We’ve been talking this week about destination weddings, so we’re dedicating this week’s Fab Finds blog to travel!
If a destination wedding is in your future, here our a some places to consider:
Wyndahm Virginia Crossings Hotel – Richmond, Virginia
When the estate’s elaborate iron gates open to the winding, tree-lined driveway, guests enter a gracious era of elegance and charm. Weddings can be set in the beautiful formal Courtyard garden, with the bride walking the bridal path that sweeps down from the graceful Jefferson Building. Or, choose the more intimate Pergola, overlooking the woodlands beyond. Another unique site for a ceremony is the newly created Jefferson Gardenthat replicates the seasonal plantings at Monticello, just as they were in Thomas Jefferson’s Day.
Receptions can be outdoors or in the hotel’s stunning ballroom. Brides enter the ballroom from the beautifully appointed Bride’s Room that leads to the ballroom’s staircase. Private dining rooms can accommodate up to 40 guests for cocktails or dinner.
Few wedding destinations are more accessible. The Wyndham Virginia Crossings is within a half day’s drive of half of the US population and easily reached via Interstates 295, 95 and 64. RichmondInternational Airport is served by a variety of carriers including, Air-Tran, American, Delta, Jet Blue, United and US Airways.
The Wyndham Virginia Crossings can accommodate every aspect of the actual wedding – rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and Sunday Brunch, says TeriLynne Petersen. “One-stop shopping is a tremendous advantage in planning any wedding, but it’s really important in pulling together a destination wedding.”
The Wyndham Virginia Crossings’ services can go well beyond that, Staff can arrange of an array of activities, on site and off, including cycling, hot air balloon rides, winery tours, and golf at the adjacent Crossings Golf Club. Day trips to Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens are an easy drive.
Guests can opt to stay and enjoy the hotel and the area’s attractions. And, there are other options, according to Paul Brown, Director of Sales and Marketing. “A growing trend is to add a family reunion at the end of wedding so that guests can spend more relaxing time getting re-acquainted.”
Kids are free to play on the beautiful grounds, swim in the pool and play electronic games in the Tavern Restaurant, and Kings Dominion, Virginia’s most spectacular amusement park, is just 20 minutes away. Baby sitters are available.
source: Glen Allen, Press Release, Oct 2012
Turnburry Isle Miami – South Florida
Since hosting its first gala event nearly a half-century ago, Turnberry Isle Miami remains the standard bearer for fabulous weddings and special events in South Florida. Whether it’s treating the bridesmaids to a morning at the Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Spa, arranging a golf outing for the groomsmen, the resort delivers a level of personalized service and passionate attention to detail worthy of the most discerning brides and grooms.
o Customized ‘I Dos’
From a majestic ballroom gala, a sunset wedding ceremony on the beach, or overlooking the golf course’s signature 18th hole island green and waterfall, Turnberry Isle Miami offers a number of venue options that can accommodate up to 650 guests.
o The Spirit of the Banyan Tree
Turnberry Isle Miami has been built and expanded around a 100-year-old Banyan tree. Considered sacred and a symbol of eternal life, couples are invited to get married or renew their vows under the banyan tree at the resort’s enchanting Cascata Pool.
o World-Class Resort Facilities
Guests discover the essence of elegance and indulgence with 408 spacious guest rooms and suites, two 18-hole Raymond Floyd-redesigned championship golf courses, a private Beach Club, Forbes ranked four-star Spa & Fitness Center, state-of-the-art tennis facilities, three pools including a lagoon-style pool, private cabanas and poolside dining and an array of recreational activities.
o The Perfect Location
Turnberry Isle Miami provides a ‘best of both worlds’ lifestyle. Secluded on 300 acres, the property features a soothing, tropical resort atmosphere and is also a convenient walk across the street from the Aventura Mall. Ideally situated in the heart of Aventura, Florida, Turnberry Isle Miami is near a number of iconic sights, including South Beach, Miami Beach, the Miami Seaquarium, the Aventura Marina, Everglades National Park and is also situated 12 miles south of Fort Lauderdale International Airport and 18 miles north of Miami International Airport.
o Exceptional Dining & Culinary Experiences
Turnberry Isle Miami affords guests with an opportunity to satisfy any taste and occasion including renowned Chef Michael Mina’s BOURBON Steak restaurant offering a contemporary American steakhouse experience. For approachable American cuisine, Cascata Grille fuses the freshest ingredients from the onsite chef’s garden, while casual al fresco dining can be enjoyed poolside at Laguna grill.
source: Samantha Stier, Evins
Grand Velas, Riviera Maya – velasweddings.com
Grand Velas Riviera Maya now offers a Mayan Wedding ceremony for couples interested in authentic wedding experiences on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast. The Mayan culture-infused wedding ceremony features sacred blessings from a Shaman, an ocean ritual, a Mayan song and instrument ceremony, and more. Guests have the chance to experience Riviera Maya’s oldest spiritual way of life with an intimate and unique ceremony on the beach or amongst the resort’s jungle setting.
