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Win a Romantic Getaway Contest

Did you recently get engaged? We want to hear your swoon-worthy, tear-inducing proposal story! The winner will receive a romantic getaway for two to the gorgeous Majestic Mirage Punta Cana courtesy of Wedding Vacations by Sunwing.

About the Resort

Located on the sparkling white sand beaches of Punta Cana, the beautiful Majestic Mirage Punta Cana offers luxury amenities on breathtaking grounds. With 13 pools, 14 bars, 8 restaurants, and 24-hour room service, the stunning all-inclusive Majestic Mirage Punta Cana is truly a tropical paradise. All accommodations are provided in a luxury one bedroom suite with an outdoor Jacuzzi – perfect for a relaxing evening after a perfect day.

Here’s How to Enter

Step 1: Tell us here (in 500 words or less) how your sweetheart popped the question. What made it so special? Why do you deserve to win the romantic getaway?

Step 2: Submit!

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Real Weddings: Mandy & Drew

Congratulations to Mandy and Drew on winning our Destination Weddings Photo Contest from Volume 6 Issue 2.

Where it all Started

It’s a story of shy and pretty girl meets dashing and confident guy. Shortly after would blossom a love that turned into a lasting relationship and eventually wedded bliss. The couple met at the Edmonton Country Club where Mandy (now a photographer) had a summer job at the bar, and Drew (who works in marketing) was a regular golfer. Drew would visit Mandy at the bar and chat with her… he thought her shyness was sweet and cute, and eventually decided to ask her out!

At first Mandy was speechless that this charming and handsome man had asked her out, but she happily agreed to go on a date with Drew. Their first date was a casual outing to watch the Edmonton Oilers play at a local pub with some friends and from there on, they couldn’t keep their eyes off each other!

Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography

Planning the Wedding

Mandy and Drew’s first date turned into a second date and then many more dates for years to come. Mandy noted it was hard to tell when the idea of marriage first came up —although Drew attests it to the moment he started receiving the odd picture of rings she liked! Drew took her hints in stride and began to plan his romantic proposal.

Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography

Initially looking to plan a big, glamourous wedding, Mandy decided she wanted to have fun planning her wedding, with as little stress and possible! She decided a destination wedding would be simpler and more intimate , and Drew happily agreed that their dream wedding should be celebrated with their nearest and dearest in a tropical destination. It was actually Drew who picked Riu Palace Los Cabos in Mexico as their wedding destination, and with its great golf, beautiful weather and stunning beaches it suited both Drew and Mandy’s preferences perfectly. Mandy was also over the moon with how easy and breezy their Wedding Vacations by Sunwing wedding planner made things leading up to the big day, and how perfect their wedding turned out!

Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: Mandy’s Tiffany pearl earrings.

New: Shoes.

Borrowed: Veil.

Blue: A long blue silk ribbon tied to the bouquet.

Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography

Wedding Day Wear

Mandy’s gown: Truvelle.

Mandy’s shoes: Soludos.

Mandy’s accessories: Tiffany’s, Melanie Auld.

Drew’s attire: Simons.

The bridesmaids wore: Show Me Your Mumu.

The groomsmen wore: Simons.

Wedding bands: Blue Nile.

Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography

Small Details

Flowers: Through the resort.

Hair and makeup:  Chelsea McCurdy.

Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography.

Stationary and invitations: Minted.

First dance: I Choose You – Sarah Bareilles.

Welcome gifts: Sunbum Lipchaps, Starbucks instant coffee, Energy bars.

Bridesmaids Gifts: Pretty Plum Sugar / Melanie Auld Jewelry.

Tips for Brides and Grooms

  • Pop that champagne and enjoy it!

Want to be in the next issue or on our blog? Follow us on Facebook for details on how to enter our Photo Contest.

As the winners of the Destination Weddings Photo Contest, Mandy and Drew will be treated to a romantic getaway at Riu Cancun.

