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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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6 Fashion Forward Gowns for Destination Weddings

Walking into Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay, the Wedding Vacations by Sunwing’s team is greeted warmly by our contributing editor Jessica Mulroney and a sea of dazzling wedding gowns. The other floors of Hudson’s Bay’s flagship store on Queen Street are decorated in the holiday spirit, Christmas windows included, but the heavenly glow of Kleinfeld on the seventh floor is a world unto its own.

As we walk through the store Jessica’s excitement is infectious and the selection of dresses she has to share with this issue’s readers are even more stunning in person. Our favourite part of the line-up is the vast range of styles she’s chosen. There’s something for every bride: from whimsical and modern to super sultry, every personal taste is reflected. After our model Mackenzie finished hair and makeup with fellow experts Rachel Renna and Ryan Dowell the transformation truly started with a dramatic looking eye, a classic lip, and soft, romantic waves

1. Glittering Lace Romance

Featuring an elegant mermaid shape, Jessica picked this stunning LOVE by Pnina Tornai for Kleinfeld gown because the shapes in the lace detailing reminded her of “tiny, glittering starfish.” The shape skims the figure and pools into a lovely, circular chapel-length train. For a touch of drama, the dress features a plunging neckline, cap sleeves and sexy keyhole back trimmed in cut-out lace shapes. With a romantic drape and all-over sparkle this dress is reminiscent of a mythical mermaid washed ashore.

2. Macramé Magic

 

Embracing a bohemian look in a sweet yet sexy way, this Oscar de la Renta gown combines a laid-back column shape with sweet and sexy lace look. Sheer from the upper thigh down, this dress is perfect for a beach ceremony or photos on the sand after the ceremony. Giving the dress a sophisticated option, the dress has lacy self-tie straps that can be tucked in or left out for extra modesty.

3. Silky and Sultry

Another mermaid silhouette gown, this pick by Ines Di Santo is perfect for brides looking to show a little (okay, or a lot of) skin in destination. Featuring an illusion front with elaborate lace, the neckline dips low for a daring statement. The back features a dramatic keyhole and illusion back finished with buttons that trace along the spine. Finished with a sweeping chapel-length train this gown embraces the sheer trend that’s still growing strong, while keeping a romantic silhouette.

4. Retro Inspired Sheath

This figure-hugging sheath gown by Sottero and Midgley is perfect for a beach-loving bride. With a timeless shape, this gown features spaghetti straps and V-neckline accented with subtle beading. The lace pattern creates a striking, vintage-looking pattern that flows across the form and finished with a dramatic illusion back with buttons. An easy to manoeuvre sweep-length train makes this effortless gown perfect for dancing the night away or walking across the sand to your partner-to-be. Our editors loved this gown as the circular lace shapes reminded us faintly of sand dollars.

5. Girly Stripes

Ultra-modern but with a classic romantic shape this Hayley Paige gown features a ballgown silhouette in a sweet organza. The bodice features a ballet-inspired plunging neckline with illusion cut-outs below the arm and simple ribbon sash. A U-shaped back is accented with cut-out detailing which flows into a dramatic, full-skirt. The stripe detail designed in a tonal hue so this sweet detailing also adds a slight sheen.

6. Soft Pink Blossoms

Featuring a soft petal pink hue this embroidered organza gown by Rivini adds a little extra princess feel to your destination wedding. The illusion keyhole back is finished with embroidered floral details that have a slight shimmer, perfect for catching tropical sunshine. The chapel length train is perfect for brides looking for a little bit of drama, while the front bodice dips almost to the waistline for a statement-making entrance.

 

 

 

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Top 10 Resorts for Romance

With the finale of The Bachelorette Canada airing this week we can’t wait to see who Jasmine’s final pick is. While she was getting swept away in the romance at Royalton Hicacos and exploring Cuba on two very different (yet equally spectacular!) fantasy dates, we couldn’t help but get a bit of romance-travel-envy ourselves. If you’re looking to create a vacation filled with golden sunsets, beach dinners, and perfect rooms for an evening in, check out our top ten picks for romantic resorts.

1. Royalton Hicacos Resort and Spa

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Where better to start than the Royalton resort that enchanted us all on The Bachelorette Canada? Located along the beautiful, white-sand beaches of Varadero, this adults only resort has a tranquil atmosphere perfect for couples. Spend some time with your honey at the on-site spa relaxing with a couples Swedish massage, or enjoy unlimited à la carte dining so every meal feels like a special occasion. Recreate a Fantasy Date with a catamaran ride or try paddle boarding. Tempted by a sunset dinner like the one Jasmine and Mikhel had on Cayo Blanco? The resort can make it happen right here on the beach.

2. Chic Punta Cana

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Perfect for couples looking for a glamorous vacation with plenty of exciting activities, this adults only Dominican Republic resort features heavenly indulgences, a “Just Us” couples package for romantic extras, and luxurious accommodations. Relax in elegant poolside cabanas and take some silly photos in the mermaid pool. With special events throughout the week including live bands, dance parties, retro nights and beach parties, couples will stay entertained around the clock.

3. Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia

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Opening this January, this all-new resort in stunning St Lucia promises to offer couples an adults only paradise that is perfect for couples who want to relax or explore this fascinating island. Situated along a lush coastline this resort will let you experience the best of the landscape with yoga classes on the beach, or snorkelling. With Royalton luxuries such as unlimited à la carte dining plus a ‘Romance Package’ for dinners on the beach, this resort will delight couples looking for romance and a chance to see the famous Pitons.

4. Riu Reggae

Part of the Signature Collection available through Sunwing Vacations

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Newly opened, Riu Reggae is the second adults only resort to be situated in the ‘Land of All Right’. Part of the Signature Collection the new adults only Riu Reggae in Montego Bay offers an idyllic location to unwind together. Swim away the hours in the infinity pools, enjoy the beachfront location, and dine in gourmet restaurants. With access to the neighbouring Riu Montego Bay resort, couples can also dance the night away at the nightclub.

5. Riu Palace St. Martin

Part of the Signature Collection available through Sunwing Vacations

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Nestled in a hidden bay on the French side of St Maarten, Riu Palace St Martin is an oasis that lends itself to romantic vacations. This boutique style property is situated on a secluded golden-sand beach while the on-site spa offers relaxing treatments perfect for two. Watch the waves roll in from the infinity pool overlooking the beach and enjoy varied gourmet dining options. A favourite is La Mer, a French restaurant with a lovely terrace right on the beach

6. Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa

Part of Sunwing’s Relax Resorts™

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Offering couples an excellent beach and location near all the attractions of Ocho Rios, this Jamaica resort is perfect for couples who want to explore. With opportunities to dine under the stars or watch movies from the pool with ‘Dive-In Movies’, it’ll be hard to top date nights like these when you’re home again. An ideal location for active couples, there’s a host of land and water sports on offer, plus unlimited green fees at the nearby Championship golf course.

7. Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites Resort and Spa

Part of Sunwing’s Relax Resorts™

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Located in the Riviera Maya, this resort features a beautiful beachfront location with crystalline pools, a serene spa, and a range of elegant à la carte restaurants. Couples can have a soothing steam in the sauna, visit the driving range, or dance the night away at La Salsa nightclub. Relax on Bali beds or cabanas on the beach, and at the end of the night cozy up in your suite with comfortable features and modern décor.

8. The Lodge Pico Bonito

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For couples wanting an “off the beaten path” feel to a romantic getaway this jungle lodge has won itself a spot on National Geographic Traveler’s Top 50 Eco-lodges of the World. Featuring intimate, cabin-style accommodations with private patios, the lodge is great for wilderness loving couples as it is surrounded by rainforest views, waterfalls, and beautiful tropical birds. Embark on guided tours, visit a butterfly nursery, or try river rafting nearby.

9. Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

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Situated on the impeccable beaches of Cuba’s Cayo Santa Maria, this resort has been rated the #1 All Inclusive Resort in the area by TripAdvisor®. Couples will love the adults only atmosphere and serene environment with unlimited à la carte dining, dedicated butler service, and relaxing rain showers.  Activities such as catamaran rides or Hobie cat sailing make this resort is perfect for couples looking to make the most of the beach together.

10. Dreams Las Mareas

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Combining luxury with the lush scenery of Costa Rica, Dreams Las Mareas is perfect for couples who want to spend an evening relaxing in their patio Jacuzzi while tropical birds and butterflies dance in the trees. The resort has a spacious adults only pool section while the beach offers activities like kayaking and boogie boarding. With options for romantic meals on the beach, an on-site spa, and excursions like ziplining and hot springs nearby, this resort is perfect for couples who want to experience a little eco-adventure.

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Gifts for Groomsmen and the Experience at Gotstyle

Accessories are the gift that keeps on giving

Just as a good suit is a great investment, dapper accessories are just as key for your groomsmen’s look for the wedding day. Where better for us to find a little inspiration than while we were at the Gotstyle Bathurst store which was filled with gentlemen-worthy goodies that could be used for the big day and many days after. Whether you give a pocket square to be worn for the wedding or grooming products that can be used daily, a little gift for those joining you in destination is never a bad idea.

Cheers

If a few or all of you visited the store to pick out your suits, why not commemorate a successful shopping experience with flasks wrapped in a leather sleeve. Perfect for tucking away into an inner jacket pocket, these will likely be used multiple times.

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Freshen Up

Consider unique grooming products for the guys as a way to feel fresh and rejuvenated in destination, these organic shave balms and styling creams by H by Hackwell are made with ingredients like citrus and fennel for a spa-like treat for the face.

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Carry-On Ready

Create a stylish care-package that’s perfect for carry-on luggage all packed in a leather travel case. We loved this Carry On Cocktail Kit, compass-themed cufflinks, and handy handkerchiefs perfect for beach photos in the sun.

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Square Off

The pocket square to groomsmen is what earrings are for a bridesmaids—the wedding day attire isn’t quite complete without this finishing touch. Give your groomsmen different squares in similar hues for a unique but cohesive look.

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Perfect Packs

They’re going to need one to get to the destination so help your guy squad along with a sporty and versatile carry on or backpack in leather or a case with wheels.

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Lapel Love<

Show those perfectly cut lapels off with a vibrant floral shaped lapel pin, better than a floral boutonniere these accessories won’t ever wither.

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Pop of Colour

Another way to help your groomsmen stand out, these cool laces by Stolen Riches feature quirky names and stylish silver-toned aglets for a polished tip.

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Tied with a Bow

Well, preferably a Windsor knot, but a tie is a groomsmen gift classic that’s practical and thoughtful. It’s always difficult to try and match a colour perfectly so take out the guess work and give a tie instead.

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Slip on or Lace Up

The trend of brides paying for their girls’ shoes is growing trend and the guys can adapt this too, a pair of penny loafers or brogues are also excellent ideas for your father and in-law.

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Show Your Support

Dare to show off vivid patterns or choose to go classic, a finely-crafted belt is another gift your groomsmen can re-use daily.

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The Gift of Grooming

For those who would rather pay for an experience together stop into the store for a royal shave, clean up, head shave or even hair colour, to ensure everyone looks their best for all the photos to come.

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Real Weddings Winners: Shalini and David

Where it all Started

The night Shalini and David met, Shalini was in the middle of a running joke with her friend who introduced the two.  She had decided, for the sake of her friend’s birthday, to go the whole night speaking in a fake accent (which always made her friends laugh) and yet would seem convincing to strangers.  When she and David were introduced, Shalini kept up the charade and while David didn’t fall for her party trick, it at least got him to fall for her. They went without seeing each other again for a few months until a Halloween party brought them together once more.

For their first date, David cooked Shalini an amazing steak dinner at his place and Shalini brought her dog along to test his character. Luckily he won them both over with ease, and the couple has been inseparable ever since.

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Shalini and David were the winners of the Wedding Vacations Photo Contest from Volume 06 Issue 1. The two won a romantic trip to Memories Varadero. Scroll to the bottom of the page to enter the latest contest.

