photos of the property here, as beautiful as it is and as inviting as the rooms and suites are – for me, it’s the grounds and beach that I just can’t stop staring at.

ritz carlton grand cayman Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Imagine waking up to breakfast on your oceanfront terrace before heading down to the beach for a lovely day lounging in beach beds and chairs just footsteps from the sea (oh, and they have beds in the water too if that suits your style).  Then enjoy lunch delivered to your spot or happy hour poolside before getting dressed to dine at one of the resort’s several stellar restaurants.  If you’re a foodie, you’re in luck.  The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman boasts several delish spots, including an acclaimed Eric Ripert restaurant, Blue.

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Now that this place is practically home and you’re settled into island time, gear up for the big day in the world famous La Prairie Spa (to give you that blushing bride glow).

Then comes the wedding – wait until sunset and you’ll have that expansive beach all to yourselves for the ceremony (and reception if you choose).  Or take your party to the pool deck, ballroom or one of the property’s seven restaurants if barefoot in the sand isn’t your style.

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Last Three Images: David Wolfe

When to Go: For the best weather, December through April is ideal (be prepared for peak season rates but no hurricanes).

Travel Tip: A day on a catamaran or yacht is a must!  Charter a boat out to Stingray City and swim with these special creatures for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Weddings at The Parker Palm Springs

parker palm springs honeymoon Weddings at The Parker Palm Springs

Staying one more day in Southern California after yesterday’s fault line wedding, today we’re headed to one of our favorite destinations, the sunny side of Palm Springs!  A retro-infused community landscape, this place takes us back in time to celebrate poolside, lounge around and enjoy the good life when saying “I do.”  And no place does that better in the desert than The Parker Palm Springs.  A boutique hotel, this property boasts not only a rich history and an authentic retro experience but all the finer things we’ve come to expect from a top hotel of today’s time.

You may recognize some of these spots on property as the architecture and interior design have become pretty iconic.  You drive up to the front door to be met by a massive wall that feels more like an art installation.  The lovely staff ushers you inside out of the heat  to the lobby lounge area one can only imagine from a movie set.

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The hotel rooms are swanky with shag carpets and four-poster beds.  Sliding glass doors take you right out onto the grass for a quick walk to the pool where you can expect to be greeted by a lemonade cart making the rounds on a bicycle.

parker palm springs Weddings at The Parker Palm Springs

The mafiya suite is a free regal high-ceiling building for weddings of 100 guests or more.  A bit more formal and traditional than some of the other spaces at the hotel, this space opens up onto a beautiful grassy courtyard.

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The grand ballroom can seat several hundred if your destination wedding is a bit bigger in size.

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And just off the lobby is the perfect little post-wedding brunch spot – Norma’s, a diner serving up refreshing drinks and comfort food for all.

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Your guests won’t get bored at this place, there are plenty of outdoor games to be played, and depending on the night and time of year, you might even find an outdoor movie playing above their own little Hollywood sign.  After catching a flick you can retire to the historic Gene Autry Estate that doubles as a mega suite/home away from home and can receive your wedding guests for cocktails or a little private poolside fun.

parker palm springs grounds Weddings at The Parker Palm Springs

By night there’s a fire pit both indoors and out depending on your mood (and the outdoor pit makes for a great after party focal point).

parker palm springs weddings Weddings at The Parker Palm Springs

Whether you wed under a tent, in their regal marble-clad ballroom, or enjoy an evening in the mafia suite or historic home on property – The Parker Palm Springs has something for everyone.

weddings in palm springs Weddings at The Parker Palm Springs

All Wedding Photos by Robert Evans Studios 

Travel Tip: Be sure to hit up the spa while you’re there!  Aside from being especially gorgeous and sparkly, the treatments are truly to die for.

When to Go:  It’s almost too hot to host a wedding in the summer months here, but if you do, make sure to set a very late ceremony start time or you may find yourself pushing back your I do’s into the evening.  January to May are beautiful months in the desert and you’ll probably be escaping some less than perfect weather back home then too!