 

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On location with Keshia Chanté at Royalton Saint Lucia

From starring in her own music videos to her time as a cast-member on W Network’s Hockey Wives, Keshia Chanté is no stranger to being in the limelight. Earlier this year, she stepped in front of the camera for a very different reason: to model several gorgeous Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay gowns on the grounds of the breathtaking Royalton Saint Lucia for the latest edition of Wedding Vacations magazine. The dresses, styled by leading Canadian stylist and special contributing editor Jessica Mulroney, showcase some of the most popular bridal trends right now. Check out the gorgeous gowns modelled by Keshia and find some inspiration for your dream destination wedding!

Breezy Romantic

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

The dramatic backdrop extenuates the beauty of this stunning ivory sheath Tara Keely gown with beaded floral details, strapless sweetheart bodice, trendy low back, and chapel train. The dress offers two looks in one: you can keep things romantic with the tulle overskirt for the ceremony and wedding photos by the beach, then remove the skirt to showcase your figure at the reception (as pictured above).

Glam Diva Princess

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

If you’re looking for a glamorous spin on the traditional princess gown, look no further than this A-line Eve of Milady dress modelled by Keshia. The ivory and blush gown with beaded V-neckline, intricate sequin details, full lace skirt, and chapel train is sure to take your groom’s breath away. The delicate hand-beading on the bodice sparkles beautifully in the Caribbean sunshine and the romantic tulle overlay will help bring your glamorous Cinderella fantasies come to life!

Mermaid Couture

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

Brides aiming for a more dramatic look will adore Pnina Tornai’s new Love Collection, which features Pnina’s signature glamorous dresses at more affordable price points. Keshia modelled this stunning Pnina Tornai Love gown in a couture mermaid silhouette with romantic pleated tulle overlay and dramatic fashion-forward shoulder bow. Delicate silver jewelry from Maison Birks perfectly finishes off this look!

Vintage Elegance

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

This breathtaking Lazaro sheath gown has elegant vintage appeal reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties. With intricate crystal beading all over, plunging V-neckline with tulle panel, and alluring low back this sultry gown is the perfect choice for a Great Gatsby-inspired destination wedding. A sparkling bejewelled belt perfectly accentuates your shape and adds the finishing touch to this gown.

The Location

Sky Terrace at Royalton Saint Lucia

Royalton Saint Lucia provided the perfect destination for our bridal fashion shoot with Keshia. The Sky Terrace offered an elegant backdrop for the Glam Diva Princess gown with its modern stone archway and views of the resort’s private cove, while the spectacular design of the CX Culinary Experience dining room highlighted the drama of the Mermaid Couture gown. Royalton Saint Lucia’s breathtaking resort grounds could be the perfect setting for your own wedding photos. We found lots of options here too.

Hot off the press: Wedding Vacations by Sunwing magazine. Flip through the digital version of our latest issue today.

Dresses available at Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay.
Start planning your destination wedding today!
Contact a Destination Wedding Specialist at 1.800.739.8876 or by email for more info.

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Behind the Scenes of Liz Trinnear’s Cover Shoot

Behind the Scenes of Liz Trinnear’s Cover Shoot

Planning a wedding can feel like a huge undertaking for many brides, but etalk Canada’s Liz Trinnear is taking a more laid-back and fun approach to her wedding. Liz and her long-time boyfriend Nathaniel Motte are planning a destination wedding on a Colorado mountain top, which they hope will capture life-long memories for their friends, their families, and themselves.

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

Liz shared details of her laid-back destination wedding to long-time boyfriend Nathaniel Motte while on location for our cover shoot in Jamaica at the Riu Palace Jamaica. Liz revealed how Nathaniel unexpectedly proposed on the grounds of his family home in France, after a romantic and picture-perfect vacation abroad. The couple, whose families live in different parts of the world (Liz’s in Canada and Nathaniel’s in France), decided a destination wedding would be the perfect opportunity to create new memories with their loved ones in the places where they first fell in love.

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

The destination wedding process has been a relaxed and easy one for the couple, who have spent the occasional weekend in Colorado planning their upcoming nuptials. Much like the couple themselves, Liz and Nathaniel want their wedding to have a non-traditional and laid-back vibe. The bride even plans on wearing her sneakers during the reception! They chose an outdoor venue on Flagstaff Mountain to embrace the outdoor theme of their laid-back affair.