 

Planning the Wedding

Both Shalini and David always knew they wanted a destination wedding from the very beginning. Since David is from the USA and Shalini is from Canada, the couple hadn’t had the chance to get their friends and families to connect yet and they knew a destination wedding could help break the ice. They wanted a chance for their families and friends to be together for more than just one day and have an excellent vacation at the same time.

Shalini and David selected the Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa for their 65 guests. This luxurious resort was the perfect option for all their guests while a private beach club off-site offered the intimacy and flexibility they were looking for in their celebration.

By the end of the destination retreat, the guests had gotten the chance to spend time together during both ceremonies and the reception and it brought them all that much closer and feeling like one big family. It was exactly what Shalini and David had wished for and they wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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Day Details

The wedding day consisted of two celebrations: a Hindu ceremony and a symbolic beach wedding the next day where Shalini and David were married by a friend. The resort hosted many of the Hindu elements of the wedding including a henna Party, a prayer service and a welcome dinner. The beach club and ceremony was a secret event that celebrated their love for travel and each other.

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The couple poured details into as much of the wedding as possible, making the day they tied the knot more personal and special for their guests. Shalini made almost everything for the wedding, from decorations to welcome bags and even ‘Team Bride’ and ‘Team Groom’ shirts for the guests. They kept all the elements travel themed because of how much time the couple spent together exploring different cities around the world and it let the guests learn more about them and the places they’ve been.

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The programs for the guests were actually fans, made by Shalini, which were decorated with details about the two different ceremonies. She wanted the guests to know what was happening during the Hindu ceremony to let them feel included and understand the significance of each moment.

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The seating chart was arranged using city names as table numbers complete with photographs of the couple in each location in the centre. Instead of seating cards, guests received rustic bronze compasses that had their name and the city. For the guestbook, Shalini hand painted a globe in white and rose gold to have the guests sign with wishes and hopes for the couple on their new journey together.

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Wedding Day Wear

Shalini’s gown:Custom-made ivory lace dress with an illusion neckline and open back.

Shalini’s shoes: Customized pink Converse sneakers with the couple’s names on one shoe and the wedding date on the other.

Shalini’s accessories: Crystal and pearl drop earrings as well as a white gold Pandora bracelet with wedding charms that the groom gave to her before the ceremony.

David’s attire: All the groom’s wear was custom-made in India, he wore light grey pants, a light grey vest with a white linen shirt.

David’s accessories: The groom had a coral tie as well as white Converse personalized with the wedding date.

Bridesmaid dresses: For the beach ceremony the bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses in different pastel colors and had matching parasols.

Groomsmen’s attire: The men wore custom-made grey linen pants with white linen shirts, with grey suspenders and different coloured pastel bowties to match the bridesmaids.

Small Details

Flowers: Custom-made during one of the bride’s trips to China, they were various pastel coloured flowers.

Photographer: Revos Photos.

First Dance: Jeena by Atif Aslam.

Traditions:
Since the wedding was multicultural, the couple wanted to include Hindu wedding traditions in destination.  On the beach, they had a henna party with colourful pillows and paper lanterns. A Punta Cana artist and some friends of the bride gave guests beautiful and intricate henna designs including Shalini’s henna designs on her hands and feet. The couple also held a Choora ceremony where prayers are said for the bride and her family gave her traditional bracelets to wear for six months. The last ceremony that the couple took part in is called a butna. The wedding guests put a pasty mixture made with turmeric all over the bride and groom to cleanse and beautify them in time for their wedding.

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Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: The bride’s earrings.

New: The bride’s garter.

Borrowed: The veil was borrowed from one of the bride’s closest friends.

Blue: The bride’s Indian wedding dress.

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Tips for Brides and Grooms

  • “Prepare for the unexpected”
  • “Remind yourself ahead of time that some things may not go as planned but at the end of the day you are marrying your best friend and that is what truly matters”

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Want to Share Your Destination Wedding?

By submitting your destination wedding to be featured in Wedding Vacations magazine and online you will be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Riu Palace Pacifico. Submit up to ten photos and a little explanation of why you and your sweetheart deserve to win. Click here to enter and learn more.

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Destination Inspired Wedding Invites

Whether you’re the DIY style of couple or you’re looking to get your invitations designed by the pros, the range of styles available for invites is huge. We love the idea of nodding to your destination wedding with invites that are reminiscent of your personal taste and the upcoming trip for all your guests. From save the dates to fans to help everyone beat the heat here is our roundup of favourite designs from online and Canadian vendors.

That Tropical Feeling

Invites From: I’ll Know It When I See It

Embracing the entire experience of a destination wedding these invites are perfect for couples with a fun and sporty side. With tropical hues and a cute monogrammed surfboard motif these invites will have your guests hearing the soft sounds of the palm trees as soon as they open the pretty envelope.

 

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Keep Cool

Invites From: FossilLetterpress

These programs offer guests all the details for your ceremony and a way to keep themselves cool while they watch all the romantic moments unfold.  We love the pretty shell and starfish details perfect for a ceremony on a golden sand beach.

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Elegant Watercolour

Invites From: Wedding Paper Divas

For a dreamy and romantic touch, these watercolour inspired invitations feature a beautiful script and pretty seashell motif. We love the combination of modern elements like the soft sea-like gradient at the bottom with classic lettering and wording.

 

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Now Boarding

Invites From: Paper & Poste

For those who love to travel these boarding pass inspired invitations are just the ticket! (See what we did there?) It’s a thoughtful touch for your guests to include an extra piece containing all the helpful booking information and travel details to make sure they have all they need when they speak to their agent or the destination wedding planner.

 

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Real Weddings: Marie-Pier & Carol

It was a chance encounter that brought Marie-Pier, a teacher, and Carol, a police officer, together. Hailing from the outskirts of Montreal, both had gone separately to Varadero with their respective group of friends for a vacation, but didn’t stay at the same hotel. As they headed out for a night out in downtown Varadero, Marie-Pier couldn’t help but notice the handsome fellow with a great smile and shy demeanour, while Carol couldn’t take his gaze off the woman with beautiful eyes.  Marie-Pier recounts, “I saw him and I knew I had to go talk to him, I know it sounds cheesy but from the moment we met, we knew it was more than just a fling.”

Carol decided to propose to Marie-Pier during a surprise weekend getaway. As they settled in with a bottle of wine, the sky lit with meteor showers, Carol turned to Marie-Pier and asked if she would marry him. It was only when he presented her with the box, that they both noticed it was empty! “After a short panic attack and search for the ring,” Marie-Pier recounts, “I said yes!”

An intimate affair

 

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Continuing with their Cuba theme, Marie-Pier and Carol celebrated their nuptials with a private gazebo ceremony at the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero. Wearing a private label organza Kevin G. confection, the bride made her way down the aisle to a piano rendition of Coldplay’s Clocks. Joined by 48 of their friends and family, the wedding was officiated by the couple’s best friends, adding to the intimacy of their celebration. Walking down the aisle to her husband – who was crying from the beginning to the end of the ceremony – was undoubtedly Marie-Pier’s most memorable moment from the wedding, while Carol recalls the beauty of the service and the amount of people who chose to celebrate their love, as his most cherished and unexpected moments,
“Having our best friends there to celebrate with us made our day perfect,” he says.

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The evening progressed with a music-filled reception, featuring plenty of Cuban rum, and complete with a first dance to Shania Twain’s From This Moment, a choreographed dance to the Backstreet Boys’ Get Down and a night full of dancing to an expertly-curated playlist of classic rock, disco, 90s dance hits and 2000s pop. “There was no time to sit!” Marie-Pier remembers.
Having their friends and family present for their tropical nuptials was certainly the highlight for both Marie-Pier and Carol who added, “We really wanted our wedding to be a special time for our guests too.” So to show their appreciation, they provided them with a customized itinerary and personalized gifts as part of their wedding favours.
Marie-Pier and Carol extended their Cuban stay with a week’s honeymoon.

