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Destination I Do
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Venues Based on Your Personality

Words by Courtney Kellar

When choosing the location for your destination wedding, a lot of factors can come into play. What are the travel logistics like? Is it within your budget? Is it a place your guests would enjoy traveling to? Much like deciding on the destination of your wedding away, choosing your venue brings about a myriad of questions. There are all the straightforward issues like whether the venue can accommodate the size of your wedding or if it’s available on your chosen date, but there are also some emotional factors. 

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Above all else, your destination wedding venue should suit your and your betrothed’s style and personality. Picking a beautiful, appropriate setting for your ceremony and reception can do a lot of the stylistic work for you. So, be sure to factor in your emotional wants, not just the technical details, when deciding on a venue. Below are some examples of venues based on a couple’s personality.

The Nontraditional Duo

Boasting spectacular views of Midtown Manhattan through floor-to-ceiling windows, nontraditional couples looking to host a wedding in the heart of the city should consider Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House New York. Opening at 5:00pm on weekends, couples can book the empty restaurant before doors open to the public, holding a ceremony in the heart of the restaurant before moving to one of five private dining spaces for a reception.

The Lovers of Luxury

Reminiscent of a Mediterranean-style villa, five-star Acqualina Resort & Spa is a seaside haven for couples looking to get married in the lap of luxury on Sunny Isles Beach. The resort boasts a Wedding Dream Team, a hand-selected task force of A-list event aficionados commissioned to apply their flawless taste and design-sense. Exclusive to the resort, these offerings present the most discerning couples with a tranquil wedding-planning journey. 

Tried & True New Yorkers

For a venue unlike anything in Manhattan, the Waldorf Astoria New York, one of NYC’s most iconic wedding destinations, offers a 20th floor rooftop garden and beehive sanctuary complete with jaw-dropping views of Park Avenue. Couples can wed with a backdrop of the legendary Chrysler building surrounded by nine raised planting beds of lush flora and greenery.

The Eco-Conscious Nature Lovers

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, in Riviera Maya, Mexico, offers a Mayan Ceremony in the center of a lush jungle that incorporates rich Mayan traditions and music combined with the spirit of giving back. The service is performed on the deck of the Cenote Cristalino and couples are encouraged to plant a tree to honor their special day, then take a dive into the crisp, clear waters after taking the proverbial plunge.

The Hopeless Romantics

A magical outdoor setting for a fairytale wedding, Signature Island at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is surrounded by a natural flowing creek and picturesque views of the hotel’s championship golf course. Couples even can touch down via helicopter, exchange vows during the Florida sunset and share their first dance to a backdrop of celebratory fireworks.

The Entrepreneurs

Originally built by E.B. Morgan, an original investor in the New York Times as well as Henry Wells, founder of American Express and Wells Fargo, the Inns of Aurora is the ideal venue for couples brimming with entrepreneurial spirit. A lakeside ceremony on historic grounds is followed by a reception beginning at sunset and lasting well into the night. Newlyweds can then retire in one of the property’s four distinct Inns with a one-of-a-kind room to enjoy the first night together.

The Southern Belles

The elegant and charming Windsor Court Hotel offers couples customizable options to create an authentic New Orleans style Southern wedding complete with a Second Line parade, and classic foods such as mini po-boys, crawfish bisque and bananas foster. Located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, the property serves up stunning views of the skyline overlooking the Mississippi River.

The Caffeine Addicts

Set on a 30-acre coffee plantation, caffeine-loving couples can say “I do” at Costa Rica Marriott San Jose surrounded by fields of Coffee Arabica trees. For a reception with a boost, wedding guests can learn how to create latte designs with the on-site Coffee Curator or partake in the Café Chorreado experience to make coffee via the traditional Costa Rican drip process.

The Thrill-Seeking Desert Adventurers 

Adventurous couples looking to tie the knot can do so at the iconic Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa nestled amongst the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Couples can kick up the intensity pre-, during and post-nuptials by scheduling a group bridal party run along the desert trails with the help of the on-site running concierge, get married while on horseback, or incorporate a kick of Southwest flavor into the catering.

The Meditative Yogis

An escape catered to yogis, W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island is located eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico among the largest natural wildlife refuge in the Caribbean. Yogi couples can tie the knot while flowing through sun salutations overlooking the ocean on the palm-lined cliff, Paradise Edge, where palm trees sway on all sides. For a complete rejuvenation, wedding parties can partake in the property’s three or five day ENERGIZE by Tara Stiles yoga retreat.

The Natural Nipponophiles

Couples with a love of Japanese culture flock to the Kitano New York’s Tatami Suite, a small wedding space featuring sand-textured walls, traditional Tatami mats and delicately painted shoji screens. After saying “I do,” couples can step into the Japanese Tea Ceremony room to share an intimate, uniquely cultural experience featuring traditional thin tea (usucha) and a light meal (tenshin).

The Trendy Cosmopolitans

For couples wanting to tie the knot in the heart of South Beach, W South Beach is the ideal cosmopolitan, oceanfront oasis. With intimate poolside cabanas at WET (the massive pool on property), each fitting 15 people, the property offers a unique scene for an exclusive dinner reception or small ceremony. Brimming with a high-end art collection, nightlife hot spots, dining favorites, basketball and tennis courts and a spa, W South Beach provides a contemporary playground all at a wedding party's disposal.

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House New YorkAcqualina Resort & Spa, Waldorf Astoria New York, Inns of Aurora, Windsor Court Hotel, Costa Rica Marriott San Jose, Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Kitano New York & W South Beach

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