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wedding home > unique wedding ideas > themes & style > destination wedding venues

Destination Wedding Venues

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With all the hassles involved in planning a wedding, it's often easier just to elope and get it over with. Of course, with this option, you can't have all the guests oohing and aahing over how beautiful you look, and you can't share this special day with your loved ones. A great alternative to this is to have a destination wedding. Destination weddings have become increasingly popular, and they usually conjure the image of a barefoot couple in the middle of a beach. While this is indeed a romantic image, if you're not a beach kind of girl, no worries. Below, I've listed some ideas to make your destination wedding the best it can be.

  • Of course, I have to start with the tropical beach scenario. There are so many different locations for this, but some popular locations include Mexico, Hawaii, and the Bahamas. To make your wedding unique, research the location and add some ethnic touches to the reception. For example, if you're in Mexico, hire a mariachi band to play at the reception, or serve traditional Mexican dishes. If in Hawaii, have a luau complete with hula dancers. The bahamas have individual traditions according to island, but perhaps incorporate some locally woven straw bags to the decorations.

  • Rustic lodge in St. Lucia, Belize, or South America—if you're looking for a different take on the tropical beach wedding, how about a rustic wooden lodge in the middle of a rainforest? Your ceremony could take place alongside a lagoon, complete with a crashing waterfall and with these sailboat candles everyone will almost believe that they've escaped civilization completely.

  • Redwood forest in California—California is renowned for its massive redwood trees, and to make the most of this, combine your beach wedding with the redwood forest by going to Big Sur or Monterey. Decorate your reception with touches of wood, such as these wood pencils. Or conversely, head north between December and May to have your beach wedding punctuated by the whale migrations.

  • Seaside by lighthouse on the east coast—not all beaches are built the same, and an east coast seaside affair is vastly different than the tropical weddings above. Like a wedding on the northern coast of California, the east coast provides a rockier landscape, and massive lighthouses. These could provide you with an excellent backdrop for your nuptials. Give your guests some seashell wine bottle stoppers for a classy touch.

  • Oceanside church in Greece—this idea has certainly come to life with Mamma Mia, but it is still a unique idea. Nothing could be more romantic than an older church on the mediterranean, punctuated by soft candlelight from some lovely lanterns that lights the way up the steep incline to the church.

  • Castle in Scotland—In Made of Honor, Michelle Monaghan was marrying a Scot and holding the reception at his family's castle. The lush green landscape, some scattered rose petals, and medieval castles will make you feel just like a princess about to marry her prince charming.

  • Mountaintop in Ireland or England—Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle and rightfully so, as its rolling hills are indeed green year-round. Like Scotland, Ireland also has several castles and other buildings dating to medieval times, but a marriage set in a rustic stone cabin, overlooking the hills could be another fantastic option. Conversely, head to Surrey in England and prepare to have your breath taken away by the lush countryside and stunning beauty.

  • Vineyard in Tuscany, the Loire Valley, or California—What could be better than a wedding overlooking the rows of the vineyard, a rustic house, and a mountaintop in the distance? Additionally, by getting married in a vineyard you get the added benefit of excellent wine. Arrange the seating with some wine cork placecard holders and you've got yourself a lovely countryside wedding.

  • Equinox in vermont (in the fall) or other small new england town—Picture a small white church in a New England town surrounded by the vibrant colors of fall and swirling leaves. Give your guests some maple syrup or other fall wedding favors and it's easy to see why New England is the place to be in the fall.

  • Bottom of the eiffel tower—Ahh, Paris... the city of love. Need I say more?

  • Villa in Andalusia—Spain is known for its passionate flamenco dancers, vibrant colors, lively parties, and excellent sangria. Serve traditional tapas or paella for your reception dinner and give your female guests some hand fans as wedding favors, and that will guarantee a party like nobody's ever seen.

  • Chateau in Swiss Alps or Aspen—a roaring fire and a swirl of snow outdoors could make for a romantic holiday wedding. To keep your guests warm serve them some hot chocolate and challenge everyone to a race down the slopes.

The world is filled with wonderful places that can inspire you to have a truly unique wedding that is completely in tune with the area. So, if you've always dreamed of achieving wedded bliss in a far-off land, what are you waiting for?

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