The nice thing about a destination wedding — besides the sunny tropical backdrops and decadent pre-ceremony spa treatments — is that the transition from wedding day to honeymoon is so seamless. You’re already there. And so are we (at least in our imaginations). Here are 10 hotels ready to host your perfect destination nuptials.
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
If an intimate, uniquely tropical affair is your style, Bora Bora just may fit the bill. Consider, for example, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort wedding package that enables bride and groom to exchange vows on a secluded island beach. After arriving via a flower-adorned outrigger canoe to a seemingly untouched natural setting, the happy couple enjoys a 30-minute ceremony involving traditional Polynesian dancers and music. After they’ve exchanged “I dos,” the newlyweds slip back into the canoe and sip champagne as they’re rowed back to the hotel at sunset.
The Wakaya Club & Spa
At this private island resort in the South Pacific, tie the knot in the charming, 19th-century-style Wakaya Village Church (it’s truly adorable), or barefoot on the beach under a floral archway with azure sea and sky as the backdrop. If the traditional Fijian ceremony package is selected, Fijian warriors will carry the bride in a chair from her beachfront hut to the altar. The wedding is followed by a champagne reception and gourmet dinner for the blissful couple and guests.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Frazzled about the upcoming nuptials? The wonderfully secluded Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru will lure brides into relaxation long before they slip into their wedding gowns. The wedding package’s pre-ceremony indulgences include a two-hour couples spa treatment, a 30-minute private yoga session, an organic salt bath in your villa and cocktails. Exchange vows on a powdery Maldives beach, atop a sandbank or at a Four Seasons restaurant overlooking the water, then enjoy a gourmet meal of baked reef fish or Black Angus beef filets, perhaps with salmon tartare or sushi as a starter.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Say “yes” to your sweetheart high atop a Hawaiian black lava bluff that overlooks the sea or down by the beach with the coconut trees at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Among other things, this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star resort’s wedding packages include leis for groom and/or bride, thousands of Dendrobium orchids sprinkled at your ceremony site, a tropical fruit-flavored water station to quench guests’ thirst and a solo ukulele or guitar player.
Curtain Bluff Resort
At Curtain Bluff, a 72-room property perched atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, weddings take place at sunset. Couples have two ceremony site options: the Bluff House patio, which has views of the sea on both sides, or Bay Beach, which sits in close proximity to the Sea Grape restaurant (where a reception can also be held). Honeymoon on the property, where lovebirds can spend their days playing tennis, scuba diving or lying in a hammock on the beach.
Turks & Caicos
Grace Bay Club
How about making your relationship official aboard a private catamaran or on an uninhabited cay? Grace Bay Club in the Turks & Caicos offers those ceremony options as well as more typical ones — a wedding at the gazebo or on the beach — and its Ultimate Wedding Package includes (among other things): a sax or acoustic guitar player for the ceremony, island flowers, tiki torches and candle aisle markers (lovely décor for a beach wedding), and a bottle of Dom Pérignon Champagne in the room for the bride and groom.
At the very edge of Mexico, couples can celebrate their union on a patio at Capella Ixtapa, a hotel set into the cliffs above the Pacific. Embrace local culture by serving a selection of Mexican wines at the reception or incorporating a Mexican wedding tradition into the ceremony — like having a mariachi band play at the end or during the ceremony. Meanwhile, guests will be wowed by the sea air, the sound of the waves crashing into the rocks below and, as darkness falls, a tantalizing sky full of stars.
Mandarin Oriental, Elbow Beach
When it comes to quaint architecture and picturesque beaches and coves, Bermuda certainly doesn’t disappoint. And neither does this Mandarin Oriental hotel, which rests on the shoreline above a stretch of pristine beach known for its pink — yes, pink — sand. At the immaculately maintained, 50-acre property brides can walk down the aisle on a perfectly groomed lawn, looking out onto deep blue ocean and sky — lots of sky. A team of event planners is also at your disposal to plan the perfect oceanfront event.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Bacara Resort & Spa
The wedding party and its guests will check in and never want to leave this sprawling, 78-acre oceanfront resort in Santa Barbara. Thanks to the sheer enormity of the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, there are multiple options when it comes to selecting a venue for weddings and receptions. Whether your style calls for a ceremony in the sand or a reception in the sparkling, 11,300-square-foot ballroom, the resort can offer a suitable space.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
The French Riviera’s seemingly effortless beauty makes it a lovely place to explore. But there’s definitely nothing effortless about the appeal of the recently renovated Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, located on the southern tip of Cap d’Antibes. After a lavish ceremony and reception on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, happily wedded couples can adjourn to one of the hotel’s villas — preferably the one outfitted with an outdoor heated pool and staffed with your own personal butler.
Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons