Brought to you by the editors of Destination I Do Magazine, we hope you find this blog to be a helpful tool in creating the spectacular destination wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway you've been dreaming of. Below you'll find inspiring real-life destination weddings, travel deals, recommended beauty and travel products and much more! For even more exciting ideas and planning tools, visit DestinationIDo.com.
Friday, December 13, 2019
Photos courtesy of Anna Kim Photography It's Friday, and that means it's time for another real wedding couple to share their advice with us! Today's couple is Christina and James, and like many couples, they choose their destination by honoring life-long dreams.
Destination: Check! Now for the hard part: navigating the planning process. Lucky for Christina and James, they hired a stellar wedding planner with Sugar Beach Events, Kristen Sterback, who took care of the challenging bits of planning. "The vendors we had were awesome and everyone communicated well," the couple says. In addition, the bride strategically planned a trip to Maui about six months before the wedding to do a tasting and meet with the florist.
With nerves at ease, the couple could focus on the details of their island ceremony. For example, the two wanted to celebrate their grandparents who weren't able to attend the wedding, so Christina got crafting. "We had a display with pictures of all of our grandparents as well as our parents on their wedding days. I bought pineapples and propped the printed pictures on them."
Another sweet detail was their very own signature cocktail, which they named "Kona Kooler" after their dear pup who couldn't be there. They even made stir sticks with pup Kona's picture on them to garnish the cocktails.
Although a few souls near and dear to their hearts couldn't make the wedding, Christina and James still say having a hometown wedding just wouldn't have been 'them.' "We wouldn't have had the fun, tropical vibe that we loved," the couple says. In addition, the pair enjoyed precious time with those close to them for multiple days on the beautiful island. This allowed enough time for a few pre-wedding events to set the relaxed, vacay mood. "People were on vacation mode, so I would like to think they enjoyed the wedding more than had it been at home," the two say.
Final words of wisdom from Christina and James are simple but so very important. We at DID can't stress what they have to say enough!
"Stay organized, have fun and definitely get good photographer and videographer," the couple says. After all, you'll want to relive all of the details over and over with the gorgeous photos and videos - especially if you say "I do" on the serene island of Maui, Hawaii.
Photographer: Anna Kim Photography; Wedding Planner: Kristen Sterback; Ceremony/Reception Site: Sugar Beach Events; Florist: Bella Bloom; Stationery: Paper Bloom Studio; Hair & Makeup: Meili Autumn Beauty; Gown Designer: Anna Campbell
Thursday, December 12, 2019
South of Venice along the Adriatic coast, the region of Le Marche (pronounced "lay Markay") is known for its rolling hills, charming countryside, seaside towns and villages. It is one of the country’s best-kept secrets where you can experience authentic Italy while avoiding throngs of tourists.
The best way to discover the region and its many hidden treasures is by car, guided by your GPS. On our journey through this amazing region, our first stop was Villa Olivo, newly constructed and outfitted with all you need for 12 guests. Perfect to host a destination wedding, it comes complete with a spa, fitness room, gourmet kitchen, indoor and outdoor living and eating spaces, pool and a spectacular view of the Adriatic Sea. An additional house on the property provides space for additional family members or bridal parties, and there are numerous charming locations for the rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch. Ceremonies and receptions are generally set up in a tented area on the property with views of the sea, twinkle lights and hanging vines adding to the ambiance. The property concierge, Francesca Romagnoli is at your service from the moment you arrive and throughout your stay to see to all the details, including a personal chef to prepare your meals, if desired.
Another gem we found along our journey was Casa Sant’ Elia, a uber charming villa lovingly restored by Jerry and Irene’ Avis. Casa Sant’ Elia would be ideal for a more intimate, authentic Italian experience in a home-like setting with a very personal touch. The villa can accommodate eight to ten guests with another six in an adjacent home. Nestled among the surrounding vineyards, the views from the villa are amazing providing the perfect backdrop for a destination wedding for up to 120 guests. Jerry and Irene’ and their daughter Chloe see to every detail to make you feel at home so that you can relax, enjoy your wedding and create lasting memories.
Boutique Hotel Leone, in the picturesque hilltop village of Montelparo, is another jewel. Co-owners, Tim and Madeline Jones purchased this 15th-century palazzo and carefully restored it to its former glory. The eight cozy rooms are each artfully decorated with amazing views of the distant vistas. Events can be held in an elegant drawing room, on one of three spacious terraces or in their charming brick restaurant. Not only was the service outstanding, but the food prepared by Tim was Michelin quality.
Stretching for around 100 miles along the Adriatic coast, Le Marche is a place where you can experience authentic Italy with mountaintop villages where time seems to have stood still, a stunning coastline with beautiful beaches, art and culture, vineyards and olive groves. It has been described as Tuscany as it was 20 years ago, both gorgeous and affordable. It truly is undiscovered Italy.
Images courtesy of (in order of appearance): Villa Olivo (2nd, 3rd & 4th); Boutique Hotel Leone (1st & 7th); Carolyn Steere (5th, 6th & 8th)
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