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Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

ventana inn big sur Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

Today we’re taking a trip up the coast of California to one of the state’s most beautiful and untouched spots – Big Sur.  A rustic region where the forest meets the ocean along rocky and oh-so lovely cliffs, Big Sur is home to some of the best hiking in CA and sea life spotting.  But it’s also home to some of the most secluded and romantic resorts around.  Ventana Inn and Spa is one of those such special places.  A haven for celebrities to be left alone for days on end and honeymooners to enjoy the peaceful quiet of the great outdoors, this hotel is a perfect place for an intimate destination wedding or post-nuptial getaway.

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Ventana means window, so take a peek into this special place to say “I do.”  Set on 243 acres of rolling hills and land, you’ll love lounging in your private hammock and simply taking it all in.  If spa is your speed – two pools, two Japanese bathhouses and all the  relaxing experiences you could desire will certainly make you feel pampered and rejuvenated after that exhausting wedding week.  Then, once rested and relaxed, head off to dinner at The Restaurant at Ventana, a cabin-like space that feels as warm and inviting as your own living room.

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But don’t spend all your time resting, wining and dining – Ventana provides the start to some pretty epic nature walks and hikes too, should you bring your sense of adventure with you.

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If you want to live like royalty and take your guests along with you, then host your own laid-back but oh-so celebrity style wedding at Ventana.  They’ve got two terraces designed just for you and your ceremony.  The first “wedding site” hosts up to 80 people and has views that go on for miles and  miles (literally, 50 miles) and yet, it is secluded enough to feel like you are the only 80 people in the world.

celebrity wedding big sur ventana Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

The “upper terrace” welcomes a slightly larger wedding party and is just off the famed restaurant on property.  With equally wonderful views, this spot is fit for a group with a little more party in their party.

Should you find you want to wed with just the two of you present, then the vista space is for you.  Say “I do” in the restaurant’s herb garden to the sound of a flowing fountain and sweet smells of the great outdoors.

ventana big sur Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

With countless awards and accolades, they are clearly doing something right with their service.  But that’s not the best part.  Ventana Inn is where one goes to truly unplug, unwind, and begin anew in one of the most beautiful places on the west coast.  What better way to start your life together?

 ventana big sur weddings Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

Travel Tip: Take a day trip along the coast whether by car or by foot and picnic while you watch the sea otters play in the surf or visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the local town for a less private tour of the landscape.  Hearst Castle isn’t too far by car either if you like to get out and hit the tourist hot spots – it’s quite fun and also provides some spectacular views and insights into California and its history.

When to Go: California has great weather most of the year, though along the coast it can tend to get chilly, especially in the evenings.  We find fall to be the best time of all to visit but you can’t go wrong year round.

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Beach House in Turks and Caicos

beach house turks and caicos Beach House in Turks and Caicos

I love it when we discover a fabulous new hotel or property to add to our must visit list.  Today we’re talking about the brand new Beach House Turks and Caicos.  Turks and Caicos is a group of islands that boasts some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches and clear blue waters.  Turks is now also home to a boutique luxury property perfect for honeymooners looking to disconnect from the world and reconnect to each other.

This 21 room destination has all the luxuries of a five star resort and none of the downside.  You’re treated like a beloved guest in the most gracious of hosts’ homes and then wined and dined to your heart’s content!

turks caicos honeymoons Beach House in Turks and Caicos

The beautiful beach side rooms in Grace Bay will welcome you in and beckon you to stay for a lifetime (or at least to eventually return home to re-do your own master suit in this style).  After you check in, relax and unwind from the flight in-room or al fresco with a spa treatment in the sun.  The property offers an array of pampering treatments in an variety of locations – from the cozy couples’ rooms in the pool house spa to a secluded spot on the sand.

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Or if you’re looking to get a workout in, they’ve got that too – either on the beach or in the gym!

