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Destination I Do
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Three Cultural Wedding Packages

Words by Courtney Kellar

For most destination wedding couples, they’ve selected their chosen destination for a very specific reason. Whether it’s for the beautiful natural scenery or a sentimental connection, your wedding locale holds special meaning to you. Getting married away offers a unique opportunity to embrace the local culture and traditions and to incorporate them into your ceremony or event. We’ve discovered three beautiful hotels, which make this a cinch. Each of the following properties are set in a wedding-worthy locale and offer packages that incorporate local, cultural traditions. 

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JW Marriott El Convento Cusco  – Cusco, Peru

Andean Wedding

"Set in what was once a 16th century convent, the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco was built to honor Cusco's rich history and culture. Once the heart of the convent, the open-air courtyard, which houses its original columns and arches, is the perfect setting for colorful wedding ceremonies officiated by an Andean priest. A series of rituals, including carrying out offerings such as corn, flowers, buttons, crystals and candies to the APUS (Mountain Spirit) and Pacha Mama (Mother Earth), are held so that the union between the new husband and wife is eternally protected. Accompanied by bright colors, folk art and regional music, these intimate rituals are conducted in Quechua, the language of the Inca."

Andean Wedding Night Package

• Wedding Suite 

• 1 bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries in the room

• Buffet style breakfast for two in Quespi restaurant or room service

• 50% discount off a second massage

• Spa access 

• Photography session in the hotel

Rates per room start at $260/ night for the Classic Inca Suite and $405/ night for the Luxury Suite. Ceremony blessed by an Andean priest is extra for $281. 

Casa Palopo  – San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala

Traditional Mayan Wedding

"On the shore of Lake Atitlan sits a private home turned luxury boutique hotel that offers the lake and its magnificent volcanoes as a backdrop. Located in a destination built upon ancient Mayan culture and practices, Casa Palopo invites couples to tie the knot with a nuptial ceremony officiated by a Mayan Shaman. The experience is available for group weddings or elopements via the hotel's "Mayan Elopement" package, which also includes honeymoon stays in the hotel's Antigua and Lake Atitlan locations, a two-hour photography session, couples massage and other perks."

Mayan Elopement Package 

• Two nights Casa Palopó Villa Antigua in Antigua, with breakfast included

• Three nights at Casa Palopó, Lake Atitlán

• Wedding ceremony officiated by Mayan Shaman

• Two-hour photography session to capture the ceremony

• Three bottles of sparkling wine throughout stay

• Private, in-room couples massage

Package starts at $2,185 for five-night stay or $437 per night based on double occupancy, with taxes and tips included. Rates are per room, per night and based on availability at the time of reservations.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort – Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles

Arawak Joining Ceremony

"Couples can honor the native Caribbean culture of the Santa Barbara Plantation with this unique wedding ritual that has been passed down through generations. The ceremony begins with the officiant blessing a newly minted silver coin. The groom takes the coin and presents it to his bride, promising her: "I give you this as a token of all I possess." The coin symbolizes his willingness to share all that he has or will have in the future with his partner. As they join hands with the coin enclosed between their palms, the officiant wraps a robe around the couple, symbolizing their new unity, and gives them a sacred blessing. The coin is kept as a family keepsake, so that eventually the bride can pass it down to her oldest son on his wedding day."

Arawak Joining Ceremony - $75 for the ceremony 

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, Casa Palopo, & Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

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