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As the winners of the Destination Weddings Photo Contest, Marie-Pier and Carol were treated to a romantic getaway at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Get Their Look
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Marie Pier’s gown: Organza, Private Label by Kevin G.
Marie-Pier’s shoes: Silver wedge heels, Aldo.
Carol’s outfit: White shirt and black pants, Protocol.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Long turquoise gowns.
Groomsmen’s attire: Turquoise shirt and black pants, Protocol.
Hair and makeup: Soft and natural makeup; chignon.
Types of rings: White gold and diamonds (her), titanium (him).
Photographer: Marc-Antoine Gascon and Alexandre Bergeron-Cyr.
Stationary and invitations: Vistaprint.
Favours: Candy bar, heart-shaped plantable paper and lotto tickets.
Welcome gifts for guests: Havana Club rum.

Tips For Brides and Grooms
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  • Do not hesitate to ask questions during the planning process. Your travel agent, your wedding planner and your family have the knowledge to answer a lot of your concerns.
  • Don’t be afraid to give some responsibility to some of your closest friends.
  • Most importantly, appreciate every single moment of this special week.

 

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5 Destination Wedding Options to Explore

We’ve all been there. You’re on Pinterest searching destination wedding ideas and there’s so many beautiful images it’s hard to know where to start. Before you visit your destination wedding consultant it can help to start researching some of the places you and your partner would be interested in. Let us here at Wedding Vacations help you start the planning process with some picks that you may not have considered.

Aruba

Where: Palm Beach or Oranjastad

Why: Often praised as one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, Aruba’s beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and incredible landscapes offer plenty for destination weddings. Located outside of the hurricane belt, this small island’s sunny days are paired with refreshing breezes and low humidity. If beach weddings are your #1 choice, why not choose the island with a seven mile strip of glorious, powdery white sands. Set out and explore this island’s highlights like Casibari Rock, Alto Vista Chapel, or stroll through the streets of Oranjastad.

When: The climate in Aruba is pretty much perfection year-round. May is typically the warmest month, January being the coldest at an average of 27°C (80°F) and November getting a little more rain but still not enough to dampen your guests’ spirits.

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Costa Rica

Where: Liberia and Playa Langosta

Why: Combining postcard-worthy beaches with some of the most lush, verdant foliage, Costa Rica is an oasis for those who want to do more than just beach hop (but really, you could do that too). This is the perfect option for active couples or nature lovers who can be married surrounded by blossoming tropical flowers and rolling mountains in the background. For a selection of eco-excursions, few destinations offer a wider range of options than Costa Rica; everything from rainforest canopy tours to relaxing hot spring visits let you and yours relax or get a shot of adrenaline.

When: Depending on which region you visit the country has a wet and dry season, but it differs by area. Typically Guanacaste is the driest, the Caribbean coast is wetter, and the Pacific side is hot all year long.

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Roatan

Where: West Bay Beach or French Harbour

Why: This Honduras island is one of the best spots for snorkelling and diving. While on dry land visitors are enchanted by this this island’s white-sand beaches and rolling hills. If you and yours want all the tropical splendor of some of the destination wedding hot spots but want to bring your guests to somewhere new and exciting, Roatan is the gem you’re looking for. With such incredible reefs just off-shore this is the place for a trash the dress session underwater so make sure your photographer brings an underwater camera!

When: Annual average temperatures typically hover around 27° C with seasonal lows only dipping to 25° C in January. During October to February is technically the island’s rainy season but don’t hold out for a rain shower because the precipitation is quite minimal.

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Curacao

Where: Willemstad or Piscadera Bay

Why: From nightlife, to historical landmarks, to beautiful scenery Curacao has a sprinkling of everything brides and grooms are looking for. Say “I do” on one of the many tranquil and intimate beaches and later have your guests explore the salt flats of Jan Kok to spot flamingos.  Once everyone’s returned home, you and your husband/wife can relax in one of the many spas on the island. Diving or snorkelling here is a must, there’s an entire world of colourful fish and mysterious wrecks down below just waiting to be discovered.

When: This pretty island is also outside of the hurricane belt and boasts a sunny, warm climate for a majority of the year. Couples can expect average temperatures of about 27° C and some brief showers at night from October and February.