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This is certainly a relaxing destination, one with plenty of time for R&R, but we recommend getting out and about too.  My favorite experience on island was chartering a catamaran to a private beach to swim and sun for the morning before snorkeling off shore at the island’s fruitful reef.  What makes this reef so special however is not the coral, but that it’s home to one of the world’s (if not the only) lone dolphins.  JoJo the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin has been swimming with locals for decades.  Separated from his pod at an early age, he’s taken to humans as his extended family.  When I was there, we didn’t have to look hard to find him, he found us!  He quickly caught up with our boat and followed us to the snorkeling spot where we got the chance to swim in the wild with him.  Certainly an experience not to be missed!  Who knew Turks had one of the many wonders of the world (who likes meeting new people as a bonus)!

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And after a long day of hard work soaking up the sun and wildlife, we recommend you head back to your home away from home at the Beach House and get ready for a meal of all meals.  If you’re a foodie, then you’re in luck!  Their gourmet culinary temple, run by ‘chef extraordinaire’ Eric Vernice, serves up delicacies and local bounty perfect for a picnic on the beach or a romantic multi-course meal for two.  Humm…he sounds like the perfect chef to plan your destination wedding dinner (yep, you can book out the entire property and host 40 of your closest friends and family too if you choose)!

Turks and Caicos honeymoon Beach House in Turks and Caicosturks and caicos beaches Beach House in Turks and Caicos

Photos: Erik Graham 

Travel Tip:  Book through the personal travel experts at Orchid Worldwide (ask for Christina, she’s the best!) and you’ll receive a beach picnic for two served on their very own pampering pods on Grace Bay. Jet Fete guests will also receive the Beach House ‘bite & flight’ service where an array of small bites, along with a selection of wines to compliment the culinary creations, will be delivered to the suite at the time of the guests choosing.

Stay at the Beach House from now until September 30th and in addition to ORCHID PERKS you will receive your choice of round trip airport transfers on Providenciales or a one-day car rental (per every 3-day booking).

When to Go:  Peak season is mid-December to mid-April to find the best weather (but not always the best prices).  However, Turks and Caicos is pretty perfect year round.  A little Caribbean rainfall can be a welcome visit in the late afternoon.

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Tantalo Hotel, Panama City, Panama

where to stay in panama Tantalo Hotel, Panama City, Panama

Part two of Laura Grier, from Beautiful Day Photography’s adventures in Panama is a look at the swanky new hotel property, on location approved – the Tantalo.

I had always been intrigued by Panama and curious to go visit, but it wasn’t until earlier this year when I received a call from my longtime friend Adam Rosenberg, that the invitation to fly down became a reality.  Adam called me he had been furiously finalizing the construction, interior design, and completion of Panama City’s first Boutique Hotel.  Two years ago, he was asked to join forces with the founder and CEO of Blesso Properties, Matthew Blesso, in helping with the creation of a truly unique hotel experience in Panama City.  Matthew saw the need for a service oriented, true boutique hotel to exist in Panama City, which was quickly becoming a major destination for sophisticated business travelers, yet was lacking the experience that many tourists desire and expect. Adam brought his savvy NY  influence, sophistication, design and fluency in Spanish to the table and the two of them combined brought to life Tantalo Hotel/Kitchen/Roofbar, an innovative, eco-conscious, modern boutique hotel right in the heart of  the funky, artsy district of Casco Viejo.

Tantalo Tantalo Hotel, Panama City, Panama

When my boyfriend, Jason and I first arrived in Panama we didn’t know what to expect.  I had a chance to practice my Spanish with our cab driver, and along the way he gleefully pointed out every statue, newly constructed building, and boasted how Panama had an island for every day of the year. This fact I had no clue about.  Who knew that Panama had almost 365 islands? When our cab started climbing up this cobblestone street to the Old section of town, AKA Casco Viejo, I was shocked at the juxtaposition of abandoned and graffiti-tagged buildings with new, funky hotels and cafes. Yet, because it has been declared a UNESCO Heritage site, the original facades of all of the buildings have to remain unchanged. This is so important, because even though Casco Viejo has undergone impressive renovations in the last decade, it still feels like you are back in time and that you are standing in what will be like a bustling New Orleans in a few years.  You can just feel the energy there, like you are witnessing the beginning of something amazing.  When I paid my cab driver, I discovered another fun fact, that the US dollar is their currency, another reason why Panama is so tourist-friendly.

