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Friday, August 7, 2020
Photos courtesy of Iris van Nes Photography
When Nicole and Jason are far away from the daily grind of life is when they feel their best. But, there is one vacation spot in the world that tops all of the others for them, and that is the Dominican Republic.
The Caribbean country is such a special location to the couple because not only is Jason's family from there, but he also grew up attending summer camp at Casa de Campo, a beautiful resort property. Naturally, when he and Nicole began dating, it became their favorite place to get away from stressors of everyday life.
“Once Jason took me here, I fell in love with how unique and private the resort was and could not wait to share that with all our closest family and friends,” the bride says.
With their venue chosen, connecting with a professional planner became a priority. Luckily, the couple found Claire Duran Weddings & Events, who offered everything the couple needed to pull off planning a destination wedding in a different country.
“Thankfully, our wedding planner handled everything for us, and even if there were issues, she had a gracious way about working things out for us,” the couple says.
Being from the Dominican Republic, their planner, Claire, had connections all over the country. She suggested vendors she knew of that would best fit Nicole and Jason’s vision and budget. Additionally, Claire and her team of planners created a wedding website that included information for guests about ground transportation and how to book rooms or villas at Casa de Campo.
“Most of the guests stayed together at private villas that they booked through Airbnb, while the rest booked through the resort with a room block they offered us,” Nicole says.
On the day of the wedding, the couple enjoyed every moment of their Caribbean wedding, trusting that if anything went array, it would be handled by their stellar team of vendors.
“Keep in mind, some things are out of your control, but trust your team to make your day perfect, and trust me they will. Use your social media platforms to research your vendors. Look at pictures. Make it your own and that’s what will make it so special,” the bride advises.
Tailored perfectly for them, Nicole and Jason’s special day in the Domican Republic couldn't have been more dreamy.
Vendors: Photographer: Iris van Nes; Wedding Planner: Claire Duran Weddings & Events; Ceremony Site: Minitas Beach at Casa de Campo; Reception Site: Villa Nerissa at Casa de Campo; Florist: Floristeria Carmona Décor; Stationery: August & White Designs; Hair: Anna Nuet; Makeup: A Brush of Beauty; Gown Designer: Bowie by Emmy Mae; Gown Store: Everthine Bridal; Groomsmen and Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse; Men’s Hats: DelMonico Hatter; Jeweler: Onyx II Fine Jewelers
Thursday, August 6, 2020
With COVID-19, many couples are looking to host a destination wedding state-side with fewer guests than they otherwise would’ve had. Among the many picturesque places to say "I do" in the US is Aspen, Colorado, a mountain town that is known for its posh hotels, storied past and endless opportunity for adventure. It’s the perfect place to go if you envision having a blast with a small group of your favorite people. We gathered information from three of Aspen’s stellar hotel properties who specialize in small, intimate weddings.
First up is Aspen Meadows Resort. Located on 40 acres and surrounded by the beautiful Colorado Rockies, the property offers a variety of award-winning cuisine, spacious guest rooms and unique, artful event spaces.
“We know many couples still want to get married but in a scaled-back way, so we’re opening up our venues to them to create an intimate and special experience in one of the most picturesque places in America – Aspen,” says Rachel Butler, catering and conference sales manager.
The resort’s typical $2,000 and up ceremony site rental fees are being replaced with a simple rate of $250 (including chairs/set up), and a private venue for the reception, which usually is $1,000 and up, is free.
For couples hoping to extend their nuptials digitally, Aspen Meadows is offering a live stream option from Colorado Audio Visual that can be hosted through the couple’s choice of platforms including but not limited to YouTube, Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and Skype. Couples will not only have the ability to have the ceremony broadcast live to their family and friends, but they will have a permanent recording of their ceremony as well.
Interested couples should call 970-379-0145 for more details.
Next up is The Gant. Sitting on five acres at the base of Aspen Mountain, The Gant is offers comfort in the form of upscale condominiums that feel like staying in luxury mountain cabins. The amenities abound, but perhaps the most appealing for group travel is the on-demand Gant Van service for group transportation to and from the airport and into town.
The Gant offers an idyllic 1,500-sq. ft. rooftop terrace with surrounding mountain views— a perfect locale for couples seeking an intimate wedding. The Gants’ Wee Wedding experiences offers two different packages:
The first is the Traditional Elopement package which includes a ceremony set-up (decorations not included) on the Ute Rooftop Terrace, a complimentary bottle of champagne and a meat and cheese tray for four. Price starts at $2,500 for site rental.
Their Intimate Ceremony packages includes a ceremony set-up (decorations not included) on the Ute Rooftop Terrace, a complimentary champagne toast, meat and cheese trays and a bartender for two hours. Price starts at $4,000 for site rental (max 20 people).
Additional benefits for couples are:
- 10% off flower arrangements with Mountain Flowers of Aspen
- 25% off photography packages with Robin Proctor Photography
- Special pricing on décor packages with Bear Aesthetics
To begin planning with the group sales associated, call 800-549-0530.
Lastly, you have The Little Nell, famous for its luxurious amenities, top cuisine and wine from all over the world and, most importantly, its homey feel that makes you want to snuggle up and tell stories at the end of an adventurous day.
Small wedding/elopement offerings with The Little Nell include:
- A guided fly-fishing adventure at T-Lazy-7 Ranch in the stocked ponds exclusively available to The Little Nell. That evening Little Nell chefs can prepare your wild caught trout at an intimately sized welcome dinner.
- A sunset Off-Road Tour to Buckhorn Cabin for a welcome dinner.
- An afternoon ceremony atop Aspen Mountain in the concert meadow (where yoga may be this summer led by Aspen Shakti - this may not yet be confirmed).
- A private dining experience at The Little Nell with custom wine pairing menu and a cellar tour/tasting with the wine director or a sommelier from the wine team.
- A cycling tour to Old Snowmass' Mad Dog Ranch along Snowmass Creek for a Little Nell-catered dinner in the evening or a farewell brunch.
Starting to picture your intimate wedding in the mountain town of Aspen? We are certainly excited for you as Colorado is a wonderful state for sharing experiences with loved ones that are simply unforgettably fun and overwhelmingly priceless.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Eliza Voss with Aspen Chamber (1st); Aspen Meadows Resort (2nd); The Gant (3rd); Brian Leahy Photography (4th)
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