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt

After spending months planning their destination wedding, Liz and Nathaniel made sure to take advantage of their stay at the stunning Riu Palaca Jamaica and the connected Riu Reggae during the cover shoot. As they both have busy schedules, the couple loved being able to explore the island of Jamaica and enjoy a “pre-moon” before their big day. The Riu Palaca Jamaica was the perfect place for the couple to relax with its breathtaking ocean views, sparkling pools, gourmet cuisine, and incredible staff.

Now having planned her own destination wedding, Liz shared her biggest piece of advice for other brides planning a destination wedding: stay positive! Liz stressed the importance of not letting the pressure to be perfect overcome the beauty of the experience, and to embrace the imperfect and unexpected moments.

“It’s the moments that aren’t perfect that make the moments. And don’t be afraid to ask for help!” – Liz Trinnear

Hot off the press: Wedding Vacations by Sunwing magazine. Flip through the digital version of our latest issue today.

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Beautifully Boho Destination Wedding Tips

Tropical palms. Feet in the sand. Beautiful waves.

Even the basic elements of a destination wedding just have that boho feel.

Here at Wedding Vacations by Sunwing we believe that a destination wedding can be a blank canvas. Our destination wedding planners have created everything from ultra-glam to modern-chic weddings and in-between. But, we’re so excited the beauty and romance of boho is back for weddings in 2017.

Here are some of our tops tips for embracing this in every element of your big day.

The Fashion

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt.

 

Groomsmen looks from our real client’s Kathy and Chris’s destination wedding.

For her:

The great thing about boho for wedding dresses is you can still wear a bunch of different types of fabrics: silk, chiffon, satin, lace, and tulle are all options as long as you keep your silhouette on the simple side. Flowing trains and pretty back details can work well with this trend too, for a little celeb inspiration check out Troian Bellisario’s wedding style on Instagram. For bridesmaids, why not let them choose their own dresses in nature-inspired hues or opt for romantic sundresses with soft florals or crochet detailing.

For him:

Think natural fabrics like cotton and linen with a little bit of a mix-matched look. Rather than a blazer, try for a vintage-looking vest or thin leather suspenders. If you still have your heart set on a classic suit, go for a modern fit and try to add in bohemian touches like a boutonniere with feathers or a bowtie in a soft floral print. Tweak your groomsmen’s look to be similar but more casual than the groom so he’ll clearly stand out in photos.



The Hair

A bit of curl or wave will go a long way in helping you get a boho look with your tresses. Big braids or twists can help add a little detailing and help accessories like flower crowns or hair chains to stay in place. We love the look of delicate chain draped over loose curls or a florals woven into a big braid.

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt.

Photographer: Camilla Pucholt.

The Ceremony

How could you go wrong with the beach for a laid-back boho wedding? Many resorts also have garden areas that would work perfectly to achieve this feel as well. We asked our destination wedding expert, Meghan Jakubowski (sales Manager of Wedding Vacations by Sunwing) for her tips on creating this style of ceremony in destination with ease: “It’s all about incorporating details from nature! Try and use natural, earthy tones in your colour scheme with one or two accent colours. Simple bamboo or driftwood gazebos with white or neutral flowy fabric and loose garlands of greenery go with this theme perfectly. I also love the trend towards tent-style structures with natural fabrics, macramé and even feathers!”

From our client’s Sabrina and Peter, this bamboo arch with flowing fabrics is perfect for a bohemian ceremony. Resort: Riu Playa Blanca.

Want to see some of our favourite inspiration for boho weddings? Follow our Boho Beach Wedding board on Pinterest.

 

 

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Hitched on Holiday: Behind the Scenes with Flare

Planning on getting hitched on holiday? Great news – Wedding Vacations by Sunwing recently teamed up with Flare.com to provide photo inspiration, articles and wedding planning tips for destination wedding couples-to-be! Turn your wedding day into a wedding vacation by combining your romantic celebration with a holiday in paradise for newlyweds and guests alike.