Panama Hotels Tantalo Hotel, Panama City, Panama

Then we checked in.  The coolest part about checking in at Tántalo Hotel, is that each of its 12 uniquely designed guests rooms incorporates artwork by emerging local artists and each artist had the artistic freedom to design their own theme using numerous art mediums.  Our room had a very indigenous feel to it with tribal-looking drawings of native birds painted on the walls and it inspired me to want to explore one of the local indigenous tribes that are still living around Panama City. 

Luxury Panama Hotels Tantalo Hotel, Panama City, Panama

Tantalo, already chosen as the “Sexiest New Hotel in Panama;” it boasts a communal-style restaurant with international-inspired comfort food dishes designed by Panamanian born Chef Pierre DeJanon, and THE hottest rooftop bar/lounge in all of Panama.  That rooftop bar, the first of its kind boasting some of the most unique views of the city skyline, and it had a line around the block to get in!

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I was definitely excited to experience staying at the hotel, but was equally curious about what Panama really did have to offer as a country and what all the buzz was about.  Adam said that I would leave Panama with a completely different perspective on what I thought Panama was, so I of course accepted his challenge.

And he was right, I was completely wrong about Panama.  I was wrong to think I could sum up everything this country has to offer in only a week.  I honestly left feeling a bit teased by my experience.  There is SO much to do here and so much more ground to cover.  What makes it even more fabulous is that you can do all of this in style and comfort now, since Boutique Hotels like Tantalo are becoming more popular and prevalent there.  It is so exciting to watch Panama as a country growing and booming as quickly as they are.  I am excited to see where it will be in a few years, and you can bet this is where I’ll be staying!

Panama Hotel Clubs Tantalo Hotel, Panama City, Panama

All Photos by Beautiful Day Photography.

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Portrait Suites in Rome, Italy

portrait suites rome Portrait Suites in Rome, Italy

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s recent low key wedding was the fitting beginning to an equally romantic and low key honeymoon.  The pair have been spotted out and about in Rome, Italy taking in the sites (and carbs).  Rome is one of my favorite cities in the world!  And one of the most popular places for visitors to enjoy is the Spanish Steps.  Reports say that Mr. and Mrs. Zuckerberg stayed just steps away from the famous steps, in an ultra modern swanky hotel called Portrait Suites.  The famous duo put this luxury property on the map last week so we thought we would take a look at what makes a couple who could stay anywhere in the world, chose here.rome italy luxury hotel Portrait Suites in Rome, Italy

This mini mod palace reflects the style of Rome in the 50‘s and makes you feel like you’ve been transported into a swanky fashion studio with all the amenities of home (hidden kitchen included).  With rooftop views of the city and suites that you could get lost in, honeymooners with a flair for style and city living will love it here.

portrait suites hotel Portrait Suites in Rome, Italy

For that Roman holiday shopping experience, there’s a Ferragamo experience when you book a suite (somehow we doubt this understated couple has opted in for this royal treatment).

portrait suites honeymoon Portrait Suites in Rome, Italy

Cocktails on the terrace, strolls to the Spanish Steps, sightseeing by day and private dinners for two – I have no doubt you will fall in love with Rome just as I (and Mr. and Mrs. Zuckerberg) have.

