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DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
photo by DestinationWeddings.com
Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com
Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.
Hidden Gem no. 1: Petit St. Vincent
When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent? This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.
Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma
Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.
Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua
Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort. The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort!
Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla
The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered. Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities.
Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua
If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see! This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.
Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.0
Sandals reveals the latest in planning a custom destination wedding (expert advice)
Photo by Sandals Resorts
By Project Wedding for our sponsor, Sandals Resorts
Naturally, you're probably intent on bringing to life the most creative, personalized ideas you can find for your wedding day. And why not?! According to Liene Stevens of Splendid Insights, a wedding market research firm, “Millennials see custom as a need and not a luxury; they want custom everything: a custom life, a custom career and a custom wedding.”
Yes, indeed, we think that sounds about right. The same goes for destination weddings. No need to settle for a cookie cutter wedding, just because you're planning from afar!
No matter where they marry, we hear all about couples wanting an experience filled with personalized details that reflect their style. Today’s trend is moving toward a totally customized wedding package-- a destination wedding experience that’s distinctly, uniquely yours.
To help reach brides where they live today – online – Sandals Resorts has created an exclusive online Destination Wedding Designer. This interactive tool allows you to personally style and execute your dream wedding at any one of Sandals’ fourteen luxurious Caribbean resorts.
After selecting a color palette, you can easily browse almost 1,000 wedding ideas for flowers, décor, wedding cakes, entertainment, and more. Traditional or tropical? Modern or romantic? Every design style has been included, so you're sure to find what you're looking for, down to the last detail.
Sound utterly perfect? Head on over to try it out!0
By: Sarah Zlotnick
We've definitely got rustic weddings on the brain here at Project Wedding! We styled a dreamy Joanna August chiffon wrap dress with a floral hair comb and sweet dusty rose flats. Simple glimmers of deep brass jewelry and one truly adorable clutch to round out the look.
Credits: Joanna August 'Amanda' gown ($895) • Indulgems pink amethyst gold branch earrings ($88) • Vanessa Mooney 'With a Tiny Tender Kiss' Necklace ($30) • ASOS floral beaded clutch ($66.50) • Seychelles peep toe flat ($89.99) • BHLDN Silvestre comb ($180)0
By Project Wedding staff for our sponsor, Blue Nile
One of the wonderful things about choosing your wedding bands: there are no set rules! (expert advice)
One of the wonderful things about choosing your wedding bands: there are no set rules! You can be as creative as you like and it's all about what speaks (or shines) to you!
Remember that this ring is forever -- so choose a style that you could envision wearing 20 years from now. That said, here are some stylish and popular options of bands that will look fantastic with your brand new engagement ring!
When it comes to wedding bands, you can never go wrong with the traditional, smooth-lined band. This classic style looks amazing and fits snugly with nearly any style of engagement ring, including solitaire, three-stone or five stone engagement rings. You will love this band for years to come!
This pave-set diamond band is another heartwarming option, which looks stunning when accompanying a pave diamond engagement band of the same size. There are all different shapes and sizes of pave diamond bands to match your unique engagement ring. There is always the option to add some sparkle to a plain engagement ring setting as well!
It's the blingin' band that really makes a statement! Brides love this eye-catching diamond eternity ring, with its sculpted-edge band. It looks gorgeous when paired with a plain engagement band, and could clash a bit with certain pave-style engagement rings so make sure you try it on first to see the set together.
Brides, including actress Zooey Deschanel, are opting to bring a burst of color to their ring fingers with this channel set, sapphire and diamond ring. It's a great compliment to either a channel-set or plain band engagement ring.
Similar to the pave-setting, the diamonds are placed differently into thischannel-set diamond wedding band. It has a very polished appearance and looks best when paired with a channel-set engagement ring. It also works beautifully with a plain band as well.
If you want to go "custom," this prong-set diamond curved wedding ring is made specifically to align with your engagement diamond. It looks amazing when paired with a plain banded engagement ring.
The whimsical, starlight diamond eternity ring is creative, playful and adds personality to a traditional engagement ring.
We are in love with these radiant rubies in this channel-setting ring!
This trio micropave diamond band, with three rows of diamonds, is to die for! We love that you could wear this without the engagement ring and it is simply stunning.
Images courtesy: Blue Nile1
Photo by SH Photography
It’s your wedding – so it’s essential that you’re surrounded by people you love. So while you’re working on your guest list, you may encounter some people about whom you might ask “Do I have to invite them?” Here’s a primer on what to do about those on-the-fence folks.
Co-Workers This one is your call. If you work in a small office where you socialize with your co-workers outside of work, then by all means, invite them. However, if you aren’t personal friends with your colleagues, then you aren’t obligated to invite them. If you go this route, keep the wedding talk at work to a minimum to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.
Parents’ Friends You Don’t Know Your mom really wants to invite her new friend from her yoga class – now what? If you’re paying for the wedding, you can quickly nix it, but if your parents are paying for everything, it’s a bit trickier. You can sit down with your mom and calmly express that you really want to be surrounded by people you actually know and love at your wedding, but if she insists, there isn’t too much you can do.