The first step was selecting the perfect destination. What better location for our photo shoot, than the impeccable white sand beaches in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba? This unique location combines plentiful gardens with gorgeous scenery. We selected the stunning Grand Memories Cayo Santa Maria for its laid-back vibe and vintage-inspired architecture. The neighbouring resorts include the adults-only section, Sanctuary at Grand Memories Cayo Santa Maria, Memories Paraiso, Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, and last but definitely not least, the luxurious adults-only Royalton Cayo Santa Maria. All five resorts are situated along the same stretch of pristine beach, each offering incredible backdrops for romantic wedding photos.

 

To bring all of our ideas to life, we recruited our fashion expert and contributing editor, Jessica Mulroney. Using her expertise, Jessica selected her top wedding dress and suit picks to complement our bohemian theme, and collaborated on ideas for hair and makeup with our beauty expert, Rachel Renna, and hair guru, Ryan Dowell. Once we narrowed down our top choices, these beautiful dresses were tailored by the experts at Kleinfeld, and accessories were selected to match.

Photography: Camilla Pucholt Photography

In between fittings, Jessica had a chance to answer questions for Flare on wedding trends for 2017, her favourite celebrity destination wedding to date, and style tips on how to look picture-perfect in the tropical heat.

Photography: Camilla Pucholt Photography

We hope you enjoy all of the tips and inspiration we’ve put together in collaboration with Flare. As always, for more tips, real weddings, and fun articles on destination weddings keep visiting www.weddingvacations.com, follow us @weddingvacations, or contact a consultant

 

 

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Pretty Petals: Destination Wedding Floral Trends for 2017

While today might be commonly known as pancake day, February 28th is also National Floral Design Day. Here at Wedding Vacations by Sunwing we know how those pretty blooms can add to the overall look of the wedding day decor and style. With boho style back on the rise, we thought we’d bring in one of the pros, an avid traveller and professional florist Tellie Hunt of Hunt and Gather, to chat about upcoming trends for big day blossoms.

WV: Where do you think destination wedding flower trends are heading for 2017?

TH: I think flower trends in general are tending to focus more on your surroundings and compliment them. Therefore, for a destination wedding, I think it is important to think about the tropical foliage and flowers and bring the outdoors in creating a natural, complementary look.

WV: What are some of your favourite colours for tropical bouquets?

TH: I think when a lot of people think of tropical flowers, they think super bright and contrasting. It is so important to focus on creating more of an ombre effect and have each colour lead into one another.

Flowers by: Local florist in Cuba. Photo by: Camilla Pucholt Photography

WV: Which tropical flowers/plants hold up well in the heat? What are some tips for making sure bouquets will stay pretty in the temperatures of Cuba, Mexico, or Central America?

TH: Generally, most tropical flowers are extremely long lasting and hearty. If you are looking for more dainty, gardenesque blooms like anemone and hellebore, you may run into problems. I always recommend keeping your flowers in water as much as possible. It is always good to have a vase close by so that when you are done pictures or the ceremony, you can put it back in water.

Flowers by: Local florist in Cuba. Photo by: Camilla Pucholt Photography

WV: What style of floral décor would you suggest for a beach wedding? What about a sky terrace wedding?

TH: One important thing for a beach wedding is that you have to think of the elements like the wind. You will want something sturdy so that it is not precarious. I think for a beach I would go for a nice arch with flowey fabric and for a terrace I would play up on some big tropical leaves in clear glass vases, maybe even bring in some potted tropical plants.

WV: What type of boutonniere styles do you love for tropical locales?

TH: I think it is always so important to use something hearty for boutonnieres – especially in the heat. Small orchids or calla lilies can be great accented with little bits from the bouquets.

Flowers by: Local florist in Cuba. Photo by: Camilla Pucholt Photography

Thank you to Tellie for answering our questions and shedding the light on floral trends for 2017. Keep visiting us here at www.weddingvacations.com follow us @weddingvacations for more tips and trends, or contact a consultant

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Romantic Resorts: Royalton Saint Lucia

Resort Overview

Exciting news! Newly-engaged couples looking to bring their guests somewhere completely new for their destination wedding have a luxurious option as of February 2017: Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa. Saint (or St.) Lucia is known for romance, but this is one of the only new builds on this lush island and one of the only resorts with a modern look and feel.