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Photos: Portrait Suites

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Bermuda Resort: Rosewood Tucker Point

the bachelorette bermuda resort Bermuda Resort: Rosewood Tucker Point

Are you a fan of The Bachelorette?  If you tuned in last night to watch the dating madness, chances are you saw another TV trip of a lifetime – to Bermuda!  The dating hopefuls headed to Rosewood Tucker’s Point, a private beach club, residential community, and of course, grand Caribbean resort.   A perfect place to touch down for the couple who likes to be active and do nothing at all too – you can golf by day or play a few sets of tennis before retiring to the 12,000 square foot spa for a couple’s massage in the suite designed just for two.  Using local ingredients and herbs from the spa garden, you’ll experience the best the island has to offer as you relax and unwind after your big day.  A honeymoon dreams are made of!

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To live like TV royalty, consider dinning at the wine cellar at The Point, the fine dining restaurant in the resort, perfect for a romantic dinner for two.  Or head to the private beach club for some fun in the sun overlooking one of Bermuda’s most pristine pink sand beaches.  Yep, we said pink sand!  Bermuda is known for its one-of-a-kind beaches that boast a soft glow of pink thanks to the unique mix of red foam, shells and coral that make up the sand on island.  And Tucker’s Point is the only property with a private beach, ideal for those quiet walks at sunset down the shoreline together.   If you’re avid beach goers then this is the honeymoon spot for you.  Oh yeah, and the lavish poolside cabanas, luxury service and staff treatment, and amazing local fare isn’t half bad either :).

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For romantic seclusion paired with the ultimate luxury resort experience, call Rosewood Tucker’s Point home for your honeymoon (or Caribbean destination I do).  Your fairy tale ending will far surpass that of any reality star romance with this happy ending…

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Travel Tip: Book a private dinner in a cabana that overlooks the Palm Court Pool and Harrington Sound and you’ll be in a six course food and wine pairing heaven for hours and hours.

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Weddings at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

wedding at ritz carlton orlando Weddings at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande LakesToday we’re taking you on a little trip for a domestic destination wedding.  Florida is the most popular place to travel for stateside “I do’s,” pair that with the Ritz Carlton and you’ve got a perfect nuptial blend.  The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is set a bit outside the city for that getaway feeling and sense of relaxation, but still close enough in proximity for it to be a convenient locale for travelers (and of course a big plus for those with kids taking time for a theme park filled vacation).

A sprawling property, this place has it all for that big family, ballroom wedding but away from home nonetheless.  Eleven exquisite restaurants, 500+ hotel rooms and suites, a mega spa with incredible indulgences (think citrus-inspired treatments) for your bridal party, and of course, a Greg Norman-signature golf course for the guys.

The resort certainly feels like a fortress, one with the finest amenities, lavish suites, and great service in my stay experience.  It’s the perfect place for a family who wants a bit more formal affair but the couple wants to get out of town and hit the road too.  An ideal marriage of the two without breaking the bank of your guests to get there.

ritz carlton orlando weddings Weddings at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande LakesWhether permitting, we love the outdoor spaces of this resort, though there are three main level ballrooms too should you opt to go inside.  Either way, be sure to schedule some sun time poolside with your personal pool concierge.  

Flowers girls and ring bearers?  Don’t forget out the Ritz Kids program which in this locale can mean fly fishing, lady bug release and kayaking.  Can I be a kid?

ritz carlton grande lakes weddings Weddings at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande LakesInto an eco-adventure?  They’ve got that too!  Brush up on your skills at the Ritz Carlton’s fly fishing school, get out into the wilderness in a private eco-tour on Shingle Creek and the Everglades, or enjoy an afternoon hike with a crew or just for two.

weddings ritz carlton grande lakes Weddings at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande LakesAnd don’t forget, if you’re jetting off to the sunshine state, you’re not too far from the Caribbean for that intimate tropical honeymoon after your grand “I do’s” at Grande Lakes!

Tip:  When in Orlando, bring out the kid in you and take your wedding photographer to Disneyworld and Epcot Center for a day of fabulous photos and fun you’ll never forget.