Your (or Your Fiance’s) Ex Even if you and your exes are still good friends, you should probably skip inviting them to your wedding. Your future-intended may claim that he/she is cool with inviting an ex, but it may start drama later on.
Your Friend’s New Boyfriend The “Should I invite plus-ones” debate is one that will probably keep you up at night. The bottom line is, you don’t have to invite plus-ones, but once you make a decision you must stick to it – no exceptions! Read more about inviting plus-ones here.
Kids This is similar to the plus-ones debate – if you decide against having kids at the wedding, you need to be consistent. The one loophole would be to only invite the children in your wedding party, but no others. For more advice on inviting children to your wedding, click here!2
Photos By: Mary SwensonThese jars of herbed salt are so easy to make and will rival anything you'll find in a pricey gourmet food shop - plus the adorable jars can be used long after the tasty salt is gone! Small glass canning jars - like these 4.5 ounce jars made by Weck - are the perfect size and shape for these favors, and are easy to buy in bulk just about anywhere. If you can't find Weck jars, any small glass jar will do; just make sure that it has a lid that will create an air-tight seal. The ingredients are simple: just use your favorite combination of fresh herbs (we chose garlic, rosemary, and sage). Of course you'll need coarse kosher salt. 1. Strip the herbs from their stems, and discard the stems. 2. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic cloves. Add the herbs and garlic to a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the salt and pulse a few times until the mixture is fully combined. 3. Put the contents into a bowl and let it sit uncovered for a few days in a cool, dry spot. Give the salt a good mix every day or so to break apart any chunks that appear. 4. When the salt is ready, fill the jars with the salt and cover with the lids. A 3-pound box of salt will fill about a dozen 4.5 ounce jars, so adjust the recipe for the number of favors you'll need. 5. The finishing touch? Labels! For ours, we cut pieces of paper so that they covered the top of the lid and came down along the side of the jar. Personalize your label as you wish and simply glue them onto the jars. This super tasty salt can be used as a rub, as a finishing salt, or in place of any seasoning. As long as the lid is kept on tight, it can be stored indefinitely and will be a tasty reminder of your wedding day! Photos By: Mary Swenson7
By: Mary SwensonThat of-the-moment (yet utterly classic) blue and white striped shirt seen just about everywhere these days inspired this fresh, stylish table setting. Here's how we did it! Linens Customizing individual linens for each place setting is made easy by using inexpensive white cotton napkins and multi-surface acrylic craft paint. Simply iron each napkin flat, and paint thin stripes along the bottom. Centerpiece Liven up your centerpiece container by adding a striped detail along the bottom. First, we spray-painted a clear glass vase with white spray paint and let it dry completely. Then, after marking off stripe-painting guides using low-tack adhesive tape, we painted stripes around the base of the container. Floral Simplicity A single, oversized red dahlia adds just the right amount of color and drama to this centerpiece while keeping it simple and unfussy. Menus Carry the stripey theme over to all aspects of your event! To create this menu card, we used blue cardstock, a white gel pen, and white paint. Contrast + Color The blue menu card is a striking contrast atop the sea of white. Place one card at each table setting, or put one or two at each table. Place Cards Make matching place cards by using white card stock and painting stripes along one edge with blue paint. Use a similarly-colored blue pen to print names on each card. Coordinated Paper Goods Coordinating menu and place cards are a lovely and sophisticated detail. Stripes, Stripes, Stripes! Using the same number of stripes and a common color scheme for each piece on your table creates a unified, crisp look that's perfect for a bridal shower or wedding day! (photos by Mary Swenson)2
Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
If you've always dreamt of carrying a bouquet of old fashioned garden roses down the aisle, but your budget doesn't quite match up to the dream, try this version!
Directions:First, pick off the brown petals from the blossoms. We used spray roses, one of the most inexpensive roses on the market, to create this bouquet. "Edit" each stem. Spray roses have several blossoms on each stem. Clip 1-2 off each stem to leave the prettiest blossoms and the stems that are around the same level on the stem. Also, remove the leaves from these stems. Take a few of the stems with nice leaves and clip off all the blossoms. Wash the leaves. Leave 1-2 branches of leaves on the stem. Make sure none of the leaves are too low on the stem or it will interfere with the "handle" of your bouquet. Be sure to choose leaves that are hydrated and feel firm. Spray roses consist of 3-5 smaller blossoms on each stem, and have a more casual feel then your normal florists' roses. They are readily available at markets and florists all year. Gather a few stems in one hand at a 45 degree angle. Each time you add a stem, turn your bouquet. Don't be afraid to place some blossoms higher than others. This gives your bouquet depth and interest. Be sure to add leaves in as you go. These frame the blossoms and give the bouquet a natural feel. Tie with twine, cover in florist tape (to protect the ribbon) and tie up with a ribbon. By deconstructing the spray roses, you can create a bouquet that looks very natural. Your guests will never guess that your flowers came from the local grocery! The total cost of this bouquet: $12 + ribbon! Enjoy your beautiful, garden bouquet!1