The location looks just like a postcard— the resort sits in a private cove surrounded by rolling green hills on either side. Perfect for photos (or Instagram, or Snapchats. We don’t judge.) the resort’s delightful tropical decor and elegant design is around every corner. The entrance alone features a welcoming open concept with contemporary fountains and an incredible view of the ocean. Wedding party photo location? Check.

For when you start tackling your guest list, the resort has separate sections that might make your job a little easier. This is one of the only locations in Saint Lucia where couples can stay in an adults only area (Hideaway) while guests with kids can stay in the main section of the resort. A pirate-themed splash park will make sure the flower girl and ring bearer have as much fun on their wedding vacation as the adults.

Our Favourite Wedding Venues

Sky Terrace

While the idea of wedding crashers makes an excellent movie, in reality, those unwanted resort guests wandering in during the best man speech isn’t quite as entertaining. This is just one of the many perks of hosting your wedding at the Sky Terrace. Located above the Grazie Italian restaurant, this private terrace is designed with stunning architecture and a view that will allow your guests (and photographer, let’s be real) an uninterrupted view of the sunset.

This venue offers an exclusive feel and private bar so your guests can get the perfect cocktail without a long walk or lineup. New for Royalton Resorts, this sky terrace’s location allows for plated meals as opposed to buffet-style dinners. Embracing the latest trends, late night snack add-ons include items popular on Pinterest including gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and mini burgers.

Beautiful Beaches

Beaches and destination weddings go hand-in-hand, and with Royalton Saint Lucia’s beautiful setting this option is a no-brainer. Perfect for intimate or boho weddings, this venue option can be as laid back or glammed up as you like. Aisle runners, seat décor, and extra flowers can all be arranged (extra costs may apply some extras are included depending on your package) by your destination wedding planner.
 

The Inside Scoop:

  • There are multiple ceremony options available including symbolic, Hindu, Jewish and Catholic.
  • The on-site Royal Spa has a bridal suite for the bride and bridesmaid’s hair and makeup appointments the day of the wedding.
  • If you want to check out the resort before you make your final call, the bride and groom can get 3 nights back on the bridal suite if you book the wedding after your site visit.
  • Cx Culinary Experience is perfect activity for small groups and features multiple gourmet courses with wine and beverage pairings. We love this experience for a rehearsal dinner or special treat for the wedding party and parents. This is not included in the resort’s all-inclusive experience and requires an extra cost.
  • The bride and groom can book a private cabana the day after the wedding where they can order private breakfast and spend the day relaxing after the “I do”.

Your destination wedding planner can help you arrange any of the details above and provide you with package details for weddings at this resort. Call 1.800.739.8876 or email for more info.


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Real Wedding Photo Contest Winners: Ashley and David

Volume 6 Issue Congratulations to Ashley and David on winning our Destination Weddings Photo Contest from Volume 6 Issue 1.

Where it All Started

New Year’s is often a time of new resolutions and beginnings. For Ashley and David, it was the setting for their meeting and a budding relationship. Both quickly fell head-over-heels for one another, with David’s kind nature and Ashley’s fun-loving personality being some of their most favourite qualities of each other. It wasn’t long before David asked Ashley out, and they went out for a nice dinner followed by a romantic stroll along the lakeshore for their first date.

Both travel enthusiasts quickly realized they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together—Ashley not being able to think of a single day where David wasn’t kind and sweet to her, and David missing Ashley immensely whenever they were apart. So one evening when Ashley was working late, David expertly put together his proposal. Tired after a long day’s work, Ashley was surprised to come home and find rose petals and candles trailing upstairs to their living room, where David wrote, “Will you marry me?” with beautiful roses. Ecstatic, Ashley happily said yes and the newly-engaged couple celebrated with a delicious meal that David prepared—and champagne of course.