When to Go:  High season is March to April, mid-June to mid-August, mid-December to early January – we suggest avoiding those kid-friendly vacation times if you can (better rates in the shoulder season and fewer crowds if you do venture to the parks).

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Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch

celebrity weddings san ysidro ranch1 Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch{Photos Courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch}

Nestled in the hills of the beautifully sleepy California town of Montecito, overlooking the Santa Ynez Mountains, just outside of Santa Barbara, sits a ranch style hotel known for its quiet privacy, celebrity sightings, and oh-so romantic weddings.  A perfect location for a destination wedding in California, the San Ysidro Ranch is within close proximity to Los Angeles and thus has become a landmark for celebrity weddings and honeymoon hideaways.

A 500-acre property that feels as comfortable as your own home, San Ysidro Ranch was originally put on the map as the spot where John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie O. honeymooned and now modern-day newlyweds can do the same – and stay in the very same suite, renamed the Kennedy Cottage.

San Ysidro Ranch weddings1 Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch{Photos: Jose Villa}

But more recently the boutique property is known for celebrity weddings like that of Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge and Kings of Leon band member Caleb Followill.  It’s also the rumored spot of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s nuptials.  Celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss has seen her share of high profile weddings at San Ysidro Ranch as well.  Mindy planned Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie’s destination wedding there back in 2010.

A hotel best suited for intimate weddings, it’s no wonder celebs love San Ysidro Ranch, with plenty of options on which to wed.  My personal favorite – the garden setting is spectacular, complete with year-round ivy arches and lush floral hedges trimming the lawn.  The picturesque backdrop cannot be beat.

san ysidro ranch wedding Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch{Photos: Top: Jose Villa, Inset & Bottom Courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch}

The local lavender fields and organic local product make this property a standout both visually and for your palette.  Wedding and Events Coordinator Usha Atterbury tells us about the fine cuisine on property.  “Our Executive Chef uses the finest seasonal ingredients to create innovative California Cuisine, relying greatly upon the Ranch’s organic herb and vegetable garden for the freshest flavors to accompany his creations.  The Ranch’s exceptional blend of delicious food, stunning setting, and comfortable, understated elegance makes it a truly unique choice of venues.”

celebrity wedding photos san ysidro ranch Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch{Photos: Jose Villa}

If your event is very small in size, say an elopement of eight or less, say “I do” to the historic Old Adobe or the vintage wine cellar which you can fill with one long feasting table for twenty.  For slightly larger events, the Hydrangea Cottage is a popular spot to wed with its private patio, beautiful views, and six adjacent suites for your bridal party and getting ready time.

wedding san ysidro ranch Weddings at San Ysidro RanchA destination wedding weekend at San Ysidro Ranch means good old-fashioned fun.  Think lawn games, snuggling by the fireplace in your cottage, and perhaps taking a stroll through the town peppered with boutiques and local fare.  When a loved one of mine wed here, what I remember most was the wonderful quiet time and the serene feeling on property that makes for a very calming wedding day with the smell of fresh wood fires burning in chimneys above.  You feel transported back to the golden era of California, as if Will Rodgers might be sleeping in the cottage next door.

san ysidro ranch cottages Weddings at San Ysidro Ranchsan ysidro ranch1 Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch Frequently named one of the World’s Best Hotels by Travel + Leisure, San Ysidro Ranch is known for its four-poster beds that have become perhaps iconic for this property and make for a perfectly romantic wedding night and honeymoon.

jessica simpson wedding san ysidro ranch Weddings at San Ysidro Ranchsan ysidro ranch wedding venue Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch{Property Photos: San Ysidro Ranch}

When to Go: California has great year-round weather but summer months are the most popular for weddings.  Given that the property has less than 50 rooms and suites, book well in advance during peak season.