A highlight of the Mayan ceremony is the Shaman’s blessing and union of the couple’s Tzolkins, the Mayan version of a horoscope calculated using each person’s name and date of birth to determine their individual potential and true vocation. Another memorable part of the ceremony, the Shaman honors the Mother Earth through the 7 directions (upward – cosmic energy, downward – mother earth, to the four winds and in the center – the heart, temple of love). He invokes the energies to come down and unify the couple, and then asks the force of the ocean to wash away all negative energies the couple does not need. A sacred blessing follows, as well as a ceremony to join the couple’s hearts accompanied by Mayan song and native instruments.
Mayan Wedding Ceremonies at Grand Velas Riviera Maya start at $450 USD, for two people. Rate does not include hotel stay. Reservations must be made by March 31, 2013 and events may be held up to July 30, 2014.
source: Megan Sterrit, KWE Partners
Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, NM - girlfriend getaway
Women all over can rejoice because the fabulous downtown Albuquerque, boutique Hotel Andaluz, a LEED Gold certified hotel and a leader in the eco-friendly hotels market, is now offering a totally fabulous and indulgent Girlfriend Getaway Package. Whether it is a bachelorette party or a mom’s getaway, accommodations at the upscale Hotel Andaluz and a day trip to Santa Fe make for the perfect weekend away!
Starting at just $199 for double occupancy, the Hotel Andaluz Girlfriend Getaway Package will include:
- Deluxe accommodations
- A 15 minute chair massage + an optional upgrade for a full massage.
- A private casbah for happy hour, including one free cocktail per person (High-resolution casbah images available)
- 20 percent off dinner at one of Albuquerque’s finest restaurants, Hotel Andaluz’s Lucia
- Breakfast in Lucia
- Roundtrip RailRunner passes to Santa Fe
- Overnight valet parking
If you aren’t familiar with Hotel Andaluz, here is some background info:
- The fourth hotel ever built by Conrad Hilton, Hotel Andaluz was returned to its former glory in 2008 by current owner and local resident Gary Goodman.
- AAA Four Diamond & Historic LEED Gold Certified – this is particularly interesting because it wasn’t built from the ground up as LEED Gold, meaning there were unique and interesting constraints that went into the process of preserving the history while becoming LEED Gold certified.
- With 107 rooms and suites with a variety of meetings, Hotel Andaluz is the only boutique hotel in the City Center and a popular home base for exploring New Mexico.Bonus: Hotel Andaluz would be a gorgeous destination wedding venue, too!source: Holly Lucas, Reed Public Relations
The “Real Hawaiian Wedding” package consists of a true born in Hawaii Hawaiian minister that will do a chant and blow the conch shell. The rest of the package can be altered but usually has a Tahitian drummer begin a procession that has torch bearers leading in the bridal party.
The Hawaiian Style Weddings package will also have a guitarist or even more traditional a ukulele player and hula dancers. It is a true celebration of marriage taken to new heights. Jana Rothenberg of Hawaiian Style Weddings says, “You and just about anybody else within sight distance can hear the sound of the Tahitian drum. It really creates an atmosphere of celebration and since you are in Hawaii do as the locals do when they want something special. The entertainment provided in very much like one would get at a luau.”
The added cost for this extravagant show is only $800. They can keep the cost so low because the Hawaiian’s providing the entertainment are excellent multi-taskers. Often the ukulele player and the hula dancer are also torch bearers. The minister might be the musician or even the drummer.
Hawaiian Style Weddings does weddings on all the major Hawaiian Islands including Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. The “Real Hawaiian Wedding” package is available on all of them but one must check ahead for availability as these performers also work at the major public luaus.
Their entertainment can also be had for wedding receptions. Hawaiian Style Weddings also has caterers that can make luau style food to truly re-create a private luau experience.
These wedding and reception packages are available on the Islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. One can simply start with any of their wedding packages and add this on as an option.
source: Jana Rothenburg, Press Release, Oct 2012
Planning a winter vacation or honeymoon? Check out Travelope (travelope.com)
In an effort to help your readers select a winter vacation with the click of a button, Travelope.com has been launched. Travelope.com is the only online website aggregator that brings you readers all of the hottest and most up-to-date travel information from around the web. With an easy-to-use interface, the site provides instant access to airline, hotel, and car rental services. Organized by hotel, airfare, vacations, cruises, or rental cars, the site makes browsing the internet for the best deals very easy. More than 4,000 trips are available at any given time and are updated automatically.
Travelope.com also offers the Week’s Best in Travel tool to sign up for email alerts. This tool helps you stay on top of the latest travel deals as well as features our editor’s top travel packages and vacation destinations of the week (see this week’s best travel deals below).
The Week’s Best in Travel Deals
source: Kristen Marquet, Marquet Media LLC
And of course, don’t forget to pack in style: George, Gina & Lucy
source: George Gina & Lucy
That’s it, friends! Planning a destination wedding? Tell us about it!