By Stefanie Michaels
Many of my friends are getting married this year and looking at destination weddings as an option. A few had come to my 20th-anniversary renewal (which took place in a Bermuda cave) and asked if I could help them come up with unique and beautiful wedding destinations.
One couple is looking for a budget friendly mini-nuptials locale, while a few others want something more significant, with varied sizes for their guest lists.
After much research and consideration, each fiance knew they wanted to go somewhere special. They wanted to stay in the States, so I gave them my list of a few unique places to get married in the US.
Here are my suggestions:
- The Grand Canyon: With its breathtaking views and natural beauty, the Grand Canyon would make for a truly unforgettable matrimonial setting. Step out onto the glass walkway 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon on the incredible Skywalk.
- The Redwood Forest: For nature lovers, the Redwood Forest in California would be the perfect place to exchange vows. Surrounded by towering trees and the sound of a babbling brook, this peaceful setting would be perfect for a intimate ceremony.
- The French Quarter in New Orleans: For a ceremony with a touch of old-world charm, the French Quarter in New Orleans offers a mix of history, culture, and romance. The vibrant streets and colorful architecture provide a beautiful backdrop for an event. Incorporate a Second Line Parade–where guests form a line behind a band and the newly wedded couple as they dance from the ceremony to the reception.
- The Brooklyn Bridge: For city nuptials with a twist, the Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views of the New York skyline. Imagine exchanging vows with the cityscape as your backdrop, and then celebrating with a reception at a rooftop venue.
- The Great Salt Lake: For a unique and otherworldly setting, the Great Salt Lake in Utah would be an unforgettable choice. The vast, salt-crusted lake and surrounding desert landscape create a dramatic and beautiful setting for a wedding.
What Destination Brides need to consider for Destination Weddings:
- Research the location carefully: Consider the climate, culture, and any potential safety concerns of the destination.
- Plan ahead: Destination weddings often require more planning than a traditional one, as you’ll need to coordinate travel and accommodations for yourself and your guests.
- Consider the logistics: Think about how you’ll get to and from the event location, and how you’ll transport any necessary decorations or supplies.
- Communicate with your guests: Make sure to send invites well ahead of what’s typical, so they can plan accordingly. And, provide your guests with clear instructions and information about the special day including travel details and any necessary documents (such as passports, if it is held outside of the country).
- Set a budget: Destination weddings can be more expensive than traditional weddings, so it’s important to set a budget and stick to it.
- Hire a wedding planner: An expert planner can help you navigate the planning process and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the big day.
- Don’t forget the legal requirements: Make sure to research and understand the legal requirements for getting married in your chosen destination, and allow enough time to ensure completion of any necessary documentation or paperwork.
- Consider the time of year: Think about the weather and any potential peak tourist seasons when choosing a date for your destination wedding.
- Pack wisely: Be sure to pack any necessary items for the wedding, such as your dress, any special attire for the groom and wedding party, and any decorations or supplies.
- Relax and enjoy: Remember to take some time to relax and enjoy your destination wedding – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!