Travel Tip: Take your four-legged ring bearer with you!  This property is pet-friendly and will take extra special care of your furry friends with amenities and plenty of running around room.

jf share rev Weddings at San Ysidro Ranch

Weddings at The Grand Del Mar

grand del mar resort weddings Weddings at The Grand Del MarLet’s head to sunny Southern California – San Diego to be exact, where one of my favorite domestic resorts is nestled in the hills above and just a tad inland from the Pacific Ocean.  The Grand Del Mar, San Diego’s only Five Star and Five Diamond Resort, is one of those special places where service really does make the experience.  I’ve stayed on property, attended weddings and conferences here, dinned countless times and each and every single time the staff is truly extraordinary.  To know your wedding is in good hands is a luxury no one should miss out on and you’ll be cared for like a member of the family here.  Oh, and the venue is pretty much picture perfect for a destination wedding too!

Designed with the bride in mind, the sprawling location has several spots to say “I do”.  My personal favorite is the capella – an intimate chapel complete with its own entrance, removable pews, marble columns, high beamed ceilings and beautiful double doors for that oh-so grand Grand Del Mar entrance.  We asked their wedding specialist, Paige Levy about its details.  “The intimate chapel is steeped in old-world charm and infused with fairytale romance. The Capella features beamed ceilings, imported Italian pews, stained glass accents and ceremony seating for up to 280 guests.  The Capella offers the experience of a chapel setting without having to have the ceremony and reception at two separate locations.  The Capella is designed to cater to the client looking for a religious style ceremony with the option of displaying a cross and wood alter, however it can also be customized for the client looking for a non-religious unique indoor ceremony location.  The flexibility of the space caters to both desires.”  The space is so diverse, it can even be set for dinner!  With removable pews, you could chose to host your reception here too.

But if you’re traveling to San Diego for the year-round great weather, then there’s a ceremony spot for you too.  The vast Aria Lawn comes complete with a Moroccan pavilion overlooking the championship golf course.  A lovely place for a cocktail hour, dinner under the stars of that jaw-dropping, lavish ceremony.  If you or your loved ones can’t get to Italy, Morocco or other far off lands for your destination wedding, then let San Diego transport you there with the help of The Grand Del Mar!

grand del mar chapel1 Weddings at The Grand Del Mar{Photos: Top Left: Paul Barnett Photographer, All Others: True Photography}

If you want to wed under a traditional gazebo, they’ve got that too!  Just in front of a long fountain for that water element you might be dreaming of for your ceremony.

grand del mar weddings Weddings at The Grand Del Mar{All Photos: True Photography}

For a grand reception, the Elizabeth Ballroom is perfect!  With a built-in stage, detailed paneling on the walls, high and decorative ceilings, this is one hotel ballroom you won’t want to cover up.

But saying “I do” here isn’t all about the event itself.  A destination wedding weekend should allow guests to experience all that the location has to offer.  Paige tells us they also have, “…an award-winning five star spa, pro-style tennis courts, an 18-hole championship golf course, acclaimed restaurants, seasonal cooking classes, boutique shopping, and an abundance of outdoor recreation in the 37 miles of canyon preserve trails.   Take a scenic hike. Lounge poolside. Focus on your well-being. Dive into the ocean…or the action.  Endless options offer something for everyone – the active enthusiast, the spirited adventurer, the culinary connoisseur and the style seeker.” 

 It’s no wonder San Diego is one of the country’s most popular travel locations.  Time to pack your bags!

weddings at the grand del mar Weddings at The Grand Del Mar{All Photos: True Photography}

When to Wed: San Diego can pretty much be counted on for year round great weather.  But if you want picture perfect skies, and lots of activities to keep your guests occupied, consider late summer when the race track is in full season or early summer when the nearby county fair comes to town for the kids.  (Just be sure to book early!)

Travel Tip:  If you want to explore San Diego – the beach, theme parks, the downtown shopping and dining district, Coronado Island, the landmarks and more then we suggest renting a car.  The city is spread out and takes time to see it all.  The resort has a car service and can arrange offsite activities but for a bit more freedom of schedule, your own set of wheels might just do the trick!

jf share rev Weddings at The Grand Del Mar