 

Planning the Wedding

 

As the both shared a love for travel, David and Ashley knew a destination wedding would be perfect for them. Plus, they thought it would also be great for their friends and family to share their love and joy, and have an unforgettable time together in a tropical destination. Previously, David had vacationed in Mexico and raved about the destination to Ashley and so they decided to get married on the stunning white sands of Royalton Riviera Cancun in Mexico.

Day Details

Every moment leading up to their special day was perfect. Many find wedding planning to be stressful as there are so many things to take into account, but Ashley and David enjoyed every minute of it since Royalton’s wedding planners and staff treated the pair like royalty. The expert staff arranged everything from the ceremony location, to the food and stunning decorations. The couple were even upgraded to a beautiful suite overlooking the ocean—even more romantic as the sun begins to set!

On February 28, 2015, the rooftop sky terrace on top of the resort’s Hideaway section was beautifully decorated in a glamorous-meets-rustic-bohemian style, with ocean blue and ivory decorations and simple white flowers with pink-rose accents. Dressed in an ivory taffeta gown with a beaded bodice and Tiffany-blue suede pumps, Ashley happily looked onto David as she strode down the aisle, her neatly pulled-back curls gently rustling in the ocean air. David too gazed back lovingly at his gorgeous bride.

 

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: Ashley’s grandmother’s handkerchief—passed down as a family tradition.

New: A bracelet.

Borrowed: Jewelry.

Blue: The garter.

Wedding day wear

Ashley’s gown: Ivory taffeta gown with a sweetheart neckline, beaded bodice, and corset back.

Ashley’s shoes: Tiffany blue suede pumps.

Ashley’s accessories: Hairpiece and faux crystal earrings and bracelet.

David’s attire: Linen pants, blue and white dress shirt.

The bridesmaids wore: Tiffany blue gowns.

The groomsmen wore: Blue shirts with linen pants.

Wedding bands: Tungsten ring, double halo princess cut, with double jacket.

Small details

Flowers: Bloom Bridal.

Hair and makeup: As a makeup artist and owner of Pohanka Makeup Artistry, Ashley did her own makeup just the way she envisioned: classic bridal look, using rose gold and soft plums, individual lashes and winged liner, contoured cheeks with bronzy glow—accented with a soft pink lip stain. Hair was styled in beachy curls, slightly pulled back with hairpiece and veil.

Photographer: Stefania Giordano.

Stationary and invitations: Online via email.

First Dance: I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice.

Favours: Shot glasses with date and location printed on it.

Want to be featured in the next issue or on our blog? Our contest is now open click here to enter. For French (Quebec entrants) click here.

Tips for other brides and grooms

“Research your resort, don’t sweat the small stuff, relax, and enjoy every second of your day.”

“Don’t worry about others opinions! Do your wedding the way you want and you will be much happier in the end.”

“Take as many pictures as you can! You will love looking back on the memories.”

 As the winners of the Destination Weddings Photo Contest, Ashley and David will be treated to a romantic getaway at the Riu Palace Pacifico in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inside the Latest Issue of Wedding Vacations

We’re so excited to announce that the latest edition of our magazine is now available for download. (You can also pick up a copy in any leading travel agency, or look out for it inserted in the spring/summer edition of Today’s Bride that hits newsstands early January.) From following The Bachelorette Canada’s ups and downs throughout her adventure in Cuba, to the glamorous interior of Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay, this issue offers brides-to-be plenty of destination wedding inspiration. For those who want to learn all the details of Jasmine’s stay at Royalton Hicacos can read all about how this resort helped create romance while our in-destination experts NexusTours helped create the Fantasy Dates.

For brides-to-be trying to determine which dress will eventually be ‘the one.’ Jessica Mulroney returns with a selection of six inspiration-worthy gowns from Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay.

This is the perfect issue to just leave open for your significant other, with an exciting article about proposing in unique destinations like cenotes, waterfalls, or in atmospheric restaurants in Old Havana. Whether they get the hint or not these sites make for perfect couples excursions on your next getaway.

 

Our trending section includes a fun quiz for what your flower choices say about your relationship, plus tips on what to put in welcome tote-bags for wedding guests. No matter which stage of the wedding planning process you’re at this issue has helpful tips and inspiration to help you reach the big day.

 

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