An Intimate Destination Wedding Location in the Woods

Anderson's Cabin

If you’ve got a small wedding party and are planning on getting out of town with just a select few, then we’ve got a great spot for you! Consider Colorado for your elopement or intimate destination wedding – at a quaint, historic cabin called Anderson’s Cabin at The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. I had the lucky pleasure of spending an evening here and it’s unique to any place I’ve ever celebrated before. This oh-so special spot was actually Anderson’s home, and he was one of the seven original settlers (or bachelors as these men are known) in the area. He built his log cabin where The Ritz Carlton now sits. So they’ve honored their past, preserved the property, and turned it into an events-only space for small celebrations and family gatherings (complete with modern restrooms just out back).

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With a beautiful wildflower lawn growing outside much of the year, you have a picturesque ceremony location with the valley of Bachelor Gulch on one side and the ski slope covered mountain on the other. Then, head inside for a food-centric celebration and dinner with the best chefs at The Ritz Carlton. For your menu, I suggest keeping it in theme and opting for local meats like bison, lamb, elk, and venison. You can even prepare it yourself with a raclette dinner and encourage your guests to experience the finer style of rustic living while melting your own gourmet cheese and topping your made-to-order meats with a variety of homemade sauces. Not your style?  You can also opt for a fondue experience, après-ski celebration, and many more ways to indulge on the mountain.

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When dinner is done, retire outdoors once more to the fire pit just off the deck and enjoy stargazing and s’mores while the party plays on.

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Anderson’s Cabin at The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch has rustic charm, relaxed elegance, and an intimate home-like feel that makes for a perfect small celebration space. Pair that with the service and menus of The Ritz Carlton and put it just steps from the main property for ease of travel and you’ve got the perfect combination for an elopement or intimate wedding. Consider calling Anderson’s Cabin home for your wedding and you won’t ever want to leave (trust me, I campaigned to stay the night!).

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Luxury Destination Wedding Location in Riviera Maya

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Looking to plan a destination wedding or honeymoon in Mexico?  Look no further than today’s story.  I recently got to experience Banyan Tree Mayakoba, the idyllic spot for an oh-so private honeymoon but not too far off the beaten path from most US cities, and it might just be perfect for you. The all-villa property is located in the jungle of Riviera Maya, a destination only about 45 minutes from the Cancun Airport but eons away from the fast-paced life of home.  They welcome you with a lovely local fresh fruit juice, smiles all around and in-room check-in, when you’ll discover you have your very own pool and jacuzzi!  Yep, each villa comes with a private pool.  Never did I think I would wax on about a hotel room the way I do about these.

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The private pools, as they call them, are really more like the size of one you might find in a friend’s backyard. These infinity pools over look the ocean, the golf course, or in my case, the canals of Mayakoba (complete with 30 local crocodile residents who have been spotted swimming by from time to time). Should those new friends interest you, I suggest the complimentary eco-tour by boat rather than a dip in the water!

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If you love to swim, your private oasis is the best spot on property. There’s a lovely, small beach right off the casual dinning restaurant and main pool, but really, when on your honeymoon, there’s no reason to ever leave your villa! If you do emerge, one of my favorite charming elements of the resort are the beach cruisers you can ride around on.  Of course you can get from point A to B by butler-driven golf carts, I suggest you use your own beach cruiser bike to do the same. Take a spin with your new spouse and tour the area all on your own! You can even pack a picnic and stash it in your bike’s basket! And trust me, you’ll want to indulge in that picnic – as well as all the food choices Banyan Tree has to offer. The cuisine is incredible, as are the romantic dinning options (including a coming soon island on the canal set just for couples tables).

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But yet, I go back to the idea of why would you ever need to leave your villa? Mine had two structures, perfect for one who likes to nap while your partner prefers to rock out to tunes. Others are three stories tall, designed for larger groups or families and entertaining on the rooftop (think destination wedding welcome party). Each comes with an outdoor tub, massively tall bedroom ceilings and enough square feet to move into. To say the villas are big and inviting is an understatement. They are home.

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With 117 suites on property, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is great for a larger wedding buyout but also lovely for an intimate party of 20 who perhaps want a bit more privacy on their vacations when not celebrating together. Then the newlyweds can honeymoon there too and never even have to cross paths with partygoers again, should they choose not to.

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And when honeymooning, don’t forget to hit up the spa. Ahhhh the spa!!! Suites for couples massages sit over the canal, so you can relax and unwind with the sounds of nature and the water flowing beneath you. One of their signature experiences, the rainforest indulgence is a must do if you want to try something different. Either way, just don’t leave without a massage, their staff is trained overseas and are some of the best in the world.

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The spa, the service, and the beautiful privacy and serenity at Banyan Tree, are what make this Mexican Resort a honeymooner’s dream. While the cuisine, the setting, the wedding ceremony locations and options (including a brand new chapel complete with courtyard reception space), make it just what your destination wedding ordered. And those late night dips in your private pool? Well, those will make you wish you never had to go home again.

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For more information on visiting Banyan Tree Mayakoba, be sure to check out their website here!  You’ll be happy you did.

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Get Married at the Beach Outside of Rome, Italy

roman coast luxury villa

When you think of a destination wedding in Rome, you probably don’t think of doing it at the beach.  But why not?!?!  With a villa with grounds as gorgeous as this, you might just rethink your destination I do at the sea!  Located about 45 minutes outside of the center of Rome, Italy, Hotel La Posta Vecchia is a historic property on the ocean, one that J. Paul Getty himself used to reside in (and some say still does).

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The lovely lawns overlooking the water make for exceptional event locations for a formal (or even beachy-inspired) wedding.  The regal nature of the building seems to lend itself to a chic black tie affair, peppered between a vacation on the sand on the days leading up to and after the big day.

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If you’re a history buff, then you’re in luck, you’ll find many of J. Paul Getty’s personal belongings and collection in the home (and you can even stay in his master suite if you so chose).  The hotel rooms are each appointed with his antiques, no two are alike.  If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, you won’t find it here, but you can ask for one of the suites with a recently renovated bathroom (we also suggest rooms with an ocean view for an epic sunset sighting).

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This Leading Hotels of the World property also boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, an indoor pool, intimate spa, stunning outdoor dining spot and plenty of places to sneak off into the garden with your fiance for some quiet time.

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And when you’ve had enough of that quiet time (or of your guests), head into the city for a day of shopping, sightseeing, or even a honeymoon just around the corner with a completely different pace and space without the time and cost of touching down somewhere far, far away.

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All Photos via La Posta Vecchia.

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Spectacular Destination Wedding Location in Tuscany, Italy

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We’ve found “the one.”  No, not the guy or gal, but the next best thing – the picture perfect wedding location – for you!  If you’re looking for a honeymoon or destination wedding spot, then look no further than the hillsides of Tuscany, Italy to Monteverdi, a place so special we can’t really call it a hotel, an event venue, or even a town – though it’s technically all three of those things!

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This cluster of villas acting as a hotel is situated atop a mountain overlooking vineyards of fine wines and famous estates in the Tuscan countryside.  Within the mountaintop is a tiny town (10 residents in total), where the cobblestone streets, ancient church and ruins around it, date back to the 11th century.  But the accommodations within these charming structures are five-star and ready for today’s most well-traveled couple to arrive.

The American family-run property blends into the local culture and the history of the area seamlessly while the spectacular wines and local fare do the region justice and then some.  Celeb Chef Giancarla Bodoni (who also has a hot spot in Miami, Escopazzo Restaurant) oversees with loving care the locally infused and inspired menus and the owners have been known to take a guest or two to town to taste their favorite wines before returning to the Library Bar where an equally impressive selection awaits you upon your return.

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Each villa is uniquely designed and decorated (but each with commonalities like luxurious linens in oh-so soft beds!).  Some villas more modern than others and some better suited for families than couples, so there’s something for everyone in your destination wedding party.  The property is perfect for a buyout – you can literally take over a town to say “I do!”

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But the hotel is just the beginning – the ceremony site for your big day is an even bigger ‘wow factor.’  If you’re like the owners of Monteverdi, consider exchanging vows on an ancient street below the Monteverdi archway (you’ll notice their logo is inspired by it).  And if you do get married here, you’re in luck because famed designer David Beahm and his team from the New York design firm David Beahm Design will curate a stunning ceremony and reception for you as the exclusive designer on property.  You get the best of both worlds – planning assistance from the states with design quality you’ve come to expect back home but the rich culture and beauty of Tuscany at the same time.

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David Beahm and team took us to Monteverdi to experience it firsthand and I can’t gush enough about how one-of-a-kind, over-the-top, understatedly, spectacular it is.  That’s a mouthful!  It’s so different and so special it’s almost hard to describe.  Your family will feel transported back to an old world, where your neighbors are your loved ones and your friends will gather in the local bar at the end of an adventurous day.  But this disconnected and relaxing lifestyle comes complete of course with all with the service, luxury, and hospitality of a five-star resort, with loving charm and friendly faces hoping to enhance your stay with your every request.

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Monteverdi is truly a one-of-a-kind getaway.  Known to play host to Hollywood’s elite who want to get away and get creative without the city behind them, you’ll feel like a celebrity in your own private world when you reach this special mountaintop (and hopefully never have to leave).  A perfect place to wed, a private place to honeymoon, and a place to call home year after year once you’ve fallen in love like we have, don’t go to Europe without going to Monteverdi.

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All Photos via Monteverdi Tuscany.

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Luxury Wedding Villa in Tuscany, Italy

La Foce

Private villa rentals or taking over an estate for a week is a great way to bond with your new and old family members while enjoying plenty of R&R on the road to your wedding day. You can celebrate where you sleep, wed where you stay and host an array of events leading up to and even after your big day. There are lots of bonuses to getting married at such a property, but did you ever think that you could live in a place as spectacular as this for such a week?!?!

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Set in the Tuscan countryside, on the hills overlooking Val d’Orcia, this historic property known as La Foce is one unforgettable spot. Built in the late fifteen century and later restored in 1924, this family owned (and cared for lovingly) compound is rich with lush (and famous) European gardens, beautiful antiques inside, picture-perfect wedding ceremony spots, oodles of acres and a lavish pool setting to enjoy in the summertime.

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The old-world charm and utterly picturesque property make you want to call this place home for good. But you don’t need to work at this home like you do back at your everyday residence, La Foce comes with a local chef and other staff members as needed to cater to your every whim and desire.

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And it holds plenty of party guests too! The farmhouses at La Foce hold up to 10 guests while the villa has six double bedrooms, two twin bedrooms, three single rooms and eight bathrooms. This is not a small estate by any size of the imagination!

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But the best part of this charming mansion has to be the grounds. The places to select from for not only your wedding ceremony but your reception too are simply magical. I highly recommend using the manicured gardens below the breathtaking staircases and balcony for cocktail hour if not more! Even a casual event by the pool would make a great welcome party. You won’t run out of exceptional spots to enjoy with your guests (and your wedding photographer too)!

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But should you want to get off property a bit, have no fear, while you’ll enjoy your peace and quiet at La Foce, the home is not far from Montepulciano and Montalcino, where you’ll find great wines (a region of Brunello) and local delicacies for even the most serious foodies in your crowd.

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It’s not often I get to experience a wedding property that I would personally pack my bags to say “I do” at – and La Foce is certainly one of them.

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All Photos via La Foce.

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