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Saint Lucia

Where: Gros Islet and Reduit Beach

Why:  We could just let the image of the majestic Piton mountains do the talking but where’s the fun in that? Saint Lucia has an alluring combination of thrilling eco-adventures and the glamorous resorts that are sure to leave your guests impressed. From sunset champagne cruises or trying the unique blend of flavours in Saint Lucia’s cuisine there’s no shortage of options for what visitors can do on the island.

When: Saint Lucia’s temperatures range from  around 21°C to 32° C depending on the season. Typically December and January are cooler, and high 30s are not uncommon from June to August. The island is even welcoming during the rainy season which is between June and November, these showers are usually brief and bring out the vibrant hues of the landscape (hello jaw-dropping wedding photos).

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Let’s Dance: Destination Inspired Song Picks

The first dance as husband and wife is one of those moments that can tempt even the least emotional wedding guests to get a little teary-eyed. There’s just something about that slow moment and seeing the bride and groom celebrate their new relationship status with a moment just for two.

Some couples know from early-on which song they’ll pick for the special day, while others scramble to find the perfect tune. If you find yourself in the latter group, we’ve collected a few sweet sounds we think would be perfect for a destination wedding.

 

Like I’m Going to Lose You-Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend

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Favourite line: “Wherever we’re standing, I won’t take you for granted, cause we’ll never know when we’ll run out of time”
Reminds us of: A glamorous Mexico wedding with a reception on a veranda.

Who You Love-John Mayer ft. Katy Perry

Shalene and Andrew at the altar
Favourite line: “But I’m not running anymore, cause I’ve fought against it hard enough to know that you love, who you love”
Perfect for: An intimate wedding on the lush beaches of Costa Rica.

I’m Yours- Jason Mraz

Wedding-17 (2)
Favourite line: “There’s no need to complicate, our time is short, this is our fate, I’m yours.”
Perfect for: A relaxed and romantic Jamaica wedding.

You and I-Ingrid Michaelson

beach wedding
Favourite line: “Don’t you worry there, my honey, we might not have any money, but we’ve got our love to pay the bills.”
Perfect for: Barefoot celebrations in the sand in Aruba.

Do you have any recommendations to add to our list? Comment below or tweet us your picks!

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Keep Them Entertained: Guest Activities

Some couples are hesitant to ask wedding guests to use their vacation time to attend a destination wedding. If your heart is set on a wedding in a tropical climate, the best way to avoid these worries is to plan activities and entertainment for everyone who attends. One of the many perks of having a destination wedding is there’s much less work required for the bride and groom, so why not take advantage of your free-time in the sun with your nearest and dearest?

Have a beach day

Let everyone know you’re going to be spending the day on the beach and pick a time to meet. This is a great chance to take plenty of group photos. Start a bridesmaids vs groomsmen volleyball game or throw a sandcastle building competition. This is a nice way to welcome everyone to the resort and get your guests to start relaxing, together.

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Plan a local excursion

Before departure, send all your guests some information on tours you’d like to do together. If your wedding guests love to party, why not plan an all-inclusive trip to a local floor show or nightclub? Older guests might appreciate cultural or wildlife tours that let them see all the sites  in comfort. Tours that combine multiple sites and activities usually have something that will interest everyone. Ask your destination wedding planner for recommendations and you’ll easily find an excursion everyone will love.

catamaran party

 

Stay in

Well, sort of. There are many all-inclusive resorts that have nightclubs or casinos right in the property. Why not plan a group night at the casino or create a theme night for dancing? For a night at the club have your guests dress like their favourite rock star or plan a retro night. Give out a prize for the best costume at the end of the night.

Make a date with Lady Luck

 

Quick Tip:

Any events, excursions, or themes you plan for your guests, let them know ahead of time so they know what to pack.Include an itinerary with their invitation and let guests choose whether or not they want to join in.

You know your guests best, if your family and friends all prefer big group events and parties then events like these will be a hit. If you think planning activities outside of the wedding celebrations might pressure your guests too much, a list of fun suggestions of activities and nearby attractions is a friendly and thoughtful touch.

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